Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lolita 52 Challenge: What Influences my Lolita Style

Hello everyone! Today we have another Lolita 52 Challenge topic: What influences my Lolita style. I'll be doing this in a bullet style to list my influences. Let's go!

#1: Bakery goods and sweets
 As I mentioned in my 5 keywords Lolita 52 challenge post, I have a bit of a foodie theme to my wardrobe. The main reason for this is that I really love the look of cakes and candies and such. I love how delicate frosting roses are, how delicious a spongy jelly roll looks, how jewel-like, yet sweet candies are, and many other aspects of sweets that definitely translate into the general theme of my wardrobe. Additionally, due to its white base color, frosting more often than not turns out pastel even with stronger gel food dyes, and the aesthetic of that is clearly translated in my Sweet Lolita wardrobe.

#2: Trends that I never got to try
 While there's still a lot I want to try out, I find that both current and outdated popular trends can influence my Lolita style a fair amount. Some aspects of my wardrobe and aesthetic are more oldschool Lolita since that's the era I discovered Lolita during and I have plans to add some more oldschool pieces like rocking horse shoes to my wardrobe. Additionally, I'm kinda catching up with Sweet Lolita trends I missed when I wasn't able to afford Lolita clothing.

#3: Fashion Icons
 Lolitas and other J-Fashion enthusiasts I follow on Youtube and Facebook have a HUGE influence on my wardrobe since secretly I kinda wish I was them to some extent. For example, I got a blue/pink mixed wig because Lawl Factory (Now Anna Drake) wore one in a couple of her videos. Additionally, I decided to add a yellow JSK and a pink blouse to my wardrobe because of Lovely Lor's coordinate for Japan Festival Houston. The people I follow are big inspirations to me, so I copy trends and looks they do as much as I can, but I also don't try to force myself to try a look that wouldn't suit me just because someone else looks good in it. Like I tried Decora out since Mahou Prince is such a big inspiration to me, but I learned pretty quickly I don't like it on me as much, so I focused more on styles I do like on me.

#4: Dolls
 I've always really loved the outfits you see on porcelain dolls as well as just dolls in general, so they were kinda the underlying influence that made Lolita such a perfect fir for me. I've always loved dressing up dolls in pretty clothing and having porcelain dolls dressed in elegant fashions, so being able to dress myself up in similar styles is a lot of fun.

What influences your guys's wardrobes? Let me know in the comments below!

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lolita 52 Challenge: How I Accessorize

Hello everyone! Today I'm back with another Lolita 52 challenge topic: How I accessorize. This has changed a little bit as I've gotten more accessories of different types and it also varies depending on the event and my energy. I'll also be covering how I accessorize with Fairy Kei, my main style outside of Lolita.

 So with both Lolita and Fairy Kei I generally have some type of hair bow, a necklace or two, some bracelets, and rings or earrings if I remember them. For Lolita hair accessories, I usually wear a bow or two in a coordinating color or a large matching bow on the back of my head for more toned down looks. For one of my recent coordinates that I wore at a convention, I used the second detachable bow from my JSK as a headbow by slipping it onto a headband and added a giant resin star clip on one side and three smaller pink and purple bow clips on the other side. Generally my hair accessories for Fairy Kei are a bow or two that go with my outfit or the giant resin star clip and some bows. For necklaces, I generally do a choker and a longer necklace for Fairy Kei and just a longer necklace for Lolita coordinates. Generally my longer necklaces have a large statement pendant, like a big plastic heart or plastic lettering saying "mahou shoujo." For bracelets I generally use my wrist cuffs and pastel arm kandi or pearl bracelets, but I will occasionally wear a simple metal bracelet or a half pearl, half charm bracelet. For the most part though, I put on as many bracelets as possible! Rings and earrings are typically forgotten when I do everyday cords, but I generally wear two to four rings on each hand and a pair of pastel earrings when I do remember them. I'm trying to get better at changing my earrings to match my outfit so I'm not just wearing the simple fake pearl earrings I generally wear day to day since my job doesn't allow flashy earrings. I'm also looking at different ways to display my rings and my smaller hair clips so I'm more likely to actually wear them instead of forgetting they're in a small jewelry storage box. Other than jewelry and hair accessories, I'll occasionally put a decorative pin of some sort on my outfits as well, and that's pretty much the extent of my accessorizing.

 What sort of accessories do you guys wear? Let me know in the comments below!

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Lolita 52 Challenge: Plan for a Trip!

Hello everyone! Today I'm back with another Lolita 52 Challenge topic: Plan for a trip! A week's worth of Lolita outfits I can fit in a small suitcase. I'll be going over this from the perspective of what I own as well as a more generalized perspective. For both I'll be planning a Spring-time trip, so temperate weather with no heavy coats needed.

 First up, how would I pack for a week with my current wardrobe. Since I only really have three Lolita dresses and a couple skirts, I would begin by laying them all out on my bed to decide on tops and accessories. Since I generally travel somewhere with access to a washer and dryer, I'd be able to get away with bringing my one blouse as well as camisoles for underneath, a nightgown, and my two cardigans and sweater as tops. Then I'd just alternate which days I'd have to wear a blouse with days I can wear a cardigan or my OP. For petticoats, I'd bring my two hand-made ones as well as a couple of the longer party store ones I have. Shoes, I would bring my tea parties, a pair of white heels, and my white boots (in case it rains). If weather was expected to be especially sunny or I planned on going to a beach, I would pack my white sandals instead of boots. I'd bring my white heart-shaped purse and pastel Ita bag as well. For accessories, I'd bring socks or tights as needed, my bloomers and spandex shorts, wristcuffs, and any necklaces, bracelets, and earrings I decided on for each coordinate. Most of my pieces come with a detachable bow or matching headbow, so hair accessories are simple, but I would bring some small pastel bows too if I didn't feel like wearing a larger bow that day. I'd also bring a colorful umbrella in case it rains or I need to shield myself from the sun.

 For a non-specific wardrobe, we're going to assume that all of the pieces are either all in the same style or two different styles that can interchange basic accessories (like a simple white blouse). I would recommend packing two versatile JSKs and two skirts along with two or three blouses and two cardigans that work for all of the pieces and a cutsew that goes with one of the skirts. I'm also going to assume all of these pieces have similar lengths for the sake of this example, so two to four petticoats that can be easily packed down depending on the level of poof your skirts allow. (As an example, I generally only require two since I have larger hips and don't want a large amount of poof due to shorter skirts. However, someone with smaller hips or longer, classical skirts might need four to have a proper silhouette for their style.) In addition to these, two pairs of Lolita shoes that can work for two or more of the main pieces each and a weather specific pair of shoes (like boots or sandals) if needed. Otherwise three pairs of typical Lolita shoes, like teaparties, in colors that work with the main pieces. For accessories, I'd do the same as for my example, matching or coordinating headbows and/or smaller hair accessories, and necklaces and other pieces that work for each coordinate. In addition to those, any bloomers, shorts, camisoles, etc. needed for the wearer's comfort and a compact parasol or umbrella as needed.

What would you pack from your wardrobe for a week-long trip? Let me know in the comments!

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Developing your Wardrobe

Hello everyone! Going off of last week's post, I decided to do an article on developing a basic wardrobe to a more complete wardrobe. This article is intended to help someone who already has a defined style, but may not have all of the pieces they want for an everyday wardrobe. If you want advice on starting to build an alternative style wardrobe, check out my Building a Wardrobe series (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4). Otherwise, you're in the right place!

 So before we get into the steps, let's start with a definition of what a basic wardrobe is, mainly in reference to J-Fashion, but this can also be applied to other styles too. I consider a basic wardrobe to be one that you are able to make enough unique outfits for a week or mix and match the pieces you have to make a two week's worth of similarish outfits (like using the same tee and shoes with a different bottom and outer piece).

#1: Assess what you need
 Once you have a basic wardrobe, you'll likely have a fairly good idea of what your style is, so you should be able to assess what your wardrobe is lacking or what it doesn't need. Take some time to go through your wardrobe and pick out pieces that you don't wear and decide if you don't wear them because you need new pieces to go with them or because you don't like them as much as you thought you did. Take some time to determine what you would need to wear the pieces you haven't been wearing and write them down. Once you've done this assessment, go through the pieces you do wear regularly and determine if the pieces you would need for your unworn or less worn pieces would work with what you already have. In addition to those, write down any other items you would like to add to your wardrobe such as weather specific items as well as anything you need to replace due to wear or fit issues.

#2: Prioritize
 Once you've made a list of what you'd like to add to your wardrobe you can prioritize which pieces to buy first based on what works with the most pieces or what needs to be replaced. You can either rewrite your list in order of most needed/wanted or just write ranking numbers next to the items or something similar. A good way to decide on priority is to think what items you need sooner rather than later, like if it's getting cold out and you need a good coat and boots, you'd want to put those higher on your list than a light Summer blouse. Also, you can prioritize based on rarity of an item or how many items in your wardrobe it'll work with.

#3: Research and buy
 Once you know what you want and what order you want it in, you can start to research which items specifically you want as well as start looking for auctions and sales with what you need. I highly recommend researching prices for specific items you want by looking through sold listings. For example, when I decided I wanted to buy Jewelry Jelly, I looked it up on Lolibrary to decide which style I'd prefer (JSK or OP) and make sure the measurements would fit me. After that, I pulled up sold listings for it on Lacemarket and compared the prices based on colorway, style, and what was included (matching headbow, socks, etc). From that I was able to get an average price to expect and was later able to buy the OP with matching headbow second-hand from Storenvy! Great places to look for used J-fashion are Lacemarket and its spinoffs (Kei market, etc, linked at the top of the page), Facebook groups (usually searching the style and sales works well for finding them), and eBay or Storenvy (just be careful and check their feedback). You can also check in local Lolita and J-fashion groups to see if there will be a swapmeet or if anyone is selling anything and willing to do a local trade/sale.

Do you guys have any plans for your wardrobes? Let me know in the comments below!

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