torsdag den 28. november 2013

Body Shaming and Dressing for your Body Type

Trigger Warning!
(This post will contain my personal experiences with unhealthy eating habits and related issues)

I have been through a lot in the weight-department in general, and lately I've been through a small personal crisis that prompted me to write this post. 
I'm a little bit better now, though, as small victories are usually enough to get me to snap out of it.

Since I first got into this fashion there has been a monster hiding under every Lolita's bed. One that frequently sticks out it's ugly head and grins at us from meanspirited secrets, 4Chan and through fights in online communities: Body shaming. The dreaded "Fatty-chan". 

I've heard claims that body shaming is even harsher in the Gyaru community, but that doesn't take away from my observations that I think Lolita is particularly prone to being sensitive to the topic of body weight, probably because you have to be of a certain size to be able to fit into the majority of readily-made Lolita pieces, from blouses to skirts. Even socks! (or else you stretch the print and it looks.. wonky)

As secrets also show, many Lolitas feel a pressure because of this. A pressure to lose weight to be able to fit into the dresses. They feel bad about the way they look, they fear that people will look down upon them for being on the bigger side of the scale.
I know that there are girls who have a tough time because of being underweight too, but from my observations they are generally envied, not shunned because of their weight.

I have felt the pressure of mean, weight-related secrets on my own body, so I know how it feels. 
Of course I am against body shaming of any kind, as I am of the opinon that people should generally mind their own business when it comes to other people's looks, but I find that Lolita is a great motivator when it comes to losing weight!

I myself was overweight and unhappy for many years. Not just unhappy with the way I looked as an overweight person, but also unhappy with how hindered I felt as a side-effect of this. I couldn't run with my classmates in gym classes, I fell behind when biking into town with my friends, and it was hard! Lolitas was part of what finally motivated me to get up from the couch, eat healthy and do something about it! I lost a bunch of weight and was finally happy with myself.
Therefore I give Lolita an A+ as a motivational factor. The thing is- I got overly motivated, I guess you could say. I got so scared of gaining weight again so I wouldn't be able to fit into anything and in general would not look pretty anymore, that I was too scared to eat much more than an apple for breakfast, one slice of dry bread with nothing on top for lunch, and a tiny portion of vegetables for dinner. It was unhealthy, to say the least, and Lolita could do nothing to save me from what I was doing to myself. 
It was only the support from my family that got me out of it again. 

All of this was probably the result of body shaming. My goal became "becoming thin", not "becoming healthy".
Why would I care so much, if not for the gloryfication of thinness and the shaming Lolitas get for being overweight?

Well, what was my point? Oh, yes!

Lolita can look great on anyone. And I do mean anyone. I already knew that before I lost weight- I had no problem being confident about my looks in Lolita before I lost weight. I thought I looked great in Lolita! I just wanted to be able to fit into brand dresses and not just Taobao made-to-fit.
Size doesn't matter, as the key to looking good in Lolita has nothing to do with size at all.

The key is: Dressing for your body type.
Dressing for your body type as in dressing for what YOU think looks good on your body type.

I am not a fan of the “Do I Look Fat In These Jeans" mentality, as it is all about fitting into a certain “mold”, that is the socially accepted idea of “what looks attractive”.
Your idea of the “ideal body type” should be one that makes you feel good.

If you think that a shirt looks good, even if somebody says it makes your nose look fat, wear it!
 It is a lot more important to feel at ease in your own body. If you’re proud of or cool with a part of your body that other people would tell you to hide, don’t worry about it.
Flaunt it, if that makes you feel confident!

If you do, however, like the commonly accepted hourglass-figure ideal, I have a couple of pointers, and this is just my opinions and general observations. Mind you, some of them might not agree with whatever you’ve read in books on this topic.

1.     Puffed sleeves tend to hide wide shoulders.
I know this is actually quite the opposite of the popular dress-up tips, but I am not of a elfish body type myself, and I find that sleeves with puffy shoulders tend to hide this. After all, you can’t really tell how much is puff and how much is body!

2.     Let the “tight” part of the dress stop at the smallest part of your body.
This way, it will accentuate the smallest part of you, be it below your bust, at your waist or wherever else.

3.     Wear tights!
If you have naturally short legs, or your legs tend to stretch printed socks, wear tights. This also helps if your dress is a tad on the short side.

And this last one is completely unrelated and more a result of a discovery of mine...

4.     Wear bonnets.
Always wear bonnets. They look perfect on anybody.

Remember: You could ignore all of the above! 
Wear whatever you love, and what makes you feel good!
Stay safe, treat yourself well, and forget “BtB”secrets.
Your opinion is the one that rules.

mandag den 25. november 2013

52 Weeks: How Lolita has Changed Me

This is my 3rd week in this challenge, and well, well.. if it isn't already time for number 52! I feel like I got the big, deep question so soon.. but well, I promised to go random! This weeks blogpost is gonna be about how Lolita has changed me.
And boy, has Lolita changed me!

I'd say that Lolita has made me...

..let the outside match the inside.
I got into Lolita in 2010, at the age of 17.
Before then, I had slowly started developing into a "typical girl" when it came to fashion, make-up and the like. Yup, I was very late to the party in that area. Before then, I had always been a tomboy.
I know a lot of girls who got into Lolita from being interested in japanese fashion, goth, couture fashion or some other unusual fashion-style, and from the pictures I have seen, they were all very thorough in their look before they decided to get into Lolita fashion instead. I had to start from the very bottom. I had always worn jeans, oversized sweaters and never even put my hair up in a ponytail or wore any make-up what so ever. I never bought new clothes, because as I said:
"I want stuff that is actually useful!"

Lolita made me discover that clothes and make-up can be, well... Useful.
 It's like being your own fairy godmother.
Now it matters to me that the outside reflects what's on the inside, and I enjoy looking pretty.

...Consider more ways to go with my future.
I have always been a big history geek, but Lolita broadened my horisont even further. Before I got into Lolita, it never occured to me to look into French history, the Victorian era or any other period after the Renaissance. The historical roots of Lolita inspired me to look up the 18th and 19th century, which in turn made me fall in love with historical costuming, which then again got me to stumble upon the regency era. It opened up my eyes to 200 years of awesome history that I had never bothered to look into before and now, I think I might just try and specialize my studies in that field!

...Fill out my life with things that have meaning.
Kind of related to the above, Lolita fashion also opened my eyes to a world of new interests and good reads I had never thought of on my own. My new interest in the 17th and 18th century made me want to read up on old fairytales, read Jane Austen and gothic books like "Interview with the Vampire" and watch more historical or period-inspired movies like "Jane Eyre". Like many other Lolitas, I'm also looking for sewing classes in my area. I've always liked drawing, but Lolita has inspired me to do it more often.

...More open and accepting.
Meet-ups with my local community has kind of forced me to open up. Before I got into Lolita, I always only had a small group of friends, which meant that I was kind of lonely. I never wanted to talk to people that I didn't think I had anything in common with. At first I thought that meet-ups would be the perfect way to expand my social circle to include more people that were just like myself, but it turned out to be very different from what I'd expected. Lolitas are a surprisingly diverse bunch! Now I'm a lot more open to making friends with people who have a lot of different interests and are just very different types of people from myself.

...Made me stronger and more aware.
Lolita has made made me realize how tied down everybody are by society's expectations, which has made me stand up for my right to be myself a lot more, and in general made me care a lot less what other people think. I am not, and will not, be ashamed of what I like, from MLP: FiM to Supernatural.
In the same department, Lolita has made me aware of how women are still discriminated against and in general treated as if they are below men. It has made me aware of phenomena such as "rape-culture", and feminism in general. The blogger of Herlumpiness was the one who first inspired me to look this topic up, and I'm really glad I did!

All in all, I'd say that Lolita has made me a more complete person. It has enriched my life in so many ways!

Well, this was a really interesting challenge to do! It could actually be fun to come back some day and see if I've discovered something new and different about myself.

To see the complete list of 52 Weeks I have to get through and which challenges I've already done, click here!

How has Lolita changed you? Has it made a great impact on your life, apart from the obvious?

søndag den 24. november 2013

Why Lolita Isn’t Feminist but Most Lolitas Probably Are So.

When I was writing the “Sexy Lolita?” post I got inspired to open up a can of worms and discuss feminism and Lolita a bit more, but I decided that this subject was big enough to deserve it’s own post. 

Lolita is from my own experience often described as a bit of a “rebel fashion-choice”, in it’s own refined and elegant way. Quite at the opposite end of the line from the torn look of punk. Most Lolita handbooks think that Lolita even might have started out as the chosen look of Japanese women who wanted to rebel against the strict dress-code and culture that kept women in “their place”, which would not surprise me. We’ve had our fair share of youth rebellions in the West too.
The question is, if Lolitas are still in the midst of a rebellion. If Lolita started out as a feminist rebellion in Japan, which it could definitely be described as, if the idea was to free women from a patriarchic society in the 70’s or 80’s, or whenever Lolita was born.

You can look at this question in two ways:
In my opinion, a fashion in itself cannot be feminist. Clothes cannot stand up to anything. What makes a fashion a way to rebel, is the value that you put into it, of course! And this value may be different for anyone.

It is widely accepted that you are a Lolita as soon as you put on a coordinate that can be described as a Lolita outfit and call yourself a “Lolita”. You do not have to sign your name in blood on a contract or go through any rituals or get a tattoo. In short, you’re not tying yourself up to any promises of loyalty to a set of values. You’re wearing an outfit that you think is pretty and that has personal value to you on some level.

Lolita clothes might at some point have been a tell-tale sign of a young woman who did not want to be tied down. Much the same way punk used to have a deeper meaning than misfit teens wearing pins on their backpacks for school.
Today, at least in western society, Lolita does not have that connotation and might have never had it.

But can Lolita be described as feminist, even if the clothes bear no meaning in themselves? Well, I'd say no. But I do think Lolita has a tendency to attract feminists. Both people who claim the lable, and people who just so happens to be very openminded and "modern" in their worldview.
Some of you people out there who have fallen prey to the mainstream misunderstanding of feminism might be a tad bit confused, but you might just be a feminist yourself without even knowing it.
Even the ones of you who're guys.

Lolita is a little less mainstream than most alternative fashion-styles out there, which means that you'd probably have to be extraordinarily open-minded to things that are different. From what I've observed, just.. you know.. living on a day-to-day basis, open-mindedness tends to go hand in hand with the idea that everybody should be equal. Which is the core idea of feminism- Men and women are equally capable, equally worthy of respect, and they should be treated as equals in all aspects of life. Simple as that.

Most people I've met are not dressing in Lolita to prove a point, but because they love it.
 I've met some people who do dress in it because they're tired of sexism and want to get away from it- Which would make their particular Lolita-life a statement. But Lolita in itself is not a feminist movement, and I kind of like it that way, even though I myself support feminism fully. 
Lolita is a free space for self expression, with room for you to put in whatever values you please. 

Though I'm kind of proud of the kind of people it attracts, at least where I live.
There is nothing better than celebrating whatever has value to you when you're in Lolita, being around openminded and non-judging souls who love the same thing you do, but for their own reasons.

torsdag den 21. november 2013

LBC: What My Family Thinks About Lolita Fashion

Welcome to yet another week of carnical festivities and fun here on "The Star"!
This weeks topic is "What my Family Thinks About Lolita Fashion".
(And it's gonna be my last post before I go to England for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary! Yay! If there are any Whovians out there and you recognize me or something, please say hi!)

Back on topic!
If you are not one of the lucky few whose parents adore your Lolita clothes, there could be a huge variety of reasons they dislike it. Usually it would probably have to do with how different it looks, how it could scare other people away, etc. Which is also part of the dislike I am experiencing from my family.
I've been wearing Lolita for about 3 years now, and for the first 2-2½ years I lived with my parents and wore it on a daily basis.
 (Wearing Lolita every day is a lot easier when you take the buss/walk to school.)

Back then, I guess my parents pretty much just dealt with it. I insisted on dressing up every morning in tophats and bows, and I even wore it when I went out with them to eat dinner and anything else. 
Frustratingly enough, it seems that my mom slowly got fed up with it. In the beginning, she claimed that she liked how I dressed, even if it was a bit formal for her tastes. Then she disliked my shoes. Then my bows. Then she no longer wanted to be seen with me in it. It has gone steadily downhill from then, to her now trying to passive-aggressively talk me out of wearing Lolita all together, by making comments on my Facebook photos along the lines of "You look so much prettier in the one with your normal clothes!"

If you cannot tell, it does bother me a bit, and I let her know. I think her behavior is a mixture of her plain dislike for my clothes, and her worrying that Lolita might scare potential future son-in-laws away. I wouldn't expect that she's be able to understand the "not with boyfriends in mind" aspect of dressing in Lolita fashion.

My dad is a lot more open-minded, but that might have something to do with my rarely wearing it when I go somewhere with him, mostly because being around him and going out usually involves a lot of biking. But back when I lived with him, he didn't comment on it much. He once said that it makes me look bigger than I am, which I understand as he is not used to petticoats. I can see past that and see the smaller waist that the contrast creates, but apparently he can't. He has also claimed that I'm trying to "become a tiny asian girl" by wearing Lolita, which I found to be a lot more frustrating- Who said that I dislike being European? I just like pretty clothes!
But there is a logical explanation- He witnessed my very embarassing weaboo age, and well, I was very overweight too. Which would explain his emphasis on how "tiny" asian girls are.
Recently he has been more open to understanding where I'm coming from and how beautiful it makes me feel, which I appreciate.

My brother hasn't said anything for years, though in the beginning he insisted on refering to it as a costume, and the rest of my family doesn't comment on it at all. I guess they accept it, and may have gotten used to it.

That would be the general attitudes from my family.
To me, acceptance is more important than them "liking it". I deal with the passive-aggressiveness from my mom, but I might try to confront her with it again soon. It's getting old..
The rest, I can live with. The least family could do, in my opinion, is accept each others' clothing choices. People in general should care less about other people's choices, as long as they're not harming anyone.

Peace out?

Wanna find out how other parental units respond to Lolita?
Visit some of the below!

Geisha Baby
Lace a la Mode
Pretty Little Habits
A Sweet Lolita's Disney Life

tirsdag den 19. november 2013

Sexy Lolita?

I shouldn't have to warn you about this, but well: 
Slightly feminist post ahead! You have been warned!

Last week a topic was brought up on EGL that had a bunch of people screaming "troll!", gasping in horror or hiding under their beds. Sexyness and all related topics are what can best be described as taboo in Lolita.

The question was, whether you do or do not feel sexy in your Lolita clothes. Many people responded with something along the lines of "No, I do not see Lolita as sexual" or "No, I do not think Lolita clothes are sexy in any way". That was also pretty much my response- But then a user wrote something that I found interesting, and that made me think.

She/He commented on how many positive feelings that women have, are turned "sexual" in some way. "Confidence is sexy", "Being comfortable is sexy", "A happy woman is a sexy woman" etc.
I am sure you have seen or heard something a kin to this at some point recently.

How often do you hear something similar said about a man?
How often are men asked if a particular shirt, suit, pair of pants or any other clothing item makes them feel sexy?

This topic brings up a couple of very interesting issues, at least in my opinion.
Why are the way women feel being sexualized, even when that feeling has nothing to do with a boyfriend/girlfriend or sexual themes?
And why do people within our own community have an interest in whether or not other Lolitas feel sexually attractive in their Lolita clothes?

Interesting thoughts, that I think mostly have roots in a culture that is very dominant in most cultures I have knowledge of. The very simple principle that women are, well, sexualized, and that principle is in-grained in men as well as women.
Women accept that it is the norm in our culture for women to strive to look and feel sexual at all times.

"Smile! You look so much prettier that way!", not because we want you to be happy.
Why are you not looking pretty for us? Correct that right away!

From what I've heard and experienced in Lolita culture, a lot of girls are attracted to Lolita fashion to get away from the pressure to look and feel sexualized. It is a relaxing- getting away from the pressure and society's expectations. This causes a knee-jerk reaction when the outside culture knocks on the door and somebody brings up the "horrible, dreaded and dirty" topic of sexuality in this safehaven of non-sexualness.

Even if all of the above sounds like I'm banishing everything that has to do with sex from "My Lolita", that is not the case. I think the sexual part of human existence has it's place in Lolita as well. And not just in Ero-Lolita.

Hear me out!

To me, Lolita is partially about being free from society's expectations on how a woman should look, act and feel. This means being free from restrictions in general.
Lolita is about the ultimate freedom to look and feel like yourself- It would take away from this freedom to beat yourself up over feeling sexy in Lolita.
 If you feel empowered and sexy in Lolita, so be it! You're living your dream, aren't you?
Why should my feeling of being strong, whimsical and beautiful in Lolita be any "better" or more "right" than feeling sexy and confident? Lolita is about something different for everyone.

Lolita might not be "sexy" in the conventional sense, but that doesn't mean that you can't feel sexy!

Lolita is the freedom to look and feel the way that is right and true for you, after all.

søndag den 17. november 2013

52 Weeks: Most Versatile Item I Own

This is the second week of the Lolita Blog Challenge, and this weeks topic is number 39, "The Most Versatile Lolita Item I Own"! 

I think every wardrobe should have a piece that can easily be dressed up or down, and works for any occasion. The Lolita's "Little Black Dress", I guess you could say!
For me, it actually is a "little black dress"! 

My most versatile item is Baby the Stars Shine Bright's Ekaterina JSK!
What I think makes this JSK so incredibly versatile is that everything that makes this JSK special, is in the detailing. There are no huge ruffles, no chiffon, no big flowy sleeves or shiny embroidery. It is all in the soft lace and little pleats, and the puff in the straps give it that little extra that actually looks great on top of a black blouse with long sleeves. It makes it look like the sleeves have an elegant poof to the shoulders.

Here it is in a casual outfit! It looks simple and pretty much work appropriate.
It may look simple here, but I've also worn it with an elegant black chiffon blouse, a huge victorian hat with a veil and big gothic platform shoes. That's the magic of the little black dress, and the reason a dress like this is what I recommend for beginners as one of the first building blocks in their wardrobe. It doesn't have to be black. It should just be something that matches most of the wardrobe, or a neutral color, with beautiful detailing that can be toned down, or made the focus point of the outfit depending on the accessories!

So, that would be the piece in my wadrobe that is pretty much worth it's own weight in gold!

Do you agree on my recommendations? What do you think is the trademark of a versatile Lolita piece?

To see the list of the 52 Weeks Challenge, click here.
I'll update the list every week so both you and I will be able to follow which topics I've done!

torsdag den 14. november 2013

Wearing Lolita to Special Occasions

Once in a while I see questions about how appropriate Lolita is for various occasions, popping up. This weekend I'll be attending a grand family party. My brother is turning 18 and by danish standards, that makes him a grown-up. As such, you could say that this birthday will be the second most important birthday in his life, next to his first one! 
As much as I love lolita, and as much as I'd love to be dressed up in the coord that I feel most beautiful and comfortable in for this special occasion, I've decided not to. And here is why.

In my opinion, Lolita is just not appropriate for occasions where the spotlight belongs to other people. Lolita is an attention grabbing fashion, and no matter if you or anybody else wants it to or not, it will no doubt take away attention from the bride, the birthday child, the old couple celebrating their 50 years anniversary, the baby etc. 

What do you think people will be remembering afterwards? You will, believe me, be a topic of discussion for most of the guests in the car on the way home. When they should be discussing how much fun they had, and how amazing it is that the couple lasted that long, how beautiful the bride looked, etc.
You might say "What's the big deal?" and I get that. You and I are used to Lolita, we wear it often, and people should in general care less about what other people are wearing on their body. A wedding or a birthday party is just not the place to force people to practice that skill. You take away from the magic of the occasion, and you're stealing someone elses thunder. 

If you're not a classic lolita with a very, very discrete wardrobe, with plenty of tights and petticoats with pretty much no poof, you should just not wear lolita to occasions that revolve around celebrating someone else. Especially not if you know your family, or the center of attention, dislikes the fashion. In my case, I know my mom will (as discreetly as possible) start drama about my fashion choices. This will annoy me, and apparently, it's bothering her. It's just not worth it on a special day when we're supposed to be having fun, and it ruins the atmosphere for everybody else.

So when IS lolita appropriate? Is it ever?
On your special occasions, I say go nuts, no matter what anybody else thinks! Your birthdays, your wedding, your anniversary, you decide! If you've been nice enough to not wear it on other peoples' special days, they shouldn't be allowed to complain at all when you're the one calling the shots. If they do, they're just rude.
Also, you should be allowed to wear it to any "neutral" party. That means regular parties, family gatherings with no special center of attention, and the like. 

Oh, and there is one free-pass that you can get to the advice above, of course! If the center of attention tells you that you should wear Lolita to that special occasion of theirs! Then, do what they tells you! You've got an awesome individual right there, and they deserve seeing you dressed to the nines if they love your fashion choices!

It all really just comes down to being considerate of other peoples' feelings, I guess. That, and not being so "considerate" that you're holding back for no reason and let other people rule you on "your own" days.

Obviously it's your decision in the end and you decide what to do. You know your family and your social circle better than I do. But I really think you should think twice before putting on that huge twin-tail wig and Sugary Carnival JSK to your aunt's wedding- You might ruin her day a little bit, and is that worth "standing up for your right to wear whatever you want" for?

tirsdag den 12. november 2013

The Weekly Lolita Blog Challenge!

I got inspired by a couple of blogs that I love, and I'm in a mood to challenge myself a little bit, so: I'm gonna do a hardcore Lolita challenge! A Lolita extreme sport, if you will. (Since bungee jumping or rock climbing is not that practical in petticoats)

I present to you, F Yeah Lolita's 52 Week Blog Challenge! Once a week I'm gonna pick a random number from this list, using, and write a blog post on the topic. I changed some of the topics that I've already written about with a topic of my own. (The ones in purple are my own additions)

So, Ready?.. Set... GO!

  1. 5 pieces that every Lolita wardrobe should have, regardless of style
  2.  5 movies for Lolitas
  3.  What my own Lolita lifestyle is like 
  4.  Favorite thing to put on my head
  5.  My wardrobe turnover
  6.  My favorite Lolita brand
  7.  Why I wear Lolita?
  8.  Why don't I wear Lolita more often?
  9.  5 keywords that describe my personal Lolita style
  10.  What I've always wanted to try in Lolita
  11.  3 trends I wish would come back
  12.  Combining other fashions with Lolita
  13.  Lolitas I have met in real life
  14.  Lolitas I would love to meet
  15.  3 things I wish I was told when I was a new Lolita
  16.  10 facts about my Lolita wardrobe
  17.  Make an unusual clothing item work in a coordinate
  18.  Trends I thought I would never get into, but I now love
  19.  Trends I thought I loved, but now I'm not too keen on
  20.  How satisfied I am with my current wardrobe
  21.  Plan for a trip! A week's worth of Lolita outfits I can fit in a small suitcase
  22.  How I accessorize
  23.  What influences my Lolita style
  24.  What's in my makeup bag
  25.  Best places to wear Lolita
  26.  How I get out of a wardrobe slump
  27.  Purses that I love
  28.  Bloomers or no bloomers?
  29.  Lolitafying things in my everyday life
  30.  How long it took me to build a complete wardrobe
  31.  Impulse buys that were totally worth it
  32.  My best deal
  33.  Something that I made
  34.  Wardrobe blunders! Things I bought that I ended up regretting!
  35.  What I thought when I got my first real piece of Lolita
  36.  3 Things I love the most about Lolita
  37.  Something that's not my style, but I love anyways
  38.  Favorite hair style
  39.  Most versatile Lolita item I own
  40.  5 inspirational fictional characters
  41.  Fondest meetup memory
  42.  The ways in which I fit the cliche
  43.  The ways in which I do not fit the cliche
  44.  How strangers react to my clothes, and how I react to their reactions
  45.  Something that was a gift
  46.  Parasols: Vital or frivolous?
  47.  The item in my wardrobe that was the hardest to get
  48.  My "signature" outfit
  49.  My favorite Lolita print
  50.  What's in my closet, but I haven't worn yet!
  51.  Predict the next Lolita trend!
  52.  How Lolita has changed me
This Weeks Topic is:
The Best Places to Wear Lolita!

There are a couple of places that I find to be the ideal places to wear Lolita. 
Not because of the occasion, or for practical reasons (when is lolita fashion ever practical?), not even because of ease or anything like that. 
To me, the feeling of a dream-like or fairytale-like atmosphere is one of the best things in the world, so therefore I think the best places to wear lolita are..

The Forest

I've had plenty of magical walks through the forest in my lolita. It feels peaceful, talking a walk alone like that, far away from the noise and fog of the city. I recommend dressing up to the nines on a sunny day, bringing along your parasol and your iPod and just strolling along the trail. Put on some music to set the mood, and try and imagine how, centuries before you, a carriage might have driven their horses along the same trail, gorgeous women in Robes a la Francaise gossipping about the handsome guards inside, and what might be awaiting them that night when they reach the..

As a great old history geek, I love any old setting. Be it a patch of dirt where a roman camp once stood, or of course, a castle! Imagine my excitement when I got to dress up in lolita when I went to versailles last year! I could practically hear the rustle of dresses, smell the overwhelming, headache-causing perfume from centuries back, and you feel like part of the story in your frills. Castles come in all shapes and sizes, be-fitting of any lolita style. The only negative point would be people thinking you're part of the show and clicking away with their cameras.

Victorian Tea House
Few things are better than when the surroundings match the serenity of a good cup of tea, and that is victorian decor to me. A victorian tea house is the perfect place to meet up with friends and perpetuate the deeply rooted lolita stereotypes of lolitas all being classy and polite flowers.
(Owning a good stereotype now and again is hilarious, imo!)
Oh, and I love me a good cup of tea.

So, that was the first installment in a long series of posts. It seems like they will, surprisingly enough, make me think of lolita from all new angles.

What do you think are the perfect places to wear Lolita? Do you agree?
Let me know!

mandag den 11. november 2013

Photoshoot: Urban Maiden

This weekend I had the great joy of once again modelling for the talented photographer mr. Christian Møllnitz of Imagen Photography, and this time I got to do it in my frills!

It was cold, it was wet and it was quite the adventure crossing the dark waters (an empty, muddy lot) to get to the abandoned silos, but I had a blast as always and we got some stunning photos out of it!
Personally, I love the contrast of sweet and elegant classic Lolita in an urban setting with the graffiti and concrete walls.

OK, on to the photos I picked out especially for you!

Coord Rundown:
JSK and Bonnet: Infanta
Blouse: HMHM
Coat: HMHM
Socks: Secret Shop
Shoes: Offbrand
Parasol: Alice and the Pirates
Accessories: Offbrand

lørdag den 9. november 2013

My Favorite Lolita Documentaries and other videos

Even though I've been a Lolita for a couple of years now and am pretty sure I know what those strange rufflebutts are all about, I still enjoy relaxing to a lolita documentary now and then. It's interesting to observe how different Lolitas from different parts of the world, or even within the same country, describe lolita fashion to outsiders- What they find to be important and defining characteristics of Lolita as a community, and the fashion in itself.

Here are a couple of the documentaries I relax to, in no particular order. I list the countries, though, just to bring some perspective!
Happy watching!

Lace and Petticoats

Lolita in Translation

A French "documentary" brought as part of the show "Hors Serie" (multiple parts)

Sugar Coated

Lifestyle of Goth-Loli Girls

And last but not least, the first Lolita documentary I watched:

I find "LoliGirls" to be a bit different, as it puts a lot of emphasis on the spiritual part of being a lolita- not something that every lolita can identify with. To me, it brings back a bunch of nostalgia and I still watch it for fun, time and time again.

I hope you were as entertained as I continue to be by these documentaries!

Here are a couple of links to other interesting Lolita related videos and channels that I recommend:

The link speaks for itself. Major culture clash!

Princess Peachie's Youtube channel
She makes a bunch of cute and informative videos. Great for beginners! This decription actually also fits Shelby Cloud's Youtube Channel

True video-wizards, through and through! Also makes trailers for Haenuli!

Lovely Lor's Youtube Channel
Very entertaining with a lively personality!

The perspective of multiple styles on one channel!

And for the more gothically influenced (and maybe even if you're not) I recommend:
Gothic Charm School's Youtube Channel
The Lady of the Manners also has a website (and she has written a book of the same name) where she gives out advice to goths of all shapes, sizes and ages, but I find myself slowly nodding in agreement and recognition when reading her posts on life as an excentrically dressed individual. Give it a try!

Do you have a link or two to some videos that you enjoy but I might not have seen yet? Let me know in the comments!

torsdag den 7. november 2013

Lolita Blog Carnival: How I Got Interested in Lolita Fashion

This week's Lolita Blog Carnival theme really brings back memories! 
It's incredible how long back ones' road to lolita-dom really starts, when you think about it. It might all, and this is a bit of a stretch, really have started when you were 4 years old and your grandma bought you this princess Barbie, and from then on you were hooked on princesses. The seed to what would become your Lolita aesthetic. 

As I said, that might be a stretch, but I consider my road to lolita-dom to have started back when I started school. That's when I met my closest childhood friend. 

But let's move forward a little bit: 

I was introduced to Lolita back in my "weaboo" days. I had lost contact to that special childhood friend of mine even further back, when I moved to a different part of the country. Luck would have it, that my aunt still worked in Copenhagen, and I knew that my childhood pal's mom was a colleague of hers.

I really was your typical teenage weaboo. I dressed in Naruto sandals and cat ears. I ended pretty much every sentence with a "nyan~" and was sure that I was the decendant of some kind of magical girl. I'm very fortunate that my parents were decent at dealing with my teenage identity crisis. I was about 13-14 years old or so. 

One random day, my aunt let me know that my old friend had also gotten into that "japanese thing", and I excitedly demanded that I get her phonenumber so I could call her immediately! 

Of course it turned out that she was about 300% cooler than I'd ever be, at least in my own opinion. I was awed by her Visual Kei-awesomeness. She dressed well, she was beautiful, incredible when it came to drawing and she had brought japanese magazines along with her and introduced me to "An-Café". (I still listen to them. So much nostalgia..)
All of that added up to her being everything I all of a sudden wanted to be.

Of course I decided to get into Visual-Kei immediately, but that was nothing new. I had always wanted to get into goth, or punk, or emo, or some other alternative fashion. It didn't really matter to me which it would be. I just wanted to dress differently. I have always been the kind of person who gets really into a project in the beginning, but never finishes anything. 

That also meant that my wardrobe was a mess, of course.

My friend showed me the online forum for the first ever japanese fashion community in Denmark. It was one forum for all the japanese fashions that were big back then- Visual Kei, Decora, Gyaru and, yes, Lolita. 

I don't know why, but I ended up spending a bunch of money on the first (and really not the best) Lolita stuff that was up for sale on there, including an ita-astic blouse with scratchy lace and shiny ribbon, a rectangle headdress and skirt, and a pair of black and purple platforms. The perfect coordinate, as you can imagine.
As soon as it arrived, it was buried in the back of my closet never to be seen again. I had already moved on to the next thing- Asian Ball Jointed Dolls. 
Of course I managed to thoroughly embarrass myself before I left the online community, by trying to create a lolita coord out of whatever I had in my closet and posting it online. 

A couple of years passed. I was actually into ABJD's for at least 3-4 years. 
It was a boring day sometime in mid-late november when I, pretty much out of nowhere, remembered that online community that my friend had shown me years ago, and I decided to google it. I found that it had a new url, but it was still thriving. I read everything on there about Lolita- I was skeptical about sweet lolita, and gothic was too dark for me. I fell in love with the romance of classic lolita but, impatient as I will always be, the oldschool stuff I had bought 3 years ago would have to do for now.
And the rest is history. I didn't even consider it- It just felt natural that I spend all my money on an obscure street fashion, right out of nowhere. 

It's fun to think back and notice how everything has changed- today, the romantic and simple lolita style that got me hooked at first is the least appealing to me. I have become gradually more "extreme" in my lolita preferences- The the bonnet, the rufflier the dress, the brighter the print, the happier I am. 
And that goes for any Lolita "genre."

I guess lolita for me was a thing that I had to mature for, and grow into.
My style and my preferences have broadened and changed, and I have no idea where I'll end up. My style keeps evolving.

Thinking back, it was all pure luck. Had I gone to a different school, I would never have met that one girl, and she would never have introduced me to Lolita fashion, and it's safe to say that I would've been an entirely different person whose life would have been totally different. 

Thanks for reading!
And hey- Please tell me, how did you get into Lolita fashion? I love hearing other peoples' stories!

Wanna know how some other awesome bloggers fell down the rabbit hole?

Her Lumpiness
Sidhe Banshee
Oh Velveteena
All Sweet in Deed
Alice in Lolitaland
Wild Jackalopes
A Sweet Lolita's Disney Life
The Bloody Tea Party
Hello Batty
Pretty Little Habits

mandag den 4. november 2013

Rules of Lolita, et cetera.

With Christmas coming up very soon, and with that surely a big influx of poor new souls into our subculture, it struck me that it would be appropriate to talk a little about the rules of Lolita fashion. To many of the girls that get into the bus to Lolita land, our fashion must seem very focused on "rules" and what you are allowed to, and especially are NOT allowed to do.

One of my favorite elements of Lolita is that it is so, well, self-centered. In a good way. We wear this fashion for our own sake and we choose not to care about what anybody else tells us. Lolita empowers us to be ourselves and be a shining example that more possibilities are open to people than they're even aware of themselves! "What Not To Wear" does not have to get the final say in what you see in the mirror.
You can wear pink dresses with lambs dressed in strawhats grassing along the hem if that is what makes you happy. It is not like the dress is going to suffocate you when you put it on! And if there are so many alternate opportunities when it comes to fashion, what other changes can you make in your life that society and common opinion made you believe were impossible?

Some people are of the opinion that since you wear Lolita for the reasons stated above: Yourself! there really shouldn't be any "rules" in the fashion. Some people go as far as saying that fashion is all about self-expression and therefore rules don't exist at all! While I do agree that fashion should be all about expressing and being yourself, I am kind of old-fashioned when it comes to the rules of Lolita.
 The rules define what is and what isn't Lolita: The rules are the canvas. You can paint whatever you want on the canvas, but you cannot paint outside the canvas. The laws of physics just won't let you, and you get paint splattered all over the walls if you try.
The rules are necessary, but the rules are not final. 
And the unspoken, unexplained rules are much more important than the written ones.

You have to follow a certain amount of the written rules, but it is a matter of balance more than anything. You can bend, shape and mix it up, if you have the experience to do so. And experience is really key here. To succesfully bend the rules and still have a Lolita outfit when you're done, you need to have "absorbed" what Lolita is really about, and that cannot be done through reading one single, long explanation of the rules and what can and cannot be changed. Those are the "unspoken" rules that I was talking about- It's a certain kind of aesthetic. 
The only written rules inLolita fashion that are really final and can never be changed in any way are skirt length, silhouette and quality. Some people might disagree with me, but this is how I see it:
Your skirt has to have poof. That is that. You just cannot be a Lolita in jeans, no matter how "Lolita" the rest of your outfit may be. Skirt length and silhouette are kind of connected rules- A mini skirt and a ballgown could never make the distinct Lolita silhouette, after all. A "Hot-Topic Milanoo Race-Monster Maid Kawaii Desu" dress you bought on ebay might very well have the shape, but it lacks taste, to be frank. Lolitas might not all be cute, polite maidens, but one of the core rules of any genre of Lolita fashion is that your dress needs to be of at least OK quality.

But that is really all. Shirts, socks, hair, shoes, make-up, accessories are all yours to play around with as much as you please- If you have the experience to do so, and has absorbed the "aesthetic" as much as you can. The ability to instantly recognize what just "does not look Lolita". 

In conclusion: 

Most of the rules are not rules, but guidelines that beginners need to "Play it Safe" while they absorb the aesthetic. 
The aesthetic frees the Lolita from the rules.

Yeah. That got awfully complicated. But you get my drift, right?

lørdag den 2. november 2013

Review: Yoybuy, Victoriangirldress and Infanta's Sleeping Beauty!

After almost a year of nothing new in my closet what so ever, I finally have a new addition in my closet! I had almost forgotten that giddy, excited feeling of receiving a pack of goods from the other end of the world!

Usually when people recommend shoppingservices it's personal services (one person who live in japan or china and ships stuff to people) or the very well-known ones, mainly Taobaospree and Taobaonow. For this purchase, I decided to try another one, for two reasons: Yoybuy is a lot cheaper when it comes to shipping, and has a very neat, easy to use shoppingcart system. I read a lot of kind of mixed reviews, but most of them seemed to be positive, so I went for it! And this was my experience:


Their website is easy to navigate and has pretty much all of the information that you need listed exactly where I expected to find it. The search bar that lets you search for a taobao item directly from the Yoybuy website and just put it in your shoppingcart is great- No worries about correctly filling out forms or anything!
It would be even better if you didn't need the exact link to the item, though, but now I'm just being nit picky. 

Making a purchase:     
Very easy and pretty much like any other internet transaction where you check out with a shoppingcart. The only problems I had was that I was unsure what to enter in the price declaration field. It all went smoothly, though, and I didn't have to do anything else!

Communication was my only real issue with these guys, and it was mostly language barrier stuff. The color options on the items when I had to check out did not translate probably ("Furnished appartment? But I'm buying a dress..!") and their english is of course not perfect, but for the most part it is easy enough to understand. You are able to follow the process of your order on their website, from when it is purchased, when it ships from the Taobao store, and when they ship it to you, and you'll receive an automatic e-mail telling you to review your order when it arrives at their warehouse, and before you pay for shipping.

Shipping is cheap and you have a lot of options to choose from, with all the information you might need about each one. You can choose to get your package insured for a couple of bucks extra, but the price is very reasonable- I chose it, just to be sure. They shipped my package out very quickly after I made my final payment, and I received a tracking number. Everything arrived in a bubblewrap envelope in seperate clear plastic bags. No tears or anything.

All in all, I think Yoybuy deserves 4 big  's, and I'll definetely use them again the next time I need to spoil myself!

And now for the main event- 

Infanta's Sleeping Beauty JSK

Right out of the bag, without detachable bows!
I ordered the Infanta Sleeping Beauty JSK in the largest possible size (Size XL), and it fits pretty well! The length was the main reason I ordered this size since I'm pretty tall (about 5'9, or 178 cm) and the waist sits almost exactly at my waist, and it reaches my knees exactly. 

The dress is fully lined, except for the back. The lining is smooth, a tad shiny and doesn't rustle. In general, the fabric used in this dress is very smooth. A light and plain cotton(?), I'd say. No extraordinarily interesting texture compared to my only printed brand piece, but nice enough. The lace is not as thick and soft as what I expect from brand, but pretty close.

As you can see from the picture, they have tried to make the print match up as the seams. They've done alright. Only the "gate" really looks off, but it's not noticeable when worn. 
The print is nice and crisp, but very different from the photo, color-wise. The roses are more of a purple-ish color than the warm pink they show in the pictures. The brown details on the dress are also more of a dark chocolate brown. The small detachable bow is cream and not brown but that, to me, is a minor detail. The difference in the print color does, however, mean that the items I was thinking of coordinating this dress with won't match at all, so that will be a bit of a problem.
The waist-ties are attached with beautiful gold and cream heart-shaped buttons! The holes in the ties themselves are too big for the buttons, though. They detach easily. I have to get that fixed somehow.
This is the back of the detachable bow. The bow itself is a teensy bit crooked and one of the needles were sewn on upside-down. I like how the needles are attached at the edges of the bow, though. That way the bow doesn't "flop down" the way it does on a couple of my other offbrand dresses.

I bought the matching bonnet, and it's absolutely gorgeous! I love the stripey ruffles. It is very big, which I like. The ribbon used has a sheen to it, but is not shiny. The lace is lovely, except for the kind of scratchy gold tips around the bonnet, but so little is used that it does not look costumey.

All in all, I rate this dress:

It is very, VERY decent. Not brand quality, but definetely better quality than any regular clothing brand.

Alright, but I'm unable to wear the waist ties at the moment. No other big issues.

Likeness to pictures:     
The colors are pretty different, and the big bow is a little more.. wonky.

I was actually pretty impressed, and this is definetely not the last Infanta piece that will end up in my closet!

Victoriangirldress Petticoat

I had heard a lot of good things about Victoriangirldress, and they are incredibly cheap, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. And I was very pleasantly surprised! The dress arrived in a clear plastic bag.

And right out of the bag, it was poofy all over the place! The material is not regular, cheap costume tulle from my experience. It is pretty soft and very comfortable to wear. The top fabric part of the petticoat is quite long, but you get a great cupcake shape when you fold that one down and wear it a little below your waist.

It even stands on it's own, haha! I'd say it's even more poofy than my Dear Celine Frothy petticoat, and that's for less than half the price I paid!

My only complaint is one thread that was not sewn in place. I'll just have to cut that one. I don't think the petticoat is gonna fall apart or anything.

I'll rate it:

Pretty good, especially considering the price and that it was not made with a "lolita's needs" in mind!

Poofyness: ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ 

I hope you found my review to be useful! I'll update with a worn picture when I get the chance!
(I'll just have to make one. I physically can't wait to wear it all out!)
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