2018: Lolita Goals

I may be terrible at keeping up with my blog, but at least I consistently post on New Year. Part of it is the flood of Wardrobe Posts from the community, which both inspire me the continue Lolita, and make me want to post my own. Another part of it is the importance our culture places on New Year's Resolutions, and how we put stock in them framing the rest of our year.

I am still working on taking photos for my Wardrobe post, but there are some resolutions I wanted to share.

Last year, I wanted to expand my wardrobe by adding lots of supporting pieces, such as accessories, blouses and tops. This year, my focus is stepping back a bit, cutting out excess, and switching my style to something I am more comfortable in.

I adore Lolita, nothing will change that- but deep inside of me, I've always longed to wear boy style. However, I've been in this fashion a long time. When I started, there were quite a few things holding me back from trying boy style, both personally and practically.

Personally, I had horrible body image issues, and thought I could never pull off boy style.

Practically, not many brands made boy style, except in small, restrictive sizes.

These days, it had become easier to get a hold of elusive brands, such as Atelier Boz. There is also more information out there about them, and their different sizes, such as Men's size. With the advent of Men's sizing in brands such as Boz, or Alice and the Pirates, I realized for the first time this year that the style I love is actually accessible to me.

So my first goal for this year, is to clear out dresses I've hoarded and never wear, and move towards a more boy style oriented wardrobe.

And in truth, that's mostly my only resolution this year.

Other than that, I would like to help plan a large scale event, and maybe even DJ at it. I have been getting back into DJing lately, and since I have a niche skill for playing Japanese music, I'd love to cater to a crowd that enjoys the same music I do.

It's actually really refreshing, to have such a short and attainable list of resolutions this year. My life is busier than ever these days, but I also wear J-fashion more than ever. The trick is balancing your responsibilities with the things you love, and remind you who you are.

Coord Roundup: February

Happy First of March!

As I begin this new month, I have a lot to look forward to: Rufflecon ticket sales starting, outings with friends, my birthday, and a visit from family.

February was a busy month for me, but productive. I started reaching out to vendors to get some of my handmade accessories selling at cons. Rufflecon also announced their theme for 2017, which got me brainstorming, and contemplating whether or not I can create a line for the Label contest.

For coords, I tried to break my record of 4 from last month, but was unsuccessful. None the less, it was a month of trying new things for me, and I'm happy with how my experiments came out!


February 5th: Metamorphose meets Pinup

This was a very simple coord to meet some lolis at the mall. I wanted something somewhat casual, and closer to every day wear. I thought this Metamorphose Gingham Cherry Jsk would be perfect. 

I like everything about this coord from the shoulders down; but if I could re-do this coord, I'd have put more effort into my hair, and chosen a different hair accessory. 

Bolero: BTSSB
Jsk: Metamorphose
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood x Melissa
Headbow: Innocent World
Everything else: Offbrand 



February 11th: Pastel Lolita

I almost never wear pastels, as I've adamantly said many times. But for whatever reason, on this day, I decided to give pastels a try. 

It was also the first day I've ever ruined a jsk beyond repair. It was a disaster. 

I met up with a friend to get boba tea- that much was wonderful! But we also stopped at a Korean cosmetics store, which had some sort of devil-spawn liquid lipstick smeared on the counter. The lipstick got on my purse, and when I put my purse on my lap in the car, it got all over my lightly coloured dress. (T__T) I've tried so hard to remove the stains, but they're impossible to get out.

So while this was a pretty look, and I feel like I balanced the pink and lavender well, I am extremely hesitant to wear light colours, or shop for cosmetics in Lolita ever again.

Jsk: Angelic Pretty
Bolero, Purse and Headbow: BTSSB
Everything else: Offbrand 



February 12th: Boz and Boystyle

I adore boystyle, and have taken a stab at it in the past, but I feel like this was my first serious, successful coord. I'm very proud of how this one turned out; and with a better wig and a few more staple pieces, I hope to wear boy style more this year.

Coat: Atelier Boz Roland
Pants: MAM
Socks: Chantilly
Brooches: Voltaire, Chocomint
Everything else: Offbrand



February 27th: OTT 

I think this was my favourite coord of the month! I got this Elizabeth I jsk a couple of months ago, and really wanted to coord it. I don't usually go so over the top with my coords, but I like the colour balance and all of the details in this outfit! Probably one of my favourite coords of the year so far. 

Jsk: Taobao (I think the brand was called "Makiro"?)
Blouse: The Floral Notebook
Headdress: Sweet Mildred
Shoes: Bordello
Accessories: Voodoodolly, Offbrand
Socks: Metamorphose

And thus wraps up another month in Lolita! I'm excited to see what March has in store; I hope it includes more chances to dress up and improve my coords! I think my latest on the 27th was much more put-together than some of my others so far. I'm also a fan of my Boystyle outfit and can hardly wait to collect more pieces! 

Here's to yet another month of frills!

Xoxo,
Cherie

Coord Roundup: January


Hello Darlings,

One of my goals for 2017 is to better document my coords, and share them when I can.

One main reason for this is that I constantly forget to take photos of my outfits, even if I put a lot of time and effort into perfecting them.

Or, after I spend all that time dressing up, I am too scared to post photos outside of my personal circle. And it's not necessarily about my clothing, but my face or body type. I worry about retribution for my physical aspects I can't change, so I rarely post.

However, criticism is not always a bad thing. It is, after all, meant as a constructive thing to help you improve. As long as I receive criticism on how to make my outfits better, then I don't mind.

And after all-- this is a fashion blog. In spite of that, I have a handful of entries at best showing my outfits. That's awfully pathetic, and tarnishes my credibility, don't you think?

This month, I got to wear Lolita 4 times in total. In the past, 4 times in a month would be a lot, but in my current state, I think that's just where I want to be. I am moving towards wearing Lolita, or some aspect as often as possible. But as a new mom of a two-month old infant, who also works full-time, I'd say four times in a month is quite a lot.

January 12th


This was my outfit for my comm's monthly swap meet. This was my first time wearing Lolita since giving birth. 

I was itching to wear some of the pieces I accumulated while I was pregnant, but couldn't wear. On the top of my list was this "Three Archangels" long OP by Innocent World. I find the silhouette very flattering, and I love the long skirt. This OP is also half-shirred in the back, which made it very comfortable. It was a good outfit to get back into the swing of things. 

OP: Innocent World
Blouse: Bodyline
Headdress: Sweet Mildred
Socks: Enchantlic Enchantilly
Shoes: Offbrand (Dolce by Mojo Moxie)


January 15th


This is what I wore for my new comm's 10th Anniversary Tea Party. (I've been here a year, but it still feels like a new comm to me!) The theme was "Winter", so I wore my new jsk, "The Gift" by L'esprit de la Noblesse.

L'esprit de la Noblesse is a Russian Indie Brand, headed by fashion power couple Elizabeth and Nicolas. Together, they create many whimsical and unique Lolita designs, drawing from traditional garb of Russian royalty, and creatures of fantasy alike. "The Gift" was a limited Christmas release. Part of the profits were donated to a Russian charity.

With the long hemline and metallic champagne chiffon, this dress is easily one of my favourites.

My concept for this event was "Clara from The Nutcracker".

Dress: L'esprit de la Noblesse
Blouse: Bodyline
Socks: American Apparel
Headbow: Innocent World
Purse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Shoes: Offbrand (Dolce by Mojo Moxie)


January 22nd


This is what I wore when visiting the San Antonio, Texas Lolitas, for their "Cheers to 2017!" Meetup.

My husband and I were visiting his family in Texas, when I attended this meet-up. My brother and sister in law both happen to be members of the comm, and were kind enough to take me along to the local meet-up. The theme just happened to be old school, which is one of my current obsessions!

My sister-in-law is to the left of me, in the photo above. I'm sorry, this photo caught me mid-blink!

Bonnet, Blouse, Jsk, Purse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Socks: Metamorphose
Shoes: Montreal


January 27th


This is my favourite outfit of the month. 

A lolita girlfriend and I decided to go out for macarons on a random Friday afternoon. I took her to my favourite Patisserie, "Sweethearts Patisserie" in Annapolis. I knew the shop often decorates for Valentine's Day about this time, so I decided to dress to match the decor.

Beret: Innocent World
Blouse, Bolero, Jsk, Purse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Socks: Metamorphose
Shoes (Not pictured): Bodyline 

And I think that's all I'll fit in this month! 

Since I'm gearing up to go back to work, and transition by daughter into Daycare soon, I am sure that the next month will be hectic. But I hope that I still find time to dress up! With a promised monthly swap meet, and a special Valentine's Day Tea, I at least have two events to look forward to!

Here's hoping I keep up with the outfit photos, and that the quality of the outfits (and outfit shots) improves throughout the year!

Xoxo,
Cherie 

LBC: What Would You Change About Your Wardrobe?

Hello darlings! It's that time of the week (a little late this week, too), for the Lolita Blog Carnival!

This week, I would like to talk about the changes I want to make in my wardrobe.

I agreed with much of What Emily wrote on her blog, "It's Witchcraft". 2017 will be my eleventh year wearing Lolita, so my wardrobe is, for the most part, well-established and well-rounded.

Most of the changes I'd like to see have to do with cohesiveness, and building a stronger collection.

I would like to continue fleshing out my collection with blouses, socks, shoes and bags that compliment what I already have; and I'd like to cut back on what I call "stand alone" or "unitasker" pieces.




"Unitasker" is a phrase coined by one of my favourite television personalities, Alton Brown. He loves to loathe what he calls Kitchen "Unitaskers"- gadgets and gizmos that only complete one function in the kitchen. Though Lolita isn't exactly cooking, we definitely have unitaskers in our wardobe.

These are stand alone pieces, things we are all guilty of- for example, a single pastel jsk in a gothic wardrobe, that sticks out like a sore thumb and doesn't really coordinate with the rest of your closet. Or, a pair of pink shoes that you bought specifically to go with ONE dress, even though you have nothing else pink in your collection. UNITASKERS!

The worst part about stand-alone pieces is that it breeds more impulse buys. You find yourself compelled to buy more pastels, even if you don't like them, simply because you now feel obligated to include that in your wardrobe.

In case you haven't figured it out, this reluctant pastel hoarder is me, myself. Even though I HATE how I look in pink, and often find pastels look terrible on me, I come back to them again and again. I buy it, I try it on, and instantly resell it. It's a vicious cycle, and it results in left over pieces I will never use again- the one pink blouse I bought specifically for that one pink dress, or the singular lavender headbow I bought to match my only lavender jsk.

While there is nothing wrong with variety, if I've learned anything over the years, it's that I don't, and I won't wear pastels. The things I wear over and over again are often rich jewel tones, or dresses in black colorways. I'm especially fond of emerald green, navy blue and ruby red.

So why the hell did I buy pastel, mint green shoes?!

Or why do I follow the lemmings off the cliff, diving head-first into a new AP print release, when I know that I won't actually love it or wear it?

That is exactly my point.

So if I could change anything about my wardrobe, it would be to make it ship-shape, tight and efficient. I don't necessarily want a minimalist, capsule wardrobe, but I do want to borrow from that philosophy that everything has multiple purposes and can be combined with the other pieces.

My goal, in short, is to emphasize what I already have and like to wear... and find new ways to wear it, by adding in things that frame it beautifully.

A short list:

  • More solid, lace-topped socks in staple colours like white, ivory, black
  • More comfortable, multipurpose shoes 
  • More boleros and cardigans
  • Add in some Ouji pieces, that also match what I have
  • Less impulse buys on main pieces, that don't fit with my collection
To see an example of my wardrobe and what I've curated, please see my recent 2016 Wardrobe post. Since posting it, I've already cleared out some pieces I never got to wear, or knew I wouldn't wear. 

It's always hard to part with things, but I think it's a step in the right direction; and it makes room for new things to come!


What do you think about stand-alone pieces? Is variety the spice of life, or do you prefer to keep a general theme or colour scheme in your closet?

Let's take a look at what other Lolitas had to say!

Xoxo,
Cherie



LBC: Habits You've Picked Up from Lolita Fashion

Lolita fashion is more than a hobby to me; it's a part of myself.

To some people, fitness is who they are; or perhaps their career is an essential part of their reflection. Maybe they find their identity in a book club, cooking, or a sport. Others still find their true nature in performance: a stage persona, or a microphone.

Is it so odd for fashion to be a personal marker?

After all, it has permeated nearly every aspect of my life: the people I hang out with, what I like to eat, what I buy, and how I practice my hobbies.

Yes, I sew; but I don't sew curtains, quilts, or casual clothing. I sew Lolita fashion: jumper skirts, hair bows and onepieces.

Yes, I like music; but I like music Lolita fashion has brought me closer to, such as Visual Kei, or other music that fits the fashion's aesthetic. If I never got into Lolita fashion, who knows if I would have found some of my favourite bands, or vice verse?

In short, being a Lolita effects you in more ways than you realize. In this week's Lolita Blog Carnival theme, I'd like to look at some specific habits I've picked up from Lolita fashion.

  • I have more expensive taste
In my early teens, before Lolita, I was a bargain-driven shopper. I used to look for the best deals on clothing at a thrift store or department store, and would choose to purchase something if it was cheaper, regardless if I liked it better or not. 

Of course there is nothing wrong with being bargain-savvy, and it's still a useful skill; however after being a Lolita all these years, I've come to recognize the value of quality.

One may think that "value" and "quality" are the same, but it's not the case. Something can have value, because it is good quality; that is why heirloom jewelry is often saved and passed down through generations. Or, imagine a pack of plastic party cups, in a wholesale pack of hundreds. Perhaps it is a good value, because you get a lot for a low price; but plastic does not last, and rarely exceeds a single use. It will never be the same quality as fine crystal. 

Quality comes from technique, mastery of the medium, and an investment in good materials. Lolita garments are not only expertly made and tailored, but they are also made from high-quality textiles and materials. From the unique printed textiles made in small batches, to the one of a kind embroidered lace specific to one brand, there is nothing cheap or mass produced about Lolita fashion. 

For all of these reasons, Lolita has made me less of a bargain shopper. Now, I look at fashion as more of an investment. If anything, something that comes too cheap from the manufacturer makes me weary of the quality. 

  • I pay more attention to garment quality
Above, I spoke a bit about the value of quality. Since I sew, I've always inspected the quality of a garment in a store before I buy it. 

After becoming a Lolita, this habit became more frequent. I flip clothing inside out in the store, to check if seams are finished. I look at the hem, to see if it nicely done, a rolled hem to prevent fraying, or if it is even hemmed at all. If the garment does not pass my tests, I do not buy it.

  • I eat more sweets
Before Lolita, I did not have much of a sweet-tooth. My first job in my teens was lifeguarding, so physical fitness and nutrition were very important to me. Over the years, I came to know the simple pleasures of a small macaron; or the solace one could find in a cafe, with a sweet beverage. I've made good friends over hot lattes, or sharing an ice cream parfait after a meet-up.

I think Lolitas like sweets because they are aesthetically pleasing; that is why they are common motifs in prints. They also remind us of certain European countries, which are influential in Lolita fashion. Sweets are also an essential part of a tea party, one of our most frequent meet-ups. 

Whatever the reason is, at least in small quantities, I find myself indulging more than before I was a Lolita.

  • I mind my weight and measurements
Though this may sound contradictory to the above, Lolita has made me more conscious of my measurements, and more inclined to monitor them. Health, exercise and nutrition have always been important to me, certainly; but with Lolita, it comes back to the garments themselves.

Lolita garments are usually only produced in one size, as "one size fits all". I believe this is for two reasons: first, because Lolita fashion originated in Japan, where multiple sizes are not that common. Second, because of the quality and niche audience for Lolita fashion, it is produced in smaller batches. When clothing is produced in smaller batches, it is not always economical to produce many sizes. It is more efficient to produce one size, or produce one-offs in custom sizes.

Since Lolita garments are mainly made for Asian frames, they run smaller. As a clearly western girl, I have to keep myself at a reasonably low weight in order to fit them.

In the US, women wear an average size 14 or 16. I'd say with Lolita fashion, a western girl should average a size 8, to fit most of the clothing. Of course there are exceptions, and I am not claiming this is "ideal". I simply mean to say the size ranges for most brands max out around a US 10. 

Not every Lolita takes this personally, as it's possible to order custom clothing, or find pieces that are plus-size friendly. I have just made it a habit to "diet for Lolita" when necessary, because it is important to me. 

  • I plan my outfits more carefully
In the past I never planned outfits in advance, I simply threw them on. Now I find myself planning at least a week ahead, even for a casual outfit to wear to a concert.

  • I spend more time online
In general, many people spend more time online than they used to. Social media is a powerful drug; and it becomes addictive to share your life with the world, when you get instant gratification in the forms of likes and comments. 

However, Lolita fashion depends on the Internet to survive, especially as a means to attain the clothing. As Lolitas in the West, we do not have Lolita stores in most major cities. 

If you live near a fashion center, like Paris, New York City, or San Francisco, then you're lucky enough to live near a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright or Angelic Pretty flagship store. But the rest of us must rely on brand websites, shopping services, or websites where Lolita is sold second-hand.

I also spend my time online reading Lolita blogs, news about Lolita, looking at other Lolita's outfits, and reading debates about Lolita. Almost all of my news and resources, from what the latest releases are to when the next meet-up will be, are found on the Internet. 

This may be a bad habit, as it often distracts me from sewing, cleaning, or otherwise adulting. But conversely, it has also made me more Internet savvy, and more comfortable with technology. After all, I can't be the only one who picked up a bit of HTML coding to format a Livejournal post. 

Here's a few others I thought of:

  • I travel more
  • I'm more open to new experiences
  • I have a stronger sense of community
  • I study fashion history
  • I study more languages (French, Japanese)

These are just a few habits I have picked up from the fashion. It's hard to say if they are good habits, or if they've made me more nit-picky, elitist and anal. I think that there is both good and bad with everything, and it is important to understand why somebody does something before we judge.

Would you like to see what other people have picked up from Lolita fashion? I invite you to check out the blogs below, on this week's Lolita Blog Carnival: