This week’s prompt is “Interview With A Fellow Lolita.” I wanted to interview my friend Terry, who was one of my first friends I made in the Lolita fashion community. I’ve looked up to her for many years, and admire how she always finds so much joy in Lolita fashion. Read on to learn more about Terry’s Lolita lifestyle!
Q: How did you discover Lolita fashion?
A: I discovered Lolita fashion when I watched a Japanese drama called Mendol Ikemen Idol. One of the girls from drama, named Minami Minegishi, dressed in old school — she so cute when she dress up!
Q: What’s your favorite part about wearing Lolita?
A: My favorite part of wearing Lolita is when I dress up, I feel so cute and pretty. I love ruffles and laces.
Q: What’s your favorite Lolita fashion memory?
A: My favorite Lolita memory is RuffleCon. I do miss rufflecon because I miss all my friends from east coast who’s into fashion like me.
Q: What are your top 3 tips to new Lolitas?
A: Indie brands, or they could order form Taobao resellers, Bodyline, and Lacemarket secondhand. Look through history and do more research and try to look your best.
Q: What’s your least favorite part about Lolita fashion?
A: My least favorite part of Lolita fashion is corset lace — it’s hard to breathe.
Q: How do you create your coords?
A: Makeup, blouses, jumperskirt, wig, headpiece, petticoats, OTK, and shoes as long as it matches with the coordinate.
Q: What’s your favorite Coord?
A: My favorite coord is bittersweet. I love bittersweet because I love a little bit of dark and light into it.
Q: What’s your favorite brand and why?
A: My favorite brand is Angelic Pretty because I love their cut and print that could make stand out.
Q: What’s is your favorite activity to do while wearing Lolita fashion?
A: My favorite activity while I’m wearing Lolita fashion is to have a nice Lolita community host a meetup for tea room and a trip to botanical garden.
This week’s prompt is “5 Surprise Finds That You Didn’t Realize You Would Enjoy So Much!”
I’m sure everyone has encountered surprise finds, whether it was an impulse buy, a gift from a friend, or something you saw and unexpectedly felt a pull toward it, even though you normally wouldn’t gravitate toward something like that.
1) This JSK was truly a surprise for me, because I got it from a lucky pack and had no idea what I was going to get (other than it being from the Alice and the Pirates brand). The name of the JSK is Starlit Sky Tent and the Secret Circus Troupe JSK I, in the blue colorway. I was hoping for something in red or bordeaux, so at first, I was disappointed when I saw the color. But I grew to love it’s unique print and beautiful design, and I’ve worn this dress often!
2) These Wolky red Mary Jane shoes were a surprise find in a small locally-owned shoe store near my college campus. They were on clearance sale, so I got a good deal on them, and at first, I wasn’t sure if they’d truly be comfortable since they have heels. But I’ve worn these walking, dancing, etc. and they’re really comfortable and well-made shoes! I love Lolita tea party shoes, but unfortunately, they’re not really made for walking and aren’t comfortable. As someone with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and flat feet, I also need arch supports. And these shoes have built-in arch supports! Even without my custom orthotics, they are comfortable. Sneakers are more comfortable though, but I rarely wear sneakers with Lolita fashion. I’ve worn these Wolky shoes with almost all of my red colorway coords.
3) These black Bodyline wristcuffs were a surprise find, and honestly I wasn’t expecting much… but they’re so cute and I’ve worn them for so many coords! They’re really versatile and work well for both gothic and sweet (bittersweet) coordinates. They’ve also held up well; the elastic hasn’t become over-stretched.
4) These vintage French crochet gloves were totally a surprise find from a Parisian flea market. They were damaged though and I’m scared to wear them much because they’re quite fragile. But I enjoy them so much, even if it’s just gazing at them. I store them in a clear ziploc bag, and they are stored in a container in a very visible place in my room, so even though I’ve had them for years, I still like to look at them. Occasionally, I’ll wear them out with coords!
5) This goldtone ring with an ivory rose was something I found years ago in Forever21. When I first got it, I wasn’t too into it, but as I built my Lolita fashion wardrobe, I found myself wearing it more and more often. It’s very easy to match with various colors, and it fits comfortably on my middle finger. It’s a versatile ring that will look great with non-Lolita coordinates too. And it’s sturdy! Many of my rings have broken if I drop them, or they get scratched and discolored, but this ring still loks practically new.
This week’s prompt is “Pros & Cons: Keeping To One Style VS Multiple Styles” … and this prompt really speaks to me.
I’ve pondered this question many times, even before I started building my Lolita fashion wardrobe. I’m sure other Lolitas have pondered this as well. I currently have multiple styles and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ll share my personal Lolita wardrobe story first, and then I’ll share a list of Pros and Cons.
Before I even started in the fashion, circa 2008 to 2011, I really wanted to start off in a single style: Gothic Lolita. When I was growing up, I hated the color pink and didn’t really like Sweet Lolita for all its pastels. I loved the Classic Lolita style since I’ve always been a fan of historic clothing, but the prices always seemed much too high. The first piece I ever acquired was a black Bodyline jumperskirt (although it was more punk than gothic). Before that, I only had offbrand things I found at thrift stores, or skirts that my mom and I worked on sewing together.
In 2012, when I started building my Lolita wardrobe, I took a surprising turn: Sweet Lolita! The reason was simple: budget. At the time, I stalked EGL Comm Sales on Livejournal religiously, on the hunt for secondhand deals. For some reason, and I’m not sure why, there were no affordable options for gothic styles that appealed to me. However, I did find a lot of cute Sweet Lolita items that were cheap. As an adult, the color pink didn’t bother me so much anymore. Part of it was probably due to my time reading the Gothic Lolita Bibles and KERA magazines, and starting to like pastel colors as well.
As you can see from my coord to my first-ever lolita meetup in January 2013, I am wearing (gasp!) some pink! I can’t recall the name of the skirt, but it’s from BTSSB. The blouse is just a basic white button-down shirt, and the bolero was a vintage item from a hospice shop. The large bow was hand-sewn, and the two smaller bows were from Forever 21 (and I still use those little bows all the time for coords!).
So, I went down the route of primarily Sweet Lolita, which was a total surprise! The goal was never to stick to one style forever though. I wanted to wear multiple styles. This is a desire I have not just for Lolita fashion, but for my wardrobe outside of Lolita too. I love fashion and being creative with outfits, but I also have different preferences for what to wear during certain times.
Eventually, I started acquiring Gothic Lolita pieces, and my wardrobe was split between the two styles. Below, you can see some of my coords from 2013 and 2014.
From 2015 to 2016, I acquired more Japanese brand pieces (and shifted from primarily shopping on LiveJournal to shopping on Facebook and MBOK for secondhand items). I also collected more basics like blouses, socks/tights, and accessories, and I started collecting a few classic pieces.
In today’s wardrobe, I have a wide variety of styles, and it can be overwhelming sometimes… but I have no regrets. I am not a lifestyle Lolita, but I do see myself as a collector Lolita. I love collecting different pieces! I don’t have much space, so it’s a struggle in a small apartment, but I make it work (even if it means stuffing clothing into vacuum seal bags or stuffing them into plastic bins and duffle bags…). Someday, I hope to have a proper closet where I can store my Lolita collection in one place. In my last LBC post, I shared my top tips for managing a wardrobe.
Now, for the PROS and CONS of Multiple Styles~!
Variety of styles to choose from
Do you want to go goth today? Or channel your inner Victorian lady? Or are you feeling sickeningly sweet and want to be all ice cream sundaes and whipped cream?
Unleash your creative side
When you have multiple styles, you can also mix some styles together! Do you want to be gothic but lean into classic and look like a Victorian lady in mourning? How about combining some Decora with your Sweet Lolita? Or let’s create some fun Punk / Gothic vibes?
Space? What space? Unless you can afford a larger apartment or to live in a house, you’re not going to have much space with your collection of multiple styles.
I think it’s fine to tag Loliita Blog Carnival as “LBC” again in the blog post titles, right? I’ve been participating in Lolita Blog Carnival more regularly lately!
This week’s prompt is “Top Tips For Managing Your Wardrobe.” To be honest, I need to implement a better way to manage my wardrobe, but it’s really tough when you’re living in a tiny (and cockroach-infested) NYC apartment. The closet I have has a broken door (it’s off the hinges and doesn’t close properly), so I try not to hang any of my lolita dresses in there. I store my lolita clothing mostly in a suitcase, and I also have a plastic container where I store more clothing item that does not fit in my storage suitcase. As for lolita accessories, I clean and recycle containers for hair accessories and jewelry (moon box tins for hair corsages and bows, laptop box for headbows, etc.), or hat boxes for hats and bonnets.
I’ll summarize 5 tips for managing your wardrobe:
Organize by item. Blouses? Put them all in the same container, or put them next to each other in the closet. Socks? Keep them in the same place for easy access.
Get more specific and stay organized. You can organize by color or style. For example, I put all my gothic hair accessories together in the same tin, and all my sweet and deco rings together in the same box. You can also organize legwear by ankle socks, knee-high or over-the-knee socks, and tights/leggings. If you wear certain items more than others, put them in a more easily accessible place so you’re not digging through too much to find things you wear regularly.
Designate a spot for loliable items or items that you also use for other styles. I have a duffel bag where I store my punk items, and another bag where I store my gyaru items. I also use some of these items for lolita coords, but I keep them separate since my biggest collection of alternative fashion is lolita, and it’s easier to keep those items separate. And when I’m planning coords and want to incorporate punk or gyaru, it’s easy for me to find what I need in these spaces.
Keep inventory. I know a lot of Lolitas who make a yearly wardrobe post, or have an album where they keep photos of all their items. I haven’t done either of these yet, but I do have a written list of items I keep track of. This is a great way to hold yourself accountable to what items you have and if you want to sell items, you can also refer to this list. During the beginning of my time in the fashion, I wasn’t good about keeping a list and I regret this since it was difficult for me to backtrack and add items to the list. I currently only keep track of main pieces, but it would also be helpful to keep track of accessories.
Separate items you are selling from the rest. If you have items for sale, separate them from the rest of your wardrobe so you can organize what you’re selling and easily find them when you need to ship them out.
This week’s prompt is “Share A Bit About Your Favorite Piece & How You Acquired It.”
My favorite piece is one of my dream dresses: Angelic Pretty’s French Café in the red colorway. I’ve worn it for my birthday tea party two years in a row (and didn’t even realize this fact til one of my friends pointed it out). I always gravitated towards this dress among my dream dresses over the years, and after acquiring it, I still enjoy looking at it (and wearing it!). It’s currently hanging on the rack in my bedroom so I can look at it everyday.
How did I acquire my French Café JSK? Secondhand, of course! I can’t recall exactly when I purchased it, but it was a few years ago from a friend in the Boston Lolita Community. She was kind enough to let me pay her through a payment plan, and I purchased this JSK as a set with the headbow and socks, and I also purchased some other lolita clothing items from her as part of the same payment plan.
What’s your favorite lolita fashion piece? Share the story of how you’ve acquired your fave in the comments! I love hearing these stories.
This week’s prompt is “Share Your Oddest Experience You’ve Had While Wearing Lolita.”
The oddest experience I had while wearing lolita occurred at a lolita meetup I hosted at a local mall. It was a small and casual meetup: I can’t remember the exact number, but I believe there were 4 or 5 of us hanging out. We were just walking around the mall and window shopping. However, we were stopped by security: security staff claimed we could not dress in this manner because we could be hiding weapons under our poofy skirts.
I think we got singled out because we dressed differently. Weapons could be hidden in a jacket, in pockets, even in your shoes. We didn’t want to cause a scene, so we simply left the mall at that point.
Getting singled out due to the way I dress happens a lot, but this experience was definitely the oddest one. I’ve been to the mall in lolita fashion at other times, and security has only stopped me to ask why I’m dressed like this, but they don’t claim that it’s a hazard or that they’re suspicious of me hiding weapons. They’re either suspicious of me taking photos since photoshoots aren’t allowed in the mall, or they are wondering if I’m performing in a local play or participating in an art event.
I recall that once someone claimed my outfit was a fire hazard. This was not at a mall though; it was at a café. I was seated at the time and I don’t understand how it could possibly be a fire hazard (and it was also odd that no one claimed it was a fire hazard until after I finished eating my meal).
I’m sure other lolitas can relate: when we wear lolita out in public, we generally get a lot of stares, whispers, and unwanted attention. I have lost count of how many times people called me “Bo Peep” in a derogatory manner. And I also lost count of how many times people took photos of me without asking for permission. Street harassment happens regularly as well, although this happens regardless of what I wear. I’ve also been catcalled when I’m just wearing jeans and a sweatshirt (and no makeup at all). It’s sad how many people are disrespectful. At a local meetup, a passerby even spat on one of the attendees when we were walking down the sidewalk. Another time, when I was wearing lolita alone at the mall, someone purposely spilled soda on me in the food court. It was terrible.
If you see someone dressed differently, kindly be respectful. When people ask, I don’t mind posing for a photo. I also don’t mind explaining what lolita fashion is to those who are genuinely curious. In my own experience, I’ve had the best reactions to wearing lolita fashion at museums. Museums are where I get the most respectful questions, as well as people complimenting what I’m wearing. Sometimes, people think it’s a costume or I’m cosplaying, and I explain that it’s alternative fashion and not a costume.
Even if you’re not participating in the carnival, I’d love to hear your oddest experience while wearing lolita in the comments. Feel free to share your own stories!
Time for some Lolita resolutions! To be honest, I still need to figure out my 2017 resolutions (in general). So far, the only general resolution I have is to be healthier and try to get more sleep.
Resolution: EAT ALL THE DESSERTS (just kidding but I’ll probably eat lots of sweets anyways)
Luckily, Lolita resolutions are somewhat easier to write.
Wear Lolita at least once a month! I definitely want to get back into this habit of mine that I had during college. I remember sometimes I would wear Lolita weekly! I definitely want to get more use out of the pieces in my wardrobe.
Sell pieces that I don’t see myself wearing. I have a bad habit of being a packrat… Not just when it comes to Lolita. I’m a packrat in general. I don’t like letting things go. If they don’t fit me anymore, I’ll donate them. But for items I like, I always hang onto them even if I barely wear them. I really need to look at my lolita wardrobe and try to give away or sell pieces that I don’t see myself wearing. Even if I love the item, that doesn’t mean I should keep hging on to it. (Especially since I love almost EVERYTHING.) One thing that will make this resolution difficult is the fact that I do not have access to a printer… Also the post office is so much more inconvenient now than it was when I was in college. No more nice campus post office. 😦 And for those who know me IRL, you’ll know the extreme stress the post office has given me ever since I moved.
Meet more Lolitas! I really want to meet more Lolita friends, both online and offline. I find that I tend to lurk in the Lolita community online, but I’d love to talk to and interact with more Lolitas.
Wear some more casual Lolita coordinates. Again, I wore Lolita more often at college, and therefore, more types of coords emerged. I want to wear more casual Lolita coords and also wear my Punk Lolita pieces more often. Hopefully I can move my whole wardrobe to me soon (although I have no idea how they’ll all fit in my puny room but I’ll figure something out).
Get some more jewelry/accessories? I feel like I’ve been re-using the same jewelry and accessories over and over and over. Which is fine with me, since I love the ones I have, but I should spice things up a bit. The issue is budgeting and saving up so I can get some more Lolita things to add to my wardrobe. I haven’t purchased anything in 2017 yet, which is good since the year just started. I’m paying off medical bills at the moment due to lots of recent health issues/procedures, so hopefully I won’t be struggling in future months. January started out as a big roller coaster ride.
All photos on this page are by REVGN.foto
That’s all I can think of for now, but it’s better than nothing. Happy New Year, everyone, and I hope you meet your resolutions!
Be sure to read other blog posts on this topic for the Lolita Blog Carnival!
Hi, everyone! It has been a long time since I participated in Lolita Blog Carnival. I’ve been really busy with the full-time job I started in September, so I haven’t had much time to blog. Hopefully I’ll find time to blog more in 2017! In any case, this week’s prompt is: Create A Holiday Themed Coord!
For WinterCon, a comic and sci-fi expo in NYC, I decided to wear a holiday-themed coordinate for Sunday at the con. Think: holiday toys and presents for children!
The dress and the headbow are from Alice and the Pirates’ Drosselmeyer’s Wonderbox series. I love the unique colorway and the variety of toys that line the dress’s border. The cuffs and yoke are nice touches too! I felt like a whimsical toymaker princess, to be honest.
Of course, this was a very cold Sunday, and most of the time, I was completely bundled up. And most of the photos reflected this.
Yes, I had a thick scarf on (which was technically a shawl that I used as a scarf), a long winter coat with a faux fur collar, and I had gloves with me (but I didn’t wear the gloves for the photos). As much as I love my Alice and the Pirates book purse, all my stuff didn’t fit into that small purse, so I used the tote bag I got from the Angelic Pretty Mook too. I also realize that I wear these rings with most of my coordinates. (Plus I’m wearing my college ring, which I never take off except for certain cosplays.)
☆Bow clips: Offbrand
☆Tote bag: AP
I actually left WinterCon early to explore Manhattan a bit, and Joe of Just Cosplay Photos and I checked out the Rockefeller Center. It was super crowded, but we did manage to get some shots!
I felt like the colors from the tree matched my outfit quite well! (Except all the colors in my outfit were darker.)
After checking out the tree, we looked at some of the window displays for various stores. A random lady complimented my purse and asked me where I got it. I had the chance to explain EGL fashion to her, which was a pleasure!
Last but not least, I adopted this precious bear from WinterCon… I named him Drosselmeyer after my dress! Isn’t he adorable? Drosselmeyer is too precious and he deserves so much love. I will probably make a blog post specifically about Drosselmeyer and me at WinterCon. I am excited to see the photos Brian captured of me and Drosselmeyer!
Thank you so much for reading, and please share your own holiday adventures with me! Photography credits go to Brian Ngai (photos at WinterCon) and Just Cosplay Photos (photos in Manhattan).
Be sure to read other blog posts on this topic for the Lolita Blog Carnival!
Over the summer, I had my first New York City photoshoot! Xin Lolita Photography captured these lovely photos of my Snow Dot Chiffon coordinate. (Shoutout to my awesome friend Terry for letting me borrow her BTSSB parasol! <3)
The coord was simple but quite comfortable. It was a really hot day, so I was happy to wear a onepiece dress.
Although, to be honest, it was really hot out and I felt like I was constantly sweating. I was so sure I would sweat off all my makeup… Thank goodness for blotting sheets.
Central Park was way larger than I thought it would be! I knew it would be huge… but I felt like I would get lost if I wasn’t following someone who was familiar with the location. I had no idea where I was this entire time. Am I still in Central Park? Yup.
The next photo is my favorite one from the photoshoot:
I’m so happy Xin was able to capture a jumping photo! I love seeing photos of people in the air, mid-jump. It’s amazing to see a photo of myself mid-jump as well. I’m also surprised I don’t look awkward… Since I felt like I was making weird faces of deep concentration every time I made a jump. xD;
This photoshoot was a lovely experience despite the summer heat, and I would love to work with Xin again in the future. Now that it’s winter, I really miss summertime… I would prefer the blazing heat over the freezing cold any day! (It snowed today in my town, and now I’m upset at the weather. I was hoping for no snow this winter, but alas, it always snows in New England.) Do you have any favorite summer memories?
This week’s prompt for Lolita Blog Carnival is a fun one: Your First Impression Of Lolita Versus Now!
To be honest, I can’t quite remember my first impression of lolita… It was a really long time ago. It was probably when I was 13 or 14 years old? I was definitely in middle school at the time.
Photo taken by my friend Camille
I stumbled upon a Gothic & Lolita Bible one day in a bookstore, and that’s how I discovered lolita fashion. I’m not exactly sure of my first thoughts about the fashion, but I think my initial impression was lolita as an over-the-top and absolutely beautiful aesthetic. I did not know the term “alternative fashion” at the time, so I am pretty sure that in my mind, I thought of lolita as – gasp – a costume. It was definitely outside the mainstream, and even though I loved the style, I couldn’t imagine people wearing it on a daily basis.
In addition to this, I think my understanding of the fashion was simply in terms of “Gothic Lolita” versus “Sweet Lolita.” I knew about “Old School Lolita,” with its rectangular headdresses and eyelet lace and all, but I wasn’t quite sure about other styles that fit into lolita. I also had little to no knowledge of other J-fashions.
When I became interested in learning more about lolita fashion, I purchased my first Gothic & Lolita Bible! This is the one I got:
It’s Volume 4 of the English language publication by TokyoPop. I still have this book on my shelf at home! After reading through this book, I was hungry for more, so I started to look for places on the Internet where I could see more examples of the fashion. At first, I had no idea where to start and was quite clueless. In high school, I discovered the EGL community on Livejournal, and that was really helpful! At first, I felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information (and especially: the rules!). Eventually, I felt more and more comfortable with the fashion style, but I still admired from afar since I wasn’t sure how I could afford anything lolita.
Now, my impression of lolita is very different! I learned about other alternative fashion styles since my first encounter with lolita, and I now understand that lolita is not a costume. It’s a fashion style: with its trends, its “popular” brands, its indie brands, its sub-styles, and its quirks. There are people who wear lolita everyday, there are people who wear lolita every week, and there are people who wear lolita once in a while – and all of these are totally acceptable. Lolitas also don’t have a “type.” You don’t have to be “ladylike” to be a lolita. Your gender and gender presentation does not correlate with your ability to dress in lolita. There are lolitas of all personalities too! There’s a great deal of diversity within the lolita communities, both online and offline, and I think that’s one thing I’ve enjoyed most by learning more about lolita fashion.
There’s one last discovery I would like to share about lolita: lolita fashion in its simplest form is clothing and accessories that people coordinate together to form cohesive outfits. But in the end, lolita clothing is just clothing. You don’t have to wear the clothing pieces as lolita. For example, it’s easy to wear a dress from a lolita brand without a petticoat and pull off otome style. The same goes for the reverse (I’ve used an otome dress for lolita before). If you have a lolita headdress, that doesn’t mean you have to use it exclusively for lolita. It could go well with another outfit too!
~Be sure to read other blog posts on this topic for the Lolita Blog Carnival!