Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: July 2018

I may have gone quiet on posting but I have not stopped reading! As usual, the lolita bloggers I follow have put out a lot of really great content, and here are some of my recent favourites.

Comm meet: Old School at Alice Tea Salon from Sanakanin
So. many. cute. oldschool. photos! This was a fund read with lots of really adorable photos, check it out!

Inspiration, where to find it // 10 Day Lolita Challenge from Poppy Noir
I'm really nebulous on my own inspirations. I just like things, you know? So it was enjoyable to rad a little about one particular person's inspirational images in the fashion.

Flatlay ♥ Pastel Easter Bunny from Lolita Wonderland
I am still so happy that Rosalynn is blogging again, and I am really enjoying seeing her flatlays. Flatlays are the best.

Coming back to a community where you aren’t wanted from Rabbit Winner
Guys! It's a new lolita blog! Started this month! And the second post is this interesting thought piece on the lolita community and belonging. 

Angelic Pretty Paris 2nd anniversary Tea Party from Ruban Rose
I love reading event reports, love it. I also get a wee bit jealous, because I don't imagine AP are going to come to Australia any time soon. But I enjoy getting to live vicariously through other people's posts about brand events!

Lolita Wardrobe 2018 Midway from Ophelia of Harts
OMG guys...I found another new (to me) blog! I get so excited when I discover new things to read! And of course, I love wardrobe posts, so yeah, this was great to find.

I was so damn chuffed to find not one, but two new blogs this week. If you know of any others that I don't appear to follow please drop me a link because the more the merrier!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Coordinates from May - June 2018

Due to my relative inactivity on this blog at the moment I'm posting this a little later than I normally would. Not that anyone probably noticed or cares, but I like acknowledging discrepancies in my posting schedule ^__^

I had a bit of a break from wearing lolita for most of April and the start of May. Not really deliberate, I just didn’t have the chance. So when a Friday in May rolled around and James offered to drive me to the station in the morning, rather than walking like usual, I jumped on the chance to dress up. It was a super cold day, so my fleece-lined tights were a must, and from there I just built up a very comfortable, very casual outfit. And I ended up really, really loving it! I got a bunch of compliments at work as well, which was nice. And it reminded me how much I like wearing purple.

Skirt: Victorian Maiden
Shirt: TeePublic
Shoes: Bodyline
Everything else: Offbrand

Honestly, I think this is the most typically casual I’ve ever gone in lolita, and I rather liked it. Nerdy t-shirt plus a lolita skirt? I think I’ve found my new favourite thing.

Speaking of nerdy, I next wore lolita to see Solo with James. Honest talk? I only wore lolita because my one pair of comfy jeans were in the wash ^__^

Like the previous outfit, this one came together from concerns about comfort and practicality. I picked my most comfy skirt, paired it with an easy to wear and long sleeved cutsew (because Winter), long socks for the same reason, flat shoes and simple accessories. And again, I actually rather liked it! I wouldn't normally go with this colour combo (ivory? With my black-and-red?) but I think it worked out pretty okay. It's not a mindblowing outfit by any means but it was cute and comfortable.

Skirt: Handmade
Cutsew, sock & shoes: Metamorphose temps de fille
Everything else: Offbrand

I next wore lolita to work on a Friday (again). It’s Winter here right now, and I do not like the cold at all so I haven’t really been up for dressing up much since lolita doesn’t really lend itself to bundling up in a thousand layers. But I braved it on this Friday and rather liked the result! So many cherries, much wow.

Skirt: Handmade
Cardigan: Banned
Bow clip: Me Likes Tea
Socks: Angelic Pretty
Everything else: Offbrand

I wasn’t able to take a full photo so have a bathroom selfie and a shoe shot; together they give you the general gist. I actually really want to redo this cardigan and skirt combo with even more cherry things, socks and a hairclip at the very least. But that might be too much. Or not…

So that's my lolita outfits from the past couple of months. Nothing particularly outstanding, but I'm glad that I'm keeping up wearing this adorable fashion.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: June 2018

Hi everyone! I'm not dead, I promise! Still not in the mood for blogging much but I'll keep up these round up posts and outfit posts as well, even if I'm inactive in all other ways ^__^

Inspiration: damare_kozou from RuffleCloud's Adventures
I love posts that link back to older resources...leading you down a glorious rabbit hole of fashion!

To Buy or Not to Buy Brand from Cupcake Kamisama
This is a great thoughtful piece about the brand market in lolita fashion - well worth a read. It was a good reminder for me that spending money on more expensive brand pieces, or paying stupid shipping on indie brand pieces, is not wasted money because there are cheaper options; it's a way of supporting the continuation of the fashion I love.

Presenting Dentelles Fanzine 3rd issue! from Ruban Rose
Is it bad that I didn't know this publication existed? But I do now and so do all of you!

Catching Up from Lolita Wonderland
My favourite lolita blogger is back...and with flat lays? Double win!

Diary of a Lolita from Parfait Doll
Another post from a blog that's been not particularly active lately. I'm not going to both summarising this post but it was a very good read, and relateable, and I suggest you check it out.

Paradiso 2018: A Model's Perspective **Lengthy Post** from Saxon Blues
Event posts are always fun to read...so what are you waiting for?!

That's it for this month! I hope you enjoyed reading these posts as much as I did.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Taking a little break

Hi everyone! I'm just a bit busy at the moment and don't feel up to making the time for blogging so I'm going to take a little break from posting regularly. Nothing's wrong and I will probably be back very soon but wanted to post rather than just going AFK for a bit.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

A white gothic capsule wardrobe

Currently on CGL there is a capsule wardrobe thread. Now, as you know, capsule wardrobes are kind of my thing, so I leapt on and said I'd try and take a crack at requested lolita wardrobes. And then, to my despair, this first request came in, for "a white main piece goth lolita capsule wardrobe. I like creams and blood reds and blacks too. If possible, no prints."

Oh dear.

But I gave it a shot anyway, and I think I am slowly starting to get the hang of gothic lolita a little bit more. I didn't adhere to the idea of no prints, and instead selected prints that are on the more minimal side. I will admit that I found the colour scheme a challenge as well, however it was a really good opportunity to try out something new. So, here's my attempt at a white/ed/black gothic lolita capsule wardrobe!

As you can see, it's very strictly tri-colour with the exception of the stained glass print. This is very much not me...even in wardrobes like this with limited colour schemes there's normally more hints of additional colours going on in the prints. And I normally include a lot more prints! So I found it a little challenging to put together properly unique outfits for each main piece. But I did my best and you can see the outfits below.

I love this print. I'm not really a Moitie fan, but man do I like this print. It was fair easy to coordinate, though I did find it challenging to incorporate the red pieces in these looks.

And oh my goodness. I've never really paid much attention to Atelier Pierrot because gain, I'm not very into gothic, but this JSK is gorgeous. The layers, the bustling, the details. To me, this is a perfect solid coloured dress. But again, I found it hard to coordinate with red!

I had a much easier time with this OP all round. It's something I would never, ever wear (it's the most "never" piece in this wardrobe) but I still think it's awesome!

I actually want to get a stained glass print eventually so I really enjoyed getting to coordinate this one digitally.

And finally we have the sole skirt of the wardrobe. I'm assuming the reds would match in the real world! Much as I love this skirt and the variety it brought to the wardrobe I did find it challenging to balance in the example coordinates.

Overall, I actually enjoyed getting to foray into gothic lolita territory. I'll be honest, I think this is one of my worst hypothetical wardrobes but still, it was a learning experience. In order not to end on a negative note, I pulled out my favourite coords from the ones above and collaged them together to prove that actually yes, I can sometimes do gothic lolita right!

Monday, 11 June 2018

Buying lolita for Western bodies

Lame title is lame, but anyhoo, let's move on. This post came about because over the weekend I met a really sweet girl who is interested in lolita, but due to being a bit tall and broad shouldered (which is pretty common among Westerners) has not bought anything due to concerns of fit. I said I'd message her a list of indie brands so she'll know what some of the options are. And then I thought, well, it's going to be a really long message so why not actually put my thoughts into coherent sentences and just do a blogpost instead!

So there are going to be two parts to this post: tips on what to wear and how to wear it, and I list of brands that I think provide good options for people who do not fit the standard Japanese body shape. So this is partially aimed at the fat lolitas, the tall lolitas, the buff lolitas, the busty lolitas, but equally as well to people who are just...not Japanese. Because we all deserve to look amazing in lolita, and sometimes just buying brand off the rack is not the way to do that. ]

First of all, some tips on what to do when you can't just look good in everything. As always, this is just my personal opinion. But as a tall-ish, fat, big framed lolita I think I know what I'm talking about ^__^

A picture of the body my experience comes from; five foot six and currently a size AU16.

The biggest tip is to know your measurements. More stuff will fit you than you think! However, you will need to pay attention to the skirt to bodice ratio; generally if you are taller or broader than the intended body things will fit but not quite as intended. Know what length of skirt you are comfortable with. Most of the time straps are adjustable in length (and you can always extend them or alter to a halter neck) but if the shoulder measurement is very much smaller than yours they may flare outwards rather than go straight over the shoulders. To me, if something is great other than the straps, just wear a bolero or cardigan, especially because that solves any issues with blouse fit. Speaking of blouses, you can wear a JSK with a blouse that doesn't close over the bust. If it's nice in the neckline and the sleeves but your boobs get in the way, what does it matter with a JSK? Of course, it's better to have things that fit properly but still that was worth mentioning. As a last point on picking your clothes, remember that underskirts can be a godsend but that if they don't match well they can look lazy. Use with caution.

Enough of tips, here are my suggestions on where to shop if you're not standard Japanese size!

Lady Sloth does great blouses and a lot of unique main pieces. I think her prices are fair and I have liked the things I have bought from her in the past (and intend to buy more in future, have you seen the preview for her new berry print?). She has a range of standard sizes and also offers many things custom sized.

A recent (and lovely) series from Lady Sloth

For blouses and boleros, both Glitter Tale and Bunny House are apparently also quite good, though I have not bought from them myself. But like Lady Sloth they offer good standard sizes as well as custom options. I used to also love The Floral Notebook for blouses too, but they don't seem to be active any more.

Bunny House also does petticoats, but my number one recommendation for pettis is Me Likes Tea. She also does phenomenal bloomers! Lately her stories on Instagram have also featured pretty dresses, so she may be going to expand her offerings in future.

I also recommend The Black Ribbon - I have cutsews from her that immediately become wardrobe favourites. I haven't seem any of her main pieces in real life, but if the cutsews are an indication they're top-notch too.

The Black Ribbob keeping it gorgeous.

As far as standard off the rack goes, I do actually have to recommend Bodyline as well. I have not have fit issues due to my big old Aussie frame in any of the pieces I have bought from them. I will say though, I haven't bought any of their releases from the last three or so years, so I can't vouch for their newer stuff. But the older things have definitely been good. As we all know, Bodyline can be a bit iffy on quality, but it's easy enough to find worn photos and reviews of most of their items before you buy.

If you do want to go full proper brand, I find Metamorphose temps de fille has also been great. The only issue I've had with clothes from them is one blouse being very tight around the neck but it did have a high collar so eh. But Meta dresses with full back shirring are very forgiving (up to a 110cm bust easily in my experience) and the shoulders fit fine. And their socks are amazing!

Meta socks are best socks <3

With longer lengths on offer, Innocent World is also sometimes a good bet...provided you don't have a particularly large bust. I'd cautiously recommend them, because it really depends on your frame. However, like Meta, their socks are phenomenal on chunky legs.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of lolita indie brands (or big brands that are good for a wide range of body types) but just the ones that first come to my mind when thinking of recommendations for someone with curves and nicely built shoulders.

Do you have any suggestions to add to what I have here? Any disagreements?

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

AYWI30C #6: Channel a specific lolita era

For this prompt I was initially going to take the easy route, and go old school or OTT sweet. But I’ve already done the latter in this series and I just wasn’t feeling old school right now, so I did a bit of googling to try and figure out what was another noticeable “era” and eventually decided to make a coord like it was 2008.

It seemed appropriate; it’s exactly ten years ago and while that late-00s time is not as memorable as the previous old school or the later OTT sweet it’s a very interesting look. It was a transitional year where things were starting to ramp up to OTT; we’re seeing some big hair and prints are coming into fashion. But at the same time there’s a lot of simplicity and “minimal” coordinates without much going on in the accessories department and a lot of simple colour schemes, of the dress colour accompanied by either black or white. There’s also still a bit of a punkiness to the fashion, and a lot more crossover with goth. The whole scene could still be called “gothic lolita” back then and it showed.

My tartan JSK from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (or at least, another version of the same dress, which is close enough) was released in 2008 so I thought I’d use it for this coordinate. I combined it with my AP polka dot parka – this was released in 2012 but Angelic Pretty was putting out hoodies in 2008 so I think it still manages to suit the vibe.

Overall I wanted to go for a cute but a little punk sort of look, not that I can ever manage to do something so properly effortlessly distressed as punk truly should be. So I went more “punk” by having disconnected, but overall coherent elements. Like my clashing red tartan bag!

A single large headbow seemed to be one of the common hair accessories at the time so I used a black and white one (a bit anachronistic but oh well). I kept the accessories simple overall, with just a big plastic bow bangle. I would have loved to have added some arm warmers, but alas, I no longer own that later-noughties staple.

Speaking of thing I would have love to use but don't own;  this look would be perfect with some of those plain Demonia platforms but alas, I can’t own all the shoes I admire in life. I would also love to do this kind of coordinate with a pair of Converse sneakers, but mine fell apart years ago. So my plain black platform heels had to do the job!

For socks, I thought a patterned OTK was the way to go, even though I do have black with white lace UTKS that would have also been perfect. But I felt that a black and red sock with a pattern not seen anywhere else in the coord was the best choice; it adds another jarring note which I felt the coord needed.

I have to say, I am absolutely loving this challenge so far because I’m trying all kinds of new things. I may not love this coordinate as much as I loved the last one I did for the challenge but still, wow, it’s not something I would normally have put together at all. The challenge is working! And I am so damn happy about it.

As a final note, I really found La Carmina’s 2008 blog archive super helpful for seeing what people were actually wearing around this time!

Friday, 1 June 2018

Lolita Blog Carnival: What Keeps Your Interest In The Fashion

I haven’t been into lolita fashion for a long time, necessarily. But I’ve definitely been in it for a while, so this prompt was an interesting one. Because I had never actually sat down and thought what, in particular, keeps me interested in lolita fashion year in and year out.

First of all, it’s so pretty! I love big puffy skirts and elegant blouses, detailed prints and dramatic shoes, lovely hair accessories and gorgeous socks. I’ve always had a weakness for alternative fashions in general, and have worn everything from mis-matched rainbows to dapper Victorian to patchwork skirts to wannabe emo. Clothes have always been my thing. In a way, lolita is actually the most mainstream alternative fashion I’ve ever worn! I also love the coordination aspect of the clothes, of balancing colours and themes and coming up with new combinations rather than just buying a new outfit or wearing the same look over and over. I mean, I do tend to wear the same outfits repeatedly, but I also experiment a lot more in flatlay form.

Everything is just so lovely!

Segueing from that mention of flatlays, I love that lolita for me, is a solo hobby. Much as I love wearing it, I don’t have to get dressed up in order to enjoy the fashion. I really enjoy just playing with the clothes, daydreaming about my wardrobe, and of course…keeping up this blog! I also enjoy looking at new releases and even doing some sewing and crafting of my own. For me it’s a very unique hobby that I can engage in entirely on my own terms, for my own enjoyment, and do not need any involvement from anyone else. I am in to a whole bunch of different things, but lolita is the one that’s the most “me”.

One of the many hypothetical wardrobes I've put together for this blog.

However, much as I love the just me on my own aspects of lolita, I also enjoy the community, online and in real life. I only realised recently that the lolita community is the only one I’m really involved in online. That’s not a bad thing, but I was more active in different online circles in my teens and early twenties and no longer am. I mean, if I’m honest I’m not even all that active in lolita outside of this blog. But the community is there, even if I’m mostly a lurker. Similarly, I don’t go to many meet ups, but the community is there for me to participate in, and that’s good. Especially for a socially anxious dweeb like myself, hobbies with pre-made communities are a godsend. Going new places! Meeting new people! It’s a good thing.

From my first meet with the Newcastle community.

But to circle back to the actual prompt, what “keeps” me in this fashion is basically that I love it. I enjoy all the aspects of it and it brings me a lot of pleasure. I like seeing the style change, and I like experiencing that same growth in my own personal style. If I ever fall out of love, I’ll leave, but for now it’s a relationship I fully intend to continue.

Read more from other bloggers:

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: May 2018

I think I'm in denial that May is over. Five months of the year gone already (and three to go until I get married!) is just surreal. But let's not think of that and instead enjoy some of the lolita blog pots from the past month.

Japan 2018 * Day 5-9 * Kyoto + Uji + Osaka from Puppenschloss
I really enjoy reading travel reports when they align with my interests; I very much want to go to Japan at some stage but until then I like to read about other people's experiences. 

Thana Lilvia from Sanakanin
Follow the link for a picture of Thanos in Innocent World - the crossover you didn't know you needed until you saw it. Also a cute outfit, but mostly Thanos.

Angelic Pretty Doll's Tea Party from Ruban Rose
I get very excited whenever this blogger buys a new dress because it always means fabulous detail photos and a cute coordinate as well!

Angelic Pretty Romantic Rose Letter Special Set 2018 + Sunny Shopping Tokyo SS from Saxon Blues
Oh my goodness, the RRL special set was so cute. I was tempted to buy it in lavender, but resisted...even though I'm not being as good at not spending much as I wanted to be I am being somewhat good! But that doesn't stop me from vicariously enjoying other people's purchases.

In memoriam of the amazing time we had // 10 day Lolita Challenge from Poppy Noir
As a pretty introverted person, I really enjoy reading about people's experiences at events and this was a nice two in one reflection.

Back from Hiatus, 2017 in a Flash~ from Bonniviwii
I'm always happy when bloggers return to their blogs, so I couldn't not share this post. Also, she shares soooo many cute outfits it's a feast for the eyes as well.

365 LLC Days 138 - 140: Of Unloved Dresses, Spots In Town, & Unique Accessories from The Bloody Tea Party
I don't remember if I have shared any of these posts before, so just in case I want to start with saying...oh my goodness, someone is actually doing the year-long lifestyle lolita challenge! That's blogging dedication, just wow. And for some reason, this three-day post just really grabbed by attention.

Weekend Double Bill from Cupcake Kamisama
Two meets in one weekend? I think I died a little just reading that! But it sounds like a lot of fun too, and it was great to see this blogger try a new style as well.

So that's May done and dusted...bring on June!

Sunday, 27 May 2018

How much will your first lolita coordinate cost?

It's been a while since I've done one of these kind of posts, which is all just rambling and thoughts and beginner advice and theory. I'm not even sure what to call this kind of post! But naming it doesn't matter, I really enjoy just analysing aspects of this fashion. So here I'm turning my mind to the question of how much money your first lolita coordinate might cost.

I’ll start this post by disclosing the unfortunate reality – there is no single answer! A lolita outfit can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be, though unless you’re get very lucky you won’t tend to be able to get much lower than $100 for all the necessary components. If you want to see what a $100 lolita coordinate (approximately, and without a petticoat, a bag, or shipping included) looks like, please view one of my earlier posts which has three examples.

The reason why price varies so wildly is that there are so many options and sources to buy lolita items from these days; the big Japanese brands, indie brands from all over the world ranging from singles seamstresses to full on shops, Bodyline, the many stores of Taobao, handmade, offbrand pieces that still work as lolita…and from all those sources pieces can be bought new or secondhand. However a lolita outfit tends to be on the higher side is because a coordinate contains more individual components than more casual, regular fashion looks.

For a lolita outfit you need the follow items:
  • A main piece (onepiece dress, jumperskirt dress, or skirt)
  • A blouse (not needed if wearing an OP)
  • A petticoat
  • A hair accessory
  • Socks or tights
  • Shoes
  • A bag
Then in addition to the above, there are the following optional items:
  • A bolero or cardigan (can be used instead of a blouse with a JSK)
  • Wristcuffs or a bracelet
  • Other jewellery
  • Additional accessories if desired
  • An ouji boyfriend (I kid, I kid…)
So you already have 6-7 things that you definitely need to make up a lolita outfit, and options to add a bit more if you want a fancier or just more complete look. I honestly tossed up whether to put wristcuffs in the required or option because I do think you need something to stop your arms from looking bare, but it really is a personal decision.

To refer back to my example $100 coordinates in the post I linked the reason why I could keep those to that price limit is that I excluded the petticoat and bag, and the supplementary pieces (most notably legwear and headwear) are non-lolita specific items, mostly from eBay. I do love me some offbrand cheap accessories, but the can often take your overall look in a slightly less “proper lolita” direction. I’ll be clear; I have absolutely nothing against using offbrand items in lolita coordinates, and do it a lot myself! But since this post is directed at someone who is new to lolita I would honestly recommend sticking to items that were made for lolita when you first start out.

I digress. The point of this post was to give a guide of what you could reasonably expect to spend on a complete lolita outfit, so I will do just that. Prices will be in AUD (converted from whatever currency they are originally in) and will exclude shipping and any other fees. For ease of showing just how much this can vary, I’m going to “shop” for three fictional personas: the girl who just wants brand-new brand, the girl who wants things new but is watching her budget, and the girl who wants some brand but is happy to shop secondhand and buys things that work regardless of source. In the interests of complete thoroughness, I will “buy” an outfit for each persona in the three main substyles; sweet, classic, and gothic lolita. I’m going to try and keep the outfits sort of just regular lolita; not too simple and not too OTT. Prices are listed below the photos from left to right

The first set of example coords are for a sweet lolita buying a onepiece dress.

$352 + $140 + $30 + $178 + $45 + $115
All Angelic Pretty
Total Cost $860

$46 + $51 + $6 +  $18 + $8 + $20
Dress and headbow Magic Tea Party, petticoat Me Likes Tea, tights Mu Fish, shoes Sosic Shop, bag Loris
Total Cost $149

$215 (includes socks and headbow) + $51 + $21 + $20
Dress, socks and headbow Metamorphose special set, petticoat Me Likes Tea, shoes Sosic Shop, bag Loris
Total Cost $307

As far as price for a one off coordinate goes, an OP will be the cheapest choice. However, for future wardrobe building they are less versatile. That aside, I would still probably recommend a onepiece dress for someone's first lolita coordinate - they're easier to work with and while they tend to be more expensive than skirts or JSKs, not needing to also buy a blouse mean they still work out cheaper!
The average price of these three example coordinates is $439.

In the second round of coordinates, the classic lolita is buying a coordinate where the main pieces are a skirt and blouse.

  $182 + $208 + $129 + $33 + $195 + $61 + $169
All Innocent World except BTSSB shoes
Total Cost $977

$49 + $38 + $15 + $9 + $22 + $28 + $62
Skirt Bodyline, blouse and bonnet Infanta, petticoat Leg Avenue, tights eBay, shoes Sosic Shop, bag Axes Femme
Total Cost $223

$41 + $37 + $55 + $33 + $54 + $6 + $62
Skirt and socks Innocent World, blouse Angelic Pretty, petticoat Me Likes Tea, shoes and bag Axes Femme, hairclip Sweet Dreamer
Total Cost $251

In terms of price, skirts tend to be cheapest main piece to buy and can give you a nice range of coordination options. However, colour balance can sometimes be tricky to get right with a skirt. That said, I personally like skirts a bit more than OPs even though they would be my least recommended main piece for a beginner due to the increased difficulty of coordination. The average price of these three coordinates is $484, a bit of an increase from the onepiece examples.

Lastly we have a set of coordinates for a gothic lolita consisting of a jumperskirt and bolero combo. As I mention basically ever time I try and do something goth-y, goth anything is not my strong suit so these probably aren’t the most gothic gothic lolita coordinates you’ve ever seen, but oh well.

 $461 + $195 + $182 + $30 + $195 + $72 + $208
JSK and headbow Moi-meme-Moitie, everything else Alice and the Pirates
Total Cost $1343

 $86 + $58 + $24 + $2 + $37 + $26 + $7
JSK Soufflesong, bolero and headdress Sweet Dreamer, petticoat Classical Puppets, tights and bag eBay, boots Sosic Shop
Total Cost $240

  $105 + $57 + $55 + $6 + $21 + $15 + $80
JSK and bolero Alice and the Pirates, petticoat Me Likes Tea, tight and headdress Sweet Dreamer, shoes Sosic Shop, bag Restyle
Total Cost $339

I have no idea why the gothic coords turned out the most expensive...they just did! The average price for these three example coordinates is $641. To me, JSKs are the most quintessentially lolita main piece and are both the easiest to coordinate, and the best for wardrobe building.

Obviously, this is a very limited sample but we can draw the following conclusions:

  • Coming in at an average of $1060 for a full coord, buying all new and all brand is quite expensive.
  • However, if you buy secondhand brand (or special sets) and supplement with Taobao and indie items the cost drops dramatically to an average of $299. 
  • Buying new, but not brand, items is the cheapest option but not much more than including some secondhand or discounted brand items - the average price here is $204. 
  • Onepiece dresses will lead to the cheapest outfits, but are less versatile for wardrobe building overall.

I mean, a lot of this is probably obvious, but again, this post is aimed at the new lolita. I know that when I was first starting out I succumbed to the myth that all brand is expensive and thus out of my league. If I had known then what I know now, I probably would have bought from places that weren’t Bodyline a lot sooner. Not that there’s anything wrong with buying from Bodyline or Taobao but the best thing about lolita is the huge variety of options, so why limit yourself due to misinformation about costs? However, seeing the sheer jump in price between buying from a range of sources versus buying all new brand has further cemented my desire to continue as I have, which is to buy brand new only rarely. Because my wallet cannot handle that!

Honestly, after doing this post my actual recommendation for a new lolita's first coordinate would be to buy a brand onepiece and socks (unless you want ankle socks or lacy tights, buy those things offbrand!) preferably secondhand, get a petticoat from a reputable indie, and finish the coordinate off with offbrand shoes, bag, and headbow, probably from Taobao. To me that strikes a good balance of economy and quality while giving you a full, proper lolita look so you can try the fashion well. My second suggestion would be to go full Taobao since there are some many good options, but with the price jump from Taobao to secondhand brand being so small I think it's worth spending a little more.

And, in answer to the questions that’s in the title of this blogpost, an average cost for a basic full lolita coordinate without a lot of extra pieces is $521. However, it’s probably better to say that you could reasonably assume that the cheapest you can buy a full lolita outfit for (without bargain hunting) is around $300 and from there they sky is really the limit!

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

AYWI30C #5: An unexpected colour combination

When I came to this prompt I started cursing myself – why did I make this challenge an actual challenge for myself? I don’t own unexpected colours! My wardrobe actually has a really limited colour palette of colours that either work together, or that I can’t stand together. So I was pretty stumped for a while!

But then I realised that unexpected doesn’t have to mean something that hasn’t been done before; it just has to be unexpected. So I decided to actually try some new (to me) things; multiple pastel colours and bringing in non-lolita offbrand items. And I fell head over heels for the casual sweet coordinate I created.

Like, this should bug me, it really should. The colour balance isn’t even but I think that it’s so busy, and so colourful, that it’s all okay. I mean sure, a lavender headbow and mint shoes would probably make me a little happier, but I don’t care – I love this look exactly as is! And I am going to wear a variation on this soon. A few tweaks, to make it actually fit me comfortably, but the same general concept.

Because how cute are all the accessories? I’m kind of starting to love bracelet stacking and having bows on my bows. What’s also funny is that, once worn, this pile of accessories wouldn’t even seem like all that much.

And you know how earlier I said that mint shoes would be an improvement? They would be, but at the same time I am really digging the neutral shoes and bag. It keeps the look from being too OTT and also by not using by the book colour balance it keeps things feeling a bit more casual. So actually, I take it back. I love the colour balance in this coord just as it is.

It probably helps that this is my current favourite t-shirt. It’s from TeePublic (best site for shirts, hands down) and it proved to me that I can wear mint. Which may be dangerous in lolita terms…

And I also just realised while writing this post, well after I took pictures, that I should have used my Madillustration Rose Water brooch instead of the Macaron Box. Ooops!

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling about how cute this outfit is now, but man, I’m loving this challenge so far. This may have been an unexpected colour combo for me, but I don’t think it will stay that way!

PS Have a bonus photo of Panda getting in the way ^__^

Friday, 18 May 2018

Lolita Blog Carnival: Share 5 Releases From When You First Got Into The Fashion

I bought my first lolita items in 2012, a whopping six years ago. It’s been heaps of fun and there have been many trends come in and out of style as well as loads different pretty things to buy and just admire. So this week’s LBC topic seemed like a great way to have a look at what wat happening in lolita when I was starting out. I’m not going to talk about prints that we already know I love, like Dim Light or Chocolate Rosette, but instead I wanted to highlight some prints that came out in 2012 that I still think are really lovely.

I didn’t know until writing this post that Alice Mirage in Paradox by BTSSB was released in 2012 so I was kind of excited to find that out! This is a print that piques my interest every time I see it for sale at a decent price, but given that I’m too large for it currently I always pass over. I just love the frames coupled with the unusual graphic tartan background; there’s really no other print quite like it.

Similarly, over time I’ve been gradually falling in over with Angelic Pretty’s Sweet Cream House. It’s so ridiculously busy, but manages to still look somewhat simple at the same time, probably due to it being such a tall border print. I especially love it in the pastel colourways and would love to own it in mint. I probably never will though, damn you AP for being too short for me!

Another Baby, the Stars Shine Bright print from 2012 that I love is The Secret Garden. Both now, and definitely back in 2012, it’s very much not the kind of thing I wear, but it’s just so beautiful! I also love the whole concept of book illustration prints and would love to see more of this done. Speaking of Frances Hodgson Burnett book prints though, if any brand ever releases an A Little Princess or Little Lord Fauntelroy print I think I’d have to buy it immediately. Especially if it was by Innocent World. Oh my. I want this. I didn’t realise how badly I want this.

Ahem. Enough rambling about things I want that don’t exist, on to sharing more pretty prints! Next is Innocent World’s Alencon series, which is something I love because it’s so detailed, yet so simple. Though the print is complicated the overall effect is not, and that’s something that I really enjoy in lolita. Details balanced by simplicity, best combo.

I also wanted to feature a release from an indie brand but had trouble tracking down that I remember admiring at the time. Then I remembered Lady Sloth’s Silk Cherubims series. I actually used to own a fancy version of the JSK from this series, and it’s something I actually kind of regret selling. Dark, opulent classic…I haven’t owned anything like it since. I also couldn't find a stock photo, but I think this is a well known enough peice that I don't need to really show one.

Overall I loved a lot of things that came out when I started lolita. Like a lot of people, I’m pretty nostalgic for the general 2011-2013 period. But then, if you’d asked me to do this for literally any year, I’d be able to find things I love and would really like to own. So I guess what I’m trying to say, inasmuch as I’m trying to say anything really, is that lolita is great. There’ so many amazing things being released each and every year that there’s something for everyone, all the time, and I think that’s fantastic.

As a final note I want to say that I found Luna Rain’s print discussion posts really helpful in jogging my memory about what prints came out in 2012! So yeah, check out her archives, her blog was always great.

Read more from other bloggers:

Monday, 14 May 2018

Central Coast Comicon 2018

Here’s a non-lolita post, and a long one with lots of pictures, so consider yourself warned! And carry on if you want to read about my first foray into cosplaying at a convention.

So, a bit of backstory first. In 2016 some enterprising souls decided that the Central Coast deserved its own Comicon as a fundraising venture for youth mental health (I’m not sure if other conventions are for charity or for profit, so I don’t know if or how that affects things) and so Central Coast Comicon (C4 hereonin for easier typing) was born. I went that year – it was tiny! Held in the function hall of the local League’s Club with very little going on it was still heavily attended. Last year they moved venue to the local Showground but I lost track of time and didn’t end up going. This year, however, the ever talented Nat decided to have a stall in the Artist’s Alley so I committed nice and early to actually going.

I also decided to cosplay! For all my love of costumes and characters I’ve never actually done a proper cosplay before, so this was something new for me. Given that I’m fat right now, I decided that Rose Quartz from Steven Universe was a good choice. Also because it’s a comparatively simple costume – lots of ruffles, but not a complicated structure – I figured it was a good “beginner” cosplay. And I was mostly right! Keyword: mostly.

I did end up sewing the majority of it in the week before the convention (go procrastination!) and unfortunately on the Friday night I finished it all (sans star and gem), tried it on, and it was too big! I tried to take it in and it just did not work at all. The bodice was a horrible mess so I did the only sensible thing – decided to thrown on my Mr Universe shirt and do the “Story for Steven” version of Rose Quartz.

Photo by The Enthusiast <3

By an awesome stroke of luck James got access to a studio over the weekend of the convention, so we did a quick shoot before I went to make sure I had some good photos just in case (which turned out to be a very good idea, more on that later). I’ll be posting more to my facebook page if you want to see. I also have some WIP shots of the cosplay and assorted other photos in my Rose Quartz album there.

I’m rambling, so let’s cut ahead to Saturday May 5, the day of C4. I woke up, did my make-up, then went with James to the studio. Took photos, had fun, and then he dropped me at the Showground. I got my ticket scanned and received my wristband and program, then walked in through the gates. Immediately I was pretty overwhelmed, so I focused on finding the Artist’s Alley, which took me several consultations of my map and a bit of confusion…all to go into a building about fifty metres from the entrance! I had a bit of trouble making my way around all day because the wig was so big I had severe tunnel vision, and also I made my skirt too long so I had to do the classic kick walk to make my way around (more on that later). But anyway, I found Nat soon enough, deposited my bag and went on my way.

Since I was there, I started browsing the Artist’s Alley and immediately bought a book from the stall next to Nat then continued to check out some of the stalls. In the end I actually bought four novels, a novella, and a colouring book over the course of the day. I really love reading and also, as an aspiring writer myself, I wanted to support local authors. Here’s a shot of the books I ended up with!

I soon realised a lot of sellers would not have card payment options, so I drifted outside to the ATM. I had fun getting money, as the ATMs were in a trailer with a roof low enough that my wig wouldn’t fit, then continued to explore the rest of the convention. As I wandered, I got asked for a lot of photos, which made me really happy. And after a little bit I got confident enough to ask cosplayers for photos as well. Here’s a little collage of some of the excellent cosplayers from the day.

I won’t talk to much about what was at the convention, but there was a lot to see. There was an Artist’s Alley hall, another hall for merchandisers, an area with LARP groups and similar (including demonstrations and activities), muscle cars, an anime bus, an area with food stalls, a cosplay zone (which wasn’t much of anything, but still, it existed) and a lot of bigger stands in separate marquees. There was also a gaming hall with Lego displays, but I didn’t go there. I though there was a good mixture of independent people and stalls, big ones that obviously go around to a lot of conventions, as well as the typical “local” things like one of the radio stations and the Scouts. There was something going on the main stage all day, and musicians and circus performers were sporadically doing their thing in different places. Everyone I spoke to was nice!

The socks and tote bag were freebies!

Mostly I spent the day wandering around. I signed up for the cosplay competition (because why not!), ate a deep-fried spiralised potato on a stick, and browsed almost every stall there was (and bought a few more things). I ran into a friend, which was fun, and had a good chat with one of the LARP groups. Turns out they’re planning to start a chapter near me, and I think I’ll go if they do!

I stole a LARP sword! 
One of the LARPers removed his glove to take this photo for me ^__^

I also spent a decent amount of time sitting behind Nat’s stall, resting my feet! She had her streaming set up on the table with a laptop turned to face the walkway so you could see close up whatever she or her partner Luke were painting at the time. It really grabbed people’s attention, and she’s planning a bigger and better version of the set up next time. Mostly I just smiled and nodded to passers-by but on the occasions where I went into “stall holder” mode and talked to people I always directed people’s attention to my all-time favourite bit of painting she’s done.

How nuts are those wings?

It’s funny; the first C4 in 2016 had Night Haunter as a cosplay guest, who James and I have worked with a few times (and who is a really great guy). So back in 2016 I ended up manning his stand for a while too so that he could get some lunch. My style remains the same – professing my ignorance about the subject matter but gush about their talent ^__^

After a little while it was time for the cosplay contest pre-judging, so I went to the cosplay zone, collected my registration form, and stood in line for pre-judging. Unfortunately, things were running behind schedule (and also took ages) so I was standing in line for way too long. When the time came for my pre-judging, the judges basically asked which parts I made and which I bought, I explained why my hem was fraying, and that was it. I then had my photo taken and then milled around uncertainly, because all the other cosplayers were going in different directions. I wandered up to a Poison Ivy cosplayer (we exchanged Facebook pages later, so here’s a link to her!) to find out what we were meant to be doing, and together we drifted closer to the stage. Very soon all the cosplayers had to go up on stage in a big group, and while we stood there (awkwardly) the winners were announced. I will say that I’m a little annoyed that both second and first place went to people in postapocalyptic costumes, rather than actual cosplay. I mean, they looked cool, but there was some pretty good cosplays there on the day that I think deserved it more. But oh well.

The convention was nearly done at this point so I gathered up my things, said a temporary goodbye to Nat and Luke, and found a seat near the main stage to await the Mews Love Live performance. I really love Love Live (the anime, that is, not the game) so I had been really keen for this and it was very fun to watch. After that, I drifted outside to wait for James to come pick me up. After I got home, I got out of my costume and promptly collapsed for the rest of the day.

Now before I wrap up I’ll mention the big downer for me which is that I managed to ruin my costume. Because I made the skirt too long (I mean, I wanted it long, but I went too far) and also not doing any more finishing than a basic hem, I managed to rip out the hem of my lowest ruffle as I walked around. Which then proceeded to fray ridiculously, and due to the event being in a showground and me walking over some grass and leaves and what have you the threads tangled with debris from the ground into a big, horrible mess. Which kept getting caught under my shoes. Ugh. In addition to that, my wig fringe and beehive section got messier and messier, so by the time I got home I just ripped it all off and tossed it on our worktable. I was really bummed about it, because I put so much work into the costume, and after a few days of thought I came to a decision. I will not be fixing the cosplay, nor re-making. For now, I’m done with Rose Quartz.

Only did one photoshoot, but it was an epic one!
Photo by The Enthusiast <3

Which is a bit sad, but I’m still so proud of myself for finishing it and wearing it and now I feel like I can cosplay, if I want to, and that’s just great. But yeah, fixing Rose would involve a whole new bodice, fixing the skirt (or doing a new one, now I know why people don’t use chiffon for her), as well as a whole new wig (I wasn’t happy with the colour or shape) and that’s just too much for me right now. I learned a lot doing her, and would certainly do a better job if I re-made it, but for my next cosplay I want to do something new...and I don’t want to do another one for a little while!

As a final note on the cosplay I wanted to say that my gem (which due to the bodice issues I didn’t end up using) was 3D printed beautifully painted by Nat aka EVA Studios. I am bummed I didn’t get to use it, so I wanted to share a photo! I also want to say that James was an awesome help, and went to find me fabric while I was at work when I thought I’d run out. It turns out I was just having a silly moment and forgot I already owned the right stuff so it was a waste of his time (and I feel so bad about that) so I just wanted to mention that he’s an awesome fiancĂ©. He was meant to come with me to C4 but was too sick, which was a massive bummer, but there’s always next year!

Not the best photo, this is about a quarter as good as it looks IRL.

All in all I had a really fun day, and enjoyed cosplaying a lot. More than I was expecting too, to be honest. I am a people person once I get started, so being in a costume that was recognisable really helped me get over my social barriers. The only downside of enjoying myself at C4 is now I’m thinking of going to more conventions, and already thinking up potential cosplays… ^__^

PS If there are any Steven Universe readers on this blog...OMG the newest episode! I can't believe the timing...