In which she discusses what she’s keeping…

Okay first thing’s first. I was having trouble deciding what direction for my wardrobe to go in, so I threw a whole pile of stuff that I liked into a pinterest board. Brand releases, off brand stuff, coordinates that inspire me, my own outfits that I liked, random bits and bobs, a little bit of everything! This was super helpful, it gave me a visual way to draw connections between my taste (which is wide and varied and sometimes weird) in ways that don’t fit well in the confines of standard lolita categories. I’ve never really had an easy time categorizing my wardrobe in terms of sweet/classic/gothic, and in the past I’ve had a bad habit of impulse buying and that definitely didn’t help!

What I narrowed my current tastes down to was kind of like a bright, kitchy, heavily otome-influenced, kind of retro version of sweet lolita.

From there, I wrote myself up some guidelines! Nothing hard and fast, but some helpful things to keep in my to make my wardrobe more cohesive and keep me on track when shopping.

  • Kitchy! Funky prints, mixing prints, unusual accessories.
  • Colorful! Neutrals are okay to balance a coord, but opt for color and brights over pastels.
  • Casual! Cutsews and cardigans over blouses. Don’t be afraid of normal wardrobe items.

From there, I could whittle down my wardrobe and see what I like!

Dresses are the scariest tiny pile for me right now. But really I’m looking at selling only 2-3 dresses that fit me, the rest are just languishing in the closet.
Very smol skirt pile, but this has been small for too long! I need to make more.
Tops/Outerwear is looking okay, though I definitely need more bright options. (I also have a long-sleeved pink blouse that was in the wash!)

So this is my little capsule wardrobe for a minute. I’ve got a couple things that I’m on the fence about, namely a black jsk and skirt, and a cream skirt. I think they’ll stick around in my wardrobe for a little while to see if I actually wear them much, but I’ve grown pretty tired of more neutral coords so I doubt I’ll end up hanging onto all of them long term.

The last thing that’s a bit of an iffy item is my She is Sleeping JSK. It’s been my dream dress for the longest time, but I haven’t really worn it much. I’m going to hang onto it for now, because it’s very sentimental for me at the very least.

Next on the docket is assessing some things that need repairs, and then the arduous process of cleaning/listing/selling/shipping a whole bunch of stuff haha. Wish me luck!

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In which she embarks on a journey…

I think if it’s one thing this crazy pandemic has given us it’s time to properly reflect on things. We have…literally nothing else to do. (Except of course play Animal Crossing but I got my island to 5 stars and now I’m burnt out.)

I’ve been feeling kind of unhappy in lolita for a while. I’m nostalgic verging on cranky sometimes, my wardrobe is a source of angst, and I sometimes have trouble finding new content that I don’t find boring after so many years in the fashion. In short, if I see one more head-to-toe matchy matchy coord I’m gonna lose it haha.

As such, I’ve been considering leaving lolita. But I dearly love my community and I do still love the aesthetic and I don’t know that I’m quite ready to give it up.

So it’s come time for a major wardrobe overhaul. I’m not just talking about like…getting rid of a couple of dresses or adding some new accessories, I’m talking about a purge.

Part of this will be clearing things out that don’t fit. That’s been a major problem for me since I started my wardrobe more than a decade ago and I’ve gained a lot of weight since then. I’ve been giving myself grief about it by holding onto these things that just won’t ever fit again, and that’s just stupid. There’s enough pressure on me as a fat woman, and especially a fat lolita, and hanging on to things that don’t fit isn’t gonna help.

Part of this will also be making things! I’d like to make at least one or two new jsks, a skirt or two, maybe some cutsews? I have mixed feelings about a lot of the plus sized options on the market just as far as personal preference goes, so I’ll be mostly creating new main pieces!

I’d also like to do some thrifting! Online, obviously. I hate making anything with buttonholes so some new tops will be needed. I might share some of that process, as I know since the rise of Taobao shopping a lot of people gravitate there for more quick/cheap purchasing, but that’s not as much of an option for plus sized folks.

Basically at this point I’m crossing my fingers that this process will be fun and reinvigorating rather than difficult and draining haha. I guess time will tell! I hope at the very least it’s interesting to read about! Expect a post about my closet clean-out soon.

In which she discusses rule breaking…

Hello, yes, it’s me again, everyone’s favorite very sporadically blogging ancient lolita aunt here to rant about something. These are weird and trying times, and as such folks are responding by…having a little fun? Wearing lolita with sneakers! Pairing lolita with harnesses! Trying out casual lolita (even if sometimes it’s not really casual, but that’s a whole other gripe!) and as such the community has a lot of Opinions.

I’ve been a lolita for…too long. Like….15? 16? Years? Long? And this is something that’s come up time and time again in my billion year reign as Person Who Does Things that The Online Community Would Hate But I Rarely Post So Nobody Knows Who I Am and It’s Chill (it’s a long title, but somebody’s gotta carry it.) I notice a few things every time this comes up, which is usually over the summer, but because we’re all trapped inside it’s kind of an extended summer vacation for folks in school.

First: Pretty much everybody having this conversation is a new lolita

The people pushing the boundaries, the people getting angry at people for pushing the boundaries, etc. The longer someone is a lolita, the less they care about the grand scale of the online community, I find. Folks may still share coordinates, of course, but the longer you’re around the more you know not to post the really avant garde stuff to a big old group where people have so many thoughts. The more tired you are of having internet arguments about clothing. The more you don’t want to interact with people who’ve only been in the fashion a year and yet think they know everything about it.

Second: Nobody seems to know that the rules are fake?

Ever since way back in the day when the Lolita Handbook was made, it was really more of a way to direct newer lolitas to get a really good idea of the core of the fashion so they’d stop pestering us with questions quite so much. It was literally a way of weeding out a bunch of newbies on the EGL LJ community, a lolita FAQ as it were. Sure, there are a lot of things that are common in lolita, but literally nothing is set in stone.

Third: Shit has changed so much that eventually some of these arguments will seem archaic.

People try and point to a lot of lolita rules as though they’ve been the same forever and the style will look exactly the same in ten years as it does now. But having been in the community for a literal age, I can personally attest to how drastically things have changed. Petticoats were a suggestion, not a necessity, and they certainly weren’t as monsterously poofy as they are now. Wigs used to be totally taboo, and unnaturally colored hair too. Cutsews used to be really common and so were more casual coords. It’s all temporary, and fashion changes.

Fourth: Someone else’s fun time does not prevent you from being whatever your ideal of a lolita is.

People seem to take wearing sneakers or skipping a blouse as a personal insult. Chill. Go coordinate a nice outfit for yourself. It’s fine.

There’s my Ancient and Wise Lolita thoughts on the matter. If y’all want some more rants I’m happy to provide? In the meantime, gimme your best recommendations of lolitas on instagram pushing the envelope. I love a coord with a t-shirt or combat boots or whatever else weird shit you’ve got.

In which she shares some recent purchases…

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I’ve been accumulating a few cute things lately and I thought I would share! A small haul, but some nice additions to my wardrobe!

First up are a couple of necklaces! The one on the left is an elegant unicorn-themed piece from Calamity’s Carnival! I’m a sucker for more understated unicorn stuff, so this was kind of a given. It would have matched well with my Last Unicorn coord from a little while ago!

The necklace on the right is obviously a stack of pancakes! It’s from RawrTiger! and not only is it adorable but it smells like maple syrup. I honestly don’t have too much that matches with it at present, but red’s one of my favorite colors so I’d like to work more of it into my wardrobe anyway.

The last thing I picked up was a super cute blouse from a vintage seller on Etsy! I loved the little cuff and collar ruffles, and the buttons are even pearly. A good chunk of my blouse wardrobe is vintage or thrifted, I find it easier to get things that fit me well, and they tend to be well priced! I needed a new pink blouse and this one fit the bill perfectly. I’m hoping to wear it to a meetup this coming weekend!

Have you all purchased anything new and fun lately? Anything you’re hunting for to round out your wardrobe?

In which she shares some small meets…

Recently I’ve had the chance to get together with some local friends for movies and coffee and tasty food, and it’s been really nice! I do a lot of traveling for larger meets, as the bigger groups in my state are about an hour and half away from me. So it’s a nice change of pace to do some smaller local things!

  • JSK: Btssb
  • Shoes: Bodyline
  • Bag: Vintage
  • Collar: Handmade
  • Everything Else: Offbrand

I went to see How to Train Your Dragon 3 with a friend, and I wore kind of a casual chic coord for it! The cardi and tights are actually navy, a coord I don’t wear enough in lolita, really. I’d like to add more of it to my wardrobe!

And then we ate some tasty food! This katsudon was HUGE!!

  • JSK & Bag: BTSSB
  • Blouse & Flower Crown: Handmade
  • Shoes: Bodyline
  • Everything Else: Offbrand

Then I hosted the tiniest meetup haha. It ended up only being 3 of us, but it was good company and tasty food and we went to see a Bolshoi performance of Sleeping Beauty! I had to break out She is Sleeping, of course. I’ve worn this dress a few times and still feel like I haven’t quite coordinated it exactly how I wanted it, but this is definitely getting closer! I’d also really like to do a very old school look with it some time.

The performance was beautiful, of course! It was one of those theater releases of live shows, and I’d never had a chance to go, so I was really happy to finally see one! The costumes were absolutely stunning. It was really cool to see the behind-the-scenes footage before the show and during intermission too! And it was nice to enjoy it in fancy recliner movie theater seats hahaha!

It’s been nice to wear lolita in more causal, chill situations, but I’m also really excited for a bigger twinning themed meetup next month. Do you prefer smaller gatherings or bigger events?

In which she shares a cozy crafty meetup…

Earlier this month a local friend organized a Crafting and Cocktails meetup, and though I had just driven up to Raleigh for another meet, I couldn’t resist this theme! A casual afternoon of crafting and tasty drinks is pretty much my ideal.

  • Beret: Amazon
  • Hair Accessories: Handmade
  • Sweater: Target
  • Skirt: Meta
  • Socks: Sock Dreams
  • Shoes: Bodyline

My outfit was a bit off the beaten path, but I’m so so pleased with it! I want to branch out my casual style more, and add quirkier things that may not be quite lolita, but feel more me!

We had a big range of tasty snacks and of course lovely cocktails! I had an Elderflower French 75, which was delicious!

We chatted, took photos and did a little crafting, though I think a lot of us did more talking than actual crafting haha! I started on some knitting, and other folks drew or beaded or sewed, and it was a great way to strike up conversation about creative pursuits

My lovely friend Em gifted me some stickers of her amazing angry lolita designs! I relate to these so much and love their old school styling! Now I just have to figure out where to put them…it’s so hard to decide where to put stickers!!! (Also she’s got a couple of these cuties up in her RedBubble store if you love them like I do ♥)

Afterwards some of us went out to get some sushi! Such pretty sashimi. It was a lovely end to a lovely day!

I’d definitely love to attend more casual meets like this, a smaller group meant more time to catch up with everyone and a more relaxed atmosphere ♥

In which she creates a coord based on a book…

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The unicorn lived in a lilac wood and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam, but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night.

When I saw this prompt pop up on the Lolita Blog Carnival, I knew I had to put together something for it! Initially I thought about a rêveur from The Night Circus, but found my wardrobe kind of lacking. So I fell back on my old favorite, The Last Unicorn.

My beautiful Moss Marchen Oracle necklace!

“And in the whiteness, of the whiteness, flowering in the tattered water… their eyes as dark and jeweled as the deep sea — and the shining of the horns, the seashell shining of the horns!”

A long time ago I made a post about Amalthea, but since Polyvore went down, a lot of that is lost. This time I managed with my own closet! I incorporated a few little details, like pearls and moons, and I think the floaty chiffon layers really add to a mythical unicorn look.

Is there a book coordinate you’ve longed to do? Something inspired by a heroine or a dashing prince maybe?

Cupcakes and UnicornsThe Bloody Tea Party Roli’s RamblingsIn Love with a Dream

In Love with a Dream

In which she makes a little something for a friend…

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So in exchange for these lovely blog graphics, my lovely friend Em agreed to an art trade! In all honesty I’d never really done one before because I tend to see them between illustrators, and while I love to draw I’ve never felt up to snuff for that sort of thing. But of course, textiles are an art unto themselves right? So I offered some sewing in exchange!

Em has this precious headdress from AP, and requested a faux fur collar to match! Right up my alley, I love making little fur collars and I wear them quite a bit to fancy up an outfit or keep warm!

I assembled the materials, with the hopes to match some gingham ribbon to the cute check print on the headdress, and I think I was successful!

And the finished product! I’m so happy with how it came out. I have a much-used pattern, but getting the ribbons to sit right while sewing and dealing with fur is always an adventure haha!

These little guys are actually detachable! They’ve got little pinbacks on the back so that she can use them elsewhere, or have a simpler, more versatile collar if she wants!

I had so much fun with this project! It was an excellent excuse to break out my sewing machine after a little bit of a post-holidays sewing funk. And I can’t wait to see how Em coordinates it!

In which she discusses getting casual…

In the past decade or so lolita has wandered from something weird but fairly casual to something super over the top, almost exclusively reserved for meetups and events. A few girls in my local community were discussing more casual lolita lately, and it’s something near and dear to my heart, but I feel like it’s gone a bit by the wayside, even in my own wardrobe! So I thought I’d pull a few coordinates together and talk about just how to wrangle more casual styles.

Tools

I think something that’s not talked about too often is you actually have to have the stuff to make casual coords! It’s not necessarily a whole different wardrobe, but there are some components you might not have if you exclusively wear very detailed OTT pieces.

  • Shrugs, Cardigans, and Cutsews– I find that blouses, in general, don’t really lend themselves to casual looks. It’s totally possible, but it’s way easier to get a laid back feel with a less stiff piece of clothing!
  • Skirts– I feel like skirts get a bad rep in the community. They’re harder to coordinate, so a lot of folks don’t buy them? But I love a good skirt, and they tend to be a little less over the top and easier coordinate with casual styles.
  • Casual Headwear– You can totally wear larger headbows with casual looks, but smaller headbands, bows, clips, and berets are a lot easier to incorporate into the style. Plus, if you’re forgoing a wig these are easier to balance with natural hair.

Examples

Rainbow Cute!

This first one is I think what people think of when they think of casual lolita? The cutsew, knee socks, and flat shoes all kind of lend themselves to a casual look, while the jewelry adds just enough detail.

Okay I seriously like this one. Kitchy and Fun!

This is a bit more of an attempt to tone down what would otherwise be a kind of OTT dress. The front might look a little plain, but this JSK has a bustle back haha. A cute cardigan over top, some kitchy accessories, and simple legwear keep it casual.

Cozy Vibes!

And heeeeere’s where I stray a little off course. For those who’ve been following me for a long time, you know I don’t love a strict rule set, and casual lolita is definitely where that line starts to blur for me! I really like a soft cozy sweater with lolita? It goes in kind of a mori direction, and I find that charming and cozy. I kept everything else more or less strictly lolita to kind of adjust for the overly casual top.

Spooky Scary Skeletons!

Pardon me while I veer off the rails into what is maybe not even lolita anymore territory haha. This has a lot of the same principles as the last coord, with a little less effort to fully disguise the t-shirt haha. I think I’d feel a bit better about this if I had a detachable black peter pan collar, in all honesty. But in general, I would totally rock this look. It’s comfy and cute and spooky! (The shirt is from Lord of Masks, whom I love with all my witchy heart)

Hair & Makeup

This one can be a little tricky, depending on your comfort level, what your hair looks like, etc. Generally for casual the idea is less is more.

If you’re comfortable wearing your own hair, then go for it! If not, maybe choose a simple, short, or more natural wig! I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of curly bob styles for casual looks, but you can definitely make a longer wig work.

Also consider cute hair styles! I think braids, pigtails, and buns are totally fine for wearing with casual. It adds a little interest, and keeps your hair out of your way, which is super practical!

Makeup-wise, it’s again kind of a personal preference. To me, pretty light makeup and natural looks are comfortable and fine! But I wouldn’t say heavier makeup doesn’t have a place in casual lolita. A more fun and colorful look or something a bit heavier and gothy if you swing that direction, would be super cute! The key is that it’s comfortable for you!

Anyway…

This post ended up super long haha! I hope it was helpful, I know making such a generally unusual and over the top style casual can be a bit hard to wrap your brain around. In making coordinates I’m much more excited to wear more casual lolita around town, and I hope you are too!

In which she discusses a new year…

I feel like the last few years for me as a lolita has been kind of a mixed bag, and I’ve been not as motivated in the fashion as I’d like to be. So while I’m not usually one for resolutions, I wanted to try a make more of a lolita to-do list for the upcoming year!

I know it might not seem like too much, but I wanted to keep things fairly easy to do, but still more motivating than this year!

  • 10 Meetups/Events: I went to maybe….6-7 events this year? But I’d like to make more of an effort this year! My comm has put on so many nice meetups lately ♥ and I’m already RSVPed for a cool photoshoot meetup in January!
  • Sew More: This one’s pretty self-explanatory, I’ve done some lolita sewing in the latter half of the year, but I’d like to do some more practical sewing, which leads us to the next item…
  • Focus on Wardrobe Building: I tend to sew or buy stuff that I find fun or interesting, rather than what I actually need. I want to kind of assess my wardrobe early in the year and see what gaps need filling!
  • Wear More Casual Lolita: I used to wear casual lolita all the time and a lot of people I think found me back when I first started this blog because of that, so I’d like to do more casual dressing up, and wearing lolita not just for meetups!
  • Post at Least Twice a Month: This may not seem like a huge amount, but I honestly wanted to keep the bar kind of low, so that on busy months I won’t feel quite so pressured.

I hope this was interesting! Do you guys have any resolutions or plans for the new year in lolita?