Monday, 20 September 2021

A very tiny capsule wardrobe

 As per usual, this capsule wardrobe post has its genesis on the capsule thread on CGL. The thread got massively derailed, so I posted some questions to get things back on track (which mostly failed, but oh well). One of the questions was "When does it stop being a capsule and start just being a small wardrobe? On the flip side, what makes it start being a capsule and not just a couple of coords?"

I still don't have a final answer for my own question, but it made me want to explore much smaller capsules than I normally do. My usual capsule is around 5 main pieces, 4 blouses, a couple pieces of outerwear, 3 pairs of shoes and about 7 pairs of socks and 7 items of headwear. If I include bags there's usually 2. I don't tend to do jewellery, as to me that more supplementary than the core of a coord

So I got to thinking - how small can I go while still having ti be a good capsule? In the end, I picked twelves items because I really enjoy Mariah Pattie's capsule wardrobe videos and she normally has twelve pieces. He wardrobes aren't lolita, so twelve goes a lot further for her, but still! It's what I somewhat arbitrarily decided to do ^__^

And here we have it!

I rather like this wardrobe! I tried to be less "boring" and ran with a wine shoes and bag (and bolero) rather than brown, which is a more standard colour choice. I'm not 100% convinced it was the right call, but I liked trying it out. The brown OP I am also aware is not the more versatile item, nor the most cohesive with the rest of the wardrobe but I felt it was a much-needed point of difference. 

If I did my maths right, this wardrobe can yield exactly 32 unique outfit combinations (without going into blouse-less or sock-less territory, or wearing a JSK over the OP which I really don't think would work). Obviously there would be a lot of similarities in them so you could alternatively think that you're going to get three main outfits with each JSK and two with the OP, with minor differences. 

Because I'm me, examples below of what I mean ^__^

Love that middle outfit!

Genuinely digging the right coord.

Left outfit is so cute with all the pink!

All in all I'm quite pleased with this. Things are quite same-y, but I think it's still pretty versatile! I found I really chafed at the limited headwear and legwear most of all, even more than having just one pair of shoes! However, if doing a capsule IRL and without arbitrary rules about the number of items, if I could add a bunch more socks, hair things and other accessories but no more main pieces, tops, or outerwear I'd be pretty happy with this as a wardrobe. 

I really enjoyed the challenge of putting this together, and think I'm going to give a twelve-item capsule another try with a different ratio of items.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Get necklace, make coord

Earlier this year an online friend sent me a necklace that she made for me, and it is absolutely stunning! It's really beautiful and wonderfully made and of course, my first impulse was to start building outfits around it. It took me a very long time to actually do it, but I finally put together a flatlay worthy of this gorgeous piece.

I ran with my wedding dress as the main piece and pulled together a pretty floral look, which I absolutely adore. I can't wait to wear this sometime!

And, because it's super gorgeous, please admire this close-up of the necklace itself.

I also tried to take a close-up of the necklace in situ but my camera decided to focus on the brooch apparently...oh well, it's still a pretty photo, just a tad blurry!

I'm so happy to have finally done this necklace justice! I also decided to use putting this flatlay together as an opportunity to film a little YouTube video about how I build a coordinate, so please check that out below if you're interested. 

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Coordinates from July - August 2021

The title is kind of a lie - I didn't wear lolita in July. But I felt so uncomfortable just posting for every other month and pretending it didn't exist, so I'm lumping it in here even though nothing happened.

I mean, I could have just posted and not said that and I'm sure no-one would have cared...but I care!

And, on the top of me justifying first outfit of August is only really quasi-lolita. Or, more correctly, quasi-ouji. But I'm counting it!

Overalls: Punyus
Blouse: Glitter Tale
Shoes: Bodyline
Everything else: Offbrand

I wore this outfit for no reason other than I had to leave the house and was struggling to find comfy pants. So I decided to wear my overalls, but my only matching shoes are my lolita ones, and one thing lead to another which lead to this outfit. It's cute and I felt good in it, nuff said.

Then I started the next week off determined to get back into the working from home lolita habit. At this stage, it was looking likely that lockdown will be continuing until end of October at least so I thought it would be good to get some positive habits going. And for this, I wore my newest dress!

OP: Metamorphose temps de fille Camellia Cat Hide and Seek
Capelet & Headbow: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
OTKS: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Bodyline
Everything else: Offbrand/Taobao

I love this dress so much! It's so different from anything else I own that it makes me really happy to wear. This outfit isn't like my "ideal coord" or anything, I just needed a warm layer, hence the capelet, and just built from there. I do like how it turned out though!

As is usual with me, my "wear lolita every day!" intentions didn't result in well, results, but I did doll up to WFH again on Friday.

JSK: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Shirring Princess
Blouse: Glitter Tale
Everything else: Offbrand/Taobao

Aaaaand...that was it for August. I had some time off at the end of the month for our wedding anniversary (we basically cuddled and played video games for five days) and didn't do much of anything. But as the weather continues to warm up and I've gotten my lolita room 100% clean for the first time in far too long, I feel cautiously optimistic that there may be more lolita in my near future. 

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Orange flowers, purple dress

 Recently (and by recently I mean in April's just one of those years) I did a lolita photoshoot with my talented husband James for the first time in I don't know how long!

I talked a little about the outfit in my April coord roundup so I won't repeat myself but will instead just share the final photos, because I absolutely love them!

What style of lolita photoshoot should I do next?

Monday, 26 July 2021

Axes Femme Kawaii

So someone needs to tell me when Axes Femme Kawaii got so super cute because excuse me, their stuff is so darn cute right now!

I've always liked Axes Femme. Their clothing has always been pretty and affordable and decent quality - in lolita terms, put their stuff around special set level. Their Kawaii sub-brand isn't new, but I haven't paid much attention to it since it first launched. And oh boy, I regret that decision.

There's absolutely no point to this post other than to share some of the cool stuff from Axes Femme Kawaii that's currently available.

How adorable is this whole coord? Lemons are so on trend, and I love the pastel yellow of the blouse and how it coordinates with the red. It's retro, but still so lolita. If I were into fruity prints I'd be all over this!

Speaking of things that I would totally wear, check out this ensemble. A classic harlequin with an Alice in Wonderland vibe, what's not to love? It's actually a vest and a skirt, which I think is great. It does come in blue as well, which is super Alice-like, but I preferred the black colourway.

Moving on from main pieces I had to share this cardigan because unless I'm being a bit dim I think it is a 100% match for Honey Cake. I'm not a Honey Cake diehard, but still, this cardigan is adorable and I always get a kick out of "offband" items that match burando perfectly.

And lastly...oooof, this blouse! Floral blouses are love, and this one is just gorgeous!

I've always found that Axes Femme is very "what you see is what you get". There are no sneaky shortcuts or missing details, they just provide very straightforward, well made, but simple garments.

So if you aren't aware of their Kawaii subbrand, well, now you are, and don't make my mistake of not checking their site for years!

PS if you have five minutes, click here for a cute video of Misako modelling some of their new stuff!

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Review #56: Glitter Tale Blouses

Wow, it's been a hot minute since I've blogged much of anything, hasn't it? Roll up your sleeves and prepare for a long one - it's a review that's was a long time in coming! Seven months, to be precise. SO let's go back in time...

I got in touch with Glitter Tale on Christmas Day, 25 December 2020 and after a little back and forth about availability I filled in the order form, submitted it and paid my invoice on the 27th.

On 25 January I got in touch as I wanted to see what the ETA was, and was advised that making time would be 35-85 days due to the upcoming Lunar New Year and the impact of COVID19. Given that I've read that Glitter Tale are slow, I assumed it would be on the longer side which was around mid March if counting from the date I paid for my order.

Then on 18 February I unexpectedly got a message asking for my waist measurement, which I apparently forgot to fill in. I have no idea if that was my fault or if they someone messed up the data - I can't imagine forgetting an entire field (I tend to be pretty anal about such things) but I don't like the thought of them just...losing one of my measurements. Who knows!

March came and went and on 12 April I asked for an update again and was told two blouses were done and the other was going to be made on Monday (the 19th). I don't know if it was or not, but on the 29th I finally got told my order was done! They said it was shipped and they would provide tracking after an upcoming four-day national holiday, but I didn't get the tracking number until 6 May, and the tracking didn't record any activity until 10 May. So I doubt it was actually shipped when they said it was.

Once it was in transit my package came pretty quickly and it was finally delivered 19 May. Halle-fucking-lujah!

Overall, I am not happy with Glitter Tale's customer service or turnaround time. I knew it wouldn't be great based on other reviews I've seen, but it was still pretty bad. 85 days (the advised maximum making time) is approximately 12 weeks, but it was 20 weeks from payment to shipping activation. Almost double the provided worst-case estimate is not okay, especially when little things kept adding up to lead me to believe I couldn't trust what they said about where they were at in the process.

Seriously, is there an indie brand out there that actually delivers products in their advertised time frame? Actually, belay that complaint, off the top of my head I remember The Black Ribbon being good as well as MadIllustration. But still. Ugh.

Anyway, enough complaints about timing and onto the actual clothing review.

And lets start the reviews off with a look at the blouse I'm most happy with - the simple white one. This style intentionally came with bunny ears, but they were left off on my request. This blouse is almost perfect. It's well made, the fabric is soft and not sheer, the details are super pretty. 

The only downside - and this is consistent across all the blouses - is that it is a bit tight and gapes at the bust, and is also a bit longer than a standard lolita blouse with a a big length without buttons at the bottom front. However, these could be due to flaws in my measurements, my body changing in the  months it took to make, or simply be a design choice that isn't really evident from stock photos.

Next up is this gorgeous chocolate brown chiffon number, which is just beautiful! There is less contrast between the lace and the fabric IRL, but they're not the same colour and I think it adds a beautiful depth to the blouse.

I mean, just look at that! So pretty.

And last..and this lavender blouse. It's certainly fine in terms of construction and all that, but I am not happy with the colour.

Also, it's hard to see in photos but the stitching is a bit off colour-wise and there's these odds press studs in the cuffs. It's not a problem, per se, but it's a bit odd. The sleeve are also a bit tight around the wrist, but like the bust size issues in all the blouses I'm taking that as pretty inevitable with custom online orders.

But in terms of colour - I ordered the far right, third row on the table below, and I honestly can't tell if I chose badly, if the stock pictures are off, if they made it in a different colour, or if I'm just bad at judging colours.

Here's a quick photoshop comparison - left is what I was expecting, right is what I got. It's darker, duller, and more blue-toned than anticipated and it doesn't match anything in my wardrobe (except for one that enough?).

So I'm pretty disappointed with the last blouse, and it's frustrating because since Glitter Tale weren't the best to deal with overall my gut instinct tells me they just used a different fabric. But I do know it could have easily been my mistake, or simply be a result of picking colours online. So I'm grumpy and disappointed and don't know what to do with those feelings!

But oh well. Two out of three ain't bad. And they are pretty good in terms of fit and quality. If it weren't for the terrible delays and dodgy customer service, I'd be quite happy. However, as it is I don't think I'd buy from Glitter Tale again.

So this review is a bit of a mixed bag. I'm happy to have two new blouses that fit me well in colours that suit my wardrobe, and I'll probably sell off the lavender one.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Coordinates from June 2021

 I'll admit, June nearly came and went with nary a coord. May and June were both hectic months for me and I didn't have the energy for lolita. Or, more specifically, my lolita room was a mes and it was hard to get into my wardrobe and I was in a cycle of "can't wear lolita until my room is clean, don't have the energy to clean my room".

But right at the end of the month my area went into lockdown again and I suddenly was working from home again. The first couple of days I just enjoyed wearing my PJS but after that I decided that for the first full week of WFH I wanted to try wearing lolita every day (sound familiar)?

So on Monday I wore Teddy Chocolatier - cute, comfy, and the first time using one of my new Glitter Tale blouses (which I'll post a review about soon, promise).

JSK & OTKS: Metamorphose temps de fille
Blouse: Glitter Tale
Bolero: Maxicimam
Shoes: Bodyline
Wristcuffs & Necklace: Angelic Pretty
Everything else: Offbrand/Taobao

I felt so adorable that I had to take a selfie to show off some more details of the outfit. I really enjoyed wearing a blouse as well as a bolero - and there's just something about a big white collar that is so typically sweet. And I wore my beret further back on my head and that also gave me extra cute vibes!

However, it was bitterly cold so I ended up actually taking a shower in my lunchbreak to warm up! And after into my cozy PJs ^__^

The next day it was cold. Again. And I was under the pump with work and all my motivation to wear the pretty outfit I had pulled out vanished...then stayed vanished.

Oh well, tis what tis. I'm happy I wore lolita once this month, and we'll see where life takes me ^__^