Thursday, May 28, 2015

Redefining "Mature"

So I know it's been a pretty slow months as far as updates go. I'm not going to lie, between wedding planning (and all the awesome DIY crafts that go along with it), gearing up for NaNoWriMo and preparing for summer at work (our busiest season), Lolita simply hasn't been on the forefront of my mind.

Well, sort of.

I feel like Lolita is so intrinsically tied into my personal sense of fashion, that even when I'm dressing like a normie, the cute, beautiful aspects of this niche fashion always manages to bleed through. And that's not always a good thing. 

As the days constantly speed on by and I'm approaching such a huge turning point in my life, it's becoming more and more evident that I'm an adult now, and with that requires specific obligations-including my wardrobe. I'm sure a lot of 20-somethings can relate. We're too old to dress like we're still in high school, but not really ready to turn it all in for practical shoes and black pencil skirts. Even more so, I feel like we're a part of a generation that really values self expression, embracing our quirks and shamelessly flaunting our individuality. But how does that all tie into projecting a mature, confident adult image?

Through my travels on in the internet and research into what exactly makes up a respectable, adult-worthy closet, I find I usually come upon something that looks a little like this:

Essentials for an Adult Wardrobe

1. A black, simple blazer

2. A pair of perfectly tailored skinny jeans/boyfriend jeans/bootcut jeans/insert whatever type of jeans are popular at the time of the publication

3. A simple scoopneck white t-shirt and or/a white button up blouse (of the single pocket, pointy collared variety)

4. A classic LBD

5. A jean jacket

Hmmmm.  I'm seeing an unsurprising lack of mentioning of anything remotely, well, frilly.

Okay, I get it. These really ARE the staples of a classic, timeless wardrobe and I won't dispute that. But what about the person wearing these clothes? What about someone like me who abhors pants of any style, fit or fabric and only owns one pair of jeans for farm work? Or additionally hates jeans on any garment, including the beloved jean jacket? Or who strictly wears t-shirts only for sleeping?

I can very easily gather a wardrobe like all the guidelines suggest. I can dress like a traditional grown up if a really wanted to. But that's just it-why are adults only allowed to fall within such a narrow definition to be considered mature? Why are details like lace, pastels and delicate fabrics treated with such disdain, and when included only so with the cautionary reminder to mix it up with something "masculine" like a jean or leather jacket and chunkier jewelry? Why is any outfit that is completely and 100% made up of traditional "feminine" elements viewed with such negativity?

I don't really have the answers to any of the questions. I know that somewhere in there part of the reason is lodged in (America's anyway) deep-rooted cultural mindset that traditional femininity is viewed as weaker or less than masculine traits. These sexist views are changing, but they have been so for many decades and these beliefs aren't just going to go away simply because I want to wear a bow in my hair and not be viewed as someone with a child complex. 

So how does one exactly balance the external with the internal? How do I portray to the rest of the world that I'm a capable, mature adult while still staying true to myself and the person I want to be? I refuse to believe that growing up means letting go of the imagination, creativity and romanticism that fueled me in my younger years and continues to yearn to be expressed on the outside.

I feel like this struggle is one that I am going to continue to battle for the rest of my life. It's a delicate balance, one I've touched on more than once before and still don't have the answer to.  Somewhere in there I'm sure the answer lies in self confidence of some sort, but until I find that holy grail, I will continue on my search.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Forgotten Lolita Accessories Pt. 2

Time for Part Two of Forgotten Lolita Accessories! It's been a little while and I figure now is as good a time as any to get the ball rolling again. So what are some more cute accessories that I think are often a little neglected and could definitely be used to spruce any outfit up?


I'm not the kind of lady who typically spends more than $12 on a pair of sunglasses. Honestly, if they're not getting lost in the abyss of what was once my bedroom (moving two people into a tiny room is hard!) then they're getting broken by my well-meaning but ever so not gentle fiance. Ah well, such is life. That just means I have more opportunity for variety! 

I admit, I have a particular fondness for extremely round, large, Harry Potter-esque sunglasses, and much to my delight, with a little searching, they are available in a slew of colors! Which spurred me further into the next logical step of matching my sunglasses with my coords! Sadly, my favorite pair right now are a pair of super pink, glittery frames and I own nothing even remotely sweet in terms of Lolita, but the idea still stands. I'd love to see more super creative eyewear in the Lolita realm!


So, I have a basic chiffon white Forever 21 blouse, and a few weeks ago one of the buttons popped off the sleeve. I've been meaning to fix it for ages but always put it off for one reason another. Well, this past weekend I finally found myself wandering down the aisles of the local fabric store, and I stopped dead in my tracks when I came across the button aisle. Flowers! Bunnies! Rainbow colors, pearls, sparklies and pastels! There were buttons galore! Did I mention the bunnies!?

So I might just be super late to the party and everyone has already jumped onto the adorable button train, but maybe there's still some Lolitas out there who, like me, never realized just how much variety in buttons there really are-and just how easy they are to add to a basic blouse for an instant pop of Lolita charm!


Artilady brooch

Okay, so perhaps these darlings aren't quite as ignored as some of the other accessories I've listed, but I still feel they're vastly under appreciated in a fashion that suits them so perfectly! Perhaps it's because they have such a strong "granny" stigma attached to them, but I really think brooches can be so much more than the common cameo we'll  occasionally see at the throat of a Gothic or Classic Lolita. A little digging through ebay, etsy, and the local flea markets and antique shops and there truly is a treasure trove to be found. They can also make an adorable addition to hats, shawls and scarves, and can be dressed up with ribbons and pearls for a little extra pop!

So there we have, Part Two of Forgotten Lolita Accessories! This was really quite fun, and I think it challenged me to think outside the box and dig a bit deeper into all those smaller details that I feel truly make Lolita a special fashion. It's always fun to find new ways to express yourself, and I love that these little additions are the perfect way to do it on a budget!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Garden and Pavilion!

So it's been some time since I've done a wedding update and I feel like indulging a little bit. Mostly because I just received some more photos from our wedding planner and I'm VERY excited! I had a little bit of a panic-induced meltdown not too long ago as there is quite some distance between us and our venue and I was very afraid of giving up so much control over how things would look and go for the day.

Well never fear! After a few phone calls I was able to speak with our coordinator and she was such a doll! Now that they know I'm a particularly detail-oriented bride, I'm feeling much more involved in the process and not nearly as anxious as before.  Now if only I could nail down our theme!

I'd also love to share some photos. Reminder: NONE of these photos are mine! They were all sent from my coordinator and are from the archives of past weddings they've hosted.

So with that out of the way, here's where our reception will be held! It's ironic, as I never imagined getting married outdoors, but this is just so gorgeous!  How can I say no to a classic white gazebo nestled in the midst of a perfectly manicured rose garden-my favorite flower? It looks so timeless and classy!

Our pre-reception will be held on the lawn right beside the gardens. Simple and lovely.

Lastly, the beautiful pavilion for our reception! I love it SO much! Our reception will still be held during daylight hours, but I just wanted to show the first picture since it's absolutely breath-taking!

As you can see, all of these photos are from very different weddings, so I'm still a little nervous about how it's all going to come together for my own (just looking at these photos gave me about a zillion more questions I forgot to ask). But all in all I'm I'm beyond thrilled with the beauty of our venue and I'm looking forward to bringing it all together for our fairytale day!
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