Friday, September 23, 2016

Lolita Challenges

Hey everyone~

As summer comes to an end and the temperatures cool in my hemisphere, I have come to realize that it's been over three months since I've worn lolita at all. Though I have wanted to, I have not put together a coordinate and gone out since the day of my wedding--and frankly, I miss it loads! So much time on hiatus got me thinking about the different reasons why people take a break from lolita fashion, and I came up with a list of seven challenges that get in the way of dressing up as much as we'd like.

The following obstacles I thought of are not listed in any particular order:

1) Weather
It's been super hot lately up where I live. The mugginess and high temperatures make wearing lolita out and about not only uncomfortable but dangerous. If you're not careful enough, you can dehydrate or get heatstroke! Some people brave even hotter temperatures somehow, and I have no idea how they do it. They have my utmost respect! I am too concerned about sweating all over my things or feeling like I'm going to pass out to try it.

2) Time
Getting ready in lolita can be pretty time consuming. For a more toned down coordinate, it still takes me about half hour to forty five minutes to get dressed, put makeup on, do my hair, etc. Sometimes you just don't have that kind of time, specially when you work far away or have to get up early. Or sometimes it's the time to take off lolita that is scarce. It happens to me often that I might have a good hour to spare before an event but it might be scheduled too close together with something else for which lolita is not appropriate or would not be comfortable. Bad timing, I guess.

3) Motivation
Even when the temperatures are balmy and there is leisure time to spare, it is all for naught if you lack the motivation to dress up. You might be feeling lazy, having a bad day, or want to feel comfortable for the day-- heck, you might even be fighting your own demons and be exhausted from that. Either way, sometimes we just don't feel up to taking part in the ritual that is putting on and donning lolita through the day or even just an event.

4) Income
Maybe you are in a wardrobe rut and need just the right accessory to get your creative juices flowing. A pair of shoes? A cardigan? Maybe something basic like a petticoat or a blouse. If you don't have the money to purchase items for your coordinates, it can be a bit challenging to bring yourself to wear old things, rework older outfits, or build your second coordinate if you are a beginner. Lolita fashion is expensive, so money can always be a limiting factor for participation.

5) Having an occasion
I used to wear lolita to class and to my internship sometimes, but I find that, since graduating, I haven't been going out much. I've spent most of my days inside the house cleaning and getting things unpacked after my recent move, so I haven't really had occasion to don my frilly clothes. Sometimes, in particularly busy months, we might forget to make time for our hobby and, before we know it, it's been forever since we have worn anything!

6) Dedication to the aesthetic despite rules
Let's be real: Lolita can be pretty demanding in comparison to other fashions. There has to be a certain balance and attention to detail that make it both fun and challenging. But sometimes you just aren't feeling it. Sometimes it's just easier to toss on a comfortable fairy-kei outfit that's still colorful but doesn't necessarily require as much involvement. Maybe you love the cozy feeling of mori-kei on particular autumn afternoons and would rather layer yourself up in neutral, natural colors than be a puffy cupcake. Some days the rigidity of lolita can be repelling, even if we love it and come back to it in the end.

7) That time of the month
This one is a reason to not want to wear anything fancy for me. A lot of people struggle with irregular or excessive periods, and it affects the time they feel comfortable wearing any sort of special clothing, be it because they fear it might get ruined, or because they don't feel physically well enough to wear many layers or constrictive clothes. For all my peeps out there dealing with periods, best of luck and may you not stain anything you love~
Are any of these challenges common in your lolita life? Are there any I didn't mention that you contend with often? How do you get around them to practice this hobby you love? Let me know below and we can compare notes~

Keiko out~

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lolita Art - Featuring Storm Neverland (Pretty Pictures~!)

Hey hey everyone!
It's Keiko here, and today I want to introduce you all to another lolita artist: Storm Neverland!
Still taking stories for comic strips!
Storm Neverland is an Italian artist based in London. I first ran into their art in instagram, where they were looking for Lolita stories to illustrate. The comic strips that came as a result are excellent, from their beautiful, vibrant colors to their delicate attention to print detail. My favorite part, however, is their light-hearted depiction of the day-to-day realities of dressing in the fashion--directly from the mouth of lolitas themselves. If you would like to see the strips, you can find them in Storm Neverland's facebook and Tapastic pages.

I submitted a story to her early on and was featured in a comic myself!

I decided to feature Storm Neverland's art because, not only do I love it, but I think it provides a great visual representation of lolita life for those who do not participate in the hobby. Aside from the comics, there are other illustrations that show the more relaxed, realistic side of wearing the fashion...

as well as just generally keeping it real.

There are gothic and classic versions of this! As well as pins!
All in all, I can easily say that I look forward to reading the strips as they come out and to see more of Storm's work in the future. If you are interested in their style or a little something for yourself, Storm is open for commissions right now! Feel free to reach out through their official facebook page.
Do you have a fun lolita story to share? Feel free to share it in the comments below, or even shoot Storm a message!

As always, thanks for reading and see you soon~
Keiko out~

Birthday Package Goodies (Pictures aplenty!)

Hello everyone~
It's Keiko here and I have (finally) returned!

I've been having a bit of a rough time the past month and found it hard to get inspired to write, so I was away for a good while...
But now I'm back! And I'm here to show you peeps what came in the mail for my birthday in August! I placed an order with Japonica Market Shopping Service for some goodies I found in Mercari Japan. They were pretty cheap-- the order in total (shipping, ss fees, items, etc) was $150 USD!

Here's what I got:
  • AP's Moko Moko Socks in Black
I got these used for 500 yen. They have sparkly golden dots, but the lighting doesn't really bring them out orz...
  • AP's A la Carte Tea Time Headbow in Black
I got this baby for 888 Yen. This might not seem like a big find, but I've been searching high and low for it for nearly two years! A la Carte Tea Time was part of a lucky pack a while ago, so it's often sold in sets that sellers are unwilling to break. I had managed to snag the JSK, socks, and barrette all in black separately over time, but I really wanted the headbow! I'm pretty obsessive about having matching headwear for certain pieces for some reason...
  • AP's Musee du Chocolat Brooch in Ivory x Brown
I snagged this item for 1555 Yen. I used to own this item a long time ago, but then sold it and regretted it. I look forward to incorporating it in my coordinates, since a good portion of my wardrobe has ivory, brown, gold, or all three!
  • Heart E Pink Beret
I love berets. They are some of my favorite headwear and I currently own some in brown, ivory, red, and black --naturally, I needed a pink one! I spotted this one in Yahoo Japan for 800 yen and I just had to get it.
  • Baby, The Stars Shine Bright 2-way Heart Purse in BlackxBlack
This last item is probably what I consider to be my biggest steal! It was only 4000 yen (around $40 USD) when I've seen it selling between $100-140USD! It is used, obviously, but it is in great condition! I am really looking forward to incorporating it in coordinates, since it is so neutral and versatile.
Have you made any purchases lately? If so, what kind of bargains have you found? Let me know all about it below :D!

Keiko out~