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!
Have you heard of 11/11? 11/11 is Singles’ Day and is a huge shopping festival with lots of sales, discounts, lucky bags, etc. You can shop the sales at Taobao, Tmall, AliExpress.com, and some other stores and websites participate as well.
Even though I could care less about Black Friday sales… I love browsing and shopping during 11/11! Sometimes, I spend hours just online window shopping. And when the budget allows for it, snagging some great deals during 11/11 is the best!
Some of the Taobao stores display their 11/11 sales more obviously than other. When you’re on certain pages, you may be able to see a promo for the 11/11 like the following for Bobon21:
On Empty Wardrobe, you can see where the promotion is outlined under the second little red box under the price, where you see 11/11-11/11:
The promotion above is for every 200 spent, you can get 20 discounted – and there’s no cap.
On some shops, like Rotate Ballet, you can see the 11/11 sale banner bright and clear:
I’ve had my eye on the brand Yolanda for a while, and it looks like they have a bunch of 11/11 discounted items too:
I’ve never purchased anything from the above shops before, so I can’t vouch for quality, but they have great ratings from Taobao shoppers from what I’ve seen in customer reviews and photos on the site. If you’ve purchased from any of these stores, definitely share your thoughts! And of course, share any other 11/11 deals that you find.
To make it easier to shop and browse, I also recommend the Google Chrome extension that automatically translates webpages. This only works on text though, so text within images are a no-go.
This was my first fashion shoot with Samuel Lim, and it was a pleasure working with him! We wanted to do a royal-themed fashion shoot with studio lighting. I also wanted to try something new with makeup: adding gems to my face! I rarely stick things to my face, so I was a bit nervous about this. Luckily, nothing fell off my face during the shoot!
I really love the concept photos like the one above. Who needs my face when you can stare at the gorgeous details on this Voodooodolly crown, Innocent World JSK, and BTSSB princess-sleeved blouse?! I’d rather look at these pretty pieces than my face any day.
I truly love the red lighting in the background…! Especially since the wine red edges match the color of the JSK… (And red is my favorite color, so any shade of red delights me!) What do you think of the background color in these photos?
Samuel asked me to bring some props too, so I brought this Angelic Pretty Mook with me as a prop. I love looking at the photos inside the Mook! I don’t own anything displayed in this catalog, but maybe someday… Do you have any favorite Mooks? (In case you don’t know what a Mook is: it’s a cross between a magazine and book! Brand Mooks promote a brand’s products, and usually show off the latest releases and styles from that particular brand.)
Here are brands I’ve purchased from (please note most of these I didn’t buy from Taobao, since I purchased them secondhand, and for the ones I purchased directly from Taobao, I used a shopping service):
FoxCherry – They have really cute accessories! I purchased some wrist cuffs from them recently, and also have a hair clip I got secondhand years ago.
Flower Field – I purchased a hoop skirt from them last year.
I think that’s it for Taobao lolita brands I’ve purchased from, although I’m pretty sure some of the accessories I bought secondhand came from Taobao (but when I purchased them, the original owner wasn’t sure of the brand, and without tags, no idea where they came from). I’ve also purchased socks from Secret Shop and shoes from Secret Shop secondhand, but I can’t seem to locate their shop on Taobao anymore.
I was going to add in wig shops here too, but I think I’ll make a different post about wigs and keep it separate from this section.
Do you have a favorite Taobao brand? I’d love to hear about it!
Winter International Lolita Day 2017 took place on Saturday, December 2 this year. I figured I would write a post about this before 2017 ends since it was a fantastic day! It was my first time truly twinning too… I’ve never twinned with a print before!
Me and Victoria of ParfaitDoll twinned in Powder Rose: same colorway, but different dresses. I love this Angelic Pretty print, and was really happy when I was able to purchase it secondhand from a friend!
There were a bunch of different meetups happening in NYC for International Lolita Day, but I attended the meet that was at Sweet Time Dessert Cafe in West Village. It was such a cute location for International Lolita Day! Powder Rose fit right in at home.
Everyone there adored the rose wall. The desserts all looked so cute too! I had the mousse dessert shaped like a heart (and we called it the “butt” because it also looks like a peach… or a butt). The bubble tea was delicious too! I actually had two bubble teas: a jasmine green tea with peach bubbles one, and a Thai tea one with brown sugar bubbles.
If I had more money, I would have bought more desserts for myself. I wanted to try all the desserts there… Even though I only got one dessert, Victoria and I took bites of each other’s treats too! Her roll dessert was really cute!
It was really cold outside (in my opinion), so I regret not wearing my trusty old L.L. Bean winter jacket like I always wear in the wintertime. The reason I opted out of that jacket is because it’s solid black (and not loliable at all), so I wanted to wear a sweet style coat. The coat I chose to wear was this short coat from Liz Lisa.
It’s really cute, and I love the bows on it! It’s not very warm though… And I was wearing so many layers that day to make up for it. Thermal shirt, thermal tights, regular tights, knee-high fleece socks, a long-sleeved blouse, my huge multi-layer Classical Puppets petticoat… And my wig counts as an additional layer, right?
Photo from Tara: group photo!
Luckily, it was nice and cozy inside the dessert cafe. The giant bear by the window at the cafe was the most popular…! Everyone wanted photos with him.
Even people who came to the cafe outside our meetup wanted photos with the bear and against the rose wall!
Photo from Christina
Below, you’ll see a cute photo collage Christina made of me and Victoria and our adventures at the meetup. The last panel is my favorite one! Victoria was complaining about terrible customer service at a nail salon she had tried. Her face is perfection.
Photo Collage from Christina
It was super fun to twin, and I hope I can find someone to twin with again! This meetup was super fun, although it ended in pain and tragedy: both soles of my Bodyline boots came off. First, the right side. And then later on, the left side. It was really difficult to walk, but I was able to make it back home somehow. I’ll probably try to glue the soles back on and then minimize wearing them. (Maybe just wear them for shoots?) I’ve had similar negative experiences with Bodyline shoes so I’m hesitant to buy them again.