I adore Lolita Blog Carnival's that really challenge me to look at myself and evaluate my own position in the fashion. Although I began wearing my first real Lolita pieces back in 2007, I still feel very much the beginner. Even so, here are some lessons it's taken me almost 7 years to learn, and I only wish I had figured them out just a smidge sooner.
Color is okay
This is a biggie. For a long time, even outside of Lolita, color was a scary thing for me. I was uncomfortable with my body (and still am to an extent), and felt that covering it up with black was the way to go. I was fine with this. I genuinely like the color black and I thought it made things easier to coordinate. However, it's finally dawning on me that when I open my closet and see nothing but solid black frills, my excitement level is no longer as high as it used to be. But I never thought any other color would look good on me, nor did I think I could figure out how to coordinate them, so I avoided them like the plague. Nowadays, while black will always have a special place in my wardrobe, I'm beginning to realize that colors don't have to be terrifying or ugly, and I only wish I had opened myself up to this possibility sooner.
Basics can be fun
Alright, so maybe I'm still struggling with this one a bit. Back then, I knew the basics. Petticoat. Tights. Mary-Janes. Check. I thought I was set. But I never branched out. My shoes were always simple and offbrand (and always black). My tights were always solid (and more black). I thought blouses were boring, and since I figured they would be hidden under a dress anyway I always opted for offbrand. Of course, offbrand is a perfectly valid choice and I'm not saying I should have ignored them completely, but I wish I had given myself the chance a little bit earlier to explore the world of these "boring" basics, and to realize just how beautiful they could be and how much more variety they could give my coords.
For some reason I used to think that accessories were only for sweet Lolitas. Or maybe I was just being cheap because I wanted to save up for more pretty black dresses. Either way, my accessories were always the same: a small, black hair bow and maybe a silver necklace. Always silver. Again, I think my limited accessory collection was also largely influenced by my lack of confidence in being able to coordinate them properly. It's finally dawned on me that accessories are the perfect gateway for including a pop of color and personality to an outfit, not to mention they tend to be so much cheaper than dresses. Double win!
Looking back I realize I played it safe for a very long time. I suppose I could have made much worse mistakes, but over the years it's turned Lolita into a bland, boring fashion because I never gave myself a chance to try something new. Nowadays, though the process is slow, I do feel like I'm coming out of my black, safe little cave. Golds, browns and creams are slowly making their way into my closet, and outside of Lolita I've begun wearing more blues, silvers and even pink! Fashion is always a learning process, and though I may be slow at making changes, I'm proud of the progress I have made in discovering and shaping a style that truly represents who I am.
Edit: I realize this is also a topic for the 52 Lolita Challenge! So let's cross number 15 off the list!