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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