Friday, January 25, 2019

LBC: Share 5 Winter Meetup Ideas

It's definitely that time of year again, everyone is tucking in for some good old fashioned winter meetups to while away the cold hours (depending on where you live). So for this weeks topic we've all decided to write up five ideas to do for winter meetups.

<3 Attend A Theatre Production <3 

Whether it's a small time theatre production or one of your states largest theatre companies, attending the theatre is a grand time. There are so many phenomenal shows to choose from and there are usually a bunch of really excellent choices during the winter. It's easy to plan this type of meet with the comm, choosing the general seating area, show, and then prior dinner locations.

<3 Do A Photo Scavenger Hunt <3

This could be very fun either outdoors or inside, though indoors may be easier for every body, warmer too. All a host needs to do is pre~pick all of the locations and/or things that need to be found and share small clues, riddles, or poems about the item. People can be paired into teams to navigate the locations together or it can be made into a large teams with people who just want to spectate being able to hang with the host. The host should try to have photos to share at the end of the event, either showing on their own phone or directly to the event page, so that everyone can see and tally up. 

<3 Plan A Retreat <3

You can do so much in a little retreat, whether you have a large group or small, finding a cute little house somewhere out in the woods with different activities and food planned. This does require a bit of work organizing different small things so people aren't just sitting there staring at each other the entire weekend. 

<3 Host A Fancy Dinner Party <3

A dinner party is excellent for a winter evening, everyone can just relax a bit and it can be a real treat with friends. It can be done as a potluck with only a few slots open for desserts (we know we all tend to go heavy on the sweets) alleviating the one hosting it in their house (unless you decide to go someplace fancy). Of course, this would be fun if the host has nice china to bring out and really go all out, even pulling out the tea and coffee service after dinner.

<3 A Gaming Meet <3 

Planned games and activities could be very fun in the middle of the winter. A bit of finger food, hot drinks to share, and of course games to play. They could be a range of anything from modern games to maybe something a bit more old fashioned. You can also have things a little planned out and have maybe a bit of a competition going on with a prize at the end (like say people are playing an easy card game or video game).

These would include things like making silhouettes, card games, lookabout, or 'Are you there, Moriarty?' and forfeits. Choosing games that are more inclusive and involved can be very fun, some of these games allow for the entire room to play as opposed to 2-4 players at a time. Even story games or games like 'what are you doing?' are highly involved and can have people in stitches for hours if you have creative and imaginative people. 

I didn't want to go with the usual meets, like ice skating, as we all tend to list some of them. I do still like tea parties, skating meets, museum meets, and the like and will never get tired of them but I wanted to try to think a little more out of the box.

If you want to check out what other people have come up with for this topic, please feel free to check out their posts. Links are below and you can also check out the link for the Lolita Blog Carnival is you are thinking of ever joining in.

Friday, January 18, 2019

LBC: Tailoring Your Wardrobe: Making It Work & Suit You

This is one of those topics that I get so excited for and hope to write out long and in depth posts about, but tend to wig out in short form. Wardrobes are a very personal to each individual and the hardest part is navigating the way around all of the wonderful frills and figuring out what does suit you. You can't always try it on to see and in this day and age it's difficult to try it and then sell it off if it's not what you imagined. It's a whole different tea party all together if you are new and just figuring things out. And so with that we've decided to tackle this topic in this week's Lolita Blog Challenge!
This pic is almost old enough for the 10 year challenge

I've worn this fashion since 2007 and what started as 2 jsks transmuted itself, through my love of the fashion, into a fantastic crazy closet monster. There is something for nearly every substyle but the ones with the strongest pull is classic. It took me a long time to realize where my frilly loyalties lie, I have been fooled into thinking sweeter pieces were for me and not appreciate goth as much as I used to.  It's also caused me to really evaluate if a piece is worth it when I see something that plucks that heartstring. 

With all that being said, how does one go about this process?  

As far as my own wardrobe is concerned I've learned a great deal about how to make it suit me and how to curtail certain bouts of whimsy. The problem I used to face was picking up things that weren't exactly my style, even though I do wear sweet it's more of a classic sweet or tone down. There are, of course, people who avoid my fate and know what they want. This is not for people who can handle their frills...

<3 Blouses & Boleros Of A Wide Variety <3

Blouses and boleros are one of the key elements to any wardrobe is what you coordinate it with, making one main piece have a wider range of looks. Granted my drawer is fairly monochrome in this photo there are reds, navies, and pinks with different design styles that go a long way. As the saying goes the devil is in the details. 

Proof that I both can't handle things around me and that I live in princess sleeves
Details such as having several princess sleeve blouse in several shades, with varying necklines. Something that I have to be conscious of is that I may love princess sleeves, and will wear them any given day, depending on what's planned regular sleeves are very important. So, with that in mind, I have allowed myself to compile a wide assortment of the different types of blouses, it's definitely expanded how I wear a garment.

<3 Stick To Your Preferred Headgear <3 

I have a love of hats and bonnets in this fashion and have a fairly decent collection of both, it's weird to wear anything else for me. It's been something I haven't had much issue with working out, if it's a Triple Fortune bonnet or it's a vintage or antique hat I will probably want it. What I've found for myself is that headbows for me should be more of the classic variety or dainty, I'm not one for head~eating bows.

This is as big as my bows will get

Going out for more than headbows can be a bit daunting, they tend to be more expensive and not every type of hat or headdress works for certain looks you may be going for. The key, no matter if it's a floral headdress, hat, or bonnet, is to find pieces being sold either in sets or find very basic ones that can either be re~decorated later or be worn across several coordinates. 

<3 Identifying What Types Of Pieces You Wear The Most <3

My wardrobe has been pretty split but there are 2 things that I tend to look at in more recent years is if a piece is a decent price is if it fits my regular style. If it's bedecked in flowers and isn't too bright a pink, whether or not it has a border print, is what pulls on my heart. For other's they may know exactly what they want from the get go, this is why studying the fashion is also helpful, and that's really great but it's hard to ignore temptation.

If you find yourself tempted and you aren't really committed to any particular style then that's fine, there are great deals on lacemarket and on taobao that are great to experimenting with without too much harm to the wallet. And there are always releases that are so not what you think you are going to want that you may wish to try, if it really makes your brain zing and speaks to you then that may be something you should take a chance on. True it may not work out, or it may be one of those special cases that work out and nothing else from that substyle does, but reselling things is easily enough done.

There are many ways to make a wardrobe work for you, even if you went a little whimsically mad. Getting a wardrobe to work for you and be what you need it to be can be difficult, though very fun and entertaining. I know I have had fun working things out, even if some of the pieces just didn't turn out to be my thing.

If you are looking to read more about other peoples' advice on making a wardrobe work for them then you can check them out in the links below.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

LBC: Share 5 Dresses You Believe Are Underrated & Why

This is the fashion that always seems to have fun little goodies hiding in different parts of it's proverbial wardrobe. We all know that there are many incredible pieces that get highly lauded within the community for this reason and that; sometimes prints jump out at us, like Cat's Tea Party, or a certain cut is too lovely to resist, like Princess Cornelia, but those tend to be the heavy hitters. For this weeks Lolita Blog Carnival we are going to take a look at 5 different dresses we believe are lovely but underrated.

<3 Innocent World ~ Angel Rose Basket jsk <3

This has been a piece that I see barely pop up on the radar and I don't know why. The jsk is a halterneck that isn't tied but buttoned at the length you need it, which I find cuts down on bulk, and it's cut is flattering with a slight bit of rouching in it's sweetheart neckline. The print is just enough with birdcages and angels, with names under each, but it's not too in your face. It is kind of like a lot of other IW prints that are all in two colors and but that only highlights the fact that they are all different and pretty standalone despite this.   

<3 Alice and the Pirates ~ The Destiny Arcana
and the Stars Will Lead You, Fortune Teller jsk <3

I feel like this was kind of forgotten about fairly quickly but I've discovered it was a piece I wore a lot since I've gotten it. It's a bit of a stranger cut, sort of an hour glass waist that does tapper more at the umpire length and instead of being taut at the dropped waist cut it bells out while having the skirt start there. Dresses like these (like Funeral Procession of Rose jsk I) tend to be regarded a bit oddly, from what I've heard around, but it makes them fun hidden gems. The print is also very fun and I will never say no to any occult oriented prints, a subject matter that has been close to my heart.

<3 Floral Dresses <3

I find that strictly floral printed pieces and can sometimes be overshadowed by both solids and other types of prints. I don't know if anyone feels the same way as I do but it sometimes seems they don't get worn as often but that could be my perception from what people wear to events I attend and what I see posted on social media.

<3 Onepieces with Simple Cuts <3

Simple onepieces like this one tend to be dropped and forgotten about in the backs of wardrobes, I am all the more pleased with them. I do see quite a few of the sack dress ops so those aren't exactly what I mean. It could just be me and what I'm seeing posted when I'm looking online but simplistic op cuts just don't pop up on my feed. 

<3 Vested Jsks <3

Vested jsks are pretty much the loves of my frilly life! I don't find enough of them and I wish they were more in style that different brands would make a few cuts in them with prints I'd like. Instead I am either making my own or adding them in with my coordinates when the skirts allow for it. This is one I made really quickly for my first print. I think I would release the style in a few different releases.

If you are looking to read more about what dresses other bloggers believe deserve more love you can check them out in the links, listed below. There are, indeed so many pieces that people can find and enjoy and that's what make this style so much fun to wear. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

LBC: Differences Of Lolita 5 Years Ago VS Now

Lolita fashion has transformed itself over and over again bringing something new and interesting to the community who wears it. Styles come and go, others stick and seem as though they will never change, it's all a matter of likes and what people keep wearing or discarding from their closets. This is not isolated to minor fads or the fashion as garments either, the social aspect of the community also morphs in a similar style and much of the change relies on the people in it; members share not only news, but preferences, risk taking, but well done coordinate shots, and tutorials that peak each others' interests. This happens similarly to how regular fashions do but with Lolita it's got it's own beat, and so we shall write about the differences of the fashion from 5 years ago vs now.

Taken from Livejournal

When I think back to the year 2014 I think of Sweet being at it's highest, OTT Sweet topping the cake with pastel colored bows and stars. It seemed as though Sweet was going to reign supreme forever, it was what I remember being popular when I first joined EGL on Livejournal. Layers of bright pinks and hair accessories on the head to make a d├ęcora blush was quite in at the time. 

Taken from Freely Speaks

There was also a strong preference for Gothic Lolita as well, almost as common as Sweet, that would sometimes cause comical meme'd clashes between the two substyles. There wasn't really an OTT sense to Gothic Lolita at this point but it has stayed a constant in popularity.

Taken from Livejournal

This hasn't changed and the substyles penchant for gaining lolitas who desire a more mature style hasn't changed much either. It seems that I have witnessed many retire their sweet and pastels for a darker hue, it doesn't happen to die~hard sweet fans but those who do would usually go goth. Though this hasn't really changed I tend to see the trend be more of Classic Lolita transitioning to Gothic.

One of the things that did occur 5 years ago that really affected the community at large, and still does today, is that there was a strange dynamic switch from OTT Sweet to Classic. From my perspective, having been floating about on EGL on LJ and the beginning transfer to FB, the change was drastic. This switch seemed to be rung in around the time of the very first Rufflecon, which had seemed an oasis at the time. 

You can pry princess sleeved blouses out of my cold, dead hands.

I had been more into Classic and Classic~Sweet substyle so seeing so many people online and in person really jump from brighter colors, bows and star clips, into richer floral prints and princess sleeves was exciting to me. Princess sleeves had fallen out of style for a while and I remember being ecstatic about them coming back stronger and with more options for my little heart's desire.    

Taken from the Gothic & Lolita Festival page

I think, when it's all boiled down, AP was at the top of their game 5 years ago and Sweet was the most eye~catching with prints, colors, and style to many; and though the brand is still strong it's print style has changed as has it's fanbase. Classic Lolita was what came to the front next over the last few years, it's still very popular of the 3 substyles but the dynamic is changing again. There is better access to Chinese Lolita brands as the selling platform Taobao has gotten easier to use and people have experienced more brands from different Chinese brands. 

And lastly, the community has nearly completely moved from Livejournal to Facebook since 2014 changing the way we interact with one another. Mods have had to alter the way they assist the community, whether by encouraging it with topics or ensuring things don't go awry. Blogs and Lolita fashion bloggers are becoming a distant memory and there are more active vloggers at the moment. As a whole we interact very differently than we once did 5 years ago and it will be interesting to see how we change and grow.

If you are looking for what others wrote on the topic, be sure to check them out in the links below, this weeks was intriguing and definitely made me feel nostalgic for a time gone by. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Bit Of Reflection

'What's next?' you ask as your eyes widen after glossing over my previous blogging schedule. Truthfully, I'm not fully sure...

It was a massive undertaking to do the 365 Lifestyle Lolita Challenge, between constantly checking the schedule prompts beforehand, my regular work and work as a designer, there was a lot going on (not to mention all the proof reading). I learned a lot about myself, my willpower, my inability to let some things go, and then diving back into my old habit of researching things to the very corners of the internet.

It was surprising how some of the prompt subjects absorbed my attention, such as royalty related prompts, that usually don't pop up in my radar. There were also other prompts that made me become more introspective, little extra bits of sweet for my day, or gave me a plan for things or places I'd like to see in person; it gave me direction. It's going to take a bit of adjusting to get used to not doing this challenge every day but I have created a habit for actually writing other things.

Though many would have been driven a bit mad by the schedule it soothed me and had a flow to things. I'd usually start off every morning of the first new prompt section and finish early then progress over the next 2 days write by afternoon and the last to be so late at night that I'd wonder how the other two got written so early. It was odd, that's for certain, but it was a structure that had developed and kept strong for 365 days. Since having completed things I've felt like I'm forgetting to do something, so here I am!

There are other projects, other prompt challenges to put myself up to (one I've made up myself, here) but I have a few other things I think I'd like to dedicate a little more time to.

If you remember that short horror story I shared a bit of a while back then you may remember that I had mentioned that it was a part of a bigger story I've been working on. I just wanted to give a little slice of it but hadn't wanted to completely drown the prompt post but there is more. That's not the only one either but it's been pushed a bit more to the front of my brain.

Other things in the works are things relating to my brand and it's marketing. I've been more hands on with it over the last few months, having really engaged in learning more about photoshop from working on my first print. Though I am playing around with a few things more than I probably should I feel as though I am growing in that area.

I am, of course, working on my second print that has been taking me almost as long as my first, it's a smoother process. This has also caused an itch to push things out and work on a few others, ones that I had planned but were caused to be fleshed out from previous prompts. Prior to this I had preferred to work exclusively on one print but due to different topics I got a chance to take a breather and also flesh out other ideas. There is a lot that is going on in the butler's kitchen at this tea party, that is for certain.

I'm very happy to have stuck to this journey and committed to something that wasn't necessary or a group project but fun. There is much to do and much to see and so now I must toss myself in bed after a cup of tea! Cheers! XOXO