Outfit Snap: Casual Saturday

Outfit Snap: Casual Saturday

This past month hasn’t been one full of dressing up. With all of the guinea pigs’ vet appointments I’ve been dashing back and forth on the days I’m not at work, and most of the time I haven’t felt up to putting on fancy clothes. This past weekend, however, I was able to stay at home and relax (until Crème Puff’s hopefully final appointment next weekend). My husband and I decided to go on a date on Saturday, a day we both have off of work, and that was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up.

Pups in Cups
I forgot to take pictures until the very last minute, when we returned home. I was having too much fun!

I wanted to wear something that was slightly more casual. I have a few things that I acquired a little while ago but haven’t actually worn yet, so I picked one of those for our date. I don’t often wear skirts, since I prefer jumperskirts and one-pieces, but while my little sister was in Japan she picked me up a very cute skirt. I like to call this print “Pups in Cups,” as I can never remember what it’s actually called and there are puppies in teacups featured prominently along the border. When we stopped at a shop, the cashier noticed all of the strawberries on my skirt. She was even more excited when I pointed out the puppies~ ♥

I paired the skirt with a white parka with pink polka-dot accents on the cuffs and the hood. I think in the future I’d prefer to wear this skirt with a cardigan or pretty cutsew, but I didn’t want something so formal. I wore plain white knee socks to keep things toned down, and pink shoes.

The skirt has some interesting shades of pink in it. I’d like to wear it with shoes in the darkest pink, but I’m not sure they’d match anything else. I’m never really sure how to coordinate skirts. I don’t have many tops that are pretty enough to seem suitable on their own. My wardrobe always seems to have gaps of missing items, regardless of how full my closet looks!

Charming Activities: Pokémon HeartGold

Charming Activities: Pokémon HeartGold

I have been very entranced for the past few days because my husband bought Pokémon HeartGold for me! ♥

Pokémon HeartGold
Having a new game has given me a reason to actually use my poor DS! I’m not a very devoted game player.

It has been almost ten years since I’ve owned a Pokémon game–the last one I had was Pokémon Yellow! One of the reasons I’m enjoying Pokémon HeartGold so much is that it reminds me very much of Pokémon Yellow. My favourite part of that game was that Pikachu followed your character around and you could talk to it. I like the idea of pokémon–cute wild animals that have special abilities suited to fighting–but I don’t like that the games (unlike the television show) doesn’t allow you to actually interact with the ones you’ve captured. (I have this dream of a game I like to jokingly call “Pokémon Pink” where you can interact using the touchscreen to groom, feed, and talk to your pokémon.)

It’s actually because of Pokémon Yellow that we wound up getting the new games. I gave my GameBoy Color and all of the games to a younger cousin several years ago, so I found an emulator for our computer. (I’m still very tempted to buy a used system and the game, even with a new game to play!) I only played it a bit, but it made my husband really nostalgic. Nostalgic enough that when we passed by a video game store he wanted to browse the used games, intending to pick up a copy of one of the GameBoy Advance Pokémon titles. I planted a few choice hints (I can be very persuasive…), and moved his attention to the new games.

The updated graphics and game play are so much different from what I remember! I love the level of detail.

Looks Like a Bunny
The Sentret is my favourite pokémon so far. I love having it follow me around because it looks like a bunny with a raccoon tail! So cute~ ♥

It’s been particularly fun to use some of the connectivity abilities with the game, since my husband bought himself a copy of Pokémon SoulSilver. We used the Union Room to trade (my Caterpie for his Weedle), then played with some of the other features. When we started to use the “DRAW” feature I sketched a quick scribble of his Bayleef…and at first he didn’t believe I was actually drawing it! We also battled–I lost spectacularly. I used my strongest pokémon and he used his weakest, but the level difference was just too much. Someday we’ll have a rematch!

I wish I had more friends with DS Pokémon games so we could interact, too! (Although it seems that at least two of my friends also own HeartGold, but they bought probably got the game in March when it was new and thus aren’t as enthralled at the moment as I am.) Despite the assured lack of interest, I like to picture a Pokémon meetup where we could sit around, drink tea, and play the game together–wearing lolita fashion, of course. n_~

Pokémon HeartGold
I really like the touch-screen capabilities. It makes it easy to navigate the various options and sub-screens, but it’s so nicely designed that it’s not a hassle to use the buttons instead if you so choose.

The gameplay maintains true to the original Pokémon premise of “Gotta Catch ’em All!” but it has new features and is very organized. I like the updated graphics and animations the most–the cuteness is even more overwhelming when the creatures are shown larger and in colour~ I really like that the bottom screen of the DS displays the menu at all times. It’s easy access to viewing the statistics of my current team, checking to see what I still haven’t caught in the Pokédex, reviewing the information on my ID, going through the items that I’ve picked up, altering game options, and saving the game. (Plus I get a lot of use from the equippable running shoes, easily tapped on and off so I don’t have to hold down the B-button!)

Of course, I haven’t played a Pokémon game in nearly a decade (I feel…so old…), so some of the features that really dazzle me might not be impressive to someone who has played more recent editions of Pokémon. One of the other things I like, although it’s very trivial, is the divided portions of the bag the player carries. I like thinking that the Poké Balls aren’t knocking around in one pouch with the Potions and Apricorns, liable to cause breaking or damage. (It’s also easier to review what I’m carrying, since I look at different “pockets” at a time.)

I especially like the ability to choose a girl character. When I showed the game to a friend of mine, he thought I had designed the character’s appearance because she has brown pigtails and a large bow on her head. Honestly, though, I like to picture that the player actually looks like me–even though you can’t represent that kind of detail in the game. I’d want to be wearing lolita fashion, of course, but something simplified to fit in with the general art style of the game.

Trainer Alice
I was being silly, so I came up with this very messy sketch! I tried to make it look vaguely authentic, but I’m not very good at drawing. There are lots and lots of mistakes!

I came up with a sketch on a whim, but I’m stumped on what to do with the jumperskirt. Maybe if I figure it out, I’ll draw a real picture. I want something that won’t be too elaborate, but also won’t seem underwhelming. I would also like to include pockets, as I imagine they’d be useful for Potions or Poké Balls, but they tend to seem out of place due to the shape of the skirt. I haven’t drawn in a while, but I started feeling inspired since I’m having so much fun with the game and my husband and I have been watching the cartoon. (It just seems like an appropriate thing to have on in the background while playing the game.)

Does anyone else play Pokémon? Do you have a favourite game or favourite character?

Meetup Report: Mega-Meetup

Meetup Report: Mega-Meetup

On July 24th, I attended had a massive picnic meetup in the heart of the city. It was heavily advertised in the Chicago-area communities and those of Wisconsin, so the turnout was really amazing! So many people were there; it was astounding! I saw lots of friends, including some I hadn’t seen in quite a while, and saw a few new faces, too~ ♥ I spent quite a bit of time fending off public park officials who seemed certain that we were some kind of group likely to start performing or somehow otherwise disobeying park rules just because there were so many girls dressed oddly gathered in one place.

We met at Millennium Park, near the Cloud Gate sculpture (aka: the bean), where we briefly introduced each other with our names and locations. After assessing that most of the group had arrived, we then headed across the street to a more secluded area for the actual picnic. It was nice to be out of the sun, as that weekend was one of the hottest weekends of the summer, and even nicer to be away from prying eyes. Everyone spread out their picnic blankets on the grass like a giant quilt, then started to arrange everyone’s dishes.

There were so many people, it was like looking at a see of fluff and colour!

I had a lot of fun wandering around and trying to talk to everyone. There were brief introductions before heading to the picnic area, but I didn’t really managed to remember most of it. I’m really terrible with names, so I knew I’d never learn over thirty people’s names just from hearing it once. It was almost overwhelming to see so many people, though! I couldn’t keep track! I know there are at least a few people that I didn’t talk to for at least a few minutes, but I tried.

I was really surprised to talk to a very sweet young lady who recognized me from my blog! XD That was incredibly amusing–I never expect anyone to actually read this, particularly not those I don’t know personally. It was a very pleasant surprise! (And I hope to see her again at more meetups, too! ♥)

Near the picnic blankets some girls stood and talked, enjoying the shade of the trees.

I was very excited to reconnect with some lolita I hadn’t seen in a while. Meetup times and locations don’t always work for absolutely everyone in the area (and I think this meetup showed that there are really quite a lot of people interested in the fashion in the area!), so sometimes it will be months at a time before schedules mesh correctly again. (It also doesn’t help that I miss all of the Sunday events! Le sigh…)

However, there were also a few girls from Wisconsin, Michigan, and I think even Indiana who took the time to travel. Having an opportunity to spend some time with long-distance friends is always exciting. I don’t ever get the chance to do much traveling myself, so I have to wait for people to maybe-perhaps head towards me and hope they have some time to spare.

Journey to the Milky Planet
Helena (of 黒ピンク) is always the most elaborately-dressed person I know. Everyone wanted to “ooh” and “aah” over her beautiful Milky★Planet jumperskirt.

The only unpleasant part of the picnic involved some rude photographers. A large group of them came upon our picnic and began taking pictures without speaking to anyone or asking anyone’s permission. I only noticed one picture-taker at first, and initially thought that he was invited by someone at the meetup, but soon there was a swarm. It made everyone very uncomfortable. It felt very dehumanizing. It isn’t legally necessary for photographers to ask for permission when in public places, but honestly it’s simply rude. I wish I knew what group it was, because I’d certainly like to chide their behavior.

Beyond the uninvited camera-toting group, there was an “officially sanctioned” videographer at the event. I spent some time talking to the camera crew that attended the meetup. I had thought at first that they might be from a local newspaper, but I thought one of the girls looked very familiar. It turns out that she worked on a documentary on lolita for a school assignment (“Lolita in Translation“) that I helped out with a little over a year ago. They’re working on a follow-up and/or expanded documentary, this time not on the tight schedule and requirements of an assignment. It was neat to see them again and talk about what they’re working on now. They’re very talented, and I love the way they shape their projects. None of the people who worked on and produced the documentary had any interest in lolita fashion other than “what is this anyway?” and I think their views as outsiders helped create something that is very accessible and not heavily biased. I’m looking forward to future projects, lolita-related or not!

so much pink
Afterwards, we briefly enjoyed the air conditioning in the cultural center.

After a few rounds of lolita-themed bingo, the sky started to look a bit stormy. There had been reports that the weather might get inclement, so we headed towards shelter. The cultural center is always a nice place to take a group, as there is no admission or other fees. It’s a quiet, beautiful building…and it has air conditioning! When you’ve spent so much time in the heat and humidity, air conditioning is a beautiful, glorious thing.

At that point the group started to splinter. Some people needed to get home soon; others were making plans for dinner or other activities after the meetup. When the cultural center started to close, we headed outside and started to go separate ways. I wound up at the Melting Pot (the only place downtown that could seat a large quantity of frilly girls on a very short notice) after an ill-fated attempt to visit the Rainbow Room.

Cowbellion Rebels
I could not resist climbing up on this large cow statue! I was not the only one who felt that way.

By the time I finally got home, I was utterly exhausted–but it was so much fun! I still prefer smaller meetups, as this one was a bit overwhelming at times, but there’s something amazing about witnessing proof that so many people so close to you have the same hobby and interest. Hopefully I’ll see many of these girls, particularly those I met for the first time, at meetups that have yet to be! Otherwise, maybe they’ll come next year! The goal is to make this “mega-meetup” an annual event.

Special thanks to Jordana of Qylaar for the use of some of her pictures!

Outfit Snap: Jewelry Jelly

Outfit Snap: Jewelry Jelly

At the end of July there was a very large meetup (which I kept affectionately referring to as the “megameet”) downtown in the city. There was a lot of fussing among everyone in the area about what to wear for this meetup, and I wasn’t sure what to pick, either. In the end, I wore my Jewelry Jelly jumperskirt because several of my friends also owned it, so we thought it would be fun to dress up similarly. It was almost an attempt to twin, but there were four of us and we didn’t try to match very closely.

At the Meetup
I didn’t stand still long enough for any separate pictures, but I tried to take a few with friends. This lovely young lady had such a beautiful dress! The print is adorable!

Since I have the jumperskirt in pink, I wore it with a white short-sleeved blouse and pink and white striped socks. The socks have darker pink bows up the back, and although I had worn them with other outfits in the past I kept thinking about how they’d probably match Jewelry Jelly. The print has a lot of colours–mint green, robin’s egg blue, pale lavender, and darker candy pink. The darker pinks match the colour of the bows on the back of the socks, and the pink of the rest of the fabric matches the striping on the socks. I was really pleased with it–I’m sure that I’ll wear these socks with this jumperskirt again!

Although the jumperskirt looks very nice without a blouse, I don’t feel comfortable wearing it as a sundress when I’ll be spending most of my time out in public. I chose a blouse with eyelet lace instead of crocheted lace, but I think that in the future I ought to get a blouse with tulle lace. The jumperskirt has tulle lace, so I think it will be a better match.

It’s easier to see my wrist cuffs, hair ties, ring, and nail polish in this picture. I spent a lot of time painting my nails for this outfit!

I wore a bit of makeup that day–blush and mascara. I think makeup can be a lot of fun, but I’m very allergic to it so I can only use it very sparingly. By the end of the day my cheeks were very itchy and the mascara (because it wasn’t waterproof–I haven’t found a makeup removers for waterproof mascara that wasn’t too harsh) had smudged under my eyes. XD There’s still something about makeup I can’t resist, though–it makes me feel extra girly! ♥

I painted my nails to match the colours of the dress’s print! I realized that I owned most of the colours already (just no light blue…). I alternated Essie‘s mint candy apple, flawless, and St. Lucia lilac. When that was dry, I added two coats of main squeeze for an iridescent, violet-tinted sparkle. My little sister let me borrow a turquoise Jewelry Jelly ring (which is one of the cutest accessories I’ve ever seen). It’s so cute that I haven’t returned it yet. 😡

Jellyfied Jewelry
We wound up with Jewelry Jelly quadruplets! And I didn’t get any pictures other than this quick one that is very shadowy. Darn!

I don’t have the matching hairbow for this series, and it doesn’t look quite right with any of the non-patterned hairbows and headdresses that I owned. I put my hair in pigtails but shook them out so they wouldn’t be one ringlet, and added a bauble of a crystalline heart. It makes me think of the gelatin featured on the print! I’d love to find the hairbow someday, or maybe get something else gelatin-themed. I’m not partial to the mini-hat that was released, but a hairband or barrette of jellies might be nice.

I was absolutely the least creative of my three other Jelly-fied friends. Oh well! ☆

Update: Back from Surgery

Update: Back from Surgery

Creme Puff had his surgery on Thursday, August 12. He’s been doing pretty good–it seems like he’ll pull through fine, barring any unpleasant downturns. He came back right on schedule, the day after the procedure. He really hates being force-fed, so he was a bit grumpy when we picked him up. It took a little while to convince him I wasn’t going to stick a big syringe in his mouth as long as he ate food on his own, but we convinced him with basil. My mother and stepfather have been growing basil, and the guinea pigs really love it. (Plus, they smell really nice when they eat it!)

Post-Operation Pig
He took some time to relax once we got him home. I’m sure being at the vet for the operation was pretty stressful.

He’s just as energetic and boistrous as ever. (As soon as I got him back into the city, he went, “A-HA! THERE’s the guy that feeds me!” and put up a big fuss until my husband provided lettuce.) He doesn’t seem to notice that he has a huge stitched-up incision, except when he tries to streeeeeeeeeetch to peek over the top of the cage like he usually does and then suddenly realizes it kinda hurts. Poor thing. His pain medication seems to be doing a good job, though, because otherwise he is just as active as he was before.

He has a check-up in two weeks, and hopefully it will be all good news! I’ve got my fingers crossed hoping for the best!

Charming Activities: Calico Critters

Charming Activities: Calico Critters

I have a soft spot for toys. Before I started wearing lolita fashion, I spent quite a bit of time and money collecting toys. I didn’t necessarily go after things that were collectible or high-value, just anything I thought was cute. When I went away to university and moved out of my mother’s house, I donated the bulk of my collections due to space restraints. Since I now live in an even smaller place, I hadn’t given those collections-of-the-past even a passing thought.

Then, in mid-June, I attended a meetup where we visited a cute toy store…and spotted Calico Critters! My husband was sweet enough to buy me a family of bunny figures while I stared at the shelves and displays with dreamy-eyed nostalgia. ♥ I didn’t have many Calico Critters when I was a child, only a few, but I loved anything pocket-sized that involved animals. I would make little homes for them in tucked-away spaces, furnished with all sorts of re-used tidbits to form furniture and accessories.

Little Happinesses
I adore the details of these little figures! Whenever I spot them, I feel a bit more cheerful.

Calico Critters are the US-versions of Sylvanian Families. They’re small animal figures, usually under 3 inches tall, with jointed arms and legs. Their hands lack fingers, but have a separated thumb that allows certain playset accessories to be “held” when they’re eased into place. The figures are hard plastic, but they’re covered in flocking to make the animals fuzzy. The figures are anthropomorphic, so sometimes they don’t look much like actual animals, as the focus is on cute humanoid-types living a quaint life and wearing clothing. They’re marketed as both collectibles for adults and toys for children. (Although there are many small pieces, so they’re not for very young children.)

At the Faire
I had lots of fun taking these pictures–this playset is just adorable!

What has always fascinated me about these toys is the level of detail put into the playsets and accessories. When we spotted Calico Critters at My Favorite Toy Store in Downers Grove, my husband was amazed at how realistic the furniture looked. Most doll furniture that I grew up with was made of thin neon pink plastic with little detail. These accessories use a slightly marbled dense brown plastic for “wood” furniture, with other colours as necessary.

The smaller accessories are carefully sculpted and painted with detail. Perfume bottles in a dress shop have a coloured translucent “bottle” to resemble glass, with gold metallic paint on the “cap.” Small swatches of muted floral fabric are used to upholster couches and chairs. Everything is carefully in scale with the figures, who often have very short legs compared to similar-sized dollhouse dolls. It’s very charming! ♥

At the Faire
It was slightly difficult to make sure the critters stayed upright on the carpeting, but usually luck was on our side.

A friend of mine bought a set of gray bunnies and a “hook-a-duck” carnival attraction, so a few days later she came over and we had fun setting up little scenes. If I had more space, I’d probably want something ridiculously large, like one of the houses, and try keep it set up as a display. (Particularly because my family of bunnies is the “Chocolate” family, who run the “Courtyard Restaurant” on the patio of their home. It’s a very quaint building!) I also had a chance to find my set of guinea pigs, which were a gift from another friend when she went to Ireland. They don’t bear much of a resemblance to guinea pigs, but they fit right in with the families of brown-eared bunnies and gray bunnies.

Since acquiring my bunnies, I’ve seen Calico Critters in other retail stores! I’ve spotted them in Toys R Us, and there was a very large display in FAO Schwartz when I visited New York in June! I wonder if they’ll catch on with children–they haven’t been updated to be “more modern” or “hip,” but they’re certainly cute. I certainly hope they have some appeal, so that someday I can stare at the large playsets in an actual store and try very hard not to bring home a cottage or manor. …But those manors are very tempting.

Outfit Snap: Birthday Cake Ruffles

Outfit Snap: Birthday Cake Ruffles

My birthday this year was in the middle of the second-to-last week in July! I had wanted to do something for my birthday, like throw a small party, but when that time of year rolled around I realized that it wouldn’t fit in well with most of my friends’ schedules and there were already events planned for the surrounding weekends. So instead I dressed up, went to work, and then spent the evening with my husband.

The night before I had actually been moping around the house about not being able to do anything fun on my birthday, and my husband was the one to encourage me to make my own fun. He suggested that I wear lolita even though it wasn’t a weekend, reminding me that it wasn’t actually “outlawed” at work. I wavered on the decision for quite a while, flip-flopping between the options, but the next morning I decided to make the most of my day–so I wore it. I don’t regret the decision!

Ruffled Cake-Girl
I kept giggling when this picture was being taken. There were so many bad pictures with my mouth open!

Since it was supposed to be a day of celebration, I picked a dress that is very important to me–the dress my husband bought me when Angelic Pretty opened up their international online shipping. The details on the hem of the skirt make me think of the icing on a fancy birthday cake! (So what could be more suitable?)

The coordination itself is very low-key, because that’s what I like to wear. I paired the dress with matching hairbows tucked into low pigtails, white knee socks, and pink shoes. White knee socks and pink shoes is probably my favourite combination; that’s why I wear it all the time! I particularly like how it looks with a non-patterned pink and white dress.

Pink Terror
My hairbows look very silly peeking out from behind my head! They’re like strange pink antenna~

I didn’t have anything to worry about at work, and afterwards my husband met me at my office. It was a lovely way to spend my birthday. I certainly could imagine a “more perfect” celebration, but I guess I’m getting too old for that kind of thing anyway. Instead, I want to be thankful for getting to spend it with my favourite person. ♥

Reading Corner: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Reading Corner: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I had so much fun reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters that I absolutely had to read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It isn’t by the same author, but it uses the same concept.

I love the bloody smears around the somewhat-smirking figure of Mr. Lincoln. The back cover is even better! If you see the book, turn it over!

This book particularly interested me because my grandfather is very interested in Abraham Lincoln. He’s read numerous biographies and is always sharing little tidbits of information. Lincoln was always stressed when I was in school–we even had several Lincoln-themed field trips. The idea of Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter seemed both far-fetched and completely plausible; I was very curious to read it.

I was even more curious about the book because it was not (as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are) a parody of another novel. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I enjoyed what I found! The book weaves vampires (and thus, vampire hunting) into the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life and times. As the addition of sea monsters into Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters was made plausible and seamless, so were the bloodsucking creatures of the night added equally well to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It certainly put a new twist on how I think of the stoic former president!

The writing is fast-paced and intriguing. Narrative sections are interspersed with diary excerpts, adding some variety. I particularly liked the use of detail–just enough to set the scene, not enough to be overwhelming or boring. The author does a very good job of propelling the story forward, so that it doesn’t stagnate or cause the reader to lose interest. It’s not Pulitzer Prize-winning composition, but overall it was well-written for being a “fun read” type of novel.

I enjoyed the book so much that I read it within two days of having picked it up from the library, and immediately insisted that my husband read it as well. He was skeptical at first, offering some criticism on the story; he claimed that certain happenings seemed completely unrealistic or character names were ill-planned. When we did a bit of research, his criticism was completely unfounded–because those details were straight from Lincoln’s history! (One can’t really argue about how the author ought to have named someone differently if that was a person’s genuine name.)

When I first finished it, I wanted to get a copy for my grandfather. He doesn’t tend to read fiction–particularly popular novels–but I thought he would appreciate the historical accuracy of the book. (Or be able to tell me specifically if something was incorrect and thus displeasing to him.) I didn’t buy it for him right away, because I didn’t want to waste the money and effort if he wouldn’t actually read it, but when I extorted a promise to read it that sealed the deal. I’m very curious to hear if he enjoyed it! It’s a really amusing book.

On Being Lolita: Flying the Frilly Skies

On Being Lolita: Flying the Frilly Skies

When I went to New York City for the doll event in June, I had only a vague idea of what it would be like to travel wearing lolita fashion. I’ve gone on a few overnight trips where I’ve worn lolita, but for those occasions I had my suitcase in the trunk of a car I was driving. I ride public transportation while wearing lolita fashion on a regular basis. I’ve also packed a lolita outfit or two for a few trips where I flew. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good starting point for my very quick overnight trip, and for the most part, I was right.

Traveling while wearing lolita fashion and having luggage packed with more outfits is not extremely different from traveling otherwise. You want to be comfortable, you don’t want to have luggage that is too heavy, you don’t want to over- or under-pack, and you want to get through security as fast as possible.

Plan Your Outfits
This is helpful for any trip, so that you can maximize the space in your luggage, but it’s particularly important for a fashion with garments and accessories that can take up a lot of space! It’s better to have assessed your options few nights before packing your bags, rather than standing in the hotel room trying to find another way to coordinate a certain skirt or jumperskirt. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself wishing you’d brought that cutsew you didn’t pack or the brooch you forgot about.

The current size and weight restrictions on luggage make getting the most of your clothing extra-important. You can’t always fit a week’s worth of dresses into a carry-on suitcase, and what if you plan on doing souvenir shopping at your destination? Prevent these problems by laying out your outfits in advance. Pick a few “key” items–such as jumperskirts, one-pieces, or skirts–and try to think of as many varied coordinations with that item as you can. (When selecting the “key” items, make sure to pick those that don’t require very gentle care. Sturdier garments that can be worn for more than a day without looking dirty or very wrinkled are better options–although most hotel rooms do have an iron that will do in a pinch.) Pick blouses, cutsews, socks, and accessories that make each outfit distinct–you don’t want to look like you’re always wearing the same skirt, even if you are! During the trip, space out these outfits–wear dress A on day 1, skirt B on day 2, jumperskirt C on day 3, then skirt B on day 4, etc.

Once you’ve settled on what you’ll wear during your trip, make a packing list! You don’t want to fly 800 miles and suddenly realize that you needed your blue shoes, but they’re sitting in your front hallway. It also helps prevent the horror of boarding your plane, buckling the seat belt…and realizing that your brand new parasol is still in the closet of your former hotel room! Make a packing list, keep it updated (if you buy something new on the trip, pencil it in at the end of your list), and use it when packing for departure and arrival.

Travel is also a good time to leave unnecessarily bulky items at home. The dress with the mega-ton of built-in petticoat and yards upon yards of lace on the skirt might be gorgeous, but if it takes up an entire suitcase it is wasting space. Structured bonnets are also difficult to travel with, unless you plan on wearing it the entire time. Extremely delicate items should also be avoided, unless a specific occasion makes the garment necessary. If your bag is selected for a random search, the employees may be very rough with the contents!

Was That Expensive?
Consider insuring your luggage. Airlines lose or damage bags on a fairly frequent basis. If you have hundreds or thousands of dollars in clothing that is going out of your sight for several hours, it might be worth the additional expense. When buying insurance for anything lolita-related, always make sure you can get replacement cost if the item is lost or stolen. If your Milky Planet jumperskirt is in the suitcase that goes missing, you’d rather get the $500 it will cost to buy a new one rather than $100 or less on the basis that it’s “used clothes.”

Prepare for Takeoff!
Wearing lolita fashion in the airport definitely attracts attention. With the knowledge that travelers might be spending ten hours or maybe more in one airport or another, it isn’t often a place where elaborately-dressed people are seen. Make sure you are mentally prepared for the questions (and snickers) while waiting in line for the checkpoint or while seated at the gate. I found that most people gawked or whispered about my attire–no one simply pretended I was wearing “regular” clothes.

Ditch the Petticoat
If you’re going to be pushing your way through crowds, marching through a metal detector, and spending hours in a narrow seat, wearing a petticoat is not a good idea. (Particularly if you worry about it “deflating.”) For practicality’s sake, I packed my petticoat near the top of my carry-on bag and put it on at my destination!

Buckles, Straps, and Snaps
No matter how cute your shoes are, you’ll have to take them off at the security check point. This is a bad time to wear the boots that have to be laced-up just so or the shoes with thirteen buckles. You don’t want to hold up the people in line behind you, so wear shoes that aren’t difficult to take off. It’s also convenient to be able to take off your shoes without a fuss once you’re in the airplane, if the change in pressure makes them squeeze your feet a bit too much. Most Japanese shoes fasten with snaps under decorative buckles, so they’re easy to take off.

Also, don’t wear socks that you can’t wash easily! Airport flooring is usually not very clean–and there’s nothing you can do about it! Don’t ruin your favourite socks–pick a pair that won’t leave you in tears if you step in a puddle of muddy water from someone else’s shoes.

Be careful when taking off your shoes, too! It’s easy to be unladylike when you’re in a rush, but bend at the wrong angle and you risk showing the people behind you right up your skirt.

A Time and Place for Accessories
When you enter the airport and are preparing to go through security, don’t wear too many accessories. Those are best packed in an easy-to-reach spot in your carry-on, so you can put the finishing touches on your outfit when you reach your destination. The goal is to avoid setting off the metal detector and being further wanded or searched. However, you also have to worry less about losing items when you’re in a rush. There’s also a risk that some items, particularly jewelry, might catch on bags or seats.

Keeping Cool or Staying Warm
Airports and airplanes are notorious for having unpredictable temperatures. You might be shivering in one terminal only to melt in the next. Pack a sweater or parka in an easy-to-reach place in your bag or purse, so you can be prepared. Wear it if you’re chilly, shun it if you aren’t. It will be easy enough to take on and off, and can help you stay comfortable during you trip.

Overall, I had a lot of fun taking my trip while wearing lolita fashion! At the core, the traveling portion itself hadn’t changed, but I was able to wear the clothes I feel most comfortable in. I would certainly do it again–I’m just not sure when I’ll have an opportunity to do so! The stares and commentary weren’t enough of a deterrent, and I didn’t find it was too much more difficult than packing “normally.”

I breezed through security, although the other passengers waiting in line were really curious about what on Earth I might be doing while dressed like that, and managed to be relatively undisturbed while sitting at the gate waiting for my plane to board. Boarding was simple, as I’m a pro at hoisting my suitcase into the overhead bins. XD The gentleman next to me on my outbound flight was not very talkative. (I appreciate that a bit more than the type of person who wants to be your best friend for the flight.) When the flight landed and I zipped off the plane, I took a moment to put on my petticoat, hairbow, and jewelry and re-attach my waist ties. That was the only part that really felt “different,” and it didn’t even take 5 minutes!

Has anyone else traveled in lolita? What was your experience like? Do you have any tips?

Please note: I only have experience traveling from major airports in the United States. My tips might not be useful if you live in another country or choose to fly in smaller planes!

Outfit Snap: Polka-Dot Weekend

Outfit Snap: Polka-Dot Weekend

In mid-July, I was doing pretty well with my resolution to wear lolita on the weekends! I decided it was my “master plan” to wear all pink polka-dots, as I now have two polka-dot one-pieces. The only problem with this plan is that one of the dresses is very short, but I finally found a workable solution!

Moar Polka Dots
The extra ruffles really make up for the otherwise-lacking length! I’m so glad to have found a way to wear this dress.

I’ve tried everything with this dress–underskirts (most of which just don’t match, due to the fabric and lace used), wearing tights, wearing over-the-knee socks, contemplating adding another ruffle to the bottom–but still it is very short. It’s the shortest dress that I own, and I can’t understand why it was made at such a length! At some point I started thinking about some of the layering on the outfits in Alice Deco À La Mode, so I browsed through my wardrobe.

I remembered that I own this Bodyline skirt, which has a look to it as if there is an overskirt and then a ruffled underskirt. On a whim, I put it on under my dress…and it looked really nice!

Extra Ruffles
This picture better shows the cute design on the sides of the skirt! The lace is very interesting.

For the rest of the outfit I kept things very simple; I would have done more with polka-dots if I owned more polka-dotted items–I think I need some socks! I have a polka-dot parasol, which I carried with me. I had fun wearing my hair in braided pigtails–it keeps it off my neck, which was really nice on a warm day…particularly when you’re wearing two skirts.

Pink Dots Again
I decided to wear the dress without the choker, but this time I wore the hairbows my little sister gave me! They’re a perfect match!

The next day I wore my other polka-dot dress, which is quickly becoming one of my favourites. I love everything about the design–the ruffles of lace at the bottom, the gathered section on the bodice, the many bows–some lace and some fabric. It has a very “casual” feeling to it, as well. I don’t mean that the design is less-than-detailed or unsuited for formal occasions. There’s just something about the dress’s design that makes it comfortable and easy to wear.

I paired it with matching hairbows that were a gift from my little sister. I also tried to style my hair nicely and in a way suitable for the warm weather, so I pinned it up in braided buns. I think it looked very nice, but it took some work to get the coils pinned just so…and the next morning in the shower I was still combing out more hairpins! I don’t think it effectively highlighted the hairbows, though–that’s something I’ll work on in the future.

Stop... Polka Time!
My husband was having fun taking pictures of my “dancing.” I’m sure this makes it obvious that I am very, very bad at dancing. I always look absurd!

Just wanted to end with a silly picture. Sometimes I hate standing still! (Even though I look really awkward when in motion!)