Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Anatomy of a Lolita Outfit

So, I've decided as of yesterday to post this up.  Now that you've scrolled through all the posts about the different types of Lolita there are and what each needs, I'm sure you'd like to know the basics of what makes up every style of Lolita.  There are people who will tell you lots of different answers as to what makes up a proper Lolita coordinate do to their preferences.  Here, I am just going to tell you the basis for Lolita.

Headwear
This includes items such as headdresses, headbows, barrettes, crowns, mini top hats, double bows and alice bows.  Any of these can be used with any style of Lolita and should be of good quality.  I personally think that every Lolita coordinate needs some kind of headwear to make it balanced.

Tops
This includes blouses with usually puffy sleeves that can be short or long, though some blouses actually have detachable sleeves so you can re-use it for a different coordinate.  They usually have a small amount of lace and some fabric frills, though some have bows on them.  A blouse is worn with a skirt or JSK, though never and OP.  Another type of top for Lolita is a cutsew, which is pretty much a babydoll t-shirt, though they usually have puffy arms like Lolita blouses.  These are mostly for Casual Lolita, though if you're good at making coordinates, you might be able to work it into another style of Lolita.  Another common thing to find on cutsews are the frill around the neck like on Lolita blouses.

Dresses
This includes OP, which means one piece.  If you're the type of person who prefers simplicity in your routine or who doesn't like the feeling of a skirt on your waist, dresses or OP are a popular choice for Lolita.  They work with any style of Lolita and they even make cutsew dresses for Casual Lolita.

Skirts
This includes a bell skirt or a JSK.  Bell skirts are most common for any style of Lolita and as they are named, flare out in a bell shape.  These should be at the knee, thought some styles call for shorter but should never be considered a mini skirt.  As for JSK, these are more of bell skirts with a middle and straps.  They come in many different types and designs, though should always be worn with an appropriate blouse.



Underpinning
This includes panniers, petticoats, bloomers, and drawers.  Panniers and petticoats are used under skirts to gain the poofy Lolita silhouette. They're made out of tulle, polyester or organdy that are gathered in layers. It's best to have a pannier with multiple layers or with a stiffer material.  If you're worried about this rubbing against your skin, that's one function of bloomers.  Bloomers, or drawers, are a short pant type undergarment that is used for modesty to keep from peeking under the skirt.  Another use for these is if you're trying to keep warm.  These are best for colder climate areas, extra modesty or use in the winter months.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lolita 52 Challenge: Week 1

Alright, so one of my favorite blog reads F Yeah Lolita, posted up a Lolita 52 Challenge which is basically to do a post prompt on one Lolita specific topic a week.  Seeing the name, she has 52 prompts posted up.  I'd tackle them in order, though I don't always have the want to write about certain things.  Instead, I've decided to go down the list and skip ones I don't feel like posting on, don't have an answer to at the moment or just don't like and do them after I've gone down the list once and repeat.  The cute graphic for this post belongs to her and all rights to her.  I'd adore to be able to make cute banners like that, but I haven't taken the time to learn yet.

Alright, so the first prompt for week 1 of just #1 is "5 pieces that every Lolita wardrobe should have, regardless of style".  This one has not yet been explained on my blog, though I do intent to put up an "Anatomy of Lolita" post soon.

1. Headwear - This can be anything from an alice bow to hair clips to a headdress.  I just honestly think every single Lolita outfit needs something on your head to keep the balance.  No over the top top hats or headdress lace monsters though.  It can be as simple as colorful ties to keep up your side pony tails.  You just need something in your hair.  If you decide otherwise, fine by me.

2. Proper Shoes - Yes, some people forget to wear shoes all together or opt for slippers, though the wrong kind of shoes bother me just as much.  Regardless of style, I really think that every Lolita outfit should have proper close toed shoes.  Sure Ero and Hime go against that, though you can find tons of wonderful shoes to go with your Ero or Hime coordinate that are closed toed as well.

3. Socks - Alright, so along with the people who dislike proper shoes, you need to be wearing some socks too.  Too many a time have I seen a cosplay Lolita wearing no socks at all or some cheap, thin nylon like socks.  Make sure they're cotton, you can wear those darn ankle socks if you please, but for the love of all that's good, just wear the dang socks.  I prefer OTK and tights to anything else really, though those count just as much as the other lovely opaque types.

4. Underpinning (aka: pannier or bloomers) - Every Lolita outfit really needs these for that tiny bit to the extreme poofing of the skirt.  That, and they're also needed for modest.  If you don't have anything between you and that skirt, what happens if a sudden breeze pics up?  Everyone will see those lovely teddy bear undies and you'll feel like such an Ita-Lolita that you want to run home to your mommy.  So, I really think you should probably wear a pannier that is the right length for your skirt or some bloomers for extra modesty.  Either way, just try to keep it so that everyone won't get a peep show.

5. Blouse - Now, if I was going in order blouse would have been number two, though I'm not.  I'm going by how needed I think they are.  Some Lolita might argue "A blouse is everything!" though I say nay.  Why?  Because I am a lover of OP which as you know is a dress, and that dress... well, it doesn't need a blouse at all, now does it silly?  Though every style regardless should have a proper blouse if wearing a skirt of JSK.

So, that's my prompt for week 1 of 52 in the Lolita 52 Challenge.  Just make sure to wear those items and hopefully the rest of the needed items for a coordinate and we'll be just fine.

Styles of Lolita

If you're accustomed to Lolita, you know there are many different styles in which to wear Lolita outfits and you probably have a favorite style or two.  However, if you're new to the Lolita scene, then you might not know what options you have in the way of dressing in Lolita.  Most people see only one or two styles before they go looking into what Lolita actually is.  If you've read my earlier posts, you should now know what Lolita is and what it isn't, though some things might not be clear still.  I wrote down a brief description of the styles in Lolita Glossary, though that isn't going to help all the way.

Here is a list of the different styles of Lolita.  Read over them, look at the images attached and think very carefully about your decision as to what Lolita style is truly you.  Most Lolita's have one set style, though a few have two or three.  This is mostly do to the fact that Lolita fashion, even budget items, are expensive compared to other fashion trends.  It is best if you pick only one or two styles and make sure they are close in the colors or patterns so that you can mix and match.  If you just won the lottery and you love all the styles though, feel free to try them all out.  Though if you're like me, you're working an hourly or low salary job and should only take up one style to start with.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Styles of Lolita: Classic Lolita

Classic Lolita is one of the most elegant and mature styles of Lolita.  The colors are usually always neutral and the prints consist of flowers, fruit, realistic animals and patterns. Classic Lolita is influenced by various eras in history, such as Baroque, Edwardian, Elizabethan, Renaissance, Rococo, and Victorian. The style is popular among Lolita, though not so much so as other styles including Gothic and Sweet.  Older Lolita tend to choose this as opposed to other styles because of it's mature look.

✔ Headwear for Classic Lolita ranges widely and can be everything from hats of different sizes, flowers, bonnets  barrettes, head bows and headbands.  The color of these items stays within the neutral pallet.  Wigs are not very common, though if wearing one, it must be of a natural hair color and can be anything from curled, straight or some form of elegant updo.

✖ Almost anything is popular in this style, though color is what can cause the outfit to be off.  Make sure to stay away from anything too bright.

✔ There is no set in stone rule for Classic Lolita to have a blouse, though the outfit should be kept modest.  One-pieces are most common and worn alone or with a small over jacket of some kind.

✖ Anything is fine besides tops that show cleavage.

✔ Skirts are a standard knee length or longer and are a-line or high waisted most of the time.  Though they can be of other types if desired.  Some skirts include corset lacing or other elegant features and are light on the amount of lace used.

✖ Anything above the knee is frowned upon in Classic Lolita.  JSK are also not very common.

✔ Undergarments, such as an a-line pannier is best for this style.

✖ Do not attempt to skip proper undergarments or use costume petticoats as this will look terrible and will also be very scratchy and uncomfortable for you.

✔ Socks should be knee socks, ankle socks, OTK socks or tights.  The designs on them are usually simple and up one side of each sock, though they can be plain or lace.

✖ Anything is acceptable that is considered modest and elegant.  Just try to stay clear of fishnet stockings or socks with too many patterns.

✔ Classic Lolita shoes can follow the guidelines of what makes a Lolita shoe, though they don't have to.  High heels under four inches and Victorian style boots and shoes are very popular.

✖ Do not wear high heels that are more than four inches. This tends to look off and makes your outfit less modest as heels that aren't platforms are associated with erotic adult professions.

Other tips for your Classic Lolita outfit include:

✚ Classic Lolita make-up is very simplistic and consists of mascara, sometimes eye liner, neutral eye shadow and pink or red blush.  Lipstick is usually a transparent gloss, neutral  pink or red lipstick.  Fake eye lashes and circle lenses can be used as well to achieve a doll look.
✚ Accessories for Classic Lolita include very simplistic and elegant items such as pearls, roses, lace gloves, bird cages and antiqued jewelry and watches.
✚ If you use a bag or purse, it is best for it to be plain with a simple bow, have floral prints or shaped like crowns, berries, animals or card suits.

Example of Classic Lolita.