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!


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