On Being Lolita: The Gift of Socks

On Being Lolita: The Gift of Socks

BtSSB Paris Souvenir
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

For the past few years, my stepfather has been working abroad. He’ll be off in another country for months at a time, and he’s had the opportunity to live in France, Switzerland, Ireland, China, and several other countries. Recently he was assigned again to Paris–this time for a long enough time period that his company opted to rent an apartment for him instead of having him stay at a hotel. My mother loves visiting Paris, so she went to see him at the end of October this year.

Although I have never been out of the country, I have several family members who often travel abroad. My mother wanted to bring back souvenirs or little regional gifts when she went to Paris, but that becomes more and more difficult the more frequently it is visited. (There are only so many “PARIS” t-shirts that a person really wants, after all~) However, since I have never actually been there myself I couldn’t come up with something more specific–like a certain candy bar or a certain inexpensive cosmetic.

I decided to ask for a picture of the BABY, the Stars Shine Bright boutique. I couldn’t justify asking for anything from the shop itself; I didn’t know what would be in stock and almost everything would be out of my mother’s budget. I didn’t want my family to think I was just using them to shop, so I didn’t want a long specific list or to ask them go into the store. Just a vacation photo of the shop’s facade, taken by my mother, was what I wanted.

However, my mother and stepfather took my request very deeply to heart! They started researching the store, reading the blog, and browsing the Japanese website. My mother wanted to talk to me or look up information about lolita fashion, determined to know as much as possible–because they decided they were going to go into the shop and have a look around.

For the most part my family did not really approve of my hobby, but things have really changed now! My mother sent me cellphone pictures of the store and several emails to tell about it even before she returned home. She adored the shoes on display; she kept trying to describe them to me, lamenting that none were in stock in my size. My stepfather realized it is located near a cafe he frequents, and offered to drop by the store if I wanted him to pick something up for me at a later date.

And, they bought me a pair of socks. ♥ They decided to get me something, and socks were the most affordable, easy to pack, and less difficult to select. I now have a lovely pair of pink knee socks embroidered with pink macarons decorated with tiny sparkling rhinestones~ Even more wonderful than the socks themselves is the love that went into the gift. I can’t believe they actually bought something!

Sweet Treats: Bagged Tea Time

Sweet Treats: Bagged Tea Time

I’ve been a bit sick lately, so I’ve been drinking tea even more than usual. Tea may just be my favorite beverage, and I have an entire drawer in my kitchen dedicated to my collection–right underneath the electric kettle that I love so dearly. Although I have a designated tea drawer, that’s not the only spot for tea. I don’t stick to just one kind, and I like to surround myself with a different tea for a different occasion! And… most of my “traveling teas” are bagged teas (and some aren’t very fancy, either)~

~At Work~
I keep tea at my desk to supplement the varieties that are stocked in our kitchens. I’m very lucky that my office has tea at all, and even luckier that it isn’t simply something another worker brought in and forgot about. A set supply of bagged teas is restocked on a regular basis: Bigelow’s “Constant Comment,” “Orange & Spice,” “Apple Cinnamon,” “Earl Grey,” “Cranberry Apple,” and “Green Tea,” as well as Tazo’s “Chai” and “Awake.”

I’m not terribly fond of bagged tea, as the quality of the tea leaves is usually lower and the tag-shaped paper pouches don’t circulate water very well, but I’m definitely not above drinking it! I find that if the tea is stronger–like a black tea–it can be easier to taste that the leaves are not as flavorful or select as those in loose-leaf tea. Thus I usually drink herbal teas if bagged tea is an option. I lean towards the two apple flavors at work; they’re even better with honey. ♥

I also keep my own tea in my desk. I don’t want to bring my tea accoutrement to work me with (at least not yet) so I like to select a box of tea bags to try. If they’re at work it forces me to drink it even if I don’t really-really like it! At home it could languish in my drawer forever~ Right now I have a box of Tazo’s “Cucumber White.” It’s an interesting flavor–a white tea with cucumber, lime, and peppermint. At first I wasn’t very keen on the taste, but it’s started to grow on me. It’s very refreshing, and it soothes an upset stomach.

~Away from Home~
My other hidden-tea-stash is at my mother’s house. She doesn’t live terribly far away and is centrally located to the rest of my family, so my person and I travel out to see her…or sleep at her house when visiting other relatives. My tea used to live in my mother’s kitchen cabinet, but now there are only a few remnants. My stepfather enjoys tea as well, but he has been working abroad for a while, so there isn’t much in the cabinet.

There are a few golden pouches from a local tea shop that is no longer around. They had a very wide selection and some interesting blends–different from what I notice at most shops, which always made me wonder if they had a different supplier. Most of the teas are green teas, which I am rarely in the mood for. Instead, my mother’s house has my two guilty pleasures–Bigelow’s “English Teatime” and Celestial Seasoning’s “Sleepytime.”

Out of all the black teas produced by mass-marketed tea bag companies, I really prefer the blend that’s in “English Teatime.” It’s strong without much bitterness, having mild undertones instead. I find that it goes well with mostly anything I plan to drink it with, and it stands well on its own. “Sleepytime” is my favorite night-time tea–a chamomile with spearmint and lemongrass. It also brings back very happy childhood memories.

~Make it Quick!~
Quick isn’t even the best word, really–it’s convenience. I do have to admit that bagged tea is awfully convenient. I do keep some of it at home, although it is vastly outnumbered by the rest of my teas. If I’m only choosing bagged tea on a whim when I’m at home, it has to be more than just quick–it has to taste delicious! After all, why else would it ever be consumed?

Personally, I really like teas by ®evolution. I find their flavor combinations quite tasty, and I’m partial to their larger-sized cloth bags–I think it lets the flavors get through and gives the leaves more room to open. (I also like that I can see that the tea isn’t pulverized!) My current favorite is their “Pear White Tea.” I love pears. I love flavored white teas. What else could I ask for? Even opening the box smells wonderful.

However, that’s not my “standard” bagged tea. That spot is reserved for PG Tips; it’s my favorite bagged black tea. I can’t stand generic Lipton, but I drink a lot of PG. It’s strong, has nice color, good flavor, and pyramid-shaped bags for good water flow. Also, it’s really, really quick to steep. I usually only leave it in the water until the color darkens, and remove it immediately. It can become too bitter if left unattended, so keeping an eye on it is recommended.

After thinking about and writing all this, now it’s definitely time for some tea! ♥

Outfit Snap: Happy Arrival

Outfit Snap: Happy Arrival

Giant Box of Happiness
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

Recently, I ordered something ridiculous and extravagant. Something beyond lolita clothing. I ordered a ball-jointed doll.

Now, I have owned a ball-jointed doll. She was gorgeous and wonderful, but ultimately she didn’t fulfill what I really wanted from a doll, and thus I sold her. I had planned to try again and buy another doll in the near future, but luck happened to provide me unexpectedly with an auction for a doll that seemed to meet my wishes. I bid on it, won, and thus began the waiting game~

I decided to dress up yesterday because I felt like the doll would be arriving soon; I wanted to add a little good luck to my day. I always feel better when I wear lolita fashion–it makes me confident and optimistic regardless of circumstances. So I tumbled into my favourite one-piece, pulled on a pair of socks that I don’t coordinate with nearly enough, and clipped small bows into my hair. I always did like the hair accessories that Candy Violet made, and I’m glad I purchased these little bows while they were still available.

Once dressed, I cleaned the house and wished very hard that my package would arrive…and it worked! (I was pretty surprised!!)

My dress and socks are Angelic Pretty; my hairbows are Candy Violet; and the box holds my beautiful wonderful adorable new Volks “Nagisa in Preschool.”

On Being Lolita: Improving the Fit

On Being Lolita: Improving the Fit

Unless you fall into a very specific range of measurements or specifically commission every item of your lolita wardrobe, it’s almost inevitable that you will fall in love with at least one garment that won’t fit. Japanese lolita fashion brands generally manufacture an item in only one size (although there are a few exceptions), and the same measurements are not used for every garment. The general idea is to have the garment fit “Japanese standard size 9,” but the result is not always so. Metamorphose typically runs bigger than BABY, the Stars Shine Bright, which typically runs bigger than Mary Magdalene. And even within a brand, sizes can vary even between items in the same series–that is why the companies list measurements for each garment.

So what is a lolita to do when she sees the dress that sets her heart aflame only to read the numbers that cast a shadow on her hopes and dreams?

There are roughly three overall options: dieting, alterations, or replicas.

Dieting really only works if you are slightly larger than the comfortable size for the garment. Losing weight is not simple, especially if you do it properly instead of hoping for a quick-fix. Also, there are many fit-related issues that cannot be helped by losing weight–if a garment is too large, that won’t be useful at all! Also, there are other factors to take into consideration–height, bone structure, etc. For some people, reaching a certain waist or bust size just might not be realistic. It’s very individualistic. Dieting tends to be an option only in the very rare case–it can still be useful for certain cases of fit! After all, if one just has to lose a bit of excess weight to wear a beautiful dress, it will be the dress with no extra cost incurred and no change to the garment.

Alterations can be used to take something in or let something out, but only within a certain range. If your measurements are drastically different from those of the original item, altering it will destroy the intended shape. It can be nearly impossible to find the right fabric to add inches by adding panels, especially if the dress in question uses unique fabric or details. Also, alterations require a certain level of seamstress ability–not everyone who knows how to sew can alter successfully. With an expensive or coveted clothing item, it’s important to do it right. If the alteration is badly accomplished, sometimes there’s no re-doing it!

However, alterations are generally a good idea if the garment is only slightly too large or slightly too small, and as long as you know you don’t plan to resell it. Anything tailored to someone’s specific measurements is very difficult to resell, unless you know there are lots of other people in your general size range.

Although I generally do not fit perfectly into most lolita items that I purchase from Japanese brand names, I usually don’t alter anything because the difference can be fixed in some other way. I wear extra layers to add bulk underneath, and use waist ties and corseting along with visual “tricks” to keep attention off areas where the improper fit is most obvious. As long as a few general rules are met–don’t tie the waist-ties so tight that the bodice “gapes” around you, make sure the skirt falls at approximately knee-length, and check that elements of the design aren’t exaggerated enough to look overwhelming–most on-lookers will never know!

This wasn’t the case with my recent purchase of a Metamorphose special set, consisting of a blouse and matching skirt. When I tried it on, I thought it fit wonderfully! When I decided to wear it for the first time, I realized it was huge! (I completely forgot that I had tried it on over the clothing I was already wearing, so once those extra garments were no longer underneath the difference was striking.) I loved it and desperately wanted to wear it, so I decided to have it altered. My little sister is a master in terms of garment construction, but she hates altering brand-name items in case the results aren’t exactly what she wanted. However, I talked her into it.

The blouse was the most difficult piece to alter. The skirt was very, very easy–we ripped the elastic out of the waistband and sewed a channel threaded with a shorter piece of elastic. Voila! The blouse was trickier. After some consideration, we decided to take in the front seams. It took some adjustment to get things just right. It looks much, much better now; I previously looked like a little kid dressed up in her grandmother’s clothes. I decided to alter these garments because I wanted to keep them for a long time, could not wear them as they were, and didn’t feel I would be “ruining” something too costly. (It’s much improved this way!)

Replicas are another option, but that really depends. Some people are incredibly moralistically opposed to replicas. I don’t mind it when someone copies something for their own personal use, but I dislike seeing replicas for sale beyond a commission request. After all, the design belongs to someone else–using it for profit seems wrong to me. I especially disagree with artwork, such as specialty prints, being replicated; I feel it infringes upon the rights of the artist. That said, it’s very difficult for someone who cannot wear a print but wants one very badly. I don’t think that he or she is a bad person for wanting, making, buying, or soliciting a replica–but I still don’t think that selling such a thing on a broad scale is right.

Replicas can be a difficult ground as well because it is very difficult to find a seamstress or tailor capable of creating a replica that can truly match the specifications of the original. Perhaps the sewer cannot find the right fabric or the right trim. In more drastic cases, the prospective creator of the replica may not have pattern drafting skills of a caliber to allow him or her to create a true copy of the original garment. When making or commissioning a replica, it’s important to make sure that whoever will be cutting and sewing the garment has the ability to accurately recreate it. You should also consider what is most important to you about the dress, to avoid disappointment in the (highly likely) even that the replica isn’t 100% identical to the original. Make sure that you know what to concentrate on or what to tell your commissioned seller.

There’s no easy, instant way to deal with a “dream dress” that only fits in your dreams. However, it isn’t a totally lost cause! Sometimes that dream can become a reality with a little bit of work~

And, out of curiosity, have you ever fallen in love with a lolita fashion item that wouldn’t fit? How did you deal with it–were you successful or did it just not work out?

Meetup Report: Oh, the Horror!

Meetup Report: Oh, the Horror!

Early in the month, I attended a horror movie night! I couldn’t stay very long–my work-week has been rearranged to that I work on Sundays. This means that if I stay up too late on Saturday I am a grumbly-grumpy puff and absolutely no fun to be with after work the next day. It’s not fair to my poor person, who has to endure my company whether he likes it or not, so I try to get enough sleep to function well at work. However, the idea of a horror movie night was too intriguing! I am not scared by horror movies, so I rather enjoy them.

This meetup was being held at the house of a girl I had not yet met, but she didn’t live too far from me. I finally had an opportunity to wear my Metamorphose special set! I love the design of the most recent special set–the matching skirt and top with wrist-cuffs, all in gingham or stripes. After I bought it and had it altered, I hadn’t had an opportunity to actually wear it. Since this event called for something lolita but not really busy or formal, it seemed perfect!

It was so nice seeing everyone who was able to come! There were only about six or so lolita, but that meant there was room for everyone to sit and we could all participate in the same conversations. I was able to see a lot of people that I hadn’t seen in a while. Miss Lindsey came, too, but she was injured from having been hit by a car a few days before when she was riding her bike! o_o I feel so bad for her! Being hit by a car is a really awful experience, and she was all bandaged up from it.

She brought a doll with her, and I ended up making a fool of myself being super-dorky about it. I’m very interested in ball-jointed dolls, although I’m not a collector, and Miss Lindsey always seems to have a different doll with her. She’s very nice and doesn’t mind if I touch or hold the doll, or move her around. I like seeing how each company does the engineering of the same concept a little bit differently. This little doll had a lovely wig that I couldn’t stop touching. I’m such a little kid sometimes!

It’s especially intriguing for me since I bought a doll and am waiting for her to arrive. It makes me really anxious! I’m sure some people will think it’s stupid, since I could have bought more lolita clothing, but I can’t resist really cute toys! (Although I wonder if my My Little Pony army will have an uprising…)

I was only able to stay for two movies, but I had a really good time. The girl who hosted the movie night was very sweet, and I was glad to meet her and another girl for the first time! I hope I see them again at something soon~

Outfit Snap: Special Set Pink Stripe

Outfit Snap: Special Set Pink Stripe

Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

I fell in love with the most recent Metamorphose special set as soon as I saw it. The promotional pictures of the skirt, blouse, wrist-cuffs, and hairbow looked unbelievably adorable no matter what fabric–gingham or stripes. The pink striped fabric is so cute that I really-really-really wanted it even though I don’t often fit in Metamorphose. When I found out that a local lolita was selling it, though, I couldn’t resist…even though it was too big.

I pleaded with my little sister to use her amazing sewing magic to take it in, although she hates altering Japanese brand clothing. (Especially for me–my measurements are really strange, so it’s hard to get things just right!) She did a really great job, though! I hope to wear it more often! The ruffles make it kind of overwhelming, but it’s so cute that I don’t really care. I just wish the hairbow wasn’t on a barrette. It can be hard to work into a hairstyle.

The weather has been really unpredictable lately, so I wore an unflattering sweatshirt. It seemed a little too warm for it when I went outside all zipped up under my coat, but I was glad I had it when I came home that night. I don’t have any nice lolita fashion cardigans or parkas, but maybe someday I’ll get some. I know that my sweatshirt isn’t pretty, but it’s soooo comfy and pink. ♥

This ended up being a good outfit choice for the movie night. It wasn’t the sort of thing I had to worry too much about, and I was mostly safe from dropping cookie crumbs or breadstick sauce on myself thanks to the sweatshirt. I also didn’t take up too much space on the sofa…but that’s okay, since I sat on the floor for most of it anyway.

Meetup Report: A Not-So-Spooky Tea

Meetup Report: A Not-So-Spooky Tea

Gorilla Time
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

It’s been a while since I wrote a meetup review, but I don’t want to ignore some of the fun things I’ve had the opportunity to do!

On October 31, 2009 the Chicago-area lolita convened at Russian Tea Time for tea! The meetup was in honor of the holiday, so attendees were asked to dress for the theme–gothic, spooky, or otherwise Halloween-related. Everyone really went out of their way to wear their best; they all looked great!! I was such a stark contrast to our usual meetups, where brighter colors tend to dominate.

No-one really thought I would take the theme to heart, but I surprised everyone when I showed up in black and high heels! Miss Nena graciously lent me something from her closet, since everything I own is pink, white, or red. 😡 Well, except for my special blue floral one-piece, but that’s still not right for a Halloween theme! I had thought I’d have to coordinate some kind of lolita-esque costume from my clothing and other accessories in order to be appropriately dressed, but I really wanted to participate fully. It’s a lot of fun to step outside your normal boundaries and try something new!

The tea room provided a section of the restaurant just for our massive tea party… there were so many people I didn’t get a chance to talk to everyone. (I also spent a lot of time outside the doors, searching for stragglers! I am usually a bit of an Alice-beacon when it comes to meetups.) Several attendees weren’t lolita I’d seen before, and that makes me really excited. I like seeing new faces–it shows that lolita fashion is a growing trend, not a dying one.

The tea house served their house blend; it was a little spicy and had a mulled type of taste that was very heart-warming for a chilly day. The cups they used weren’t traditional teacups–instead, they were metal stein-shaped holders for thick glass insets into which the tea was poured. I could definitely understand the appeal–I didn’t burn my fingers by accidentally touching the bowl of the cup that is heated by the tea, as I sometimes do with china teacups. Servers constantly refilled empty cups, never leaving an empty glass empty for too long.

The trays of refreshments were really delightful. The top tier contained scones, two per person, and whipped cream and jam. Clotted cream may be the proper topping for scones, but it isn’t often served in Chicago. Traditional clotted cream requires unpastuerized cow’s milk, which isn’t readily available in the United States, and the jarred “clotted cream” sold at specialty shops is really gross if you’ve ever had actual clotted cream. The jam and whipped cream was delicious, although the cranberry-raisin scones didn’t really need toppings to taste wonderful!

The second tier held a vast assortment of finger sandwiches–smoked salmon, tiny rolled crepes filled with diced vegetables, roasted red pepper, mini Ruebens, and little quiches! The savory items were a very nice size–bigger than one bite, but smaller than four–allowing everyone to taste as many as they wanted. I enjoyed eating other people’s shunned smoked salmon sandwiches~

The bottom tier held a mind-boggling assortment of sweets! Cookies, pastries, and other sweets, all piled up together. There were so many that I didn’t even know what I was eating; I couldn’t keep up with the servers’ descriptions! They even brought out individual plates for everyone with two teeny-tiny cream puffs. It was very luxurious.

After the tea was over, we headed across the street to the sculpture gardens around the Art Institute. The lighting inside the tea house was much too dark to get any nice pictures, and everyone was dressed so lovely that it seemed like such a shame not to. (And many people wanted proof for daily_lolita, of course.) I brought my camera, so my person followed my little sister and me around, capturing our nonsense. I’m not very good at posing nicely for pictures–something is always off: mouth open, eyes askew, weird expressions, etc.–but I do like getting into trouble and having a record of it. My little sister and I are usually up to no good, especially when we’re dressed up.

After pictures outdoors (we moved over to Millennium Park, too) it became too cold and some people had to leave, so those who remained went to the Chicago Cultural Center. The Cultural Center is in a beautiful building, and there is no admission, and there is always somewhere to sit and chat. Once people thawed out a little, more pictures ensued in-between conversations. As more and more people headed out and the group dwindled further, I found myself in part of a group aimlessly browsing at the Marshall Field’s on State Street before heading home.

It was a really great time, and there are so many hilarious pictures to prove it! I only wish I could have talked to more people–I was right at the front end of the table, so I only interacted with maybe four or five people on that end. It was too crowded to be rustling around through the crowd. I had a lot of fun being a gothic Alice for one day, but I don’t think I’ll be changing my style anytime soon!

Outfit Snap: This Is Halloween

Outfit Snap: This Is Halloween

Here She Lies
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

I didn’t wear a costume for Halloween, but I did do something out of the ordinary! There was a tea party on Halloween at a tearoom downtown, and the dress code was themed for the holiday. The recommendation was gothic lolita or guro-lolita, and I didn’t want to be the one person not in on the fun!

Since I don’t own anything suitable for gothic or anything I could muss up for guro, I asked a friend if she would mind dressing me up for the occasion. Miss Nena was very helpful–she didn’t just pick out an outfit for me, she brought a huuuuge selection of gothic-appropriate lolita dresses over to my apartment and let me try them on to select one to wear. There were quite a few that looked really cute, but in the end I chose an elegant black one-piece by BABY, the Stars Shine Bright.

We made a few jokes that I would be dressed up as her for Halloween, since she’s worn that dress many times (because it is so beautiful). Other people even recognized the dress at the tea party! (Although so many people were so shocked to see me wearing black that they didn’t even know what to say.)

I didn’t have a lot of things to coordinate with it, but I think I managed alright. I wore black tights with a very beloved pair of black high-heeled shoes. They’re made of a very soft leather that stretches slightly to fit one’s feet, with rounded toes and satin ribbons to tie around the ankle. I bought them when I was in junior high school, because they looked like high-heeled ballet shoes. Lots of people at the tea party thought I had just tied extra ribbon around my legs to mimic rocking-horse shoes, but really my shoes just came that way!

For my hair, I just added a black satin bow. I tried doing a Victorian-inspired style, but I’m not really satisfied with how it turned out. I also wore makeup with this outfit! I almost never wear makeup because I have numerous topical allergies and it’s itchy-itchy-itchy and sometimes leaves a rash. However, it just didn’t seem right without some blush and dark eyeliner. I hoped to channel a kind of darker, eerie beauty without going for a look that was too heavy. (Although by the end of the day I couldn’t WAIT to wash it off… ;_; Ouchies.)

Overall, I had a lot of fun being a gothic lolita for a day! Everyone was very surprised–I waited outside the tea house to make sure everyone was accounted for, and my friends did many double-takes trying to reconcile an Alice wearing something not pink and cute.

I hope everyone else had a great Halloween, lolita fashion-related or not!

On Being Lolita: Balancing “Real Life”

On Being Lolita: Balancing “Real Life”

Although I haven’t written in a while, I am certainly not going to stop making entries in this blog. I really do enjoy writing about lolita fashion and the things I like, even if I don’t necessarily go about it in a “normal” way for a blog. However, I just haven’t been able to really sit down and write something out, even if there are a million ideas tumbling around in my head!

Because, you see, as much as I love lolita fashion and being a lolita, it isn’t the only important thing in my life. I take graduate school courses, I work full time, and have other obligations to family and friends. Wearing lolita fashion is a lot of fun–going to meetups is one of my most favourite-est ways to see my friends and make new ones–but if I have to work or do homework, well…then that needs to be done instead. I know too well how it feels to fail at something only because I didn’t put enough effort forward, and I have resolved to not let myself waver and have to feel that way again.

In some ways, lolita fashion is a form of escapism for me. I am not a little girl any more, but wearing lolita fashion helps me feel that kind of blissful rapture again. In today’s world, innocence is not encouraged or held precious–there is so much pressure to grow up faster, take on responsibilities now, and immerse oneself completely in the cold, hard “real world.” So many times I have been chided for “not understanding how things work,” told to “get my head out of the clouds,” or lectured about how “adult women don’t act like that.” The kind of happiness that comes from just walking past someone’s front yard full of beautiful roses, seeing someone freely dancing to the music from their iPod that no-one else can hear, or standing out in the rain until you’re completely soaked and your eyelashes stick together is looked down on.

However, when I put up my hair in curled pigtails, step into a ribbon-bedecked one-piece, and adjust my petticoat, I feel electric. I don’t care what other people might have to say. I smile at everyone and wave at those who pretend they’re not staring in disbelief at my clothing. It’s like my heart is sparkling brightly with neon-pink glitter. It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. Wearing lolita fashion gives me a confidence that I rarely feel otherwise–and the longer I have been a part of the fashion and the community, the more that kind of feeling bleeds into my life even when I’m dressed in my dirty jacket and faded jeans.

As wonderful as that feeling is, I can’t ignore other parts of my life just because lolita makes me feel so fantastic. There are still classes to be attended, work to be done, and chores to be completed. Staying late at the office and then heading off to night-school, riding the unimaginably crowded bus home at night knowing I need to be at work bright and early the next morning sometimes leaves me without the energy to put my thoughts to paper. I sometimes stay up too late, reading the lolita fashion communities or Angelic Pretty’s blog entries, but my mind just isn’t in the right place to pen anything coherent. I keep going because I know that my courses at school and my job enable me to wear lolita–otherwise I would not have the funds or as much of the appreciation.

Obsession is dangerous no matter what the focus might be. Some people can only think about lolita fashion–wanting to wear it to any occasion, no matter how appropriate; needing to own the newest item, regardless of whether they can afford it; and insisting on attending every meetup, even if there are other things they ought to be doing instead. It’s easy to get hooked on almost anything, but it’s very important to take a step back and map out some priorities to keep yourself on track. I know that if I buy that newest print now, I won’t have money for rent at the end of the month–and that’s unacceptable for me. Will it matter how many pretty dresses I own if I am evicted? Absolutely not.

There is obviously a little bit of lolita in every part of my life, from the teddy bear-bedecked teacup at my desk at work to the small bows that might be perched atop my perhaps slightly more “business-like” hairstyle. I still keep a close eye on the lolita communities, typically browsing posts as I eat my sandwich for lunch, and I can’t keep from daydreaming about wished-for coordinations when I’m supposed to be calculating the future value of an annuity. However, there are always consequences, and I’d like to avoid the most unpleasant of those if possible. Otherwise I’m sure I’ll have even less time and energy to devote to the style I adore so much!