Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why I Shouldn't Design

Disclaimer: I designed and came up with the things pictured here, unless I specifically say that I didn't. Feel free to use any of these designs to dress your characters, make Lolita dress up games, or make for yourself. But please, if you do, show me! ... And, y'know, credit me if you sell anything made with these designs, I'd appreciate it. You're free to sell them, but credit where you got the designs, please and thank you~

Well, today is going to be more of a photo-dump due to my extreme boredom and lack of anything better to write. (Seriously, guys. I will not bite if you write to me and tell me what you want to read!)

So, one of the things I love doing is designing clothes. They're usually Lolita clothes, but they're fun nonetheless. And almost always: They're based on a character or two of mine. Or a character from a videogame, or something.

So here is my photodump for you all, some are coloured, most are not, and since I cannot draw, I trace Pixel Bases. A lot.

This dress is based off of two of my OCs: Harra and Verwirrter Schwarz. I got really bored and wondered that, if Harra's Student Robes were Lolita, what would they look like. Due to this, I got a similar idea for an Aristocratic Schwarz. Ahh, the fun I have~

Another Lolita ensemble. This one being based on Mannimarco: King of Worms of Elder Scrolls fame.
What are you taking about? Manni is SO rori, right, gais? ... *Ahem*

This one is just a random page of Lolita designs.

There will probably be more at other times, but this is just my "I'm bored, so let's post things~" Sort of days.

Speaking of which: What are your opinions on alternative fashion outfits based on characters? Is it Cosplay if it isn't exactly like the character? I've always tried to make my designs outlandish, but not anything I wouldn't wear on a day-to-day basis. (... Could be because my day-to-day clothing is outlandish anyway, but let's forget that discrepency.) What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why We -Must- Be Our Best

"The stranger you are, the better you have to be. That's why I have to be really good."- Larry Winget Thoughts and Observations

First of all, I will refrain from going off on just how much I adore Larry Winget. Essentially, he is a speaker who goes around the country teaching people how to excell in business and life. I learned about him by borrowing one of my Auntie's books and have been inspired by him ever since.

Yes, by now I am certain some of you have Googled him. And your thoughts are something along the lines of: "Wait... our frilly Lady Harra is being inspired by a guy who looks like he just stepped off of a Harley?! 0.o " YES. Because no matter what Subculture you come from, from the frilliest and cutest of Sweet Lolitas, to the Deathrocker Goths straight from the club, to Cosplayers, to anything. We are all like Mr. Winget here. You see, Mr. Winget is known for being a bit off-beat, and not caring what others have to say about it.

We could all learn from that. People are going to be unkind to us, and it's something we have to get used to. In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to worry, but we don't live in a perfect world. Some of us live in countries and towns where people are very judgemental, and it's unfortunate.

However, there is another side to this coin (isn't there always?) While we can't care what people think of us, we have to care what people think of us. Doesn't make much sense, does it? Let me explain.

Let's say that a couple of Cosplayers decided to get together and have a luncheon in full costume. During this time, Person A is commuting to the lunch, and someone sneers at them. Person A has two choices:

a.) Ignore it and move on.
b.) Sneer back and say something potentially nasty.

If you're in this situation, you would probably want to choose option 'b', we all would. But you can't. It's very important you choose option 'a'. It is very important that you be the bigger person in this scenario.

Why, you ask? Because in a sense, we are the outsiders. And it is very important that we present a better image to the general public. If we don't, we're just going to assist ourselves in making our reputation worse and worse. People already have a low opinion on those who differ from them, the last thing we need is to go off making it worse.

My insane ranting aside, we need to be mannerly while out in our costumes, our fashions, and anything else we might be doing. Like it or not, you are an ambassador to the subculture community at large. If someone has a bad experience with a particularly surly-acting Goth, they're going to think that all Goths are surly, and treat us accordingly. Same with Cosplayers, same with Lolitas, same with anything else. However, if a person has a positive experience with one of the aforementioned types, they're going to have a positive opinion overall.

So, since this wouldn't be a proper post without my stereotypically-bolded tips, let's get this show on the road.

-SMILE! Not saying you have to have to look like you've been injected with Botox, but smile a little. If someone gives you an odd look, just give them a genuine smile, nod your head, and move on with your life. You don't have to go over to that person and be their best friend, just smile at them. Some people are genuinely afraid of us (can you believe it?) So smiling tends to disarm any fears.

-Be polite wherever you go. If you're ofering food at a restaurant, say "Please" and "Thank you", everything your guardians taught you as a kid should be minded. A little bit of politeness really goes a long way.

-Patience is key. Yes, we know that you've been asked if you're in a play about fifty times already. You've been asked that one before, but the person asking you? It's probably their first time seeing someone like you, and it's a brave step for them to approach us sometimes. (I'll be honest, I hate to think of myself as intimidating, but anyone in strange dress can be a little intimidating, whether we mean to or not. Heck, I'm always hesitant on complimenting people on their gauges, because I'm afraid they've heard it fifty-million times before.)

The results pay off very well, I've had many people ask me why I'm so dressed up. I always smile and say, "Thank you for noticing, but I'm not really dressed up, I just dress like this every day." People (especially the middle-to-older ladies) tend to love it.

-Being a doormat is NOT always the answer. While there are people who are genuine with their curiosity, interest, and questions, there are going to be others who will be trying to get a reaction out of you. There will be people who will try to annoy you, and mean you ill-intent. Don't get angry, instead, a little bit of snark will go a long way.

"Hey, Halloween is over, man!" ---> "Is it now? Why are you still in a mask?"

Now, that's a little snarkier than I would normally go, but you get the picture. It works wonders at times. Keep in mind, this response is usually only warrented when the person is clearly trying to get a reaction out of you.

Don't give them the luxury of seeing you upset. It's not worth it.


Flip-side of all of this? We need to be our best in another way. Recently, on EGL, there was a post about discrimination against Lolitas at work. I found the entire discussion rather fascinating, and one of the posters brought up Abby from NCIS. Abby is the stereotypical "Perky Goth", and she is brilliant. She can get away with her eccentric dress because she is that good. Were she not as smart, people would think very lowly of her because of her dress.

As Mr. Winget says: "The stranger you are, the better you have to be." Unfortunately, eccentricity is a privalage, not a right. You have to earn it through being the best you can be, particularly in places like academics and the workplace.

Fortunately for me, academics were alright a strong point. I've been the top of my class for as long as I remember. When I first moved to Arizona, I went to a completely new high school, and, this being a small, private religious academy, people didn't take as well to my eccentricities. Sometime in the middle of Sophomore year, people started to realize that I was... well... bright. I would assist in class discussions, help others with their homework, and pretty much do anything in my power to help the rest of the class succeed. I went from being the "Weird kid" to the "Eccentric genius", a trait that has carried on into college.

Unfortunately, if you're not mainstream, or have something that deviates you from the norm (be it chosen, like fashion, or uncontrollable, like disability), you have to be better than everyone else in your chosen field. You have to work towards some sort of talent to show that your differences only aid you, not hinder you. It is an unfortunate fact, but a true one nonetheless.

"The stranger you are, the better you have to be. That's why I have to be really good."

Strive to be better every day. No one else is going to be better for you, so you have to be the one to do it. It's hard, and sometimes you'll want to give up, but you mustn't! After all, you'll be able to smile triumphantly at those who brought you down once you're sucessful.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

100 Question Lolita Baton

Where do I GET these things? D8 Oh well. I love filling out questionaires like this, so let's go~
(1) (Screen-name and DOB, please tell me these~.)
Harra Arial, for almost everything, I'll admit.
4-23-1993. Yeah, I'm rather young~

(2) (height, weight, clothing size and shoe size)
5'3", 145-150 lbs at any given time. Anywhere between 12-14, 16 patterns. Aaand... 7-1/2?

(3) (why did you start to dress lolita?)
I found it on, studied into it like no tomorrow, and really just enjoyed the modesty aesthetic. (After I got over the shock factor of owning a skirt that does NOT cover my ankles.)

(4) (which style of lolita do you like)
Classical, very much Classical. And Country in the summer.

(5) (express in your own words, the ideal your above answer)
There’s an ideal Lolita? No such thing! … Oh heck, I’ll try anyway. The ideal Lolita dresses for herself, first and foremost. She does what pleases her, but always pays mind to others. Above all, she is respectful and kindhearted. Or even more important: She is nurturing and helpful to her fellow Lolitas, and unafraid to assist a newcomer who might be a touch ita.

(6) (Do you have piercings? Where?)
None whatsoever~

(7) Which brands do you like?)
If I could fit it, I would loooove Mary Magdalene and Victorian Maiden.

(8)(Which are your favourite clothes you wear?)
Any of the jumpers I’ve made, hands down. I love sewing and it just fills me with pride to have someone compliment me on my dress, only to tell them that I made it myself.

(9) how many lolita friends do you have?)
A few, I’m hoping to get some of my few lady friends into Lolita as well if they show interest~

(10) What do you love most about lolita?)
The fact that the clothes make me feel like a princess. Frankly, I like feeling like nobility.

(11) (What do you hate about it? Pet peeves??)
I have a whooole post of that. I won’t get into it here.

(12) (Magazines you've read?)
I read magazines? Alright. I’ll admit, my weakness is Cosmopolitan. (I read it in secret online, so mother doesn’t see.)

(13) (Headdresses, bonnets or ribbons/katsushya?)
Headdresses and ribbons for myself, all of the above for others~

(14) (Yes to Drawers/Bloomers?)
Of course~ … Provided I can get around to sewing a pair. >>;

(15) (do you tie headdresses at the front or at the back?)
In the back, under my length of hair so it doesn’t show or fall out~

(16) (Who is your favourite band/type of music?)
*Snicker* Everything from light Opera and classical to German techno, to new age, to Broadway. If you’re that interested, I can provide links.

(17) (What is your phone ring tone~?)
A nice little jazzy piano solo.

(18) (Do you go to concerts in lolita?)
I don’t go to concerts in the first place, unfortunately.

(19) (For people who attend concerts: Do you headbang there?)
Not applicable, but I DO headbang sometimes, and get reeeaaally dizzy after three seconds of it.

(20) (What colours do you like?)
All da colurz of da rainbow~ 8D … Mostly? Black, jewel tones, white, anything unobtrusive. Really, any colour can be pulled off well~ I’d like to see more browns and emeralds, though.

(21) (What are your hobbies?)
Don’t start with me. XD Singing, sewing, LARPing, text-based RP, acting, video-games, going out to eat. The list goes on and on and on.

(22) (If you have any favourite perfumes, please tell us.)
Do men’s colognes count? I LOVE how cologne smells on me~

(23) (Is there anything you are careful of in lolita?)
Everything? Not exactly, beyond making sure I don’t get into anyone’s way. And that I put on a good impression for “Normal” people so they have a good opinion of Lolita overall. I’d rather think we were a well-mannered, if oddly-dressed lot instead of an oddly-dressed lot full of loud, obnoxious women.

(24) (Do you have any favourite haunts to go to in lolita?)
Ohh, that is a whole different group of posts. I’ll make one later on all the blogs I love.

(25) (how many times a week do you dress lolita?)
it depends on the week. It could be all seven days, or only one or two. Depends on how I feel that week.

(26) (Please tell us an embarrassing story when you were a beginner in lolita.)
I don’t think I HAVE one yet, actually. XD

(27) (Your current hairstyle and colour.)
Dark brown, three feet long, currently wrapped up in a towel while I wait for it to be brushable. (Normally: Held in a low bun.)

(28) (What is your lolita history?)
… Oh maaan, do we HAVE to unlock my goldfish memory? I’m too lazy!

(29) (Do you store your clothes in a special place?)
My closet?

(30) (Did you ever think about stopping Lolita? What was the reason?)
Noooo way. Well, I’ll admit, I was afraid of the community at first, but my local Lolitas are so nice, I couldn’t leave them now!

(31) (What is your motto?)
“You can’t spell ‘Necromancer’ without ‘Romance’!”
No. Seriously. Among other things.

(32) (Your dreams of the Future?)
Live to see twenty? I wouldn’t mind that, really.

(33) ("This person is so perfect for lolita!" - Do you ever think that about certain celebraties?)
Noooope. I prefer to think that about my friends. XD

(34) (Any products/items you have with a fond memory?)
My first ever Lolita skirt. It’s an orange and ivory floral vertical stripe, made by Ms. Stephanie of Silversark.

(35) (What was your first item?)
See above post. XD

(36) (Have you got a pose for photos?)
Mmhmm~ Profile view, with my hands together in a “Praying” pose while looking off into the distance. Due to my using it in photoshoots, it’s become one of my most-known poses as a performer.

(37) (What is your heart's bible? [book/magazine/CD/etc])
I’ve got too many of those.

(38) (what is the best cm for heels?)
I’d say about 1-2 inches, which is 2-4 CM, right?

(39) (Do you wear tiaras?)
… Every other day, yeah~

(40) (Do you think you want to try prince style? What kind of prince? Ankoku-kei [Gothic/dark prince]? Or "prince on a white horse" style?)
Oooh. Not sure, really. I don’t make a very good prince, unfortunately. But I’d love to be the “Shining White Knight” sorta thing while offsetting a friend of mine decked out as a total Vampire Gothy Prince or something~

(41) (What types of lace do you like?)
Cotton crochet, please~

(42) (Do you own a doll? Does it give you fun, childish feelings?)
… Does my Darkrai plushie I got at a Convention count? Because that DOES give me those giddy childish feelings of adoring the dark and macabre things like I used to. (Seriously, what is more Loli than the Freddy Krueger Pokemon? *Shot* )

(43) (What is in your lolita bag?)
Cell phone, Debit Card, Driver’s License. No different from my normal bag.

(44) (What is your favourite flower?)
Oooh. Tough one. Lily of the Valley, or Bird of Paradise.

(45) (Right now, what is your favourite accessory?)
The tiara my Fiancé got me~

(46) (Please recommend us some cosmetics.)
… You are deeefinetely asking the wrong girl. I DO like Nyx’ lipsticks, though.

(47) (With Eye-tape your eyes look like a Doll's! What eyelashes will you wear?)
I stay away from falsies unless I’m performing on stage

(48) (Your eye makeup for these eyelashes?)
Whatever I can jack off of Mum? But I don’t use mascara for falsies. They’re big enough.

(49) (Red Lipstick? Blue? Black? Pink?)
Deep purple, please and thank you~ I’d like blue or black, but Mum won’t let me. However, that’s moreso day-to-day wear, with most of my Lolita, I go for a deep berry red, or a pale beige. Natural tends to look better on me when I’m not being extreme.

(50) (Or which nail polish do you choose normally?)
I polish my nails? I wasn’t aware. XD

(51) (Have you ever changed in a train station bathroom?)
Nosiree. That sounds like fun, though. XD

(52) (What do you think of 'twinning' and 'triplet' lolitas?)
Bring it on~ I’d love to have someone twin Kuro to my Shiro sometime~ (Maaan. That sounds SO dirty for someone who doesn’t know the terms!)

(53) (How do you keep in shape for Lolita? Recommend us something.)
… Pffft. You are definitely asking the wrong lady.

(54) (Do you keep calm when by yourself in Lolita?)
Of course~ Confidence is key, after all~

(55) (How much do you spend per month on clothes/accessories?)
More than I should, I’m sure. Although more of my money goes on fabric to make the clothes.

(56) (Was there a time lag between you knowing about Lolita and dressing?)
About two years, yes.

(57) (What is your most expensive Lolita item?)
Prooobably my $40 blouse.

(58) (It takes a lot of money to do Lolita. How do you save?)
Magic~ ^_~

(59) (Just a little secret here...How much have you spent so far on Lolita, roughly?)
I have no idea, nor do I really want to think about it!

(60) (Is there a Brand you want near where you live?)
Mary Magdalene, please please please!

(61) ("Man, what a rip-off!!" Have you ever thought that about a store?)
I don’t believe so.

(62) (Do you shop online? If so, put the good & bad points here to advise others.)
Etsy only, although I would like to join a group order for something sometime. The only trouble now is convincing Mum and Dah that it’s worthwhile.

(63) (You can say if you want, but is there a Secret person/shop that you have ordered a dress solely for you from? [I guess commissioned/replicated])
Nope. Although I would love to do that sometime.

(64) ("I can never have that/see that happening!! But I will always want it!!" Is there a brand you think this of?)
Most things by Mary Magdalene. Especially the OP dresses.

(65) (What do you do with the clothes you don't want anymore?)
Give them to friends~

(66) (What is your most recent purchase? [Even non-lolita])
My Graduation Gown~ (And if I don’t squeal about that in another post, someone will have to shoot me.)

(67) (Is there an item which you love that you can't buy/seem to find?)
Non-handmade dresses that fit me in the bust.

(68) (What do you think of people who only wear lolita to concerts?)
Let them~ If they’re comfortable, that’s what matters.

(69) (what do you think of Lolitas without makeup?)
Who cares? As long as they look good and are having fun, why not? Goodness knows I never wear makeup except for special occasions.

(70) (Another lolita is wearing the same coordinate/clothes as you!! What do you do?)
“My goodness, I love how you coordinated that~ You look lovely~ Now… I must ask, how in the WORLD did you get the same dress that I made? D8 ”

(71) (What age should you stop Lolita?)
Good Lord, there’s an age you should stop?

(72) (When do you think you should graduate from Lolita? And why?)
Graduate into what, pray tell? I’ll dress like this for as long as I please, thank you muchly.

(73) ("You should stop that!!!>_<;" What must you not do when dressing Lolita?
Be rude. I’m dressed to the nines, why should my manners be rotted to the bone? I never want to give people a bad image of Lolita. (Or any other Subculture I participate in, for that matter.)

(74) ロリィタとはこうあるべき! というような考えはありますか?(A Lolita should be 'this'! What do you think that should be?)
Herself. What else can I demand?

(75) (Excluding #73, is there anything you should definitely not do in Lolita?)
I would say illegal activity. Please. If I hear about any Lolis getting arrested in the news, I will not be happy! D<

(76) (What do you think of men in Lolita?)
Again, let them~ If they look good and are having fun, then who cares?

(77) (Did you change yourself for dressing lolita?)
… I sure hope I didn’t! I know I started sewing more~

(78) (What does your family and surrounding people think of you dressing lolita? And do you accept it?)
Dad amuses himself with the fact that I look like the girls he went to school with, or look like I stepped out of “The Sound of Music”, my Vocal Instructor wans me not to wear something “Too costumey” to a recital, and Mum half thinks I’m cute, and half wishes I would dress like my peers.
Whatever the reaction: I can’t change that person’s viewpoint, so it’s not worth my effort~

(79) (How do you dress Lolita in the boiling mid-summer?)
Without a blouse, socks, and with sandals. Sue me. I live in Arizona where summers mean that the thermostat doesn’t read under 100F. The elitists can please kindly deal with it.

(80) have you gone to School or Work in Lolita?)
Quite often. Although no one ever comments on my dresses, but the hats I wear with them~ (Tomorrow I’ll be wearing a tiara, haha~)

(81) (How do you dress normally?)
… I dress normally? Lolita is very much part of my normal dress. I guess overall I dress formally. Always.

(82) (Do you think twice about buying second-hand clothes?)
Not really, I LOVE second-hand places like “My Sister’s Closet”, and I could live in a Consignment shop.

(83) (Do you have a boyfriend? [or husband?] Does he understand Lolita?)
*Nodnod* Engaged. And yes. Yes he does. Heck, sometimes he goes Steampunk or Aristocrat to accompany me~

(84) (Please tell us your ideal man.)
I have him already. XD

(85) (What Lolita has left a big, shiny impression on you so far?)
Ms. Cherise, she’s one of our local Lolitas, and she’s done a good job of making me unafraid of the community. Not only that, she’s down-to-Earth, kindhearted, and above the drama that may happen. I owe a lot of my confidence in meetup-related things to her.

(86) (Have you made your own clothes? What are they like?)
Of course I have~ I’ve made a few skirts that didn’t fit well, but nowadays I all but live in the jumpers I make~ They work well for Lolita AND non-Lolita.

(87) (Have you made your own accessories? What did you make?)
I make some simple jewelry, does that count?

(88) (The best item you have made! What is it?)
Oooh. Toughie. I don’t pick favorites, unfortunately~ Well, I like the first jumper I made, since it’s the most comfortable.

(89) (Please say your most perfect Lolita coordination you wear.)
Another toughie. You guys are on a roll here! Uhh… I don’t know.

(90) (Do you admire someone? What are they like?)
I admire a lot of people, trust me. Too many to list here~

(91) (One day I will go on a date with that person. What would you like to wear for him?)
Everything I already wear for him? We’ve gone out to dinner with him wearing one of my suits, and me in a hoopskirt-enhanced ball gown. I don’t think there’s many zany things I wouldn’t wear in front of him.

(92) (If you want one, what type of store would you open in the future?)
Secondhand store for vintage, vintage-inspired, and Lolita clothes. Not gonna happen, but I like to dream~

(93) (Your eyes get attracted inadvertently to something. What is this motif?)
Anything from crosses, to roses, to gingham, to anything, really.

(94) (Would you dress your child in Lolita?)
If you mean any neices or nephews or godchildren I may acquire for a day? Sure. Why not. However, I am very happy being childfree.

(95) (How much do you spend on one outfit?)
I try not to spend more than $30 on the focal point of an outfit. (Yeah, I’m a cheapskate).

(96) ("This is Lolita!!" Please say what you would say this about.)
… Anything I find Loliable?

(97) ("I have always wanted to try that once!" What, in the Lolita world, have you wanted to try wearing?)
Gothic Shiro. Hands down.

(98) (Look at you in Lolita. In one word/phrase, how would you express your style/image?)
“You know, I think Dah was onto something when he said I look like I stepped off of the set of “The Sound of Music”!”

(99) (What is your ideal of Lolita?)
I think you asked this already.

(100) (Thank you for taking this Baton!! Please state your thoughts on it!)
A touch long, no doubt, but well worth it~ I had fun here~

Do You Accept the Challenge? - May

Weeell, I suppose I'm a little late in the year to start off a year-round thing, but who cares! Better late than never, right?

Well, I got the idea off of Princessly Living to do a series of challenges.

So what, praytell, is my challenge?

Branch out your horizons!

Be it fashion, food, language, culture, or anything in life, we won't gain anything if we just sit around in the same old routine all the time. (Well, we will gain monotony, but who wants that? I sure don't!) So this challenge is to branch out and try something different for a change~

For example, I, being the pink-hating person that I have been for years on end, actually seriously considered a pink gown for Graduation. It didn't end up fitting (and I ended up getting a beautiful white lacey one instead.) But the important thing is that, as much as I hated pink in years past, genuinely tried it out, and, had it fit, would have gotten it to wear.

Likewise, in the past months, I have been trying new foods (Curry, my gracious, I love it too~) New media (branching out from my usual steadfast reference/nonfiction books only into some more whimsical tales. Oh, and Sherlock Holmes, I'm in love with it now.)

So my challenge is to try out something you've shied away from in past years. If you're a girly-girl, maybe try out a new sport. (Yes. The sport-hater in me is actually suggesting it. Even if it's a girly sport like badmitton, it's something.) For the casual gent, try dressing up a bit this month, see if it doesn't make you feel sharp and ready for anything. If your boyfriend (or girlfriend, if you happen to have one like me) is begging you to play videogames with him, then try it out!

Be it food, fashions, or anything else, broadening your horizons is a great way to learn things about yourself. You're not going to change overnight. (Goodness knows I -still- can't handle spicy foods, so I get a nice yogurt shake with my curry and order milder dishes), but you may find you like something you never thought you would.

So, my loves, go forth, and live your lives, learn new things, and enjoy yourselves~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Everyday Princess

Lineart by Rei. Colour-job by Yours Truly.

Disclaimer: Now that I think about it, this could apply to men as well, so I suppose I should call this "The Everyday Princess (Or Prince)"... but my laziness keeps me from doing such a thing. Just remember that this applies to men as well~

For those who live life with a more... fancy flair, things can be a little bit difficult. How does one go about grocery shopping in a hoopskirt? Is it really necessary to wear a full cape, mask, and gown whilst studying for a test? What about those dreaded first dates? School? Work? The lists are endless, and unfortunately, they cause trouble for people in any subculture that dictates a more... dramatic fashion sense.
What can you do? When your heart tells you to go all out, but society says to be like everyone else? it's difficult, sometimes even downright painful. I know many tears have been shed over wanting to go to school in my "Sunday Best", while Mom is lamenting why her daughter can't dress in jeans and a t-shirt like her peers.

Unfortunately, no one can get entirely what they want. That's why they invented compromise~

Of course, it's hard to give up the things you love, even for a day, but sometimes you have to give a little to suceed in life. For example, the local Goth going into a job interview with all the dark and decadent finery. Or the Lolita going on her first date looking like a Deco Alice in Wonderland in pastel blues and pinks. While these may be fine for nightclubs, meetups, concerts, and other fun get-togethers, they don't work well in day-to-day life. The odd thing is, to "Dress up", you have to dress down.

For the local Goths, no one speaks the word better than the Lady of the Manners (my idol) from Gothic Charm School. She advises that wearing a black suit with a red or purple undershirt or necktie is a good way to show that you're a little darker-inclined than the average person, but not enough to scare off potential employers. You're not donning a peach blazer, but you're also not decked out in everything. A couple of jewelry pieces could work, but when each finger is donned in those fun finger-armor things, that's not sending out a good picture.

For the Lolitas? Again, dressing down is key. Going Classical or Casual is your best bet here. Classical, because of the more toned-down designs, and Casual because... well... it's casual. Wearing an elegant blouse with a toned-down skirt and minimal poof is enough to show that you're well-dressed, but not over-the-top. Now would be the time to leave out all of the deco, the OTT anything. (That includes OTT Gothic, as much as I love it. Or OTT Classical-- if there is such a thing.) Again, to dress up, we need to dress down.-- Odd a concept as that is.

First dates? Oh, romance is in the air. (Might want to reference my "Dating in the Subculture" post for more information there.) You don't want to hide who you are, but gradual exposure is your best bet here. Again, the same thing you wear for an interview could work here. And always put your best foot forward. If there is a particular outfit piece that makes you feel confident, then wear it! Wear it with pride and build your outfit around that one piece. One thing dates notice most of all is confidence. And the sexiest thing on a man or woman is confidence.

As always, moderation is key. As much as we'd like to go all-out every day, it just can't always happen. Hoopskirts tend to knock things over at grocery stores. Masks make it hard to see your textbooks. And goodness gracious, looking like you just stepped out of the crypt will scare off your dates. (Unless, of course, they're into that.)

Of course, if there is anything you want to see more of, please write to me, drat it!

Dear Gracious!

Someone needs to slap me upside the head, seeing as it's been ages since I last updated! And I wish I could have something of substance to write, but... unfortunately... I've been drained of ideas. So please, dear readers, help me out here? Please write to me with some of your ideas?

(Whether or not I get ideas, I'll probably be updating soon anyway.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lolita in Secret Challenged Me; Lolita Pet Peeves!

Ahh, I have fallen victim to this lovely new trend. And truth be told, as much as I adore the Lolita fashion... there is a lot that bothers me. Heck, I'll probably go beyond the five pet peeves we are limited to, so I apologize in advance~

OTT Sweet. This is going to get me into a lot of trouble, I can already see it. It's adorable for the people who can pull it off, I will never deny that. However, I should not be getting diabetes just by looking at you. Wasn't the Lolita style supposed to be Neo-Victorian or something? I don't remember the Victorians ever wearing pastel renditions of dancing teddy bears. Really, I have nothing against the people who do OTT Sweet, power to you, but the style is really really not my thing.

Wigs, Fake Nails, Fake Everything. Another thing to get me in trouble. I am a Cosplayer, therefore I am all-too-familiar with wigs, and other things used to change your appearance. For meetups and photoshoots, I can't see why not, but for everyday life? Aren't we getting a little extreme? (Once in awhile is one thing, goodness knows I wear my fluffy white wig when I feel a little bit daring, but every day? Come on.) Since when was natural beauty such a bad thing? I shouldn't have to look at your pictures and wonder: "So... is that her real hair?"

Fakie-stuff can be great for meetups, and goodness knows hair falls are fun things. However, is there any reason we're trying to hide behind a mask of fake?

Lack of Lifestyle. Before someone says: "Well! I'm sure you're no perfect Princess most of the time!" Trust me, I'm not. My "Natural Nobility" post aside, I can be lewd, crude, and sometimes downright disgusting, can't we all? Want to know the difference? I'm not going around being proud of those crude times of mine. If I'm making perverted jokes with my friends, most of the time it doesn't leave my friends, and when I decide to stop being foolish and be a lady again, I do so. Really, I am not saying that we all need to sip tea in the morning and pretend that we're the best princesses the world has ever seen... but could you try not to brag loudly in public about how you and your boyfriend had sex in AP dresses the night before?

Likewise, when you're wearing Lolita (or any other alternative fashion, or Cosplay), you're acting as an ambassador for the entire subculture. I know, you ladies are getting sick of hearing this all the time, but it's true! People are judging all Lolitas by your behaviour (unless said person knows a lot of Lolitas, but that's not very likely.) It would be nice if we could get away from the stigma of age-play and other sexualized stuff. But really, I wouldn't rather trade that for an image of unbelievably crass and rude.

The skirts! How short they can be! ... This is a peeve for myself and myself alone. Most of my dresses and skirts before getting into Lolita were anywhere between mid-calves and the floor. I'm still not used to showing my knees, and goodness knows that I spend too much time fretting if my petticoat is visable or not. Needless to say, this could be one of my mother's peeves as well, seeing as I'm always asking her if my petticoat is visible.

Shoes and socks. My biggest nightmare (In other words, this one applies to only me here. Others can rock 'em out, please~). Due to my foot problems, I can't wear most styles of shoes, I'm usually restricted to flat and short-heeled sandals. As many of you know, that makes it pretty tacky to wear socks or tights, which are nearly mandated in Lolita fashion. Groan.

"Cosplay" as a four-letter-word. As stated above, I am a Cosplayer (or Costumer, seeing as very few of my Cosplays are beyond my personal OCs.) One of the difficult things in Lolita fashion is hearing things described as "Cosplayish" to register as bad quality. It's quite insulting, seeing as many people can pay upwards of $100 on their Cosplays, oftentimes more. While some are really bad quality, most aren't, so the overall stigma is just quite insulting. Can't we just say "Bad quality" to reference bad-quality instead of knocking off another Subculture?

Subculture hate and elitism. ... Out main demographic is 15-30 year old girls. I should not be surprised that there is bitchiness and dramaz... is that still any excuse to rag on something not too far on yourself? I've seen Lolitas insult everything from Cosplayers, to Goths, to... well... name any subculture, shall we? Seeing as we are all stems of fashion and subculture... I really don't see why making fun of the others is going to get anywhere. I'm not a fan of extreme sport-fans, the tinsel wigs and dual-face makeup is just foreign to me (even though I all but live in Ben Nye on many occasions.) Does that mean I'm going to say they're all idiots and stupid for doing what they like? Never. I may personally dislike sports with a burning passion, but it's not fair for me to deprive someone else of their passion. Likewise, it really hurts to see Lolitas insulting Cosplayers, Goths, and just about anything else.

Insecurity. Are these shoes Lolita enough? What if my hair isn't perfect for the meetup? Oh Gnade, what if they post me on getoffegl or something? Admit it. Thoughts like these have gone through your head at least once if you've been in the fashion for awhile. There are so many "Rules" (Well, guidelines, but it's hard to tell which is which, most of them are enforced so militantly,) that most girls, newbie and non, just don't know what to do! One little thing could make an outfit non-Loli, it seems. (For example, my latest worry. I have a beautiful black blouse with rose-buttons. The problem? It looks like a suit-jacket. With mild shoulder-padding, lapels, and the typical suit V-neck. Is it against the rules? Makes you wonder, doesn't it?) It's paired with a delightfully Lolita skirt I got while thrifting, but on it's own, I fear it's too corperate. I mean, would the other Lolis laugh at me or something? Admit it, we've all had those thoughts every now and then, be it in Lolita, or some other fashion.

... Yeah, I could go on, and on, and on, but I don't think you all want to read my rantypants things, am I right? Remember, please write to me and tell me what all you want me to write about. Or heck, feel free to send me an E-mail or Instant Message just to chat. I'd love to get to know all the lovelies reading this thing anyway~