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

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