Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A Complete Gothic Lolita Wardrobe for Under $500.

After running through hypothetical budget wardrobes for sweet and classic, the logical next step was a gothic lolita version, so here we have it, using the same basic guidelines to make a fairly complete and versatile wardrobe for $500.

However, before I go any further, I do want to say that I’m not a huge fan of the monochrome. So this wardrobe has a fair bit more colour in it than what the stereotype of gothic lolita would imply. I chose to incorporate royal blue with the black instead of the more typical red or white because that’s the signature Moitie colour scheme, so using the same colours is a way to take an influence from one of the big brands without necessarily using any of their pieces. However, the blue items can all be purchased in all-black versions, so just picture that if this is too colourful to fit your particular vision of gothic lolita.


The wardrobe consists of the following items:

1 OP, 1 JSK and 1 Skirt:
Normally I suggest having one of these in a plain colour, with the other two being in a patterned or printed fabric, preferably with one being more elaborate than the other. However, given the largely monochromatic nature of the gothic substyle, it’s not so easy here to depend on a cute border print or a vintage floral to get your different patterns. So here I’ve gone for an all-black chiffon onepiece [$53] which can be easily dressed up or down, a blue with black detailing JSK [$67] and a rather fancy black skirt with embroidered details [$40], all from Bodyline.
1 Neutral Blouse with Detachable Sleeves:
There are two keywords to remember here – neutral and detachable. To get the most bang for your buck this is the best way to go for a blouse. Bodyline has a nice black blouse [$47] which also has a detachable jabot, giving even more versatility.
1 Contrasting Blouse or Cutsew:
This piece is to add versatility to the wardrobe, so I went with both a different colour and a different fabric. The combination of being both blue and made of nice satin makes this F+F blouse [$45] a definite statement piece.
2 Outerwear:
Though these are terribly unspecific terms, I think having something “structured” and something “pretty” are two good choices for outerwear such as, for example, a full coat and a light bolero, or a military style jacket and a ruffled cardigan. Both my outerwear choices are from F+F; an elegant bolero [$38] and a fantastic military style vest [$58] that I have totally and utterly fallen in love with. So maybe it’s not the most gothic thing out there. I don’t care, it’s gorgeous!!
2 Headpieces:
Something unquestionably lolita, either a headbow or a rectangle headdress if you like the old school look, and something else that suits your personal style – a floral crown, a full sized hat, a miniature hat, a beret, whatever. I feel like gothic is a style where you can got a bit more old school with a rectangle headdress, here from Bodyline [$7], and a bit more artsy with a floral headband [$28] from an etsy seller that I can't find a link to any more - if you know who this comes from please let me know so I can credit them!
2 Pairs of Shoes:
You could get away with just one pair of incredibly style neutral shoes but having two different pairs makes a wardrobe that much more complete. I’m a huge shoe person so I know I’m biased here but I really don’t think you can be totally stylish with only one pair of shoes. Both from Bodyline, the kitten heels [$40] are the more elegant option while the strappy platforms [$40] are the more typically Western gothic style of shoe.
5 Items of Legwear:
Like shoes, socks and tights are one of those things I never think you can have too many of. But for the purposes of keeping versatility while limiting amounts I think you need two pairs of stockings, one that’s a solid colour and one that’s either patterned or printed. Then there are three pairs of socks – plain neutral OTKs, a more interesting pair of knees highs and a pair of ankle socks. With these selections you’ll have something for your legs from the height of summer to the depths of winter. All the socks pictured are from Bodyline; black OTKs [$9], blue OTKs [$7] and black ankle socks [$1]. Both pairs of tights are from eBay, lacy thigh highs [$8] and a plain black pair [$4].
1 Petticoat:
I haven’t put a picture of a petticoat in the collage because really, there’s no need to. There are also lots of differently shaped and priced petticoats, so I’m factoring it into this equation the petticoat as costing $50.
Total Cost: $478
Yay! Under budget! I’d probably invest in a headbow if I were actually purchasing this wardrobe, and some black flowers to clip in the hair ^__^

You will note I’ve left out accessories, jewellery and purses from this list. Most ladies will already have a collection and also, in particular with gothic lolita, there are a few different routes one can take from spikes to bats to crosses to skulls, from classical loveliness to uber gothic-ness, and even though the choice of such items can really alter the vibe of an outfit, I never want to suggest a particular route for such things.

On to the seven sample outfits!

Contrasting the soft chiffon with more structured pieces.

Simple and elegant.

A very simple kuro coord with a bit of an old school vibe.

A very richly blue outfit with lots of black detailing.

This is elegant gothic lolita, what more is there to say?

An almost sweet outfit, perfect for summer.

There's a lot of subtle texturing in this outfit. Yup.

And there you have it, a workable gothic lolita wardrobe that isn't just black, black and more black. If you have a lolita substyle you'd like to see me work up a hypothetical wardrobe for, leave a comment and let me know!

Two quick endnotes on pricing:
Firstly, all the prices here are exclusive of shipping. Lastly, Bodyline tends to change prices seemingly on a whim, so today’s cheap dress may be tomorrow’s abuse on the wallet. You have been warned ^__^

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Things I Don't Have In my Wardrobe #2: Animal Prints

According to InStyle, the second of ten items every woman should have in her wardrobe is a leopard print scarf. No kidding. Let's get past the fact of what the hell is an animal print doing on a chiffon scarf and get on with the shameful revelation that I have not a single piece of animal print in my wardrobe. Nary a shoe nor a handbag. Nothing.

Choosing to exclude animal prints was never really a conscious choice, they've just never appealed to me. They always seem a little tacky, regardless of how well done they are. I think my main beef is when a pattern like leopard print, that in it's natural state is on the fur of a majestic, powerfully muscled creature, is rendered effeminate and plastered on patent leather shoes and the aforementioned chiffon scarf. When we have so many lovely patterns to choose from [paisley anyone?] it seems a little odd to me to put a fur pattern on a non-fur item.

Almost ironically I love fur, both faux and real - provided I know the real fur is ethically obtained. Or perhaps not so ironic - when you can have the real [or faux, but good faux, realistic stuff] why would you want anything else? One of my favourite accessories at the moment are my Peacockalorum fawn fur collars ^__^

So what kind of patterns does a gal with no taste for animal prints go for? For me in clothing items, I depend on stripes, plaids and prints for patterns.


And as for shoes, I generally prefer details over patterning of any kind. Except for my comic book heels and my pink plaid wedges. They are my babies, and I love them.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A Complete Classic Lolita Wardrobe for [just over] $500

So a little ways ago I made this post, outlining one way you could buy a complete sweet lolita wardrobe for under $500, with the definition of complete being that you could wear a pretty unique outfit every day for a week. I love hypothetical wardrobes, so I undertook to do the same thing, using the same guidelines, to make a classic lolita wardrobe, and here we have it!


 The wardrobe consists of the following items:

1 OP, 1 JSK and 1 Skirt:
I’m lumping all these together because, though it doesn’t matter which is which, I think you need to have one of these in a plain colour, and the other two should feature a patterned or printed fabric, preferably with one being more elaborate than the other. Here I’ve used all F+F pieces; a solid red OP [$75], a floral striped JSK [$80] and a rather fancy skirt [$40].
1 Neutral Blouse with Detachable Sleeves:
There are two keywords to remember here – neutral and detachable. To get the most bang for your buck this is the best way to go for a blouse. I found the perfect off-white blouse with detachable sleeves on Bodyline [$47] and it even has a detachable jabot for even more options!
1 Contrasting Blouse or Cutsew:
This piece is to add versatility to the wardrobe, but I had real trouble finding something that would fit within the budget! So instead of going for a different solid colour, I went for a cute blouse with brown detailing [$40] from Infanta.
2 Outerwear:
Though these are terribly unspecific terms, I think having something “structured” and something “pretty” are two good choices for outerwear such as, for example, a full coat and a light bolero, or a military style jacket and a ruffled cardigan. Both my outerwear choices are from Bodyline; a more structured yet cute red sailor jacket [$27] and a more elegant white bolero [$20].
2 Headpieces:
Something unquestionably lolita, either a headbow or a rectangle headdress if you like the old school look, and something else that suits your personal style – a floral crown, a full sized hat, a miniature hat, a beret, whatever. The cream Bodyline bow [$7] is the typical headbow, and the gorgeous bonnet [$22] from F+F is actually of the same fabric as the JSK.
2 Pairs of Shoes:
You could get away with just one pair of incredibly style neutral shoes but having two different pairs makes a wardrobe that much more complete. I’m a huge shoe person so I know I’m biased here but I really don’t think you can be totally stylish with only one pair of shoes. Both from Bodyline the red kitten heels [$40] are the more elegant option while the brown shoes [$33] are cuter and more casual.
5 Items of Legwear:
Only five? Like shoes, socks and tights are one of those things I never think you can have too many of. But for the purposes of keeping versatility while limiting amounts I think you need two pairs of tights, one that’s a solid colour and one that’s either patterned or printed. Then there are three pairs of socks – plain neutral OTKs, a more interesting pair of knees highs and a pair of ankle socks. With these selections you’ll have something for your legs from the height of summer to the depths of winter. For the tights I chose are red pair from F+F [$6] and crochet tights from eBay [$9]. In classic lolita I consider brown to be a neutral colour, hence the F+F brown knee socks [$3]. The more interesting knee highs [$7] are from Secret Shop and the ankle socks [$1] are from Bodyline.
1 Petticoat:
I haven’t put a picture of a petticoat in the collage because really, there’s no need to. There are also lots of differently shaped and priced petticoats, so I’m factoring it into this equation the petticoat as costing $50.
Total Cost: $507
So we ended up slightly over budget...ooops. It would be easy to trim it back if we ditched the bonnet in favour of something like a red floral headdress, but the bonnet is just too perfect to pass up! I own it and love it ^_^

Again, I’ve deliberately left out accessories, jewellery and purses because most women already have these things, and I hate the thought of dictating what amount of accessories and what style of purse someone should have. Some things in fashion are personal ^__^

But enough rambling, here are a week’s worth of sample outfits.

Lots of red with gold and cream accents.

Country lolita! How cute would this be with a basket full of flowers for a photoshoot?

A fairly simple, lightweight outfit perfect for spring outings.

A warm and cozy coord.

Cute but with a fair amount of detail, this coord could be ver uversatile.

I would wear this. I would wear this so hard.

To my mind, the most elegant outfit of the lot, making use of a lot of different textures.

A few endnotes on pricing:
I deliberately avoided “buying” from Taobao via a shopping service for this list as different services charge different fees and I didn’t know which one to quote, so my Infanta and Secret Shop “purchases” came from Clobba. Also, all these listed prices are exclusive of shipping. Lastly, Bodyline tends to change prices seemingly on a whim, so today’s cheap dress may be tomorrow’s abuse on the wallet.