Sunday, 10 December 2017

My lolita wardrobe five years ago and now

A little while ago I saw a Lolita Blog Carnival post "Compare Your Wardrobe from Your First Year to Now" show up in my feed from Cupcake Kamisama's blog and I immediately wanted to do this for myself. Fortunately, every January so far I have done a wardrobe post so I could just flick back to my first one in 2013 and see what had happened to my wardrobe.

Before I get into it you can view my first ever wardrobe post (after I'd been in the fashion around 6 months) here on EGL And if you want to see the 2017 post for comparison, that can be found here. Of course there have been some changes since that last post but they're mostly been additions! Just so you can follow along with what I’m rambling on about ^__^

The only big things from my first year in lolita that I still own.

My first thought in looking back to that first wardrobe post is that the only things that remain are most of the shoes, a single JSK and a lone skirt. What a change! And I know exactly why I got rid of all those starter pieces too. I was lucky and James bought me a whole bunch of stuff when I first started, but I really had no idea of how I wanted to wear lolita. So I got things that were cute and that I liked, but in the end a lot of them weren’t things that felt right on me. That’s why I actually think that a new lolita, even if they can afford it, shouldn’t buy too many items to start with. Buy an outfit or two and see how you feel wearing them, because otherwise you may end up with a whole lot of things that you then sell on quickly.

Once thing I’m pleased about, looking back, is that even then I had some sense of wardrobe cohesion. I have multiple blouses in different colours and several different colours and style of footwear. I think my legwear and headwear collections were pretty lacking but still. I was trying even if I wasn’t, by my standards now, doing that great a job of it.

Also, as a note, the majority of Bodyline blouses suck. Sweaty polyester nastiness central. I have one good cotton one that’s in my sewing pile for some alterations and I like my two chiffon ones but other than that I've been very unimpressed.

From my 2015 wardrobe post

Moving forward, 2014 was the year where I really found my feet, I feel. Looking at my wardrobe post from January 2015 reveals something that resembles my wardrobe now. Not as large, not quite as spot-on in terms of quality, and still a bit sketchy on style, but you can look at that and then look at my wardrobe now and tell they’re the same person. You couldn’t do that with my wardrobe when I first started! And now I feel like I’m in a really great place with my wardrobe; it’s cohesive and varied and I love it to piece ^__^

Other than quantity and cohesiveness something I want to write about a bit is the presence of brand in my wardrobe, because this is something that has changed as well. When I first started, I thought brand was expensive and too small and therefore immediately in my “nope” pile. And to an extent I wasn’t wrong. A new brand JSK costs $350 (in AUD and of course this fluctuates, especially since the exchange rate keeps getting worse for me!) and a blouse is $120. That’s a lot compared to say $40 and $25 from Bodyline, or $80 and $40 from a Taobao reseller (those are all ballpark figures, obviously). And in both size and length most brand items are designed for a Japanese woman  and even if lolita is apparently a chubby girl fashion, Japanese chubby is smaller than Aussie chubby! But despite being somewhat right I was also quite wrong; I’ve scored amazing deals secondhand and a lot of things fit me, even though I’ve gained weight since I’ve started. Brand was never unattainable and I regret that I felt like it was for a long time.

Some of my recent(ish) mostly brand flat lay coordinates

Further to that, something I’ve come to realise is that if you exclude brand from your wardrobe for any reason you really are missing out on a lot of what lolita has to offer. And I don’t mean that in terms of quality (though that does play a role) but merely in terms of variety. Things like prints are obvious – you can only get an AP print from AP (let’s not talk about replicas) – but also things like OTK socks are something I’ve found at you can’t really find at the same level outside of the big lolita brands. And on the flip side, I think that people who avoid buying from Bodyline or Taobao or western indie brands are also missing out! My point is that there is a huge range in lolita and with so much to choose from I think you shouldn’t buy something, or not buy something, just because of where it comes from (except for reasons of being an ethical consumer, but let’s not go into that). Not buying brand because it’s expensive, or avoiding Bodyline because it’s cheap, are to my mind silly reasons to avoid having things you like in your wardrobe, and I’m glad I’ve come to learn that.

So all in all my lolita wardrobe has come a very, very long way since I started. I know my style now, I buy the things I like regardless of their source, and I’m keen to see what it looks like in the years to come!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Lolita 52: How lolita has changed me

Wow, we have to end the Lolita 52 series on a poignant note, don’t we? So, how has lolita changed me?
  • I have a blog, this blog, and I really discovered a love of blogging
  • I’ve ventured back onto 4chan after a terrifying first experience with /b/ and have settled in the gentler waters of /cgl/
  • I have been to several meets (with more planned), which is a big deal for introverted me
  • I have a single settled alternative fashion that I wear rather than my previous hodge-podge of random things (though sometimes I miss wearing a rainbow, and my everyday style is still jeans or miniskirt + nerdy t-shit)
  • I have a better awareness of fashion generally and outfit cohesiveness, which really helps with styling photoshoots in particular!
  • I found a love of capsule wardrobes (in theory, not for me in practise)
  • I’ve challenged myself more with sewing than I think I otherwise would have
  • I am now a snob about lace and details in alternative fashion
  • I have discovered the joy of having a big, multifaceted hobby (to be fair, I’d had modelling and photography before, but that wasn’t a hobby I could engage in on my own and lolita is)
I also learned to love flat lays...

So lolita has changed some things about me. Nothing too dramatic on the surface of things, and I always have been a bit of an eccentric so I can’t claim that I “gained the courage to be myself” or anything because I already did that, but still. It’s been a great journey so far and I look forward to remaining engaged in this subculture for years more to come.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Lolita Blog Carnival: Build A Coord Using Only $100

So I finally joined the Lolita Blog Carnival! My reason for waiting so long was a simple selfish one- I didn't like the idea of having to post on a Friday! But that's a silly reason, and no-one but me probably notices or cares that I tend to post at very regular intervals so here we go. Besides, I feel very strongly about the lolita blogging community, so I really ought to get involved in one of the most long-running fixtures of it. And I've already blogged on some of their topics after the fact so yeah. It's about time!

Enough preamble and onto the topic of the week: a coordinate that costs only $100. My maths may be a bit shoddy (due to currency conversions) but I did three, so that makes up for it...right? Also, as a note these do not include the necessary petticoat nor do they factor in shipping.

OP: $50 Shoes: $30 OTKS: $18 Beret: $1 Bow: $1

First of all I headed to the Bodyline site to see what they had, and this OP caught my eye. Given that it's so striking on it's own you can go very simple in the accompanying pieces which kept this under budget and allowed me to pick up some nice brand OTKS from Closet Child to go with it. Seriously, the reason I love berets and bows so much is that they are ridiculously cheap and versatile!

JSK: $42 Blouse: $17 Shoes: $27 Tights: $5 Flower crown: $7 Bracelet: $1

For the next coordinate I pulled together a look that took advantage of the range of items available from Taoabo re-sellers to do something that I think is rally quite cute and elegant. If I wore white I would definitely wear this.

Skirt: $40 Cutsew: $18 Boots: $30 Tights: $3 Flower crown: $4 Bows: $2 Bracelets:$3

For the last look, I took to Wunderwelt to see if I could find a cheap printed brand main piece, just to see if it could be done and I stumbled on Angelic Pretty's Rose Toilette! I actually love this print (on other people, that is) so it was fun to put together a look for it in my ultimate favourite colour scheme.

It was really fun doing this sort of thing again and trying to work on a budget. It's challenging, but you can do it, and I really enjoyed coming up with looks that I was happy with that stayed under budget.

If you are interested in knowing sources of individual items please let me know!

Read more from other bloggers:
Links coming soon

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: November 2017

I feel like November contained a lot of varied and interesting lolita blog posts, and here are a few of my favourites...

Zodiac Lolita - The Air Signs from Luna Rain
Luna has been doing a whole series of coordinates based of the Zodiac signs and their typical personalities, and I'm sharing this post in particular because it has "my" (Libra) coordinate!

Tips for Handmade Lolita Fashion from  from Sweet Dreams
A post sharing some good beginner tips for making your own lolita items. If found it was full of handy suggestions and some good, basic information. No go make some lolita things!

Splurge of Save: Lolita Edition from Cupcake Kamisama 
This was a very good read about the authors opinions on what items you should shell out for and which ones you can go a cheaper route with in lolita fashion.

Lolita Shoes Upcycling from Auris Lothal
I love it when I get to share tutorials posts here! Well... this isn't so much a tutorial as a "this is how I did this" but it's detailed and has lots of pictures and you could easily achieve similar results if you wanted to, or apply the concepts to a different pair of shoes. Plus, the final shoes just rock.

Tea time at Ladurée for my birthday! from Ruban Rose
A cute outfit and a cute outing, exactly what I like a a nice, pleasant read.

Matsuricon 2017 from Pastel Peggy
One thing I really love about lolita is that there is so much room for personal expression, even when playing by the fashion's rules. So feast your eyes on a trio of outfits; decora lolita, OTT sweet lolita, and something a little simple and retro.

Rufflecon 2017 Panels from Lolita Princess
This post is quite brief but gives you access to the three panels that blogger presented at Rufflecon - I love it when people put resources like this online!

I hope you enjoy reading those posts as much as I did!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

A fairytale inspired capsule wardrobe

You know me. I love hypothetical wardrobes. So when recently a CGL thread popped up called "Build Me A Capsule Wardrobe" I just had to take part!

Lots of people posted requests, and I wish I had time to make more than one wardrobe. But one was all I had time for, and I chose to try my hand at building a capsule "for someone who wants to look like a character from an old fairytale book every day. And by that I mean no border prints, no overly cutesy motifs."

So I set to with a will and, inspired by some other people in the thread, actually did a good (well, good-er, at least) job at photoshopping everything so it's a nicer looking collage than I usual do. Feast your eyes!

My initial fairytale inspiration (not that it's evident at all, visually) was Briar Rose from Disney's Sleeping beauty. I wanted something pretty and feminine that conjured images of frolicking in forests. I also thought about Victorian children playing at fairy stories because when I think fairytale I think of old books. And this is what I came up with. Perhaps not fulfilling the brief entirely, but I feel like it has a classic fairytale vibe nevertheless!

I included some unusual pieces I normally wouldn't in a capsule; the cape, apron, and bustier. I also added jewellery and bags, which I never do. And what's funny is that after I did my first selections I had 31 I added two more to make this another Project 333 style wardrobe! I added more types of things but ended up with less items - must have been doing something right!

Because I wouldn't be me without making hypothetical outfits from my hypothetical wardrobe I have some more collages and ramblings below. A first note, however, is that as usual I'm assuming shades match IRL (looking at you, long sleeved blouse and cream bag!) so please enjoy the coordinates with that in mind. And secondly, I outdid myself this time and created six unique coordinates with each main piece. How's that for versatility?

I should also say - please click to enlarge the photos if you want to see anything better. But enough housekeeping, onto the outfits!

I. love. this. dress. It's just so cute and Victorian-esque and looks like what a librarian in an old library with floor to veiling books would wear. Of course, onepiece dresses are less versatility than skirts or JSKs but I still feel like you can get good variety out of this dress. My favourite is probably the one with the apron in the top. I would love to wear that!

Much as I love that first OP, this one is a wee bit more versatile (combo of solid colour and short sleeves does the trick). It's a gorgeous eyelet fabric, which you probably can't see too well, and just makes me think of woodland picnics.

Then I strayed into my usual territory...floral prints! And here we also see the first use of the bustier/corset. I figured that piece adds a nice "peasant wench" kind of vibe to the outfits I used it in.

The other JSK in the capsule wardrobe is one that I adore, and one that I think adds a beautiful versatility to the wardrobe. I would love to wear every single one of these outfits and I love how different they all turned out.

Last of all we turn to the wardrobe's lone skirt, which I think is the most "fairytale" piece on it's own. I could see this in a Brother's Grimm tale so easily. And isn't that centre bottom outfit just like a pink version of Little Red Riding Hood?

So there are some of the outfits you could make with this capsule wardrobe! I have to say, I think this is my best capsule yet!

Monday, 20 November 2017

Everybody walk the dinosaur; Jurassic Party outfits

Guess what? With this set of flat lays I have now completed a "one main piece, three outfits" for my wardrobe twice over! Of course, things have come and gone in that time so there's not two posts for each piece but still, it is done.

And I'm going to take a break from these posts for a bit. But never fear...something else will take their place very soon!

The last main piece in my wardrobe rotation is Jurassic Party. It's a definite outsider in my wardrobe but I still love it and can wear it in a few different ways.

Also, before we go further excuse the photo quality! I only had my phone to take these so they're a little bit bad...

For the first look I just ran with simple sweet. I like it, but I don't love it. Though I do want to point out that the lavenders match better in real life!

Then I went with a warm pink look and like it a lot better! Sticking lots of bows around really helps carry the colour scheme through the outfits.

But it's on the third outfit that I really came up with something that I totally love and definitely want to wear! I feel this coordinate has a good balance of colours and details and is very cute and fun.

Sometimes it takes a bit of playing around to truly get there on a coordinate, which is why I have loved doing these posts!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Lolita 52: Predict the next lolita trend!

Haha well…I’ve already posted about this. But, if I were to focus on one single thing that I really do think will be a trend it will be the rise of casual, or perhaps more correctly, simple lolita.

I think we’re all getting a little over the OTT trend. It’s fantastic, don’t get me wrong, and there have been so many amazing outfits with impressive detail and styling overall. It’s amazing. But it’s tiring. So I think the next thing we’re going to see a lot of is simple lolita outfits; not casual jfashion, not otome, but just simple lolita coordinates. Dresses or skirts will become the focal point of outfits rather than just a part of a grand whole, cutsews will be on the rise, unassuming natural hairstyles will come to the fore, and the fashion will return, at least a little, to its street fashion roots.

One of my casual work outfits from this year.

To be honest, this tends to be how I wear lolita most myself. And I suppose nearly anyone wearing lolita for a “daily” purpose does the same, though some I’m sure do dress to the nines! I certainly pull out all the stops for photoshoots, but not if I’m just wearing lolita out and about.

I suppose, in the end, this actually comes down to a question of image sharing, rather than necessarily a fashion trend. Or, more technical, it’s a trend in subcultural behaviour rather than a trend in outfit coordination. But a trend is a trend, and this is the one that I think is going to happen next.