Friday, December 27, 2013

LBC: My Lolita Fashion New Years Resolutions

I've never really seen the appeal of New Years resolutions, to be honest. I was raised at a point when it was already common knowledge that they never truly work, anyway, so I never saw resolutions as worth the time of coming up with them, and certainly not worth the stress of fretting over breaking them for an entire year. However, because of the Lolita Blog Carnival's topic this week and the fact that I really need to get back into my stride with posting here again, I've decided that 2014 will be different, and that I shall resolve for one of the first times in my life!

So remind me, what's a Lolita Blog Carnival? It's when a group of Lolibloggers like myself all blog together about the same topic on the same day. The topics are voted on in the Facebook group and a deadline is set, and everyone works on their articles until the posting deadline. At the end, we all link to each others' entries at the bottom of our own, so all of our lovely readers can see what other participating Lolibloggers had to say.

I have three resolutions:

  • I will share at least one outfit photo per month
  • I will attend at least two meetups in 2014
  • I will get dolled up and have casual meets with my friends at least once every two months

Here's why:

For the first, well, I got rid of a lot of stuff when I decided I was "quitting" lolita. Because I'm still in the process of rebuilding my wardrobe, I keep giving myself benchmarks until I start really wearing lolita again: after I buy some more brand, after I get my health under control, after I really get my accessory collection back up to par, THEN I'll get back to dressing up on a regular basis. The problem is, I've been putting off a lot of things in this manner- because I've been increasingly sick over the last few months, I keep avoiding doing things that would stress me out and make me ill until I'm well again. But really, that's a topic for a whole 'nother post- what I mean to say is, I'm going to get back into doing the things, even if there are things keeping me from feeling 100% "ready" to do them right now.

My other problem lately is, I've become a total hermit! I really WANT to see people, and I love hanging out with my friends, but between having moved two hours away from New York City and all of my other friends being either A. still in school or B. also having moved to far away lands, social interaction has become increasingly difficult. Therefore, my other two resolutions focus on pulling myself out of my comfort zone and making an effort to connect with my friends who are in the area again (both of which also enable my first resolution as well - it's a perfect circle!)

Readers: What are your New Years Resolutions for 2014?

Do you have any that are lolita fashion-specific?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Operation: LoliBlog is now on Pinterest +Outfit Teaser

That's right, Operation: LoliBlog now has its own Pinterest board devoted to cataloging blogging tips and resources specifically for lolita bloggers. The loveliest fonts, the sweetest social media icon packs, and also practical advice applicable for bloggers of all types and experience levels- all of this and more will be yours care of my lolita fashion blogging pin board!

And that isn't my only Pinterest-related piece of news over here on Her Lumpiness! Try hovering over this teaser for my next outfit post:
Teaser outfit photo for my most recent gothic lolita coordinate

You can now pin images from any post by hovering over the image, and clicking the circular "P" button in the top left corner. It's already been very convenient for me, so I hope all of you can make good use of it, too! Here's a great place to start trying it out.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Top Ten Lolita Instagrams You Aren't Following

It's no secret that most lolitas' favorite way to find inspiration is to look at photos of other lolitas, and my favorite way to do that via Instagram. There are so many awesome lolita Instagram accounts that are super popular - and usually really deserve to be! - but, like every form of social media, there are always hidden gems that don't get nearly enough love. These Instagrammers can add a little more fluff to your daily social media routine, and really, who can say no to that?!

These fancy rufflebutts were picked on the following criteria:
  • Fewer than 300 or so followers
  • A good percentage of their photos are either of lolitas or appeal to the lolita aesthetic
  • There are at least a handful of photos on their account of them in lolita, or a similar style
  • In general, their photos show high quality and talent in regards to photography, editing, coordination, and/or makeup skills (preferably some combination of the above, definitely with an emphasis on the latter two)

So, without further ado, here is my list of the top ten most underrated lolita Instagram users!

Professional creative-types:

Four of the top ten most underrated lolita instagram accounts
Clockwise from left: Kate, designer for Australian brand Rouge Aerie; NYC lolita seamstress and designer Aria of Dix Macabre; the lovely Dawn of The Snow Field; American accessory artisan, Sweet Mildred.

Fierce fashion inspirations:

Six of the top ten most underrated lolita instagram accounts
nynfia ; thisiscurlyb ; scarrymii ; remilade ; artemiz_xv ; bandersnatchley

Instagram is an amazing tool for inspiration - makeup, food, and particularly fashion! I don't like the Instagram web app, so I've linked to the pages for each of these cuties.

Followers! Who are your favorite lolita Instagrammers?

Let me know in the comments below - you can never have too much inspiration!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mini Update: A Beginner's Primer on Alternative Fashion

I haven't been blogging the past few weeks, because work has been fairly crazy! However, I have been working on some internal workings of the blog, such as figuring out what happened to my comments when I switched to a custom domain name.

But I've also decided that it would be worthwhile to offer new visitors an explanation of the three styles I discuss most often here: lolita fashion, steampunk fashion, and mori-girl fashion, so I decided to put some of my typical blogging time into creating a short guide on these three topics.

For more information on a beginner's guide to alternative fashion, click the picture above or right here!

Friday, November 8, 2013

LBC: How I Got Into Lolita Fashion

For this week's lolita blog carnival, we're discussing how we began to wear lolita fashion, which I'm really excited about, because I'm always so curious! Most average people coast by every day completely unaware of how many alternative subcultures exist around them - how is it that so many people (particularly girls) in the Western world found out about this random Japanese street fashion?

The story of how I got into lolita fashion:

The first time I witnessed lolita, I was fifteen years old and on my second trip to Tokyo. I spent a week and a half living with a host family in... Meguro or Minato, one of the neighborhoods outside the main bustle of the metropolis, and attending an elite Japanese all-girls private school. For my first weekend there, my host family took me shopping in a few of the bigger fashion centers - Shinjuku, Shibuya, and... Harajuku, of course. This is when Gwen Stefani was at the height of her reign of terror, in 2005 or so, and despite her obsession with "Harajuku Girls" (or maybe because of it), I found myself totally unprepared for what I found there. Walking down Takeshita-Doori, the main drag for alternative fashion, was like tumbling down a rabbit hole; the girl working the counter at Seven-Eleven had green hair and five facial piercings (I counted), teenagers in visual-kei sat at tables in the McDonald's window, and outlandish clothing styles stared down at me from store windows stacked three or four or five on top of each other.

One of these buildings, two or three floors above me, featured a mannequin wearing set I don't know if I'll every forget: it was a blazer with sharp, pointed ends, a skirt that was basically tiers of ruffles, and a janutily-cocked mini hat, all in bubblegum pink. Next to it was something deconstructed visual-kei coordinate in black and purple plaid, but I barely noticed it: that pink monster was like nothing I'd ever seen before, and it was like a magnet.

"Haitte mo ii desu ka?" I asked, my eyes glazed.
My host, Asuka, rushed to agree, but her mother gave a shudder and shook her head.
"Demo... kawaii desu...!" I defended plaintively, in my second-grade-level Japanese.
Ms. Aihashi shuddered again. "Kawaii? Kowai deshou."

So we were whisked away down the street, and I was placated with my first taste of bubble tea in an outdoor foodcourt that has been long since converted to more shopping complexes. I was captivated by lolita, but every time I saw anyone wearing it for the remainder of the trip, all I could hear was my host mother's voice in the back of my head: "Cute? I think it's scary."

It wasn't until lolita got a foothold in the American convention scene that I found my way to actually wearing the stuff. After casually experimenting for a few years, I started amassing a wardrobe of altered blouses and handmade skirts the summer before my senior year, and the first day of school saw me in knee socks and mary janes. There were all of ten days my senior year that I didn't wear lolita or some derivative (I know; I counted). For the most part, my school was fairly accepting; sure, I got bullied a little for my clothing choices, but really - what high schooler didn't? More often, because the magnet program in my school was renowned for misfits, I was just considered one of the other weird "artsy" kids who could occasionally be poked fun at but was mostly accepted, tolerated, or ignored.

On one of the days sanctioned by the school for practical jokes, a friend and I switched clothes for the day, to the outrage of my classmates. One girl gasped when she saw me. "Child, what are you wearing??" she demanded. I looked down: an Abercrombie polo shirt and a denim mini skirt. So what?
Hanging out with my fellow art kids in my first brand dress; senior year of high school.
"No, no!" the girl insisted, appalled. "Man, what'd you put THAT on for? You always look like you be going to a ball or something. You gonna go back to the dresses tomorrow, right? Because I don't think I can HANDLE more than one day of this!" And then the entire class went on to discuss how elegant my clothes usually were, how different it was, and how.

And that was probably the best day of my high school career, and I can only thank lolita fashion for it - or at least the hackneyed "lolita-inspired" wardrobe I cobbled together over the course of my senior year.

So that's probably longer than what most people will have to say about it, but I have lots more I could share. And I probably will, eventually - this was an off-the-cuff pieces written in a few minutes and one sitting between projects at my job, but it's a topic I really enjoy sharing my experiences about. Until I get the chance to do that, though, take a look at these other lolibloggers as they share how THEY got into lolita fashion!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Meetup Ideas for Fall, Winter, and Cold Weather in General

Winter and Fall Lolita Meetup Ideas

a list of reason why winter is awesome
For us in the Northern hemisphere, fall has settled comfortably down around us like little hillocks of leaves, and it won't be long before snow drifts replace them (well, at least here in the Frozen North, that is). But unless your local community plans on going into hibernation, there's no reason to let the cold winds scare you out of your petticoats and bloomers! Here are some ideas for lolita meetups for the chillier parts of the year.

Cold Weather Lolita Meetup Ideas

  • Ice skating! Always a classic for colder weather, and who doesn't love the look of those ravishing plastic rental skates?
  • A crafternoon, preferably in front of a fire with cups of hot mulled cider, and afghans for laps if it gets chilly.
  • Photoshoots- it may be too cold to spend a lot of time outdoors, but imagine a photoshoot with a bunch of lolitas walking through a red and orange park in the afternoon sun, or through crystalline snow drifts... Sigh! Utterly picturesque.
  • Similarly, organize a lolita fashion Stitch 'n Bitch for all you knitters out there! Get started on a scarf or a new pair of mittens while catching up on all the best gossip from your local community.
  • Shopping day, because obviously. Hit the mall or an indoor shopping arcade and load up on chintzy accessories.
  • Cookie swap - this holiday classic entails everyone baking cookies beforehand, typically their favorite season recipes, and everyone sugar-binging while swapping recipes. It's an adorable bonding activity that could be great for a newly-founded community - plus, getting a ton of lolitas high on sugar has statistically never gone wrong, ever.
  • A tea-sampling party. I know it's pretty unrealistic, but I love the idea of having a whole bunch of teapots being kept warm by Sterno candles (like the kind caterers use), and everyone gets espresso cups to sample the array of teas and tisanes, with little treats to nibble that coordinate in flavor with each of the teas. Alternatively, a tea swap would be lovely as well- everyone brings a box of their favorite tea to share. You could provide cute cellophane bags and attendees could make their own goodie bags of their favorites!
  • Video game day - One thing I know about lots of lolitas is that they're often pretty big on console games, so load up your favorite multiplayer game and have an afternoon in with local ladies!
  • An evening at the theater, be it opera, ballet, or even just the movies. Again, movie outings are another great activity for a budding community, especially if it's followed by dinner or coffee- talking about what you just saw means awkward silences will be far fewer and easier to dispel.
  • A candlelit dinner party - maybe I'm just a weirdo on this, but the idea of getting together my most fashionable friends and serving them a beautiful, multi-course meal makes me absolutely giddy. Just me?
  • Tour a museum or local historical building, especially if it's decked out in its winter finery. My local group is going to road trip to see The Breakers in Newport this year, but even most small towns at least have a historical society. These establishments often don't get a lot of traffic except for school groups, so you're also supporting your local community with this one!
I'm a huge baby when it gets cold out, so in the winter I'm always tempted to sit home drinking tea or cocoa all day. It's hard to get all dolled up only to have bitter winds biting at your knees! Hopefully if the same is true for you, these meet ideas will inspire you to layer up, pull on those mittens, and plan a lovely day with your local community.

{PS- the image above wasn't made by me! I found it on Pinterest and then edited it further myself.}

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What I Wore: Snow White with Lady Sloth

Faux fur close up from my classic lolita outfit
This weekend I went to a meetup with the Western Massachusetts community! We had tea and crepes and fondue, and despite a few bumps in the road, much fun was had by all. I took my outfit inspiration from Snow White from the show Once Upon a Time, particularly her bandit outfit. Mostly, though, that just means I styled my hair a little like hers and wore a (faux) fur with her color palette. I may someday make an actual costume of it, because I really love that outfit!

full classic lolita outfit photo

Outfit rundown:
Skirt and bow: Autumn Flowers by Lady Sloth
Blouse: Forever 21
Fur: H&M
Harness: Redfield Design
Brown belt (mostly hidden): thrifted
Shoes: Payless
Tights: great question! Offbrand somewhere.

Detail shot:
Detail shot from my classic lolita coord

☆ What did you all do this weekend? ☆

Friday, October 25, 2013

LBC: My Perfect Lolita Halloween Party!

This week's Lolita Blog Carnival is very seasonally-appropriate: your perfect lolita-themed Halloween party! I came up with two different options, and of course created coordinates for each.

The Masquerade Ball:

You push through the decrepit manor house's oaken doors, and from the top step of the stairway you find there the music is already floating toward you like perfume. The long hall at its foot is lit by torches, and ends in a heavy, dusty velvet curtain. Pushing it aside, you gasp aloud- you couldn't have imagined that such a forlorn place would conceal such beauty, such grandeur. It's like opening a treasure chest: the entire room is gilded in gold leaf, and masked couples whirl over the bright marble floors, firelight glinting off their ornately bejeweled costumes. The air is thick with some sort of incense, like something that belongs in a gothic church, and you can feel the centuries of hands which have passed over the smooth marble railing as you descend into the ballroom below. Someone presses a goblet into your hands, and you drink deeply of a rich, thick, dark red wine before a gloved hand comes to rest at your waist and whisks you off to the dance floor.

You didn't even think you knew how to do the minuet.

The Haunted Tea:

The door to the crypt looks like it's never been opened, like it never could be opened, but the instructions on your invitation are precise. You raise a hand to push against the thick slab of limestone, and gasp as it moves like a curtain under your touch. The cold wind that rises from the catacombs is somehow inviting, which may have something to do with the rich aromas it carries. As you descend the thick stone steps, the door slips back into place and the darkness in the corridor is complete; you carefully follow your nose toward the scents of food and warmth. Eventually you find yourself in a huge catacomb; you've no idea how far down these stairs have taken you, because the ceiling now rises so high that you can barely even see it. That may have something to do with the room's lighting, which consists only of torches around the perimeter and a massive candelabra in the center, sitting upon a huge, empty table. There's only one chair, and the sound of your footsteps on the stone floor echo and seem deafening until you reach it.

As soon as you're seated, you can hardly believe your eyes: the atmosphere of the room has changed almost completely. It's now lit brightly and warmly, as if a fire is crackling nearby, but the table is what has changed the most. Not only is it now set opulently with the finest china you've ever seen, it's ringed by a huge party of laughing, jubilant guests. You don't know that you've ever seen so jolly a group, and the fact that you can see right through them to the walls behind seems unimportant. A parade of skeletons appear from a doorway you hadn't noticed before, each carrying a tiered tray that makes your stomach rumble. Some contain pastries with bowls of cream and preserves, while others bear dainty tea sandwiches or heaped piles of fruit riper than any you've ever seen. The final skeleton seems like it doesn't belong with the rest: it carries only a simple wooden bowl, and you are shocked when it places the bowl directly in front of you.

The pomegranate seeds stain the tips of your fingers a deep, blood red, and it isn't until you've devoured the whole bowl that you stop to think about the consequences of eating the food of the dead.

Crash some more parties below!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

5 Ridiculous Skills I Learned from Lolita

Lolita may be a fashion, but it necessitates a certain skillset too. Being doll-like requires you to learn a lot of new skills- maybe you had to learn a new beauty skill, like teasing your hair or applying circle lenses, or maybe donning over-the-top wigs and pastels taught you self-confidence and how to stand up for your style. I think that's one of the best things about lolita- it forces you out of your comfort zone and teaches you about yourself and the outside world.

Here are the top 5 skills I learned from wearing lolita fashion!

♥ "I know the word in Japanese, I just don't know how to say it!" Reading so many brand websites has given me a really unique understanding of the Japanese language. I've learned to recognize a good number of characters by sight alone, with no idea how they're actually pronounced (the one that comes to mind is 綿, which is the symbol for cotton, and which Google translate has just reminded me is pronounced "wata." Let's see how long I remember it this time!)

♠ "Hand wash only? Piece of cake! Where's my Oxi-Clean?" I used to live in fear of hand-washing my garments, but these days? Bring it on! Relatedly, if not for lolita I don't think I'd ever know what bluing is.

♣ "I better get all of my international orders in before the dollar tanks even MORE!" Before lolita, I knew nothing about conversion rates, let alone the strength of the dollar in comparison to other countries' currencies. In my heyday of buying lolita both from Japanese sites and second-hand off the communities, I could instantly convert complicated prices to within a few dollars' worth of accuracy - euro, pounds, yen. I also knew which countries and currencies to avoid because the US dollar was currently weak against them. I've never been much of an economist, but for the first time in my life, lolita made it necessary for me to pay attention to these things.

♦"Uh oh, creeper alert! Time to duck into this Starbucks until he's walked by." The way I assess danger is much different these days. I'm used to be heckled on the street and know when to hold my own, but I've also developed a pretty good instinct on who and what to just avoid altogether. Maybe this comes with age, and I just happened to get into lolita at a time when people naturally begin assessing danger differently, but I certainly feel like my experience walking around cities in lolita at night has helped boatloads now that I live in a city whose active nightlife I participate in.

★ "Man, this blouse is totally loliable! I just need to take it in, replace the buttons, change the sleeve shape entirely, and completely remake the collar!" Now, I've always sewn, and I'd like to think I'm fairly adept at it, putting aside my typical clumsiness and hastiness, but when I got into lolita my entire experience behind a sewing machine changed. Previously I'd so slight alterations - a hem here, a patch there - but when I started building my wardrobe, I embraced clothing reconstruction wholeheartedly. For a while there, it was like no sewing project was too big- it was worth adding a new color or item to my closet, no matter how much work it needed. Weirdly, I stayed away from making anything terribly complex on my own, but clothing surgery? That was my jam.

♥ What ridiculous skills have YOU learned from your experience in lolita? Tell me in the comments below! ♥

Inspiration: The Subconscious Side Effects of Being a Lolita

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Top 3 Secrets for New Lolitas

When I got into lolita, I got REALLY into lolita. I'm not really one for doing things halfway, so within a few months of getting into the communities I was already a lifestyle lolita* and had made myself a fairly decent wardrode of handmade simple skirts and matching blouses. I know a lot of people who did the same, and while I certainly don't think it's a bad way to get into the community, it does have its own unique disadvantages. Therefore, for this week's Lolita Blog Carnival prompt, "3 secrets for someone just getting into lolita fashion," I decided to address my post specifically to lolitas like myself, whose decision to get into the scene was a wholehearted leap into the unknown, from which they still haven't truly been able to recover.

*lifestyle lolita: a slightly outdated term at this point, but which at the time basically meant that lolita fashion corresponded with your outside interests, from what you ate to how you exercised. It's largely fallen out of use in favor of a more toned-down general interest in tea and penchant for cupcakes.

You don't need to be active in the community. I was totally one of those girls. I didn't feel like I was truly a lolita unless I read every single post on egl, commented and shared my opinion on everything, and got lots of comments on my daily_lolita posts (as you can see, I joined back when the community was still very mired in the LiveJournal universe). Any of my friends who weren't really into it just didn't make sense to me. Lolita, even though I wore it in the real world, was a label still intrinsically tied to the internet and online communities. Don't do that. There's a disconnect there that's unhealthy for your idea of fashion and your own appearance for two reasons. One, your internal concept of a real-life experience that a huge amount of your life revolves around only actually exists for you in the form of internet interactions. Two, validation only comes at the hands of an anonymous mass you'll never actually meet instead of from within yourself.

The rules matter, but they also kind of don't. Honestly, they really only matter if you're active in the community. Any photos you post to daily_lolita or Lacebook or whatever when you first start should follow the rules to a T (as well as outfits for meetups), but really, the only people who'll actually care if you're following the rules will probably only interact with you online. As far as your daily wardrobe goes, who cares? Your classmates or work buddies won't care that you aren't wearing a petticoat, or that you're wearing your favorite band tee with a BABY skirt. Experiment. Color outside the lines. Once you've tried a few things and know how to bring your own personal style into the fashion, THEN you should try posting some of your more experimental coordinates to the communities, or wearing them to local meetups. Otherwise, trust me, you're signing yourself up for more annoyance than it's worth.

There really are better things to spend your money on than brand. One of the things that always kills me is something I did myself when I first got into the fashion: all of my excess spending money went to building my wardrobe. I never really went out with my friends or took weekends off to go places with my family, because I was focused single-mindedly on affording lolita. I've always felt that experiences are more important than things, and the material excesses that lolita tends to breed can be really caustic to the soul. Yeah, you COULD buy Angelic Pretty's newest print release - or maybe you could go on vacation for a weekend. Get a hotel in the city (whichever city that is for you), maybe catch a show, and have a really fulfilling time with someone you care about (or alone!). It may not be quite as sartorially satisfying as owning and wearing a beautiful garment, but really, that time that you have either with someone you love or alone is worth way more than a dress you'll own for a couple years at most.

That's my opinion, anyway! Don't agree?
Check out these other tips from fellow Lolibloggers!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Two daily outfits - RuffleCon staff meeting and CT meetup!

tea time for the CT lolitas!
Mommy and daddy at the end of the table!
 It's been a while since I did an outfit post! So much so that I forgot to get enough photos taken at the staff meeting to really justify its own post, so I'm lumping that one into the post for a meetup a week or two ago.

Coordinate #1 - The Little Prince for RuffleCon 2014!

Aly and Crystal, RuffleCon 2014 staff
Crystal and I represented the Guest Relations department for RuffleCon 2014 at our first staff meeting. It was really nice, and I'm incredibly excited for the conference - even moreso than before, if possible!

Outfit Rundown:
♥Dress: Haenuli's The Little Prince JSK
♥Blouse: Forever 21
Bonnet: Handmade
♥Purse: Gift from my boyfriend's mother
Accessories: Handmade or vintage 

Coordinate #2 - Gothic for a Connecticut Meetup!

Gothic lolita time!
 Would you believe that I've never done actual gothic lolita? I kept intending to and it just never happened! I realized that lately I've acquired a good amount of black clothing, so I figured I may as well give it a try. It's certainly something I'll wear more often, especially once I really master the makeup (I've never been one for overbearing eye makeup, so that was kind of out of my comfort zone for sure!)

gothic lolita hair and makeup
I really like this hairstyle, but it kind of just happened on its own. Next time I try it, I'll know what to do differently, I think! Also, this was my first time in circle lenses! What do you think? I think I'm going to make it a point to amass a small collection, personally. They're just so much fun to wear! My boyfriend hates them, but really, since when has that stopped me from doing anything?

And because this port so far has had a gratuitous dearth of funny faces...
gothic lolita hair and makeup

lolita meetup for high tea!
  Also, this outfit got me compared to Clara Oswald, so therefore it's my new favorite ever, tada, the end.

(not going to bother with an outfit rundown- all offbrand!) 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Lolita Blog Carnival: 3 Trends I Could Never Get Into

Lolita is iconic for our trends, which in turn are famous for being totally ridiculous. They tend to stick around for 4-8 months at a time and revolve cyclically every few years (huge hairpieces, animal print, over-the-top wigs). Everyone always has their favorites, but we also all have fads that we keep seeing over and over again and wondering when they will finally be allowed to die. I might make some enemies with this, but for this week's Lolita Blog Carnival, I present to you: three lolita trends I'd like to personally put out to pasture.

Babydoll Sweet

C'mon, you all saw this one coming.

I'm sorry, but no, I'm not six years old. In fact, I have six year old nieces who wouldn't be caught dead in the clothing that some sweet lolitas wear. It's really difficult to convince someone that what you're wearing isn't a costume when it's covered in pastel pink teddy bears. Luckily, it seems like this trend is currently on the DL, with brands putting out more refined pieces that lean closer to period fashion than preschool. Honestly, it's been a long time coming, in my opinion.

(note: for some reason, bonnets totally don't count for the most part in this argument. I know, I know, it's totally hypocritical - I just really love bonnets.)

Photo care of Caro's Instagram

Creepy Cute

Now, this is probably just me. I'm totally prepared for that, because I really want to like the creepy cute look. I want to be all over it, but for some reason it repels me almost as strongly as it attracts me, like when you try to push to opposite poles of a magnet together. Now whenever I see pastel bat jewelry I feel an inexplicable urge to both buy it and burn it. Halloween is gonna be interesting this year.

Animal ears

This actually only bothers me because it exemplifies something that's always annoyed me about lolita as a subculture, and that is how we define what is and isn't acceptable in the fashion. When I first got into the scene, I remember hearing people say that you couldn't do X or Y unless a brand did it; then and only then was it okay. I'd thought this had died out recently, but another trend in the past year or two has proven me wrong. That trend? Animal ears. It's amusing to me that so many lolitas who told others for years that cat ears aren't lolita, that they're part of a costume and not a fashion, that "they make you look sub-human," just actually needed a brand to slap a label on them and now they're suddenly ~meccha kawaii~.

Personally, they aren't my jam. If they're your style, that's fine. I don't have a problem with you - I have a problem with the abrupt about-face that so much of the lolita community did as a whole as soon as the almighty brand-gods deemed animal ears fashionable. The exception? Antlers. I want a deer antler headband like nobody's business.

Other blogging beauties!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Love Lumpy? Like me on Facebook! Also, new domain!

Just a quick note- I finally took the plunge and made a Facebook page for this blog. On it, I've been posting some fun little extras - tidbits about the other projects I'm working on, pictures from my majestic daily life, and whatever interesting alt fashion-related links I think you will all enjoy.
wrought iron gate

Also, heads up! I bought myself a domain name for this blog, so now you can access it through its Blogspot URL ( or now through ! Although I'm really excited to have a more concise URL, I'm slightly annoyed that my comments are having problems migrating. Hopefully I'll have that figured out over the next week or two, though.

Until next time - stay lumpy, my dears!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lolita Blog Carnival: Lolita Coordinates for Under $100!

I'm so excited to be revisiting what was one of my favorite LBC topics - design a full coordinate for $100 or under! My last post on this topic still ranks aws one of my most-trafficked, and I think that's because I'm a crazy person and designed three whole outfits for under $100 each. There were just too many great options! It was a lofty goal, but one which I'm happy to say I've achieved, and I'm very happy with my results.

However, before we begin, what on Earth is a Lolita Blog Carnival? Well, it's a group of Lolibloggers like myself who all blog together about the same topic on the same day. The topics are voted on at the Facebook group and a deadline is set, and everyone works on their articles until the posting deadline. At the end, we all link to each others' entries at the bottom of our own, so all of our lovely readers can see what other participating Lolibloggers had to say.

In keeping with the last time this challenge came around, I've coordinated three different outfits all based on the same skirt. However, since my computer's on the fritz and I don't currently have photoshop, I had to rely on Polyvore to compile the images, and for some reason I was getting error messages whenever I tried to clip from Etsy. So, while last time it was my policy to compile these outfits with items from independent artisans, unfortunately it wasn't as doable this time. Instead, I decided to source everything from easily-accessible stores like Forever 21 and Payless, as well as big online retailers like Sock Dreams and Modcloth. For my main piece, however, I still went with a skirt by independent Polish designer Lady Sloth (from whom I'm eagerly awaiting my first package!), so I don't feel TOO bad about buying the rest from the Internet mall!

lolita outfit for under $100 that uses Forever 21 blouse and Lady Sloth skirt
Blouse ♥ Socks ♥ Skirt ♥ ShoesBracelet
This outfit, made up of a frilly F21 blouse and thick white thigh-highs, is what I'd consider a very successful beginner's outfit. The lolita aspects of the blouse and skirt work off of the simple socks and cute bow-adorned flats, while the bracelet adds a little more opulence to tie it into the lolita aesthetic. She has, however, neglected to budget in any headware - tsk tsk!
Blouse ♥ Hair bows ♥ Shoes ♥ Skirt  ♥ Necklace ♥ Bracelet ♥ Socks
In this outfit, our lolita is getting a bit more seasoned. She's sticking to one color scheme for her accessories, black and gold, and experimenting more while still following the rules - like her lacy ankle socks paired with peep-toe heels (which she got on sale, because she is quite a frugal lady). She's also discovered Forever 21's accessory table, which is indispensable for budget-friendly lolita coords.
Top ♥ Earrings ♥ Skirt ♥ Hair bows ♥ Shoes ♥ Socks ♥ Tote
In this final outfit, our lolita has decided to experiment a bit within the rules. She's gone with a bit of a sexier top than most lolis favor (tight-fitting with an exposed back) that still has a bit of a lolita aesthetic with lacy ruched sleeves and a big ol' bow in the back. She's also experimenting with color scheme- whereas before she stuck almost entirely to white or black, now she's mixing and matching the two. She seems to also have invested a bit more coin into a nice pair of shoes that can go with anything, instead of the cheaper, more casual styles she's been favoring previously. The ankle socks are a bit daring for lolita as well; they've only really come into fashion in our subculture in the past few years, and were previously considered too "ageplay" to work in lolita. In total, this outfit is a more advanced coordinate which toes the lines of the lolita rules and is not necessarily appropriate for a formal setting, but is certainly cute for casual meetups or going out around town.

Blogging beauties beating budgets below!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Guys' Guide: Boyfriends in the Lolita Community

Guys’ Guide: A collection of articles inspired by conversations I’ve had about the lolita subculture with boyfriends, exes, and guy friends in general. These articles can certainly relate to anyone who’s an outside observer to the fashion - of any gender, sex, or sexuality - but are written with boyfriends of female lolitas in mind.

(Nice, polite) Boyfriends are always welcome at lolita meetups!
Lolitas and boyfriends at a recent Connecticut lolita meetup.
My graphic, but not my photos!

Guys’ Guide: The Lolita Community

When they hear about the lolita community, a lot of outsiders are totally blown away. The fact that tens of thousands of people are involved in some of the bigger groups is really shocking to a lot of people, and understandably so. That’s a huge number of rufflebutts, and typically that’s just the English-speaking ones! Add to that the fact that there are so many communities, and all of them have their own social norms and forms of conduct, and it’s enough to make most insiders head into mori-esque sartorial hermitages. Imagine how those who aren’t part of the fashion must feel!

But some of you guys out there might be curious about the fluffy ladies your girlfriend likes to kick around with. Maybe you want to get a better idea of what the title “lolita” implies, or you want to help your lady friends connect with other lolitas in their area. Whatever the reason, you‘ve decided to take the plunge and dive in head-first into the lolita community, local or online. Are you going to receive a welcome warm as bathwater, or the icy shock of dramatic rejection? That all depends on what you know and where you go.

But, first and most importantly...

How does she feel about it?

I mean, this is kind of a stupid question, but... you've talked to her about this already, right? It may seem harmless to you, but I can see a lot of reasons this may cause strife in a relationship. You have to consider that lolita and the lolita community could be a safe space for her (more on that later). It could be where she feels she's allowed to be candid or even affect a persona almost like she's playing a character. Or it could be that the local community has a lot of drama, and she doesn't want you to get your head bitten off and chewed up and spat out like so much meat. Or maybe she participates actively in the drama and is worried you'll judge her for it, like so many guys judge women who like soaps or reality TV. Even if you think she'd be a-okay with it, you should never take the chance; seriously, just run it by her first. If you guys are serious enough that you want to educate yourself on something like this, you should be serious enough to be open with each other on your desire to do so.

The Lolita Community Offline

So you wanna attend a meetup. Or your girlfriend invited you to brunch with her gals. Or you happen to run into a lolita you've met through your lady before. Whatever the reason, the time has come for you to confront lolitas in their natural environment. You may be scared; that's common. We're an intimidating bunch, for all our pearls and bows and frills. But don't worry! Just keep a few simple things in mind.

Kindly do:
  • RSVP beforehand. Some meetups require an attendee count, like those at restaurants or museums, and this is a common courtesy expected of lolitas as well as their +1s.
  • Introduce yourself and start conversations.
  • Compliment people on their outfits.
  • Politely inquire about pieces you find interesting.
  • Talk about things besides clothes. Yes, they're at a fashion meet up, so they probably expect to spends lots of time talking ruffles and bows, but don't let that be a reason not to engage with the group. We're people too, and we tend to have some pretty diverse interests! I'd be surprised if your girlfriend were the only person you had things in common with at a meetup. 
  • Dress appropriately for wherever you're going. A picnic meet up is going to necessitate different gear than a night at the opera. Make sure you know where you're going and that you have something appropriate to wear beforehand. Please don't just wing it and hope for the best.
  • Be yourself! Most lolitas (heck, most people in general) are really quite forgiving when it comes to their friends' lovers. Don't be so afraid of making a faux pas that you come off as that antisocial weirdo (unless, of course, you are an antisocial weirdo. In which case, you'll actually probably be in good company at a lolita meet up).
However, please don't:
  • Compliment someone on their costume. Seriously, just... trust me on this one.
  • Ignore the rules of common courtesy. I think this is the biggest thing, honestly, because like I said, most lolitas are pretty forgiving of others’ boyfriends. At least try to be involved; make conversation, don't sit on your phone the whole time or hang back from the group, and you'll probably make a good impression.
  • Look sloppy. You're obviously exempt from the rules of lolita and no one expects you to be your girlfriend's accessory either, but remember that you're going to spend at least a few hours with people who spend a good amount of time looking at and thinking about clothes. If you want to make a good first impression, that's the best way. (Also, hopefully it goes without saying, but- shower. Deodorize. Brush teeth. Etc.)

And as always, remember; lolitas are just people in fluffy skirts. Whatever you'd expect to annoy anyone else, expect to piss us off, too; whatever most people will let slide, we probably also will. I know it can be nerve-racking, especially if you've heard horror stories about the seedy underbelly of the comms, but really. In person, most lolitas are sweet as pie (we'll probably wait til we're back home to talk our shit about you).

The Lolita Community Online

Your lady friend probably frequents one of many communities (“comms”) online. To be perfect candid: for most guys and most communities, it's best if you just stay away from these.

No. Seriously.

See, here's the thing about the comms. As lolitas, we spend a lot of our public time around people who at best think we're kind of eccentric and at worst think we need serious psychiatric help. When we go out into the world and go about strangers, we get heckled or worse. We're often treated as a living, breathing freak show, in existence simply to amuse and entertain others. Sometimes that's as innocuous as answering endless questions (or the same question endlessly) , and sometimes it gets far more sinister and threatening than that. Most lolitas are used to having our personal space violated in various forms whenever we leave their houses.

The comms, in light of that, are a safe space to many lolitas. They allow us to socialize and connect with each other without having to deal with outsiders. They're private, they're public, they're selective or open- whatever they are, they belong to lolitas. I won't go so far as to say they're sacred, but to many lolitas they're pretty dang important. We're likely to get pretty territorial over them, so it's probably better if you just leave them be.

(Also, can I point out? Allowing boyfriends into comms has the potential to get really awkward or uncomfortable for everyone else. Some girls may feel the need to censor themselves if an 'outsider' is present. It can also make people think you're trying to keep track of your girlfriend's online activities in a way that could be triggering to anyone who's been in an abusive relationship, or could also give fellow members an unflattering opinion of/bad vibe from you. Isn't that the last thing you want from a group of people who're important to your girl?)

I know this seems harsh. I do know plenty of lolita boyfriends who are present and active in the online comms. And I know your interest is probably totally innocent and innocuous, but getting involved in the lolita community really could give everyone a bad first experience with you, and that's totally counter-intuitive if you want to get more involved on the subculture. If you decide it's still something you want to pursue, well, far be it from me to stop you, but it might be a good idea to go to a meetup and meet some of the girls in the community first (you never know - it's highly possible that you just really won't get along with any of them).

Now, obviously, if you're also an alt-fashion fan who likes or participates in something related like boystyle, dandy, steampunk, aristo, etc., obviously it's a different situation. Then you could probably infiltrate the group with no bad feelings at all. Wiggle your way on in there, you sly dog, you!

In Conclusion

Lolitas are like anyone else. I feel like that’s an ongoing theme in this series, and if you’ve been dating your lolita for any substantial amount of time you’ve certainly realized that about her by now. But even though you’re obviously aware of this in her case, it can be easy to get intimidated by some of the horror stories that surround us frilly females. Should you interact with the local community? That’s your call, and something you should decide for yourself after getting your girl’s opinion on the topic. Whatever you decide, and whether it’s in person or online that you decide to participate, keep these simple tips in mind while you’re doing it, and you shouldn’t feel like there’s one specific way you need to act or dress or speak when you’re with lolitas that’s any different from how you’d act with any of your girlfriend’s other friends.

Related Reads:

Monday, September 9, 2013

See ya later, Hiatus! Lumpy is back ♥

I'm kicking this hiatus nonsense to the curb --

It's time for Lumpy's triumphant return!

What have I been up to lately?

♥Graduated (mostly)!

♥Got a job! I can now officially refer to myself as "a writer, y'know, like an employed one" invoke immediate ire.

♥Moved into an apartment in the historic district with my boyfriend 💝

♥Renewed my burning desire for ribbons, ruffles, and lace - not that it ever really left...

For Followers:
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Where else can you find me?
♥Tumblr  ♥Instagram ♥Pinterest ♥Twitter

It's so good to be back- I've missed you all!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hiatus Hiccup: Daily Outfit 7/13/13

For this year's ConnectiCon, Remi and I helped Tina of Ramble Rori and Caro of F Yeah Lolita with their Lolita Fashion 101 panel! I'd say it's kind of classic-country lolita, maybe? Also, I'm trying out posting this from my phone because my laptop is utterly unresponsive, so let me know if it doesn't turn out right!


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