Thursday, December 24, 2015

Recovery Frills: Staying Frilly When You Don’t Feel Like Much of Anything

This is going to be kind of a downer post, guys, but it's something that's been on my mind and I want to address it. If you want a happier post for Christmas Eve, here are a couple of recommendations before you get into the meat of my post:
Okay, now for the serious stuff. Grab hot beverage and settle in.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Things I Love For Winter

In this edition of "Things I Love...", we're talking about the things I love for winter outfits!

A Warm Coat

This one is obvious, but it bears repeating that having a nice, warm coat that matches your style is essential when the snow starts to fall. Pick one in your favorite winter wardrobe colors and you’re sure to get a lot of use out of it.

I have two pea coats in my own wardrobe, both wool. One of them is burgundy and reserved for special occasions. The other is dark gray and more for everyday use. I wear both of them almost constantly during the winter.


Tweed has always been a winter fabric for me. The subtle texture is welcome in the sea of even white that often descends from the sky. Tweed usually includes both woven texture and subtle color differences caused by using a multi-ply yarn. It’s common for informal suitings and absolutely office-appropriate.

As a note, if you’re into houndstooth, this is where that got started.


Oh, velvet. So warm, so elegant, and so lush. Winter is pretty much the only time I can wear velvet, both because it’s the time of year with the most holiday occasions that suit that level of dress and because it’s the only time of year when I won’t get overheated while wearing velvet.


Fur is so warm and wonderful it would be mad not to include it on this list. If you’re not into real fur (and I totally understand why you wouldn’t be), faux fur is common enough and just about as warm. Fur makes a beautiful addition to coat collars and sleeves. It can also be worn with regular outfits in the form of collars. Just look for a real or faux fur that’s good quality – smooth, clean-looking, and soft.

Rich, Darker Colors

With so much white around, winter is my favorite time to wear darker colors. I usually fall back on colors with high saturation like jewel tones, darker shades like wine or plum, and even the occasional cherry red. Not only do they look lovely against the snow, they look wonderful with my ever-favorite black.

That is not, of course, to say that you can’t wear pastels for winter. If you’re into sugary sweetness, I’m sure you look adorable in pastels throughout the year. But, for me, darker colors are ideal in the winter.

Do you have any winter essentials that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear about them.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Making Big Things Happen: The Power of Details

It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.

-John Wooden

This is a post I've been wanting to make for a while, because I find that a lot of people that I know put a lot more focus on articles of clothing than they do on the outfit as a whole.

But, as John Wooden said, the little details are vital.

Accessories make a huge difference in how your outfit looks, especially if you (like me) tend toward the classic and the low key. They can make a Lolita look polished or completely change the genre of an outfit.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why is This So Hard?: Fashion During Weight Loss

I have been losing weight for almost two years now, and while it’s been a gradual process it’s left my wardrobe in something of a difficult place. I need to buy new clothing to replace pieces that I can no longer fit, but I don’t want to spend money to do so because my weight hasn’t yet stabilized. I’m now down to a US size 10.

My bust hasn’t budged much – I’m still stacked despite the promises I heard from a variety of sources. Really, I look increasingly like Mae West as the lower half of my body gets smaller.

All of this comes together to make it incredibly difficult to find  clothing that fits, and I've learned a lot along the way.

Shirring is My Friend

A lot of weight loss sites say that it's a bad idea to get clothing with elastic because you don't know if your size is going up again, but I strongly disagree with this idea.

I have never been so thankful for elastic as when I started losing weight. Not only did I adore every single one of my skirts and dresses that included elastic and corset lacing, I started adding elastic to every dirndl skirt with a waistband. I don't know that I've ever before appreciated elastic so much, because my Lolita wardrobe is the clothing that has managed to stick with me through many a size, and it always cinches in the waist where I need it most.

Nobody Understands Budgets

The big thing about tips for dressing while losing weight is that they suggest you spend money on all sorts of clothing pieces rather than actually using what you have. There is a reason why I only have two pairs of pants at the moment, and that reason is that I am not going out to spend $25 on a pair of pants that will be falling off in two months and probably needs tailoring to fit now. It's just not worth spending the money.

For me, the biggest godsend has been the thrift store. Is the selection spotty? Yes, but if I find one pair of pants and one new vest in a neutral color, I'll have what I need at a tenth of the price.

Know When and How to Drape

I see a lot of tips that say I shouldn't wear anything that drapes or flows because I'll be swimming in it soon enough. I flatly disagree. It's really about knowing when and how to use that drape.

The things that I get that drape are top layers - cardigans and vests, primarily - that can flow a little extra because they are open. I update my wardrobe every so often with fitted tank tops and other shirts to go beneath them, but those draped pieces really don't leave my wardrobe because the added fullness doesn't matter as much. If you are going to drape, make sure the pieces you are draping will continue to drape well after you've dropped a size or two.

Also, belts are going to be your best friend. Even if you're into mori girl, having a belt on hand to cinch in the waist of something that's oversized is a great idea.

Buy the Essentials as You Go

I don't mean "constantly buy new clothes," because that makes no sense whatsoever. What does make sense is buying the important stuff little by little as you're losing weight. For me, the essentials are bras and jeans, because I can tailor or alter everything else to make it work on the way down. Bras and jeans, not so much.

Keep your coupons, look for sales, and get one or two essential pieces as you go.

Alterations and You 

For some reason, every weight loss fashion tip I've seen ignores the possibility of alterations. I assume that this is because many people don't sew. If you can sew, though, do your alterations because it can save you a ton of money.

One thing I have come to adore about mori girl is that I can very easily Alter the pieces I need. Pull it in at the waist or taper it toward the shoulders and I've still got a great piece to wear. Not every style is so alteration-friendly, but mori girl really is.

Have you ever lost weight and faced the challenge of nothing fitting? How did you deal with it?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Spooky Shows for Stylish Folks

I love Halloween

And, because I love it so much, I wanted to pull together some of the movies and T.V. shows that I find inspiring for Halloween.

None of these are horror, though. I love horror films - terribly unladylike of me, I know - but they are rarely something I watch on Halloween unless I find a particularly interesting one on T.V. Instead, I tend to watch media that's aimed at children, but with a spooky bent, and this list reflects that. So, if you're looking for some aesthetic inspiration for your autumn looks, curl up with a mug of spiced cider or hot chocolate and enjoy.

Over the Garden Wall

This miniseries is a newer find of mine, and it's full of style, cuteness, and a big ol' dash of creepiness. There's an old-fashioned look to it that I find very satisfying and inspiring, especially if you're into a very Victorian-inspired style or mori girl. The  muted color palette reminds me of vintage cartoons, and each episode's length makes it easy to watch if you're on a tight schedule.

Hocus Pocus

Say it with me now, in your best Bette Midler impression: "I put a spell on you, and now... you're mine."

This movie is eternal, I swear. It's one of the Halloween movies for me. Was the early 90s a great time for fashion? NO. But was it a great time for watching three ladies ham it up. This movie has Doug Jones, big musical numbers, talking cats, and a story that's both kid friendly and appropriately frightening.

And, thankfully, their witchy costumes are delightfully lush. They gave each of the witches a different personality and look. I mean, look at this:

This movie is fabulous and fun from top to bottom.

The Addams Family

The look of this movie will probably be most inspiring if you're on the goth end of things, with its many hues and textures of black, black and white stripes, and general spookiness. I'd say you could easily watch the old TV show, read the comics, or watch either of the movies to get your fix.

If you're a fan of the gothic tropes of decadent aristocrats in a crumbling house, this is a fun way to address those tropes.

Edward Scissorhands

This is the most candy-colored Halloween movie I could think of. With 90s suburbia as a backdrop, this movie is like exploring the world outside the Addams house in the Addams Family world.

But it still speaks heavily to the outsider in all of us. Ever felt different, like you didn't belong (and, really, which of us who is into alternative fashion hasn't)? This is a movie for you. Equal parts Gorey-ish and suburbia-sweet, you should definitely watch it if you haven't yet.

Do you have any Halloween traditions for movie or TV watching? I'd love to hear about them.

Friday, October 16, 2015

13 Halloween Questions Tag

I got tagged!

1. Favorite Halloween song?

Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens. I have been known to get this song stuck in my head and go waltzing about the park. By myself. Usually while I'm walking alone. At night. I promise, I'm not really THAT creepy. Or, at least, I try.

2. Witch or Vampire?

I've always been more fond of vampires.

3. Favorite thing about Halloween?

Seeing children dress up and getting to dress up myself. When I was in high school, I developed a great fondness for dressing up because I usually worked at my fast food job on Halloween. This was mostly because an adult in costume is instantly something between a hero, a celebrity, a confidante, a kindred spirit, and real magic. I love being able to dress in ways that I like and get that reaction from children.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Scrapbooking my Fashion Life

Last winter, I decided to spend some of my snowbound time scrapbooking my favorite Lolita outfits and other pictures.

I actually have had several scrapbooks going in my life. I have one with life experiences, one for a bicycle revamp project, one for DIY projects, and one for my outfits. The fashion one is probably the fanciest, but I suppose that’s to be expected.

With that in mind, here are my ten tips for the scrapbooking Lolita and other alternative fashions.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Inspiring Ladies from History: Katie Sandwina

Ever seen Mister Rococo?

I first saw this short film ages ago, and I adored it. If you liked it as much as I did, then you should probably look into the life of Katie Sandwina.


Katie Sandwina (1884 – January 21, 1952), born Katharina Brumbach in Vienna, Austria, was a circus strongwoman.


Katie Brumbach was one of fourteen (or possibly fifteen or sixteen) children born to circus performers. She showed an aptitude and strength early on, and performed with her family. By her teenage years, Katie's father would offer one hundred German marks to any man in the audience who could defeat her in wrestling. No one succeeded, but she did meet her future husband in one such wrestling match.

After defeating famous strongman Eugene Sandow – by lifting 300 pounds over her head – Katie took on the stage name of Sandwina in reference to that. She worked in the United States with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for many years, until she was nearly 60. One of her standard performance feats was lifting her husband (who weighed 165 pounds) overhead with one hand.

Sandwina was also described as being a great beauty and very feminine. Even after she retired from the circus and started a family tavern with her husband, she apparently kept her nails painted.

Katie Sandwina died in 1952 from cancer.


A lot of the way that people talk about – and often think about – femininity is as exclusively “soft” or “fragile.” If we take anything away from Katie Sandwina’s life, it’s that we can be girly, beautiful, and powerful if we want to be.

And me? I love that idea.

I hope you find Katie Sandwina as interesting as I do. Because I'm a history major and a history nerd, this is something I want to do on this blog every so often. Most of the inspiring ladies I want to talk to you about are not going to be fashion icons, but they are going to be women who I find fascinating and who I take inspiration from in my understanding of the clothing I wear and the way I think about gender presentation.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Underskirts on a Budget

victorianme rocking a lovely
long underskirt with her JetJ
Underskirts are one of those things that I advocate for. Especially if you're tall or uncomfortable with showing off your knees (like I am), underskirts can make an unworkable skirt workable again. They allow me to wear Bodyline skirts with ease and to keep my budget down. They also add visual interest or an accent color.

But getting underskirts can be expensive if you don't know where to shop.

Before You Start

Get your measurements. You can use a site like this for guidelines on how to measure yourself, though I would recommend getting a friend to do the measuring so your arm position doesn't impact the measurements. The most important measurement for underskirts is the waist.

You should also figure out your ideal length for skirts. You can do this by measuring a skirt that hits you at just the right length or by holding a measuring tape to your waist and using that tape to measure to your ideal length (find a friend to help with this). My ideal length is somewhere between 23” and 25”, so when I look for underskirts that fit into that measurement when I go shopping.

I would also recommend knowing these measurements in both metric and imperial/United States customary systems. Because these measurements are not likely to change all that much, it's worth knowing the measurement in both; I have mine (along with bust, hip, and other measurements) written down on an index card that I keep in my purse for easy reference.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Things I Love For Autumn

In this edition of "Things I Love...", we're talking about the things I love for autumn outfits!


Whether it’s on my shoes or my bag or my belt, I love adding touches of leather to my clothing in autumn. I usually go with faux leather rather than genuine leather for my own outfits. Leather isn’t just for autumn, of course. This is just when it works best with my wardrobe and my needs.


Plaid (or tartan, if you prefer) prints and wovens can make a stylistic nod to schoolgirl uniforms or to the coziness of plaid flannel. It’s classic, goes with a wide variety of styles, and it comes in almost any color you could want.

Heavy Knits

This tends a little more toward mori kei than most of my lists, but I’m a huge fan of heavy knits, especially cable knit sweaters. While they might not always be perfect for the vintage or lolita aesthetics I tend toward, heavy knits are an essential autumn item for me. I love cable knit cardigans paired with plaid skirts. I love cable knit tights as part of a monochrome outfit that layers texture upon texture (whether that’s in mori girl or another style entirely).

Heavy knits are just so darn cozy. To me, they’re the uniform for sipping apple cider and reading a book on a gray day in October.


And another type of fabric that isn’t necessarily in my usual vein: corduroy. Corduroy pants are a pretty common autumn wardrobe choice hereabouts, and corduroy makes for really cozy clothing. It doesn’t pill or look too informal like flannel, but it still gives just the right amount of warmth.

I’ve got a couple of corduroy pencil skirts, myself, and I’ve been considering adding a corduroy JSK.

“Autumn” Colors

This one might seem like a no brainer given the name, but an autumn color palette is pretty essential to the way I go about dressing in the fall. I wear a lot more brown and ivory, add in touches of forest green and burgundy, and dust off my burnt orange. I pull out the quintessential autumn color palette from back when “doing your colors” was a thing that people did.

And “doing my colors” is probably part of the reason why I love clothing in autumn so much: it’s the color palette that looks best on me.

Do you have any autumn essentials that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear about them. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Subtlety and Wa Lolita?

My taste in Lolita is, I find, sometimes very different from what the style would invite from me.  I tend to prefer subtle coordinates over flashy ones, and I find that in my own life many prints are just a little too out-there. Perhaps it's the fact that I favor classic and perhaps it's my love of using the pieces I buy in as many outfits as possible, but I simply don't gravitate toward louder coordinates.

As a result, Wa Lolita is a bit of a sore spot for me. I’ve seen a lot of tips and tricks on how to select and wear elements of wa Lolita – my favorites are these from Make Lovely and Les Fleurs Noires – but the style, even with these tips, is still rather loud for my taste. As a result, I started asking a question that I find really important:

Is it possible for this style to be subtle?

I think it is possible.It might seem like rather a challenge to add wa Lolita influence to coordinates without having them look loud, but in my reading and my own exploration I've found a few ways to create wa Lolita looks that are very subtle.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Pirate’s Guide to Busty Fashion

“The code’s more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” – Pirates of the Caribbean

I’ve had a larger chest since I was probably 13 or 14. I got busty fast, and without the comfortable warning I would have received from family precedent. In the decade since then, I’ve heard a lot of rules about how to dress with a larger chest. Some of them are right. Some of them are wrong. Some of them are optional.

And, as you’ve probably figured out, I’m not really one for “rules.” They can be good guidelines to get you started, but it's so much more important to do the things that make you happy and comfortable.

Here are my "essential" guidelines for busty girls, though they really aren't what you'd call rules.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cutie on the Clock: Being Cute When You're Strapped for Time

Getting into alternative fashion takes time, and if you're anything like me you probably don't always have time to frill yourself up. That doesn't mean you have to give up on your cute (or spooky, or foresty) inclinations. You just need to get a little creative.

I work in an office and am usually pretty strapped for time, so I know this feeling all too well. These are the ways that I bring my alternative leanings into my life when I just don't have time to dress up.


I am a huge fan of character bento for making me feel adorable when I don't have much time to actually be adorable. Now, character bento might seem like it's going to take up a ton of your time, but it really doesn't have to. My favorite way to do my bento is to do a bunch of freezer-safe bento additions every few weeks, then eat off that stash for another few weeks.

The first step for me is to make cute milk buns because they are easy to form into animal shapes, much more freezer friendly than rice, can be filled with thick fillings if I am so inclined, and make my lunch cute with the absolute minimum of effort. Some batches end up with food coloring in them, but most are white.

 I also have a stock of plastic cupcake toppers from the local dollar store. Nothing says cutesy and spooky like a mini kebab on a stick topped with a little black bat.

And, as an added bonus, I can eat healthy and still look forward to every day's lunch!

Yes, this was as tasty as it was cute!

Femme Up Your Shirts

One of the things I work very hard to do with my wardrobe is buy almost exclusively pieces that can be worn with a wide variety of outfits. I love my cutsew and blouse collection because I can wear them dressed up with lolita or in a more "normal" office outfit. Granted, my coworkers have pointed out that I apparently always look cute, so normal isn't going to be exactly where I land, but it certainly doesn't hurt my mood any!

The real advantage to this is that wearing cute shirts with regular dress pants or skirts doesn't take much work but really adds some cuteness to the outfit as a whole.

Add Some Cute to Your Cube

I work in an office, and I know that it can be really difficult to wear alternative fashion in that sort of setting. However, I also know that it's worth it to bring some of your alternative style to your office setting. My cube has seasonal decorations (like my little woodland setting this winter) and some decorations that should be seasonal but instead stay forever (like my dancing skeleton who lives by my grammar books).

Even if I end up in a heavy sweater and jeans for the workday, surrounding myself with things that reflect my personal brand of weird is a really good way to keep myself happy.

My little display from this past winter.

Make Mine Music

One of the biggest time drains in my life is my morning and evening commute, but well-chosen music takes that from frustrating to the "me time" that I need. I have a number of old school mix CDs stocked with anything from folklore-inspired music to metal to guitar-driven numbers.

What about you? What do you do to express your alternative leanings when you're strapped for time?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me and a Recipe for You

Hello, all!

Because it's my birthday (26 whole years on this planet!), I'm taking the day off from blogging. I love you to bits and will resume properly blogging for the next scheduled post.

But, because it is my birthday, though, I wanted to share a cake-like recipe that is pretty and tasty. Since I'm not big on frosted cake - weird, I know - green tea muffins are my treat of choice for this year's birthday. I mentioned this birthday this past winter when I went to The Cedar.

This recipe does look weird, I admit. Just trust me when I say that it will come together and form a rather tasty muffin.

Green Tea Mini Muffins
Adapted from an original recipe from Emilie Autumn, included with the first edition of The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (I recommend Greek yogurt)
2/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tsp. matcha (powdered green tea)

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place paper baking cups into a mini muffin tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the first six ingredients. In another bowl, sift together the remaining ingredients and, if needed, stir until the matcha is evenly blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until just incorporated.

Fill the cups in the muffin tin 1/3 full with the batter and sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the muffins. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.

Optional: serve warm with raspberry sherbet.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Inspiring Films: The Secret of Roan Inish

The Secret of Roan Inish is one of those movies that most people haven’t seen, or, if they have, they only remember it as “that one with the seals.” It’s a 1994 independent film, so it’s no wonder most people haven’t heard of it. I liked this movie as a kid, but never really thought of it as anything particularly special until I purchased a copy as a college student. I think I watch it more now than I ever did as a child.

A summary: Fiona, a young Irish girl, is sent away from her father’s work and life in the city to live with her grandparents in a fishing village. She hears stories about the family’s evacuation from their home on Roan Inish, her great-great grandfather, selkies, and her presumed-dead baby brother who was lost in the evacuation. And, as these stories take hold of her, she works to bring her family back to the island. It’s a simple little movie with a simple little story and I love it.

And it’s a great source of inspiration for mori (or hama) kei inspiration.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Things I Love For Summer

In this edition of "Things I Love...", we're talking about the things I love for summer outfits!


I love gingham. It’s so darn charming! Gingham is pretty much the summer print, and it comes in so many cute colors! It usually comes across as very sweet, but the right cut can look just as nice in a classic coordinate.

However, I do tend to stay away from red and black gingham in my own wardrobe. It’s not that they’re not adorable – they certainly are – but they’re a little too picnic-blanket-y for my taste. My favorite gingham colors tend to be green and blue.

Eyelet Lace

I’m going to start this by saying that eyelet lace is not usually my favorite thing. My taste in lace tends toward the thick and fancy. However, eyelet lace and eyelet fabric are lovely for summer and I will make no attempt to deny that. Eyelet fabric makes a cute and summery-casual addition to an outfit as trim, and full eyelet fabric is lovely when made into a dress.

Sailor Themes

Sailor Lolita is a forever favorite of mine, and it’s especially charming during the summer. It conjures images of seaside adventures and boating. Sailor collars, anchor details, navy blue, and cute nautical details are just a fun way to add a seaside touch to summer outfits.

Straw Hats

I love straw hats, but I never wear them. Why? Because my head is large and I have a hard time finding hats that fit properly. *sigh*

Even if they don’t work on my head, straw hats are a great summer piece. They not only keep the sun off your face, but they look darn cute while doing it. Wide-brimmed straw hats are a unique choice that, with the right additions to the band, can look downright adorable. A more historical coord can use a straw bonnet. And, of course, straw boaters are a popular option.

The adorable straw hat picture from the palette above is from Freshly Squeezed Fashionista. She's a cutie and deserves your love.


Summer is the perfect time for picnics, and baskets as accessories are a great nod to that. You can pick up a picnic basket or a basket purse to add an instant summery touch to your outfits.

Country Lolita

And, of course, along with the straw hats and baskets I have to mention country Lolita. Country Lolita is my perfect summer style because it is the coming-together of many of my favorite summer things in one adorable package.

Do you have any summer essentials that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear about them.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Girl That's Up to Date: Cycling in Frills

The weather is warming up, and if you're anything like me that means one thing: it's time to start bicycling again!

However, it can be tough to get cycling when you also want to wear frills.I've seen a number of questions about this over the years, so I'm going to share a bit of my knowledge with you!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Outfits of the Day: Country Mouse, City Mouse

This weekend I went out of town for my youngest cousin's graduation ceremony and party. I ended up using a couple of different styles, one which comes across as more slick and styled and the other of which is a lot more freeform.

For the party, I went with something casual that stands somewhere in between 1950s retro and Lolita. I wanted to be a little dressy, but with enough versatility that I could take off a layer if it got warm and not so dressy that I looked like I was trying to show up my cousin.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Better Balance For Me: Downsizing Bows for My Use

Cute? Yes. Right for me? Nope.
There is a wrongness between me and oversized Lolita bows. They're adorable, but they are very much not for me. So, when I order a dress from Bodyline and it comes with an oversized bow, I’m usually left with a bow that I will not use.

This winter, I decided to change that by taking apart the bows and creating something that I will use with the materials. As a result, I collected rather a lot of tutorials. These would also work with waist ties, if you’re so inclined.

Start With Your Fabric

I thoroughly recommend taking the bows apart with a seam ripper because it allows you to keep the most possible fabric.Yes, this takes more time than taking a scissors to it, but I think it's worth it. It also allows you to easily take out the lace without making a huge mess of things (and, with Bodyline lace, you'll really want to take most of it out).

After I rip out the seams, I press every one of the fabric pieces until flat. This always involves a hot iron and sometimes involves steam, depending on whether the fabric has interfacing pressed into it.

This also gives me time to assess what can be done with the fabric. If the fabric has interfacing - a thin white stiffener ironed onto the fabric itself - it will likely not be good for projects that need it to be flexible. Save fabric with interfacing for bows with body or other pieces that can afford to be a touch stiffer.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

I Have Too Many Wardrobes: Paring Down Your Clothing

The inevitable result of being a fashion aficionado is that I have found myself with far too many articles of clothing to manage. That said, I’ve recently undertaken the surprisingly difficult pursuit of paring down my wardrobes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Outfit of the Day: One for the Office, Two for the Show...

It was quite a weekend! Usually I am able to dress up about once a week in frillier fashion because I do try to dress like a normal human being for the office. However, this past week I was able to dress up twice!


This was a little.. different as an outfit. I dressed up for two different reason. First, I had a large number of deadlines that needed to be met on Friday, so I wanted to dress for battle. Second, I wanted to dress nicely for a play I was attending that evening.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Product Review: The Return of Eat Me Ink Me

I've actually made three Eat Me Ink Me orders over the past several years, but I totally spaced on writing a proper review for the cutsew I purchased from the shop. However, the fact that I was as impressed as I was with my first order and the that I went back for another should tell you that my forgotten second review would have been positive.

About a month ago, I placed my third order for this lovely little skirt.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Make a Wish: Wish Lists and Shopping

I love shopping, but I've started to do it differently in the last several months. Instead of going in broadly, I have started making a wish list.

Why Make a Wist List?

Because it keeps you focused! Having a wish list in mind helps keep me within my budget for clothing and helps keep me from making impulse buys of things I will never use but like to look at. It focuses not only my shopping - when I'm on the hunt for something I can, at times, be single-minded - but my budgeting as well. Do I really need that new black dress? I'd rather spend that money on the thing I've been searching for over the last several months.

Bookish Beauty's Wish List

My wish list at the end of the summer was as follows:
  • Green Gingham Skirt
  • Plaid Skirt or Sun Dress in Green or Red
  • Wool Coat
  • Brown Mary Jane Shoes
  • Ouji Pants in Brown or Black
  • Brown Vest
The pieces in italics are items meant to replace other items that no longer fit properly thanks to weight loss. The piece that is crossed out is the one that I have already managed to find. The list is short and catered almost entirely to the items that will work directly into my wardrobe as it is and into the requirements of my life.

I've tried to keep my list down to things that I could feasibly wear to work. That means nothing costumey and, as tempted as I am by rococo-style OPs, I think that's probably the best way to go about things. The goal here is to get a wardrobe I will wear on a day to day basis, not one stocked with pretty things that gather dust in my closet.

What about you? Are you a focused shopper? If so, what are you on the hunt for right now?

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Scene From My Easter Celebrations

Yesterday I wore Lolita to celebrate Easter. A large part of the reason for this was that I have no other pastel dresses that fit right now, so my pink floral Metamorphose JSK was my only light-colored option. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures; the weekend was too hectic.

While I was at my uncle's house for a family gathering after church (having stripped off my JSK for comfort so that I was wearing my underskirt and blouse), my great aunt turned to me.
My Great Aunt: "Let me see what you're wearing... Do girls really still dress like that?"
My Aunt: "Not really. But Emily does. You should see the dress she had over that earlier; it's so pretty!"

I love that my family has gotten used to me wearing Lolita for special events and that they support my decision. I also love that they've fully accepted my bonkers style as a thing about me. I just felt that was worth sharing in case anyone's reading this blog and wondering if their family will ever accept their style.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Things I Love For Spring

This year, I’m doing a series of posts – one for each season – talking about my essentials for each season of the year. They’re going to be spaced out throughout the year to keep them timely and so you won’t have to read a long string of seasonal favorites posts.

In this edition of "Things I Love...", we're talking about the things I love for spring outfits!


This is the most obvious springtime wardrobe choice, so I won’t belabor the point. Spring is a time when flowers bloom. Flowers are new life and growth. Flowers are also a classic springtime print. And they’re pretty to boot.


Again, pastels for spring are a classic choice. Light colors are delicate and cute.

For me, straight up pastels are out of the question. I look strange in the usual baby pink. For me, spring is a time for dusty shades – gray-blue, peach or rose, sage green. If you’re also not someone who thinks pastels flatter them, this might be a way to get the light, spring-y look without going too terribly bright.


For some reason, a lot of people don’t actually know what toile is, and that is such a shame because toile is gorgeous. See that print on the leftmost end of the banner above? That’s toile. Toile is a simply colored pattern that usually features images of nature or pastoral scenes. Many of them are dotted with rococo scenes of pretty shepherdesses or young shepherds. Some feature mills or floral scenes.

I love toile. It comes in a lot of colors (generally in cotton). It's light enough to make a great springtime print but richer, darker print colors are available can be coordinated beautifully with darker colors. A navy-on-white toile, for example, looks perfect with touches of navy.

Swiss Dot

I love swiss dot. I really do. It’s a lightweight cotton with a dotted texture. Swiss dot is usually a little bit sheer, so anything made from it either needs to be lined or worn as a layer over something else. But this light and breezy fabric is a lovely choice.


Chiffon! It’s so darn pretty. Long sleeve blouses in chiffon are a great choice for spring because they are warm enough to suit chillier mornings but delicate and breathable for the sunnier days. And this lightweight fabric is just as breezy as swiss dot, so it’s bound to be a springtime favorite of mine.

Do you have any spring essentials that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear about them.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lolita Life Hacks: Dollar Store Solutions

Yes, I said it: dollar store.

I am a frequent dollar store shopper. My favorite is Dollar Tree because they quite literally offer each item in the store for a dollar, and that's where all the examples in this post will be from. However, there are a lot of different dollar store options if you look.

And, while dollar stores may seem directly at odds with the way most of us see  fashion - especially Lolita - you'd be amazed how many ways they can help you out. It's a good way to keep your costs down, and you can get some pretty good products, too!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lolita Life Hacks Strike Back

A while back, I wrote a post on life hacks that are easy for Lolitas to use. These ones are less like “life hacks” than they are general tips, but they follow the same idea as my last life hack post: clever tricks that can make being a Lolita a little easier. And I’m all for easy.

One of these – the last one – is a longer “trick” and more like a tutorial than anything. I hope you forgive me the length of this skirt hack, because I find it terribly useful.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Little Black Dress: Adapting a Classic For Your Style

"When a little black dress is right, there is nothing else to wear in its place." – Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

Ah, the little black dress. Popularized by the ever-fabulous Coco Chanel and raised to style gospel in the time since, you’ve probably heard so much about the little black dress (or LBD as it is often abbreviated and will here be to cut down on length a little) that it’s as ingrained in your mind as it is in mine. It’s a classic.

The point of a little black dress is that it works as a simple staple that can be styled up, down, or any which way to suit almost any event. The ideal LBD is a quality piece that will work with a blazer for work wear, with lovely jewelry for an evening event, and in a wide variety of different ways for so many situations.

And I really think we should adapt that concept to every style.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Keep it Simple, Sweetheart: A Love Letter to Basic, Casual Pieces

I’m a huge fan of casual Lolita and otome-kei, not just because they are very wearable (which they are) but because they are easier to throw together with mainstream pieces. It’s surprisingly simple to find cutsew-like pieces in more mainstream stores, especially if you look at stores like Modcloth that specialize in vintage-style clothing and therefore have a lot of tops with more detail to them than a plain white tee.

Because I do so much stuff that’s historically-inspired or edging on OTT here on my blog, I wanted to take a moment to pull together a series of outfits that use basic, offbrand tops with Lolita skirts to create something casual and, more importantly, office- or school-appropriate.

Most of these swing hard toward the retro look – unsurprising given the combination of full skirts and other shirts – but they’d be easy to lolify further with head eating bows, wrist cuffs, or actually Lolita shoes. My own personal style tends to skirt the line between Lolita, retro, and otome-kei, so this shouldn't surprise you.

And the best thing about these shirts is that most of them would be so simple to find in a store or DIY. And I do, of course, encourage you to DIY if you can. Then you get the opportunity to be proud of your own work and you can create something cute along the way.

Monday, January 26, 2015

"I Was Raised To Be Charming, Not Sincere": A Coordinate for 'Into the Woods'

Over a month ago, my friends decided that we should go out to Into the Woods together. I am, of course, not opposed to this idea - I love the musical and the reason they decided we needed to go together was because I was the one who first introduced them to the show. Two of my cousins got in on the act, so the group of five set a date. And, because I love dressing up to go out with my friends and this was a golden opportunity to create something with a theme.

But what to wear?

The answer to that question wasn't really as simple as it ought to be. At first I thought I should channel something dolly kei for the show, something witchy and wild. But, then, I looked at my wardrobe and didn't find anything that spoke to that as much as I should like. Eventually, I lighted upon the world of the princes and the palace. Vain, charming, and insincere, but with a richness to them that I appreciate.

This outfit is a few weeks old, but my friend who took the pictures wasn't able to send them to me until today.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Inspiring Films: My Favorite 18th Century Films

If you'll allow me a personal moment on the blog, this year hasn't been great thus far for me. I've been sick multiple times in the past three weeks, culminating yesterday with going in to have minor surgery to take care of an issue. As such, I've not been particularly frilly of dress lately. I've been wearing a lot of pajama pants and watching a lot of movies.

Those movies, however, have been very frilly, and I wanted to share them with you.

While I'm not really a fan of things Rococo and Georgian in my own style, I do love films inspired by the period and I know there are many Lolitas who find a good deal of inspiration in the clothing of the era. And, because I've been watching a lot of beautiful costume dramas recently, I want to share with you my favorite films set in the 18th century.

These are in no particular order. I enjoy them all and I think they're well worth the watch, but I'm not going to say one is better than another.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lolita in the Office: Using Lolita Pieces in Office Wear

This might be one of her subtle looks,
but it's probably not right for the office IRL.
As much as I had fun watching Deka Wanko, Ichiko doesn't dress appropriately for her workplace. She's adorable most of the time, but almost all of her looks are not right for her job. She's not the example you should be following.

Being a Lolita at work can be a challenge. While goth is easy to incorporate into the color scheme of office wear, Lolita’s complexity and varied styles can be a challenge. So I’ve thought about it and pulled together a list of pieces from your Lolita wardrobe that should be able to be pulled into your work wardrobe.

Word of warning, though: I’m a classic Lolita. I tend toward classic patterns and simple lines already. Most of the pieces I gravitate toward are “normal” to the point of being almost casual. I turn down the ruffles and stick to classic lines because that’s what I do. If you’re into OTT sweet, this might not be the post for you.