Sunday, 28 June 2015

Recent loliable finds

Recently I've felt the need for some retail therapy, but have still been trying to keep my actual expenditure low. So I turned to eBay (and later Kmart) to get my fix while not spending too much and since I'm pretty impressed by what I managed to find I thought I'd do a quick offbrand lolita haul post.


First up, my miscellaneous stuff from eBay: two collars, some pearl hair decorations and the same bag in three colours. I already had the faux fur collar in brown and thought that white would be a nice wardrobe addition. I may end up changing the ribbon to a white one but for now I like the contrast the black one has. The mori style lace collar is very pretty and it was only around two dollars so I couldn't resist getting it even though I'm not sure how much I'll use it. The hair decorations are the ones you stick into updos, which are going to be great for photoshoots and lolita alike.


And the bags. My goodness, the bags. The bags are so cute! I haven't used any of them yet but they seem quite sturdy for a cheap eBay bag and are just the right size for carrying around your phone, wallet and a couple of incidentals.


Also from eBay (and excuse the awful photo, my phone just couldn't cope with today's sunlight) were these two tops. Neither are brilliant, but they're not too bad either, and I'm hoping to work them into some more casual lolita looks. The only issue is the the green lace top is no finished on the hems, the lace has just been trimmed. But I'm thinking of getting some velvet ribbon or something and binding the edges, though I'm not sure how well that will go since the lace fabric is stretchy. We'll see, and if any of my readers have any tips for how to finish those edges advice would be very much appreciated!


Lastly, my finds from Kmart, and yet another photo where my phone just gave up. The pink t-shirt was exactly what I was looking for for casual lolita coords; the lace pattern makes it interesting but the overall cut is very simple. They have it in other colours and depending on how much use I think I'll get out of it I may go back and get more. The two-way flower clips I already have in two colours and decided to get in every other available colour. They're not the best quality, but they're cheap and give me more options. They'll be very good for bulking up hairstyles when mixed with my better quality clips from taobao.

So there you have my most recent lolita wardrobe additions! Do you have much offbrand in your lolita wardrobe?

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

I told you it was versatile; or, L348 outfits

After making outfits with my cherry skirt, I wanted to have a play with my newest JSK, Bodyline's L348 in black. I actually took all the photos for both posts at the same time, but am staggering the uploads because, you know, regularity and variety in posting it a good thing.


First up I just had to try an old-school coord, because that's what this dress is perfect for. And, it seems to be a great match for my offbrand shirred blouse that I love but had no idea how to coord. My photos in this post aren't that great because my phone goes a bit haywire working with lots of black, but for extra old-school points I'm using my giant Metamorphose raschel lace barrette with this outfit. 



Next I made a summery all-black outfit which I honestly don't have much to say about. It's cute  but it's not particularly interesting. I'd definitely wear it though, it'd be great for a day when I want to wear lolita but want it to be more toned down.


Lastly, I wanted to try some colour, and I didn't want to use red because red and black is such a typical combo and I wanted to be a bit more original than that. So out came my trusty bottle green things, and I actually rather like how it turned out. It's an unusual colour combo but I think it works, though I'd have to wear it to be sure.

I'm so, so glad to have a black JSK which has a good fit and that I'm actually looking forward to wearing. I've really been paying attention to details like that because in my wardrobe, if it's not right for me it doesn't get worn, and if it doesn't get worn what's the point in keeping it. So I'm in the process of phasing out things that are not my favourites and getting replacements that will hopefully prove to be favourites!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Lolita 52: 5 keywords that describe my personal lolita style

This was surprisingly hard to do, believe it or not, and I feel like someone reading my list of keywords would get a very different sense of my style than I mean them to. So I'm going to elaborate a bit about what I mean.

Simple

Lolita is not really a simple fashion, but by this I mean mostly that I don't accessorise much at all. The only jewellery I regularly wear [both in lolita and with regular clothes] is the silver bracelet James made me when we were first together. My outfits are very everyday, wearable things, except for photoshoots, but that's a different kettle of fish entirely.

I love the simple elegance of Innocent World's styling.

Colourful

I adore coloured blouses in lolita! And colourful dresses too. This also reflects a growing trend in all my clothing choices; if it can be colourful, it is. Neutrals are still great but colours make me so happy I'm trying to wear more of them regardless of what fashion style I'm in. Though my lolita collection is fairly standard at the moment nearly everything I'm hoping to add in the near-ish future is at least somewhat colourful.

Colourful and casual? Yes please! 
I need to figure out a good cutsew pattern...

Retro

With my love of berets and aforementioned tastes for simplicity and colour, sometimes I find my lolita style trends a bit to the retro side. And I love it! I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate some more 60s style elements into lolita. I suppose another way of saying this is that I'm looking to maybe start wearing lolita in a more otome way, but for now what I actually wear isn't otome at all but I do think there's a bit of a retro vibe there.

I'm cure I can use my cherry skirt for something cute and retro...

Cute

I'm a "cute" person overall, and that translates into lolita. I'm not "elegant" or "sexy" but damn am I cute. So I don't really wear particularly classy lolita coords and even when I do go more classic or gothic I still feel cute in them.

Shhh I just think this is a cute picture of myself ^__^

Natural

I don't wear make-up outside of photoshoots and special events. Ergo, I don't wear make-up with lolita. According to a lot of people, that's a big no-no but with my style being on the more casual side anyway I feel it works. I'm lucky in that I have clear skin and good features so I don't "need" make-up for my day-to-day life [as an aside, I hate the fact that women are made to feel they "need make-up", it's such a disgusting idea that women are inherently flawed and need physical improvement just to go out in public, ugh... though of course, if you wear make-up because you enjoy it or it makes you confident, that's great, but I hate the idea of "needing" it. /rant] and I also prefer simple hairstyles as well. I never curl or straighten my hair except for those same situations in which I'd be wearing make-up, so my go-to styles are just loose, which I love now that my hair is long, braids or buns. Sometimes I'll wear a clip-in fringe as well for a different look.

An everyday look featuring zero make-up, my glasses and minimal effort hair.

So those are the five keywords I'd pick to describe my lolita style. What words would you use for your own?

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Didn't you know, deer, that I'm fawned of antlers?

Yeah... I know it's not even funny, but I couldn't resist that oh-so-punny title.

Anyway, James and I recently did an awesome deer-lolita photoshoot! I wore one of my favourite Bodyline dresses with Innocent World socks, Axes Femme boots and, of course, a pair of antlers decorated with lots of flowers. The shots turned out great, and I wanted to quickly share my few favourites.


I was incredibly happy with how my make-up turned out. It was my first time doing this look, and my first time ever really doing anything costume-y at all. I was so proud I managed to do such a good job, and it didn't even take that long to do. I followed this youtube tutorial though I didn't do false lashes and had to change up some of the products she uses, because I don't own bronzer and my white eyeliner is awful. But I view make-up like cooking; substitutions according to circumstance are nearly always fine as long as you vaguely know what you are doing.


The park where we shot these is one of our most recent location finds, which we discovered via Jen of The Emerald Ruby who always has lovely photos that make me ask, with embarrassing frequency, "Where did you shoot that?"


I really loved the vibe we got on this shoot with the lens flare and everything, and if you want to see the rest of the shots they're up on both my facebook page and James's photography page.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Cherry outfits

Wow, am I good with titles. Much good. So creative. Wow.


Anyways, I recently put together some outfits with my handmade cherry skirt, and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. After I first made this skirt I thought it would be something with not many outfit options, but it turns out I was wrong. Sometimes it's good to be wrong ^__^


First up I tried the most un-obvious outfit I could think of; turning this quite sweet skirt a little classic. And I really like the result! Honestly I don't have much more to say on this outfit, except that it has really rekindled my love of the humble bustier. Without that, this outfit would not have the polish it does because it's really the bustier that makes it interesting.


Next I tried to coord it in the way I'm most likely to wear it, though to be completely honest I may not go with the socks in real life even though they do match quite nicely. This is a very simple outfit, which suits my tastes well, and it lets the skirt be the star of the show.


Lastly I wanted to try my hand at putting together a very typically sweet lolita outfit and I am in love with how it turned out! It's possibly too sweet for my tastes but I really want to try wearing this sometime. A black ribbon around the neck would help balance the colours a bit better and that's what I'll do if I ever do wear it. I really can't believe I came up with something this adorable! Maybe I sound overly excited but to me this is a quintessentially sweet look without relying on pastels and that makes me so pleased because I'm not really a pastel person but I do love sweet and now I've cracked the formula!

Making up these outfits was really satisfying and I was so pleased to find that I could work this skirt in multiple, and very different, ways. I think it's going to be a new contender for my favourite casual skirt when summer comes around again.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Review #38: Bodyline L348 (and socks)

Over time I had come to dislike the fit of my existing black JSK, so I thought I'd get myself a new one. So to Bodyline I went, because I wanted to still stick to my "under $50" budget rule.

I ended up deciding on L348 in the all black colourway in a 2L, and while I was on the website I decided to get some new black and white lace topped OTKs, since I'm not such a fan of UTKs any more and that's all I had till now. I made my order on the 19th of May, it was posted on the 25th and arrived on the 5th of June, which is fairly standard Bodyline airmail shipping time for me.


I'd read that L348 was one of Bodyline's better JSKs, and the design had really grown on me over time. I'll definitely agree that it's one of their better pieces; the lace is nice in an old-school way, the fabrics is a nice thickness and with all the ruffles it's definitely a piece with a lot of work in it and thus well worth the price tag, even if it's one of Bodyline's slightly pricier pieces. Something worth mentioning is that the straps are elasticised, which I didn't know until I received it; that's not a bad thing, but it's a feature that's not evident from the stock photos. The waist bow is detachable but the waist ties are not. As far as the measurements go I'd say it's accurate and can go a bit larger than what's specified as well. I'm really happy with it; it's cute and flattering and a great versatile piece.


Excuse the shoddy photo, my phone did not want to do a good job for me here but that's the dress and my new socks as well. There's not much to say on the socks; the lace is raschel and not particularly good quality but when it's on a sock of the same colour it's not that noticeable. Since I'm tall and chubby they're just barely OTKs but they have as much stretch as my Meta and IW OTKS so that's a me thing, not a them thing.

Overall I'm really happy with my newest wardrobe additions and I hope this review is helpful for anyone eyeing off L348.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Ten more blog post ideas for lolitas

I've had a few more ideas since sharing my post of fourteen blog post ideas for lolitas, so here we have another ten! Of course, even though both my lists exclude them, outfit posts, meet-up and event reports, hauls and clothing reviews are always great blogging material. These are just some more supplementary ideas for the times when you want to blog more, but aren't sure what to blog about.

1. Something that I see blogged about occasionally is "your ideal lolita ... " where the ellipsis can be "coordinate", "meet-up", "shop", "print idea" and so on and so forth. There's a lot of imagination and fantasy in lolita, I find, so why not share your daydreams about the prints you'd love to see of the shops you'd like to run or visit?

2. Again this isn't an idea I've come up with but it's something I think would be fun to do, and in fact it was a Lolita Blog Carnival topic once or twice, but coming up with coordinates for your favourite characters would be fun. For bonus points, take characters from literature rather than a visual medium, that way you don't have to conform to expected hairstyles, colour schemes etc.

I'm just going to leave this here... 
and perhaps make my own fandom outfits soon...

3. Share how you store your lolita clothes, or even just snapshots of your wardrobe. I for one love seeing lolita clothes all hung up together.

4. Try to make an outfit in the style of one of your lolita idols. Better yet, wear the outfit you came up with, do your hair and make-up like they do, and try to take an outfit photo like they would.

5. Write lolita fiction! I love the America's Next Top Lolita comic and think that if you have the time and creativity to tell lolita stories, why not go for it?

6. Tell you readers about your dream dresses. Perhaps make an initial post about the lolita things you'd love to have, then post again when you acquire pieces or change your mind; just keep your readers in your "dream dress" loop.

7. Share how you put coords together; do you start with a dress, a theme, or something else entirely? What inspires the choices you make when putting together an outfit? That's why I've loved the February Dress Me Up theme on EGL these past two years; it gives you some insight into how differently people can approach the same clothes. Sometimes I see outfits that work really nicely but I would have never, ever put those pieces together so it would be cool to see inside other people's heads when it comes to coording.


8. Teach us something! Write a tutorial for anything lolita-related you can do well from crafting to baking to photography to hairstyling and beyond.

9. I read this on someone else's blog, but for the life of me can't remember who! If you know, please tell me so I can credit them for this good idea. Which is; write the names of your main pieces on slip of paper, put them in a jar or hat or whatever, then do the same with either the colours your tops are or themes or something like that. Then pull a slip out of each jar and try to make it work!

10. Tell us about your strategy for wardrobe building; either what you did, or what you'd do if you were starting your wardrobe from scratch again.

Hypothetical wardrobes are my jam. This one can be found here.

I hope there are some useful ideas in here for my fellow lolita bloggers! If you have a lolita blog please leave a link in the comments so I can check it out ^__^

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Lolita 52: Why I wear lolita? and Why don't I wear lolita more often?

Since neither of these questions warrant particularly long answers I thought I'd combine them into a single, and still fairly short, post.

For the first question, why I wear lolita, can I be facetious and just answer this with "Why not"?

As I mentioned a bit in my Lolita 52 post about my lolita lifestyle I've always had a wardrobe segmented into normal or everyday clothes and my dress up clothes for when I felt like being more out there. Lolita is the first fashion style that I've loved enough to actually stick with as my dress up fashion. That's the short answer, really; I wear it because I like it.

My cat, however, doesn't like posing with me much ^__^

But, for the sake of a more bloggable answer, lolita makes me feel pretty in a way few normal clothes, even lovely ones, do. I think this is because lolita is not a sexy fashion, and most women's clothing is sexy to some extent. It's odd, because I'm a filthy-minded and quite open person but under most circumstances I don't like wearing sexy clothes. This is probably because I'm a cheerful, dweeby, practical, cute person who likes to be comfortable and a lot of mainstream women's clothes don't really suit that. Nor does lolita, but it gives me something for when I feel like dressing up that doesn't make me feel like I'm putting on a fake persona with it.

Also, as I've said before, lolita makes for good, easy photoshoot outfits!

And, also, having a petticoat on is like having a personal forcefield. It makes me feel powerful ^__^

As for the second question, why don't I wear lolita more often, the answer is kind of evident above as well; lolita is dress up clothes for me. I still consider it a fashion, but for me it's not one I'm interested in wearing everyday. Mostly I wear it to uni some days and when I'm going out somewhere and feel like it. But I don't go out much and uni is only 2-3 days a week for the duration of the semester so my opportunities are fairly limited. I do wear it a lot for photoshoots too, which is great, but overall my lifestyle doesn't really suit lolita that well and I'm not willing to force myself into impractical clothes just for the sake of it; and by wearing lolita only when it feels right and not trying to force it as an everyday fashion means that wearing it is always fun and special for me.


Besides, wearing my blue velour tracksuit [and the similarly comfortable things that comprise a lot of my lazy-day clothes, I do love my colourful work-out wear] is special and fun in it's own way. After all, it's real velour...


Monday, 1 June 2015

June Goals

I used to use this blog for more personal posts as well as lolita, and I'm going to start doing that again a little because James and I are starting on a fitness bonanza as of today and I want to publicly record my progress because I think it keeps me a bit more accountable. I know for a fact I'm better at making healthy meals if I instagram them! So I figure a monthly re-cap of my achievements in the health-and-fitness world would probably be good as well. As I go on I may talk about my other goals, such as writing, but for now it's fitness time!

Mixed baked veges, one of my new-found favourites.

We laid some of the groundwork for the upcoming bonanza this last month. At the end of April we revamped our diet to focus on basically making sure we ate vegetables with every meal, and lots of them. It was great. I learned to adore eggs and baked cauliflower. Part of this was also swearing off fast food, which we did successfully and don't even miss. I also did push-ups and leg-lifts every day for three and a half weeks, upping how many I did by one each day. I only missed three days and went from being able to do one pathetic push-up to doing ten with good form in a set, which was a great improvement.

But I've been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, paired with the end of uni semester assignment rush, so we slipped up a bit on diet and I stopped my daily exercises. Still, it was a good start and now we're going into our bonanza. 

I'm a funny person in that sometimes I need to take things slow and sometimes I need to go all-or-nothing, and our bonanza is going to be more of the latter. I'm aiming to do two each of leg day and arm day at the gym as well as going swimming twice a week. Diet-wise, we're going to basically go Paleo-ish [but with dairy!] six days a week and on Sunday, which is rest day, have a cheat meal/entire cheat day. Though I need to figure another term for it, because I hate the term "cheat" in regards to food and the implications it carries. We're also going to plan a week's worth of meals ahead and buy only what we need for it. I think this is going to work better for us than meal prepping did. Doing a big prep was great, but it just wasn't for us in the long run. I found I got to bored with the food and wanted fresh things instead of microwaved things.

This is going to be a pretty abrupt shift in both diet and exercise habits for me, but I think it'll be good. I've been down lately, and my increased size has not helped. I want to be fit and strong and be able to easily fit my lolita clothes and do all kinds of epic photoshoots that I'm not comfortable modelling for now.

Swimming is on the agenda for a reason... I have a mermaid tail ^__^
Like, I actually do, I just never blogged about it.
Need to learn to swim in a monofin and then do cool photoshoots!

Basically, the goal of the two month long bonanza is to get some good habits underway before the next uni semester starts in two months and also in the process lose 8cm off my current bust and waist measurements [my hips don't ever want to go away, so I ignore them]. Given that my diet is currently not very good and my exercise is minimal, I don't think this is too much of a stretch. I'm not being too concerned about my weight, though I do want that to go down as well, because that will follow naturally. I've always felt measurements are a better thing to go off than weight because so many things can throw off the number on the scale. And I'm not just going to do two months then stop; I'm doing two months then evaluating my progress and my methods.

Left is current, right is goals for the end of July.

The thing I'm trying to keep in the front of my mind is that I've done this before. My typical measurements since my late teens was 102/82 on the bust/waist and at the beginning of last year I had gotten down to a 93/75. So this is achievable; I just want to achieve it in a more holistic, prepared way this time. Last time I tried getting fit I was jumping from idea to idea and I was definitely getting fitter [I could even do a pull-up, which is a goal I'm working towards achieving again] but as soon as life threw me a curveball I lost momentum and found it very hard to get it going again. This time I have what I think is a manageable but challenging plan and I'm committing to it for the next two months and then I'll go from there.

So at the start of every month, at least for a while, you're going to get one of these posts from me. I'll put my updated weight and measurements down and recap my achievements over the month. But don't worry! Most of my posts will still be about lolita ^__^

Current Specs:
Bust: 104
Waist: 87
Hips: 120
Weight: 91.5

May Achievements:
1. Maintained almost daily exercises for over three weeks. Wasn't perfect or what I was completely aiming for but it was the first time I'd sustained momentum like that for a long time.
2. Can now do ten push ups [proper full ones, that is] in a row with good form, which is way up from one with bad form.
3. Did not have fast food at all.