Saturday, December 31, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: 3 Things I Wish I Was Told When I Was a New Lolita

Hello everyone! Today we're back with another Lolita 52 challenge topic: 3 things I wish I was told when I was a new Lolita. Let's go!

#1:Lolita in anime is different from Lolita in real life
 One of the main places I saw Lolita fashion outside of the Gothic & Lolita Bible was anime when I first started getting into the style. Because of this, I saw a lot more "Lolita style" rather than actual Lolita outfits. While many of the dresses I saw in animes were similar to some Old School styles, which at the time were more current than they are now, it took me a while to separate anime Lolita from actual Lolita mentally and come to accept the changes in the fashion as well as learn how to not look like a horrible ita.

 I really wish I'd been a bit more savvy about buying things online when I was getting into Lolita because I could have started building a decent wardrobe much sooner. I'm not sure exactly how long Bodyline's been shipping overseas and been decent quality, but judging from Princess Peachie's wardrobe tour, I'd hazard a guess that I would have been able to get some pieces a few years after I discovered Lolita. One of the things I wish I could have done is experiment more with my wardrobe in J-fashion during my mid-teens, so if I'd known how to order on Bodyline, I could potentially have a stronger wardrobe by this point like many of the Lolitas I admire.

#3: For the love of all that is good, DON'T BUY THOSE SHOES
 Yeah, I still feel really stupid about buying a pair of really clunky shoes that were three sizes too big for me at the thrift store thinking I could throw some lace and ribbons on them and have them be Lolita and magically fit me. Basically, I wish I could have told myself what would and wouldn't work for Lolita and prevent myself from making horrible fashion mistakes as well as wasting money. I wish I had had someone who could have showed me what good quality Lolita looked like, what nice lace felt like, and generally given me some more knowledge of what is good quality Lolita VS poor quality Lolita or things better suited to Lolita's earliest days.

Is there any advice you'd give your younger self about the style you currently wear? Let me know in the comments below!

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: Lolitas I Have Met in Real Life and Lolitas I Would Love to Meet

Hello everyone! For today I'm combining two of the Lolita 52 Challenge topics: Lolitas I have met in real life and Lolitas I would love to meet. Due to the ambiguity of this prompt, I'm going to be talking about well known Lolitas, brand designers, and other popular Lolitas rather than just every single person I've seen in a frilly dress over the years.

Lolitas I have met in real life
 So as you probably know if you've been following this blog for a while or read all of the back-log I'm friends with a Californian Lolita designer, Miss Carlyfornia. She's not a big company name or even all that popular outside of the Northern California con scene as best as I can tell, and her products are becoming less and less Lolita due to product costs and customer interest unfortunately. Other than Miss Carlyfornia, I'm friends with Mahou Prince (Typically Decora, but he does wear Lolita on occasion) and his girlfriend Danni (She's the cutest) as well as Mina or Minaminakawaii as is her username on YouTube.

Lolitas I would love to meet
 Some of the more famous Lolitas I would like to meet are Lovely Lor, Yui Minakata, Misako Aoki, and Mana. Lovely Lor is one of my favorite YouTubers and I love how creative she is with her coordinates with items like a pancake stack headdress and Rilakuma ears. Yui Minakata is my personal Lolita rolemodel. I just adore how cute and innocent she looks and acts and would love to someday meet her in person and get a picture or purricura with her. Misako Aoki is, of course, the Lolita queen in a way and as such I would like to meet her at least once as she somewhat reminds me of Momoko from Kamikaze Girls with how her lifestyle is centered around Lolita. Lastly, Mana is the main reason Lolita really took off back in the day and he is also one of the most beautiful and handsome people I have ever seen. I'm still in awe of how androgynous he can be looking amazing as either a male or female. I would probably be the happiest person alive if I could ever meet him or even see him in person as deep down he's the main reason I came to love Lolita and eventually expand into other J-Fashion.

In terms of slightly less famous and widely known Lolitas I would like to meet in person are my two lovely friends Alis Rosen (owner of Rosa Hermetica) and Nonobunny. Both are very sweet ladies, but are unfortunately in a different country from me and so I have never met either of them in person.

Are there any famous Lolitas you've met or would like to meet? Let me know in the comments below!

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: Combining Other Fashions with Lolita

Hello everyone! Today's Lolita 52 Challenge topic is combining other fashions with Lolita, which somewhat confuses me. I'm not entirely sure what this topic's asking for, but I'm guessing I'm supposed to talk about how to mix Lolita with other styles or mixing other styles into Lolita? So that's what I'm going to talk about.

So, as we all know, Lolita has a lot of "rules" or guidelines that make it what it is. Modest knecklines, skirts at the knee, cupcake shaped skirts, so how do you mix this in with a different style without it looking like you did a terrible job making a Lolita coordinate? I'm going to be talking about mixing Lolita pieces into three different non-Lolita styles: Goth, Decora, and Fairy Kei.

#1: Goth
 So as many of us seasoned Lolitas know, Lolita started out with a lot of takeaways from Gothic and Visual Kei fashion. It's since grown and changed into its own separate thing, but there are still ties such as Gothic Lolita. Because of this, it's fairly easy to wear Lolita and still be consided to be wearing Goth clothing. However, much like Lolita, Goth fashion has many different substyles, so what works for Lolita might not always work for a different substyle of Goth. So let's work with just one of those styles, Romantic Goth. Rather than just say wear Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL) and sending you on your way, let's talk about what some things you can add to a typical Gothic Lolita outfit to make it have more of a Romantic Goth feel. First of all, choose a dress with a corset detailing on it and change the ribbon so it contrasts to create a more noticeable look or wear a skirt and blouse combo with a corset on top. Choose jewelry with black or dark jewel toned gems in it such as a choker and rings. If you're wearing a skirt or JSK, add a lace or chiffon blouse with flowing sleeves underneath. Choose a skirt with an asymmetrical or hi-low style cut or put a sheer to semi-sheer overskirt on over or under the skirt (but over the petticoats to retain the shape) to add more detail. Choose accessories such as lace gauntlets or gloves, fishnet or patterned black tights, and a coffin shaped purse. Shoes with a more pointed toe or a narrower rounded toe than teaparties would look best for this.

#2: Decora
 Back when I was first getting into Lolita this new sub-style called Deco Lolita was just coming into style. It combined Lolita dresses with more than typical accessories, colorful wigs, and colored tennis shoes instead of mary janes or teaparties. Nowadays we have styles such as OTT Lolita (Over the top Lolita) that are accessory overload. What I want to talk about is taking Deco Lolita and revamping it by incorporating more modern Decora trends into a coordinate. One of the first things you can do is layering pieces differently. While Lolita tends to have a very put-together look, Decora can be all over the place. Try bringing that look into a coord by layering a skirt in a different colorway and print over a JSK, wearing a bulkier jacket, or having colorful petticoats peeking out from under a skirt or even on top! Rather than the typical OTT layering of accessories, try adding pieces in different colors from your main pieces. Add bulky bangles, watches, legwarmers, and lots of hair clips to your coordinate. Also, similar to the Deco Lolita of old, wear brightly colored tennis shoes, fuzzy slippers, or platforms instead of typical Lolita footwear.

#3: Fairy Kei
 Fairy Kei definitely uses Lolita pieces a fair amount, so let's talk about adding Fairy Kei to Lolita! Obviously there's Sweet Lolita and Casual Lolita, but I want to talk about ways to make a Lolita coord that stands apart from those and resembles Fairy Kei more. My first recommendation for this is to incorporate typical 80s cartoon characters from Fairy Kei into a coordinate and avoid prints if you don't have one with these characters on it. For example, wear a cutsew with My Little Pony or Carebears over a blouse, add accessories with little characters on them, or even carry a plush with you. Another idea is to wear the typical colorful Fairy Kei tutus rather than a skirt (though a longer length would be best) or layer them over your skirt instead of having petticoats under your skirt. Like with the Decora look, wearing colorful tennis shoes instead of typical Lolita shoes would add to the look. Be careful to keep typically Lolita elements such as skirt shape and blouses in mind to help ensure your outfit looks more Lolita with a Fairy Kei twist rather than just Fairy Kei using Lolita pieces.

What do you guys think? Would you try any of these looks out? Let me know, and be sure to post a picture on my facebook if you do any of these!

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

3 Lolita Trends I Never Got Into

Hello everyone! Going off of the last Lolita 52 Challenge topic I did, I decided to do a flip-side post: 3 Lolita trends I never got into.

#1: Animal ears
 Back when I got into Lolita, animal ears were highly discouraged because of their costume-like nature and the struggle to differentiate Lolita from cosplay. The style of Lolita has changed a lot over the years and doesn't resemble the style typically portrayed in anime now, so animal ears are more widely accepted in the style. While quality of animal ear based head accessories has improved a LOT over the years, I just never really got into the look.

#2: Gigantic collars
 A few months back I got a new blouse from Bodyline that has a HUGE collar that almost extends past my shoulders. I very quickly realized that it looked terrible on me as I have a somewhat large frame to begin with, so I took the outer part of the collar off and made it smaller to suit me better. I'm not entirely sure if this would suit most people, so I'm glad it's not a very prominent trend.

#3: Chocolate prints
 So, little known fact, I don't enjoy the flavor of chocolate, even in small quantities like with red velvet cake or candies. And because of this fact, I've had people telling me my whole life things like 'something's wrong with you,' 'are you even American?' and 'that's just weird!' (Another little known fact, we're about as common as left-handed people: About 10% of the population.) Because of jerks like this, I now have a deep set loathing for chocolate in all forms that aren't of the Reeces holiday variety (it doesn't even taste like chocolate). So, because of this, I never really got on the chocolate everything Lolita bandwagon. I truly try to appreciate the prints, but I just don't care for them all that much.

Do you have any trends in your style you never got into or just downright hate? Let me know in the comments below!

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

I'm Dreaming of a Angelic Pretty OP~

Hello everyone! With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to talk about how to help your family and friends who aren't into J-Fashion choose gifts that you'll enjoy. I'm sure we all have that relative who likes to give us socks or some other 'useful gift' every Christmas and birthday and a few lucky ones have a relative who goes above and beyond to buy things you really really want, so these are recommendations to help everyone inbetween to find things you like for Christmas.

#1: Ask for giftcards to specific places
 Nowadays a lot of my relatives just send me giftcards because they don't really know what exactly I'd like to receive or they don't have much time to go shopping for everyone on their list. Unfortunately, I can't always find things I want at Target and Walmart fashion-wise, so I try to ask for ones from places I would shop at. For example, Etsy has an abundance of cool handmade and J-fashion items to choose from, so you could ask for gift cards from there. If you like making your own pieces or accessories, you could ask for Michael's or Joann's gift cards. I've found that Forever 21 is a great place to look for cute bags and layering pieces for Cult Party Kei too!

#2: Make an Amazon wishlist
 A lot of people shop on Amazon nowadays, so if you send a wishlist of things you like on Amazon to your friends and family, they can still surprise you with something and get you something you like at the same time. Just be careful to make sure the item will fit you and it has good reviews. I've found some good quality wigs and cosplays on Amazon too, just make sure none of the reviews mention anything about a wig being thin or fabric being stiff or costumy.

#3: Give them general ideas
 Not all people like to buy things online, so it's also a good idea to give ideas for things that family members can buy at physical stores. For example, tea, tea sets, candles, perfume, bath bombs, or scented lotions are all easily obtained at the mall. Make sure to let your friends and family know if you like collecting teacups or have a LUSH obsession or similar things as these are a lot easier to buy than the newest release from Angelic Pretty for people who aren't familiar with J-fashion.

#4: Ask for Visa giftcards or cash
 If you let your friends and family know you're saving up for something specific (or paying off a harp...) and that being able to afford that would be a lot better than lots of smaller gifts, you can ask your family for cold hard cash. I know a lot of people may not like sending just plain old bills or checks anymore, so you can always ask for a Visa gift card so you can spend the money they send you wherever you want to. For example, you can spend it on your groceries or car repairs so you can put that money you would have spent in your paypal to get that dress on Lacemarket you really want.

#5: Exchanges and trading gift cards
 I know not everyone has understanding family or family that supports their fashion choices (or gets that you aren't a 12 year old in baggy sweatshirts anymore), so if all else fails, ask for gift receipts in case something 'doesn't fit' so you can return items for store credit. I know a lot of my family likes seeing me wearing the clothes they buy me, so I'll take a picture of the item, post it on Facebook or email it for them to see, then donate, sell, or return the item if it's something I won't wear outside of that picture. You can also try to revamp an item with lace and bows and such if you like the color, but want it to fit into your wardrobe better. If you get gift cards from family for places you just don't go, find a friend who does and see if they're willing to get you a gift card to somewhere else in exchange or just give you money in exchange. I know these methods may seem a little shady, but the main thing to remember about gifts from your family is that their purpose is to convey their love towards you. Once you receive the gift, it's purpose has been achieved and you shouldn't feel bad about getting rid of it if it's not something that's useful to you or sparks joy in your life.

What sort of things do you have on your Christmas wishlist this year? Let me know in the comments below!

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: 3 Trends I Wish Would Come Back

Hello everyone! Here again with another Lolita 52 Challenge topic. This week's topic is 3 trends I wish would come back.

#1: Rocking horse shoes
 Back when I first got into Lolita, rocking horse shoes were all the rage. Anymore you rarely see rocking horse shoes outside of Old School Lolita coordinates. I really love the dreamy, floating look they can give coordinates as well as the fact that the shoes are technically flat, just with platforms, so they aren't as hard on your feet as heels can be.

#2: Black and white pieces
 Again, in the olden days of Lolita when I joined, white eyelet lace on an otherwise entirely black dress was trendy. I've always loved the look and my love for Gothic Lolita is centered on that style. Unfortunately due to poor quality lace and fabric, white on black looks have become labeled as Ita, or just plain terrible. Because of this, many newer Lolitas avoid the look entirely for fear of being looked down on in the community.

#3: Non-print based designs
 Prints have been extremely popular for the last several years of Lolita fashion and frankly, I'm kinda tired of them. While I don't completely hate prints like I used to, I miss seeing new designs that focus more on the cut and detailing of the dress rather than using the same general design with a different print each release. While the silhouette of Lolita generally tends to be the same, there's plenty of different skirt and bodice designs to be explored. I miss seeing dresses with tiered skirts, or sweetheart necklines, or bustle style overskirts.

Do you miss any of these trends in Lolita? Are there any you'd like to see come back that I didn't mention? Let me know in the comments!

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: How I First Found out About Lolita

Hello everyone! Today I'm doing another Lolita 52 Challenge: How I first found out about Lolita. This is a fun little story for me, so I hope you enjoy it!

 So back when I was around 12 years old, my sister made a new friend who introduced us to the magical world of anime. In addition to anime, she introduced us to this interesting style from Japan called Lolita. She had some Lolita clothes and very quickly my sister and I got interested in the style and wanted to know where to get it. In those days, buying Lolita clothing online from Japan still wasn't much of an option due to prices and finding quality Lolita clothing was very difficult. Indie brands and makers were few and far between and the Gothic & Lolita Bible was just wrapping up its English version run. Our friend introduced us to one of the few Indie Lolita brands in the area, Miss Carlyfornia as well as the now defunct site Sweet Rococo. Miss Carlyfornia made lovely pieces and Sweet Rococo had a wide variety of fabric and notion choices available as well as plenty of different bodice and skirt options, but with no jobs, neither of us could afford to buy Lolita clothing. All we could really do was longingly look through Google image searches and the G&LBs our friend lent us. So with lots of creativity and a bit of help from our parents, my sister and I began to each make our own Lolita outfit. (You heard me right: singular outfit. A full wardrobe was something we never could have afforded back then.) I went for Gothic and my sister went for Sweet (which coincidentally is the opposite of our styles now) and we both ended up with pretty decent outfits considering the fact we were generally broke and spent all our money on Magic: The Gathering cards. Our parents were pretty supportive of our style choice, so they helped us buy pieces or fabric too, which allowed us both to have better outfits than we would have raiding the thrift store. (As an example, chunky shoes were in for Lolita style at the time and I got some really horrible Frankenstein-esque platforms that were way too big for me and did not suit my outfit in the slightest from the thrift store. Thanks to my parents, I got some really cute black Mary Jane style wedge heels with white contrast stitching that worked really well until I grew out of them.)

How were you introduced to Lolita? Do you wear it at all currently, or is a Lolita wardrobe still in your future? Let me know in the comments!

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: 5 Keywords that Describe my Lolita style

Hello everyone! Here we are again with another Lolita 52 challenge topic: 5 keywords that describe my personal Lolita style. Let's go!

#1: Pastel
 I generally prefer pastels and while I do have a few Gothic and slightly Classic pieces, my Lolita style is most definitely Sweet Lolita. Because of this, my wardrobe, including my Lolita, is most definitely pastel.

#2: Foodie
 No, I don't have gravy stains on all my Lolita dresses, nor am I morbidly overweight (I'm just a bit chubby :3 ). Though there is definitely a food theme to my Lolita style. Macaroon necklace, candy-like jewelry, heck, my dream dress (which I happily own) is Jewelry Jelly, a cute pastel print with lots of cute jelly treats on it. I definitely love cute food themed items and want to add more to my wardrobe in the future.

#3: Cutesy
 I definitely have a cute flair to my Lolita style, also evident in the fact that I mostly wear Sweet Lolita. Even with my Gothic Lolita pieces, I have cute oldschool styles and accessories.

#4: Simple
 While I enjoy OTT (Over the top) Lolita styles, due to time and money constraints my outfits are fairly simple in nature with one or two well place hair accessories, a main piece (or pieces if skirt or JSK), and some well placed jewelry. Also, I generally wear my natural hair with my Lolita coordinates as opposed to wigs.

#5: Mildly repetitive
 As mentioned before, I have money constraints, so my wardrobe is a bit lacking and I end up using the same pieces a fair amount. Because of this, my outfits can look a bit repetitive because, as an example, I'm always switching between the same two white-ish, short sleeved blouses and only really have one JSK and an OP.

So what about you? Can you come up with five keywords to describe your personal style, be it Lolita or some other fashion? I struggled a bit coming up with three key words, much less the five I ended up with.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: Why Don't I Wear Lolita More Often?

Hello everyone! Today I'm back with another Lolita 52 Challenge topic: Why don't I wear Lolita more often? Let's get started!

 So, the simple and boring answer to this question is, money. Technically work too. So I currently work a full time job where I'm required to dress a certain way and sadly Lolita does not fit into those requirements. Because of this, I can only really wear Lolita on weekends, the rare off days during the week I have, or after work. This is the main reason I really don't wear Lolita. Contributing reasons I don't wear Lolita too often are wardrobe size, budget, and energy levels. Generally when I get off work I'm pretty lazy and just want to change into some cute room wear (nightgowns, PJ style clothing, things I can't wear outside) and cuddle up on my couch to watch YouTube videos. Sometimes I manage to put some simple clothing on and go out and run errands after work, but usually I don't feel like putting together a full Lolita coord when I'm only going to wear it around the house or Target. On weekends I generally have more time to dress up and wear Lolita or other J-Fashions, so that's the main time I wear Lolita. Wardroe limitations are another problem I have with wearing Lolita regularly. For nicer Lolita pieces I currently have one OP, one JSK, a few skirts, and a few white blouses, so my choices are pretty limited. I also have some pieces I can use for a Lolita-esque look and a few pieces that are simpler pieces, but I'm pretty lacking in variety in accessories and non-main pieces like shoes and blouses, so I'm pretty much wearing the same looks all the time. The main reason I have a limited wardrobe is the first thing I mentioned: money. Between furniture, bills, and food, I don't have as much free money as I used to have. Due to this it's a bit difficult for me to get new items in and when I do I try to make sure it's something that works with what I already have. This means it's difficult to try new styles or colors without having to save up for a whole outfit (main piece, blouse, accessories, shoes, bag, legwear etc) which can be expensive, even when buying from Bodyline. I also have to budget my money between Lolita, other J-Fashions, and niceties and décor for my apartment, most of which can be less expensive and more easily found than Lolita, so I haven't been spending as much on Lolita recently. Lastly is just size and taste. It can be difficult for me to find pieces that suit my style and fit me well, so adding to my wardrobe takes a fair amount of research and general searching on the internet.

Do you wear Lolita or another J-Fashion? What are some of the reasons you don't wear it more often? Let me know in the comments!

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Spooky Scary Sceletons: Halloween Tag

Hello everyone! Since it's almost Halloween, I figured I'd get into the festivities by doing a Halloween tag. Halloween is always a fun holiday for me, what about you? Have you done this tag before? Let me know in the comments below!

1. Favorite Halloween movie?
 To be honest, I don't really watch a lot of horror or Halloween movies, so I don't have a lot to choose from. (Don't worry, I'm getting together with one of my friends for a movie marathon to amend that.) From what I've watched though, I enjoyed Corpse Bride quite a bit.

2. What age did you stop trick-or-treating?
 I honestly can't remember. Sometime in my mid-teens.
3. Favorite Halloween Costume you have ever been?
 Hmmm, this is a hard one. I've had a lot of cool costumes over the years thanks to crafty and creative parents, though one of my favorites was when I got to be an astronaut. My dad made the helmet and backpack and they had LED lights and switches and it was really cool.

4. What are you going to be this year?
 Well, so far I've been a circus ringleader and Etzio from Assassin's Creed, I might do Ryuko from Kill la Kill if I have another opportunity to dress up.
5. Do you like haunted attractions?
 Yuppers. I try to visit my favorite haunted house every year, though this year's been pretty busy, so I might not make it to one this year.
6. Vampires or werewolves?
 Vampires. Not those sparkly ones though.

7. Favorite Halloween Candy?
 Reeses Pumpkins.

8. Do you decorate your house?
 Somewhat. I had a lot of fun the last two years, but I've been super busy this year and haven't gotten around to decorating my apartment normally fully much less adding Halloween decorations...
9. Least favorite Halloween costume?
 Well, going off my parent's memory, the year I was a shark. I wanted to be a friendly shark, but everyone was acting all scared and it made me upset, so I changed into my old bunny costume that fortunately still fit.

10. Have you ever repeated a costume and what was it?
 As I just mentioned, I dressed up as a bunny twice when I was younger. More recently, I've dressed up as Harley Quinn multiple times for Halloween. I've also done a couple of cosplays for Halloween in addition to wearing them to a convention.
11. Do you believe in ghosts?
 Vaugely, yes. I believe that spirits do visit this world, but generally not in the same way that ghosts are usually presented. Also, I feel that malicious "ghosts" are something different from a typical spirit.

12. Scariest Halloween?
 I honestly can't really think of a Halloween I considered scary overall. I remember I used to be terrified of the haunted houses my church used to put together when I was little, but now I love haunted houses (as long as someone else is with me, that is).

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: Why I Wear Lolita?

Hello everyone! Today we have another topic from the Lolita 52 Challenge: Why I wear Lolita?
 I'm going to break this into a list of sorts so I don't just ramble on endlessly about how frilly and cute it is.

#1: Aesthetic
 I've always loved the cute, frilly dresses that porcelain dolls wear and so being able to dress like that myself is like a dream come true! I generally prefer dressing modestly and Lolita is great for that as well as for situations where it would be more respectful or appropriate to dress modestly while still dressing up such as church and weddings. (I'll be honest, I haven't been to a wedding since I started wearing Lolita, but I hope I'll get the chance to put together a nice, simple coordinate for one in the future.) In addition to the frills and more modest cut of Lolita clothing, it's also very nice to look at even when not worn.

#2: Dressing for my shape
 I have a figure that many modern styles with super short skirts, tight form fitting pieces, and oversized pieces don't work well with, so having Lolita as an alternative is great for me. I like that Lolita emphasizes my waist while minimizing the appearance of my hips with it's higher waistlines and poofy skirts. In addition to that, I enjoy wearing heels and platforms which go very well with Lolita in the right styles. The only complaint I have is trying to find sizes that fit me well and aren't too small for me.

#3: Quality
 As many seasoned Lolitas know, inexpensive Lolita clothing used to be horribly ita with its scratchy lace, weird cuts, and inappropriate fabrics. Over the years however, getting good quality Lolita clothing without having to pay brand prices is a lot easier than it used to be. I like having pieces that last for a good long while without developing holes or wearing out and Lolita generally is much better quality than many typical fast fashion stores such as Forever 21 and H&M.
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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: My Favorite Lolita Brand

Hello everyone! We're back to the Lolita 52 Challenge this week with the topic of My favorite Lolita brand.

 So my favorite Lolita brand is hand's down Baby the Stars Shine Bright. I got into Lolita back in the old school days and still very much like the old school style over more modern print-based styles. As I talked about in one of my previous posts several years ago, I am not very big into prints. My tastes have changed a fair bit over the years though and I don't dislike prints as much as I used to. Many of Baby's pieces have lots of detailing with pintucks, lace, ruffles, bow placement, etc. which I generally prefer over prints. This is because even though the print may be different, a lot of dresses with prints use the same general bodice and skirt design since the print is the main focus. This is not to say Baby doesn't have any prints, because they do have quite a few with different designs or their various characters on them. Baby's prints tend to be less over the top sugary than Angelic Pretty's prints from what I've seen though, which I prefer the look of more often than not. (Granted I do love many of Angelic Pretty's prints.) I've only had one piece from Baby, so I can only vouch for that particular piece's quality, but I've heard good things about Baby's quality as well and their pieces always look like they're good quality in the pictures I've seen and the few pieces I've seen in person.

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Movie Reviews: Zootopia, or How I Learned to Embrace my Inner Furry

Hello everyone! As promised in my Lolita movie recommendations post, here's a full review of Zootopia! I will admit, I have watched this movie entirely too many times and could probably quote a few dozen lines verbatim... With that being said, let's get to the review!

 Zootopia is the story of a rabbit named Judy Hopps that lives in a world where animals have evolved to a human-like state. They have complex emotions, walk on their hind legs, have towns and cities, and generally all get along and have limitless possibilities available to them. Judy as a young rabbit decides she wants to change the world by becoming a bunny police officer in the great big city of Zootopia where anyone can be anything, as the tag-line goes. Despite the doubts of others surrounding her, Judy follows her dream as a young adult and joins the police academy where she studies and trains hard to be able to graduate as the very first rabbit police officer and gets stationed right in the center of Zootopia. Thinking her childhood fantasy will now be complete, Judy's hit headlong with reality when she doesn't get to do "real cop" work, which for her is catching bad guys and making the world a better place by doing so. However, due to an interesting turn of events, she soon gets to take on the case of a missing otter, enlists the help of a sly fox named Nick Wilde, the closest to a witness she can find, and soon uncovers a much deeper secret than she or anyone else ever expected.

I really enjoyed Zootopia. The story was very engaging and has a lot of moments that hit me really hard emotionally, such as when Judy leaves her family to start her new job and the ending (no spoilers, I promise!). The world of Zootopia was very rich and had so many small details to it that I had to watch the movie (erm, chose to watch the movie?) more than just once to catch more of them. The world of Zootopia is so rich in character and scenery as well as background characters who bring life and depth to the world around the main characters. It feels like a real city with people going about their daily business and jobs all throughout the story. In addition to the world, the graphics were amazing. As someone who grew up with two graphics designers, I've really come to be a bit of a stickler for aesthetic as well as details in computer generated graphics. (I'm going to be going into a bit of geek speak here, so if you aren't familiar with computer graphic terms, you may get a bit lost here.) The algorithms for making fur act realistically have definitely come a long way since Monster's Inc. and that combined with the texturing and shading tools made the fur look absolutely amazing. I also was really happy with how they skinned and boned the models, they both looked and moved pretty realistically. The particle effects for the snow and water looked really nice too! Now to the layman's translation of what I just said: Everything looked really detailed and realistic in the movie! I can tell the graphics department put a lot of work into everything. In addition to the visuals, the music and sounds for Zootopia were very interesting and definitely added a nice ambiance to each of the scenes. It was interesting seeing the sound and music department's creativity with making some of the sounds when I watched the special features. I definitely loved just about everything in this movie from the story to character design to small details (though the mice didn't look nearly as cute as I would have liked them to be). I would highly recommend Zootopia to my friends (the ones who haven't watched it 200 times already like me, at least) as well as anyone looking for a cute and fun movie to watch.

Now, you're probably wondering "Didn't the title say something about furries? Did she forget about that?" And the answer to that is no, no I didn't forget. So, as part of Zootopia's promotion, it appears that word was spread to Furries or Fursuiters, people who enjoy dressing up as anthropomorphic animals, asking them to spread the word by dressing up in their fursuits and sharing pictures promoting the new movie. There's been questions as to whether this is accurate or not, but the fact of the matter is, a movie portraying anthropomorphic animals appealed to the furries and I've jumped on the bandwagon. As of now, I am not in possession of a fursuit of my own though I am highly considering making one off of a character I made years ago or potentially a new character. I have several friends who themselves wear fursuits to conventions and occasionally for fun and they've given me a different perspective on the furry subject than when I was younger. Like many non-fursuiters, when I first learned about furries, I was under the impression that fursuiting was all about adult stuff due to misconceptions about the community as well as certain aspects of the community. (Granted the first time I SAW fursuiters I thought they were pretty cool and kinda got interested in them, but later backed away due to misinformation.) In truth, there are adult aspects to the furry community involving fetishes and such, just like there is with many communities, but that isn't everything that the community is about. While there are also separate communities that use items such as animal ears, tails, and accessories in their fetishes that are completely unrelated to fursuiting, fursuiting in-and-of itself can be a completely innocent hobby, albeit misunderstood by many onlookers. As an example, in Lolita, it's commonly advised to avoid mentioning the name of the fashion first  as many associate the name "Lolita" with the book by Vladimir Nabokov and automatically assume the fashion is based around some kind of fetish when in reality the two are completely unrelated outside of sharing a name. Fursuiting is similar in the fact that it is often assumed to be revolving completely around fetishes involving animals and bestiality when this isn't 100% true. While I admit that there are fursuiters who are involved in fetishes, not everyone in the community is. With that being said, my personal stance is that fursuits are adorable and fluffy and I want to hug all the cute fursuiters in the world and maybe make my own fursuit so I can look cute and hug people too. :3

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: My Wardrobe Turnover

Hello everyone! Today I'm back with another Lolita 52 Challenge post: My wardrobe turnover. I was a little confused about this topic at first and thought it might be referring to how one's wardrobe changed after Lolita, but after finding another post on this challenge topic I saw it meant how fast you get new items and get old, basically at what rate your wardrobe changes. So, now that I understand what this topic means, let's get started.

 So, rather than just focusing on the turnover of my Lolita wardrobe, I want to go over how my wardrobe turnover has changed over the years, starting with my pre-Lolita days when I still dressed in "normal" clothing. When I was a young teen, about 12, my parents were buying my clothing for me still, so I didn't really have a very high wardrobe turnover. I pretty much only got new clothing when the old ones wore out or I grew out of it. I didn't get much hand-me-down clothing from my sister because she was a stingy little booger. (I love you, Sis. XD) My outfits mostly consisted of a T-shirt and jeans. When I was 14 or so I started adding some more variety to my wardrobe and started layering tees and camisoles or camisoles and jackets with my tees and jeans. I pretty much never wore skirts or dresses except to church on Sundays. My wardrobe turnover stayed about the same, though I did add pieces a little more frequently. (Wardrobe additions at the rate of every 6-8 months and losses at about every 1-2 years.) When I was 16, I got my first job and had a bit more disposable income and thus discovered the wonders of thrift stores. My wardrobe turnover went up a bit more around the time I was 16-18 as I had started to develop my style more and was somewhat regularly bringing new pieces in and getting rid of pieces I didn't like (about once every 5-10 months). Then, everything changed when I moved out.

 At about 19, I moved out on my own thanks to my full-time job and education and had even more disposable income than I'd ever had before since I didn't have to worry about bills or rent yet. My wardrobe turnover was about the same as before at first, then changed to me getting new pieces every few weekends. My addition rate went down after a few months and I learned the joys of online selling, so I started getting rid of pieces somewhat frequently by donating or selling them. For about two years, I had a fairly high turnover rate (new pieces coming in/old pieces going out every 2-5 months) while I experimented with different fashions and looked like a hot mess in the process (a kinda cute hot mess sometimes). In the last 6 or so months, I've settled down on a set of styles I liked and have a slower turnover rate. I got rid of pretty much everything that doesn't suit my style except for a few pieces I'm unsure about or trying to sell, so I was able to focus more on building my wardrobe as opposed to just adding random things to it. My current turnover rate is somewhat low again with items coming in to my wardrobe maybe two to five times a year in smaller purchases and maybe one large order from Bodyline a year. I don't have a lot of items leaving my wardrobe right now since I did a massive closet cleanout several months ago.

What's your guys's closet turnover like? Are you constantly adding pieces, getting rid of everything, buying things as you wear them out? Let me know!

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: My Favorite Thing to Put on my Head

Hello everyone! Today I'm writing about another topic on the Lolita 52 Challenge: Favorite thing to put on my head. Let's go!

 So in the world of Lolita fashion, there are lots of different things you can put on your head: Wigs, bows, hats, bonnets, roses, and clips, to name a few. There's also less common things such as veils, crowns and tiaras, and animal ears. So with so many things to choose from, what do I like sticking on my head when I wear Lolita, or even just in J-fashion. And the answer quite simply is, bows. Small bows, head-eating bows, lacy bows, themed bows, I just love bows. I have a fairly large collection ranging from my giant AP Jewelry Jelly headbow to Steven Universe themed bows to small, thrifted alligator clip bows.

Now with that being said, what's my least favorite type of headgear? Hats and bonnets. I've tried many a time to work hats into my wardrobe, especially for Winter time, but I just don't like how they look on me. It might be because I've got fairly fine, short hair right now (even when it was long, it was still very fine), so having a wig on under a hat might make hats more feasible for me should I try them in the future. I've also never really cared for how bonnets look, though I can appreciate that they look good in certain outfits they're just not for me.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: What my Own Lolita Lifestyle is Like

Hello everyone! Today I've got another topic from the Lolita 52 Challenge: What my own Lolita lifestyle is like. This will be a little bit interesting since I am not a Lolita lifestyler per se and generally only wear Lolita once a week to church or to meetups, so let's see what I come up with.

 To start with, lets talk a bit about Lolita lifestylers. Generally if someone is considered a lifestyle Lolita they wear Lolita the majority of the time, have Lolita-esque décor, and lead a life befitting of a Lolita (antique shopping, afternoon teas, purikura, etc.). A few popular people that can be or have been considered lifestyle Lolitas are Pixielocks in her earlier days on YouTube, Lovely Lor a few years ago, Princess Peachie, and Lillith Gray.

 Now let's talk about me. while I do wear Lolita, it's not my daily fashion (I generally wear other more casual J-Fashions when I'm not working). Generally when I do wear Lolita, my coordinates are kinda rushed and thrown together as I am terrible at getting up early enough to properly put together an outfit, much less accessorize when I wear Lolita to church and I haven't had the time or money to go to Lolita meets recently. I definitely would like to add more Lolita pieces to my wardrobe and wear it more often, but it's going to take time, budgeting, and prioritizing.  While I don't dress in Lolita very often, I still enjoy a lot of things associated with Lolita. My apartment is a mix between kawaii or Japanese style cute and elegant touches such as an antique styled phone and dresser. I also have my pastel themed wardrobe, including my Lolita pieces, on full display in my bedroom.

 Day-to-day I don't really have a very defined Lolita befitting routine outside of the occasional bath bomb and my regular skincare routine. I try to upkeep my nails, but due to my job I can't have elaborate manicures and generally break my nails if I grow them out. I do have hobbies such as sewing, crafting, harp, and drawing that suit the Lolita lifestyle though. I grew up knowing some handicrafts, though cosplay and Lolita are my main reasons for learning how to sew more than doll dresses. I started learning harp a while back because I have an appreciation for classical and harp music and decided to learn a less commonly played instrument, so I guess that could be considered maybe a more Classic Lolita sort of interest?

To be honest, I really don't have a super Lolita based or inspired lifestyle as most of my inspiration comes from lots of different kawaii and J-fashion sources, Lolita included, as well as just life-long trends such as making use of what I have available to create things I like and being relatively thrifty and creative. This article was pretty difficult for me to write, so I hope it isn't too confusing and tangential for you guys.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Living Doll VS Lolita

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be talking about some similarities and difference between the Living Doll style and Lolita fashion. If you aren't familiar with what a Living Doll is, check out my post here. For those unfamiliar with Lolita fashion, please check out the Wikipedia page or the Lolita Fashion webpage.

One of the main confusions with Lolita and Living Dolls is that they're the same thing. Part of this confusion comes from the fact that Living Dolls may wear Lolita fashion and many Lolitas may go for a more dolly look with their makeup and accessories. These two styles are not interchangeable though they do cross over in some places and have similar features. They both can be either just a fashion or an entire lifestyle and they both aim for a kawaii or cute look, but they're two separate and defined styles.

So let's talk a bit more in depth as to what the difference between Lolita and Living Doll styles are, beginning with them as just fashions, not lifestyles. In Lolita fashion, there are many "rules" or guidelines that make Lolita what it is. Lolita coordinates generally have knee-length, bell shaped skirts, delicate lace and ruffles, large and small accent bows, a modest neckline and elegant or cute accessories and round toed shoes, such as Mary Janes. Living Doll fashion is generally a lot looser and is defined as "looking like a doll." Whether that means frilly, Victorian-esque Lolita dresses, trendy Barbie style clothing, or even just a loose T-shirt with a girly design and a pastel circle skirt is completely up to the style of doll the wearer is inspired by. So simply put, Lolita fashion is generally a certain style of dress paired with particular accessories while Living Doll fashion can be just about anything.

Now lets get into the two lifestyles, being a Lolita VS being a Living Doll. (I'll be referring to them in terms of the lifestyle with the fashion as opposed to just the fashion now.)
**NOTE** It's not required to follow a certain lifestyle in order to wear either of these fashions. Some people choose to wear the clothing and style because they like how it looks while others choose to wear the fashion because it suits the lifestyle they follow or wish to follow. If someone wears the fashion without having a coordinating lifestyle, it doesn't mean they're any less a Lolita or Living Doll than someone who's lifestyle is more in line with their fashion.
With that out of the way, let's start with some similarities. Lolitas and Living Dolls both generally like to spend plenty of time taking care of their outward appearance and tend to have beauty routines and treatments to achieve a healthy, youthful exterior. Routines can include use of face, skin, and hair masks, manicures and pedicures, spa visits or home spa days, and facial treatments both in the morning and at night. Many Lolitas and Living Dolls also choose to surround themselves with décor that reflects their lifestyle. For example, a Gothic Lolita may have dark colored and black décor, skulls, small replicas or paintings of gothic architecture, and a shine to the Lolita God Mana in their home. (Disclaimer: Mana is human just like us, but he's gorgeous and perfect in the eyes of many a Lolita, so he might as well be a god.) A Living Doll may surround herself with cute toys and dolls that suit her particular style. For example, a Living Doll inspired by Barbie may have a vast collection of Barbie pink décor and Barbie dolls surrounding her and may even try to style her room like Barbie's Dream House. Additionally, Lolitas and Living Dolls may choose to act in a manner that suits their style or even arrange their diet to suit their style. For example, a Sweet Lolita may choose to follow a more Victorian inspired code of conduct, being more quiet and reserved and choosing to enjoy things such as flower gardens and art museums as opposed to clubs and sports games. They might also prepare their food to always look cute and delicate and enjoy sweets such as cakes and macarons with tea every afternoon. In contrast, a Living Doll may choose to spend her time fussing over her looks, shopping for new clothing, or trying new outfits. She may choose to eat a very balanced diet and work out regularly in order to maintain a slim, yet toned physique. As you can probably tell from these different descriptions, Lolitas and Living Dolls can have very different lifestyles, even though they both may live lifestyles considered abnormal for some.

Now, back to the general usage of Lolita and Living Doll (someone who wears the fashion and/or follows the lifestyle). Lolitas and Living Dolls, while two different and distinct styles, do have a fair amount of crossover, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post which is why they can be confused sometimes. Many Lolitas may choose to achieve a more "dolly" look with their makeup with false eyelashes, colored circle lenses (ones that make the iris look bigger), and flawless skin. At the same time, many Living Dolls may choose to wear pieces from Lolita fashion or whole Lolita coordinates, meaning a Lolita can also be a Living Doll. So while there is cross-over, being a Lolita does not automatically make you a Living Doll and vice versa.

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: 5 Movies for Lolitas

Hello everyone! I'm back again with another Lolita 52 challenge topic: 5 movies for Lolitas. There's a few movies on here I'm sure many of us are familiar with and I hope you all enjoy my suggestions. To be honest, this list was rather difficult for me since a lot of the movies I watch are action flicks and Vin Diesel isn't exactly Lolita material...

#1: Kamikaze Girl
 Who'da guessed, right? Kamikaze girl has become synonymous with the Lolita fashion in a lot of ways due to its popularity and wacky cast of characters. For those who have yet to see it, Kamikaze Girl is a Japanese movie about a strange girl named Momoko who falls in love with the Lolita style and decided to wear it all the time. In order to afford all her Brand though, she has to be creative with how she makes money which eventually leads to her attempting to sell some boot-leg apparel her father has left over from years prior. In response to her ads, a biker girl named Ichigo comes to buy some of the merchandise and in the end the two of them become friends. To read my full review of Kamikaze Girl, click here!

#2: Mister Rococo
 Mr. Rococo is a cute indie film about a girl named Yuri who grew up surrounded by cute things and wanting to be a princess. Her life is changed when she meets and begins to date a man named Neko Hiroshi, a comedian and former companion for a wrestler. One day though things go terribly wrong for Yuri when Hiroshi confesses to her that he prefers big, muscular women and breaks up with her. Wrought with grief, Yuri makes a life changing choice in order to extract her revenge on Hiroshi and try to get him back.

#3: Zootopia
 While less Lolita themed than my previous two suggestions, Zootopia is an adorable movie that shouldn't be overlooked. Zootopia is the story of Judy Hopps, a bunny, who decides when she grows up she wants to be a police officer, which with hard work and dedication she achieves. Sorta. Due to her being a bunny, many other animals don't take her seriously and as such she's on her own when she manages to get a tough case that no one else has been able to crack over the course of two weeks. With the help of a street-savvy fox named Nick Wilde, she's able to uncover the truth behind the case and saves the day. I'll be writing a full review of Zootopia soon since it is kinda one of my favorite movies right now. (I totally didn't accidentally buy the disk the day it came out then proceed to watch it five times over the following week. Not at all.)

#4: My Fair Lady
 I might be biased since I watched this movie many a time while growing up (It was my mom's favorite), I feel this is a very lovely movie for not only the story, but the music, the acting, and the costumes. My Fair Lady is the story of a young, uncultured lady, Miss Eliza Doolittle, who is taken in by a phonetics professor after he makes a wager with one of his colleagues. The wager: Take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society. The story follows Eliza as she goes through an intensive course designed by the professor to correct her speech, posture, and demeanor so that he can eventually present her to the high class world and try to pass her off as more than just the humble flower girl she is. The costumes in this movie are simply lovely and the talent of the actors in the musical numbers.

#5: 13 Going on 30
 Since I ran out of Lolita-esque movies I know of very quickly, I decided to put one of my favorite chick flicks as my last suggestion. 13 Going on 30 is the story of a 13 year old girl named Jenna Rink who is obsessed with fashion and a magazine targeted at 30-something women. The movie begins with Jenna's 13th birthday party, to which she's invited the "cool kids" from school and her childhood best friend, Matt Flamhaff. Matt gives Jenna a personalized dream house with wishing dust, which she quickly stows in a closet she later ends up in to play "7 minutes of heaven" with her cool kid crush. However, it turns out the cool kids ditched her party and it's instead Matt, which she's really upset about. She ends up crying by herself in the closet saying "I wish I was 30, flirty, and thriving" as some of the wishing dust drifts down on her. When Jenna wakes up, she finds that she IS 30 now, she has a hot boyfriend, an amazing wardrobe, and, best of all, a job at her favorite magazine! However, life isn't as amazing as Jenna thinks at first and she quickly comes to realize just what sort of person 30 year old her had become. 13 Going on 30 is a really cute and fun movie and I enjoyed it a lot when I watched it.

So that's it, my five movie recommendations for Lolitas. Which movies have you guys seen? Would you recommend any different ones? Let me know!

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lolita 52 Challenge: 5 Pieces for Every Lolita Wardrobe

Hello everyone! Since I've been in a bit of a rut lately with coming up with new material for my blog, I was happy to find a good Lolita themed prompt to use to get me back in the swing of things. I present to you The Lolita 52 Challenge as made by F Yeah Lolita. I'm going to try and have one of these post every week to get me back on my weekly posting schedule, but be prepared for breaks if I have another topic I wish to write about. These prompts can be done in any order, so I'm just going down the list one at a time so I don't lose track of what I have and haven't done. With that being said, lets start with the first topic: 5 pieces that every Lolita wardrobe should have, regardless of style.

#1: A simple, convertible blouse
 The first thing I feel all Lolitas should have in their wardrobe is a simple blouse with convertible sleeves. Blouses are a great basic piece to have in any Lolita wardrobe whether worn with a JSK or a skirt and I feel having one with detachable sleeves, essentially a convertible blouse, is necessary. This makes it easier to have a well rounded wardrobe without having an excessive number of blouses taking up space since you can wear it with or without the sleeves based on the weather.

#2: Cute bloomers
 Sure, nobody really ever sees your bloomers, but think how much happier you feel when you're wearing cute or matching underwear. Generally nobody's going to see it, but you know it's there, giving you a boost of confidence and making your outfit feel more complete and put together.

#3: A comfortable pair of shoes
 Every Lolita should have at least ONE pair of shoes that don't kill their feet. Whether it's a pair of ballet flats you upcycled or some super extravagant, yet abnormally comfy tea parties, not having to worry about whether you'll be able to walk at a meet is essential. (Pro-tip: Get shoes a half size bigger than what you usually wear and stick some slightly-too-big insoles in to add some padding at the toes as well as for the soles. And no, not the super cheap dollar store ones, get some decently thick insoles that'll hold up. And pre-emptive bandaging or socks help a lot with straps that rub.)

#4: A sizeable purse or bag
 Anyone who's ever had a cute themed Lolita bag or a stuffed animal bag knows just how impractical they can be if you want to carry more than just a handkerchief. Having a durable and well sized bag that suits your sub-style is really helpful, especially if you like to carry lots of things "just in case." (*cough*me*cough*) Plus if you're going shopping you can store smaller purchases in you purse without having to worry about losing them.

#5: A dream piece
 Just about every Lolita has at least one dress they lust after that they either can't find, wouldn't fit, or can't afford. Whatever your style is, I strongly believe in having at least one item in your wardrobe, be it dress, blouse, or accessory, that you absolutely adore and that makes you happy any time you see it or wear it. Because why just let your dreams be dreams? ;)

I hope you all enjoyed todays post, look forward to more in the future! I really want to bring this blog back to life, so if you have any topics you'd like to see me write a post on, let me know and I'll do my best to work it in!

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Rosa Hermetica Dress Review

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be doing another review for my friend Alis's shop Rosa Hermetica. This time around I decided to buy two items and do a more in-depth review here on my blog as opposed to a first impressions review in video format like last time I ordered from her. So here we go! I'll be rating both dresses on size, quality, shipping, and overall order accuracy.

 The first dress I ordered is the To Alice Strawberry Lolita Dress in the Pink colorway.

This dress has an adorable print and is made of soft, yet opaque chiffon-like fabric and has two detachable bows for the collar, buttons up the front, and a removable red ribbon to tie around the waist. All of the bows are made out of grosgrain ribbon and the buttons feel like plastic. There is no shirring on the dress and a zipper up one of the sides to allow for easy wear and removal of the dress. The lace is soft and delicate and the print stands out well, though it is a little blurred due to the fabric's texture.
Sadly, this dress does not fit me. I double checked my measurements and compared them to the ones listed on the site, but this style of dress runs small. I ordered the largest size available, a Medium, but it's equivalent to about a US small or extra small. I should have remembered that my sailor dress from Rosa Hermetica was almost ten cm larger than my bust measurement and was still tight when I decided to order this dress. Unfortunately this is something that happens with online shopping, so I have nothing against Rosa Hermetica for this, but I did warn Alis so she can make a note in the description to warn future customers that it runs small.

The second dress I ordered was the Alice in Wonderland Lolita Dress in the Pink colorway.

This dress was also made out of a soft, opaque, chiffon-like material and has a nice print, albeit a little blurred due to the fabric texture. The lace is very nice and soft with multiple types on the dress. The dress has two detachable bows, one larger for the waist and one smaller for the chest, as well as attached bows on the edge of the dress made from grossgrain ribbon. There is some slight damage to some of the bows on the edge of the skirt, though it's not noticeable from the front of the bows and it looks like it's just the ribbon being burned from sealing the edges to prevent fraying. In addition to the ribbons, the dress also came with two detachable wait ties and a chiffon drape that buttons onto the shoulder straps. The dress is zipperless, with only shirring on the back and it also has adjustable shoulder straps with three different positions.
This dress fits very comfortably and allows for enough stretch to easily put the dress on and off. I'm towards the lower end of the measurements for this dress and it still fits great with and without a blouse under it. The adjustableness of the straps is great for me and the waist ties are a nice addition for bringing the waist in a bit.
Order accuracy:
Unfortunately, there was some miscommunication on the color of this dress between Alis and the people who package and ship her orders as it arrived in purple instead of pink. Fortunately she got in contact with me very quickly when I messaged her about the mix-up. While her store policy doesn't cover shipping on this, she did send me a gift as an appology for the mistake, which I very much appreciate. It's a cute little flower crown with white to pink mini roses on it. The dress is still very lovely in purple, albeit the print is a bit more subdued than with the pink colorway.

Both dresses arrived about two weeks after my order in seperate packages about half a day apart. This is about normal shipping time for me for packages from China. The packaging for both was a typical white polymailer, both of which were undamaged. Inside the polymailers, both dresses were in clear plastic resealable bags with their attachments. I am definitely happy with shipping time and the condition both packages arrived in.

Overall satisfaction:
I am quite satisfied with the quality of the dresses and shipping time, though I am rather upset about the color mix-up on the Alice dress and the fit of the Strawberry dress. However, I feel that Alis's customer service was very good and helped make up for these. Overall I would give this experience with purchasing from Rosa Hermetica a 4/5. I will definitely be ordering from Alis's little shop again and would highly recomend it to my friends.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Keeping the Magic Alive: Easter Bunny Helper

Hey everyone! So I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at a local Easter event as the Easter Bunny's helper and I wanted to talk a little bit about my experience. You can find more pictures of my outfit and the Easter Bunny's hutch on my facebook page. Enjoy!

So first of all, let's talk about what I did as an Easter Bunny helper for this event. My main tasks were to decorate the Easter Bunny's area, or hutch as we called it, make sure the Easter Bunny was good to go, and hand out goodie bags to the children. In addition to this, I found myself helping take pictures for families, posing in pictures with the Easter Bunny, and luring shy children over so their parents could take pictures. From the start of the event to the time things started wrapping up, we had an almost constant stream of parents and children coming to take pictures with the Easter Bunny or just say hi. I had a lot of fun, even though it was slightly overwhelming at times. Here's some things I learned from this experience.

#1: A Variety of Reactions
 One of the more notable things I learned was the many different types of reactions children have when they meet a character. Some of the more notable ones were the children who started crying the second their parents tried to let go of them (or get them anywhere close to the Easter Bunny), ones who came right up to the Easter Bunny and gave her a great big hug, ones who were very confused as to what this giant thing holding them was (this was mainly very young children), and the shy ones who needed a little encouraging to come sit on the Bunny's lap. Being dressed in Fairy Kei, I also got to see a side of things someone wearing jeans, a hoodie, and bunny ears would not have. There were a few moments that were very special to me where a little girl would come up to ME and want a picture and hug from ME and not the Easter Bunny. It made me feel like a Disney princess. There were also a lot of little kids who were more willing to come pose for their parents when I beckoned them as opposed to just the Easter Bunny due to me looking like a magical fairy princess as opposed to some giant, furry thing they'd never seen before. I also would occasionally scoop up hesitant children or help parents get their children to look in the direction of the camera by being all sparkly and pastel.

#2: Don't Think About Getting Overwhelmed
 With the large number of children coming through, it would have been very easy to feel overwhelmed. I did, at first, but after a while it became more of a game of luring children to the Easter Bunny, making sure they all got goodie bags, and helping parents take pictures. Everything kinda became a blur because I focused on accomplishing what I was there for and not worrying about everything that was happening. I didn't even notice I was pretty hungry or that there was a DJ right next to us until the line started to disappear. At the beginning of things, I wanted to try and direct people, both to the Bunny as well as how to form the line, but I quickly realized that people would come up on their own and that I was too busy helping IN the hutch to worry about what was going on outside of it.

#3: Only YOU Can Keep Magic Alive
 One of the things I admired the most about the girl portraying the Easter Bunny was her dedication to keeping the magic alive for the children. She avoided talking so kids wouldn't be scared or put off by her raspy smoker's voice. She never took her mask or gloves off and went so far as to have her room mate drive so that she wouldn't have to worry about being seen by a kid with her mask off. I really admire the effort she put in to help bring the Easter Bunny to life for the kids at that event.

#4: Smiling Takes More Energy than Frowing
 I remember back when Toy Story 2 came out, at the end of the film Barbie asked if she could stop smiling and commented that her face hurt. I now know her pain. While frowning may use more facial muscles than smiling, a resting frown or look of disaproval takes a lot less energy than smiling. It got to the point that I was wondering if my smiles looked forced. But I couldn't stop smiling. My face hurt so bad afterwords, but all in all, I had a lot of fun.

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my experience with being an Easter Bunny helper!
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Monday, March 14, 2016

Cheap, Cute Room Decor

Hello everyone! Thanks to random inspiration and a day off from work,
I finaly have a new blog post for you today! So without further ado,
let me talk about inexpensive room decor!

So, before I get into how to have a cute room inexpensively, let me
tlk about my room a little bit. Most of my friends are somewhat taken
aback when they walk into my room because when they walk in it doesn't
just feel like a dorm room like everyone else's, it feels like a home.
I'm going to be talking about how I've managed this without spending a
fortune on room decor. First things first:

#1: Use everything

If you're reading this blog, you probably collect cute stuff like me.
I have an ever growing collection of ramune bottles up on top of my
armoires along with cute containers from reed diffusers I've gotten.
Also, I am mildly addicted to blind boxes right now, so anytime I get
a new one, I keep the parts of the box with an interesting design and
arrange them in frames like in the pictures below. I've also done the
same with a cute bag, business cards and notes from online trades and
purchases, and stickers. Even if you don't have cute tags and such,
you can get some really cute wrapping paper from the Dollar Tree or a
similar place and cut out pieces to make into a collage in a frame.
Most of the frames I own are either from the Dollar Tree (everything
is $1) or a Dollar General (everything is reasonably priced, usually
$5 or below for a lot of items). Even though they're kinda boring and
plain, I can use them as-is, or change them up.

 Which brings me to my
next tip:

#2: Paint is your friend

Don't like the color of something? PAINT IT! I personally use acrylic
paint on just about everything I don't like the color on. I have an
earing holder, a frame, a thrifted shelf, and even my corkboard
painted so that they aren't just boring colors. Paint is great because
it's not too expensive, can be used on a lot of items, can be mixed to
make new colors, and is great for personalization since everything you
paint will be one of a kind!

#3: Accessorize your room
Many of us into alternative fashion have a similar problem: Lots of
cute accessories to store. (Even mainstream fashion wearers do, just
usually not as bulky of items.) So here's my third tip for decorating:
Use your accessories as decor. One of the biggest things I've had to
learn about living in a dorm room is to store as many things as
possible vertically since I only have so much floor and dresser top
space. Because of this, a lot of my accessories can be seen hanging on
my walls. Even if you don't have a lot of money, you can still make
cute things for your room. I personally have a cheap belt hanger
holding up all of my collars with a headbow on top, a little ribbon
holder that I got with a bunch of bows at the Dollar General, and a
bunch of stick-on hooks holding my hats up on my walls right now as
well as some other things.

I also have my jewelry displayed or in cute
storage things on top of my dresser, all of which were bought
inexpensively, thrifted, or have  been owned for many years.

I hope you all have fun decorating your rooms! Be sure to check out my
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