Saturday, 30 April 2016

Anniversary Rose outfits

In my latest outfit post, I mentioned that I'd put off doing a post with that skirt due to the difficulty I have with finding pieces that actually match. Well, that's exactly the same reason why I haven't done a post of Innocent World's Anniversary Rose outfits yet.

The above photo is pretty accurate colour-wise and as you can see the colours are vibrant, yet muted. I don't even know what you'd call the base colour, but it's not actually "beige" as per the colourway title. It's gorgeous but I find it tricky to do anything interesting with it. I did my best in the outfits below though!

First up I matched Innocent World with more Innocent World - I love this blouse and JSK combo! This is a very basic outfit but I would definitely wear it because there's a decent amount of detail going on in all the pieces.

 Next I tried something that's a bit of a Springtime approach, I think. I love my handmade bolero with this dress, and the light accessories stop the brown bolero from darkening it up too much.

Then I tried another Spring appropriate look, and this is probably my favourite out of all three! Even though at first glance you may look at this outfit and wonder why I didn't switch the brown shoe and headbow with the shoes and hair accessories in the previous look to me it's all about keeping the outfits overall light, but grounded. Since the JSK is theoretically light coloured, but is actually rather dark toned, I liked having a bit of brown in each outfit in order to not have the JSK being the darkest part of the outfit.

Do you have any pieces in your lolita wardrobe that you love, but find are a bit challenging to coordinate?

Monday, 25 April 2016

Lolita 52: What's in my makeup bag?

I don’t actually have a make-up bag…. I have a make-up crate! This is because I don’t tend to do make-up outside of photoshoots, and for photoshoots I do make-up both on myself and on other models, so “my” make-up collection is actually James and my combined stash.

However, for those rare occasions where I do a face of “everyday” makeup, this is the tiny selection of products that I use and that are the only things that I keep in our bathroom cabinet rather than in the crate.

Eyeshadow crayons, liquid foundation, BB cream, powder foundation
Eyeliners, mascara and brow liner, lip glosses
I forgot to put out my blush palette... 

My regular make-up is quite simple – BB cream, a bit of blush, a tiny bit of eyeliner and mascara, and filling in my eyebrows. If I’m feeling a bit fancier I add lip gloss (though I tend to eat it off and don’t like reapplying throughout the day so it’s kind of pointless), winged eyeliner to the best of my ability and a bit of eyeshadow. And if I'm feeling very fancy, some super basic eyeshadow too.

I am not very concerned with brands with make-up, the few things where I care are in the lip glosses and powder foundation because I really like those particular ones. But things like eyeliner I've always found to be fairly interchangeable, so I just buy what's cheap.

And, as you can probably guess by the above picture of half the colours in my favourite eyeshadow palette, my “irregular” make up for photoshoots and big events (if I ever went to any, that is) can be quite dramatic if I choose. So there you have it, that’s my make-up collection!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Flowers and cream; or, L173 outfits

I still don't know what order the "or" is mean to be in in the sentence type of my title. Does the "or" come before the semicolon? Grammar is hard, people, especially when you're like me and prefer to get it right.

Anyhow, we're not here to talk about grammar, we're here to talk about clothes! I'd been putting off doing one of these "three outfits" posts with my Bodyline L173 skirt because I find the colours of the flowers hard to match and in lolita I like to match!

But I did it, and found I really loved the results! By not fretting too much over having something that properly matched and instead trying to make sure outfits coordinated well I was able to come up with outfits that were not only nice, but also very distinct.

Firstly, since the flowers on the skirt are quite dark in places, I tried coordinating with wine red. I rally like how vibrant this outfit is, though on reflection I feel I should have switched the peach coloured shoes for a cream pair or alternatively added a peach flower to the hair accessories or on the bow of the collar. But still, I really like this look, it's very rich and a bit unusual as it minimises the floral theme that I would otherwise run with.

Did I mention running with the floral theme? This blouse and shoe combo match the flowers in the print really well, and bringing in some brown mutes it down to something I'd actually wear. The hairpiece I made myself with this skirt in mind, and this outfit seemed to be the best one to wear it with.

Lastly I decided to really throw the idea of matching colours properly out he window and made a summery outfit with lots of different shades of pink. And it works surprisingly well!

Also, as a final note I don't know how obvious it is but I've finally started using my proper camera for blog photos. I was getting progressively more annoyed at the quality of my phone photos so I decided my blog deserved proper photos, and I am so glad I made the change.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Have I discovered the perfect lolita wardrobe formula?

When recently starting to do some posts in the Wardrobe Challenge series again I found myself looking at main pieces and, for example, headwear and going "well, there's two different options so that's fine" which led me to a thought and now, an experiment.

The thought: That perhaps the perfect way to build up a lolita wardrobe is to ensure that every main pieces has two of everything (tops, shoes, legwear and headwear - again I'm not touching accessories because that's really more a personal taste thing, and I think one or two neutral bags are all you really need) and if that number is met, all will be well.

The experiment: Just as it sounds - giving that a go! I didn't test this idea before writing the post, I'm literally writing this on the fly so let's see how well it works!

First up, I selected five main pieces by website hopping and saving pieces I liked. I deliberately didn't chose my main pieces with the intention of creating a cohesive wardrobe though things did end up matching somewhat which I think shows my personal preference a bit! The only thing I did was make sure I had one OP and one skirt in the mix, because I naturally tend so dominantly towards JSKs and I wanted to give this theory a proper test.

Above are the main pieces I decided to work with, and work with "chronologically" - meaning I picked complementary items for the Meta strawberry JSK first, then the AP mint affair next and so on. As I went through the pieces in this way if I already had something that matched, I'd use it as one of the two items in each category.

I put together outfit collages to illustrate my selected pieces to go with each main piece, so here we go!

I really treated this JSK as if it was the first lolita thing I'd bought, what with the matchy-matchy headwear options. The first two outfits display all of the clothing options, while the third shows an additional outfit made from those pieces. So far, this theory of having two of everything to match a main piece is working - if this is all you have in a lolita wardrobe you'd still get a few different looking outfits.

Now here on main piece number two I've discovered a proviso of sorts, or a clarification if you will. By "two of everything" when building from scratch I think I mean the makings of two distinct outfits - as you can see when using a non-print piece what you decide "goes" can really be anything rather than having to draw from the print. However, in an established wardrobe when you're just looking for gaps or ways to improve I still think checking that you have at least two of everything to go with each main piece is definitely the way to go.

As you can see, I re-used the white blouse and boots from the first main piece, but still added lots of of new pieces to mix and match with and the brown is definitely taking it in a very distinctive direction.

Working with main piece number three the first outfit introduces all new supplementary pieces, while outfit two I've re-used the blouse and shoes introduced to go with the AP JSK. At this point, if forced, I could have re-used some of the pink pieces that went with the first main piece, but I felt that was less of an obvious match and more of an experimental look so I chose to have new pieces instead.

That decision was a bit challenging for me, as I try to be a very versatile "use everything with as much as you can" person but I really wanted to test this idea of having two distinct outfits worth of clothing per main piece and test it properly.

This Bodyline OP is in the same colour-scheme at the previous skirt, but as it's an OP I introduced to new outerwear options. Again, what I said above about potentially incorporating the existing pink pieces applies. They would match, but not well enough for me to want to use them. Besides, I already re-used both legwear options from the IW skirt as well as a pair of shoes and a hairpiece so there's is comparatively little "new" being added with this main piece.

Lastly I just fell for this old-school Baby JSK and had to include it. As it's a different colour altogether than anything else, nearly everything that makes up the two outfits. Also, just putting it out there that I know the blues don't match perfectly but let's just pretend they do, alright? This is theory testing, not perfect colour matching!

So those are all the pieces I added while working chronologically on the idea of having two distinct outfits worth of complementary items for each main piece. I've collaged them all together below.

Oddly enough, I ended up with seven each of tops, legwear and shoes as well as nine headwear options for the five main pieces. Given that I'm all of having more complementary pieces than main pieces that works well with my usual approaches to wardrobe building.

And as you can see below, once the whole wardrobe is made up, there are even more coordination options for each main piece - some of which are more experimental and some of which are just different from what I initially chose to run with. And I could make more - for example mint and brown with the strawberry JSK would be adorable, and the IW skirt and Bodyline OP are so similar colour-wise that anything that work with one main piece will work with the other.

Overall, building a hypothetical wardrobe in this way had me arrive at a different place to where I would have if I sat down with the five main pieces in mind from the start and came up with pieces that would complement all of them. One example of this is that if I knew exactly where the wardrobe was going when I started I would probably have not included the pink shoes to go with the Meta JSK, as the white shoes are a more versatile option. Similarly, I would probably have chosen less but more neutral headwear options. However, the end results are largely the same so I can make my concluding statement:

When building a lolita wardrobe if you ensure that you have enough complementary pieces to make two distinct outfits with each main piece, you will be able to develop a well-rounded and versatile wardrobe even if you don't stick to a colour scheme or plan your wardrobe in advance. Of course, sticking to a general main style or colour scheme helps with this, but it is not essential. Similarly, if you're trying to refine an existing wardrobe, ensuring that you have at least two of each clothing type to match a main piece helps you get the most out of your wardrobe.

What do you think? Does this seem to be the perfect lolita wardrobe formula I think it is?

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Cosplay plans and recent modelling

As you may or may not no, lolita is only one of my hobbies. I also do a range of modelling and used to do photography as well. Back in the day I shared those things on this blog but have since decided to streamline this into a more lolita-centric affair.

However, I'm embarking on yet another creative hobby so I thought this was a good time to share a little of what I do outside lolita. What new hobby, you ask? Cosplay, I say... and I'm pretty sure everyone saw that coming. After lots of "I'll do it someday" I've finally started working on a cosplay of the titular character of one of my all time favourite books, Sabriel by Garth Nix.

I'll be posting progress shots and such to my facebook page as I work on this cosplay and who know? I may delve deeper into the cosplay world afterwards ^__^

And I figure while I'm posting about non-lolita stuff I should share two of my favourite modelling shots from this year. Both photos are by The Enthusiast (as well as the steampunk rifle) and my hair in the steampunk shoot was done by Natalie Szymczak (the talented lady who illustrated the print for Jurassic Party).

So yeah. That's a little bit of me outside of lolita. I still intend to keep this blog mostly about lolita so if you're interested in seeing my modelling and cosplay, please like my facebook page.

And if you also have a facebook page, lolita or otherwise, please share it with me in the comments because I'd love to check it out!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Wardrobe Challenge: Blue (da-bo-dee-da-bo-di)

Another day, another wardrobe and man, the universe is really wanting me to embrace navy these days! Though this wardrobe, belonging to a girl I'm going to nickname Karen for ease of reference, is really more "lots of blue" than actually navy but still, it all counts.

Above is what she already has, and she mentioned that as she is tall she tends to rely on off-brand or custom blouses for sleeve lengths, and that she is interested in working in some red. She also has an underskirt, but I haven't included that because underskirts feel more like a necessary but personal thing to me, if that makes sense - it's something that in the case of a tall lolita is something that is purchased and used based on need, not style. I will also mention that the white blouse with detachable sleeves is not the correct one, just one I grabbed for the purposes of this post.

And here we have the items I suggest adding - mostly these work towards bringing in more colour options to give a greater range of looks. The IW bolero would probably be too short in the sleeves, but places like Lady Sloth or Glitter Tale could no doubt make something very similar. As a somewhat tall-ish loltia myself (and also fat-ish, which does affect this) I've found both IW and Meta OTKs to be very forgiving in terms of stretch so I think the ones I've suggested would work, They are also kind of generic patterns that would still look nice if stretched height wise beyond what was originally intended. Even fancy tights in these colours would be good options - as always my suggestions are for types of items, not necessarily the exact ones I used.

This first run of outfits are pretty straightforward, but all rather nice. I adore unberbust cuts - they really allow you to show of blouse details. And of course, this is a print-less JSK and I really don't need to repeat how much I love solids.

This JSK image is photoshopped from the OP from the same series and in real life does not have the wait bow and does have more substantial straps. With the understated print and muted colours it's an easy piece to style from casual to almost OTT.

I fell in love with this JSK, even though it's not something I'd ever really wear myself. The print just makes it so much fun to work with! I have to say, out of the outfits about the centre one is my absolute favourite.

This JSK I was already in love with. The lace! The colour! The overall gorgeousness!

I'll admit that I had a little trouble with this JSK. It's the odd one out in this wardrobe so I didn't want to add pieces that only match it but that left me in a position where I'm not 100% sure about the outfits I came up with. The centre on definitely works, but the other two may be too classic for such a sweet dress. Honestly, unless Karen is intending to add more sweet to their wardrobe or particularly loves this dress I'd perhaps suggest selling it.

Another piece that I fell head-over-heels for! I've really got to get myself a stained glass piece someday - due to all the colours in the print they are always very easy to coordinate in a number of different ways.

I encountered this OP in two previous wardrobes, and as always it's not my favourite piece to coord. However, Karen's existing wardrobe pieces yielded some nice outfits possibilities as did my new additions in the centre coord.

I found this OP to be ridiculously adorable! And also easy to coord. Not much else to say, really.

And lastly we have this OP, another bane of my Wardrobe Challenge existence. I've found when having to work with this before, and found again here, that this dress is utterly gorgeous on it's own but surprising hard to do anything interesting with. But I did try, and honestly Karen's blue shoes are the most awesome match to this OP I've ever seen.

So that concludes my most recent wardrobe analysis and round of suggestions. As I said in my last Wardrobe Challenge post I am quite happy to take a look at wardrobes with less than 20 main pieces again, just due to now being gainfully employed it may take me a while to actually post about it. So if you'd like to me to take a look at your wardrobe, please comment below or message me on my facebook page.