Tips To Perfect Your January Lolita Wardrobe Post

1.04.2015

It's that time of year again! Start ironing your dresses and get ready to show the community what your closet is made of. January's wardrobe post is the egl topic that has more participation than any other, with many awaiting the chance to peek at some closet inspiration and others posting their own. But how to make your post stand out from the crowd? Keep reading to find out!

Setting Up Your Shots- Lights, Camera, Action!

There are two parts to a wardrobe post: the photos and, well, everything else! Seeing the clothes and accessories harmonize in a real way with the personal flair only an owner could give and stock photos could not is the main attraction. So please say it with me now and vow to uphold this rule: no blurry or dark photos!

Make sure you have a good camera on hand. You don't need anything high-end, and your best bet may even just be your cell phone! All that matters is that it takes clear photos. Try tinkering with the camera settings instead of running on auto for more consistency and control.

Decide upon your set. Consider all that will be visible in the photographs and only let what you want seen into the frame. I suggest slight to minimal activity as you don't want to make it too distracting, but some details add personality. Here are some examples to try out:

  • Place a temporary wall hook on a garden fence for a lush foreground.
  • Photograph accessories where they are stored if you have them organized in an elegant way.
  • Toss flower petals onto your scene for some added feminine flair.
  • Thrift a large picture frame and lay your dresses inside it.
  • monkeyhoney used bedsheets with a cute unobtrusive pattern.
  • ehcappella staged a dressform in a beautiful corner of their room.
  • terrayla's ruffled pink room was the perfect backdrop for her princess-like wardrobe.
  • cadney included some gorgeous close-up shots of her favorite details.
  • scarletsedusa's moody atmosphere (an exception to the dark photo rule) gave a mysterious quality.
  • rozarn displayed her dresses in front of her beautiful wardrobe.
  • riotkitty_ let their cute stuffed animals into the frame.
  • yueri-san placed their entirely Moite wardrobe on a bedsheet in their signature color.
  • mintiemii photographed over plain white sheets and added her own cute hand-drawn flair.
Establish good lighting. Even great cameras can have a hard time picking up details in the dark. Figure out when the area you plan to shoot in recieves the best sunlight or place a few bright lamps around to shoot on your own schedule.

A little editing goes a long way. Sometimes the colors look better on camera, or maybe the dirty clothes on the floor made their way into the frame. Scrutinizing each image with a photo editing program is that finishing touch that will ensure a flawless representation of your wardrobe to capture the community's hearts!

Forming Your Post

With your photos beautifully taken, edited, and uploaded into your livejournal album the next step will be to make your post. You can add as much or as little "flair" to this as you like, but the basic things you should try and include are an entry image and the names of the dresses/skirts.

The entry image is that photo almost everyone seems to place before the cut (the link to the full post). It's there to give you a preview of what you will find and entice you into looking. A few fun ideas to try are:
  • You in your favorite coordinate
  • A picture of your closet space or room
  • Detailed closeups of your favorite print
  • Your brand novelties
  • A drawing you made
  • mayartemis created a cute gif of their clothing stacking up
  • tehrin used their graphic design skills to come up with this amazing pastel intro
A small introduction is sometimes placed after this. I'll call this part optional, but I feel it's nice to get an idea of the person who has curated the wardrobe you are scrolling through. A small sampling of personal facts that can give someone an idea of your fashion bubble makes the photos even more inviting. For example, you could include:
  • Your age
  • What city you live in
  • Your occupation
  • Your favorite motifs/ colors/ brands
  • A link to past wardrobe posts
  • How your wardrobe has changed over the past year
  • When/why you started wearing lolita
  • Where/when you typically wear lolita
  • Other fashions you wear
  • buttcape included a pie chart showing which brands they owned
Now for the images. Since the dresses are the main attraction it's best to place them first so appetites are satiated as they scroll on to see how you embellish them. Some thought should be put into how the images are arranged for that cherry on top, especially if you have quite a large wardrobe.

  • List them in a rainbow starting from your favorite color
  • Create arbitrary categories you feel your dresses encapsulate (tea flavors, animals, zodiac, etc.)
  • If you have a meticulous mind for dates, list by when you acquired them
  • ruban_rose categorized her dresses by brand
  • antik_poesi structured their pictures three to a row
  • xandra292 included multiple themes into her categories
  • lollipurr divided their wardrobe into just two- cat related and not cat related
  • loresandpenates gridded their images to include lovely detail shots
  • alyssiumbaby made an efficient layout for such a picture-heavy post
  • sanakanami made navigation easier by sorting categories under spoiler tags
Add captions so we all know the names of those lovely dresses and you're about done! If you have a story to share about a particular dress this would be where to do it. Make it personable by letting others discover how long it took you to find a particular item or how much your first dress meant to you.

Don't forget to check your etiquette! After all that hard work be sure your post isn't breaking any rules and users with slower connections will be able to view it. Heres's a quick checklist to mark off:
  • Place all images after the entry image under a cut.
  • If your post is picture heavy please note it in the cut so others know to open it in another tab.
  • Do not hotlink images unless they are from your server or a photo-hosting website.
  • Keep your entry images no bigger than 500px wide or the egl layout will squish them.
  • Use your judgement on how large to post your wardrobe pictures- nobody wants to scroll horizontally!


I am so excited to see everyone's wardrobe posts again this year! I've quite dedicated myself to making one every year to track my progress and phases and trends. It reminds me of flipping through old diary pages. Do you plan to make a wardrobe post this year? Please link yours in the comments so I can check them out!

I know a lot of people feel deterred from posting because they see their wardrobe as small but it's just as nice to see a well-loved wardrobe of a few pieces as it is to scroll through an impossibly large collection. Have a sugar-sweet day and happy posting!

25 Lolita Meetup Ideas for Winter

12.01.2014

I hope this season has been good to you so far, dear readers. I've noticed that meetups tend to slow down this time of year due to the weather and the holidays, but I find that such a shame when there are such cool things to do around now! With 25 days until Christmas I thought I'd share a list of 25 cute activities to plan with your lolita community this Winter.

  1. Go Ice Skating - The #1 cold weather activity,  extra cute in frills.
  2. Visit a Chocolatier - Drink freshly made hot chocolate for a Wintery substitution to tea rooms.
  3. Browse Museums - Shake off the cold while viewing the wonders of art, history, and science.
  4. Have a Crafting Day - Get together with your crafting projects for a relaxing hour or two.
  5. Throw a Holiday Themed Party - Any excuse to break out the Christmas prints and velvets!
  6. Go Christmas Caroling - Pick a song that everyone knows and sing door to door.
  7. Build Snowmen - Bonus points for sculpting frilly dresses!
  8. Watch Movies - Supply snacks and turn on a heart-warming flick in your living room.
  9. Try Dessert Tasting - Get everyone to bring their favorite traditional holiday dessert.
  10. Have a Game Night - Keep warm indoors with some board, card, and video games.
  11. Host a Secret Santa/ White Elephant - Exchange gifts with your comm.
  12. Hold a Card/ Ornament Making Party - Load up on craft supplies and personalize gifts.
  13. View Christmas Lights - Put on your warmest coats and take a walk to view the displays.
  14. Take In Some Culture - Nutcracker, anyone? See what shows are scheduled at the theater.
  15. Attend Holiday Festivals - Check for a local parade or festival to welcome the season.
  16. Go Ballroom Dancing - Brush up on your waltz and keep active by dancing the night away.
  17. Have a Winter Picnic - Very bold! Be sure to pack a warm drink.
  18. Throw a Drinking Night In (21+) - Try out some hot buttered rum, eggnog, and spiced mead!
  19. Go Window Shopping - Check out this year's store displays and buy a gift or two.
  20. Start a Swap Meet - A great way to find gifts and get some quick cash for the holidays.
  21. Try Victorian Parlour Games - They really knew how to keep occupied indoors!
  22. Plan a Winter Photo Shoot - Get your comm together for some photos in the snow.
  23. Eat by the Fire - Make reservations at a restaurant with a working fireplace.
  24. Go On a Nature Walk - Plot an easy route in the park with lots of scenic views.
  25. Take a Sleigh Ride - Enjoy the scenery from a sleigh pulling through sheets of white.

Here in San Francisco it doesn't ever get cold enough to see snow, and I miss it dearly! Winter is fast becoming my favorite time of year for how cozy and festive it compels me to behave once the temperature drops. We've already had our tree up for a month and I've been reaching for the hot cocoa occasionally.

What plans do you have for Winter? Perhaps some travelling, or an anticipated quiet afternoon during the break with a warm blanket and a good book? Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

Historically Inspired: The Victorian Lolita

11.21.2014

If there is one thing I love about history, it's how lavishly the wealthy loved to dress. The well-to-do ladies of the Victorian Era were no stranger to this indulgence with their bell-shaped hoop skirts and bustles, parasols, bonnets, and other many accessories- sound familiar? The fashions of this period are a large contributor to the aesthetic of lolita, and with OTT Classic on the rise it's a great inspiration for putting a little antiquity into your coordinates!

The 19th Century Silhouette

What dress makes the cut? The Victorian Era saw many changes in silhouette over the decades, but the two most iconic styles of dress were the hoop skirt and the bustle. The hoop skirt is the predecessor to the bell-shaped lolita skirts we wear today which make them easy to channel in coordinates, while the bustle has inspired a few modern interpretations on the lolita silhouette.


The bustle is my personal favorite from this period; I just love how it adds interest to every side on a lolita dress, and the design is very exclusive to the Victorians. There are several ways that lolita brands have alluded to the bustle in their designs, either by pinning the overskirt fabric so that it forms a swag, draping material on the rear, or just by placing ruffles on the back. Atelier Pierrot and Victorian Maiden in particular have made a large array of bustled skirts that can be adjusted up or down.


The necklines of the 1800s were high collared during the day and plunging in the evening. Classic lolita brands often put out cuts with standing collars that perfectly match the daytime look, and scoop necks draped with lace for the more elegant eveningwear will also sometimes appear. There were so many styles for sleeves in this era that you can get away with most anything, so just focus on where the neckline falls.



When it comes to brands heavily inspired by Victorian silhouettes, you can't really go wrong with Victorian Maiden, Mary Magdelene, Atelier Pierrot, or Excentrique. Even Angelic Pretty will release their pastel version of a Victorian gown every now and then, which is a measurement of its broad appeal. No matter what your style, there is a Victorian-inspired dress for it!


While you can certainly get away with a Victorian-inspired dress featuring a fully illustrated print for a modern twist, the most common patterns at the time were florals and stripes. Jewel tones were very popular because artificial dyes had recently been invented, making it possible to get brighter colors than ever before, but they did wear more subdued colors as well. Wearing all black was considered mourning attire.

Outerwear & Shoes

When the weather turned cold, ladies would wear fitted jackets with high collars, or capes/cloaks long and short. These came in all different styles from minimal decor to lavish cuts and fabrics. Victorian Maiden and Innocent World are on the forefront of Victorian-inspired outerwear.



Lace-up ankle boots are the popular image of Victorian footwear, but they certainly didn't wear that to the ballroom! Small satin slippers were also popular at the time, often decked out with little details. The heels for shoes were spool shaped (wider on the top and bottom) and the toe was pointed. Pleaser makes a few good Victorian-inspired boots, but American Duchess is about as accurate as it gets. Classic brands also release modern takes on the Victorian shoe.

Accessories

The Victorians had all sorts of accessories and embellishments they loved to add to their outfits.

  • Bonnets - Made from straw in the Summer, and decadent fabrics in the Winter. Ladies loved dressing them up much as we do with ribbons, flowers, plumes, and even real whole stuffed birds! Full bonnets that covered the back of the head were worn with a cute updo and ringlet curls.
  • Hats - Large wide brims topped with silk flowers and plumes and fake fruits were popular for ladies of wealth. Triple Fortune makes some that are mouth-watering, but you can find suitable ones fairly easy by searching for fancy hats. "Tea hats" like those you see old women wearing to tea rooms would work very well.
  • Stoles/Shawls - Delicate lace and fabric shawls would wrap around the elbows or shoulders of ladies day and night. Baby, the Stars Shine Bright has even started producing their own topped with fake flowers. You may be able to find these at thrift or antique stores.
  • Tights - Legwear was very basic, as the legs were not to be seen! I recommend solid or lacy tights, but nothing too flashy.
  • Parasols -  Already a lolita favorite! Ones dripping in lace are positively Victorian.
  • Bags - Pair your look with a small beaded bag held from a chain or thin strap with clasps, just like they used to. These can easily be found in everyday clothing and department stores.
  • Gloves - These were an absolute must for ladies. Long sleeved gloves reaching past the elbows were paired with short sleeved dresses for an exquisitely elegant look, while short gloves were worn with long sleeves. Try ruffled vintage gloves, or use a lacy pair for a soft look.
  • Fans - A hand fan was more than just a way to fight the heat, they were used to communicate across the room in a secret language! Lace or illustriously painted fans would pair fine with lolita.
  • Jewelry - Brooches, cameos, lockets, and intricately detailed yet bold pieces are a staple of this era. Jewelry brand 1928 exclusively makes antique-inspired accessories and many, many cameos and lockets can be found on etsy.

So there you have a basic (well, as basic as I could hold myself back to write) look on adding some Victorian era charm to your coordinate. Another approach you can take would be to wear a corset, or a dress with corset lacing, as that is an icon of the era even though it was never worn outside their clothing. Our beloved Alice was also brought to life in this period, making Wonderland coordinates a cute theme.

I put together a Victorian-inspired look so you can see these items together. This is the kind of look one would wear to a park on a sunny and breezy day I imagine. I picture a small picnic on the grass surrounded by dots of small flowers and little dogs playing.

Soft Victorian



As a last bit of advice, here are a few things to try and avoid:
  •  Square necklines - These are just too boxy for the period. If you don't have any blouses with a high collar or scoop neck, I suggest sticking to a rounded neckline.
  • A row of bows down the bodice - This is more reminiscent of the Rococo era. A bow or two will be fine, but more than that will channel Marie Antoinette more than Queen Victoria.
  • Jabots/Cravats - By this time the cravat had evolved into a bow tie and lacy jabots were nowhere to be seen. This is such an extremely nit-picky detail though, so feel free to ignore it!
I hope you enjoyed this little look into the past! I would love to branch out to a few more eras of fashion this way, as I had so much fun with this one and there are quite a few to cover. Is the Victorian era your cup of tea, or do you have another that influences your look? I'd love to know in the comments, and it may influence which era I study next! Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

Rufflecon Report 2014

11.07.2014

I had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of Rufflecon's first year and I've been so excited to share my experience with you all! It was a fun weekend of lolita activities and gorgeous coordinates in every direction.

Top 5 Creepiest Lolita Brand Items

10.31.2014

kawaii creepy lolita coffin baby the stars shine bright

In the spirit of today's holiday I took a look into the releases of past and present to compile a list of the five most creepy, morbid, and generally unsettling items created by the top lolita brands. So sit back and prepare yourself for some spooky articles of clothing!

alice and the pirates little red riding hood

Alice and the Pirates is no stranger to morbid fairy tales, so it comes with no surprise that one of these collections includes an item so gruesome that it ranks number five in morbid lolita goods. In the Grimm version of Little Red Cap, a pair of scissors are used to snip open the wolf's belly and release the captives inside, where it is then filled with rocks to kill the beast. This ornate scissor-shaped necklace is a ghastly reflection of that wolf's demise.

garden of earthly delights juliette et justine

"Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymous Bosch is very curious subject matter for a lolita dress print, as it depicts a very striking scene of shameless sensory pleasures in abundance. The debauchery and surrealistic interpretations of life without self-control make it a strange and almost uncomfortable piece of art to view, which is why this dress is at number four. It could have been worse though, as the triptych this artwork came from also contains a panel illustrating Hell.

innocent world doll museum

I'm not sure if this is based on any real doll museum, but if it is I'm sure it's haunted! Antique (and even modern) dolls have always given me the chills for being dead-eyed interpretations of human beings. Coupled with the awkward proportions and mischievous expressions, the figurines on this vintage-inspired print take this dress to number three on the list. Nothing with those shifty eyes can be up to any good.

innocent world doll museum


juliette et justine gothic lolita bible collaboration

Juliette et Justine's love for morbid classical art earns them two spots here on this list. This menagerie of clipped still-life paintings juxtapose a slain sheep with fresh peeled fruit and skulls for a scene bound to upset your stomach. The creature bound and lifeless taking center stage on the dress makes this the most disturbing print to be featured in lolita.

victorian maiden lolita coffin

And here we are at number one! At the very top of the list is the brand novelty item that still has people talking over a decade later. No list of creepy brand items should be without it, and nothing can top being literally buried in brand. Nowadays I'd expect a Victorian Maiden coffin to be constructed out of ivory painted wood and lined with dusty pastel satin, but this classic gothic combination is so very iconic.


Would you be caught dead in any of these garments? The juxtaposition of these themes on elegant pieces just captivates the morbid curiosity lover inside of me, and I hope for many more disturbing themes in lolita.


Happy Halloween dear readers!!! I wish you all a spooky, mischievous, treat-filled day!

Branching Into Multiple Styles

10.21.2014


As promised in my last post, here is the presentation I made at Rufflecon! Big thank you and lots of love to those who attended. It was my first time hosting a panel ever, so thank you for sharing that moment with me.

Now without further adieu, here is my guide to managing multiple fashions!

Come Meet Me at Rufflecon 2014!

9.19.2014

Greetings everyone, I just wanted to make the announcement that I will be attending Rufflecon in October- and I can't wait to meet you all! I will be hosting a panel on Saturday at 11am in 'Chapel' called "Branching Into Multiple Styles" that will focus on managing multiple wardrobes and getting the best bang for your buck.


If you can't make it out to Rufflecon, no worries! I plan to upload the content here on the blog after the event.



Hope to see you there! And travelers, be sure to check out this list of tips a friend of mine composed to ensure yourselves a smooth trip. Numbers 5, 16, and 21 particularly stood out to me!