Friday, 17 October 2014

A Wardrobe Challenge: Adding Cohesion and Versatility

Well, that was a wanky title. Anyway, this post is a different one to usual. A few days ago on CGL an Anon was asking for jewellery suggestions because they were having trouble coming up with coords. Myself and several other people asked for pictures of their wardrobe contents, because it's hard to help when you're blind. The Anon posted up their wardrobe, sans headwear and legwear, and I went a little nuts...

If you've read my blog for a while you'll know I love coming up with wardrobes and outfits, and when I saw Anon's collection I immediately thought... you don't need jewellery, you need more blouses, shoes and main accessories! Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not big on jewellery at the best of times, so I couldn't give Anon much guidance in that regard. But I still wanted to play with their wardrobe and try to make what additions I thought could be useful, versatile and allow them to make a wider range of outfits.

In lolita, I feel that though jewellery can definitely add the finishing touches, as long as you have headwear, legwear and something on otherwise bare wrists, you will still look properly put together even without using any smaller accessories. So that's what I did here.

This is what Anon posted as their wardrobe, though they mentioned they did have assorted legwear and headwear as well. However I chose to include those pieces in my additions as well because I was trying to show examples of versatile pieces that they may be interested in getting regardless of what they already have.

And these are the pieces I think they should add to create a more cohesive wardrobe with what they have. Overall, I think you could get these pieces or similar for under $400 if you were on a budget. Everything is Bodyline, Taobao or fully offbrand, with the exceptions of some Peacockalorum wristcuffs, Ophanim tights, Metamorphose OTKs and the blouse from The Floral Notebook. Though I like the items I've picked, other pieces of similar style would have the same effect on rounding out Anon's wardrobe.

However, since Anon did ask specifically for jewellery ideas I will say that my main suggestion for her wardrobe and indeed any lolita wardrobe would be to get a basic set [necklace, bracelet, earrings and rings] in gold, silver and pearl in a neutral design. They would go with most outfits and add a bit of polish. If you're into sweet, like Anon obviously is a bit, getting a matching or at least cohesive set of plastic sweet jewellery in a generic design like bows in a colour that goes with your sweet wardrobe [in this case white with blue and pink accents] would also be a good idea.

As always with my wardrobe posts, I wanted to show these pieces in action and came up with three outfits for each of Anon's main pieces. Given the different lighting in all the stock photos, I can't be 100% sure if things would match in real life but I did my best, and I hope that overall this can still give some ideas of how to increase wardrobe cohesiveness.

This gingham Angelic Pretty OP is adorable, but like with most OPs it's difficult to coord in many different ways. I experimented with adding pink pieces for two different ultra-sweet looks, and also made a bit of an Alice inspired outfit... I jut love black shoes with sweet outfits! Another accessory that'd be great in the pink outfits would be a pink sash or belt to go around the waist to further tie in the pink accents.

I found this Angelic Pretty JSK really easy to coord. Pink was an obvious choice, but matching it with red and also with brown gave two very different looks beyond the obvious.

This Chess Story JSK came in a set with [and is pictured over] the OP below. It's hard to see here, but it has a delicate pattern of pink flowers and green leaves around the hem. I made two more sweet inspired looks, and one that was more classic.

Like the AP OP, this Chess Story OP was a bit difficult to coord uniquely. It's a gorgeous piece on it's own, so I left it simple for two outfits but tried something different by pairing it with red as well.

This Chess Story JSK is gorgeous, and definitely the most formal piece in Anon's wardrobe. I think these three outfits show the different ways you can work with a piece like this: with creams, with black and also a bit OTT. The final outfit I'd probably even wear without a blouse for a more hime look, maybe with a lace throw over the shoulders, but I wanted to keep everything simple and versatile.

When I first saw Anon's wardrobe, I felt like they had nothing to wear with this skirt. A white blouse and white tea parties just felt off to me, regardless of what legwear and headwear they wore it with. Pairing it with white and then again with black were the obvious choices and give it two very different feels: almost sweet and almost gothic.The outfit with red was an experiment, and I do think this is one case where smaller accessories are necessary as I think it needs a couple more hints of black to really tie it all together. 

Similarly, I felt like they didn't have much to match with this gorgeous Haenuli skirt. Personally, I'd love to bring lots more emerald green into the mix but in the interests of keeping things versatile in Anon's wardrobe all I added in the regard was the lovely headbow. The two coords with red are very similar, but I think all three outfits are sufficiently different to provide Anon with a bit of variety.

So there you have it. With the addition of two pairs of shoes, a bolero, a new blouse and a variety of main accessories that Anon may or may not already have, you have a much more cohesive wardrobe. If this were my wardrobe, I'd look into adding more accent colours after this, probably starting with a matching gold blouse and shoes for some really fancy coords.

Lastly... I really loved doing this, probably a little too much. So if you happen to be in a sticky spot wardrobe wise please let me know!

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