Monday, May 21, 2012

Updates and London Expo

Ugh it's been so difficult to write recently. I've run out of ideas for posts and I haven't had any inspiration at all. I've been thinking about changing the format of my blog lately, and doing more personal, journal-type things. That would be straying away from the original purpose of this blog though, so I'm not sure that's the direction I want to go in.

Anyways, this is just a short update to let you all know that this week, I will be traveling to London Expo! I'm excited, I've never been to the UK before! I'll probably be wearing lolita Sunday and maybe Friday too, and I'll be cosplaying as Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle on Saturday. I want to go see the Lolita exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum too~ I'll also be going to Edinburg in lolita, so if you see me (hint, I am a ginger!) please talk to me! I've never met a fan before, but I can see that many of my subscribers are from the UK. So I hope I can meet some of you!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Trends 2012

Spring seems to be upon us (finally) and you know what that means~ It's not a freezing, ice-covered hell outside anymore. And with a new season, means new trends to watch! I've been looking through Japanese fashion mags and spring fashion shows for the last week or so now, and I feel like I'm equipped to tell you all about some new(ish) things that seem to be in for spring.
Bell sleeves shown at the
BTSSB Fashion Show at
Anime Matsuri
Photo Credit

Bell/Princess Sleeves are popping up everywhere! In the BABY, the Stars Shine Bright line, there were bell sleeves everywhere!! Which is awesome for me, because I love bell sleeves~ There were a few last season, but now other brands are picking up this trend. Alice and the Pirates and Angelic Pretty both feature designs with bell sleeves this season! I think it has something to do with the overall trend back towards the original, more simplistic lolita style.

Jewel Ribbon Elegant Dress
Faux under skirts are also in right now, specifically for classic styles. I think this gives everything a sort of hime flavor, which I don't dislike. Innocent World, AATP, and Victorian Maiden all released dresses with this faux under skirt sort of look, they are quite lovely~ Florals are always big in spring time, as are fruit prints. This always happens in the spring time. But it would be nice to see some other spring motifs, maybe cute easter eggs or more animal-themed prints from the classic end of the spectrum.

Bonnets. Holy crap bonnets. Bonnets are so popular. Nearly every Japanese brand has a few different bonnet or half-bonnet designs coming out with their lines this spring. I've never been a fan of them, they take a certain face shape to pull off. But half-bonnets are a little more forgiving. Overall, bonnets just feel spring-y to me.
Chantilly Models at Anime Matsuri
Photo Credit: Octavekitten

Finally, diamond prints are in style this season. Diamond and check prints have always sort have been popular in lolita because they remind us of Alice in Wonderland. But this season I've seen more unique takes on the traditional diamond print. BABY did an argyle style sock, AP combined the diamond motif with horizontal stripes for a unique effect. Chantilly did a whole line of diamond print dresses, with socks and bonnets to match. So pick up a pair of cute diamond print socks, they come in every color to match any style wardrobe.

Did you pick up on other spring lolita style trends I missed? What new things are you going to try out this spring? I'm trying for a bit of a more subtle style with lots of different textures this spring, it's been really fun so far~

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Back from a Short Hiatus

Eh hehehe so I ended up going on a bit of a hiatus there from posting. And to be honest, I'm not sure that I'll be able to post more often even now. March and April are always the worst, I have the big local con to work on and then immediately after, the professors ramp up the work in preparation for finals. But if there are any articles that you want to see here, I'll be more than happy to try my hand at. It's been a bit difficult to come up with articles recently, but I do have a few ideas.
In the meantime, I made a Tumblr! You can follow me on there and ask me questions and stuff there, or on my Formspring! I'll try harder to write more articles from now on >.<

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ten Reasons to Love Solid Dresses

These days, Lolita seems to be all about the prints. People now have their "dream prints" instead of "dream dresses" and when a new print comes out, there's a mad rush to reserve it. But there's something to say about the dresses without prints. They aren't boring, they're perhaps more fun to own than prints!

1. Versatile
A plain colored dress is going to fit into more styles than a printed dress is. You can buy
one plain colored black dress and make it sweet, classic, or even gothic, depending on the details
in the dress itself, as well as the other items you put with it. Whereas, if you get a printed dress, you might be able to make it fit into two styles at the most. So if you're interested in a lot of different types of lolita, you can just grab yourself a simple, plain color dress, and go to town trying to coordinate it differently each time. I love this black OP on the left, I found it on Poupee Girl and have no idea where the person got it! But, as you can imagine, it would work in a lot of different coordinates!

2. Detail Love
Really, in today's lolita, it's all about the prints. No matter what style you like best, there are prints geared towards you. I'm just as big a fan of prints as the next gal, but for dresses with good old fashioned sewn-in details, prints just can't beat non-printed dresses. There are more fabric options in non-printed dresses, and while the printed ones do have lace and perhaps a few sewn elements, they are relatively plain compared to some plain dresses. Take this one on the right. It has a scalloped hem, two layers of ruffles (creating an underskirt effect), cap sleeves with ruffled edges, a detailed bodice with bows, and a faint border detail with bows around the top of the scalloping. If you tried to put all that with a printed dress, you wouldn't see the print!

3. Timeless
This dress on the left was made in 2002. However, if I hadn't told you that, would you have known? Maybe not. Whereas print motifs come in and out of style, solids definitely don't. This dress on the left has been made and re-made and re-released by BABY almost every year since the company first released this dress. It's their signature Karami dress.

4. Work for (almost) every style
You can change up the style of a solid colored dress simply by changing up the accessories and other items you wear in your coordinate. Again, using the Karami dress on the left, you can make this a very classic coordinate by using a simple blouse with soft and simple accessories. Or you could go sweeter, using a puffed sleeves blouse with a big peter pan collar and plenty of bows! It's lots of fun to try and make up completely new coordinates just by changing the other pieces used in the outfit!

5. Can be cheaper
This is a very short and, I find quite obvious, point to make. Printed fabric costs more to have made, due to the complexity of the manufacturing process, and the cost of the materials to make it (pigments and stuff). Whereas, solid fabric is simply dyed one color and it's ready to go. So dresses made with solid fabric don't cost as much to make. For example: this is a solid color Alice and the Pirates jumper that costs a little less than 23,000¥ ($287 US). And this is the dress right next to it, Melty Mermaid Princess. The printed dress costs 26,040¥ ($325 US), about 3,000¥ more!

6. Often come in more size options
This one goes a bit with the one above. You can make dresses for larger sizes with solid fabric more cheaply than it would cost to make them with printed fabric. An indie brand can make solid dresses in any size, but may not have access to the Japanese printed fabrics that the Japanese brands use. Dresses with a larger size option often have shirring, which does not always look okay with printed fabric. This absolutely does not mean that because you require a larger sized
dress that you can't wear a print. Angelic Pretty makes JSKs and OPs that fit over 100cm busts, as does BABY.

7. Come in every cut available
So you know how people look different and have different body shapes? Well, that means that there are different cuts to dresses too! And it seems that solid dresses come in all of different cuts of dresses. So if you're looking for a drop waist dress, chances are, you can find a solid color one a lot easier than a printed one. Some cuts are more flattering than others on certain body types,

8. Easy to coordinate
With solid dresses, it's quite easy make a balanced coordinate. You don't have to worry about pulling out colors from a print or anything. So you can take any color that looks nice with the dress color and make that your secondary color in the coordinate. You aren't limited by the color pallet of the print! For example, you can take a solid pink dress, and pair it with any color blouse for vastly different results. You can make very interesting coordinates this way~

9. Don't usually have to be bought on reserve
What is "reserve"? Many Japanese companies put their newest printed dresses up on a "reservation" page before they are completed so that they can take pre-orders for the dress. Often, popular dresses sell out on reservation before ever reaching the store. However, more
solid dresses don't go up on the reserve page, and they make it to the store without selling out. And since solid dresses are not up for reserve, they usually end up staying in-store longer. So you have a better chance of getting a dress released a few months ago if it's not a print.

10. Higher availability!
All of the awesome reasons above make solid dresses more available than printed ones! So don't limit your wardrobe to prints only, try out some solid pieces too~ It's so fun to try and make new coordinates out of things you already have in your wardrobe, and it helps you to think a little more creatively about the lolita fashion in your life!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Coordinate!

Happy Leap Day! For today, I have two super cute coordinates to show you~ If you were at this past Ohayocon, you saw these in The Elegant Wardrobe panel! But for the majority of you, here they are. Aren't they super cute? I really like the colored blouse look instead of just plain white ones in sweet, it makes the coordinate feel more complex and even sweeter! I hope they inspire you to try coordinating your sweet outfits with colored blouses~

Two Sweet Coordinates

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wardrobe Post 2012

I wanted to put this together much much earlier, for the January EGL theme. However, Ohayocon happened, and I didn't get it done on time. But now it's all finished and I thought I'd post it up here! This is my current wardrobe for fairy kei and lolita fashions, I hope you enjoy!

Petticoats and Skirts
I never really realized just how many skirts I have. And with the addition of all these fairy petticoats, it's become maybe too many to keep. I don't wear skirts that often, so I'll be looking at selling some of these.
Top row: Bodyline, American Apparel, Malco Modes, Bodyline, Bodyline
Second row: Hand made, the rest are Bodyline
Third Row: Bodyline, Handmade, In the Starlight, Handmade, Handmade
Last Row: Candy Violet, Metamorphose, Handmade, Metamorphose, All my head bows

Jumper Skirts
Dear Celine Autumn Poodle JSK. I love the houndstooth print and the little poodles! I want the matching head bow for this, but I don't think it's available anymore.

Baby, The Stars Shine Bright Pocket Embroidery JSK. This was my dream dress (as I've mentioned before) and perhaps is my favorite dress that I own. I love it so much, I've thought about buying a second one in black for a keepsake.

Baby, The Stars Shine Bright Clockwork Tea Party JSK. I was so excited to be able to get this dress (my first time doing a reservation) after it had been sold out! And it got here... and the zipper immediately broke. So it has to be replaced now, what a bummer.

Metamorphose Temps de Fille Strawberry Shirring JSK. I love the Meta shirring JSK style! I have two dresses like this, and I have a third on my wish list. This one works really nicely for a bittersweet country coordinate, but it can go a lot of different ways.

Metamorphose Temps de Fille Candy House Shirring JSK. As I have mentioned a few times, I have been searching for this version of this dress for about a year and a half before I finally found it last fall. My only light-colored dress, I just adore this print. It's sweet, but very different than the AP or BABY prints~

Unknown Taobao Dress (I think it's a replica?). I got this on the sales community on a whim and it's been a really great dress for me. It fits my style perfectly, cutesy elements but with a more muted (black based) color palette.

Alice and the Pirates Vanilla Corset JSK. My newest arrival, it came last Friday! I've been eyeing this dress for awhile on the website (sold out!), and when I saw it in stock in the San Francisco store, I knew it was meant to be. I think I'll be wearing this to Otakon, but I haven't 100% decided yet.

Unicorn Shirt by Tasty Peach Studios! I got this at Ohayocon a few weeks ago! So cute!

Bodyline cutsew. Kind of a weird one, but it looks nice with some things in my wardrobe.

Baby, The Stars Shine Bright Angel's Whisper in the Holy Night Melody Blouse. It's chiffon and so soft and pretty~

Baby, The Stars Shine Bright Clockwork Tea Party Blouse. I adore princess sleeves, they were in style when I first became a lolita. And now they're coming back! So when I saw this blouse, I knew I had to get it somehow.

Bodyline long sleeved black blouse. My go-to black blouse for this winter. I love the collar and the little bows~!

Lady Heather's Fashions short sleeved black blouse. Ohh it's very old, about 4 years now. It's been my staple blouse in my wardrobe for pretty much my entire time as a lolita. It's becoming quite ragged, but I don't really want to give it up.

Bodyline. My one and only white blouse. I should probably get a few more. But this is a good plain blouse that I wear with a lot of different outfits.

Top row: Bodyline, Bodyline (same pair, I love them so much!), Bodyline Red heels, Osiris
Bottom row: TJ Maxx flats (they broke a little at Otakon last year), F21, Offbrand, Littlechililolita Shop

Lots and lots of stuff here! Top row: Bodyline white flats (I forgot about these for the shoe picture above), a whole box of hair things (but I'll save that for next time), Some choice items that are my favorites (three star clips I made, unicorn necklace, and my compact mirror), Chocomint tea pot clip, and Little Twin Stars tote with a star pin I made to match! Second row: BTSSB overnight bag, BTSSB Alice tote, Candy Violet mini hat, Sanrio pink bag, BTSSB bow socks. Bottom row: Innocent World heart cutout parasol, H&M bow bag, Alice and the Pirates Darien parasol, and my San-X Penguin camera bag~!

And finally, a few omake shots~
My so very poorly designed closet. The next apartment I have will have a proper closet, I swear. I mean, who makes closets without bars, just hooks on the wall?? Jumper skirts and parasols.

And this is the blouse side. Everything is stacked four or five thick, my skirts are underneath the blouses. Ugh.

And finally, this is my kitty, Mako, checking out the inside of my Innocent World parasol. He was so very concerned about it being open on the bed, but it was a cute picture so I thought I'd include it here. I hope you enjoyed my wardrobe post!! If you want to see larger pictures of all the items pictured, as well as some detail shots, please check out my Facebook album!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Easy Details

Recently, I've started making a few pieces of clothing for myself! And I've started to wonder what kinds of little details I could add to make them a little more exciting. So I've made up a little list of things I've seen in pieces from Japanese brands. I hope you'll try out some of these on your next sewing project!

Heart Shaped Pockets

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Style spotlight: Elegant Sweet Lolita

The concept of an Elegant Sweet Lolita style is something I've been kicking around in my head for awhile now. I don't know where this concept came from, but whether I read the term somewhere or I made it up over the years, it's something worth sharing. Everyone has heard of Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL for short), and classic is known for being demure and vintage-inspired elegance, but I think sweet can get in on it too. So how do you pull off an elegant sweet look?

1. Details details details
Much like Hime lolita, this elegant sweet style is detail oriented. Sweet dresses without prints work better for this. Instead, choose a plainer dress with sweet details like lots of ruffles, scalloped hems, or bows!
The details in the dress will make the look sweet without being overly so, but too many details will make it busy and not very cute at all. Pastels are traditionally sweet, but you can also use white or off-white. Also, don't be afraid to use jewel tones! Especially in winter time, jewel toned dresses with sweet details (lots of bows and frills) can be elegant and sweet too. If you have to have a print though, I think one that's more simple works best for this style. Border prints, like Aqua Princess above, ones that are just at the bottom and the rest of the item doesn't have bits of print all over, are best for this look. I especially like prints that look like they are cameo pins with little scenes inside, like Aqua Princess by AP above!

2. Color Coordination is Key
In the regular sweet style, it's common to see three or even four colors in a coordinate. Most of the time, this is because these colors all appear in the print on the dress. So without a print, your color choices become more limited. Stick to two, maaaybe three colors tops. If you have just two core colors evenly dispersed throughout the outfit, it will create a much more polished and easy to read outfit. To keep it simple, I suggest using white or ivory as one of the colors.

3. Accessories!
No lolita coordinate is complete without matching accessories, and this goes double for sweet styles. But for elegant sweet lolita, skip the sparkles and plastic rings. Instead, opt for things that you might see in a classic outfit, but in sweet colors. Pearls are a must! Fake pearls come in all sorts of colors and sizes, and can be purchased inexpensively from many stores. I personally like the pink and antique colors best, but whatever you like/matches is fine~ Cameo pins are always in style, and also come in a variety of colors and motifs. If you just can't shake the acrylic addiction, choose one or two smaller pieces, like a brooch or a ring, and work them in with other pieces. The juxtaposition between the super sweet acrylic piece and a simpler, more classic item is what elegant sweet style is all about!

4. Texture
What I mean by "texture" here is the actual complexity of the fabric. Mixing and matching different types of fabric will give you a luxe look that is perfect for this style. Look for items with embroidery, flocking, or a subtle background print. By layering these items with one and other, you can create very complex and elegant outfits!

Do you wear ESL ever? It's a pretty neat little style! I hope you try it out some time, let me know if you do~ I'd love to see pictures!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ohayocon 2012!

This past weekend, I was at Ohayocon! It was so super fun to go again! Last year, I created the current version of The Elegant Wardrobe panel for this convention, and it was great to do it again for such a great turnout! I hope to be able to go back to Ohayocon next year, it's one of my favorite cons ever~ So I went to the Lolita Crush event too and saw lots of cute people, and I did two panels!

I think my panels actually went pretty well. This was my first time not having Starberry as a co-panelist and it was really weird without her. But July and Nami did pretty well, I think. So if you're reading this because you saw Affording Lolita, thanks for coming to that panel!! That was my first time doing that one alone, and actually Starberry is usually the lead on that. She was at Setsucon actually doing the exact same panel at the exact same time! Isn't that weird? I felt like I was rambling a little bit there, but I hope you enjoyed it anyhow~

If you're here because you saw The Elegant Wardrobe: A Guide to Lolita Fashion (or just A Guide to Lolita Fashion on the schedule) that was an awesome panel! I had a lot of fun doing that one. I began doing The Elegant Wardrobe at Ohayocon 2011, so it was really fun to be able to do it again this year. Maybe next year I can fill that big room up! I got a bunch of feedback from attendees and I'm going to use it all to make my panels better!

Do you like the new background? I wanted to change it up a little, so we'll see how it works out! Thanks for reading~!

Monday, January 16, 2012

DIY This Outfit! : Pink Girl

Hello! Welcome to the first edition of "DIY This Outfit!" This feature will *hopefully* inspire you all to get creative and either modify or make your own fabulous items for your lolita wardrobe! This time, we have an Angelic Pretty cardigan paired with a cute Bodyline skirt~!

It's a light and casual feeling coordinate, but it doesn't miss out on saving where it counts! That skirt costs $40 new from Bodyline, and it's a great staple piece in a sweet wardrobe. The socks can easily be swapped out for a pair of cute printed tights or a pair of socks you already own even. Here's where it gets pricey. That cardigan from Angelic Pretty costs over $100! I don't know about you, but I sure can't afford to pay that. So with some simple sewing skills (no machine required!), you can DIY that top and make it all your own.

First off, you'll need a base cardigan. This one is made from a type of cloth called Jersey (t-shirt material!) and it's super comfy. Just search up "Jersey cardigan" and some results should pop up that you can choose from. You can pick any color you'd like too, another great benefit of DIYing! Once you have the cardigan, all you'll need to do is decorate it. To make one similar to the one in the outfit, you'll need get some extra fabric to match your base cardigan from a local fabric store. Conversely, you could also get some patterned fabric and make the decorations stand out from the base. For instance, you could make it match the skirt by getting some light pink fabric and doing the decorations. If you plan to make your decorations out of the same type of jersey fabric (this is key for doing the ruffles seen in the AP one!), you'll need to know how to sew with the knit fabric. There are plenty of resources on this, I highly recommend this Youtube video though!

If you'd just like to add some bows down the front, that's pretty easy. You can make the bows out of cotton if you'd like, as they don't need to stretch at all. Follow an Alice bow tutorial, I personally like this one, but there are tons of them out there. Make as many bows as you want, whatever size you want. However, to achieve the look of the ones on this cardigan, the finished size should be around 3 inches by 2 inches. To make a bow that size, the fabric rectangles should be 6 in x 4 in (you'll have to add a seam allowance to those measurements!), and you'll need four bows. Once you have your bows made, simply attach them to your cardigan. Make sure you sew only one side down though. The other side can be closed by adding snaps to the bows and the base. If you want to add some to the sleeves, they should be a little smaller, and can be sewn down to the sleeves.

For the rest of the outfit, you can just pick from jewelry, shoes, and accessories you already have that match! Or you can make or buy some new ones, whatever you like best! What do you think of DIY This Outfit? What types of items would you like to see here? I hope to hear lots of feedback from all of my readers!

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year's Resolution Giveaway Winners!

The contest is over and the winners have been drawn~! I loved reading everyone's inspiring resolutions! I used a random number generator to select three winners for this contest, and the winners are....

Congratulations! I'll be emailing all of you shortly about your prize! Thank you to everyone who entered, I hope you continue to follow The Elegant Wardrobe this year! If you're super disappointed that you didn't win; you really wanted one of the handmade two-way clips, I'll be selling them on the EGL Comm Sales, as well as through my Facebook and even through this blog! If you want to buy one, email me at and you can buy as many as you'd like!

Last year, I made four Lolita-related resolutions: buy more shoes, learn to make lolita clothing, get more casual pieces, and expand my wardrobe in general. How did I do? Well, I did get more shoes. I went from two pairs to eight pairs, a substantial gain. I learned how to sew my own tiered skirts and bloomers, so I'll count that one as half completed. I did not get more casual pieces. In fact, I think my wardrobe became even more un-casual than it used to be! Finally, I did expand my wardrobe a little, but not too much. Overall, I think I did pretty well though.

This year's resolutions, a little more of the same with a few changes, as well as a totally new one:
1. Learn to Sew more things!
This year, I'd like to learn to make even more things, including cutsews, more types of skirts, and a simple OP/JSK. I'd also like to learn to make some more accessories, like jewelry and bags and stuff.

2. Buy pieces that I know I'll love/fit in my wardrobe
While I bought many different things last year, I ended up having to sell them off for one reason or another. So this year, I'd like to not be always buying and selling, but instead get dresses I know I'm going to love. Along those lines, I'd also like to keep to a few styles in my lolita wardrobe. My biggest problem is that I like a little bit of everything in the lolita world. So my goal is to not be tempted into getting things that don't fit into my current wardrobe.

3. Blog more
Over the past few months, my blogging has dropped off dramatically. So one of my resolutions is to try and blog once a week. I'm not sure exactly how that will work, whether I'll do some more personal stuff with this blog (like outfit posts or something) or if I'll add more Polyvore coordinates back in or what, but we will see.

4. Buy more blouses/cutsews
I was picking out an outfit for a meet-up a few weeks ago. I recently had obtained one of my dream items, a rare version of Meta's Candy House in mint. I really wanted to wear it... but I didn't have a long sleeved blouse to match. And in December in the northeast, you just can't go with a short sleeved one. So I really need to expand my blouses selection this year. 2011 was the year of the shoes, and 2012 will be the year of the blouse!

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year! Good luck with your resolutions everybody!!