Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: January 2018

January is over Time does fly! Things have been a tad quieter than usual in the lolita blogging world, but I think that's because most of us have been doing wardrobe posts, and those take an awful long time to do! Speaking of, you should definitely check out all the posts of the EGL LiveJournal if you haven't already. Just be prepared for the inevitable wardrobe envy. And then, when you're done, come back here to view some of the other content lolita bloggers have released in the past month.

Let’s Lolita Sewing–Tools from Miss Carol Belle
Let's face it. Sewing can be intimidating. And doing things like drafting and modifying patterns is even more so. So this video is great because it covers some of the stuff that could be considered common knowledge by more advanced sewists, but that you still need to learn somewhere along the line!

Bobbin Lace from Auris Lothol
Maybe not a lolita focused post, but how much more lolita can you really get than making your own lace? Just wow. I so don't have the patience to do something like this, but I kind of wish I did!

Top tips for running your own community! from Poppy Noir
An LBC topic I didn't take part in, and a very welcome reminder about what you can do to get a quiet community back to being a bit more active. Myself and Rosie are trying to get the Newcastle community back on it's feet, so this contained some helpful hits that were very relevant for me right now.

Sweet Dolly House Lucky Pack Review from Cupcake Kamisama
It's dangerous, but I love reading reviews that make me immediately go and visit the shop in question! I refrained from making any purchased but that just made reading about someone else's all the more enjoyable.

2018 Lolita Resolutions + Plans from Pastel Peggy
I like lists and goals and plans, so this sort of post is exactly up my alley. I also like getting a bit of an insight into what kind of blog posts I may see from lolitas I follow in the future...

Moi-même-Moitié US Debut! Mana Returns to Sakura-Con from Buttcape
Unless you don't internet much (in which case, why are you here?) you've probably already seen this announcement but if not, click the link and get excited!

Given that it's a new year, does anyone have suggestions for new blog for me to follow? I really want to add more lolita (and miscellaneous) blogs to my reading list so please drop a link to your blog or ones that you follow!

Friday, 26 January 2018

My 2018 lolita goals

Having already put up some posts looking back on 2017, both my outfits and my goals, it's time to share my lolita goals for 2018. I’m planning to make it a big year in a lot of ways in all aspects of my life, but in the interests of staying on topic I’ll just share the lolita ones here ^__^

These goals are in no particular order, but let’s start with my intention to lose weight. This is such a cliché resolution that I’m almost embarrassed to post it. But the fact is I’m quite fat at the moment, and that makes me unhappy in basically ever aspect of my life. Not only does it affect my everyday life and health, I can’t do the modelling I want, can’t get into doing the cosplay I want, and, more importantly for my readers here, can’t fit into most of my lolita clothes properly. So this year I am actually committed to losing some weight, rather than just talking about it.

Some of the pretties I own but don't yet fit.

In lolita terms, the measure of success for this is that I intend be able to fit nearly every item in my wardrobe by the time 2019 rolls around. At that point I’ll also be able to gauge what items are unlikely to ever fit properly and can remove them from my collection. I already made a start on that this year with my wardrobe post, because I set the mannequin to match my smallest recorded measurements and anything that didn’t fit it nicely at that point is now in my to sell pile.

And, speaking of that pile, my next goal is to actually sell all the things I need to sell. At this point I don’t even care too much about getting a fair price for them, I just want them gone! This is a goal I’m hoping to achieve well before the end of the year, hopefully in the next few months. I may even pop a sales post up here…or update the sales page I made but never update!

Related to both of the above, in a way, I intend to make only minimal purchases this year. I have some big plans for life outside lolita this year, and part of that involves being more savvy with my money so I intend to cut down on all discretionary spending. Honestly this isn’t much of a big deal because my lolita wardrobe is great right now. And especially as I lose weight and fit into more things I haven’t been able to wear for a bit that’s almost like getting new clothes anyway! So I intend to only purchase things from my wishlist (more of that in a moment) and very little else. I may grab a thing or two that’s not on the list, especially if I do manage to get my to sell pile sold and thus have a little cash to play with, but my rule there is going to be only buying things that I can fit and wear immediately.

To achieve this goal I’m planning to try to steer clear of browsing any sales sites, especially Yahoo Japan. I tend to be naughty when it comes to buying things from auction sites because since international shipping is expensive anyway, and I can let things sit in the Buyee warehouse for a while I tend to chase after things that are cheap and pretty but that I don’t necessarily need. It’s not like I’ve made stupid purchases, nor do I regret things I’ve bought recently, but I want to cut down on this and spend a little as possible on new lolita items this year.

I mentioned a wishlist above, and like the last couple of years I do have a distinct (if small) list of things I would like to purchase this year if I find them at a good price. There are three subsections to this year’s list; gap fillers, an actual wishlist, and some more fawn fur things.

I will never have too much fawn fur.

To start with, there are still a few filler pieces I would like to add to my collection. These are:
  • Brand lace topped OTKS in white
  • Brand lace topped OTKS in black with white lace
  • A new short sleeved brown bolero
  • Better a-line petticoat
  • Sweet jewellery, mostly necklaces and rings
Some of these items I might even make myself. I have started on some necklace pendants and I know I can make boleros, so who knows. All in all it’s a pretty short and simple list so I should be able to achieve them all. And I do intend to do exactly that!

In terms of my actual wishlist, these are some main pieces I would like to add to my wardrobe if they can come into my life cheaply and easily. I’m not going to actively hunt them down, but I will keep an eye out. As I’ve mentioned when posting my wishlist before I am hunting more for types of things rather than specific items.

Some of the types of things I'm keeping an eye out for...

And the last, and actually least for once, of my purchasing goals there are a few more pieces I would like to add to my fawn fur collection. This is so very, very unnecessary I’m almost hesitant to put it up but hey. I like making my intentions known!
  • Fawn fur capelet
  • BTSSB fawn fur beret
  • Fawn fur coat
  • Any unique fawn fur items
Then lastly in 2018 I want to continue to be active in the fashion. I’m not going to set any specific amounts of things to do but I do want to go to some more meet ups, do some photoshoots, continue to wear lolita when the opportunity arises and even make some opportunities for it. Given that my wardrobe really is in a good place, I want to make the most of it in a variety of ways. So I’ll be continuing to post outfit round ups every quarter and when I do photoshoots I’ll share them here as well as on my modelling page on Facebook. I’m probably never going to be the most active lolita out there, but I enjoyed what I got up to in 2017 and intend to continue along that path.

Modelling with Angeline Bubsy photographed by The Enthusiast.

So those are my goals for 2018! Do you have anything you’re planning to achieve, in lolita or in life in general, over the next twelve months?

Friday, 19 January 2018

Lolita Blog Carnival: Key Differences From When You First Started Lolita To Now

It simultaneously feels like I’ve been into lolita both forever, and only for a few minutes. But the truth is I started buying and wearing the fashion in 2012, and had a vague interest in the pretty thing with the puffy skirts before that. Much like the passage of time seems all wibbly, living through changes makes them seem a lot less dramatic, but if I were to look back I would say there are a few key difference between then and now.

LiveJournal was still a hub
Even then people were saying it was dying, but the EGL community on LJ was active back in the day. People were posting reviews and questions, and other people were replying to the posts! You knew who the mods were and recognised usernames and icons. Sister sites like the EGL Comm Sales were booming.

And now there are basically just tumbleweeds there. I mean, I’m as much part of the problem as anyone, because I only log in during January each year now. But even January, the biggest month of the year, is now so quiet. I’m not saying this as a “woe is me” thing, but for example my wardrobe post this year has gotten 4 comments (and basically you get all your comments in the first couple of days) whereas last year I got 10 and in 2016 I got 16. And my standards both in terms of clothing and presentation it has not altered all that dramatically. I’m doing my usual thing and commenting on every wardrobe posted, but it’s so quiet in there. And that makes me sad, not because I loved LJ, but because without it we don’t have one central place for lolitas online.

Are reviews even a thing anymore?
Typing about LJ also made me realise on thing that has changed…reviews and lucky pack openings are hardly a thing anymore! I supposed it’s a inevitable side effect of the change from long-form posting, like blogs, to people just putting things up on Instagram or Facebook, where the information will generally be brief and also hard to find after the immediate time of posting. We’re moving away from permanent styles of posting, as a general rule, and with that a lot of the more informative online content is a dying breed.

Things were bigger and more central
Over the last year it just seems like everything is closing down. We’re losing magazines and we’re losing brands left, right, and centre. Many things spring up to take their place, but the overall effect to me is that though there is much more variety and options, the fashion as a whole has less big, grand, central pillars that people look to. The Gothic & Lolita Bible was the magazine and while there are other magazines now, none of them have that kind of stature. The casual, punky brands like Putumayo and Black Peace Now (that aren’t purely lolita, but are part of the scene) are gone.

To my mind, this is both a good and a bad thing, but mostly bad. I’m all for having multiple sources, both in terms of publications and places to get your clothes, but I feel that when we lose the things at the top we lose some of our structure. I’m all for diversity, don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, when you can’t point a finger and say “this is the lolita thing” you lose cohesion, to an extent. The illuminating lighthouse of identity provided by having a Bible is gone, and while that doesn’t mean the end by any stretch of the imagination, it leaves the waters murky and harder to traverse. And then when brands that have been a part of the scene for so long go away, it’s not a death blow, but it’s as if some of the bricks that make up the house that is lolita are removed. The house is still there, but as far as I can see we’re getting gaps and nothing is coming along to fill it properly just yet.

Simple lolita was in
Stepping away from thoughts of community to the fashion itself for a minute, as far as my memory (and google) tells me, in 2012 we were in a place between OTTs. OTT sweet was still around, but had mostly passed it’s prime, and we were not yet in the throes of OTT classic and chiffon everything. The lolita style when I started was bit more straightforward, for lack of a better term. We were embracing originality from the OTT trend, but behind that was a very well adhered idea of what was a proper lolita coord. I’m not sure how to describe it well, but I feel like it was a time where lolita was just lolita and lolita was something that we wholeheartedly embraced. Even prints were simpler. Decidedly modern in style, but not quite as crazy busy as a lot tend to be now. Dress cuts as well tended to fit the standard silhouette with not much deviation. I do very much enjoy the variety we have to chose from these days, but sometimes I find myself yearning after simpler things; both in styling and the clothes themselves.

Having written all this out, I suppose you could say that the main difference was that in 2012 lolita, both as a fashion and as a community, was far more centralised. Lolita was lolita, and we had our magazines and our online spaces and our rules. By comparison, in 2018 lolita is less pure (for lack of a better term) and more diverse. And having realised that I’m finding myself nostalgic for the time I started in this fashion. I don’t dislike what lolita is now, but I feel that we had something in 2012 that we don’t have now, and I have no idea if we will redevelop that sort of structure and community with time or if it’s gone for good.

Read more from other bloggers:

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

2017 outfit summary and a few thoughts on my lolita style

If you've read some of my recent posts you'll know that one of my goals for 2017 (and indeed an ongoing goal from now onwards) was to wear lolita more often. I can safely say I achieved this goal, and am optimistic about continuing to do so. And, having a years worth of recent outfits to look back on, I wanted to do a little evaluation of what I wore and what that tells me about my own style.

I wore lolita 17 times in 2017 - isn't that just perfect? My most popular dress was my old stalwart Bodyline L417, which I wore four times, followed by newcomer Berry Stripe by Metamorphose which I wore three times. Overall, I wore ten of my main pieces over the year. And, as a side note, in those 17 outfits I wore a beret for 7 of them ^__^

Two different looks with L417...with and without a beret.

What's funny is that in wearing lolita more I'm coming to realise that I am perhaps more into sweet than I am into classic. I prefer to be cute over elegant, if I must make the choice, and I really do like wearing black! I keep trying to move away from black, because I really do love bright colours, but I keep coming back to wearing black. At least I tend to wear black with a colour, generally pink or red.

With my mighty robot powers, I can like two things!

See, I think I love classic for when I'm dressing up and being a proper lolita. But when I'm just Roli wearing a poofy skirt to do Roli stuff in, sweet is much more me. That's an interesting discovery. Thinking of that, and because I'm me, I put together some pie charts illustrating the range (or lack thereof) in my 2017 outfits.

First of all, outfits by substyle. Honestly I did not think I wore sweet quite so much! I suppose it's because my style is quite simple, and my colour palettes tend to be based around black or brown, so my coordinates don't really fit the typical mental image one holds of a sweet lolita.

And, speaking of wearing a lot of brown and black...I didn't know I basically only wore brown or black until I analysed things! Of course, prints have multiple colours so it's not like I spent my year in monochrome, but I didn't realise that those two colours had such dominance in my outfit choices.

Ignore my typo please...

Last of all I wanted to take a quick look at where and when I wore lolita. Once again, the data surprised me as I was not expecting work outfits to be such a big part of this! 29% is quite a chunk of the total. But I like that overall I wore lolita in a range of circumstances throughout the year; that shows me that I really did achieve my goal of wearing it more across the board quite well.

I mean, all of this analysis won't really change anything. I'm still going to wear lolita exactly how and when I feel like it. However if these trends continue, particularly in terms of substyle, it may mean that as time goes on I may shape how my wardrobe develops to better reflect how I actually wear lolita. But that's a thought for later on, perhaps after another year of wearing the fashion with a degree of regularity.

For now, I'll end this post with another comparison of how I've worn a main piece differently at the star and the end of the year, this time Rococo Soul's Jam Paradise.

Does anything ever surprise you about how you wear lolita as opposed to how you think you do?

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Wardrobe Post 2018

The years seem to go by faster and faster and once again it's wardrobe post season! As usual I've posted to EGL on LiveJournal, and clicking the image below will direct you to the full post.

I tried something new with this year's post and borrowed a dressmaker's dummy to do mannequin shots! However...I decided to cover it with fabric, which turned out to look kind of shoddy. And I made a terrible choice of background with the red velvet. And my focus and lighting is awful in some photos.

Which is a bummer, because I really wanted to top last year's post in terms of aesthetics/presentation and to my mind totally failed at that. But oh well. I still got to document where my wardrobe is right now, which is the main thing. And despite my whining about what isn't great overall I'm pleased to have done this again and objectively my photos aren't that bad lol.

The berry corner of my wardrobe...

I also experimented by doing a collage layout, which I am rather happy with. As my wardrobe gets larger having one item per photo would make the layout a bit ridiculous, and since I put all the things on the mannequin there is just one item per photo. So collaging was the natural choice and I think I made it a little bit cute. Could be a lot cuter, but still ^__^

And, speaking of doing things differently this year I actually photographed my jewellery (and coats)! My bracelet collection in particular is coming along nicely so I wanted to show it off.

On the subject of showing things off I couldn't not share my fawn fur photo directly to this blog! So proud of this corner of my wardrobe ^__^

Anyhoo, enough rambling, especially because there is even more rambling in the EGL post itself. I hope you enjoy looking at my wardrobe and I've certainly enjoyed sharing it! If you've done a wardrobe post yourself this year, please drop me a link in the comments because I love looking through wardrobes!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A review of my 2017 lolita goals

Another year gone already. I have to say, even though it didn’t feel like it so much at the time, 2017 was a really good year for me. I set a lot of goals for myself, lolita related and otherwise, and did a pretty good job in achieving them. Finish the first draft of our novel? Check. Read 30 new books? Almost...23 ain't bad! Take a dance class? Adult ballet, check. Lose ten kilos? Ahhhh let's not talk about that, but I've made a good effort over my holiday from work so far. I also did so many super epic photoshoots and started a personal make-up challenge in August, which I’ve kept up. So all in all I feel pretty good about my 2017.

And then for the reason you’re reading this – the lolita side of things! You may recall I had two sets of goals; wearing lolita and my lolita wardrobe. Let’s start with how I did on the first one…

One of my favourite outfits from 2017.

Goal 1a: Wear lolita more often. Totally aced this one! 2017 was the year that saw me wear lolita more than I ever have before, or at least more than in the previous couple of years. September in particular was an epic month, with six outfits! And it made me so happy to wear every time. I hadn’t realised how badly I had gotten out of the habit of wearing things that made me happy and excited, so it was really good to rediscover that joy.

If you want to see what I wore, check out my Roli in lolita tag for all my outfits posts! I'm also going to post a bit of a summary about what I wore shortly so you can look forward to more of my ramblings about clothes then ^__^

Super simple work outfit.

Goal 1b: Wear lolita items in non-lolita outfits. I did wear some very borderline lolita outfits for work on casual Fridays (simple, low or no poof, incorporating plain offbrand items) and really enjoyed this, but outside of this I didn’t use my lolita things in non-lolita looks. But I am totally okay with that because last year I realised that I love lolita, but I want to do it properly when I do it. My regular style is jeans and a nerdy shirt, which doesn’t really lend itself to incorporating lolita elements, so I’m actually happier keeping to two separate and not forcing myself to cute-ify my normal look. I don’t mind that it means that depending on when you see me I may be frilly and pink, or super casual and showing of my geek pride. Both those things are me and that’s okay.

First meet of the Newcastle lolitas in 2017.

Goal 2: Attend at least one meetup. Another goal smashed! I went to three meets this year with both of the communities in my vicinity and it was really good to get involved. I’m super cliché and have social anxiety, so this was challenging for me, but really rewarding. I can turn into quite the antisocial mushroom if I don’t deliberately push myself, so this was a great way to push myself and enjoy this fabulous hobby at the same time. Like outfits, I have a tag for lolita meetups if you want to read a bit about what I got up to this year in that regard. And I've already bought a ticket for a big Sydney event coming up this month and the Newcastle community should be having it's first meet soon as well, so I'm still going strong here.

Modelling with Angeline Bubsy, photographed by The Enthusiast.

Goal 3: Do at least 4 lolita photoshoots. This didn't happen. I modelled in lolita twice and also got to photograph an epic guro lolita look, so I definitely did do some, just not as much as I wanted. But I don't really mind. I've come to realise I had really stopped modelling anywhere near as much as I like to, and also had stopped trying so hard on shoots, and I've worked towards getting my photoshoot mojo back. It just didn't take a very lolita form in 2017. However I have some cool ideas and we'll see what happens in the new year.

So on the actively being a lolita side of things I’m really pleased with myself in 2017. It was really good to wear it more and get out more.

Then, I had some goals regarding the actual contents of my wardrobe. I posted an update on this mid-year and at that point had six items remaining. Of those six, I have since completed the following:
  • Get more wristcuffs in black and ivory 
  • Get fawn fur boot-toppers to match my collars and beret (well, not a match but close enough!)

Which leaves me with the following still unfulfilled:
  • Get an a-line petticoat
  • Modify or replace brown short sleeved bolero
  • Get brand lace topped OTKs in white, black, and ivory
  • Get better lavender headwear

Most of that list will remain going into 2018, with a few alterations. But this posts is long enough as it is, so my 2018 goals will be the subject of another post soon.

Did you have any goals, lolita or otherwise, that you achieved in 2017?

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Coordinates from October - December 2017

The end of 2017 started strong with wearing lolita, and then rapidly tailed off as the Australian summer came around. The heat, paired with my December malaise of "I need my time of work and I need it now", meant that lolita took a distinct back seat towards the end of the year. But still, I wore some great outfits this quarter and am keen to share them below!

One the second Sunday in October I attended another Newcastle meetup, which I wrote about here. Since we were going to Coco Monde, a chocolaterie café, I wanted to go with a chocolate vibe so I fixed up my handmade chocolate JSK ready to wear. But alas, since I gained a bit of weight since I made it the JSK didn’t fit, so I came up with a sweet coordinate using Jam Paradise instead! Same vibe, different dress. I wanted to go a bit over the top (by my standards) with accessories; several things in my hair, wristcuffs as well as bracelets, and I even wore my Pastel Skies ring! Though in the end it doesn’t look all that OTT…

JSK & Headbow: Rococo Soul Jam Paradise
Blouse & Shoes: Bodyline
OTKS & Wristcuffs: Angelic Pretty
Accessories: Offbrand/Pastel Skies

I’m a bit unsure about how much I liked this outfit, in the end. I felt super cute wearing it, but I think the socks didn’t match the blouses well enough in colour and the petti I chose is a bit too large for the dress. I also feel I needed more prominent legwear to balance out the accessories up top, or alternatively needed to tone down the hair a bit. I’m actually not completely sure what it is but this outfit doesn’t quite hit all the right notes for me. But regardless of that, it was super fun to wear something some utterly cute and push my own boundaries of OTT lolita.

I next wore lolita when James and I were invited to meet some new people over dinner to hash out a creative collaboration. Just a quick, easy outfit because I had to get home from work, get changed, and go, but it felt very me and I liked taking the chance to dress up.

OP: Metamorphose temps de fille Berry Stripe
Shoes: Bodyline
Bag: Angelic Pretty Milky Berry tote
Everything else: Offbrand/taobao

I also had fun spicing up this photo… gotta love Meitu filters and I finally downloaded one of those square blur apps for the background!

On the last Friday of October I wore lolita to work again, and I actually rather liked this outfit. Obviously still in the very casual end of the spectrum but I enjoyed working in hints of white and felt like it was a well balanced outfit. Though excuse the bunched up hem lace...did not notice it was happening!

Skirt: Handmade
Cutsew: The Floral Notebook
Shoes: Bodyline
Everything else: Offbrand

And then I got to wear mori-inspired lolita for my Halloween wood witch shoot with James! I really adored this look, and wearing lolita for photoshoots always gives me the freedom to not worry so much about coordinating properly and just do something that looks good! Making it a 10/10 outfits for a miniature witch rather than a 10/10 lolita fashion coordinate was loads of fun and I am so excited and happy with how both the look and the photo turned out.

JSK: Bodyline
Cape and OTKS: Innocent World
Hat: Handmade
Boots: Offbrand decorated by me
Wristcuffs: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Bracelets: Offbrand

I also wanted to share a behind the scenes shot that shows of my handmade hat really well!

This was a great Halloween shoot to do and I've got to give massive credit to James for making the final photo so ridiculously cute! Therefore I am pimping his photography page...he does good stuff and you should check it out  ^__^

On the second of November my work had a belated Halloween/Day of the Dead party and of course I had to dress up! Lolita is my go-to for work dress ups as I like it and it’s easy, so this year I went as a cute deer. I didn't manage to get a full body photo, but this shoe shot and selfie give you the general gist of it.

JSK & Shoes: Bodyline
Blouse: Lady Sloth
Headdress: Sweet Dreamer
Socks: Offbrand

I did plan to wear a fawn collar and my new shoe toppers as well but the collar was uncomfortable to wear all day and the shoe toppers didn’t work with flats so I was a bit more toned down than I intended! Regardless, I liked the outfit.

And then that was it for me for wearing lolita in 2017! I am so happy I achieved my goal of wearing the fashion more and have really enjoyed sharing my coordinates here ^__^