Friday, 28 November 2014

Velveteen floral outfits.

I've decided to play more with my lolita clothes to try and find new, interesting outfits. I think I have a fairly cohesive, medium-sized wardrobe now but still sometimes find myself a bit stumped. So to combat that, every so often I'm going to do some flat-lays to try out new ideas.

A piece I love, but sometimes have trouble wearing in unique ways, is Bodyline's L479. It's a really good piece, especially for Bodyline, and I find it really comfortable and flattering. And naturally, it seemed like a good first candidate to try experimenting with.

Before anything else, I really wanted to share a fabric close up! There are a lot of subtle hues going on in this dress that aren't evident at all in the stock photo.

This first outfit is the way I mostly wear this dress. My favourite boots, a fawn fur collar with a beret, flowers and pearls. It's basic but looks quite nice, channelling a bit of a vintage vibe.

In this outfit I tried something new, layering a long sleeved blouse under the OP. The flower on the hat and at the neck tie in the shoes and stop the outfit from being overwhelming brown. I have solid brown tights in this picture but some subtle floral socks or tights in colours that match the dress would be lovely.

I was loosing a lot of light by this point, so apologies for the grain in this shot. Taking inspiration from the last outfit I tried layering a different blouse underneath and brought in more light colours. Again I'm using solid tights, this time off-white, but in this outfit I think they work really well. This outfit also made me realise that berets really are my go-to hair accessory... but these are wintry outfits, so it's okay.

It was nice to experiment with these outfits, and to share them here, so this sort of thing may be added to my regularly irregular blogging schedule.

Monday, 24 November 2014

A Wardrobe Challenge: Chocolate and Not-olate

It took me a little while but I am pleased to present the latest instalment of the wardrobe challenge series! This Anon had a half-chocolate, half-not [well, not really that even of a split, but whatever] collection, hence my oh-so-witty title ^__^

These are the items they had to start off with, though I did get different pictures for two headbows and I also wasn't sure if their brown blouse [which is not the one picture, but similar-ish] was long or short sleeved but assumed it was long and added a short sleeved one in my suggestions because I think they should have both!

And these are the items I think they need to add to round out their wardrobe. However, this is only the bare minimum I think they should add, and I do think they need even more than what I've pictured to have a really versatile wardrobe. A gold blouse would also be good, I think, as well as a second one in black. A few more legwear options, different hair accessories, more wristcuffs and some additional outerwear would also be beneficial. And more shoes; specifically burgundy, a differently styled black pair and a navy pair. But as always I tried to round out their wardrobe by introducing the minimum number of new pieces possible. And I will also reiterate my standard disclaimer that stock photo lighting can be inconsistent so in my suggestions I'm assuming they will get pieces that really do match in real life.

Anon also included their bags and some smaller accessories. I haven't included the bags this time around, but I do suggest that they get a neutral black and neutral white one as that should give them a matching option for everything. I also didn't make use of their smaller accessories, many of which were biscuit and chocolate themed.

Anyway, enough talk! On to the example outfits... starting with the chocolate [and otherwise sweet themed] outfits. To be honest, I don't have much to say about this run of outfits as they are all a bit same-y due to the colours and the overall theme, so have a wall of images unbroken by text.

However, I do have a few points, thoughts and ideas about the non-chocolate side of this wardrobe so let us continue.

I fell head-over-heels for this JSK coming up with these outfits. The colours were so easy to work with and the design is just gorgeous. I played with the three main print colours in each of the outfits.

Conversely, this JSK was hard to work with, mostly because of the dominating silver print. I tried to work with the navy colour scheme in the middle outfit but the Loyal Rosette socks would only be able to work if Anon added other smaller accessories to make it match.

This JSK I had read was hard to coord and I agree. Despite sharing a colour scheme with the Ecailles de Lune dress for some reason this print it harder to balance correctly. Like in the coords above, the outfit with the navy AP socks may not translate well offscreen, but I wanted to try it.

Books! I adore book prints so it was fun to try my hand at coordinating this dress. Red and gold made it easy to match in a variety of different ways.

Coming up with these outfits really reminded me how much I adore sweet lolita. Here I worked with the main colour, the primary accent colour and whit to make three very different looks.

I'm not sure what accents colours there are in this print, having not seen it in real life, but it was a safe bet to assume that red was one of them. The other outfits, with white and black, were obvious choices.

Due to stock lighting I can't be sure where this dress sits on the white-to-ivory spectrum, so there's a chance these outfits may be off the mark in that regard. Though I do think you could potentially pull of ivory with warm whites, it would be challenging to do.

I don't have much to say about these outfits ^__^

Another gorgeous dress! My principles for this dress were much the same as for the previous stained glass dress... using black, white and red as the bases for the three different outfits.

This last JSK was very easy to work with since it has so many colours in the print. It would also go quite nicely with blue, I think.

Now, you may have noticed that Anon had a pair of socks and some tights that I didn't use in the outfits. I normally try to make use of everything the original wardrobe has, but this time I couldn't. I'm not really saying anything, just mentioning it in case anyone noticed.

I have three more wardrobes in my "pile" but I'm always happy to take on more with under twenty main pieces. However, it's a lot easier for me if you could give me a link to a facebook or imgur album or even email me pictures rather than you make a collage and then me cut it all out. So please drop me a comment if you'd like me to have a look at your wardrobe and make suggestions on how to expand ^__^

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Metamorphose outfit contest entry

As you've probably noticed, Metamorphose is currently holding an Autumn/Winter outfit contest, and I decided to enter! My lovely James took a bunch of photos for me, and the one I entered was my favourite. If you like it [or even just like me ^__^] please click here and like the photo on facebook.

I've gradually been falling more and more in love with the Flower Bottle skirt I got in my summer lucky packs and managed to figure out how to wear so much pink and have it look good... by pairing it with darker colours! Here I wore it with my blouse from The Floral Notebook, Bodyline shoes and offbrand accessories.

Here's a flat-lay of the outfit, minus the tights. In the worn photo you can't really see the flowers I clipped to the front of the beret, which I thought was a nice way to carry through the floral theme without overdoing it. And, since I had the skirt out, i decided to come up with another Autumn appropriate outfit with the skirt.

Somehow I feel this has a country kind of vibe... as in country music, not country lolita. I think it's the vest. Anyhow, I like this outfit too though I'm not sure if it's something I could wear myself and have it be flattering it was really fun to play wound with my gorgeous skirt.

A gratuitous print close-up to end on, and again, I'd really appreciate it if you liked it on facebook.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Meal Prep #3 and a blogging update

Things have gotten a little hectic on my end as I'm approaching my final exam of the semester, amongst other things, so it'll be a little while before my next regularly irregular lolita post. But we've been keeping up with meal prepping so I thought I'd quickly share our newest set of meals.

My individual meal photos turned out pretty dodge, but in the picture above there's two sets of meals. The first is kangaroo mince with spinach served with baked carrots and potatoes, corn and broccoli and towards the back is salmon with baked carrots and potatoes, sautéed spinach and with corn or beans.

In this lot first there is salmon with spinach, corn and broccoli and then kangaroo with beans and cauliflower, both with rice on the side.

And by some fluke of nature we even had leftovers, so these four bowls feature rice, kangaroo mince and a little each of bro coli, cauliflower and beans.

This week's cooking only took about two and a half hours, which was great. We're really getting into the swing of meal prepping. Do you meal prep, or know any bloggers who do? I'm always on the look-out for more recipes to try.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Wardrobe Challenge: Pink and red and white, oh my

This wardrobe is actually came up at a really convenient time as I think it's a great example of using the colour scheme method of building up your wardrobe that I outlined in my last post. Such a good example, in fact, that I almost didn't do it because at first glance this wardrobe has no glaring holes. Plenty of blouses and shoes, a cohesive colour scheme... but as I looked I did notice a couple of possible ways they could make it even better.

This Anon gave me the above image to work with, and to be honest they need very few things to get it to what I consider a great level of versatility. In addition, as long as they stick to the four main colours of pink, white, lavender and red they won't need to buy any new blouses or outerwear for a very long time, so they can really focus on building up their main pieces from here on.

These are my suggested additions and as I said, they are few. I would also suggest they invest in white shoes and headwear as well as a generic pink headbow of some sort, but if they just get pieces like the ones above they've got a pretty perfect wardrobe going.

As usual, I put together some sample coordinates to show the additions in action. But I want to note here that though I usually try to use every piece in the existing wardrobe in the sample outfits I could not find a use for the yellow tea party shoes. They may make for a nice pop of contrast to some outfits, but I couldn't find a way to make them work to my satisfaction.

JSKs like this, with several colours in the print, are super easy to work with. I really think the new lavender blouse makes for some great contrast in the centre outfit, and pairing the floral headband with the chiffon half bonnet is quite cute.

I don't have much to say about these outfits, so I'll take the opportunity to draw your attention to the fairly plain white bag I've suggested adding. Though I don't normally focus on bags, Anon's bag collection really needed a versatile white purse, so I bent my usual no-bag policy and included them this time around.

This JSK was a little tricky, because I've heard it's a lot more yellow in real life, so in the left and right outfits I chose to draw more on the red to match the floral corsage and the Snow White theme, but the centre outfit I assumed the flowers are detachable and tried something different by introducing a third colour. This outfit is something that I'm not sure will translate well in real life, but I thought it was worth including.

At first I thought this JSK would be hard to work with, but it turned out to be really fun. Working with pink, whites and then red gave three quite different looks, all of which I think work really well. I'm also now kind of regretting not getting this JSK myself.

I promise I won't repeat my spiel about loving plain lolita main pieces. Not a word about how awesome dresses like this are will pass my lips. These outfits are the only testament to how awesomely versatile non-print pieces are.

And I also won't reiterate how difficult I often find printed OPs to be. But in cases like this, it's such a statement piece on it's own it doesn't really matter too much what you wear it with because it dominates the outfit. Which is not a bad thing at all, just not my preference.

Lastly, we have Anon's lone skirt in three fairly simple variations, and with that, we are done with this wardrobe!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Three ways to start building your lolita wardrobe.

I think about clothes a lot, and doing my recent wardrobe challenge series has made me really consider if there is a best way to go about starting a lolita wardrobe. I've blogged about this before, but this time, now that I've been in the fashion longer, I thought I'd share three different methods you could possibly employ if you are a new lolita looking at starting to buy pieces for your wardrobe.

None of these methods are necessarily exclusive, and of course you can build your wardrobe however you want but since lolita, even offbrand and low-end lolita, is an expensive hobby I thought I'd share some possible ways to help new lolitas not waste time and money when they start their wardrobe. Naturally there is always an element of trial and error in a fashion that for most Western girls is based primarily off online shopping. You may think you adore gothic, but really feel more comfortable in classic. You may think onepieces are the best because you don't need a blouse, but then find them a bit limiting to wear. So you'll always learn more about what you like and what works on you once you actually have pieces in your possession, and it's quite probable that as you learn you'll discover better ways of building up your wardrobe, but I hope this post can suggest some good starting points.

Start with an single outfit

Well, everyone starts with a single outfit. But this is my suggestion of how to use your initial lolita outfit to organically grow the rest of your wardrobe. This is a great method for those on a very tight budget or those who wear lolita rarely.

Firstly, choose and buy a complete outfit you love, including the correct petticoat [not pictured]. For the purposes of future versatility I'd recommend getting a skirt or JSK as your initial main piece, rather than an OP.

Once you're satisfied with your first lolita outfit, break it into two sections: the "base" and the "main pieces" and then use each half as the starting point for a new outfit. That's all there is to it!

Here I used the blouse and tights with all new main pieces, but I could have kept the original hairpiece as well. However, hair accessories are cheap, so they're one of the easiest ways to add extra versatility. Also, most girls already have several different bags that, while perhaps not the perfect lolita bag, will go with one or both of their outfits so you may only have to buy a new main piece and new shoes to do this.

And in this outfit I've taken the main parts of the first outfit and paired them with new pieces to make a very different look. From this point, depending on the pieces you chose for outfits two and three you may be able to make a fourth unique outfit, like the one below.

At this point your overall lolita wardrobe is still quite limited, but there is sufficient variety that an occasional wearer will not feel like they're wearing the same thing over and over. And it can be an endless process to further branch out from here. In summary, the principle of this method of wardrobe building is when adding new pieces make sure you have something already to match it with, and try to have several alternatives for each main piece. This method is the most budget friendly as you can build up gradually while making sure things match ensures you won't have lonely pieces with nothing to match, and you will always have complete outfits to wear.

Have matching "base sets"

On a completely different note, I know some lolitas don't care as much about having lots of different blouses and such to pair their main pieces with but would prefer to focus on having a lot of main pieces. So in that vein, I do think another alternative way of starting a lolita wardrobe is to pick your substyle and colour scheme, get "base sets" of a blouse, legwear, shoes and headwear in matching colours when starting out, and then just focus on getting a variety of main pieces, preferably with matching headwear and/or legwear for a bit of variety. To make the base sets even better, add wristcuffs and a piece of outerwear as well, but consider those optional extras.

I would suggest having two base sets to start with and possibly work towards adding alternatives within the set, such as two different blouses in the same colour, or adding additional sets in new colours. Getting one or more big matching accessories to each main piece can also really help this style of wardrobe look not as basic as it really is.

The colours I would suggest making the base sets vary for each substyle. For gothic I'd recommend one black set and one white, for sweet a set of white and one in whatever you intend the main colour of your wardrobe to be, and for classic the sets should be ivory and brown. Pictured below are examples of the bases sets for a sweet lolita wardrobe that features pink.

You'll notice that though the items in each set are similar, they are slightly different to add a bit more variety. Also, not all the pink or all the white pieces have to be worn together. You can mix and match between the base sets or incorporate any pieces that match your main pieces. With two base sets like this, you could acquire all the main pieces below and wear them all in at least two different ways immediately, more if you mix and match and have matching socks or headwear for each piece.

This method is not one I would like to use, but I'm a person who loves mixing-and-matching. With this method, though you have to make a bit more of an initial investment in basics than you do in the first method I suggested, you are always guaranteed that a new main piece that matches your base sets will be easy to wear without having to buy any additional pieces. In that way I think this is a great method for people who want to have a range of interesting main pieces but are on a more restricted budget.

As you can see by the array of main pieces above, this method also doesn't result in boring and same-y outfits. Even when picking dresses and skirt that will work with both pink and white you have a lot of variety in styles to choose from, and over time as your wardrobe goes and you add more pieces to the base sets or more sets in different colours you'll find you end up with a very cohesive yet varied wardrobe.

Pick a colour scheme

Now I'll be honest about two things here. Firstly, the method I'm about to describe is something I saw on The Chocolate Maiden's blog. Secondly, this is more a method to use as you build up your wardrobe rather than advice on what pieces to get first.

Similar to the method of acquiring base sets above, if you choose and stick to a colour scheme when you start out once you have a few basic pieces you can easily add any kind of item as long as it matches the overall colour palette. Though not as immediately budget friendly, this kind of method can really allow you to be a great bargain hunter. If you have a palette of three to five colours and something pops up cheaply that matches, you can buy it and know it will work. You'll also be able to easily avoid buying things that won't match and thus won't be wasting money on either unworn pieces or buying things to match just one main items in your closet.

For my example here, I chose the sax colourway of Cream Cookie by Angelic Pretty, and sampled the four main colours. I think this is a fun way to find your initial colour palette - get a photo of your ultimate lolita dream dress, or even a favourite "normal" outfit that you love to wear, and sample three to five colours from it. And bam! Instant colour scheme.

After coming up with the above colour scheme I slapped together a sample wardrobe in those colours. And when I say I slapped it together, I really mean slapped together. I'm normally quite methodical when it comes to hypothetical wardrobes, but to prove my point about how this wardrobe method could work I just grabbed things in the appropriate colours without caring too much about how they look and match.

If this was my wardrobe you can see that after this point I could buy anything that matched my colour palette and be able to wear it in a number of interesting ways. In a sense, this is the more advanced version of the basic sets method and is better for people who want variety within a main structure.

I hope these three methods can possibly be of help for people looking to get into lolita. There are some many lovely things to choose from that it can be quite daunting, and I know I bought my fair share of pieces that didn't suit me and didn't match my wardrobe so I hope that this can help others to perhaps make a better, more thought-out start into the fashion.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Meal Prep #2

Yeah, I think this is going to be a regular thing now. Today I spent four hours in the kitchen and made 23 meals in total, as well as a new big fruit salad. It was tiring, but it has been so good the past week and a bit to just be able to go to the fridge and pull out a healthy meal that just needs three minutes in the microwave and a fork.

I filled up our big blue mixing bowl with five apples, six oranges, a can of pineapple, a can of peaches and a punnet of blueberries. Apples, oranges and pineapple are my basic fruit salad "recipe" and it's good to add different extra fruits each time to spice it up a little. Last week it was rockmelon, this week, the blueberries. Next week... a mystery!

First meal is mixed baked carrots and potatoes with lemon and herb chicken thigh, green beans and sautéed spinach.

The second meal is very similar: again baked carrots and potatoes and sautéed spinach, but this time with roast lamb and broccoli. We only had enough carrot and potato mix to make five of these, as opposed to what is becoming the usual six.

Third is cauliflower rice, roast lamb, beans and corn. I love cauliflower rice, but it is time consuming and I don't think I'll make it regularly.

And last is rice, honey soy chicken, broccoli and corn. Forgive the shoddy photos in this post, it was stormy outside so I had to use the flash on my phone to get these. But we have another week;'s worth of food ready to go, and it's a great feeling!