Saturday, April 29, 2017

Lolita 52 Challenge: How I get out of a Wardrobe Slump

Hello everyone! Today I'll be talking about another Lolita 52 Challenge topic: How I get out of a wardrobe slump.

 So we've all been there: We go to put together an outfit and either everything's dirty or we just don't want to wear anything we have because we wear it so often we're tired of it. I can't tell you how many times I've stared at my wardrobe until I give up and just throw on a T-shirt and some jeans or a tried and tested outfit I've worn some variation of for the past week. My wardrobe's still fairly limited, so I have a lot of wardrobe slumps. So what do I do to get out of these slumps? Well outside of checking to make sure the slumps not just due to weight gain, here's some of the things I do.

#1: Why aren't you wearing what you have?
 One of the first things I do when I'm in a wardrobe slump is figure out what I haven't been wearing and why. Does it still suit my style? Does it still fit and is it flattering? What would it go with? If I can't find a way to wear a piece, I'll usually figure out what I need to wear it or get rid of it if it's something that doesn't work with my wardrobe. If it doesn't fit properly or look good, I'll get rid of it as well.
#2: Try new combinations
 After going through lesser worn pieces, I'll usually start trying to make new coordinates. I'll take a piece, put it on my dress form or lay it on my bed, and start holding up other pieces next to it to see what would go with it. Sometimes I'll start building an outfit, then change out the piece I started with to make a more congruent look. Don't be afraid to try different things. Once you have an outfit you like the look of, try it on and make sure it still looks good on you and change a few pieces as needed.

#3: Determine what you need
 One of the advantages of getting rid of pieces is that you can add new pieces instead. If you find yourself saying things like "If only I had [ ]" or "This would look so much better with [ ]" keep track of what those items are so you can decide if you want to add them to your wardrobe later on. Also, if you're finding a piece is just getting too old and worn looking, make a note of it and start looking for its replacement. Feel free to try something in a different style or color when replacing an item if it's not a staple item (such as a white blouse in a Lolita wardrobe).

#4: Catalog
 Once you've put together some outfits that work, take pictures! Having a reference to go back to really helps when you don't know what to wear. This also gives you an opportunity to decide if it really was something you'd wear or just a mess that looked good in the moment. You can also look back on those outfits for inspiration when putting together a new outfit, similar to a street snap on Pinterest, except with your own wardrobe!

What do you do when you're in a wardrobe slump? Let me know in the comments below!

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Worst Places to Wear Lolita

Hello everyone! Going off of last week's post, I wanted to do a list of the worst places to wear Lolita. This is going to be a bit more humourous of a post needless to say, so I hope you enjoy!

#1: Hiking
 Ima be honest here, while I haven't been hiking in Lolita, I did go hiking in Fairy Kei a few times and boy was that a mistake.... And Lolita is even less versatile than Fairy Kei. Fancy shoes now caked in mud and dirt, wig and petticoat snagging on stray bushes, headbow constantly being knocked off by branches... All in all, Lolita would be very impractical and frustrating to hike in, plus you're more likely to overheat from all the layers!
#2: Swimming
 While there are swimsuits available from various Lolita brands, jumping in the pool in your AP dress would be a very bad idea. Not only would you have to worry about the print running, the chlorine or salt water (if you jump in the ocean) would likely bleach or damage your dress. Plus those pettis would be a lot more weighing down than floofy and fun after hitting the water.
#3: Running from the authorities
 While running from the authorities generally isn't a good idea in the first place, doing so in Lolita would be even worse. As many of us know, Lolita can be quite constricting around the chest, which would lead to getting winded sooner and climbing a chain link fence would be near impossible, especially if you're wearing platform style shoes. Not only that, but can you imagine trying to hide or blend in with a crowd in Lolita?
#4: The jungle
 Let's face it: It doesn't matter what jungle you're in, it's gonna be hot and humid, there's probably going to be bugs trying to eat your headbow, and chances are the footing won't be the best. Not to mention snakes, monkeys (we all saw what Jane had to deal with in Disney's Tarzan), big cats, and who knows what else. If you were lucky, you'd probably get away with a shoe lost in quicksand at the very least.

Where do you think would be a terrible place to wear Lolita? Let me know in the comments below!

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lolita 52 Challenge: Best places to Wear Lolita

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to go over what I feel are the best places to wear Lolita. For this list, I'll be excluding meetups and conventions since you're generally expected to wear Lolita or something similar to this type of event. (Obviously you can cosplay or just go in jeans and a nerdy tee to conventions, but generally if you aren't cosplaying and you're into J-fashion, you'd want to wear Lolita or another J-fashion style at a convention, so that's why I'm not including them in this list.)

#1: Special events and shows
 Generally it's fun to dress up when you're going out, so having a special excuse can make it even more fun. Whether you're going out for Easter brunch, watching an opera, or screaming your full head off at a One Direction show, there's plenty of events you can wear Lolita to. I would not, however, recommend moshing in Lolita. Fellow metal heads might be very confused when attacked by petticoats.

#2: Hanging out with friends
 I'm sure we all have friends we adore, but just can't hang out with too often because of distance or merely time constraints. So needless to say when we do get to hang out with those friends, it's also normal to want to dress up and go do things together. (Granted there's nothing wrong with hiding out and playing video games in jammies together.) Though you may want to tone down your look if your friend doesn't wear alternative styles and is uncomfortable with people staring at you, it's still possible to have fun and look frilly as well.
#3: Bakeries and tea houses
 Since bakery sweets and tea are generally a staple in a Lolita's lifestyle, going out for some cake or tea in Lolita is a great idea! Many Lolitas do meetups at local bakeries and teahouses, so there's no reason you couldn't dress up in Lolita and go by yourself or with a few friends. Plus you'll fit right in with all the cute tea sets and cakes. Just make sure to put a napkin on your lap if you're a messy eater like me!

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Lolita 52 Challenge: What's in my Makeup Bag

Hello everyone! Since I'm struggling a bit with coming up with my own prompts, I'll be continuing to use Lolita 52 Challenge topics for a while. This week's topic: What's in my makeup bag? Since I don't really have a makeup bag, per se, I'll just be going over what I typically use in the way of makeup.

Let's start with base makeup: foundations, concealer, etc. For my foundation I usually use a Maybeline BB cream under a matte foundation with SPF from the same brand followed by cream stick concealers from Covergirl (one green, one skin toned), and then set with either a Rimmel London or Essence powder. For contour/highlight and blush I also use Essence cosmetics. After applying my base makeup, I fill in my eyebrows with a pencil from ...Maybeline? and start adding color to my eyelids. I've recently started using Urban Decay's Primer Potion and it makes a pretty good base for colors. Before that I used either a white Nyx pencil (which I still use on my waterlines) or an E.L.F. shimmery primer and both worked well, but I like the Primer Potion's texture better. For colors, I typically use a generic colorful pallet I have, but I've recently picked up Kat Von D's Pastel Goth pallet and I use the colors heavily mixed with white for pastel looks. I also add glitter with a cheap shimmery white eye shadow I got at the dollar tree or my Urban Decay Moonlight? pallet for more intense looks. I also do simpler eye shadow looks with the Essence Bright Eyes pallet. For eyeliner, I don't really have a preference on brand, but I generally prefer felt tipped liquid liners that are waterproof. I like black volumizing mascaras and I vary between a few different ones depending on the look I'm going for. I especially like two part mascaras with a clear base coat and a black top coat right now. For lips I'll usually do a pink lip gloss or a red lip tint if I remember. I don't generally wear false eyelashes or face crystals on a regular basis and I generally forget to wear lipsticks, though I do own a lot of those...

What sort of makeup do you guys usually wear? And do you have a makeup bag you tote around for touchups? Let me know in the comments!

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

The End of Kera and the Gothic & Lolita Bible

Hello Everyone! Today I'll be giving my thoughts on a very sad topic: The ending of Kera's print edition and the suspension of the Gothic & Lolita Bible (G&LB). I considered making a video on this topic, but since I don't currently have any editing software and I know there will be a lot of crying, I decided it would be best to stick to writing a blog article.

 As many of us in the J-Fashion world have learned over the last few days, Kera and the Gothic & Lolita Bible will no longer be releasing printed magazines. After learning about Fruits magazine's cancelation earlier this month, this is coming as a very hard blow to many of us who have loved and collected these magazines over the years. While I only recently started to collect Kera and have one copy of G&LB, my original love for Lolita was due to a friend introducing me and my sister to the fashion and lending us copies of the English edition of G&LB to look through. I would never have gotten into Fairy Kei when I did if it hadn't been for my interest in Sweet Lolita and finding a more wearable option for day-to-day. Even though my introduction to Kera was within the past couple of years, it quickly became my favorite magazine and I was looking forward to getting more and more copies in the future. However, due to it's cancelation I won't be able to get any more after the last print issue comes out this month. I personally like having a physical copy to flip through when it comes to fashion magazines, though I can understand their decision to switch to a digital only copy due to the decrease in popularity of print media in general. I'm going to miss being able to collect new issues of Kera, though I will treasure the ones I have (especially the one with a street snap of Mana-sama).

 So with the end of three of the most iconic J-Fashion magazines, what does that mean for Harajuku fashion? I at first presumed that their closures were merely due to printed media being less popular nowadays due to the internet allowing easy access to so many things, but I might have been wrong. After finding out about the end of the magazines, I saw a video by one of my favorite YouTubers, Cathy Cat, a German Lolita living and working in Japan, where she expressed her feelings on the matter. To summarize what she said in her video, the generation of Harajuku kids and Lolitas that started and promulgated many of the crazy, over-the-top styles that Harajuku is known for are getting older and changing to more demure styles that suit them better or completely giving up J-fashion to fit in better with the general populace. Because of that, those fashions are not as present in Harajuku as they once were because the younger generation aren't wearing them. Cathy Cat goes to Harajuku a lot for her and Kawaii Pateen's videos, so she gets to see what's going on there regularly and she said that she's seeing less and less bold fashion present in Harajuku. She ends her video stating that in order for these fashions to survive, the older J-fashion generations need to bring the younger generations into our fashions and stop discriminating based on experience in a style.

 So, from what I've seen, I've gathered that Harajuku fashion isn't so much dying as changing. In the Keras I have as well as street snaps I see online, styles are getting more toned down and changing to more muted pallets instead of brighter colors like Decora or OTT Sweet Lolita tend to use. In the G&LB I got recently, I noticed almost everything in it was Gothic or Classic Lolita and seeing as how many of the original Lolitas I know of are getting along in age, OTT Sweet may not suit them as well as when they were younger. Even outside of Lolita, styles such as Cult Party Kei with more muted color pallets are getting more popular. Softer pastels are more in than bright colors as are black pieces and detailing. As to the end of Fruits, cancelation of Kera's print edition, and GL&B's suspension, these are most likely due to the drop in popularity of print media and could also be affected by the change in popular J-fashion present in Harajuku.

What do you guys think? What are your thoughts on the end of many J-fashion magazines and the style shift in Harajuku? Let me know in the comments below!

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