Thursday, June 27, 2013

Clothing as Hobby: At What Point Does "Enough" Become "Too Much"?

A while back, I was talking to my cousin about how I like clothes. I like them as a means of creative expression, as a way to build my skills as a seamstress, as a way of bolstering confidence. Clothing is a hobby for me, both designing it and coordinating it, and I enjoy talking to her about it because she has a similarly artistic mind when it comes to clothing. But, at certain point in our conversation, she declared that clothes are fine as self-expression, "but everything in moderation."

This, of course, got me wondering: at what point does enjoying clothing go from something we praise to something that is to be condemned?

As girls, we are often taught to believe that there is a line between the girls who care about clothing and style and, well, "the rest of us." The media tells us we are supposed to think long and hard about clothes, to be stylish, to be fashionable and pretty. The media also tells us that the girls who do this are shallow creatures, unable to see past the veneer of fashion and popularity. It's a serious mixed message.

Is there a line between fashionable girls and the rest of us? I don't think so.

I am more than how I dress, but how I dress is an extension of myself. As long as we do not reduce ourselves or others to that single facet, I don't think there is anything particularly bad about enjoying clothing, fashion, or makeup.

Can there be a point where enjoying clothing becomes too much? Well, there are points where anyone can have too much stuff or be spending too much money. You can go beyond your means. But gaining enjoyment from clothing, using it as creative outlet? I don't think so.

Be you. Like what you like.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

...or not

Kazumi Hyguchi.
Photographer: Rebecca Magdalena.
No reason. Just wanted a picture and it's pretty.
There will be no excited meetup post this weekend, unfortunately. A sudden conflict came up.

Great, right?

Seriously, universe. I prepped an outfit. I re-fluffed my petticoat. For the love of all that is frilly, I baked cookies when I could have been working on projects for the county fair.

And yet here I am. Unable to go because of a last minute schedule change.

Hopefully I'll be able to clear my schedule for the next meet because I really really really want to meet the girls from the state comm. Finally. After a few years of wearing lolita.

But today is not that day.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dabbling in Boystyle: A Thrift-Store Sourced Floordinate

This is going to be a quick update without much depth because I'm prepping for my first ever meet this weekend. Look out, MN Rufflebutts, because I'm taking my nerdiness north to meet you (and will probably be making a big ol' personal post to match)!

Anyway, boystyle.

I haven't really done all that much with boystyle, so  I decided after my recent secondhand splurges that I should try it out. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of this while it was actually on my body. Ah, well. Here's a shot of the whole outfit (which looks much less rectangular when it's actually on my body.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This Was Way Harder Than It Should Have Been: My Lolita Playlist

Oh, the lolita playlist... meme... thing. It's about time I got into this.

This took me a lot longer than it probably should have because my lolita music is hard to divide from my music in general. As a result, the first things I think of when I think "lolita music" are the music that I listen to while wearing lolita, things like symphonic metal and psychedelic rock covers of Scots folk ballads. Which are... well, not lolita. At all. Unless your definition of lolita involves large, viking-like men shredding their electric guitars and bands with unpronounceable names.

Come to think of it, that would be kind of hilarious.

In the end, I was able to find music that I loved that actually felt like it matched my wardrobe. I went with the pieces of music that I would choose as a soundtrack to a wardrobe video if I ever made one.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pattern Roundup: Sailor Lolita For The Seamstress.

The temperatures are starting to rise, and that means one thing: sailor lolita is going to be on the rise, too.

I love sailor lolita as a substyle. It's just so darn cute. If you're not as familiar with it, though, here are a couple of super cute pictures. If you are (as I assume most of us are if we've been involved with lolita for a while), hey, pretty pictures!

I've been trying to find a source for this. If you know a source, please tell me.
That said, she has an aircraft carrier on her head.

Paper Sails shows us how it's done
(Check out this video. Not just for full citation, but because it's super cute)

Anyway, back to topic.

Most brands have released something that fits in with the sailor theme in one way or another. Bodyline has released sailor dresses. Innocent World has released sailor dresses. Most brands have released something. However, if you don't fit into brand, can't afford it, or are trying to make some of your own lolita, it can be difficult to find dresses appropriate for the sailor substyle.

But never fear! Bookish Beauty is run by a pattern-mad crafter who is happy to share her information with you.

Because most of these patterns focus on sailor collars, I'm keeping this list down to two categories: dresses (or patterns that can easily be made into dresses... you'll see what I mean) and tops. Sailor-style details on skirts can range from trims and anchor buttons to fabric choice, which makes sailor-style skirts much easier to make. But dresses and tops? That's where it helps to have a source.

There are many patterns you won't find on this list. They might be vintage that is difficult to find or difficult to find in a variety of sizes. They might be sailor-ish but not distinct enough to be recognizable as sailor unless you squint and make sure to make them in navy blue.

I'm focusing on patterns that will work for many sizes, are fairly easily found, and are recognizable as sailor style with little-to-no modificiation other than perhaps a skirt swap.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

International Lolita Day: Summer 2013

Woo, International Lolita Day!

This is another Lolita Day where I am not able to actually participate in the festivities, unfortunately. Last year, I was attending a play with a friend of mine and did, in fact, wear lolita, but the day was too busy with the already planned socialization to add a meet to the roster.

This year, I'm missing the festivities because the boyfriendthing is visiting.

Ah, well. I can dress in frills anyway, right?

So this is what I wore, more or less. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of my outfit yesterday and most of it went into the wash last night, so here's a Polyvore approximation!

Strawberries and Straw Hats
Strawberries and Straw Hats

So that's what I wore. To a picnic with the boyfriend.

I hope everybody had a wonderful International Lolita Day. Maybe next time I'll have pictures from a meetup to show you.