Outfit Snap: Sweet Pink Weekend

Outfit Snap: Sweet Pink Weekend

I really intend to post these outfit snaps earlier than I do, ideally on the day I take the pictures, but I tend to get rather side-tracked. This past weekend (my weekend is Friday & Saturday, because I work on Sunday) I decided to wear lolita fashion both days. I feel pretty good about keeping up with actually wearing my clothing more frequently in 2010~ I really adore lolita, but it seems that the less frequently I wear it, the more likely it is that negative feelings will start to creep up on me. Getting dressed up dispels all that in an instant!

Can't Think of a Title

On Friday I opted for something more casual. For me, a casual outfit is one in which I don’t wear my lolita coat over it when I go out. If I wear it with my normal coat, it’s casual. I feel that a skirt and cardigan is pretty casual, unless you take the time to accentuate the rest of the coordinate. It would have been a bit less casual if I had worn a proper blouse, with the blouse’s collar laid over the cardigan’s collar, but even then my cardigan doesn’t have a very formally lolita look to it.

I actually wore this to clean my house! I got into a cleaning kick that day and scrubbed the place from top to bottom–including the baseboards in the bathroom, which were really icky! x_x So much hair, and almost all of it mine! I hadn’t noticed due to the dark floor…

Fluffy Dress and Hair

On Saturday, I dressed up more formally, even though I didn’t attend the local meetup. (I really should have gone–everyone told me it was a lot of fun! I didn’t even have a good excuse; just decided to stay home. My husband’s ankle still isn’t 100% better, and I didn’t want to ditch him at home while I had fun. But he certainly wouldn’t have objected to my going, and it would have been more affordable for just me.)

Although I adore Angelic Pretty, my heart doesn’t belong to extravagant prints and bright pop colours. I love their garments with exquisite trim and interesting design elements. I like pintucks, ruffles, scalloped edges, bows, laces, and ribbons~ ♥ I also adore soothing pastels and solid-colour dresses~ My second outfit that weekend was chosen in homage to these elements of sweet lolita that I love.

I wore a long-sleeved blouse from BABY, the Stars Shine Bright under an Angelic Pretty one-piece. I really enjoy coordinating blouses with one-pieces–as long as the one-piece has a square or sweetheart neckline, the peeking collar of a Peter Pan blouse really changes the appearance! I also love gathered sleeves, with the bands of elastic that “poof” the sleeve at different points down the arm. It really reminds me of the outfits more common in older issues of the Gothic & Lolita Bible.

Mallowtastic Snuggles

I accessorized my hair, extra-wavy and poofy from the braids I had worn the previous day, with a large bow. I wish I owned a pink headdress–if I had, I would have worn that! I really love headdresses, even though they are so unpopular nowadays~ ♥ A headdress would have increased the “old-school” elements of this outfit. So would extremely-decorated pink platform shoes, or rocking-horse ballerinas~! (Unfortunately, I own neither AND wore my snowboots that day.)

And, I carried Mallow. I didn’t take pictures with him on his strap, as a proper pochette, but just some silly ones. I really enjoyed taking them! The final image is my favourite–I wish it had turned out clearer so I could make an icon or something~ ♥ Even if I am ever lucky enough to acquire an usakumya, I will still adore my pochette. He’s so sweet and tiny~ I’d love to have a pochette-picnic with my friends, since several of them own the same bunny! Maybe someday…

Alice ♥ Mallow
On Being Lolita: Navigating Public Transportation

On Being Lolita: Navigating Public Transportation

Depending on where you live, you may find yourself at some point stepping onto a bus in rocking-horse shoes. Although many lolita may find themselves distant from any metropolis, commiserating with Momoko in Shimotsuma, cities and other urban areas are common sites of meetups or other events. Driving may be convenient, as you are able to choose your own arrival and departure and will have a shorter commute than a vehicle that must make intermediate stops, but it can also be inconvenient. Some areas have little to no parking available, terrible road congestion, or various high fees related to motor vehicles, such as metered parking, paid parking, or tolls. Riding public transportation isn’t usually difficult, but there are some extra precautions when dolled up in one’s lolita finery.

Avoid Dirt and Grime
Public transportation systems, whether rail or bus, are typically less than impeccably clean. Generally the cleanliness of the stations and vehicles is related to the area and route–I find that terminals in high-traffic areas such as downtown are often cleaner than those in outlying regions of the city, as are the buses or trains that service them. In a train station or at a bus terminal, grime can be everywhere. Buses and trains contribute to the pollutants, and people traffic mud, slush, or dust as they pass through. Sometimes graffiti is also an issue.

Due to the poofing power of the essential petticoat(s), corridors and turnstiles require a certain level of awareness. I use my arms to push my petticoat close to my legs, to avoid brushing my skirt against the walls of the station or surface of the turnstile. The walls are often very dingy, sometimes washed even less frequently than the floor. Pressing your petticoat close when passing through the metal arms of the turnstiles can also prevent you from getting caught on something and possibly snagging or tearing delicate clothing or trims.

Additionally, watch your step! Puddles are common, as are spills of beverages, food items, and even art supplies. Besides dirtying your shoes, the scattered remains of a half-finished smoothie could cause you to slip, possibly causing injury and/or damage.

When you board a train or bus, be aware of your surroundings. Watch for the open window (a blessing if you are feeling too warm, but a danger if it is allowing brackish water to drip inside), leaking fixture, filth-smeared seat, or freshly-graffitied panel. Never sit down without looking–and if you are extra-cautious, touch the seat with your fingertips to be sure it is dry. I’ve luckily avoided mishaps when wearing lolita, but I have taken a seat on my way to work onto to discover that the snow melted off the previous rider’s jacket into a very cold damp spot at the edge of the seat; it’s quite unpleasant.

Prevent Theft
Buses or trains are prime locations for theft. An expert pickpocket can squeeze past you in a crowded bus and exit at the next stop before you’ve even noticed your wallet is gone. While iPods and other music players are convenient and can make a boring commute less taxing, they are distracting. Even when you’re not wearing lolita, it’s safest to keep the volume at a level that doesn’t block everything else out. Games, either on a portable system or cellphone, can serve the same purpose. Wearing such an eye-catching style such as lolita fashion attracts attention, and it might be the criminal kind. It’s always a bad idea to just assume you are safe.

If you must carry a large purse, as most lolita do, never let it out of your focus. Don’t just see it, or know you have it with you–confirm that you feel it securely in your hands. Cross-body straps make it harder for someone to snatch a bag from your hands or off your shoulder, but lolita handbags are not made of materials resistant to cutting; don’t rely on a handle or strap to be the ultimate in protection. If possible, keep essential items, such as your ID or bus pass, in a secure place on your person. And close your purse, to keep someone else’s hands out!

When you are in a station or riding public transportation, try to stay near facility employees. Sit near the bus driver or train conductor, or wait near the station agent. This can be just a little bit of extra determent, especially because with such conspicuous clothing the employees are bound to be paying at least some attention to you.

Generally, lolita fashion seems to make unsavory people want to keep their distance, but it never hurts to be cautious.

Respect Other Riders
When you are getting on a bus or passing through a turnstile, have your fare ready. If you’re traveling in a group, you don’t want to be left behind because you had to fumble through your Usakumya backpack to find your fare card. Even if you are alone, it’s frustrating to anyone behind you if someone is blocking the entrance because they weren’t ready to pay when they stepped up.

Lolita clothing is voluminous; try not to invade other passengers’ personal space. Hold your skirts close to your body and carry bags in front of you to avoid bumping into someone else–no-one wants to be accosted by Sugary Carnival or to be knocked in the shoulder by a plush Milky-chan fawn, even if she is utterly adorable. Unless the route has a low volume of riders and the bus or train is empty, try to sit down. Standing up will avoid wrinkles or worrying about the cleanliness of the seats, but it is very difficult for other riders to get past you when they get on and off. Additionally, it takes a little bit of practice to be able to keep your balance when the vehicle is in motion or stopping/starting–you eliminate the risk of tripping onto someone else if you sit down.

When seated, try to only take up one seat. If there’s plenty of space, there’s no harm in carefully arranging your petticoats and skirts to flow as elegantly as possible across the plastic seating, but if everyone is packed in like sardines, don’t assume that no-one would dare sit on your clothes if they’re invading nearby seats. I typically take hold of each side of my skirt and fold them over my lap, setting my bag ontop of that if I am carrying one. That leaves the seat next to me free for someone else.

And, if possible, sit next to another lolita. It’s less nerve-wracking to be next to someone who is probably more aware of the value and sentimental attachment to your clothing than a random stranger. Another lolita is less likely to smear dirt/dust on you accidentally, grumble about your attire, or start off on a commute-long tangent about how you remind her of the Tooth Fairy and don’t you know it isn’t Halloween yet?

Take a Deep Breath
Although you may be doing your part to respect other riders, sometimes other riders (or even bus operators) will disrespect you. People may snicker while you wait at the bus stop, snap photos with their cellphones while you ride the train, make comments among themselves about your attire, or attempt to start up conversations with you for a variety of reasons. In these instances, it’s best to stay calm. I recommend being polite and ignoring non-direct offenders, but the proper reaction is entirely dependent on the situation.

Don’t be afraid to ask “stealth-photographers” to stop, but don’t expect they will just because you asked. Smile and nod when an old man rambles on about how you look so pretty and what a shame that the good ol’ days are gone, but don’t put up with someone’s unwanted advances if they make you uncomfortable. Ask them to stop, turn your attention to something else, or move somewhere else if possible. If you feel threatened, don’t hesitate to contact the nearest transit employee–it is their job to handle issues like this, and if they ignore you make note of their name/number and file a formal complaint!

Usually I find that there are only twitters from teenage girls, which are better ignored than acknowledged, and ramblings from homeless or “troubled” individuals, which can be uncomfortable to weather through but generally are harmless. It’s inevitable that people’s attention will be captivated if you look like a pastel cupcake or a vampire princess.

Watch Your Step
Lolita footwear is not very practical. Take care when stepping on and off the bus so that you don’t loose your footing and slip. (This is especially important when it is rainy or cold outside, as there may be water or ice!) Gorgeous shoes can complete a coordination, but if you have a difficult time manuvering in said shoes, consider wearing a more practical pair, carrying the pretty ones, and swapping them at your destination.

Also, don’t rely solely on shoes that are painful to walk in. Public transportation eliminates some of the walking, but often not all of it. Make sure that you can keep up with the others you are meeting up with; unfortunately, if your shoes are really hurting you it is extremely unlikely that someone else will carry you! Be responsible, and bear it as best you can or (the much better option) wear more comfortable shoes.

Magical Transformation
If any of this seems daunting, it isn’t at all uncommon for lolita to wear one outfit for traveling and change into their coordination when they reach their destination. If you’re too worried about your clothing or too nervous about attracting attention, tuck your outfit into a backpack or duffel bag and bring it with you. It usually isn’t too difficult to find a bathroom in which to change–the station nearest your destination, a coffee shop, etc. It isn’t worth stressing yourself out over!

If you don’t want to pack your entire outfit, sometimes just packing your petticoats is enough. Petticoats provide the volume that is the most common problem when using mass transit; a flatter skirt is easier to deal with or more comfortable for some lolita. If you have a very large purse and a very durable petticoat, you may be able to squish it inside for the duration of your ride, and change back into it at a later time.

Overall, public transportation isn’t something to be feared or avoided, but a little extra thought can go a long way! I’ve relied on my city’s rail and bus system, which isn’t the best but certainly gets the job done, for several years with very little in the ways of mishaps. I don’t have any horrific stories of clothing ruined, valuables taken, or injury sustained–but I try to take some part in that rather than relying entirely on chance! Once you’ve ridden public transportation a few times with a full lolita coordinate, it becomes second nature to be alert for dirt, check your footing, and keep your poof controlled.

Since I don’t have to worry about finding a parking space or feeding the meter, I can enjoy my time at the meetup with my friends even more! ♥

Outfit Snap: Valentine’s Red Heart

Outfit Snap: Valentine’s Red Heart

Polka Dot Days

I almost didn’t bother wearing lolita fashion on Valentine’s Day, even though I had been planning for it the moment I started thinking Valentine’s Day thoughts. I was being a bit of a silly, worrying type of girl because my husband slipped on some ice the day before and hurt his ankle. Even though I should have been thinking about how happy I was that we’d be able to spend it together, instead I was worrying about how this would impact the plans I had made.

However, when I got dressed in my non-frilly clothes, he was very surprised and disappointed. “…Why aren’t you wearing lolita?” Ultimately, when I select my clothes he is the one I’m trying to impress. It means a lot to me that my person not only LIKES the aesthetics of lolita fashion, but likes that I wear lolita fashion. I always hear stories that start off as “oh, well, my boyfriend HATES lolita,” so I count myself very lucky to have someone who is so supportive of my interests. ♥ Thus I changed my outfit–and it was definitely a good idea!

Huge Sweater of Doom

I thought this would be a good day to wear one of my cardigans. I’ve wanted a cardigan for a long time, but I didn’t own one until very recently. However, this really wasn’t a good outfit to wear a cardigan with. Almost as soon as I put it on, I felt like it didn’t lay nicely over the bows and what-not on the jumperskirt’s bodice. This would be better over something with less detail, I think.


This blouse is one of my favourite finds. I’m really, really bad at finding things to coordinate into my lolita outfits that didn’t come from a lolita company or seamstress. This blouse, however, is a t-shirt I found at a department store a few years ago. I didn’t change anything about it–it already had puffed sleeves, buttons, and a peter pan collar! It really looks awkward with jeans, because it is extremely long and involves some gathering around the buttoned area, but it works really well under a jumperskirt or with a lolita-style skirt!

I have ribbons in my hair that match the jumperskirt, but they’re very hard to see.

Red always feels like the perfect colour for Valentine’s Day! It’s so cheerful~ I do love pink, but red seems more passionate~ ♥ I’ll probably wear this jumperskirt again next year!

Chocolate Macaron Fairy
Reading Corner: Friday’s Child

Reading Corner: Friday’s Child

Friday's Child

I currently moderate the Lolita Bookclub, although I will admit that I am not the best at this. I can’t seem to post things on time–although that was actually one of my resolutions for the year. I need to stay more aware of my intended time management–too often things I’ve really wanted to do get pushed to the wayside because of time conflicts with “real life.” I find myself thinking, “Oh, I should post to loli_bookclub… nah, I’ll check the mail/sweep the kitchen/scrub the bathtub/write a memo for class.” u_u It’s procrastination, but it feels a bit backwards.

The book for January was The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer. It promised to be a charming book about siblings who have switched gender roles to avoid detection and punishment for their roles as former Jacobites. I hurried off to check it out from the main library, after verifying that it existed in the collection…and absolutely could not find it. I registered to put a copy on hold and have it shipped to my local branch library. In the meantime, I picked up another Heyer book (to at least keep with the theme) to amuse myself while waiting.

I selected Friday’s Child based on its title and cover image–admittedly not a very sound method of selection! I started reading it the next day…and once I started, I found myself so enraptured that I continued reading right through class the next evening, jotting a line in my notes about how my notes were incomplete because my attention was elsewhere. e_e

Friday’s Child is not really a Pulitzer Prize winner, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable book! The characterization is amusing and diverse, with quirks and faults providing dimensions instead of presenting flat personalities. The storyline flows smoothly, avoiding pauses or dull overstretched moments. At first it almost seems to have not much in the way of an actual plot, but it knits itself together before becoming tiresome. The dialogue is witty, realistic, and enjoyable to the fullest extent–I couldn’t stop myself from reading passages to my husband. I haven’t read anything so entertaining in a very, very long time!

The story itself is a romance in the Regency era. A fiery-tempered young Viscount is crushed when the Incomparable (renowned beauty and childhood playmate) refuses his proposal. She doesn’t believe he lovers her, and she knows that he must either marry or wait until age 25 to inherit his fortune. While griping about his failure to woo her, he comes across another childhood playmate, an orphan of good breeding, upset that she has been given the ultimatum of marriage or becoming a governess. Impetuously, he proposes to her and she accepts! This is the start of their crazy adventures, as the Viscount doesn’t quite understand how his life will change when he takes such an innocent, unworldly wife!

I had so much fun reading this that I plan to check out a few more Heyer novels the next time I’m in the library. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy something lighthearted and sweet~ ♥