Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Coordinate Practice: One JSK three ways

Coordinate practice is one of those things that I've heard about a lot in lolita because it's an amazing idea, but for some reason it's one bandwagon that I just never hopped on. The idea is that you take one piece, usually a large item like a one piece or a skirt, and see how many ways you can coordinate it. This is awesome for wardrobe building (make a list of the items that, outfit to outfit, you always wish you had), or, in my case, a piece that has recently been added to your wardrobe that just confounds you on how to wear it. Take this gorgeous JSK- It's gorgeous and navy is one color I've always wanted to wear more of. However, that means I own almost none of it, and those brainless "just-make-it-all-the-same-color" coordinates really aren't possible for me. It's languished unworn for far too long, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and use it for coordinate practice- that way, I can say I've done it (loli street cred!) as well as brainstorm some ideas for its next wear.

Coordinate 1: Garden Tea Party
  • Hymn long jumperskirt by AatP
  • Forever 21 lace bolero
  • Vintage beaded gloves
  • Vintage hat
  • Pearl chain brooch from AatP
  • Lace tights from H&M
  • Ruffle kitten heels from Target
This one was lace-themed- it features a lovely lace bolero ($7!) and delicate lace tights. This is probably my favorite of the set- I'm definitely going to be wearing it to the first meetup of the summer season. It's comfortable and light but still elegant- and aren't those vintage gloves just perfect for holding a delicate porcelain teacup?

Coordinate 2: Vintage Secretary
  •  Hymn long jumperskirt by AatP
  • Offbrand gray blazer
  • Forever 21 black rose belt
  • Vintage gloves
  • Glasses from Claire's
  • Tights from H&M
  • Offbrand heels
When I was building this coordinate, I imagined myself the secretary for a fabulous fashion designer who's since faded into antiquity, circa 1950's. The structured jacket takes this jumperskirt into the terrain of office-appropriate, especially when paired with classy heels, while the rose belt and matching gloves give it a sweet look to it. I wouldn't necessarily call this one lolita- it probably has about the same amount of vintage and retro influence as lolita inspiration.

Coordinate 3: The Heiress
  • Hymn long jumperskirt by AatP
  • Vintage fur stole
  • Vintage hat
  • Offbrand velvet riding jacket
  • H&M bow print tights
  • Montral rocking horse shoes
This coordinate was entirely inspired by that stole- I inherited it from my grandmother, and it's the only piece of real fur I currently own or plan on owning, unless I can find another in someone's attic. I'm not a fan of fur or the fur industry, so I don't want to support it monetarily, but I feel it's disrespectful to the animal to just let it sit rotting  in someone's basement (and yes, I know that just wearing it is propagating harm to animals, and that's a perfectly good reason for you to avoid fur- but in this case, it isn't a good enough reason for me). Mixing neutrals, while technically a fashion faux-pas, is one of my favorite things to do- the dark navy of this JSK goes well with black, in my opinion, and the bright white details (on the dress, the hat, and the tights) are enough to tie the black and navy pieces together. I think it makes for a much more interesting look than if I had just chosen white or navy to play off of. I paired it with a tailored velvet equestrian-style jacket for a retro-refined look; I imagine this would be worn by a rich young heiress about her daily errands: shopping at Harrod's, accosting Daddy's secretary (above?) into wiring some more pocket money into her account (what's a measly $500 to Daddy?), and then a fine dinner to which she'll be fashionably blase. Life is difficult!

This activity was such great practice for me! The weather has lead me to leave my airy ruffles in favor of warmer clothes, and therefore I've felt so uninspired sartorially- this was a breath of fresh air for my wardrobe. If you'd like more examples of coordinate practice, Fairytale a la Mode does them very often, and her outfits are always absolutely lovely.

Here's my challenge for all of you: do your own coordinate practice!
Whether you want to use Polyvore to create the outfit of your dreams, challenge yourself to coordinate a problem piece of your wardrobe, or you've just received your first dress and have no idea how to use it with your mainstream wardrobe, show my what you come up with! If you do, I'd love it if you could link me to your coordinates in the comments below!

PS: How do you like my new hair? I got my bangs re-cut and dyed over the old color with a dark ,natural red, so the blue is much darker and more muted. I call this one "Black-cherry-paradise-half-the-sugar-twice-the-spice-I-don't-wanna-treat-you-nice-COMEONBABYROLLTHEDICE!!!", or Black Cherry for short (and my eternal love for anyone who knows what that's from!)

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