52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge : How I First Found Out About Lolita

Today’s post from the 52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge is 10. How I first found out about Lolita. 

I used to do pixel art for a dress up doll website when I was younger. We took requests, and one of the requests we got was for lolita clothing, and so I started looking online for examples to use for artwork. I’m not 100% sure how exactly I ended up going from just admiring the fashion and drawing it really badly to actually being interested in it. I remember after I had gotten my first actual job after college I ran into two sites which had lolita clothing that wasn’t hundreds of dollars. One was the infamous Milanoo and the other was Bodyline. At the time, Milanoo was still stealing stock images, and I knew very little about lolita so I didn’t know that the images were actually stolen.

On milanoo I fell in love with this:

AP Stock Photo Stolen by Milanoo

“Cotton Red Sleeveless Front Lace Tie Sweet Lolita Top and Lace Skirt” Also known as Angelic Pretty’s “Pretty Bustier & Skirt Set” from 2008

And on Bodyline, I fell in love with the Candy Skirt. I actually liked it better in pink, but I had decided that getting it in blue was more likely to match with the bunny set which seemed like a very good deal.

                Bodyline Candy Skirt

After waffling back and forth, I ended up buying some things from Bodyline (mostly because it seemed like a better deal; I could get a dress and a blouse and a skirt and a petticoat for the same price as the milanoo set):
Bodyline Bunny Set   Bodyline Candy Skirtpan013-2

If I remember correctly, the skirt cost me $13, the petticoat (I can’t remember which one I got. I have Yellow, Sax and Dark Pink because I later bought more because it wasn’t fluffy enough alone) was $11, and I want to say the bunny dress set was either $25 or $31? So for under $60, I got two basic coords that needed only bags/shoes and leg wear. Unfortunately, the blouse looked absolutely awful on me, the detachable sleeves were like tents on my arms, and the bow was like helicopter propellers. I tried. It didn’t come out that well, but, at the end of the day, I hadn’t spent a ton so I wasn’t as horribly upset about things as I think I would have been if I’d spent over $100 for something that didn’t suit me.

I later went back to bodyline and bought a yellow high waist skirt, and a blouse with bunny ears in white. Then, from Quitieland I bought a sax star shaped purse and sax an*tai*na shoes.

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The shoes from an*tai*na actually were terrible, and I paid waaay too much for them when all was said and done, but I had a few pieces I could mix and match. I made myself some accessories, added some tights and knee socks from target and I wore these pieces occasionally around the house for a while.

Later I went to Otakon, though I was too shy to really meet any of the other lolita there. And sometime in the year following that I started buying second hand pieces from EGL Comm Sales. My first pieces of “brand” were bought the same week; two Angelic Pretty Skirts. The first was “Strawberry Picking” and the second was a gingham one.

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I made the terribly extravagant purchase of a pair of red x white bodyline shoes (red shoes! How much wear would I really ever get out of red shoes! Oh if only I had known….) and a strawberry shaped purse. Shortly after that I started bidding on items on mbok and Y!J auctions. I’m pretty sure I just bid on everything and anything that I thought might remotely fit me and was under $100. I ended up with a ton of main pieces really fast, but I didn’t really love most of them. In the end, I ended up selling most of them off a few years later. I also picked up some items from Taobao, though, most of those ended up getting sold as well.

It wasn’t until a good year or two after I started buying brand second hand that I actually went to my first meet up and joined my local community.

And I didn’t buy any main pieces new that weren’t on sale at all until Christmastime in 2012 when I caved and bought Toy March in Wine. I got the blouse, headbow and socks too, and I remember thinking it was super extravagant at the time. I still love that dress. After that, my buying habits changed a lot. I started buying more AP prints new (though I still bought a lot second hand too)

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All-in-all, I think it’s interesting how my perceptions of what is and isn’t extravagant in lolita changed over the years. There were a few years where I’d buy 2 dresses per month (some new, some used) and I kept a lot of them for years. I’ve cut back my spending a lot over the last year; I’ve only bought one dress this year: Juliette et Justine’s Le Premier Cri, which hasn’t even come in yet, despite it being bought in February.

Some things have changed a lot over the years; when I started out, my coordinates were fairly simple, then they moved into decololi, and now, as I get older and more tired, they are sliding back to being more simple. One thing, however, has remained constant; I absolutely adore wearing red, even if it is a bit impractical.

 

Lolita 45 Questions, A Decade Late

This is a questionnaire that was passed around on EGL back in the summer of 2005, 10.5 years ago. You can see the original post here: LOLITA 50 QUESTION, the answers, and an on-going community of answers that was last posted to in 2013.

I though it might be interesting to revive it and answer it a decade later.

  1. Please tell us your Hand Name (name that’s used ONLY in internet.) and hometown.
    “Handname” or “Handle” are both dated terms for “screen name” or username. In this case, my screen name is Raine Dragon (though I sometimes use rainedragon on systems that don’t permit spaces). I live in Maryland, USA. I would note that no-one should ever post their hometown / town they were born in on the internet as it’s often used as a password recovery question these days.
  1. About how long is your history as a Lolita?
    I’ve been a lolita since 2008/2009-ish, so ~ 7-ish years? I’m always bad at this.
  2. What first motivated you to do Lolita fashion?
    I became interested in lolita fashion through pixel art. I was asked to create some online paperdoll clothing for a website I was working with in the lolita style. I had a couple online friends who where lolita as well.
  1. After knowing Lolita fashion, have you had any time-gap or resistance till you actually started to be Lolita?
    Yes. I saw advertisements for lolita and kamekazi girls in manga magazines for a few years before I became interested in the style myself.
  1. Please define your Lolita style as much as possible. (eg. gothic Lolita, sweet Lolita, white Lolita…. Etc).
    Ok, so the options here are Gothic, Sweet or Shiro (white). I wear sweet and classic, personally. With a little bit of punk and decololi.
  1. About how many Lolita friends do you have?
    Back in the day, I’m sure these were manageable numbers! In fact, the few answers I looked at from 2005 were all lone lolita, or only had one or two lolita friends. I can’t imagine what they would have thought about how many lolita there are today. I can safely say I have dozens of lolita friends around the world, and my local community has a few hundred lolita in it!
  1. What is the best thing about doing Lolita?
    I so want to edit this question to “wearing”. But anyways, this ties back to the previous question; I love how many amazing people I’ve met through lolita.
  1. Conversely, what’s the worst thing?
    Probably the drama / hate. I don’t like it when people are mean to each other.
  1. Which Lolita Brands do you like?
    Angelic Pretty and Innocent World are my favorite two.
  1. What was the first Lolita item that you’ve owned?
    My first lolita items were from bodyline. Their bunny pockets set in sax, and a sax candy print skirt.
    Bodyline Candy Skirt Bodyline Bunny Set
  1. What is the “must have!” Lolita item?
    A good petticoat. Everything else is really felixible, but a good petticoat can make or break things, IMHO.
  1. Do you wear drawers?
    She means bloomers, and yes I do.
  1. Do you have any favorite Japanese music?
    Lolita fashion used to be more tightly interwoven with other aspects of Japanese pop culture than I think it is today, especially the music scene. I don’t really listen to much Japanese music.
  1. Where do you particularly visit as Lolita?
    I wear lolita to conventions, and meetups. Outside of that, sometimes I wear lolita around the house, shopping, or to restaurants.
  1. About how many times per week do you dress as Lolita?
    Less than once a week ;___;
  1. Please tell us about one embarrassing episode from the time when you were
    just beginning Lolita.
    The worst thing I can think of is that I almost bought from Milanoo.
  1. What’s hairstyle and color that you think Lolita would suite the most?
    Ouch. This question is brutal, and would never be written like this today! It would instead ask “what is your favorite hair style to wear with lolita”. That said, I’ll bite. I think the ideal hair style and color for lolita is… whatever looks best on the lolita wearing it! (I can’t do it! I can’t say “Hime cut is the only way” or “You must be blonde and curly”! XD) Longer hair with some wave or curls and natural colors are my personal preferences though.
  1. Have you ever thought of stopping Lolita? The reason?
    Yes. It’s expensive and sometimes I think about it and try to decide if I should just sell everything and invest the money or something that is a little more responsible. I don’t know. I can afford it, but at the same time, sometimes I get nervous about things.
  1. Please tell us your heart’s bible as a Lolita. (anything like a book, magazine, CD, idol…)
    The book “A Little Princess”. I try to conduct myself like Sarah, with a heart open to wonder, and kindness in the face of adversity.
  1. Do you own a doll? Tell us your feelings about her intensely!
    I INTENSELY DO NOT OWN A DOLL. I do have little cats. THEY ARE INTENSELY CUTE
    Mia 2014-11-21_12.52.57

 

  1. What kind of make-up do you wear when you wear Lolita clothes?
    I’m really bad at make up. I tend to wear office lady make up + more blush + more eyelashes with some glitter sometimes.
  1. Have you ever secretly changed clothes in a train station bathroom on Lolita day-out?
    No, no I have not. XD I have changed in the office bathroom after work though.
  1. Are you composed when doing Lolita all by yourself?
    Wearing lolita by myself in public doesn’t typically bother me. I only feel uncomfortable when people are actively being rude or disruptive to me.
  1. How much do you spend in your Lolita clothes & accessories monthly?
    I probably spent, on average, $200 per month, last year. However, I also sold a bunch of things.
  1. What is the most expensive Lolita thing you’ve bought so far? How much was it?
    Angelic Pretty’s Star Night Theater Bare JSK in Blue. It was new with tags, and had the choker and hip bows included. It cost me about ~$750 USDap_2009_jsk_starnighttheaterbare_color
  1. So far about how much has the expense been for Lolita goods?
    I really don’t want to think about it. I could probably buy a car.
  1. Lolita outfit really costs money. How do you raise money to cover the cost of
    Lolita?
    I have a job. I am a grownup. It is sad.
  1. Have you ever bought from an online store? If so, please tell us its good
    and bad points and some advice for the future. If not, please tell us why not.
    This question is so dated! XD Yes, I’ve bought from lots of online stores, it’s quite common now days. I buy from AP, IW, Putumayo, Baby, Meta, Closet Child, Kera Shop, F.i.n.t. and others
  1. Even if you sort of want to keep it a secret, please clandestinely tell us
    about a private manufacturer that is the best.
    Hmmm, I guess my “best kept secrets” would be Wistcuffs from Belladonna, underskirts from Little Dipper, and headdresses from Sweet Mildred.
  1. Is there a brand and/or an item that you think, “I could never get it! But I unreasonably want it!”?
    Le Premire Cri De Prophet from JetJ. It won’t fit me, so I’d have to have it majorly altered and it’s worth so much / so expensive that I can’t justify it.
  1. What do you think about people who only do Lolita at music-lives or cosplay?
    Oh, wow, this is really dated too. So it’s kinda a “what do you think about lolita who only wear it at conventions” type of question. Only, back in the day, like I said above, lolita was tied more to the music scene than it is today (at least it’s not so tightly tied in the west anymore), so this question made more sense.That said, personally, I don’t think poorly of people who only wear lolita at conventions. I think there is certainly a “type” of person who cosplays as a lolita at conventions, and they tend to have a bag costume type lolita dress, which they wear as a costume. I probably would just ignore that sort of person. They aren’t “real” lolita, and they typically don’t really care about wearing the fashion as a fashion.Lolita who are actual lolita and only wear it at conventions I’m not going to judge either because being a grown up can be time consuming. XD
  1. From what age to what age is it acceptable to do Lolita? Do you think that there’s a state in which someone must graduate from Lolita? (you can answer as ‘never graduate’)
    Graduating is a term used by Japanese idols in girls music groups when they are too old to continue in their position. They “graduate” and another girl takes their place. It’s used outside of girl-bands too, really it’s just a term for “retiring”.

    That said, I do not think there are any age restrictions on lolita. Wear it at any age you would like!
  1. Is there a Lolita fashion or behavior that you think “I don’t want Lolitas to do this!” about?
    Yes. It makes me sad when lolita support groups like Anime Matsuri which take advantage of lolita. It makes me sad when lolita support replica makers. It makes me sad when lolita are rude to strangers, especially children and old people who are curious but not being rude to the lolita. It also makes me sad when lolita are cruel to each other purposefully.
  2. Is there something you think “Lolita has to be this way!” about?
    Absolutely no pants! In all seriousness, no, not really. You need to get enough of the basics correct for it to be “lolita”, but there is always room for bending the rules on any one point or another
  1. While doing Lolita, has something changed from earlier than you did Lolita?
    I think this is supposed to say “Has the way you wear lolita changed over the years?”. In which case, I can say yes. I don’t wear twin tails, and I wear a lot more boleros.
  1. Do you go to school/work as Lolita?
    Only on Halloween.
  1. Do you wear Lolita clothes as casual wear?
    Sometimes. Getting dressed up is a lot of work!
  1. Do you have a boyfriend (or husband)? Do you understand each other? (I think she meant “Does he understand you (as lolita)?”)
    I’m dating another lolita. It makes life easy. 😛
  1. What do the people around you think of your doing Lolita? Do they accept it?
    My grandmother enjoys it, and one of my coworkers does as well. Everyone else seems to either tolerate it or have no real opinion (or they don’t know).
  1. What kind of Lolita is who has impressed you the most up until now?
    I have so many lolita idols. *w* I love Caro-chan’s blog, as a lolita blogger!
  1. Have you ever made your own Lolita clothing or/and accessories? If so, what was the best item that you’ve made?
    I’ve made rosettes, rings, crowns, headbands and other small accessories. I think my favorite was my black clock hand and rose crown.

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  1. If you have an ideal Lolita outfit or coordination, please tell us.
    I don’t, really. I like seeing the diversity and creativity in lolita, so I don’t really have one set idea of what the best coordinate would be.
  1. Is there a motif that you think “this is a symbol of Lolita”?
    Crowns and royal crests, I think, remind me of lolita the most these days. Though those twirling marshmallow candies are really iconic to lolita too!
  1. Would you want to dress your children as Lolita?
    I don’t intend to ever have children. I have kittens, and I have put clothing on them, but they seem to prefer sweaters to dresses and/or hats.
  1. What’s your image of the ideal Lolita?
    That’s hard, probably something like this?
    iw

Lolita Blog Carnival: Changes That I Will Make For My Wardrobe In The New Year

So, I’m actually a bit late on this one, but it’s a great Lolita Blog Carnival topic and so I thought I’d go back and write something even though I missed the deadline.

Pink HouseMy wardrobe has changed a bit over the past year, and I forsee it changing more over the next year. For starters, I’ve become more and more enchanted by Pink House, and I’ve started collecting some pieces from them. I’ve been collecting things that are red x white, and with bears or berries as the theme, as well as a little blue x red, and some florals. And one olive skirt that works with the greens in some of my pieces. It’s very light weight and comfortable, but I can still layer a lot up in the winter and not be cold. Pretty win-win.

I’m turning 30 this year, and while I still love lolita and don’t plan on leaving any time soon, I’ve found that I just don’t have the stamina for wearing it that I used to. Maybe it’s how OTT everything has gotten, or maybe it’s just that I’ve been attracted to heavier, more constricting pieces. Either way, I get tired, and I’m looking forward to wearing Pink House and more simple lolita pieces at events when lolita is just too much.

154802-s-03-dlAs for my lolita wardrobe, I’ve continued to sell off a lot of my pink and sax stuff, and I see myself continuing to do that over the next year. Also, I think I likely will let go of a lot of stuff that I don’t wear as frequently, and really start to pare things down to pieces I absolutely love. I’d also like to spend more money on “super basics”, and less on new pieces. “Super Basics”, to me, are basics that are very nice, and would take an outfit from “ok” to “really good”. They are those basics that cost a little more and often get overlooked because there is a cheaper option, that is almost as good. For example, I have a black x off white bolero I got from an IW lucky pack. Perfectly good, servicable bolero. But what I really need is a black x black lace fancy one. I have some offbrand navy heels, but I’d rather upgrade them to brand of VW. Little things like that. Blouses, brand underskirts, better shoes.

I also am going to continue to avoid buying lucky packs and oddment packs from IW and other “great deals”, because I tend to sell pretty much everything. It’s not a great deal when I have to do a lot of work.

Not so much a wardrobe goal, as a closet goal, but I’d like to get organized this next year. I have materials bought to make a giant frame to turn into a jewelry organizer and stuff to make paper-towel headbow organizers, and lots of decorative boxes. I want to get my closet into a tidy, organized state, so I can find thing easily.

I’d like to also get back into downsizing my closet. I want to get back to a point where I’m selling 2-3 things for each thing I buy. I simply don’t need to own as much as I do, especially as many things in my closet do not get worn frequently.

And of course, I want to finish my EGL Wardrobe post this year! Thankfully, I did most of my main pieces very nicely last year, and can re-use a lot of my photos, but I still have to take pictures of everything new this year… and all of my accessories and shoes and non main pieces that I left out last year! Yikes!

While it’s not a personal wardrobe goal, I would also like to get back into digitizing my collection of lolita publications and getting things entered into lolibrary.


545430_945698161629_573562109_nOther blogs participating in this theme:
Grey Velvet The Bloody Teaparty ♥ Alice in Lolita Land  ♥ Gosu-Rori
Pastel Jelly Beans ♥ Vanilla Bear ♥ Dollhouse Diaries ♥ It’s Witchcraft ♥