Sunday, April 23, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita - My first meetup

Hey there everyone!
Sorry for the late post again. Work makes it hard for me to find motivation to write orz.

Anyway, this is Keiko here with another installment of the 52 Weeks of Lolita challenge. This time around I will talk about my first-ever meetup!

My first meetup was actually a swap meet. I was in Washington D.C. doing a 'semester abroad' at the time, and I had just gotten in contact with the local lolita community. I was at a loss of what to wear. I'd never seen other lolitas around before, and I felt a bit intimidated. Would they judge my outfit? Would they be too busy catching up to include me in the group? I remember being super nervous!

In the end, I decided to bring a 'wow' piece with me to the meetup. I settled for Honey Cake, bringing also with me the rare pancake mix bag for extra points. I unfortunately didn't take many pictures, even though it is one of my favorite coordinates so far. Here's one of the few I did manage to take:

Excuse the mess. I was sharing a tiny dorm room with two other girls.
I took the metro (subway) for about an hour to get to the station closest to the host's home, all the while nervous of going so far away in an unknown city by myself. Fortunately, it all worked out and I was able to get there unscathed. 

The meetup itself went very successfully. All the lolitas were quite talkative and friendly, including me into their group almost immediately. We had sweets, talked about the fashion, and admired each other's coordinates before setting up shop for the swapping part of the meet. We then went outside to set up our wares on blankets in the yard under the pleasant D.C. weather, and the trading and buying began.

I remember selling quite a few things because I needed the money, but not really buying anything myself. It's been almost a year since that happened, so my memory is a bit hazy. But that's all the important details, anyway :)
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Have you ever been to a meetup? What was your first meetup like? Were you nervous? Feel free to share your story below!

Keiko out~!

Friday, April 14, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita Double Feature - Lolitas I'd Love to Meet & 3 Things I wish I was Told When I Started

Hello everyone!
Sorry it's been a while!

It's Keiko here with a double feature post since I missed last week's entry. It was for good reason, I promise ;)!

Today's entry I will tell you about the lolitas I'd love to meet in person and talk to you about three pieces of advice I wish I'd been told when I first got into lolita. Without further ado, let's get this started!

Lolitas I'd Love to Meet

There are so many lolitas I'd love to meet in person! However, I managed to narrow it down to five lolitas who were not brand models (Misako, Midori, RinRin, etc)

Nokecha - Finnish Lolita whose sweet style is an inspiration for me. I looooove her princess coordinates and use of color.

Vysanthe - Australian Lolita behind Deerstalker Pictures. Not only is her classic style gorgeous, but I think it would be really interesting to talk to her about cinematography and the ups and downs of documenting and entertaining the lolita community worldwide.

Lemontree11 - Lolita from the U.S. I love her art and wish I could keep a journal like her. Her coordinates have this fluffy air to them.

Marie Dauphine - Gothic lolita from the United States. One of the few people who I think pull of OTT gothic flawlessly every time. She's also a taxidermist!

Melva Yan - A sweet lolita living in Sweden. Amazing outfits --I follow her lookbook!

There are, of course, may other talented lolitas whom I'd love to make their acquaintance. However, the list would go on and on if I did not set my foot down on just five :)

On to the next topic!

Three things I wish I was told when I started Lolita

When I first got into lolita, I made sure to research the fashion and read as much as I could in order to not look like an ita. At the time, there were many posts online complaining about people who did not take the time to read up on the styles and just jumped in without the nuanced knowledge on how to put together a coordinate. Even though I tried my best to inform myself, are just some things that don't get said enough or even at all. The following are three pieces of advice I wish had been emphasized more.

1. Don't buy things just because they are cheap - Cheap does not necessarily mean good quality. In fact it's often the opposite. Even if you get lucky, however, blindly buying cheap quality things does not mean that your wardrobe will be cohesive. I ran into this issue when I bought items I thought I liked due to price and ended up not being able to coordinate them together.

2. Make sure to buy all the basics first - I ran ahead and bought multiple dresses without ensuring I had blouses, shoes, or even a petticoat! It is easy to get seduced by the novelty and excitement of main pieces, but it's super important that all the basics are covered before you buy main pieces so that you can actually wear them.

3. Learn how to use Japanese secondhand sites and Taobao - I wish I'd heard about this more. Though I became acquainted with mbok fairly early, I wish I'd know more about Mercari, Fril., Yahoo Auctions, etc. I'm still in the process of learning more about Taobao, but I feel like beginners can have better luck looking for cheaper dresses on Taobao and get more of a bang for their buck that way.



That is all I have for you today, friends! Please feel free to leave a comment below on who you'd like to meet in person or any pieces of advice you may have for lolita newbies.

Keiko out~!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita - Lolitas I have met in real life

Hey, everyone~
Keiko here with another installment of 52 weeks of lolita!

Today's topic is talking about Lolitas I've met outside of the internet.

Naturally, I thought I'd start with some of the basic ones: Misako, Midori, Asuka, and Mana-sama.

Just Kidding!
Happy April's fool day, friends!

The only lolitas I've really met offline are from comms in the areas I've been in. I had the opportunity to meet some D.C. lolitas when I was there for a semester, and I'm acquainted with part of the Minnesota Rufflebutts community.

Unfortunately, I don't really have any pictures, so all you get is a lazy blogpost ;)
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Have you met any famous lolitas? Or have you run into lolitas from other comms? Please feel free to share, and have a great April's Fool's day!

Keiko out~~!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita - 3 trends I wish would come back

Hey peeps!
It's Keiko here~

It is time for another (on time) installment of 52 weeks of lolita. The topic for this week is my top three lolita trends I wish would make a comeback. Without further ado, let's get to them!

1. OTT Sweet

Like many other people online, I miss the 2009-2012 golden age of sweet. It's funny that I would, since it is not a style that I would normally wear, but I really enjoy seeing those kind of fluffy, pastel carousel, cupcake ensembles. I feel like its replacement, OTT classic, just does not have the same whimsicality. This was cemented for me by the Omnia Varitas  OTT Classic and OTT Gothic outfits. They were extremely gorgeous, but I did not feel the same spark of excitement as I do when I see OTT sweet.

Image from MintyFrills' tumblr
2. Scepters

I remember one convention --I think it was Anime Matsuri before its true nature came out,-- in which a bunch of lolitas had very intricate scepters with glass detailing. I don't know if they were made with curtain rods, but they looked high quality. They were so beautiful and complemented their coordinates so well I fell in love with the idea of scepters since then. That was the year that everone and their mom made scepters, though, so people got tired of them real quick. I, for one, still think they can really bring 'oomph' to an outfit, but I tend to like the more extravagant ones with glass tears, crystal balls, and the like.

3. Casual Lolita

It's funny that I'd miss this trend when the first two trends I mentioned are explicitly over the top, but I feel like we need to come to an agreement over what casual lolita is and is not. I have seen so many people post their outfits of full coordinates with basic, but well-rounded accessories and say that they are wearing casual lolita. Of course, casual lolita is a full coordinate, but I think the line has been blurred between it and normal coordinates because we look at OTT as the standard.
Image from queranruffles' tumblr
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How about you? What kind of trends do you wish came back to fashion? Do you follow them anyway, even if they're out of style?

Keiko out~!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita - Combining other fashions with Lolita

Hey there evveryone,

Keiko here with another late post!

Today's topic is combining fashions.

I don't really combine other fashions with lolita, but I've seen some good combinations of morikei, decora, and fairykei with it. I also enjoy outfits that lie between otome and lolita, since the they tend to be colorful and quirky. However, I don't feel like I have a good enough sense of color and fashion to be able to pull it off, but I really love  to see them in other people.

Originally, I wanted to combine creepy cute with lolita, which I realize now is a bit overdone for my taste and hard to do correctly. I admire people that do it, but I don't think I could quite pull it off.

One of my oldest attempts at a coordinate, with decora-like elements

Again, trying to be "decora" by piling on as many accessories as I had. Unsuccessfully (lol)
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What kind of styles do you like outside lolita? Are you a gyaru? A pastel goth? Do you ever try to incorporate your other interests in lolita? Let me know the path you have chosen in the comments below~

Keiko out~!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita Double Feature - How I found out about lolita & 5 keywords that describe my style

Hey everyone!
It's Keiko here surviving a cold!
I'm sorry I missed the post last week. I got sick and didn't really feel like writing anything. But that means that today we get a double feature post to make up for it!

Today's topics are: How I found out about Lolita and 5 Keywords that describe my Style

Without further ado, let's begin!

How I first found out about Lolita Fashion

I stumbled upon lolita fashion via anime. I used to watch Rozen Maiden when I was younger, around the early 2000s and such, and recall loving the outfits of the characters in the series.
I would often google "Rozen Maiden Clothes" or "Rozen Maiden Outfits" and, somehow, those search terms led me to lolita fashion. I did not know what it was at first, since I had only pictures to go by, but soon I learned about the Gaia community and, though I never joined, I lurked fashion forums looking for more pictures. Eventually, I got to Livejournal and realized how expensive the clothes were. As a teenager in a third world country with a terrible economy and worsening political climate, Lolita became an impossible dream. I renounced it, unable to even look from afar and disillusion myself.

It was when I moved to the United States for college--nearly ten years later,-- that I took the plunge into the fashion. In the end, I was happy to find out that there was even a Rozen Maiden Innocent World collection! Maybe I'll purchase Shinku's set if I see it around someday...

5 Keywords that Describe My Style

This year will soon be three years since I first purchased a lolita dress. How fast time flies! I can also confidently say my lolita style has changed since that first purchase of the Milky Planet black OP. Where I used to want to follow 2010-2012 sweet OTT trends and mix them in with 'bittersweet' and creepy cute aesthetics, now I want to my prints of mixed styles to be comfortable and wearable in those rare occasions I wear them. As you might have guessed, my keywords are as follows:

Prints: One thing that has not changed from the moment I entered the world of lolita is my love for prints. I hate them in normal clothing, but I feel like in lolita they make outfits so interesting and fun to look at. I tend to like certain designs and hunt them down until they are in my wardrobe --so much so that I only have one dress left on my wishlist!
Mixed: I use the word mixed to represent the fact that, while I'm primarily a sweet lolita, I wear coordinates from all three main lolita styles. I enjoy a versatile piece as much as the next person, and this is reflected in my wardrobe. I tend to like pieces I can dress up or wear simply to let the print speak. As my lolita aesthetic evolves, I wonder if I'll get more pieces to mix and match the three main lolita styles even more than now.

Comfortable: While I tend to forgo this aspect of wearing clothes every so often, I have found that I prefer my main pieces to not be hard to wear for extended periods of time. Tightness and uncomfortableness make lolita less fun for me, even if it looks beautiful,

Wearable: Because I don't have much occasion to wear lolita, I try to make my coordinates go more towards the casual side. That way I can wear them to simpler outings that are not necessarily special occasions. This is the polar opposite of what I originally wanted to do when I entered the fashion!

Occasion-driven: I unfortunately don't go out much in general. I work full time now at a place with a business casual dress code, so I can't wear lolita to work either. As a result, I have depended on meetups and special outings with friends to wear lolita at all, much less dress it up with special themes and the like. I particularly enjoy themed meetups when I am able to match the suggested topic. It's fun to rise up to the challenge on those rare times!

Did you first find out about lolita through magazines, forums, or somewhere else entirely? How has your style changed since your first encounter? Feel free to share in the comments below ^^!

Keiko out~!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita - Why don't I wear Lolita more often?

Hey everybody~

It's Keiko here!

I'm sorry that I'm late with this blogpost. I just got a new job and it's eating up all of my time orz. But enough of that, let's get to the meat of the post! Today's topic is:

Why don't you wear lolita more often?

The answer here varies a bit. To start with, I don't really have occasion to wear the fashion often. Meetups in my comm are spaced out and I cannot always go to all of  them, so I miss some opportunities to dress up once in a while.

Secondly, I've gained some weight after my wedding rather than losing it as I was trying to do. 
This unfortunately means that my bust measurement increased enough that I don't fit in a good number of my pieces. Oddly enough everywhere else fits fine :/... With this limitation has come a loss of confidence.

Real talk (depression trigger warning): I struggle with body image and suffer from depression and generalized anxiety so it's already a fight to convince myself of something positive. When I add this to the fact that something that used to bring me so much joy might no longer be for me no matter how much I try to lose weight, I can't help but feel discouraged.
I've thought of abandoning lolita altogether because sometimes I feel I can't do it justice at all and my dresses deserve a better owner. This train of thought has prevented me from wearing the fashion more than once and is currently my biggest obstacle to wearing it and documenting it. (Trigger warning over)
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I'm sure there are other lolitas who feel discouraged or uninspired once in a while. What kinds of things usually stump your lolita life? How do you deal with them? Do you have strategies to get a second wind?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita - Why I wear Lolita

Hey everyone!

It's Keiko here with another 52 weeks of lolita prompt~

This week's topic is to talk about why I wear lolita. The short answer? I want to be cute!
But there are other reasons why I'm attracted to this luxury kawaii fashion as opposed to dolly-kei, fairy-kei, mori-kei or any other style. Here are some of the other reasons why I wear lolita:

1. The aesthetic and the creativity in it: The lolita silhouette can range from cupcake-cute to extremely elegant or even mysterious depending on the style and coordinate. It has variability, even in its uniformity because people's creativity allow it to transform.

2. I can be hyper-feminine without being oversexualized: Being a hourglass shape in an sexist culture is quite annoying. Men whistled at me, and sometimes people nosily would bug me to 'dress my shape' so I'd 'look better' by exposing that body shape that made me uncomfortable. With lolita, I can dress femininely and not be whistled or jeered at as much. It's a great relief, even if lolitas still get other kinds of unwanted attention. At least it's about my clothes and not about my body.

3. Comfort and confidence: Since the clothes reflect my tastes and make me feel safer, I feel more comfortable and confident wearing them outside than other kinds of feminine clothes. While lolita is not necessarily comfortable to wear, I feel covered and cute--more than what I can say about fast fashion.

4. Prints are really interesting and fun to work with: Prior to wearing lolita I already liked the challenge and creativity that come with themed outfits, so the fashion fed into that tendency of mine.

5. Originally a form of protest: I really respect the Japanese young women that spearheaded resistance to stereotypes and expectations of femininity in their country. I think, in a sense, it is possible to also use lolita as a protest to the unfair expectations of what women 'should' look like in the West--even if our own pressures are less strict than in Asia.
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Why do you wear lolita? Do you just like the style or does it have more significance to you than simple clothing? Feel free to share in the comments ^^

Keiko out~!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita - My favorite Lolita brand (picture heavy!)

Hey there everyone,

This is Keiko hoping you are doing well and that your week has come to a good close. This week's topic involves revealing my favorite brand.

As you probably could infer from my wardrobe and sweet lolita tendencies, my preferred brand is
What a surprise, I know, I know.

Here's my favorite print JSKs from them for each year until 2016

2008

Dreaming Macaron

2009

Melty chocolate

Miracle Candy

Milky-chan the Fawn

2010

Little bear's Cafe

Merrymaking Party

Twinkle Ornament

Milky Planet

2011

Chess Chocolate

Honey Cake

Petit Patisserie

French Cafe

2012

Gloria Back Frill JSK

Cinema Doll

Sweet Cream House

Chocolate Rosette

2013

Melty Cream Doughnuts

Musee du Chocolat

Holy Lantern

Royal Unicorn

2014

Sugar Dream Dome

Mercator's Antique shop

Cream Cookie Collection

Melty Ribbon Chocolate

Royal Creamy Chocolate

2015

Horror Garden

2016

Charlotte's Bear


While I agree that the golden time for AP's sweet style was 2008-2012, I like AP's designs from around 2011-2014 the best. I have not really been a fan of the last two year's worth of releases, though. Where do you stand? Do you like AP, or do you have another preferred brand? How are their releases doing? Tell me all about it in the comments below :)

Keiko out~!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita - My wardrobe Turnover

Hey there, everyone!
This is Keiko hoping you are doing well.

This week's topic is wardrobe turnover -the rate at which things come into my wardrobe and then leave it.
I used to have a moderate wardrobe turnover when I first started out in lolita. I was trying to find myself and my style. I thought I wanted to be a 'bittersweet', creepy cute lolita at first, so I bought several prints in black colorways. I also wanted to do OTT sweet, so I looked for accessories in bulk to be able to pull it off before I realized it wasn't really my cup of tea. I would often impulse buy as well, to then decide I didn't like something and sell it later on.
Milky Planet was one of several black x pastel prints I wanted
Now that I've settled down into a style I like and I have acquired most of the dresses on my wishlist, I don't really sell much. About a year ago I started buying items for keeps when I was sure I wanted them and they went well with other things in my wardrobe. Additionally, since the lolita market has dramatically slowed down, I don't feel as safe buying to sell since I would make a net loss and it would take a long time to sell. I'm not a big risk taker, so I prefer not to dabble too much into quick turnovers if I can help it. I don't have specialty or themed  events I attend that need special outfits anyway, so I have little incentive to buy, wear, and immediately sell.
I'm pretty happy with my wardrobe as is, honestly
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Do you have a high wardrobe turnover? Or do you tend to buy for keeps? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below~

Keiko out~~!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

52 Weeks of Lolita - Favorite thing to put on my head

Hey there friends,

Today marks the first month doing the 52 week lolita challenge. Today's topic is about what's my favorite head accessory and the answer is super simple: berets!
I love the fact that berets can be so versatile and adorned with different things to dress them up or down. I feel like I need more berets in my collection. I particularly love the Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and Alice and the Pirates berets the best. They are understated, cute, and super comfortable!
My beret collection as of last year
Usually I'll combine a beret with a brooch, a headbow, or a cute clip. I don't like tying the ribbon on the princess drop beret from BTSSB, since I find it uncomfortable, but otherwise it's probably my favorite and most used one out of the seven.
From left to right: Red beret with black bear ears headbow, red beret with donut brooch, and brown beret with pancake headband

I'd like to get a red beret and a beret with a detachable bow. I might get a new pink beret as well... I just love them!
What is your favorite headwear item? Are you a head-eating bow kind of person, or a minimalist headband type? Feel free to share in the comments below~!