Saturday, 20 May 2017

Lolita 52: The ways in which I fit the cliché & The ways in which I do not fit the cliché

Once again I am answering two Lolita 52 topics in a single post, because I don’t think there’s really enough content there for two separate posts. Before answering I want to clarify that I think there are two real clichés of lolita. The first is the “lifestyle lolita” stereotype of the elegant, dainty maiden. The second is the more modern cliché of the Japanophile who shops and spend her time online or at meets, who embodies the perhaps more realistic but no less inaccurate lolita lifestyle.

For both those clichés, I fit them in very limited ways:

  • I drink a lot of tea
  • I like books and reading
  • I sew
  • I keep a lolita blog
  • I am interested in  Japanese culture

A lovely stock photo of tea. Don't let this fool you tough, I drink my tea out of an Octoberfest stein.

Aaaand that’s it. Not really much of a thing there is it? I'm not even a huge anime fan, though I certainly like some.

Regarding not fitting the cliché, I really want to be pedantic and say that all of me does not fit the cliché, end of story but a few noteworthy (kind of) points are:

  • I’m very practical, and basically nothing in my life is lady-like or decorative 
  • I’m your stereotypical nerd (Computer games! Star Wars! Fantasy novels!)
  • I’m not particularly sociable
  • I'm rather filthy minded, as my boyfriend knows well

Most of my free time is spent in Tamriel lately.

So there you have a bit of me in a nutshell, and how I relate to the lolita cliché. Having said that though, I think basically anyone involved in this glorious subculture of ours could come up with a similar list of “I’m lolita in this way, and not in this way” and in the end, the only bit that really matters is that we wear and admire and enjoy these fabulous clothes.

Monday, 15 May 2017

May 2017 auctions haul

Last week I got in another haul of cheap Yahoo Japan auction finds from Buyee. I’ll admit, most of this is a bit frivolous and most things were not on my goal list for this year, but hey, what is disposable income for if not disposing, am I right? To be honest though I am going to try and hold off on buy much more lolita for a while…though I’ve already pre-ordered something and if Metamorphose does mid-year special sets I may just have to get one.

Anyhow, enough talking about what I’m not going to buy, let’s take a look at what I did! Mostly I got a lot of black things…it was unintentional but kind of cool!

It started with socks - is anyone surprised? I saw this lot and given that I felt three out of five pairs (the brown, white, and floral ones) would be valuable wardrobe additions I just had to go for it. Even though they’re really the least versatile item and don’t really actually match any prints, I love the floral Innocent World ones the most. There’s just something about this style that I love and I really want/don’t want IW to release this style again – want because, well, I want them, but I really don’t need to drop big bucks on several more pairs of OTKS and that is exactly what would happen if these were rereleased in more colours I liked. Surprisingly, in the end I actually really like the BTSSB ribbon socks and the Crown Label ones as well, but am not a huge fan of the white ones! So some may end up in the for sale pile but I’m not quite sure yet which ones!

The second item I bought was another pair of OTKS. Don’t judge me! I thought these would be really useful with the subtle floral pattern; they’re simple but not too plain and give me another legwear option for my black floral pieces. And they’re Meta, so they’re comfortable and fit me well, though they're a tad short on me right now. There’s not too much more to say about these but I’m glad I got them.

Then I got this oldschool long sleeved Baby, the Stars Shine Bright blouse. I had wanted a new long sleeved white blouse, and though I didn’t really want something so oldschool it was fairly cheap, it’s fully shirred and I thought why not? I do have to say, I really adore the lace on old school pieces and when I think about it more, it is nice to have an oldschool blouse that fits (my other Baby one is an under-JSKs-only kind of fit right now) because it means that I can pull together properly oldschool looks if I want to. It is conformable and adorable and a good fit...except for the length! It's meant to be shirred around the bosom in a babydoll sort of style but for me the shirring ends awkwardly at the top of my boobs - not a good look! However, it will still be lovely under JSKs, which I tend to wear more of anyway, so it's good enough for now and my hunt for the perfect long sleeved white blouse will continue at a more leisurely pace.

But oh my goodness this stank so bad when I pulled it out. I’m exaggerating a little but I’m 99% sure it came from a smoker because it smelled pretty rank. And that’s noteworthy because that’s the first time this has happened to me with a secondhand purchase from Japan. Normally there is no smell, or a lovely smell, but here for once I got a bad one. Oh well, that’s what a laundry is for!

Next up I bought another pair of OTKS, ones that were actually on my 2016 wardrobe goals list – black with a neutral white pattern. To be honest I wasn’t overly excited about them though I did like the lacy pattern, which turned out to be good because when I got them it turned out there is pale blue/lavender in the print which does not go with my wardrobe at all. So these are definitely destined for the sale pile! I feel a bit silly too, because the colours did seem a bit bluish in the listing photos, but I didn’t think much of it because you can never really tell, so in a sense this one’s on me.

Then there was a cheap BTSSB cutsew in black with adorable polka dot ribbon details. I like how adorable this is and I have to say I am really developing a love of cutsews, as you may have noticed from posts of my purchases over the last year. Once I discovered they can sometimes fit, even at my current size, there has been no turning back! But what makes me sad is that though this fits around it is waaaaay to short for me - it fits like a crop top! And I don't want to hang onto this as an under-JSKs-only thing, because I have other tops that work well under JSKs, so since this can't be versatile it has no place in my wardrobe. Which is such a bummer, but oh well. My loss will be a shorter persons gain!

Speaking of cutsews my next item, the long sleeve Metamorphose Candy House cutsew, fits me like charm. I mean, it is a little too tight on the arms but overall it fits and it’s cute and I can wear it without having to lose any weight first! And it will only fit better as I get healthier. I may be developing a cutsew addiction… The only downside of this top is that the print is decidedly ivory. The colourway was black x ivory (or unbleached, I forget) but in photos it appeared a lot more like an offwhite, so I’m not sure how much use I’ll be able to get out of this after all. I’d definitely going to hang onto it for a while though, because I really want to try pairing it with my Patisserie Dream skirt and seeing what other outfits I can come up with using it.

The last item in my haul was this Angelic Pretty bag. It is exactly what I like in a bag (except for when I like frivolous bags) – it’s pretty but neutral and is a good size but not overly large. It is in very good condition as well, which I’m happy about.

So that’s my most recent haul! As I said, lots of black things, but I wear a lot of black. Have you received anything exciting in the mail recently?

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Shades of green; Handmade floral skirt outfits

I really get a kick out of doing these outfit posts with pieces I've made myself - it's a good feeling! This time around the outfits are with the green floral skirt I made in 2016. I also made a matching headbow for this skirt, which was a first for me, and I'm contemplating making some two ways bow clips to go with it as well and while I was putting these outfits together I found my headwear options quite limited, and other than the headbow I made and another one I own nothing matches!

And it's such a pretty, comfortable skirt that I want to give myself a few more coordinating options so I can wear it more!

I wasn't too excited about the outfits I came up with for this skirt last time I did flat lays for it (they're fine, just a little dull) so I wanted to try coordinating it with a new colour, and soft peach pink seemed a good choice. This would be worn with pink ankle socks as well, and I really like it. It's super casual, and super wearable, just how I like it!

Next I tried something a bit more typically lolita. This is where making a few little bows to match the skirt would be great, as having one of those on the fur collar would really help ti this look together. Or a forest green brooch of some kind, I suppose. I liked doing another lighter coloured look with this skirt.

For my last coordinate I tried going a bit cuter but I think I missed the mark a little, the socks are too bright. I think an ivory blouse and brown bolero would have made the OTKS work better, or alternatively I could have run with darker socks. Ah well, these flatlays are always a learning experience! And I learned that I can coordinate this skirt in a few more ways than I had initially thought ^__^

Friday, 5 May 2017

Lolita 52: Fondest meet-up memory

Yet again this is going to be a short post because I have been to one meet-up ever, and that only recently; you can read my post about it here. My fondest memory of that day is just how nice everyone was! I’m not the best with names so I don’t quite remember who everyone was but I got random compliments (and gave a few!), one girl was super sweet in making sure I ate something at the lunch spread, and I spent a good portion of the event on a couch with a revolving collection of lolitas just getting to know everyone a bit. I know that’s a bit of a vague “fondest memory” but overall the community was quite friendly and that’s what really stood out to me at that meet.

To keep this post from being too ridiculously short, here’s another couple of photos of some of the bounty of clothes that were brought along by everyone that I didn’t put in my meet-up post.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: April 2017

I really, really enjoy reading other lolita blogs, so I thought I'd introduce a new post type here - a monthly roundup of some of my favourite posts from other bloggers! Also, feel free to use these posts to show me a link to your lolita blog if you have one, I'm always keen to have a look at new content.

Drill Weekend Means a Lolita Weekend from Vanilla Bear 
A cute refreshing post about the blogger wearing lolita for the weekend to see friends and just be herself. Bonus; includes a great coordinate and some fabulous derp photos.

Innocent World's Bouquet Doll OP from RuffleCloud's Adventures
I keep thinking I follow all the active lolita blogs that I like, and then occasionally I find something new. I found a link to this blogpost on tumblr, and now have a new adorable blog to follow! Double win ^__^

A shopping day in Harajuku! from Ruban Rose
Have I ever mentioned that shopping for lolita in Japan is one of my dreams? So I get a lot out of living vicariously through other people's travel and shopping posts.

Fabric scraps and the art of omiyage from Life's Sweet Essentials
A muse on gift giving and some cute crafts - a really sweet post and one that makes me want to start hand-sewing. I won't, because I hate hand-sewing, but you know you've reading something nice when it makes you want to engage in activities you know you don't enjoy!

The New Ouji Overview Part 1: Terminology from Buttcape
Buttcape is re-starting the Ouji Overview series...I will never use the term "kodona" again.

Barcelona day 2: Omnia Vanitas event from A Season in the Sky
I followed the photos people posted from Omnia Vanitas eagerly on instagram, and then this gorgeous posts popped up with even more lovely photos. Like lolita shopping in Japan, attending a big event like this is something I daydream about so I really enjoy seeing other people's posts.

Easter Coordinate with Angelic Pretty's Cotton Candy Shop from Pastel Peggy
This post is just a really gorgeously adorable sweet lolita outfit. Sweet lolita just makes me so happy to look at!

Recent Outfits- Late Winter/Early Spring Comeback Edition from Luna Rain
And more outfits! And in the last outfit, she uses the same straberry headband as I own. Now I'm inspired to do my own "berry maid" look. I do own an apron so maybe I will!

Red Riding Hood lolita from Frillycakes
I love lolita photoshoots - both seeing them and doing them - so it was cool to see the professional photos in this post, as well as the more casual snaps. The outfits are adorable too!

Of course, there are a lot of other posts that have crossed my dashboard in the last month, but these are just a few that really stuck out! To be honest, I was sort of thinking I'd be only featuring four or five posts, because it feels like there aren't that many active lolita blogs but that's obviously not true! I'll post another roundup at the end of next month as well, I think I will be continuing this roundup series for the foreseeable future ^__^

As a last note, if I've featured your post here and you don't want it to be, please drop me a comment and I'll take it down.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A garden of pink; Flower Bottle outfits

I love this skirt. It’s cute, simple and adorable. And, with the full shirred waist it’s also pretty comfortable!

It is also very pink! Much as I love pink, I don’t actually tend to wear it much (except pink x black combos, because pink x black is amazing). So even though I wouldn’t call it a challenging piece to coordinate, it’s certainly one of the most distinctly sweet lolita pieces that I own and therefore a bit of an oddball.

Given how typically sweet it is, for my first outfit I simply ran with that and pulled together a very traditionally sweet lolita outfit…and a very Metamorphose one, with the blouse being from them as well! Their lucky packs have truly served me well over the years. This would be worn with white ankle socks as well.

The second look also features a Metamorphose blouse… what can I say, it’s just how these turned out! For this coordinate I wanted to go over the top with pink. All the pink! I will honestly say that I don’t think I would ever wear this, but at the same time I think it’s pretty adorable. pink...

For the third and final look I came up with something I absolutely adore. It’s quirky, bright and so very, very me. Unlike the last outfit I would 100% wear this. I think it’s unusual, but not in a way that’s too weird or jarring.

I have to say, I love simple skirts like this. They are easy to wear, give lots of coordinating options and are quintessentially lolita. And, in this case, they are also pink, sweet and adorable ^__^

Saturday, 22 April 2017

How much have I spent on lolita?

There was a thread recently on CGL about how much you’ve spent on lolita, including most expensive item, best deal and the cost of your wardrobe overall. I don’t have much of note to say on the first, have already covered the second but the third point caught my interested so I sat down to do the maths. As a note, prices are inclusive of fees and shipping and are in AUD. And as another note, though I say “I’ve spent” there are gifts included in this: I didn’t personally spend every penny that was spent on my collection, in fact quite a few pieces were bought for me by my lovely boyfriend. Anyhow, with those two points covered…

I don’t tend to track prices, but I know I tend to buy cheaply. Therefore I’m assuming each dress, skirt, blouse and piece of outerwear cost an average of $60. I have 11 pieces of outerwear, 19 blouses and cutsews and 24 main pieces for a total of $3240. Then I would add an extra $250 each for Anniversary Rose and my Lyris Design JSK as those were the two most expensive items, so we are now up to $3740.

My two priciest lolita dresses.

I would count shoes, petticoats and my fawn fur collection as costing $50 per item and respectively I have 18, 3 and 6 which brings the total here to $1350.

Brand OTKS I would average out to being $20 a pair and I have 22, so add $440. Offbrand legwear I’ll factor in at $5 a pop and I have somewhere around 33 pairs (though I’m not 100% sure how many pairs of ankle socks I own, since I wear them pretty regularly) so that adds another $165. So my legwear total is $605.

I love pretty socks!

Headwear I’m going to count as $5 a piece so 83 pieces brings that total to $425, and then the bulk bows were around $50, so the final count here is $475.

In miscellaneous items I have 6 pairs of wristcuffs at $10 each for a total of $60, 2 pairs of bloomers that probably cost $30 combined, as well as $20 worth of each AP and Rouge Aerie jewellery. All my other jewellery is not lolita-specific, though a lot can be used for it, so I’m not counting any of it. Then I also have 10 bags which had massively varying price points but let’s say an average of $30 each for a total of $300. So in miscellaneous items I have probably spent $430 overall.

A few of my accessories in a favourite colour scheme.

Combined, that brings my current lolita wardrobe to a nice, round, total cost of $6600, based off some perhaps slightly sketchy maths. For the sake of my “better safe than sorry” mind, let’s even round that up to $7000 to account for anything I may have forgotten to include and for things like shipping and fees that I may not have factored in correctly. For my international readers, that’s around $5400USD,  €5000 or ¥608,000 at the current exchange rate.

This was an interesting thing to do, because it really makes me think about the value of my wardrobe. I love it – I think I have a great, versatile collection which can suit a range of styles and occasions. Lolita has also brought me a lot of joy over the years, and will continue to do so. It’s given me a new creative outlet in the form of this blog, and has improved my grasp of fashion overall. I love lolita as a fashion, and I feel like having a 7K wardrobe after 5 years is pretty good. Yes, my wardrobe isn’t very impressive by brand standards but it is well curated and above all it’s exactly what I want.

Thinking of the value of my wardrobe makes me want to go a little further – I feel like I’ve probably bought and sold almost as many main pieces and blouses as I currently own, so let’s say I spent another $3000 over time and sold things for $2000 (or have them sitting in my to-sell pile, but let’s count that a sold). That’s another $1000 I’ve spent that isn’t present in my current wardrobe, so in 5 years I’ve spent $8000 on Lolita or an average of $1600 per year. That’s almost $135 per month which really, with the maths of my wardrobe, isn’t that much – it’s a blouse and a skirt, or a pair of shoes, two pairs of brand OTKS and a few offbrand accessories. Yes, that is still a lot of disposable income channelled into a fashion, but it’s not an excessive amount.

I was surprised by how much I've spent because on the one hand that's a lot of money, and on the other its not what I expected...though I'm honestly not too sure what I expected! But this was a good exercise to do, even though it is based on guesstimate maths so I could be out by quite a bit,. However, it seems pretty much right and I'm comfortable with having spent that amount on my wardrobe over the years.

Do you know how much you have spent on lolita in the time you've been in the fashion? Do you look at that amount and think it's big or not so much?