Branching Into Multiple Styles

As promised in my last post, here is the presentation I made at Rufflecon! Big thank you and lots of love to those who attended. It was my first time hosting a panel ever, so thank you for sharing that moment with me.

Now without further adieu, here is my guide to managing multiple fashions!

Seek Out Similar Aesthetics

If you haven’t figured out what style you want to add to your wardrobe yet or need swaying one way or the other, consider that choosing a style with a similar aesthetic to your current one will give you a much greater advantage over choosing one that is drastically different. Not to say that you should only stick to similar styles- I’ll get to that in a bit- but if you’re looking to bring in another look with minimal effort this is the way to go.

We all know how much time and expense it took to get our first wardrobe where it is, and I doubt most of us want to go through that again if we don’t have to. With this technique you won’t be starting from scratch. You will be utilizing as much from the first wardrobe as you can.

Going clockwise from the left: Sweet Lolita, Otome Kei, Cult Party Kei, Classic Lolita, Dolly Kei, Aristocrat, Gothic Lolita, Creepy Cute, Aomoji Kei (which could be in several spots on the map as it’s such a broad term), Decora, and Fairy Kei.

This is a quick graph I made showing how some of the popular Jfashion styles relate to each other according to aesthetic. It’s fairly noninclusive as there are just too many styles to cover and not enough room- gyaru alone could fill up its own circle! But I think it gives a pretty good framework.

The idea is that picking the style to the left or right of your current one will maximize the amount of looks you can get right away. For example, Sweet lolitas tend to have a good amount of pastel accessories that would go great in a Fairy Kei look, and some Sweet lolita dresses can be worn without a petticoat to suit the more casual Otome style and vice versa. It isn’t the most perfect graph- I could have had arrows connecting several styles to each other across the map but I think you get the idea.

Utilizing your current aesthetic in a new style has more to do with how you choose to use your current pieces rather than how many new style-specific additions you bring in. Of course, there will be some style-specific items you will want to get along the way to really immerse yourself in the new look, and branching into some styles such as lolita require extra work, but at the very least some of the basics like accessories, blouses, legwear, and headwear should transfer over.

Fairy Kei + Lolita + Otome Kei

Here is an example of this concept at work using the aforementioned sweet lolita wardrobe. Just by swapping out a few items I was able to branch off into two different styles that share a close aesthetic. This lolita skirt was given new life by ignoring the fact that a lolita brand made it and by pairing it in more casual and quirky ways.

The blouse was replaced by a cartoon t-shirt for the more casual and 80s pop culture feel of fairy kei, and two different bright patterns were brought into the mix for this quirky otome look. It’s pretty remarkable how little had to be changed to consider it a new style, and the majority of the items used are shared between all three of these sets.

It takes a bit of creative thinking and getting out of the mindset that certain articles of clothing belong to just one fashion. This leads me to my second point:

Don’t Treat Them Separate!

I run into this habit all the time. My lolita wardrobe is in it’s own habitat in another room apart from everything else and to be perfectly honest it stifles some of the creativity in my ensembles because when I go to wear lolita, I’m only looking at that sampling of my wardrobe. If we remember that clothing is fluid in their use there is a lot more to be gained from them!

Not only does this save you money because the pieces you need are already there, but think about how much less closet space you will take up by getting more versatility out of your stuff. Put your clothing to work and don’t let them fall under one style label.

Here are three different blouses all from different brands that cater to different styles. The first one is from Classic Lolita brand Victorian Maiden, the second is by Otome brand Milk, and the last is by roma-gyaru brand Liz Lisa. There are slight differences in the way they were made but you could use them interchangeably between those three styles because they are so similar.

I need to remember this bit of information myself next time I’m looking for a blouse to go with liz lisa bottoms because I constantly forget there are plenty of suitable ones over in lolita land!

Don’t forget that you aren’t limited to just what big fashion brands are putting out, either. Offbrand finds with similar style aesthetics are all around you in shops and malls as long as you know what to look for. I personally have a blouse or two from regular shops that I use with lolita, and I can’t even enumerate the amount of printed tights and socks I’ve bought around town that compliment these looks.

So what about those of us who are interested in multiple looks that may not correspond with each other?

For The Eclectics

If you already have a look- or few- in mind and they are nothing like your current one, there are still a few ways to ease in without completely starting from nothing.

For one, picking a color scheme and using it across styles will be a tremendous help. You will be able to utilize most of your basics across the board even if other items may need to be style-specific. These three darker looks would be able to share some items even though they are nothing like each other just because they feature a lot of the same color. In general, buying items in basic colors such as black, white, or off-white will go far across multiple styles.

However, just because something matches color-wise doesn’t always mean it will match the theme. This gyaru’s black hoodie would look terrible on that gothic lolita because it does not adhere to the lolita silhouette. Items like tights, socks, shoes, accessories, and some blouses would have better luck- it just depends on the items and the styles.

It also helps to figure out what the styles you are drawn to have in common and start from there. Stocking those items in your wardrobe before buying anything else will ensure you’re maximizing the potential of all your outfits.

Lets refer to the graph of styles again to give you an idea of how I managed my eclectic wardrobe. I like to dress in Sweet, Classic and Gothic Lolita, as well as roma-gyaru (which is floating on the top left there as I didn’t give it a place on the map), and aomoji-kei. As you can see that just puts me all over the place, so I sympathize with anyone who has diverse taste. I’ll be the first to admit that maintaining all of those different styles isn’t easy.

I was able to manage this by spreading out to the ones closest to my original look first, and then spreading out some more from there. This is a much simpler transition than jumping around the board, and your wardrobe will be a little bit more unified because of it. I started out with sweet lolita and shortly dabbled in fairy kei before I decided it wasn’t for me, so then I jumped over to aomoji-kei using cute clothing I had sitting around from my everyday wardrobe. After this I started getting interested in more mature sweet looks so I took things in this direction with roma-gyaru, which eventually lead me to introduce some classic lolita pieces into my wardrobe. Branching into gothic lolita is a funny story because as it turned out, I already had a gothic lolita piece I’d been dressing up as sweet lolita the whole time because it was pure white.

While I may not be able to share most things with every style across the map, I was very careful in making sure my purchases would be useable for more than one aspect of my wardrobe which eliminated the need to buy a lot. I also suggest supplementing with offbrand purchases, or items that can be found in local shops as they are typically cheaper than buying from style-specific brands.

Prioritize

Another tactic that has been truly helpful in keeping all those styles under control is prioritizing which ones to give the most effort to. For some of us who like a little bit of everything, there are the styles we want to wear most days and then there are the styles we want to wear every once in a while.

For my wardrobe I tend to wear a lot of Sweet or Classic Lolita and gyaru on days I want to feel extra comfortable, so my closet is brimming with items to match those styles, while Gothic lolita is more of an ‘every now and then’ thing for me so I have maybe four pieces I can mix and match.

Figure out how often you want to wear the styles you’re interested in and put your time into them accordingly. You don’t need a huge wardrobe for each to prove that you like all these styles. There is nothing wrong with having that one decora outfit for those rare times you feel like putting every clip you own in your hair. It makes sense to scale things down for those ‘once in a while styles’ so that most of your focus is on the fashion you tend to wear more often. And if you find yourself tiring of the same looks from the fashions you wear less often don’t just add more to the rack- swap your items out to save money and space.

Take A Good Look

Lastly, I’m willing to bet that most of us already have more than one fashion we could be wearing right now based on the current contents of our closets, we just need to be looking at them differently. The more you familiarize yourself with different styles, the easier it will be to shatter the limits of your collection.

Here’s a challenge for you at home: go through your entire wardrobe and try to come up with at least three outfits in a style you didn’t think you owned the right material for. It’s ok if they aren’t complete, this is just to give you an idea of how versatile your current clothing items are.

I took this challenge for myself a few months ago when I tried to figure out if my lolita pieces could be used in outfits other than what they were meant for. The results were pretty exciting and it gave me a new found appreciation for what I already had laying in wait.Taking advantage of what’s already there is your best money-saving option.

Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

How to Wear Lolita in Other Fashions

Lolita coordinates have been taking elements from other jfashions for quite some time, but what about taking elements of lolita to other jfashions? Chances are you have a main piece or two in your wardrobe that can be used in a completely new way.

This is something I was thinking about while going through mori girl and dolly kei photos on my pinterest. There are so many ways the aesthetics work together it got me wondering if I could use any of my lolita pieces to pull it off, so I took my curiosity to Polyvore.

Dolly Kei

Here we have my recently acquired Juliette et Justine Plume d’une Princesse et l’ange OP. I completely ignored the fact it was lolita and dressed it up in a Russian-inspired dolly kei look. You’d hardly know what fashion the dress was meant for!

But that got me thinking, what other jfashions can I do this with?

Roma Gyaru

It turns out lolita skirts can look really cute for gyaru! I wanted to see if more than one piece from a series could be used in a way that would still work for another fashion, and I must conclude it can. With just a different blouse and pair of shoes (plus hair and makeup styling) this set takes on an entirely new direction.

At this point I was sure lolita would work for other romantic styles, but what about cute pop looks?

Aomoji Kei

Turns out it does! I tested an unusually bright colored skirt from AP with the all-around general cute aomoji kei and here is the result. So now that we know it’s possible, how do we know what pieces can be used?

Lose the Rules

Get out of the mindset that this is lolita and think of it as general clothing! There’s a whole lot more you can do with what you own if you know where to look. Really push the look you’re going for or else you’ll end up with a lolita coord that uses the elements of another style instead of a different style altogether.

Define the Fashion

Get to know what makes the look what it is. I knew dolly kei put emphasis on texture and antique aesthetic, so I chose an elaborate classic dress with ruffles and pintucks and dusty colors. I partly chose Angelic Pretty for the other two because of their tendency to produce shorter skirts!

Change the Focus

Often in lolita, the main pieces are the focus of the coordinate. When I was making these outfits I focused more on the accessories and how lolita would tie in without standing out. Skip the petticoat and make something else the focus, like a large fur hat with a matching brooch or a bold character tote.

Will you try on a new look with your lolita wardrobe? I have two of the pieces on this list and now I’m itching to wear them this way! Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

☆ J Pop Summit 2013 ☆

 
What a weekend! J Pop Summit is over and it’s taken me until about now to catch up with everything. For those who don’t know what J Pop Summit is, it’s a festival held every summer in San Francisco celebrating pop culture in Japan. There is typically a fashion show run by a big Japanese designer (last year was h.Naoto), a coordinate contest hosted by Baby the Stars Shine Bright, a pop up shop filled with a popular Japanese brand (last year was Liz Lisa), several live performances by Japanese bands, a Vocaloid dance contest, and all the best food trucks!
 
This year they turned it up by including several designers and famous models in the fashion show and pop up shop- and adding the kawaii goddess Kyary to the performance list! Here’s how my J Pop weekend went:

Day One

6% doki doki, sebastian masuda, kawaii, harajuku fashion
Backstage with Sebastian Masuda- one of my heros!

The better part of my Saturday I was backstage prepping for the HARAJUKU Kawaii! Fashion Show. Innocent World, Milk, Milk Boy, SPINNS, namaiki, HellCatPunks, and GladNews were some of the brands being modeled. The outfit I was chosen to model was from SPINNS’ collection… and I walked first!
 

j pop summit, san francisco, harajuku fashion, japan, japanese, spinns, fashion show
I was incredibly nervous but I think I did alright!

 

j pop summit, san francisco, harajuku fashion, japan, japanese, spinns, fashion show, eva
Our SPINNS group was joined by one of my fashion idols- EVA. She wore the cutest stuffed animal tutu!

j pop summit, san francisco, harajuku fashion, japan, japanese, lolita, innocent world, fashion show
Innocent World

 

j pop summit, san francisco, harajuku fashion, japan, japanese, milk, milk boy, fashion show
Milk and Milk Boy

 

j pop summit, san francisco, harajuku fashion, japan, japanese, kawaii, fashion show
Harajuku Kawaii!

j pop summit, san francisco, harajuku fashion, japan, japanese, ayumi seto, eva, yura, saki sato, instax mini, fashion show
They took pics of each other with the Instax Mini sometime toward the end

The other models they brought in were Yuka, Ayumi Seto, Yura, and Saki Sato. They were all so nice and sweet and hung out with us backstage after we all walked. 6% Doki Doki went on right after and they had the cutest little dance routine!
 

6% doki doki, j pop summit, yuka, kawaii, fashion, harajuku
Bunny dance!

6% doki doki, j pop summit, yuka, kawaii, fashion, harajuku, kyary pamyu pamyu, yura, saki seto, kawaii, sebastian masuda

 
For the finale Kyary Pamyu Pamyu got up on stage and said a few sweet words about San Francisco (it was her first time here!). It was the most surreal experience getting to be on stage with not one, not two- but seven of my fashion idols. This was probably the most memorable start to a birthday weekend I can think of really.
 

ayumi seto, kawaii, japanese model, harajuku fashion
Stage make-up!

After the show we stayed a while for pictures. Once I broke free I happened across Ayumi Seto in the crowd and had to take a picture with her! I think the first place I went was right into the Harajuku Kawaii pop up shop to get me some kawaii goodies (more on my haul at the end!). Yuka was working the 6% Doki Doki section so we took a picture of her!
 

Such a cutie!

 
 

selca, kawaii
Heading back home with sour faces

Aside from splurging on a comfy dress I’d been eyeing that went on sale at Baby and walking around the mall shops/ street tents there was not much else for Saturday besides kicking my feet up on the couch and going to bed early to prepare for…

Day Two

 
Another early morning for me! I decided to participate in the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright fashion contest and had been working on my coordinate for weeks. The theme was “Enchanted Forest” and the only piece I had that fit the theme was the My Little Red Riding Hood JSK. My inspiration was Little Red Riding Hood and the things she may have seen in the forest on her way to bring her grandmother cake. Not sure how well it translated but here is the run-down:
 

j pop summit, baby the stars shine bright, deer headband, lolita fashion, harajuku, japanese

 
Headpiece: Hand-made by me
Vests: thrifted
Fawn collar: Hand-made
Basket: Hand-made by me
Tights: Taobao
Ankle Socks: eBay
Shoes: Bodyline
 
To have an “enchanted” feel to the coordinate I incorporated some of my mori girl wardrobe, which is where the vests come from. Aside from all the red accessories matching the dress, I thought of them to represent the gory demise of the wolf in the story. I incorporated a lot of flowers because (aside from being enchanting) Little Red Cap gets distracted collecting flowers on her way. The deer headband? Well, she probably saw a deer on her way right?! I had a good feeling I wouldn’t be the only one with a deer headband in the show but I think I really just wanted to make one haha!
 

The entire Enchanted Forest crew! (Pic courtesy of my friend Arron)

Everyone’s coordinates looked so amazing and seemed like they took such hard work that there was no telling who would win. I think all of us won for dressing so fab (*❦ω❦) ! After the winners were announced we were told that Crown and Crumpet (my favorite tea shop that was affiliated with the contest and in the same building as BtSSB) would host a special tea party for all of the participants. How could I resist!?
 

Entrance to the Enchanted Forest (Photo by Eri of Universal Bunny)

 

Photo by Eri of Universal Bunny

 

Photo by Eri of Universal Bunny
Photo by Eri of Universal Bunny

I may have gotten to the chocolate covered strawberry before I had the chance to take a pic

I wish I could have tried the private blend (a black tea) but due to my caffeine sensitivity I decided to play it safe with the good-ole’ Strawberry Fields green tea (must pick some of that up for my collection). The finger food and pastries were good as always, wish I could have snuck a bite-size lemon pie for my sweetie as it’s his favorite type of dessert!
 

Shameless selca with mah cutie

Kyary’s performance was drawing near but I wanted to help my darling with the Room Escape Treasure Hunt instead. We very tiredly made our way through all the clever puzzles with clues strewn along Japantown and at the last second made it in time to turn it in. With one last sweep through the pop up shop, the sake tasting, and the street tents our J Pop was over.

My Haul

My first lucky pack!

While I was getting ready for the fashion show backstage, my wonderful sweetheart was standing in line at BtSSB for me to ensure I got a lucky pack. And I sure got lucky (on both accounts of how sweet he is that he’d do that for me and what was in the pack)! Mine came with all white items featuring the Cherry Parade JSK + matching headbow and the cutest pair of bloomers! Turns out some people got the OP, and I know at least pink was another color available but everything that came in my pack was how I would have preferred it.
 

From the Harajuku Kawaii pop up shop set up in MaruQ!

Where do I even begin?! My first thoughts when entering the pop up shop were to go straight for Innocent World but the dress selection was quite slim and the accessories seemed picked over. From there 6% Doki Doki caught my eye and I stocked up on sparkly bows and clips and rings. Then I remembered Swimmer items were in the store and went straight for them! I thought the towels and emblem patch were just too cute. I know it’s a simple thing but I’m happy it came in that shopping bag because I have a habit of collecting them from my favorite stores. I plan to use them as decoration once we move, among other things.
 

Excuse me while I deco everything (*´ڡ`●)

I’m not usually one to walk in and buy a new dress that doesn’t have a print (I know how hard prints can be to find after and I prefer second-hand solids for the price) but I just had to have this one. I’d tried it on a few weeks ago and it was the softest, most comfortable dress I’d ever worn but I was being picky about that pastel pink on my skin tone. When I saw it on sale at half off I decided to just get it anyway and I’m glad I did!
 

And lastly…

Kinokuniya had Gothic & Lolita Bible issues 20 & 21 half off so I had to get them with the latest issue! I’ve finally started my GLB collection a few weeks ago with the purchase of the first three English editions, so this was a great addition. Wish I could read the patterns! They had so many issues of GLB and Alice Deco I was tempted by, as well as a few books on kawaii culture I’ve been wanting to read but I had to cap it somewhere. There was also a floral BtSSB stationary set I was tempted by, but alas.
 

 
 
That about wraps up my J Pop Summit 2013 experience. They really made a big deal out of it this year and I hope it continues to grow. Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

My First Taobao Haul! Item Review

I’m back with part 2 of my Taobao Haul Review! View Part 1 Here. I put together a little video and a list of links for where you may purchase them. Enjoy!
 

 

Clothing

  1.  Liz Lisa Style Lace Bow Lantern Shorts
  2.  Galaxy Skirt w/ Transparent Overlay
  3.  Tutu Skirt
  4.  Transparent Peter Pan Collar Dress
  5.  School or Sailor Style Blouse
  6.  School Uniform Style Blouse w/ Ruffles
  7.  Replica Milklim Ice Cream Baseball Jersey
  8.  Princess Tutu Skirt
  9.  Liz Lisa Style Crop Top
  10.  Lace Tutu Skirt w/ Bows
  11.  Transparent Mermaid Shell Pearl Blouse Dress
  12.  Liz Lisa Style Shorts
Accessories

  1.  Feminine Bow Lace Purse
  2.  3-Way Bow Lace Messenger Bag
  3.  Cartoon Devil Horn Baseball Cap
  4.  Winter Fluffy Angora Rabbit Pearl Bow Beret
  5.  Liz Lisa Style Messenger Bag
  6.  Cartoon Monster Furry Baseball Cap
  7.  Furry Cat-Eared Baseball Cap
  8.  Devil Horn Beanie
  9.  Light Up Spiked Gel Bracelet
  10.  Transparent Dot Ruffle Ankle Socks
  11.  Bow Lace Cotton Ankle Socks
  12.  Transparent Lace Stripe Ankle Socks
  13.  Lace Ruffle Ankle Socks
  14.  False Garter Retro Love Stockings
  15.  Bow Wedge Heels
  16.  Heart Bow Wedge Heels
  17.  Lace and Dot Stockings
  18.  Pastel Angel Cross Tights
  19.  Rabbit Portrait Tights
Beauty

  1.  Gradient Taro Curled Wig w/ Bangs
  2.  Wavy Wig w/ Bangs
  3.  Long Pear Shaped Wig w/ Bangs
  4.  Long Wavy Wig w/ Bangs
  5.  Long Straight Wig w/ Bangs
  6.  Medium Pear Shaped Wig w/ Bangs
  7.  Long Burgundy Wavy Wig
  8.  Wig Comb
  9.  Wig Stand
  10.  Brown Natural Lower Lashes
  11.  Black Dolly Lower Lashes
  12.  Black Natural Lower Lashes
  13.  Black Thick-Thin Lower Lashes

Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

The non-Lolita style I’ve fallen in love with

There are numerous styles that catch my eye outside of Lolita such as Otome, Dolly Kei, Mori Girl, Shironuri etc- and while these appeal immensely to the big part of me that adores fantasy, I also have a huge crush on sci-fi. The style I’ve fallen in love with is a futuristic branch off of Fairy Kei coined “Uchuu Kei” by pastel lover Laffi.
 

alien girl, kawaii space, printed tights, galaxy, uchuu kei, fashion, harajuku, fairy kei, stars, chocomint, metallic silver skirt
My first Uchuu Kei outfit!!

So what exactly is Uchuu Kei?
 “Uchuu” is Japanese for outer space. It takes the basics of fairy kei and adds a space-age twist! The fun part is this is still a young style- so it’s still in the works!
What does it look like?

Here are some great examples of it being worn…

tumblr user skullita

… and three different ways you can make it your own


Jewel Toned Space Girl kawaiiuchuu kei galaxy tights metallic skirt wig headbow glitter lips

Pastel Space Girl uchuu kei fairy kei star galaxy angelic pretty two toned wig alien errings heeless wedge kawaii ufo

Metallic Space Girl uchuu kei glitter galaxy metallic silver white wig spiked headband printed tights jeffrey campbell lita spiked bracelet kawaii

 

What makes something futuristic?
What we imagine the future to look like now is very different from our ancestors who envisioned high-tech stem-powered inventions. Nowadays the future is typically imagined with sleek designs and bold fashion. Here are a few things that will take your outfit to the next millenium:
  • Metallic/ iridescent material
  • Space iconography (stars, aliens, ufos, etc)
  • Geometric shapes
  • Neon colors
  • Galaxy prints
  • High platform shoes
  • Unnatural hair colors
  • Vinyl/ plastic

Where can I buy Uchuu Kei clothing and makeup?

While nobody is exclusively making clothing for this style there are a few companies and makeup products who come very close.

Clothing
Beauty

 For more inspiration:

 
Check out Laffi’s uchuu kei tag and uchuu kei blog on tumblr!

alien, kawaii, pixel, girl, uchuu kei, babe, animated, galaxy

Art by me

 
Have an out-of-this-world-sweet day and thanks for reading! 
 
 
 
Other blogs talking about this: 
 
ABC Lolita
A Sweet Lolita’s Disney Life
Derpland
Her Curious Elegance
Kira Kira Shoujo
Masquerade Doll
Sweet and Simple