Tuesday, 29 November 2016

By name and by nature; Handmade cherry skirt outfits

My honest to goodness real surname is Cherry, so ages ago I bought the last of a roll of this satin cherry fabric when it went on sale super cheaply at my local fabric store. Eventually I made a lolita skirt from some of it, and it's been one of my most worn lolita items... though to be honest, most of the time I wear it casually, outside of lolita so I'm not sure if that counts!

I know satin is not generally thought too well of in the realm of handmade lolita but I love this skirt to pieces, and part of that is because the satin gives it an extra something. I don't tend to have much fabric variation in my lolita wardrobe, most everything is good old cotton or cotton blends, so this is a nice change of pace.

For my first outfit I wanted to do something light and bright with one of my new red custews, and I think it turned out very cute! I left legwear out because this would be worn with either black tights or black ankle socks, both of which don't look too good in flat lays. In a way, this is a bit more otome than lolita almost, but regardless of who you categorise it I would certainly wear it!

Next, I tried something different by coordinating the skirt with my lemon and cherry Meta OTKS. I think this still needs a little tweaking to be perfect, but I love the unexpected direction of adding pink (and lemons!) to the mix.

Then for my final look I went casual again, but a bit more of a layered casual and I think this is my favourite look of the three. Like the first outfit, I would definitely wear this out and about. It's distinctly lolita, but still fairly casual... just the way I tend to like it!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Another lolita capsule wardrobe

What can I say, when I like a thing I tend to stick with it for a while. So, shortly after having put together my hypothetical Project 333 inspired lolita capsule wardrobe, I immediately thought about how I could possibly improve it. Mostly, though I am a huge fan of having more options than main pieces in small lolita wardrobes, I wanted to try putting one together with a wider selection of main pieces. Then, because that's not challenge enough, I wanted to put something together that was more thematically varied as well.

So, below is the wardrobe I devised. I really tried to stretch myself both aesthetically and colour-wise here, and to make it less matchy-matchy than the first hypothetical capsule wardrobe.

As you can see we're spanning religious themes, a floral piece, a harlequin chess-piece JSK, whatever you classify Dim Light as, as well as having a few different solid pieces. Burgundy is decidedly the dominant colour, but instead of running with a more easily neutral burgundy/off-white/brown colour scheme I also added black piece to really add some different looks to the wardrobe, which I think make it more realistic, in a way. Yes, it would have been a lot easier to run with brown (or maybe even pink) but using black as well give the hypothetical wearer a lot more actual variety. You can pull almost gothic outfits from this wardrobe, as well as almost sweet ones, which you wouldn't have been able to if I'd kept it in a more cohesive, 100% classic colour scheme. is very burgundy! So all in all I'm not sure how successful this attempt at versatility was - it's certainly thematically versatile, but not so much in colours. But if this was for a person who has a favourite colour in burgundy, or who looks best in that colour, that would not be a problem. Personally, I'd rather limited themes with more varied colours but it was good to experiment with trying to get as many different prints and patterns in there as possible!

Of course, no hypothetical wardrobe from me is complete without example outfits, so here we go.

I actually really adore this JSK, it's really a piece that you can dress up or down...though I don't think you can ever make it casual! Though these four outfits are all distinctly in the same colour scheme I think they all convey different aesthetics.

Spoiler alert; the coord on the bottom left is the only outfit where I pair a burgundy main piece with black. I thought it worked here, but not really anywhere else. I really love Dim's such a lovely print and this cut in particular is so very dramatic.

Antique Bouquet is another Meta print I love, and can be worn in a few different ways in this wardrobe. Not much more to say about these outfits, really, except that I would wear each and every one of them!

And here we see how this wardrobe can produce some very different outfits! I would say that the top right outfit is quite gothic, bottom left is gothic-sweet (if there is such a thing). while the other two are firmly classic.

Again, the second black JSK gives the hypothetical wardrobe wearer some more versatile options as this JSK is firmly classic, but a rather cute classic, and that is reflected in the different aesthetics of these example outfits.

The sole skirt of this wardrobe is simple black, which I felt allowed for a range of looks from old-school-esque almost sweet to classic to kuro.

This OP is adorable, and though it is a solid colour, sailor lolita is very distinctive! This particular dress, I felt, could be styled in simpler, cuter ways and also in rather more opulent classic looks.

Lastly, the second OP in this wardrobe is a very, very, very obviously themed piece. I found it the hardest to coordinate, but given that this is more of a special occasion piece anyway, that's not necessarily too much of a bad thing.

Lastly, I threw together a couple of coordinates with the coat, because I didn't use it in any of the outfits because,'s a coat. It's just there to go over things when it's very cold, but I thought it deserved a couple of outfits as well.

So there we have it, my second hypothetical Project 333 inspired lolita capsule wardrobe. To be completely honest, I don't like this one as much as the first. however, it was good to stretch myself and try an approach to this that is not my favoured way.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Lolita 52: My best deal

Oh, this one is a bit of a challenge! Mostly because there’s a few ways you could define “best deal” so I think I really have two answers.

First of all, if you define best deal as something along the lines of price-per-wear I’d have to say that Bodyline's L279, that gorgeous floral brown velvet OP, is my best deal because it was cheap when I bought it and it’s probably one of my most worn lolita pieces. I think that’s because you can dress it up in a very lolita way, or you can tone it down and it just looks like a vintage dress so you pass under the normie radar. So it’s a good option if I want to wear something cute but not too attention grabbing.

Then, another possible definition of best deal is the item bought at the greatest reduction based on its original retail price. In that definition it is probably my short-sleeved black Baby bolero, but I can't identify it and thus can't track down it's original price. Though given that it cost me 900 yen I think it's safe to say that is my best deal. However two other items were very good deals, the Innocent World French Lace Bolero and Metamorphose Patisserie Dream skirt at only 23% and 19% of their original retail prices respectively.

Of course, you have to factor in shipping and shopping service fees but still! I've managed to get some pretty good deals of Yahoo Japan. And that's not even to mention all the OTKS I've bought at even bigger discounts compared to their original prices.

What’s one of the best deals in your lolita wardrobe?

Monday, 14 November 2016

A perennial classic; Shirring Princess outfits

As my regular readers know, I recently got my hands on a JSK I consider one of the quintessentially recognisable lolita pieces; Shirring Princess by Baby, the Stars Shine Bright in the black x white colourway.

The lace in particular is something I adore on this dress...just look at it! The dress overall also has a balance between casual and dressy that I like; the materials and construction and fairly simple, but the bustle back and layers of lace mean it could also be rather elegant if coordinated right.

And, speaking of coordinating this JSK...

First up, I put together something that immediately made me fall head over heels in love. How cute is this? I honestly am so keen to wear this sometime, it's just so me! I really don't have more to say.

Next, I wanted to try bringing in some colour, and decided on pink with hints of red. I feel this really needs a pink and red belt to tie the colours in better, or alternatively instead of a pink blouse, a pink bolero. However, given that I don't own any of those items I did what I could and even though I'm not 100% happy with the outcome I enjoyed stretching myself a bit with this.

Lastly, I ran with something of an updated old-school look; same items as a stereotypical old school look, same colour scheme but some slight differences such as a the blouse being chiffon and the headwear being a lacemonster bow rather than a rectangle headdress.

Do you have a piece in your lolita wardrobe that you consider to be a lolita classic?

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Lolita 52: Impulse buys that were totally worth it; and, Wardrobe blunders! Things I bought that I ended up regretting

I am once again lumping two of the Lolita 52 topics together as I don’t really have much to say on either. Though a few of my lolita purchases have been a bit impulsive, nothing really stands out as having been truly impulsive and then “totally worth it”. Similarly, though I’ve bought many things that I’ve then had to sell on, again nothing really stands out as a regret. 

I think it’s commonly accepted that lolita, being as it is for most of us in the West a fashion that you tend to buy for online, there tends to be a lot of trial and error; things match or don’t, fit or don’t, are well made or not. Impulse and regret are part and parcel of it. Though it would be nice to have a story about that one thing that I bought on a whim which turned out amazing, overall I think I’m lucky to not have any grand stories of surprise happiness or regret in my lolita wardrobe.

Angelic Pretty's Twinkle Doll special set was something I bought and basically immediately sold, but I made my money back so no regrets!

Do you have any stories of things you were happily surprised with, or that you ended up regretting?

Friday, 4 November 2016

Project 333: A lolita capsule wardrobe

For a while, I've wanted to try doing a Project 333 style lolita capsule wardrobe. I even created one from my own clothes, but the photos turned out badly so I never posted it. Recently, I had the urge to experiment with this concept again, so here we are.

Project 333, if you haven't heard of it, it the idea that you have a wardrobe of only 33 items for 3 months, at which point you cycle out some items to suit your style and the change of seasons. These 33 items are meant to include everything but underwear, work-out specific clothes, and any items of sentimental jewellery, like a wedding ring, that you always wear.

For my lolita variant, I went with the following rules:
  • This is a year-round 33 piece wardrobe, not seasonal
  • It does not include the necessary underthings, such as petticoats and bloomers
  • It does not include jewellery or small accessories (though, given that it is quite cohesive you would probably not need to many different pieces to match everything anyway)
  • It does not include bags (and a single, neutral, big ivory purse would go with everything)
So I know it's not exactly Project 333 rules, but that gave me a good starting point to build a hypothetical capsule wardrobe, which you can see below.

As you can see I ran with a pink, lavender and ivory colour palette in a floral theme, ending up with a very sweet-classic point. I chose main pieces that ranged from fancy to simple, and did the same with my collection of blouses, cutsews and outerwear. True to my usual stance on lolita wardrobes, I have focused more on having a variety of supplementary items rather than a large number of main pieces. I found it somewhat challenging to stick to a set number of pieces, and was constantly tweaking it - exchanging a blouse for a pair of shoes, for example. But in the end I feel like I came up with a very well rounded wardrobe which has a lot of coordination opportunities despite its small size.

To show this wardrobe in action, I've come up with four outfits for each main piece.

I'll admit, sometimes I like to live vicariously through hypothetical wardrobes because I adore Angelic Pretty florals but AP is too short for me! Here you can see both seasonal variations and outfits that show differing levels of fancy that could be achieved with this JSK.

This lovely Baby JSK was chosen to be the OTT centrepiece of the wardrobe, though Dramatic Rose above could also fill that role. So most of these outfits, by virtue of the dress itself, are on the fancier end of the scale. I thought choosing a solid colour piece for the OTT option gave the most coording possibilities while still allowing the hypothetical wardrobe owner to have a "wow" piece. I toyed with the idea of making the OTT piece OTT in every way, like a princess-sleeve AP onepiece, but decided I wanted to prioritise versatility.

Sweetie Violet is another AP love of mine that would never look good on me, so here it is. In this wardrobe lavender plays second fiddle to pink, but I felt having both kept the wardrobe more interesting, even if it meant the lavender coording options were a little more limited.I think it would also have been interesting to pull together a cute OTT look with the JSK and the Infanta princess sleeve blouse, and something causal with that same blouse with the princess sleeve part detached, but I do like the range showing the the four outfits above. I guess the fact that there are still more outfits I could have made without getting repetitive does prove that the wardrobe works!

I only ended up choosing a single onepiece for this wardrobe, and even chose the matching headbow for it. I felt the headbow worked well with Sweetie Violet as well, and it gave a little extra something to this dress to be able to do matchy-matchy outfits. I know full sets are somewhat unoriginal but I did like being able to have a little bit of that going on in this wardrobe. There's just something so very quintessentially lolita about matching sets that even I, lover of versatility that I am, really enjoy.

For a slight change of pace, the first skirt in this wardrobe is a sweet Innocent World print, as opposed to all the other prints which are slightly more classic leaning Angelic Pretty. It is also probably the most casual main piece in the whole collection because the cut is incredibly simple despite the print, and that casualness is reflected in the outfits.

The last main piece in the wardrobe is another solid, again from BTSSB. It allows for a range of looks as it's neither particularly dressy nor causal, and also gives an opportunity to work with the lavender pieces again. At this point in the post I don't have much more to say about this set of outfits specifically, except that I really think this skirt is super adorable!

After having made the outfits, I have to say I was really pleased with how well this wardrobe worked. There's certainly an outfit there for any occasion for a quick run to the grocery store to a fancy tea party, in any season. I would possibly make a few tweaks if I were to do it over but, speaking generally I was very pleased with the versatility of this hypothetical lolita capsule wardrobe.