Over on FYeahLolita (which is an amazing blog) I recently saw a post about a 52-week Lolita Challenge for bloggers. Now, 52 weeks, unless I’ve misplaced my mind, is a year’s worth of posts, and to be honest, I highly doubt I can stay on-task making one post per week for a whole year. So, I’m going to do this much more loosely, and basically write on the subjects proposed at random, and see how far I get.
So, grabbing one at random: 28. Bloomers or no bloomers?
There is a lot of debate on this one, but, in my mind it’s pretty much an easy one to answer. Bloomers. Always. Unless you are wearing shorts or some other bloomer substitute instead OR if your dress goes past mid calf. I hear a lot of people get fussy about bloomers because they don’t want to spend money on them, or conversely because they don’t think you are a real lolita if you don’t wear them. To me, it has nothing to do with “being a real lolita”, which is why I am absolutely fine if people wear bike shorts or shorts or anything else instead.
To me, it’s all abut not flashing people your undergarments (and I’m not even going to go into why going commando in an expensive dress and a petticoat you probably can’t wash every time you wear it is a bad idea). All too often I see lolita who grew up wearing pants most of the time, or longer dresses and just never were taught how to wear a short dress. You can’t move the same way in a short dress as you can in pants. You can’t bend over at the waist to pick things up, or flop across a chair any which way. Well, you can, but you end up giving people a show. Add to that petticoats which increase the chance of flashing people while shortening your dresses, the fact that lolita often end up on stage or runways with people taking pictures, and things like balconies and open staircases, and there are a lot of chances for someone to accidentally show to much. I’m not a prude, but I’m also not a creeper; don’t flash me your undergarments! I have a lot of respect for the other lolita I know, and I don’t want to see them embarrassed.
Which brings us to another topic; there are creepers out there who, at conventions, or even on the street will be pigs and try to see up a girl’s skirt (or worse try to flip it up). And there have been stories of harmless old ladies flipping up bits of girls skirts to see their petticoats out of curiosity. Having bloomers on mitigates the chance of someone seeing too much in either case (of course, if anyone ever harasses you, you should most certainly report it!).
Also, and I apologize if anyone finds this particularly offensive, but bloomers serve as an extra layer between your body and your super expensive dress. So, if mother nature decides to drop in unannounced, or a feminine care product leaks, or even if you are just really sweaty that’s one more layer to keep that off of your petticoat and dress.
Last, but not least, they add extra poof, can help hold up stubborn tights, some come with built in garters to hold up stockings, and if you are layering petticoats they can help sometimes (depending on the design) to get a petticoat you are wearing lower on your hips to stay in place.
The only advantages I can see for not wearing bloomers is that it’s cheaper and cooler, but really, at that point, what’s another few bucks or another layer?
And, while we are on the topic, underwear goes under your bloomers, tights also go under bloomers and on top of underwear (unless you just want to wear tights with no underwear, which I hear-tell is common in dance?), if you forgo undergarments under your bloomers you should wash your bloomers every single time they are worn and NOT resell them to other lolita (though, personally, I wouldn’t buy used bloomers regardless). Slips go over bloomers, if you elect to wear one (most lolita don’t; they are good if your petticoat is unlined and scratchy though), and petticoats go on top of that. Unless you are trying to mitigate lumps, in which case a very full slip, which is usually considered an un-attached lining, can be worn between the dress and petticoat.
If you want to get bloomers on the cheap, you can make your own (using a free pattern, a pattern from a GLB, a pattern like this from etsy, or a pattern from a fabric store like the ones on this list), buy a pair made by an indie seamstress on etsy, check out taobao or possibly bodyline, or even pick up a Metamorphose Lucky Pack (or a pair someone is selling NWT that they got out of a Meta LP). My favorite pair were only $5 from Dream of Lolita when I was first starting out.