Thursday, April 25, 2013

Taking a Break from Lolita: Yeah, It Happens

Over on Les Fleurs Noires, a question was posed recently:
I seem to find myself falling in and out of love with actually wearing Lolita. I still find it to be incredibly lovely, but I guess it's just not always practical for me to wear. Does that ever happen to you?
The answer, put simply, is yes.

Honestly, I take breaks all the time from lolita. Sometimes, I'll put in the work to wear it every day. Other times, I might go for a week or two or even three without actually wearing my frills. It depends on the week, the weather, the state of my laundry basket, my mood. Lolita isn't something I do because I have to do it. It's something I do because I want to do it, and sometimes I just don't want to.

Part of the reason why I take breaks is that I have a wide variety of interests. Sometimes I need to take a break and try something else. Sometimes I want to slouch back into the geek chic clothing that I wore in college. Other times I want to wear vintage. And sometimes I just want to go nuts and wear something completely different.

And that's okay.

A still shot from Kuragehime.
How am I supposed to pick just one jellyfish?
Some people are able to stick to a single style for a long time. That simply isn't me. I said it at the beginning of this blog, and it's still true: I'm a dabbler. I'm not the sort of person who sees a new style, dives in completely and sticks with it forever. I'm also not the sort of person who goes from intense passion to intense passion, revamping my wardrobe every year or so to suit my new look.

Make new friends, but keep the old, as the saying goes.

Honestly, I think that playing with my style helps me enjoy clothing more as a whole. Like the jellyfish pictured above, it's more fun when I have a lot to choose from. I will throw together an outfit that inspires me to put together a new coordinate.  I'll play with color combinations outside of lolita and then incorporate them into my wardrobe.

Lolita will always be there when I want to go back. As long as I'm having fun with my clothing, wearing clothing that works for my activities, and expressing myself, then I don't see anything wrong with taking a break from that style.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Style Icons: Emilie Autumn

I discovered Emilie Autumn about three weeks into my college career. I was immediately captivated by her music, and by her style.

Whatever you think of her personally (I know public opinion is mixed these days, and I won't add my voice to an already oversaturated discussion), it's hard to deny that her style is evocative and interesting. Emilie Autumn alongside her Bloody Crumpets is a fashion icon in the alternative scene. Her style is best described as a mix of Victorian, cabaret, different styles of goth, some Elizabethan, and a healthy does of glitter and corsets.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Ginormo-Noggin and Me: Finding Hats for Plus-Sized Heads

Sometimes, I feel like this.
(Chiho Saito concept art
for Revolutionary Girl Utena
found at Empty Movement)
I have a confession to make: I have a large head.

I do. I legitimately have a large head. My head circumference is 24", which comes to somewhere between US hat size 7-3/4 and 7-5/8 depending on who you ask. Wikipedia tells me that one US study estimated the average female head circumference in the United States at 53 cm (20.8661 inches). My head is a little over three inches bigger than that.

This is something that a lot of other people don't quite understand, unfortunately, because "my head is too big" is not a common complaint women make about their bodies. It's not a problem for which people generally make lists of advice, and it's not a problem that most people talk about because it's simply not common.

It also makes fashion difficult.

This causes some people to eschew hats entirely, except for the moments when sub-zero temperatures make them absolutely necessary. But cute hats? Hats as accessories that are strictly aesthetic? They suddenly seem completely out of reach.

They aren't.

Over the years, I've figured out the ways that I like to avoid the style problems associated with my head size.  This is a list for other ladies with bigger noggins, so I'm sorry if you don't fit into this category and the following advice is rendered useless. This is by no means a complete list of the options available to those of us with larger heads, but it's my favorite options.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Holy Blogiversary, Batman: Where My Style is At Now

I've been running Bookish Beauty for just over a year and have updated pretty much once a week since I started.

That feels insane.

However, it does feel like a really good place to take stock of where my style is at compared to this time last year. So here we go!

In terms of genre (which anybody who's been reading for a while will be unsurprised by), my style has taken a pretty hard turn into lolita and otome-kei. It has been heading toward the frilly life for a while now, but over the course of the last year I've practically stopped wearing pants. That's quite the change. Beyond genre, my wardrobe is beginning to settle down in terms of color palette and versatility.

My hairstyles have become significantly more elaborate over the past year in terms of decoration. What started as a single barrette on occasion has turned into a display. I rarely wear my hair plain anymore. Whether it's a simple scrap of lace or a full-tilt arrangement with barrettes, flowers, and a beret, there is almost always something on my head. In terms of actual hair styling... well, my hair barely hits my shoulders and refuses to hold a curl for longer than fifteen minutes, so there has been almost zero actual styling going on save for the occasional braid. One could say I'm overcompensating with decorations, but I wouldn't say that myself.

My taste in jewelry hasn't changed, but my use of it certainly has. I've always been the sort to keep my outfits simple and load up on shiny things, but since my accessories moved off of their wall hooks and into a box I've been keeping it much simpler. Of course, by "simple," I mean "one enormous necklace at a time," but that still counts, right?

I've also gotten much more into historical clothing in the literal sense, and intend to incorporate more historically-inspired pieces into my wardrobe as a whole. Upcoming projects include a renaissance bodice, several dresses made from vintage patterns, a few Gibson girl blouses, a couple of fichus, and a Spenser jacket. All of which I intend to wear on a regular basis because I think they are perfectly wearable garments.

All in all, I don't think my style has changed much over the past year. It's just gotten more in a lot of ways. I've added more skirts and dresses to my wardrobe, more hair accessories in general and worn at a time, more confident about what I'm wearing, and more inclined to pull garments I like from the annals of history.

I like where I've gone in the past year, and I certainly intend to keep going.