22 September 2017

Difficult Things To Deal With In Lolita Fashion

Difficult Things To Deal With in Lolita Fashion

Coming up with something to write about for this week's Lolita Blog Carnival theme was super easy. Hopefully this will jump-start my creative juices so I can finally finish a few original topics I have sitting in my drafts box... That's actually one of the things I'll be talking about that is difficult to deal with in lolita fashion!

Never Having Enough Storage Space

This is probably the bane of any lolita's existence unless they magically have a whole room or walk-in-closet solely dedicated to storing these clothes.

Even though my new apartment is a two-bedroom where one is dedicated to being our office/hobby space (translation: his school things and military gear & my lolita), somehow there just isn't enough storage space. He has the whole closet for his stuff that needs to be in a stable spot, and the booksheleves take up most of the wall space I could've used to put some kind of thing to store all the bits and bobs that come with all the frilly dresses.

Dresses, shoes, and blouses are not the hard part (yet!) with some rolling racks and an adjustable closet rod, but finding an effective place to store headbows and random parts to main pieces is always a challenge!

I did write a post on creative storage solutions, which helps, but simply having more space is always better!

Bank Account is Allergic to New Releases

Am I the only one who finds that I have spending money when there's nothing out I want, but I'm broke as soon as wishlist items and new releases I love pop up? It's one of the most aggravating things about lolita fashion (and shopping in general).

For example, I received a decent amount of birthday money this year from family who wanted to help me out with buying necessary items for my new place, but almost all of it was swallowed up by the inconvenient timing of my Bride of Death invoice from my shopping service and paying rent. I usually slide by fine financially through timing my paychecks and expected expenses, but it's like Mana-sama has it out for me some times. Most embarrassing behavior!

Trying to Find Good Lighting

If you don't care about taking photos of your coordinates and sharing them online, then you might nto be able to relate to this one. But I hate when I love an outfit I put together and can't find a spot to take an outfit shot that has good lighting and an ~aesthetic~ background.

My desire to get a good picture occasionally makes the outing feel like a chore, especially if I'm out with my boyfriend and not one of my lolita friends who understands what I'm doing. There's nothing like harsh sun shadows or grainy, dim lighting to ruin a photo of something I want to share on my Instagram. Believe it or not, I keep a folder on my phone of all my coordinate shots so I can look through what I've worn over the years and how my photo-taking skills have improved. Would you be interested in seeing this?

This test shot for a potential "photo wall" is ironically the only one without harsh shadows from my lightbox...

Feeling Like a Zoo Animal

I wish I was the kind of person who didn't feel like it was a waste to get dolled up and just stay home - then it wouldn't be such an emotional hassle going out and trying not to think about the stares and questions from strangers. These GIFs explain the experience perfectly!

The world does not revolve around me and what I'm wearing, but when random people do stare and take photos with or without permission, I feel like a zoo animal. It is definitely one of the difficult things to deal with in lolita fashion. There are groups out there dedicated to lolitas taking pictures of people taking pictures of lolitas. A mouthful I know!

Discomfort in the Name of Fashion

My style has evolved to be much more comfortable than I used to dress. False eyelashes, too-small tights, heels without padding, wig headaches, petticoat elastic, summer heat... what isn't uncomfortable? These are all difficult things to deal with, and I try to avoid them as much as possible.

Pro tip: wear a second pair of underwear or biker shorts over your tights. It's the best way to keep the infamous low-crotch phenomenon from happening.

Trying to Bounce Back From a Creative Slump

As a blogger and Youtuber (can I still call myself that when I upload once every six months now?) it's hard to find motivation to create content when life gets you down. Graduating from university, moving four times in one year, working two part-time jobs, and practically being both the breadwinner and the housewife for a boyfriend who has a demanding major really keeps me from spending as much time on these creative outlets as I used to.

Even just as a lolita, sometimes you lose your drive to dress up. Have you had these episodes? You aren't thrilled with your current wardrobe, not impressed with recent releases, too lazy or tired to wear lolita, and generally aren't feeling like the princess you want to feel like.

It's difficult to deal with creative slumps, and unfortunately I don't have any advice for you. Sorry!

But enough about me. What do you find difficult to deal with in lolita fashion? Do you relate to any of the struggles I feel?

Also, please check out the other participants in this week's theme.

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19 August 2017

New, Fresh, and Empty Apartment

This is a personal post, so let me give you a little backstory about this apartment. If you really don't care (and that's fine!) just skip ahead to the pictures.

I've lived at my father's house all through college, but a few weeks before I was supposed to graduate the house renovations started and I had to move into my grandparents' house. My boyfriend had also been living at home - in his parent's spare room - since he got back from basic training and transferred schools/cities.

He had been looking to move out on his own again for a while, and he found an apartment to room with his best friend. He secretly got a two bedroom so I could potentially move in too later on, but his friend ultimately couldn't join.

Now, where I live the average price for a two bedroom apartment is around $2,400. Without fancy amenities, without pets, with crummy looking interiors, sometimes without parking. But this amazing miracle is only $1,600 a month, water included.

What is even more astounding is that it was being newly renovated, but we were able to keep the pre-renovation price because of his military service. He didn't even ask, the landlord is just a really generous and patriotic person.

Living room from the hallway.

Living room from the kitchen doorway.

Unfortunately, this all began in May and we are just moving in at the end of August. Not only did the renovation part take a long time because this isn't run by a fancy management company, but we hit a few bumps along the way once it was done.

Guard pay alone isn't enough to pay rent in this area - let me tell you! Because his friend had a full time job, they were going to let them rent even though they didn't really have credit. However, because it looks bad that suddenly a girlfriend enters the picture who he hasn't lived with before, I didn't have a full time job, and I didn't have credit either... they were really concerned.

Despite my father generously offering to be a co-signer and the fact that be both have plenty in savings, the landlord opened it up to other applicants. I was frantically trying to get a second part-time job opportunity into a concrete offer. Those three weeks were hell on my emotional and mental health. I don't feel comfortable explaining why I was so desperate to move out, but I cried a lot.

The universe decided to give us a break for the first time in our relationship and gave me the job offer the day I needed it before they gave it to one of the other many applicants. I don't personally believe in God, but friends and family prayed for us. I don't know if it was some higher power, fate, or just luck that we got this. There was no way we could have afforded anything more, and this was a once-in-a-lifetime deal for the quality of the place!

Kitchen from "dining area" doorway.

Kitchen from "dining area" window.

The first weekend we could move in happened to be a four day drill weekend, so I pretty much had to coordinate and move things all on my own. I'm lucky to have a father and good friends who are willing to help me with moving things. I really appreciate those friends who offer to help in times of need. You know who the true ones are in times like this.

On to more happy and exciting things, I'm pumped to start decorating and be reunited with my furniture from the last time I lived away from family.

I'm unusually excited by organizing and playing tetris with furniture and items. While not having any kind of coat/linen closet is annoying, I'm turning it into a game to find creative ways to store things. See that tall cupboard next to the oven? That actually doesn't have shelves, which is the perfect place to keep the vacuum, swiffer, etc.

I'm also relieved that the bathroom has a mirror medicine cabinet and built-in shelving for those space-hogging linens!

Bathroom from the doorway.

Bathroom shelving from the shower corner.

The smaller of the two bedrooms is where we will sleep. There is less room, but it is the room that doesn't touch any shared walls. The larger one will be where we split the room for each of our hobby/office space.

I won't show you photos of the empty bedrooms because they'll look like boring, exactly-the-same rooms. But comment down below if you'd be interested in seeing blog posts and videos about my decorating and any DIY projects I do here.

Matt knew my style since day one, so he's given up any claim of decorating except for the living room. I think at this point he's being obstinate on purpose... I had to promise to go easy on the bathroom if I could have the tiny bit of pink on the origami pillow you see below!

He recognizes that the "guy code" is stupid, but he still feels that he needs to follow it when it comes to home decor. If he brings his cousins or his military buddies home, somehow having 100% won the battle over the one room and surrendering everything else is better than compromising every room? I have no idea, but whatever! Do you understand?

Smorgasbord of Target, Michaels, and some of my late aunt's things. 

Check out my video tour if you'd like to get a better feel of the layout and see the nooks and crannies.

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12 August 2017

12 GIFs That Perfectly Describe Going Out in Lolita

As lolitas, we often share common experiences. We love griping about the same frustrations and gushing about the same positive vibes we get from wearing our frills.

Last time, I made a hilarious post about how it feels to be a lolita. But we all know that going out and dealing with strangers is probably the most annoying part of the fashion.

Here are 12 relatable GIFs that describe how it feels to go out in public in lolita:

1. Trying to ignore strangers' weird looks.

2. When a stranger actually knows about lolita.

3. Walking into a room full of normies.

4. When you get catcalled.

5. When someone takes a photo of you without asking.

6. Summer.

7. When a stranger insists that you're cosplaying.

8. Wearing rocking horse shoes for the first time.

9. When you see another lolita.

10. Little kids asking if you're a princess.

11. Riding public transportation in brand.

12. Getting dressed up and deciding to stay home instead.

I hope you got a good laugh or two out of this! Which ones do you relate to the most?

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29 July 2017

12 GIFs That Describe How it Feels to be a Lolita

As lolitas, we often share common experiences. We love griping about the same frustrations and gushing about the same positive vibes we get from wearing our frills.

Here are 12 relatable GIFs that describe how it feels to be a lolita:

1. Trying to fit your boobs into brand.

How to fit boobs into lolita.

2. When you're caffeinated, your face is on, and you're finally dressed hours later.

What it's like to be a lolita

3. Coming home from a tea party and getting to eat real food.

4. Getting your dream dress in the mail.

5. Realizing you forgot to set an alarm for a release.

6. Spilling something on your dress.

How to clean a lolita dress.

7. Seeing new drama on Rufflechat.

Rufflechat drama.

8. Losing an auction on Lacemarket.

9. Winning an auction on Lacemarket.

10. Going to the bathroom.

How to go to the bathroom in lolita.

11. Coming home at the end of the day.

12. Trying to take a group shot at a meet up.

I hope you got a good laugh or two out of this! Which ones do you relate to the most?

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22 July 2017

Taobao Resellers or Shopping Services?

Taobao seems like some insurmountable mountain to jfashionistas who haven't ordered from it before. While it is in Chinese, and while most shops don't ship internationally, ordering from Taobao doesn't have to be painful.

There are a few tutorials out there on how to navigate Taobao and buy from stores directly if you happen to have a Chinese bank/address to ship to, but the easiest way to order from Taobao is through resellers or shopping services.

I've used both and want to share the pros and cons that I've seen with both. I'll let you make the decision what you want to use when you decide to buy, but it's good to get the full picture on your options.

Taobao Resellers

At first, the only resellers of cute clothes from Taobao lurked around on Storenvy. Those still exist, but now there are more legitimate companies that stock and order lolita from Taobao.

One great company is Devil Inspired. They do both pre-orders and stock items from popular Taobao lolita brands.

Devil Inspired recently sent me a dress from Soufflesong - ordering through Devil Inspired is super convenient for ordering a single item or items from different shops at the same time.

I chose the Rose Mary onepiece in pink in size large. If you have a larger bust, you know the struggle of sacrificing a boobloaf for ordering a size up and hoping it doesn't look to baggy. This is what I did, and I don't regret it. This dress is super comfortable and easy to move around in. It's lined with thin cotton, which makes it nice for the summer even though it has long sleeves.

The downside to using a reseller is you are paying a bit more for your items than you would be from using a shopping service. The upside is that you don't have to calculate fees and shipping based n weight for your budget - the reseller does this for you in the listing price. Everything is in English so you don't need to use a translator to figure out sizes and such, and they might have some items already in stock.

Taobao Shopping Services

The shopping service I use is Spreenow, which I also recommend. What I like about them in particular is their convenient shopping cart system and really friendly customer service. They ask for full payments for pre-orders at the beginning, but they do all the work.

The downside to using a shopping service is that you have to go out into the wild of Taobao yourself and tell them what you want. You also have to remember to add in their fees and calculate shipping when you decide to make an order. The upside is that shopping service fees are often less than markups from resellers and you have more freedom to order whatever you want - even if it isn't lolita fashion related.

Conclusions: Taobao Resellers or Shopping Services?

I'm not here to tell you which is the better option for ordering from Taobao. That's up to you. There are upsides and downsides to both, and you should definitely weigh your options.

What do you use when you shop on Taobao? If you haven't ever ordered from there before, what are you waiting for?! Just kidding... let me know below what you think!

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