Shannie Bee’s 2015 Lolita Wardrobe

Happy 2015! Two years ago I made my very first wardrobe post and since then I’ve made it a personal goal to continue chronicling my clothing every year. I love being able to look back and see how my style has evolved and tastes have changed.
Last year I tried to focus more on accessories and embellishments because I found that I was prone to buying dresses and ignoring all else. I also became smitten with florals, and many of the plainer pieces I had on my wishlist came up for sale. This year I believe I will continue to add embellishments and will make it my resolution to create personal handmade pieces. But enough of that, on to the pictures!

Melty Royal ChocolateAngelic Pretty
Melty Ribbon ChocolateAngelic Pretty
Chocolate Fascinate FairytaleBaby, the Stars Shine Bright

The World’s Most Adorable Dog and the World’s Most Delicious FrappeBtSSB
La Pièce du Petit CréatureJuliette et Justine
Puppy PrintInnocent World

Le Parfait du LapinJetJ
Lotta Re-releaseIW
Cherry Berry BunnyAP

Le Cadre du LapinJetJ
Rabbit Printh.Naoto FRILL
L507Bodyline

Rose Dress UpAP
Secret Rose PrincessAP
Floral Print ClassicalBtSSB

???AP
Labyrinth of RoseAP
Rosellina FleurBtSSB
Royal PearlAP
Wonder StoryAP
Wonder CookieAP
Wonder PartyAP
Alice PrintBodyline
Classical Strawberry – IW
???Emily Temple Cute
Kumya chan’s Christmas Holly NightBtSSB
Invited to a PartyAP
Royal UnicornAP
Chess PrintIW
Plume d’une Princesse et l’angeJetJ
???This will be revealed after I wear it to LVER \\ ٩(๑❛ワ❛๑)و //// ! (Ridiculous, I know )
Saint ClaireMary Magdelene
Rose Lace Ox OPVictorian Maiden
Handmade JSKbought on Japan auction
Mademoiselle PrincessBtSSB
Empire Waist Basic Frilly JSK Fan Plus Friend
Cherry ParadeBtSSB

Maria’s Catholic Nun OPBtSSB
Innocent RosierAlice and the Pirates
Vampire RequiemAlice and the Pirates

Ginger DollA/P

Houndstooth School Skirt & CapeA/P
Pleated Flared JSKIW

Rose Button Pleated JSKIW
Hemming Checkered JSKIW
Jodhpurs with Shoulder StrapsIW
???Putumayo
???ETC
Polkadot PrincessAP
French GirlAP
Anniversary Lamé Tweed SkirtBtSSB
Pintuck Ribbon Skirt IW
???AP
BtSSB, IW, A/P
A/P, AP, BtSSB, Bodyline, F+F, Floral Notebook, Handmade, IW, Offbrand, Taobao
AP, BtSSB, Bodyline, Offbrand
A/P, Bunny House, Handmade, IW, Liz Lisa, Offbrand
AP, Juicy Couture
BtSSB
AP, BtSSB, IW, Taobao
AP, HandmadeMuachacha, Swimmer
 
AP, Evil Live, Liz Lisa, Offbrand
A/P, Empress L, Offbrand, Triple Fortune
AP, Handmade, Offbrand
AP, BtSSB, IW, Sweet Mildred
AP, Antique Beast, BtSSB, IW
6% Doki Doki, Bowkuma, Chocomint, Handmade, Offbrand
BtSSB, Handmande, Offbrand, Pizzicato Kei
Handmade, Liz Lisa, Offbrand
Enchantlic Enchantilly, Handmade Gift, Tour New Soul, Pizzicato Kei

6% Doki Doki, AP, Automatic Honey, BtSSB, Betsey Johnson, Cute Moon Bunny, Chocomint, Kawaiicore, Moss Märchen, Offbrand, Sweet & Tiny, Q-Pot
6% Doki Doki, AP, Betsey Johnson, Handmade, Offbrand, Paris Kids, Tour New Soul
AP, Automatic Honey, Betsey Johnson, Offbrand, Tokimeki no Gabriel
A/P, AP, BtSSB, IW, Liz Lisa, Offbrand

Bodyline, JetJ, Mojo Moxy, Offbrand, Secret Shop (black MM boots missing from photo)

Offbrand

Tips To Perfect Your January Lolita Wardrobe Post

It’s that time of year again! Start ironing your dresses and get ready to show the community what your closet is made of. January’s wardrobe post is the egl topic that has more participation than any other, with many awaiting the chance to peek at some closet inspiration and others posting their own. But how to make your post stand out from the crowd? Keep reading to find out!

Setting Up Your Shots- Lights, Camera, Action!

There are two parts to a wardrobe post: the photos and, well, everything else! Seeing the clothes and accessories harmonize in a real way with the personal flair only an owner could give and stock photos could not is the main attraction. So please say it with me now and vow to uphold this rule: no blurry or dark photos!

Make sure you have a good camera on hand. You don’t need anything high-end, and your best bet may even just be your cell phone! All that matters is that it takes clear photos. Try tinkering with the camera settings instead of running on auto for more consistency and control.

Decide upon your set. Consider all that will be visible in the photographs and only let what you want seen into the frame. I suggest slight to minimal activity as you don’t want to make it too distracting, but some details add personality. Here are some examples to try out:

  • Place a temporary wall hook on a garden fence for a lush foreground.
  • Photograph accessories where they are stored if you have them organized in an elegant way.
  • Toss flower petals onto your scene for some added feminine flair.
  • Thrift a large picture frame and lay your dresses inside it.
  • monkeyhoney used bedsheets with a cute unobtrusive pattern.
  • ehcappella staged a dressform in a beautiful corner of their room.
  • terrayla‘s ruffled pink room was the perfect backdrop for her princess-like wardrobe.
  • cadney included some gorgeous close-up shots of her favorite details.
  • scarletsedusa‘s moody atmosphere (an exception to the dark photo rule) gave a mysterious quality.
  • rozarn displayed her dresses in front of her beautiful wardrobe.
  • riotkitty_ let their cute stuffed animals into the frame.
  • yueri-san placed their entirely Moite wardrobe on a bedsheet in their signature color.
  • mintiemii photographed over plain white sheets and added her own cute hand-drawn flair.

Establish good lighting. Even great cameras can have a hard time picking up details in the dark. Figure out when the area you plan to shoot in recieves the best sunlight or place a few bright lamps around to shoot on your own schedule.

A little editing goes a long way. Sometimes the colors look better on camera, or maybe the dirty clothes on the floor made their way into the frame. Scrutinizing each image with a photo editing program is that finishing touch that will ensure a flawless representation of your wardrobe to capture the community’s hearts!

Forming Your Post

With your photos beautifully taken, edited, and uploaded into your livejournal album the next step will be to make your post. You can add as much or as little “flair” to this as you like, but the basic things you should try and include are an entry image and the names of the dresses/skirts.
The entry image is that photo almost everyone seems to place before the cut (the link to the full post). It’s there to give you a preview of what you will find and entice you into looking. A few fun ideas to try are:
  • You in your favorite coordinate
  • A picture of your closet space or room
  • Detailed closeups of your favorite print
  • Your brand novelties
  • A drawing you made
  • mayartemis created a cute gif of their clothing stacking up
  • tehrin used their graphic design skills to come up with this amazing pastel intro

A small introduction is sometimes placed after this. I’ll call this part optional, but I feel it’s nice to get an idea of the person who has curated the wardrobe you are scrolling through. A small sampling of personal facts that can give someone an idea of your fashion bubble makes the photos even more inviting. For example, you could include:

  • Your age
  • What city you live in
  • Your occupation
  • Your favorite motifs/ colors/ brands
  • A link to past wardrobe posts
  • How your wardrobe has changed over the past year
  • When/why you started wearing lolita
  • Where/when you typically wear lolita
  • Other fashions you wear
  • buttcape included a pie chart showing which brands they owned

Now for the images. Since the dresses are the main attraction it’s best to place them first so appetites are satiated as they scroll on to see how you embellish them. Some thought should be put into how the images are arranged for that cherry on top, especially if you have quite a large wardrobe.

  • List them in a rainbow starting from your favorite color
  • Create arbitrary categories you feel your dresses encapsulate (tea flavors, animals, zodiac, etc.)
  • If you have a meticulous mind for dates, list by when you acquired them
  • ruban_rose categorized her dresses by brand
  • antik_poesi structured their pictures three to a row
  • xandra292 included multiple themes into her categories
  • lollipurr divided their wardrobe into just two- cat related and not cat related
  • loresandpenates gridded their images to include lovely detail shots
  • alyssiumbaby made an efficient layout for such a picture-heavy post
  • sanakanami made navigation easier by sorting categories under spoiler tags

Add captions so we all know the names of those lovely dresses and you’re about done! If you have a story to share about a particular dress this would be where to do it. Make it personable by letting others discover how long it took you to find a particular item or how much your first dress meant to you.

Don’t forget to check your etiquette! After all that hard work be sure your post isn’t breaking any rules and users with slower connections will be able to view it. Heres’s a quick checklist to mark off:

  • Place all images after the entry image under a cut.
  • If your post is picture heavy please note it in the cut so others know to open it in another tab.
  • Do not hotlink images unless they are from your server or a photo-hosting website.
  • Keep your entry images no bigger than 500px wide or the egl layout will squish them.
  • Use your judgement on how large to post your wardrobe pictures- nobody wants to scroll horizontally!

I am so excited to see everyone’s wardrobe posts again this year! I’ve quite dedicated myself to making one every year to track my progress and phases and trends. It reminds me of flipping through old diary pages. Do you plan to make a wardrobe post this year? Please link yours in the comments so I can check them out!

I know a lot of people feel deterred from posting because they see their wardrobe as small but it’s just as nice to see a well-loved wardrobe of a few pieces as it is to scroll through an impossibly large collection. Have a sugar-sweet day and happy posting!

25 Lolita Meetup Ideas for Winter

I hope this season has been good to you so far, dear readers. I’ve noticed that meetups tend to slow down this time of year due to the weather and the holidays, but I find that such a shame when there are such cool things to do around now! With 25 days until Christmas I thought I’d share a list of 25 cute activities to plan with your lolita community this Winter.

  1. Go  ice skating. The #1 cold weather activity,  extra cute in frills.
  2. Visit a chocolatier. Drink freshly made hot chocolate for a Wintery substitution to tea rooms.
  3. Browse museums. Shake off the cold while viewing the wonders of art, history, and science.
  4. Have a crafting day. Get together with your crafting projects for a relaxing hour or two.
  5. Throw a holiday themed party. Any excuse to break out the Christmas prints and velvets!
  6. Go Christmas caroling. Pick a song that everyone knows and sing door to door.
  7. Build snowmen. Bonus points for sculpting frilly dresses!
  8. Watch movies. Supply snacks and turn on a heart-warming flick in your living room.
  9. Try new desserts. Get everyone to bring their favorite traditional holiday dessert to share.
  10. Have a game night. Keep warm indoors with some board, card, and video games.
  11. Host a Secret Santa/ White Elephant. Exchange gifts with your community.
  12. Hold a card/ ornament making party. Load up on craft supplies and personalize gifts.
  13. View Christmas lights. Put on your warmest coats and take a walk to view the displays.
  14. Take in some culture. Nutcracker, anyone? See what seasonal shows are scheduled at the theater.
  15. Attend holiday festivals. Check for a local parade or festival to welcome the season.
  16. Go ballroom dancing. Brush up on your waltz and keep active by dancing the night away.
  17. Have a Winter picnic. Very bold! Be sure to pack a warm drink.
  18. Throw a drinking night in. Try out some hot buttered rum, eggnog, and spiced mead!
  19. Go window shopping. Check out this year’s store displays and buy a gift or two.
  20. Start a swap meet. A great way to find gifts and get some quick cash for the holidays.
  21. Play Victorian parlour games. They really knew how to keep occupied indoors!
  22. Plan a Winter photo shoot. Get your comm together for some photos in the snow.
  23. Eat by the fire. Make reservations at a restaurant with a working fireplace.
  24. Go on a nature walk. Plot an easy route in the park with lots of scenic views.
  25. Take a sleigh ride. Enjoy the scenery from a sleigh pulling through sheets of white.

Here in San Francisco it doesn’t ever get cold enough to see snow, and I miss it dearly! Winter is fast becoming my favorite time of year for how cozy and festive it compels me to behave once the temperature drops. We’ve already had our tree up for a month and I’ve been reaching for the hot cocoa occasionally.

What plans do you have for Winter? Perhaps some travelling, or an anticipated quiet afternoon during the break with a warm blanket and a good book? Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

Historically Inspired: The Victorian Lolita

If there is one thing I love about history, it’s how lavishly the wealthy loved to dress. The well-to-do ladies of the Victorian Era were no stranger to this indulgence with their bell-shaped hoop skirts and bustles, parasols, bonnets, and other many accessories- sound familiar? The fashions of this period are a large contributor to the aesthetic of lolita, and with OTT Classic on the rise it’s a great inspiration for putting a little antiquity into your coordinates!

The 19th Century Silhouette

What dress makes the cut? The Victorian Era saw many changes in silhouette over the decades, but the two most iconic styles of dress were the hoop skirt and the bustle. The hoop skirt is the predecessor to the bell-shaped lolita skirts we wear today which make them easy to channel in coordinates, while the bustle has inspired a few modern interpretations on the lolita silhouette.

The bustle is my personal favorite from this period; I just love how it adds interest to every side on a lolita dress, and the design is very exclusive to the Victorians. There are several ways that lolita brands have alluded to the bustle in their designs, either by pinning the overskirt fabric so that it forms a swag, draping material on the rear, or just by placing ruffles on the back. Atelier Pierrot and Victorian Maiden in particular have made a large array of bustled skirts that can be adjusted up or down.

The necklines of the 1800s were high collared during the day and plunging in the evening. Classic lolita brands often put out cuts with standing collars that perfectly match the daytime look, and scoop necks draped with lace for the more elegant eveningwear will also sometimes appear. There were so many styles for sleeves in this era that you can get away with most anything, so just focus on where the neckline falls.

When it comes to brands heavily inspired by Victorian silhouettes, you can’t really go wrong with Victorian Maiden, Mary Magdelene, Atelier Pierrot, or Excentrique. Even Angelic Pretty will release their pastel version of a Victorian gown every now and then, which is a measurement of its broad appeal. No matter what your style, there is a Victorian-inspired dress for it!

While you can certainly get away with a Victorian-inspired dress featuring a fully illustrated print for a modern twist, the most common patterns at the time were florals and stripes. Jewel tones were very popular because artificial dyes had recently been invented, making it possible to get brighter colors than ever before, but they did wear more subdued colors as well. Wearing all black was considered mourning attire.

Outerwear & Shoes

When the weather turned cold, ladies would wear fitted jackets with high collars, or capes/cloaks long and short. These came in all different styles from minimal decor to lavish cuts and fabrics. Victorian Maiden and Innocent World are on the forefront of Victorian-inspired outerwear.

Lace-up ankle boots are the popular image of Victorian footwear, but they certainly didn’t wear that to the ballroom! Small satin slippers were also popular at the time, often decked out with little details. The heels for shoes were spool shaped (wider on the top and bottom) and the toe was pointed. Pleaser makes a few good Victorian-inspired boots, but American Duchess is about as accurate as it gets. Classic brands also release modern takes on the Victorian shoe.

Accessories

The Victorians had all sorts of accessories and embellishments they loved to add to their outfits.

  • Bonnets – Made from straw in the Summer, and decadent fabrics in the Winter. Ladies loved dressing them up much as we do with ribbons, flowers, plumes, and even real whole stuffed birds! Full bonnets that covered the back of the head were worn with a cute updo and ringlet curls.
  • Hats – Large wide brims topped with silk flowers and plumes and fake fruits were popular for ladies of wealth. Triple Fortune makes some that are mouth-watering, but you can find suitable ones fairly easy by searching for fancy hats. “Tea hats” like those you see old women wearing to tea rooms would work very well.
  • Stoles/Shawls – Delicate lace and fabric shawls would wrap around the elbows or shoulders of ladies day and night. Baby, the Stars Shine Bright has even started producing their own topped with fake flowers. You may be able to find these at thrift or antique stores.
  • Tights – Legwear was very basic, as the legs were not to be seen! I recommend solid or lacy tights, but nothing too flashy.
  • Parasols –  Already a lolita favorite! Ones dripping in lace are positively Victorian.
  • Bags – Pair your look with a small beaded bag held from a chain or thin strap with clasps, just like they used to. These can easily be found in everyday clothing and department stores.
  • Gloves – These were an absolute must for ladies. Long sleeved gloves reaching past the elbows were paired with short sleeved dresses for an exquisitely elegant look, while short gloves were worn with long sleeves. Try ruffled vintage gloves, or use a lacy pair for a soft look.
  • Fans – A hand fan was more than just a way to fight the heat, they were used to communicate across the room in a secret language! Lace or illustriously painted fans would pair fine with lolita.
  • Jewelry – Brooches, cameos, lockets, and intricately detailed yet bold pieces are a staple of this era. Jewelry brand 1928 exclusively makes antique-inspired accessories and many, many cameos and lockets can be found on etsy.

So there you have a basic (well, as basic as I could hold myself back to write) look on adding some Victorian era charm to your coordinate. Another approach you can take would be to wear a corset, or a dress with corset lacing, as that is an icon of the era even though it was never worn outside their clothing. Our beloved Alice was also brought to life in this period, making Wonderland coordinates a cute theme.

I put together a Victorian-inspired look so you can see these items together. This is the kind of look one would wear to a park on a sunny and breezy day I imagine. I picture a small picnic on the grass surrounded by dots of small flowers and little dogs playing.

Soft Victorian

As a last bit of advice, here are a few things to try and avoid:

  •  Square necklines – These are just too boxy for the period. If you don’t have any blouses with a high collar or scoop neck, I suggest sticking to a rounded neckline.
  • A row of bows down the bodice – This is more reminiscent of the Rococo era. A bow or two will be fine, but more than that will channel Marie Antoinette more than Queen Victoria.
  • Jabots/Cravats – By this time the cravat had evolved into a bow tie and lacy jabots were nowhere to be seen. This is such an extremely nit-picky detail though, so feel free to ignore it!

I hope you enjoyed this little look into the past! I would love to branch out to a few more eras of fashion this way, as I had so much fun with this one and there are quite a few to cover. Is the Victorian era your cup of tea, or do you have another that influences your look? I’d love to know in the comments, and it may influence which era I study next! Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!

Rufflecon Report 2014

I had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of Rufflecon’s first year and I’ve been so excited to share my experience with you all! It was a fun weekend of lolita activities and gorgeous coordinates in every direction.

Saturday: Shopping, Panels, and Runway

We arrived at the hotel very late the evening prior which meant I missed the Friday pre-meet, so I was up at an early hour on day one to meet the other attendees. Once I reached the event lobby I found many waiting for the marketplace to open, and among them a few familiar faces!

View the “Raspberry Chocolate” coordinate rundown on lookbook

My coordinate for the day was a Classic-Sweet affair featuring my new Melty Ribbon Chocolate Jumperskirt and Beret from Angelic Pretty with some very pretty chocolate accessories from Cute Moon Bunny.

As the doors opened I wasted no time searching for the Triple Fortune and Moss Märchen booths where I purchased a peachy pink bonnet and a pair of beautiful floral necklaces. The Marketplace was lined with amazing vendors all offering high quality items, most of which were marketed toward lolita fashion.

The other vendors were Angelic Pretty, Belladonna, Dame Darcy, Enchantlic Enchantilly, Harajuku Hearts, Lolita Collective, morrigan nyc, Sweet Mildred, The Snow Field, Redfield Designs, and Thy Matriarch’s Gothic Leather Accessories.

The Consignment Room was brimming with clothing and shoes and bags in good condition. Of the five items I brought two of them sold, though I spent double what I earned on secondhand items within the room.

My haul from this area consisted of a cream colored Innocent World blouse, a pair of brown IW knickers, and an Emily Temple Cute rabbit patterned romper that will probably soon be my most worn clothing item.

After running my haul up to the room it was time to give my panel “Branching Into Multiple Styles” which I have transcribed here on the blog so those who missed it can still check it out.

VIP seating for the fashion show began right after so I bustled over to claim a spot. I felt inspired watching the models trickle down the runway dressed up by the designers. Triple Fortune’s looks had my breath suspended the entire time and after the show a handful of us escaped over to their booth hopeful that the bonnets from the show might go for sale, which they did, and I was able to obtain one in cream.

I was so fixated on combing through the booths in the marketplace that I missed many panels, but I did show up to one of the last panels of the night, Lolita Bingo, hosted by Lolibrary where our memory of print names were put to the test and I ended up winning the grand prize Angelic Pretty umbrella.

Saturday Night: Masquerade

Switching into my Masquerade outfit took more time than I had anticipated (likely due to lack of sleep), so when I finally appeared in the convention lobby an hour later than the ball was expected to start I was surprised to find a sea of people occupying it.

View the “Royalty Rabbits” coordinate rundown on lookbook

The theme for my Masquerade look was crowns and rabbits featuring a favorite of my dresses, Juliette et Justine’s Le Cadre du Lapin. I used the cloth belt from the dress as a cravat and pinned jeweled bows along the bottom of the skirt and the cuffs of my blouse for a personal touch. My rabbit mask and the matching one my fiance wore were handmade by me.

Charles made his debut into ruffled fashion by matching up with me in his first brand item- an Alice and the Pirates blouse I’d bought him the weekend before at a swap meet.

I was informed that the hotel had issued faulty equipment which caused a delay. There ended up being no Masquerade that night, but the concert opened with Brilliant Kingdom which was a treat to see, and I was more than ready to change for bed not long after.

Sunday: Tea Party & Kabe-don

The next morning was the big tea party and everyone was decked in their finest. There were an abundance of Triple Fortune bonnets, and OTT Classic coordinates dominated the scene.

View the “Garden Wish” coord rundown on lookbook

How fortunate it was that my new bonnet matched my ensemble! My outfit was inspired by the pastels of a cottage garden in Spring, with many elegant Pizzicato Kei accessories covering it. The dress was exceedingly comfortable, and the Triple Fortune designers really loved the small gray bird I fixed to the bonnet.

The VIP tables were arranged closest to the guests and included a very adorable 2015 calendar produced by Harajuku Hearts featuring designs from both Enchantlic Enchantilly and Triple Fortune.

There was socializing, pictures, a buffet, and of course- tea!

After tea was over, I wandered around the Marketplace for a final look and noticed a small giggling group around KAIE and BABI. They were serving up some serious fan service with flirtatious poses on one another when they decided to take personal kabe-don (cornering on a wall) pictures with the attendees.

I still can’t help but giggle to see this photo! It was then all good-byes and packing, because the rest of the day would be spent on the road to my Aunt in Queens, New York.

My Haul

The VIP goodie bag was full of darling treats! I felt so spoiled by its contents. Not pictured are the Enchantlic Enchantilly bow inside the paper bag, and a plastic Triple Fortune folder.

My bonnets! I can’t believe I was able to snag two of these beauties! Unfortunately when I returned home I found that the pink did not match any of the pinks I owned, but I am still over the moon about owning such a versatile cream one.

And lastly, here are my consignment room finds. I’ve been trying to make good on my goal of bulking up on articles that aren’t dresses- though I wish I’d bought more blouses, there were so many. I could not avoid such a great deal for the knickers, they still had tags and were priced at $60 so I decided to start my boystyle wardrobe with them. And the ETC romper, well, I wavered on them for quite some time but it was brown with rabbits so that won me over eventually.

Overall I had an amazing time and was pleased at how smoothly it ran for its first year. I heartily enjoyed the benefits of snagging the VIP pass this year as it proved instrumental in securing a bonnet and allowed me to be seated closer to the runway, as well as providing a tea party ticket and a gift bag. I would highly recommend it for next year!

Would you go to a lolita convention if you had the chance? I’d love if something like this started on the west coast, though it’s nice to be given a reason to travel sometimes. Have a sugar-sweet day and thanks for reading!