Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Coordinate Tuesday: Simple and Clean

This week's coordinate is one using my old dream dress! I might just have to get this coordinate for myself, as I also own these shoes and this bow. So I'm almost there.

What I really love about this dress is the embroidery on the pocket. It's the Baby the Stars Shine Bright logo, which is a heart shape with a "B" in the middle. I decided to echo that
shape in the jewelry. I also wanted to add in the vintage element, hence the clock earrings (they don't actually work though) and the charm bracelet. I've had a renewed love for charm bracelets recently. I got a Hello Kitty one for Christmas and I've been looking for cute charms that clip on so I can change them out easily. I chose the rocking horse shoes for a touch of oldstyle Lolita (they aren't as popular as they used to be, but they're making a comeback!) and for the creamy color of the wood. I own these shoes and I have to say, they are very light and once you get the hang of it, easy to walk or stand in. The bow on the bag echoes the bows on the shoes and the bows on the front of the dress, as well as the hairbow. Let's face it, it's not quite Lolita unless there's a bow in there somewhere. You could decide to use a heart-shape bag for a sweeter approach, in either black or cream. In fact, this whole outfit could be made sweeter by changing out all the cream elements for white, and changing the vintage charm bracelet for a more modern one. This dress can go either way, and that's what makes it a great piece in my opinion.

So that's it for Coordinate Tuesday. I'm not a big fan of that name though, so if you have any suggestions on what to change it to, please let me know. Next week will be a new month and a new theme, so look forward to something different! I haven't announced the next theme yet, so it seems silly to ask for reader coordinates for next week. Because in fact, next Tuesday is the first of February. If you have any questions for me, you can let me know in the comments, by emailing me (my email is on the "about me" page), or by posting them to my formspring. I hope to hear lots of ideas from everyone soon!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Lolita Idol

This is a topic often talked about at meet-ups or online. "Who is your Lolita idol?" It was even a theme of the EGL community a few months ago. A lot of people say Japanese designers or musicians, like Mana, Kaya, Kana, etc. But mine's a little bit different. My Lolita idol is Julie Andrews. Why? I'll tell you.

1. She can sing!
I just adore her voice! In Mary Poppins, my favorite song is "Feed the
Birds" followed by "A Spoonful of Sugar". In The Sound of Music, I love "My Favorite Things," I think because my mother used to sing it to me when I was little. Her voice is so elegant and she can put so much emotion into her singing.

2. She always looks elegant and sophisticated
Isn't she just gorgeous? Her style is slightly vintage, always very put together, and reminiscent of another time. She's one of a very small number of people that I like short hair on. In recent years, she has become a role model of sorts for actresses that want a more mature style of dressing, as well as ones that want to learn her grace and elegance. Her signature look involves well-tailored pieces, long dresses, empire waists, and timeless jewelry.

3. She has a regal air to her
In everything she does, she's been described as "practically perfect in every way." And it's true! She always holds her head up high and seems confident every time I see her on TV. She adopted two kids and had three of her own. She was married to Blake Edwards for over 40 years before he died. She's a wonderful mother and now grandmother. She does work for charities such as the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), and Operation USA in California, known for it's aid to foreign countries in times for crisis. Most recently, she helped raise money and awareness for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. She writes children's books, she has directed a few musicals and has been giving more concerts recently. Indeed she is "practically perfect in every way."

She's my Lolita idol for these reasons. Whenever I wear Lolita, I try to emulate her grace and elegance. Even though she's not a Lolita herself, or even reminiscent of the style, she still has the basic principles of what I think makes a good Lolita, and more generally, a good person. And while I do like Mana and Kaya and Kana well enough, I don't think of them as my personal idols. Who is your Lolita idol? Tell me in the comment section below! And as always, if you have questions or suggestions for me, you can send them to me via my formspring.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Coordinate Tuesday - A New Feature

This past Thursday, Victoria Suzanne over at Lolita Charm wrote an article about being a better blogger. As I am fairly new to the whole blogging concept, I decided I'd try out a few of her tips in my own blog. Little did I know that when I commented on that post, she would use my comment on her Reader Appreciation article, linking my blog to hers! As a result, I had about 200 hits in a day, and decided I really needed to step things up a bit in terms of posting. So now, every Tuesday will feature a different coordinate along the lines of the theme of the month. If you would like to see your coordinate here on a Tuesday, simply email me with a link to it and a short explanation about your coordinate (why did you choose that dress/skirt, what the overall theme is, etc.). I'd like to feature reader coordinates as much as possible, so please send them in to me! My email is on the About Me page at the bottom.

This week, I made the coordinate featuring a very unique Innocent World one piece. The theme
is based on a photo of Victorian-era women riding sidesaddle on horses. The inspiration from the monthly theme came in with the high-collared one piece and the vintage jewelry, including a pocket-watch necklace and a horse-themed antique ring. I really love the coats they wear in the painting to the right, but with the long sleeves, a coat seems impractical.

But as you can see, in both paintings you really can't see the feet of the women. The men seem to be wearing riding boots though, so I went with that. I also found it odd that the women were wearing hats, not helmets.

This is my take on a Lolita version of that. In all the pictures I looked at, the women didn't seem to have feet. So I chose these riding boots that they might have worn, though I can't be sure. The purse sort of reminds me of a saddle bag, but in a very loose way. It sort of goes a little wild west, but I think that that comes from the angle of the photo of the hat. It's a southern-style hat, like you would see at the Kentucky Derby. It ties under your chin and has a wide brim to keep the sun out of your eyes.

So what do you think? Will you submit a coordinate and see it here next week? I hope that I get lots of submissions for this!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hosting a Meet-up

This is part two of my previous post on attending a meet-up. This one focuses on hosting a meet-up. There are many different types of meet-ups and many choices to make when planning your own meet-up. But if you follow this guide, you're sure to have a great time and a smooth meet-up.

1. Decide what kind of meet-up to have
First, you need to decide whether you want to have your meet-up in a private place, like your home, or in a public place. Meet-ups held in your home are things like crafting meet-ups, cookie swaps, casual meet-ups, or my personal favorite, video game tournaments! I really would like to host a wii party with a few people from my local group sometime soon. If you are having your meet-up in a public place, you need to decide where. Do you want to have it at a museum or gallery? Do you want to go to eat? Do you want to go shopping? The possibilities are endless.

2. Post It!
If you are hosting a meet-up, you probably know your local community and have been to a meet-up before. If you are just meeting with some friends, that's fine too. No matter what, you need to get the information out there! Post the info to your local page, your facebook, myspace, what have you. I cannot stress this enough, if you are going to be eating somewhere, make sure to ask people to list any allergies or dietary restrictions that they have BEFORE you make a reservation! You do not want anyone to feel left out because they can't eat at the restaurant or have someone have an allergic reaction. Do all of this pretty early so that people can plan to come to your meet-up, especially if you need to make reservations or anything. I suggest at least two weeks.

3. Make Sure People RSVP
You want people to tell you that they are coming to your meet-up. If they are bringing any friends, family members, or a significant other, they need to specify this. Make a list of people that are coming and take it with you. If people are going to be coming late, write this down too. This way you aren't waiting for people that are coming later and make sure you don't leave anyone behind.

4. Try and Talk to Everybody
Especially if there are new people. I am a moderator for our local community, so I try my best to make everyone feel welcome. If you notice someone is especially shy or not talking to anyone, go up and try talking to them. This is really tough for me because I'm very shy, but I try my best. See the previous article for conversation starters.

5. Be Prepared to Change Plans
Stuff happens. In the winter, it snows and roads become impassible. In the summer, it rains when you're trying to have a picnic. Restaurants are randomly closed, places renovate, crowds happen. So think of a back up plan for things that can go wrong. In the winter, have a pre-determined snow date. If it rains the day of your picnic, have it inside a park gazebo. If the restaurant is closed, look for similar ones nearby. I had a meet-up once that the place we were going would only take reservations the morning of the day you want to go. I called and they were booked full for a baby shower. So I called my back up place. And it was booked for a wedding shower! So I called my third back up and they were open. In the end, it worked out! Just goes to show you, you can never be too prepared.

Remember to have fun and be yourself! Meet-ups are a great way to meet other lolitas, make friends, and have a good time. I hope this helps you to start organizing your own meet-ups in your town! If you read my blog regularly, please become a follower of it! And as always, if you have any questions, comments, or requests, post them here as a comment, or let me know on my Formspring!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Attending a Meet-up

Many cities and towns all over the world have local groups of lolitas. They get together from time to time and do various activities together. A meet-up can be as simple as a few people meeting at a coffee house for lunch, or they can be formal affairs that have been planned months in advance. No matter where you will be meeting, there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind.

1. How dressy/casual should I dress?
Where will you be going? If you're going to a fancy tea house, it might not be appropriate to wear a more casual style. On the other hand, if you are meeting outdoors for a picnic, you'll need to take the temperature into account. I went to a meet-up that was in a botanical gardens once. It was the beginning of summer, and it was absolutely stifling! I almost passed out from the heat. Avoid long sleeves if you know you could get hot. If the temperature is questionable, for example, it is cool outside but you will be inside for part of the time, consider a light sweater or a bolero that can be removed if you get too hot.

2. What do I need to take with me?
I always take my wallet, cell phone, a snack (just in case), keys, camera, and a pad of paper and a pen. Why a pad of paper? Because! There is absolutely no doubt that if you are meeting in a public place, someone at sometime will ask for more information. It can be a passer-by on a street, a new member of the group who wants more information on the local community, or even to simply exchange email addresses. It never fails that if I forget my paper and pen, someone needs it. If you have any medications that you may need to take (especially allergy-sufferers), don't forget to take that along!

3. Can I bring my boyfriend/girlfriend/regular friend/significant other?
This is a personal pet peeve of mine. So many times has it happened that someone will say "I will be there" but forget to mention that they are bringing +1. Please do not forget to tell the organizer that you are bringing someone along! Especially if reservations have to be made. I personally don't take my boyfriend to meet-ups, but it's because he would be bored out of his mind. If the person you want to bring is actually interested in the fashion, even if they don't wear it themselves. Of course it's always even better if they wear it too!

4. What do I talk about?
If this is your first meet-up, it's normal to be a little nervous. I know I was. I almost went home three times as I was driving there. But trust me, it was worth it to stick it out and be nervous. Most people are nice in person. If you want a conversation-starter, outfit rundowns are always a safe bet. Many groups also play small ice breaker games, especially if there are a lot of new people. How did you find out about lolita? What is your favorite style? All of these questions are perfectly fine to ask.

5. Have Fun!
Take lots of pictures and smile a lot! It's fun to meet with other people that share your interests. You probably will have more in common with some people than just Lolita fashion. So remember to have fun. That is the most important part of all!

Do you have any other thoughts on attending meet-ups? Leave them here in the comments section below! Next time: Hosting a Meet-up. General types of meet-ups that can be held easily and without too much planning, being a good host, and the planning that goes into a meet-up!

Monday, January 3, 2011

January Inspiration

So this month, I'm starting a new thing. Every month I'm going to make an inspiration collage using Polyvore and talk a little bit about it here. Maybe it will inspire you too!
So this is January. Right now, I'm in love with vintage! Hence the mirror, chandelier, cameo jewelry, and hat box. I've also enjoyed looking in local vintage stores, I've found so many good items to add to my accessories box. Ask about your family's history, see if your mom or grandmother has any old jewelry, go to a second hand store, or look around in your attic to find some cool things.

Another one of my favorites right now is Paris. I've never been there, but one of my favorite movies is Ratatouille. Paris just seems so elegant and old to me. I'd love to go there, but I somehow think that won't be happening anytime soon. The idea of walking down a cobblestone street with a parasol in the springtime past a cafe, it's so appealing to me! I put the Eiffel Tower and the charm bracelet in, as well as the big, vintage Paris sign thing in the middle to represent this.

For Christmas, I got a cookbook called I Love Macaroons. I found some really tasty French style macaroons at a local bakery, and now I am going to learn to make them. They're so cute, and this book has gorgeous photography! Hopefully, I can master this difficult recipe soon and make lovely cookies for parties. They're on the left in the middle of the collage.

My final inspiration for this month is menswear/steampunk. Menswear-inspired pieces for women have been popular in mainstream fashion for awhile now, but military-style and menswear-style pieces are just becoming popular in the female styles of lolita these days. The jacket in this collage is from Modcloth, as is the casual tank top that has that vintage look to it. The two watches in this set are reminiscent of steampunk style. I don't know much about steampunk, but maybe I'll learn more at Ohayocon, which has a steampunk theme this year.

That's it for January! I hope this will inspire you as much as it has and will inspire me this month. If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions, let me know by commenting here, or asking on my Formspring.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! Did you have a good time last night? I like to make a few sets of resolutions every year, doll resolutions, regular resolutions, and of course, Lolita resolutions. So these are my Lolita resolutions for 2011!

1. Buy more shoes!
As I talked about last time, I've got a bit of an obsession with shoes right now. For awhile I had a pair of white shoes and a pair of black ones and I could wear those with everything. But now, that just isn't cutting it. So I want to get all different types and colors of shoes to vary up my coordinates a little.

2. Learn to make pieces
I make doll clothes, but I've never made any human size clothes. So this year, I'd like to learn to make clothes for myself. I'm starting with skirts and reconstructions of t-shirts to make cut-sews.

3. Get more casual items
I've been slowly transferring my wardrobe into more of a casual style that I can wear every day, but this year, I'd really like to get on that and become a true lifestyle lolita.

4. Expand wardrobe in general
My wardrobe, in its current state, is pitiful. I sold off a lot of my pieces to afford my dolls, but now I want to build it back up. So I'll be stalking the sales community for second-hand items to build it back up. Hopefully the sewing skills I plan to acquire will help out too.

There you have it! My Lolita resolutions for 2011. Of course, these will probably change as the year progresses. For instance, I might be going to Japan this fall for a study abroad. If I do, then I plan to go back to Harajuku for some serious shopping. Last time, I was able to buy a Baby the Stars Shine Bright bag and two Metamorphose Temps de Fille skirts. Next time, I will surely brave the busy Bodyline store (it was PACKED!) and get some good bargains without shipping fees. What are your Lolita resolutions?