Friday, July 25, 2014

LBC: Three things I could never see myself wearing

Yay! My first Lolita Blog Carnival! I've been excited to join in this awesome little blogging challenge for awhile now, and this seemed like a fun topic to kick start off with. So, without further ado, this week's topic was simply 3 things I could never see myself wearing. This was actually a bit more difficult to think about than I had anticipated! I find I'm willing to give things a chance at least once, but after some thought I was able to come up with my three top choices.

 OTT Sweet
I had a stint with sweet for a very short period of my Lolita career and all it left me with was a Unico and Bloomland skirt and the resolution to never wear it again. Sweet is extremely cute and I fully understand the appeal of its aesthetics. But actually wearing all that sugary pink and plastic jewelry is another beast entirely. My venture into sweet style had in fact been very toned down and not in the least bit OTT, but it was enough to make me realize that I simply do not feel comfortable in so many extra frills. I leave it as pretty to look at, not to wear.

Enormous wigs
I suppose this ties in a bit with my first point of OTT sweet as these extravagant wigs tend to be seen most in that style. Still, they can be found in other styles as well so I decided to give them their own category. For the longest time I didn't care for wigs of any sort at all as I never saw the point in them if the wearer has perfectly healthy hair of their own (for individuals who don't have hair or has hair problems this is a completely different matter however). But over the years I've slowly warmed up to the more relaxed looking wigs that still look fairly natural, and I think if they are of good quality and compliment the coord they can be a very pretty accent to an outfit. But the multi-colored, huge, ten mile high wigs with more hair than would ever be possible on a human head are just a no go for me.

 Themed coords
Something not inherently linked to sweet this time, but I don't see myself ever wearing any costume type of coord. It's not that I think they look bad, quite the contrary, I've actually seen some very beautiful outfits that were based off a fictional character's clothing. But even so, for me I feel this pushes too far into the costume category and these types of outfits can only be worn on special occasions, whereas I generally like to wear my Lolita on a more daily basis (when possible). That's not to say I don't appreciate bringing in elements from outside sources that I might like if it so happens to match my coord, but if the entire outfit is intended to look like someone else, that's where I draw the line.

All in all, I try not to close myself off too much for trying new things. For the longest time I thought I would never even want to wear anything other than solid black! But after a lot of trial and error I have a pretty good idea of what I do and don't feel comfortable wearing and what fits my own lifestyle.

So thanks for reading my first Lolita Blog Carnival post! I'm very excited to continue with these prompts, so if you enjoyed please leave a comment! Below you'll find the links to other Lolitas blogging on this topic and if you're interested in joining I highly encourage you to check out their page on Facebook.

Fellow LBC Articles:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

52 Challenge: How I found Lolita

So it's been awhile since I've posted one of these (thank goodness I didn't insist on one per week), so let's have a little fun! Time for another round of the 52 Lolita Challenge, and once again I've chosen something that will hopefully give a little more background of yours truly. For this round of the 52 Lolita Challenge...

How I found Lolita

Image from weheartit
Wow, it really does seem like ages ago! Let's reveal just how old I really am with this, shall we? 

Back in my high school years I was really into the typical anime scene. I visited a convention once a year and it was always a major highlight. Back then, I was really enamored with the cosplayers, and always told myself I would give it a go myself some day. Well, ultimately after two extremely simple attempts, I realized that not only did I not feel comfortable wearing clothes for characters with extremely different body types than mine, but I just couldn't wrap my head around spending all the time and money into a creation I would only wear once a year (and alone to boot since I had no friends who would cosplay with me).

I do remember at one point when I was searching for other options to still dress up, someone online suggested I look into Lolita since it allowed the option to be themed into a more costume type of coord, and would also probably be much more flattering on my body type. I'd never heard of it before, and seeing as this was around 2005/2006, I was a little confused and turned off by the lack of information. Still, the seed had been planted.

Come 2007, my senior year in high school, my interest in anime was waning. Still, I attended the convention, only this time my attention was majorly diverted from cosplay. It seemed like right around this time Lolita was really beginning to pick up and I saw gorgeous outfits everywhere! I was gobsmacked. What was this beautiful fashion? Where did it come from? And most importantly, could I wear it too?

I went home and spent the rest of my summer researching these amazing clothes. That Christmas, as a gift from my aunt, I purchased my very first skirt and cutsew from Bodyline. I still own them both, and while the cutsew is a bit too sweet and casual for my tastes now, the skirt is still just as much a gem in my closet as it was the day it first arrived.

I still remember how it felt to put on my very first pieces of true Lolita clothing. As cliche as it is, it felt magical. I never thought I could look pretty, never believed I could look in the mirror and be unable to stop smiling. But when I put on that cutsew and skirt, I knew this fashion brought out in me what I had been hiding for a very long time, a part of me that I had long forgotten was even there. I found myself through a simple Bodyline outfit, and though that was a long time ago, I'll always strive to always feel as lovely as I did that day.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Dash of Classic

Over the Fourth of July weekend my boyfriend and I took a mini vacation to San Francisco! On Monday he began a new night job along with his current day job, so we spent the weekend as our sort of final hurrah together. We decided to check out all the things in the city I've always wanted to do, but for one reason or another never got a chance to. So over the course of three days we rode down Lombard Street, visited Golden Gate park and rode the carousel inside, dined at the Crown and Crumpet in Japan Town, walked through the Disney Museum in the Presidio and watched fireworks from the USS Hornet!

Truly it was an amazing weekend and I was more than excited for a chance to wear Lolita! The first day I wore my new Chess Story dress I received just a few days ago as it's extremely comfortable and I didn't want to be dealing with a petticoat on the long car ride up there. I suppose it's not really a proper Lolita outfit at the moment, but I still was pretty pleased with it overall, especially since it was my first time ever wearing anything that doesn't include black!

Sadly this is the best photo I have of this outfit which doesn't really show much. My close-up turned out so blurry!

The second day I decided to go back to old faithful, a solid kuro outfit for a day around the city. I originally wore this with printed tights, but I quickly had to take them off since they were unbearably uncomfortable. I admit I was pretty disappointed since I've never worn printed tights before and was looking forward to once again trying something new, but despite the fact that I purchased a size too large, the discomfort was just too much to handle for more than an hour.

On the final day it was once again another Lolita inspired outfit rather than 100% Lolita, but unfortunately I neglected to take any photos. I still had plenty of Lolita during my trip however! Although Japan Town is not someplace new for me, we stopped by both Saturday and Sunday to check out the shops, eat at the Crown and Crumpet and of course, take a peek inside Baby the Stars Shine Bright!

Unlike my last visit to BtssB, the shop was super stocked this time, and the shop girls were SO sweet! Since I had dipped my toe into the realm of different colored dresses (and I made my boyfriend swear he wouldn't allow me to purchase any more solid black dresses as I have way too many as it is), I was really taken by this charming JSK in ivory.It was a bit out of budget however so I decided to sleep on it and come back the next day. Fortunately, another item in the store had also caught my eye while I had browsed around.

Ta-da! Isn't it absolutely gorgeous? Although it might not be as flashy as a dress, this necklace charmed my heart the moment I noticed it. It too is so different from my usual style, as I tend to shy away from childish motifs. However, the art style of the bears is so dainty and old fashioned, it definitely feels so much more classic than sweet to me, and as I'm working on incorporating more classic elements into my wardrobe this is the perfect fit! I can't wait to coordinate with ivory and brown and perhaps even gray.

Next up, we also had to take a small pit stop at Angelic Pretty. I admit, I'm not a huge fan of Angelic Pretty as much of their dresses are way too sweet and the cuts too short for my taste (and Harajuku Hearts is likewise a bit too punk), but I always try to make a point to visit anyway since the shop girls there are always unbelievably sweet and I like to show my support by purchasing a small accessory if I can.

This time around I was actually really looking forward to their Crystal Dream Carnival line. Though I wouldn't wear one of the actual dresses or skirts, the silver necklace with the pegasus charm instantly snagged my attention when I was browsing through the web store. Sadly, while the store had a few of the dresses in stock, there was no jewelry to be found. Not to be put off however, I soon stumbled upon this little beauty.

Now, I'm not usually one for brand names plastered all over me, but the simplicity of the design and the adorable rocking horse (again, not too infantile in its design) demanded me to give it a second look. Initially the necklace on display had a strawberry pink background behind the horse, but when I asked to see it the shop girl told me they had a second one in stock and brought out this necklace. I was smitten.

Again, I really feel like I'm starting to push my usual boundaries with this necklace. Like the BtssB necklace this piece has a lot of pretty browns that I think can be coordinated nicely with a lot of future classic coords. But not only that, it has a gold change! Honestly, I'm a silver girl-I generally think it's more subdued, prettier and classier. But I'm beginning to open up my mind more and realizing that's not always the case. So even though I didn't leave with the necklace I'd hoped I still think I snagged a pretty gorgeous new piece!

I had such an amazing weekend in San Francisco and can't wait to return.I hope all my fellow US citizens also had a safe and awesome Fourth of July weekend!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Tale of Two Underskirts

I've been wanting an underskirt for a pretty good long while now, and like most other basics I've been continually putting it off. Well, with this new re haul of my wardrobe I've decided no more! It's time to buckle down and focus on those not-so-exciting staples because ultimately they're going to be the elements that really pull my outfits together and give them that spark I'm really looking for.  Many of my skirts I feel fall just a bit too short on my leg to give off a truly elegant and classy look, so an underskirt really should have been in the works a long time ago.

I knew right off the bat that I wanted a chiffon underskirt. An extra ruffle of chiffon peeking out beneath the hem of a dress just looks so delicate and pretty to me, so that immediately cut down on a lot of my choices. But nevertheless, after a bit of searching and asking around I have ultimately settled on two choices, either The Floral NoteBook or HMHM.

A suggestion from another Lolita led me to checking out The Floral Notebook, an indie Vietnamese brand
which sells through facebook. I'm a huge fan of indie brands as I really love knowing that the garment I'm ordering will absolutely fit me, and the design of their chiffon underskirts are absolutely beautiful and exactly what I was looking for. Not only that, but because the skirt would be tailor made for me, I had hopes to ask the seamstress if the skirt could be made with a drawstring waistband rather than  elastic as I find them so much more comfortable and no one would ever see it beneath my dresses anyway.

However, then I realized I had run into a little problem. In light of my gorgeous new Chess Story dress in cream, as well as my new found resolution to begin adding in more colors into my wardrobe, it occurred to me that perhaps I might do best in ordering a second underskirt in white. Unfortunately, as I'm not made of money two underskirts from The Floral Notebook will be a bit pricey if I don't wish to wait in between ordering them, so I decided to look around a bit further and recheck my options.

That's when I returned to this lovely HMHM chiffon underskirt which is available in both black and white. Like TFN underskirts these skirts can also be made to my specific measurements (though no drawstring),  are very pretty, and are delightfully less expensive!

Unfortunately, the time for their production is considerably longer so once again I would have to wait a decent amount of time before they arrived. Additionally, the hem of the skirt troubles me, since although I find the skirt in itself very pretty I worry that if too much of it peeks out then the double ruffle will wind up looking silly whereas TFN would look a bit more natural. Still, the price point is definitely something to think about, especially since I'm aiming for two skirts now instead of only one.

It definitely seems I'm in a little bit of a conundrum! I certainly intend for an underskirt or two to be my next big purchase (crossing fingers I don't get sidetracked!), so I need to put a bit more thought before making the final decision. What do you think? Do you like underskirts? Wear one yourself? Which of these choices would you prefer?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

My-Lolita-Dress Review I

I've been seeing more and more positive reviews lately when it comes to My Lolita Dress floating around, so as I've been interested in quite a few of their items for a while now I decided to go ahead and take a chance on them. So here is my own review on working with the website, as well as a short review on the actual dress I purchased.

My Lolita Dress is a reseller of a lot of popular taobao brands including Rose Melody, Infanta and Surface Spell. Personally, as I've never been a huge fan of using shopping services, the easy set-up and convenience of this website really appealed to me, which also helped in persuading me as I could finally purchase some of my favorite Chinese brands without dealing with any hassle.


6/22/14- I placed my order and paid right away, the website uses paypal so it's very simple to use. I chose EMS shipping since my plan was to wear the dress for a 4th of July party I was attending and I really wanted to ensure it would be here in time.

6/28/14-I contacted MLD as my status still had not changed and I was growing a little worried it wouldn't show up in time. Within the hour I received a response from Linda letting me know that my dress had already been sent out and I would be updated with a tracking number soon.

6/30/14-I received an email letting me know my dress had been shipped and that I could track it through DHL. I was still a bit wary since EMS said it would still take between 4-5 days for the package to arrive and I didn't know if it would come before the weekend.

7/1/14-The dress arrived!! I'm guessing it just took awhile for the company to update my order online, but since my dress definitely arrived before the 4th I'm not complaining!

So overall, with EMS shipping the entire transaction took only 10 days! Though please keep in mind that the dress I ordered was listed as in stock so I didn't have to wait for it to be made first.

Unfortunately it didn't occur to me to take photos of the package until after I had actually opened it, so I have none to share. However, the dress was packed in a standard shipping bag, and wrapped in a second plastic bag inside. It was clean, dry and didn't have any rips or tears.

Customer Service
Linda is such a delight to work with!! She responds unbelievably fast and answered all of my questions. Her English isn't 100% perfect, but she is still easy to understand, knowledgable and super polite. I feel extremely confident in communicating with her about my future orders and the products being sold.


Now, onto the dress itself! I ordered the Chess Story M&M Deer Dear Embroidery JSK in cream color. Honestly, this was a HUGE leap for me since I rarely ever purchase anything in Lolita other than black, and especially never anything in cream! But in the end the design of this dress absolutely stole my heart the second I laid eyes on it, and as it wasn't terribly expensive I decided to take a chance-and I'm so glad I did!

Given the structure of the dress I really only had to worry about my bust measurement. Still, despite the fact that given the measurements on the chart I should have been able to easily fit in a size L, I decided to go for an XL instead. I'm not very familiar with Chess Story (and reviews seem far and few between), so I had no idea if they ran small. I figured that given the style of the dress that even if it wound up being too big it wouldn't be overly noticeable, plus I would rather have to deal with taking a dress in then being stuck with a dress that was too small to fit comfortably.

Turns out, this dress is EXTREMELY roomy, and I'm pretty sure it could easily accommodate a bust much bigger than the 100cm size it lists. Fortunately I was right in that because the dress is meant to be flowy and that it has waist ties, I can easily adjust it to my own size. I am sad however that it does seem to be a tiny bit shorter than I had hoped it would be. But aside from the length, the dress is made of a nice, sturdy fabric, I think some sort of cotton or polyester blend which I like since it's thick and doesn't feel flimsy. It did have some loose threads out of the package and it also came with an extra button (all but one of the buttons were sewed pretty sturdy).

My favorite part is this gorgeous embroidery!!  In the photos I certainly already liked the way it looked, but in person it absolutely captures my heart! There aren't any loose threads or bald patches, and the detail is just exquisite. It also matches really nicely with the cream color of the dress, and I think this is quickly going to become one of my favorite winter dresses.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that not only is the dress  completely lined, but it has a layer of tulle lining the very bottom which also helps give it shape. The tulle itself is very stiff and scratchy, but since it's sewn over the lining it never touches bare skin which I appreciate.

I just realized I completely forgot to take any photos of the fur collar! Although on the website it mentions that the fur might not be exactly like the photo, mine turned out to look just like the one pictured. The fur itself is fairly thin and more for decorative purposes than actually providing any warmth. It came with two ribbons to tie it with, but the ribbons are fairly flimsy and I think I'm going to cut them off and pin the collar together with a cute deer themed brooch.

Overall, I love this dress! Everything from the cut to the color is so completely different from anything else I own and I feel like it's really helped set me on a new path of experimentation in terms of my style. Although I will be wearing it this weekend as I had hoped, because of it's length I sadly probably won't be wearing it again until I purchase an underskirt to go with it. However, I'm taking that as a positive since I've been putting off purchasing an underskirt for a while now, and this seems like just the push I need to get myself in gear.

All in all, I'm very happy with how this entire transaction went, I highly recommend My Lolita Dress and I certainly have plans to order from them again (hopefully very soon)!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Wardrobe Reimagined

 I've decided I need to jump into July with some positivity! I noticed that in June I started to get really hung up on the flaws in my wardrobe and all of the things I didn't like about it. I felt really uninspired by the lack of variety, and irritated by the items I never wore that were taking up space. Even more so, I was frustrated with myself and my own waning confidence in owning the style and daring to wear something that I know could make me feel elegant and beautiful. I didn't feel like I was doing the fashion justice, and that despite my many years in Lolita, I still didn't know how to properly coordinate or wear anything that solid black from head to toe. Simply put, I forgot where I stand in the fashion and what exactly it means to me.

But then I took a step back and really began to think about things. And I realized that how I feel about Lolita is actually not very complicated at all. In fact, it was the topic of one of my very first blog posts!  Plain and simple, I love Lolita because it's beautiful and it has the potential to make me feel lovely and magical. 

So in order to reignite the passion that has begun to simmer down over these past few months, I tried out something a little creative and made a collage of where I'd like to see my wardrobe headed.

So here's a quick snapshot into my future wardrobe! Obviously not everything I have saved to my wishlist is here, but I thought these pieces presented a pretty good idea as to what I'm hoping to accomplish with my style. My aim is to acquire a more classic look, and as far as my current wardrobe is concerned, that certainly means adding in a lot more color. My favorites are wine reds, dark blues and some dusty grays and pinks, though I highly doubt I'll ever completely end my love affair with black. 

Colors aside, I'm also hoping to explore more in terms of prints and accessories, namely tights. Although I've never been huge on prints (except for a short four month stint when I acquired my beloved Unico in Bloomland skirt I never wear), I do think some pretty, delicate flowers or small, understated prints might add some visual interest. I would also love some new tights, both in new solid colors (I'm thinking wine red and possibly cream), as well as perhaps even some printed tights. I really adore the look of printed tights, especially those with soft, muted florals, however I am nervous about purchasing any as I have a lot of issues with the fit of tights and I don't want to waste a lot of money trying to find something that is comfortable.

Even though the process will undoubtedly be long, I'm excited at the possibilities! For the longest time I feel as though I've forgotten how to even shop, scared to purchase anything that wasn't solid black for fear that it wouldn't match anything else. But now, especially with the encouragement of my boyfriend who just happens to be a wonderful dresser, I'm feeling ready to step it up and wiggle a little out of my comfort zone.

Thanks for sticking by my side lovely readers, I look forward to sharing where my new direction in Lolita will take me!

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