03 December 2016

How to Style Your Hair Without Bangs

One question that seems to pop up in advice groups often is how to style your hair for Lolita if you don't have bangs.

While full or side fringe is extremely popular in Lolita fashion, it isn't necessary. Some people don't look good with bangs or don't want to deal with the time/effort to maintain them. As the fashion trends back to natural hair, it is becoming more and more popular to do so. Even if you don't have bangs, you can still look fashionable!

I didn't have bangs for the first year or so that I was in the fashion. I didn't wear much makeup and didn't spend a lot of time styling my hair. It did not look good. It didn't help that I have a large forehead and look a lot better with bangs. However, since then I have learned better how to style no-bangs hair.

Take a look at a few examples I've curated of wonderful no-bangs hair styles. Keep scrolling for an explanation of why these work, and how you can style your own no-bang natural hair.

Photo credits to: L.E. Miller PhotographyPMX Fashion, Innocent World/Lolibrary, and my wonderful friends.

What you'll notice about these examples (and many others) is two factors that really makes the style look good and look appropriate with Lolita fashion:

Actually style your hair

Just like any aspect of the fashion, effort is what makes an outfit look good. You don't have to spend hours curling, braiding, or teasing your hair into complicated styles to match your coordinate. Just make sure to invest in a haircut that suits your face and spend at least minimal effort to brushing and/or detangling your luscious locks. 

Some more creative ideas: braid some of your hair over your forehead for "mock bangs", pull one side to the back with a big flower piece, wrap some braids around your head in a large circle "crown", or even pull back natural afro-textured hair into one or two ponytails.

It's all about the headwear

It's pretty standard knowledge that some kind of head covering is a key part of any Lolita coordinate, and selecting the right headwear for the right hairstyle is important for making it look good.

I suggest keeping your headwear either: flat against your head (as you see above with an old-school headdress), off-center, or as a hat. Plopping a big alice-style headbow onto your head might not look the best without bangs. But shift it to the side and it will look a lot more stylish. Hats and berets are also really great for people who don't have bangs. Hats are getting more popular, especially big floppy Ascot-style ones. I don't know exactly why it looks so good, but it does! Plus, without bangs you don't have to worry about smushing them under the brim...

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26 November 2016

PMX 2016

One of my favorite conventions to go to is the Pacific Media Expo (PMX) in the fall. The first year I went it was by the Los Angeles airport, but for the past two years it has been in Pasadena. I have no preference to the location, but I have to say the new location splitting the convention into two different buildings was strange. Not bad though, since it was nice to be separated from the anime part of PMX. Made it feel much more intimate and more lolita than anime.

Day One - Juliette et Justine VIP Brunch & Cafe V Panel

I went to PMX this year with my good friend Sara (thankfully she drove the entire time!), and we left Thursday evening so I could make it to the VIP brunch Friday morning.

The venue was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the company was splendid. We did have issues with the ordering process, which I later found out was because the waiter was supposed to give us all a prefix menu. I won't go into detail because I am still a little confused about the whole ordeal. However, when I asked for a non-dairy option the waiter put up such a fuss about how almost everything had something dairy and he'd see if the chef could come up with something. I can't believe they never have vegan guests, and he was rude about it. It wouldn't have been such a big deal if we could know what sandwiches we would get with out meal before hand, but noooo we got whatever they had the ingredients for that day. 

As gorgeous as the venue was, I don't think I'd go there again on my own.

I have to say, Nakamura is quite honestly the sweetest designer I've ever met. She is so genuine in her compliments and her interest us. At her Q&A panel the next day, she gave a lot of typical "You are all my inspiration!" answers, but she really meant them.

She is also the most flexible designer I've met. Although she revealed she had lost most of her print designs from a computer crash, she said she was more than happy to try to re-release some if someone could lend her the original item to redraw the print from. She mentioned to us that she likes hearing requests and those that speak the loudest are the most likely to get their wish. Based on the VIP tea party, a rerelease of the famed "dragon-chan"(?) might be seen soon!

Nakamura is also so delighted with requests for custom one-of-a-kind dresses, like wedding dresses. Of course it would take a long time and lots of money, but she said she would be honored to exchange emails with you to figure out how to make the wedding gown of your dreams.

After the brunch, I went to the early access shopping. I only bought a pair of tights from the JetJ booth because I had told myself I would only buy a dress if they brought Antique Doll. I did buy some accessories from various indie designers, and I bought a print and a commission from Ainiwaffles of myself. Check out what I bought when I post my PMX haul video!

In the evening, Sara and I went to Cafe V's panel. They unfortunately weren't able to have an acutal butler cafe this time, but they treated their panel like one of their events. They threw cheeky quips at each other and fun little games for the crowd. I heard from someone that their panel was the fullest the con had this year. 

And as always, I was the first to jump at the opportunity for kabe-don. They are so good at it, and I love to support all their endeavors. Totally not endorse, but try to attend an event if you're in town!

My outfit for day one consisted of my only JetJ dress (which I shamelessly wore twice because I felt obligated to wear JetJ to see the designer...) and a beautiful hat I bought last year at the Dicken's Fair. I hope to find more this year...

  • JSK - Juliette et Justine, La Robe du Château
  • Blouse, shoes - Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
  • Necklace - Offbrand
  • Hat - Offbrand
  • Socks - Innocent World

Day Two - Marvelous Menagerie Tea Party

The second day of PMX was the grand tea party. It was offsite, which was a little inconvenient to walk to... but I sure could use the exercise! The venue was gorgeous, decorated to look like a picturesque English garden. Supposedly we were supposed to have the whole place booked to ourselves, but I didn't really notice the other patrons because our section was secluded.

Every guest received a beautiful custom JetJ tea cup and saucer, rose flavored sugar hearts, a BB and B Confectionery phone charm, and a plastic folder from Haenuli full of treats (a comic book, stickers, and a catalog).

I have to say that I was so happy we had iced tea. It was unbearable hot and dry that weekend for the middle of October. Then again, it's Los Angeles...

Sara and I left right after the tea party so we could go back to our room and rest for our 10:30pm reservation at a fabulously crazy restaurant Barton G. Oh man, those liquid nitrogen cocktails and cheesy lobster poptarts... YUM!

My outfit for day two was the same JetJ dress, but coordinated much fancier than Friday's. Big surprise! I love the Victorian look (Nakamura just loved how I looked like Mary Poppins), but I also wanted to pair my Triple Fortune bonnet with this dress. I wanted to include as many crazy elements into my coord to match the hodgepodge of a print. I added a little gold bird to my hair, a castle rosette, and cat themed things everywhere.

  • JSK - Juliette et Justine, La Robe du Château
  • Blouse - Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
  • Tights, cat ring - Enchantlic Enchantilly
  • Bonnet - Triple Fortune
  • Cat portrait ring - Mossbadger
  • Shoes - Bait
  • Peony brooch - Moss Märchen
  • Wig - Lockshop, Starlet in Vanille
  • Everything else - Offbrand

Day Three - Fashion Show

Day three was mostly just the fashion show for me since I was modeling for LIEF. Although I was sad not to have fit the aesthetic for JetJ, I love LIEF's things just as much. The four of us had a blast together - it's much more personal and fun when the modeling group is smaller.

I didn't take many photos since I was busy socializing and prepping for the show, so I had to borrow one from Sienna.

I had such a blast at PMX this year, I hope you'll come if you have the chance!

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18 November 2016

4 Of Your Favorite Autumn Motifs

This week's Lolita Blog Carnival is similar to the last one I did on my own personal autumn/winter style, but this is a little more general than that one. This week, I'd like to talk about four motifs I love seeing - either on myself or on other lolitas - in the fall.

1. Tartan

2. Carnival/Circus

3. Books

4. Fall Florals

All photos taken from Closet of Frills, credit to their respective owners. Please leave a comment if you want me to link to your Facebook (I didn't automatically for privacy!)

What is your four favorites? Any of these - or different ones? Mushrooms... Leaves... Fawns... Rosettes... Chocolate...?

Other blogs who participated:
Floating on Macarons

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12 November 2016

6 Tricks For a Killer Model Application

If you've wanted to do any kind of modeling, you've probably worried that your application won't get accepted. Well, years of modeling for lolita and jfashion brands have taught me a few tips and tricks I'd like to share with you.

Following these tips won't guarantee that you'll be accepted for the shoot/show you applied for, but it will definitely improve the impression you leave on the reviewers.

  • Provide your measurements in both inches and centimeters. This will help expedite the selection process, especially if you are applying for a fashion show with both Western and Asian designers. It will also show that you're considerate of the designers and really want to work for them.
  • Select clear, well lit photographs that show the best side of you. Try to avoid selfies if you can, and professionally shot photos are the best. It's not vain to submit photos that really flatter your body type and face shape - just be sure to include photos with different poses and angles to give a more well-rounded view. I suggest a mix of full body shots of poses you'd use at the event, smiling and neutral facial expressions, and shots that show your body looks like without wigs or tons of baggy layers.
  • If they ask for little or no makeup, always go for a little makeup. If you're like me, a little eyeliner and mascara works wonders! I think my eyes look really small without eyeliner, so I want to show the reviewers a face that looks more like how it will while modeling.
  • Submit photos in clothing that appeals to your preferred brand. What I noticed about the first jfashion show I modeled for was that the girls who submitted photos of themselves in lolita got chosen for the lolita brand, and those who didn't were selected for other jfashion brands. Selecting photos of yourself in clothing similar to your favorite brand (in that brand is best!) will help them better visualize how you'll look in their clothes. If you don't care who you model for, try to include a variety of different styles that both show your body shape and your fashion style.
  • List previous modeling experience but be modest about it. If there is a section that allows a free-response, definitely list previous experience. List it out with the brand/designer and event name. If you modeled for a professional photoshoot, include that too. If you haven't had any experience, just say something like "I don't have any previous modeling experience yet, but I hope to use this opportunity to change that."
  • Submit your application early. There is a reason behind the cliché "the early bird catches the worm." Early submission demonstrates your enthusiasm and suggests that you'll arrive early as well. If the event you're applying for has multiple application stages, entering yours before the first deadline ensures it will be seen by as many designers as possible. This means you get first dibs for open slots with the brand you want.

Here is an example of a good application photo:

Even though it isn't professionally taken, you can see how it is a good choice. It is clear, bright, and shows how I can pose.

Here is an example of a bad application photo:

Even though it fits the standard requirements of a head shot, it should never be seen by a recruiter! It is dark, clearly a selfie, doesn't show my face very well, and is not recent (rare sight of me in my beginning years!).

I hope these few little tricks will help you with your modeling dreams - best of luck!

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11 November 2016

Your Autumn/Winter Aesthetic

I'm really excited for this week's LBC topic because I don't get to experience autumn here in California quite the same way many others do... Here autumn means overcast skies, pumpkin spice lattes, an up-kick in wind activity, and alternating days of cold and hot weather.

My Autumn/Winter aesthetic is classic, victorian, tartan, books, and boots. I love berets with braids, short jackets and long socks, dusty pinks and deep burgundies.

I do love wearing sweet all year long - I even made a video two years ago about making sweeter pieces work for winter - but I will admit to favoring my classic pieces around this time of year.

Look one: Classic, Victorian, & Boots

I love this photo from a photoshoot I attended in an historical cemetery. There's just something so spooky and chilly about graveyards in the autumn.

What I love about this coordinate is how utterly Victorian it looks. You can see better pictures of the details on my Instagram, but you can at least see the bustled onepiece from Innocent World, the vintage straw hat with a black velvet band, the boots and black wool stockings seamlessly blending together. As one of my friends mentioned, add some luggage, and it looks like a traveling outfit.

Photo Credit _daev

Look two: Burgundy, short jackets, & boots

What I love about this outfit is how cozy it made me feel for a trip with my best friends to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The dark red velvet blazer and the knee-high black leather boots made me feel at home under the crisp, gray skies.

Look three: Dusty pinks, short jackets, berets & boots

A lot of people seem to like this outfit - as do I! Despite it being coordinated last minute before a casual meet up with friends, the balance of this outfit is amazing.

You don't get to see the adorable biscuit bear bag I brought with me that day or the baby pink cropped biker jacket, but I think the gingerbread theme is still visible. I wish those pink boots had lasted longer... alas they came apart in the middle of a shopping mall a month later. RIP BTSSB Boots 2015.

Look four: Victorian, dusty pinks, braids & berets

I keep showing you autumn/winter looks that I wore on overcast days. Maybe it has something to do with my favorite type of weather... What kind of weather do you like?

I love love love this coordinate. Dusty pink and gray is a heavenly combination, and I love how the My Dear Charming tights created a nice blend between the two colors.

If you see me in braids and a beret like this, you know it's my signature style!

Other blogs who participated:
Cupcakes and Unicorns

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05 November 2016

Lipton Cunningham Review

One of the things I love to do is support my friends and support local indie designers. It is even better when I can do both at the same time. This is why I always try to buy accessories from my friends' shops, and I always love what they make.

Lipton Cunningham launched their small hand-made accessories shop in September 2016 at the OTTea Party with a special discount for attendees. I jumped at the chance to pre-order two amazingly detailed military brooches. They weren't immediately available because the owner needed to get more supplies - that's how popular these were!

I purchased one of each of the military brooches in the dark red colorway. There was another bright red version, but wine matches more of my wardrobe.

Quality - 5/5

I am amazed at the quality of craftsmanship, but not surprised. They also make the accessories for the butler Cafe V, which I have admired for years.

Some of the ends are frayed, but I'm not turned off by this. It's normal for hand-made items to have small imperfections, and I think they are more unique and one-of-a-kind because of it.

Shipping - N/A

I can't provide a review on shipping because I opted for local pickup, but my preorder was finished and ready to go within a few weeks. Not bad for having to travel to buy supplies and handcraft several of these so fast!

Communication - 5/5

Both in person at OTTea and in the email I received about the status of my preorder, communication was fantastic. The owner is polite, prompt, friendly, and really easy to approach with any questions or concerns. 

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29 October 2016

Halloween Tag

Halloween is almost here and that means... time for something spoopy! I really like these quiz/surveys/tags, so I thought I'd go ahead and do Biterdreams' Halloween Tag.

1. Favourite Halloween Movie
Hands down, favorite Halloween movie has to be Hocus Pocus. I remember the first time I watched it; me and my mom had rented it for a Halloween party I was throwing when I was about 9 or 10.

2. Halloween costume for this year
I'm not planning on dressing up in a Halloween costume exactly. For watching spoopy movies on the actual day (Halloween on a Monday stinks!), I'll probably just wear a giraffe kigu. For our annual Halloween party and my comm's Halloween tea party the week before, I'm going with a generic goth/victorian/bones/black/etc. outfit. Nothing themed...

3. Favourite terror movie
Cabin in the Woods. Because it's 100% not a real horror movie!

4. Best meal/snack for Halloween/ autumn
Bread pudding. Or rice pudding! Ooh, or leftover rice warmed with milk and brown sugar? 

5. Your first terror movie
My first horror movie was the original Japanese Premonition. I saw it in a hotel room my mom and I were staying in between moving houses. I think I was 11. Maybe because there aren't any jump scares, but something about that movies just creeped me out but didn't scar me for life. I think I've seen it twice since then and would watch it again.

6. Which kind of monster you would like to be?
I'd probably be a vampire. Ya know, move to New Orleans and wear fancy doll dresses. I can do the late-night thing, but I can't be a ghost or I'd be too frustrated with not being able to pick things up...

7. Favourite Halloween Character
I don't really have a favorite Halloween Character, but I love Salem in Sabrina the Teenage Witch!

8. One of your paranormal experiences
Haven't had one.

9.Do you believe in witchcraft?
I believe in witchcraft in the terms of wicca/paganism. I don't believe witches can fly or conjure things from thin air, but I do believe in special properties of herbs and respect traditions of witches. I actually used to practice witchcraft in middle school. 

10. Best costume that you have ever worn
There are three contenders for this one! First, my Halloween costume last year won me a 100$ giftcard from my work's costume contest - I wore BTSSB's Alice Portrait in an Alice in Wonderland outfit. Second, my favorite costume as a child was Cinderella because my mom sewed me her gown. I got to wear a hoopskirt for the first time, and I felt so elegant! Third, my most witty costume was in 7th grade. I wore a thrift-store prom dress, a tiara, and smudged scene makeup with a echarp that read "Miss Understood" Get it? Misunderstood/Miss Understood?

11.Favourite dessert
Candy corn.

12.How do you act when you see a terror movie?
I am a weenie butt. I can count the horror movies I've seen and recall how terrified of each scene I was in great detail. Somehow, my brain doesn't accept that nothing in them is real and it freaks me out long after I watch the movie. I'm still terrified of uncovered windows at night (Thanks One Missed Call) and cracks in doorways (Thanks The Happening)...

13. The best pumpkin carving you have done
I honestly have no idea. I don't have any photos of any pumpkin carvings I've done, and I don't thin I've done anything other than generic faces.

14. Do you believe in ghost or spirits?

15. Tips for Halloween decorations
Please. No. Strobe. Lights. Also... no pop-ups please.

16.What do you use for trick or treat in Halloween?
I don't understand this question, but I think I have an idea: when I was a kid I used a cheap plastic jack-o-lantern to collect my candy. I think one year in high school I used a pillowcase.

17.Your traditions for Halloween
I don't really have any traditions anymore other than watching some kind of Halloween movie (usually Hocus Pocus).

18. What is better, pranks or treats on Halloween?
Definitely treats! I really don't like pranks, tricks, or even teasing. I'd probably punch anyone who tried to prank me on Halloween...

19. Worst fear
Light-weight worst fear is spiders. I've grown to accept daddy longlegs as long as they stay in their corner because I hate the big fat brown ones even more. I swear they keep getting bigger and grosser every year! Serious worst fear is not being believed. I hate plots of movies and books where the protagonist is thrown into an awful situation and is stuck with no one believing them because they were framed/their identity erased/etc. (See: The Space Merchants) I get really defensive when people don't believe me, and I am afraid of a world in which I've lost everyone I love because of something that just isn't true. This is also why rumors and secrets spread about me on the internet really hurt me - because there's no way to convince the people hearing about it that it isn't true/I'm not a terrible person.

20. Best TV show with a Halloween episode
I don't watch a lot of TV shows that have Halloween episodes, but I have to say that Bones does a good job. I really love seeing Brennan in her Wonder Woman costume, screeching into Booth's arms - priceless!

21. What do you think about October weather?
I hate it... I wish I had the typical sweater-weather kind of October, but quite often California has Indian summers that drag the heat far into October. I liked it a lot better when I was a kid, it was cooler then. Damn global warming. I do remember it raining a few Halloweens; that was the bomb!

22.Your first Halloween costume?
My first costume was Tigger. My baby nursery was themed Winnie the Pooh, so it makes sense my mom would dress me up as a character. 

23.Worst Halloween desserts
Caramel apples. As much as I like both caramel and apples, there is just something so disappointing about the execution. Every time I tried to enjoy one it always ended badly because the caramel was so hard and chewy. Even after I had my braces off, I felt like it would pull my teeth out! 

24. Trick or treat or a Halloween party?
When I was a kid, these went hand-in-hand. I'd meet up at a friend's house and a small group of us would go trick-or-treating. When we'd get back we'd sit in a circle and sort candies (trading for our favorites after our parents took any that looked like they were tampered with) and just eat and hang out. Now, I much prefer Halloween parties. The last time I went out to get candy we were freshmen in college and it wasn't as much fun...

25. Favourite song for Halloween
I don't really have a favorite Halloween song. All the ones I can think of are cheesy 2000s songs.

26. Did you ever use a ouija table? Experiences?
I have never used a ouija table. I never believed in them nor had access to one.

27. Last year's Halloween costume
I didn't really dress up last year because I was super busy with midterms and I was too lazy to think of anything creative. However, I did attend a Cafe V event in October that was Alice in Wonderland themed:

28. What are you going to do this Halloween?
I don't know, but I'll probably spend the night with my squad watching movies and eating crap food like we usually do.

29. Are you going to any Halloween event?
I am going to a Halloween tea party in SF with my comm. I am also going to a meet at a pirate themed bar sometime this month, does that count? Lastly, for my 21st birthday present, my grandparents bought us all tickets (them, my mom, me and my boyfriend) to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone played on the big screen with a live orchestra playing the sound track. 

30. Favourite Halloween animal?
Black cats are my favorite, but I may be biased because I have a black cat. I named her Lusinda, and when I was a kid I always wanted a picture in my Halloween costume with her. 

31.Why do you like Halloween?
I like Halloween because its a time to be whatever you want to be without fear of judgement. You can be spoopy, scary, sexy, silly, or magical. I love seeing the creativity of people's costumes (especially the ones based on puns or memes!) and just being able to be creative myself with people I enjoy spending time with.

I hope you got some enjoyment out of this tag and learned something interesting about me. I hope you do this tag too. If you do, link me in the comments!

22 October 2016

Disneyland Lolita Day 2016

This was the second year I attended Disneyland Lolita Day. I also went in 2015 which was really fun!

Even though it was right in the middle of midterms, my boyfriend and I trekked down to Los Angeles for a weekend holiday. On Saturday, we went to Universal Studios in Hollywood. On Sunday, we went to Disneyland in Anaheim.


I was pumped to be visiting Harry Potter World again! I had gone to the one in Orlando, Florida the summer it opened, but I am such a Potterhead that I had to go again! The lines were definitely shorter, but I was surprised not as many people were there in October. It seemed like the perfect time to be strolling around this fantasy world.

The wait for the castle ride was three hours in Florida - this time it was half that. The ride broke down halfway through, but they let us ride again immediately after with no wait! That was a fabulous deal!

Do you love butterbeer? I do... Nick and I got four! I have to warn you, the frozen ones are less flavorful and just aren't worth the extra charge.

I was thrilled by how many people recognized my dress. Even though it isn't the right train station, I was hoping some people would get it.


The main event - Disneyland Lolita Day! Sunday was a blast, even though I didn't get to spend as much time with friends as I'd have liked.

I liked the new meeting place in Fantasyland; it was much less crowded than before. We even got visited by Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Red Queen! The DLD hosts were so excited to give the characters personalized pins and DLD cards.

Nick and I ate so much food, but we probably walked it all off by the end of the day. Parkhopping over to California Adventures was a mistake though. Even though half of the reason Nick came with me was to ride the Tower of Terror before it got torn down, the line was way too long for either of us to justify riding it.

For my outfit, I really decided comfort over cuteness. I wore my mint Eternal Rose Bouquet dress from Angelic Pretty because it was comfy and I hadn't worn it in forever. I paired it with a snapback decorated with AP pins, some generic cute ankle socks, and my battle jacket. It ended up very cute-punk and a little retro, but I loved how it turned out!

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01 October 2016

OTTea Party 2016

This was the second year of the, what seems to be now annual, OTTea Party in San Francisco and the second year I have attended. Last year I filmed a vlog, and I did the same for this year. You can watch it at the end of this post.

First off, I have to thank the organizers Elize, Katie, Ana, and Ha-Anh for all the time and energy they poured into the party. It is always such a blast, and this year we had a vendor room and double the number of guests. It was amazing to see friends from other cities and states and get to buy things from indie brands I don't normally get to.

Unfortunately I didn't take many photos because I was focusing on filming and socializing, so you'll be spared a sprawling post full of pictures.

First of all, the vendor hall was amazing. There was only a handful of tables, but I think the selection was pretty good for a small space and no big brands. We had Lipton Cunningham, Moss Märchen, Lolita Collective (with lots of indie brands like Voodooodolly, Moss Badger, Peppermint Fox, etc.), a local tea house, Leila Maria, Paradise Rose Shop, Midnight Affair, and My Dear Charming.

I did a little bit of damage (although less than $100 yay me!) here. Check out my haul to see what I bought at OTTea.

The tea service was standard fare, nothing extraordinary. Perhaps I've been spoiled from the amazing tea houses in my area, but somehow hotel tea services are just so-so to me.

The tea itself consisted of tea bags hanging in metal pots left on the table for self-service. I believe we had a fruity green tea and an orange black tea.

I couldn't eat any of the sandwiches because every single one had either cream cheese or sour cream, which really annoyed me. I always forget to ask for a "dietary restriction" plate because I can eat dairy, but I really hate sour cream and cream cheese. Usually there is a chicken curry or tarragon and an egg salad option, but there were none here. The scones were lovely however, there was copious amounts of lemon curd, and the desserts were really quite good. You probably can't see form the photo above, but the chocolate the strawberries were dipped in was a little glittery!

Meeting friends was by far the best part of the day. Because we were able to double the size from 70 guests to over 100, we were able to get people from all corners of the country. I got to see people I hadn't seen since Rufflecon last year and meet people I'd only seen online.

The creativity of everyone's outfits was unbelievable. I saw such variety and unique themes, I couldn't stop smiling the whole afternoon. The most memorable outfits for me was a friend's voodoo themed outfit (you'll see a clip of her in my vlog, she's wearing a white jsk and a brown headcovering with an animal skull); someone's Mariachi themed outfit with a giant black and gold sombrero, a purse shaped like a musical instrument, and a donky/horse plush in a matching hat; and a vapor wave themed outfit with a glowing pink dolphin plush that played music.

Personally, I kept my outfit relatively simple. I wore the fanciest OP I have (which was a lifesaver in the Indian summer SF is in the middle of) but kept accessories simple. I spent maybe 5 total hours crafting my headdress and flowers to pin on my dress, but that was simple compared to many of the other guests.

My headdress was inspired by Mucha. I've seen these side flowers before in lolita coordinates and I wanted to make some myself!

The dress is BTSSB's Icing Princess OP, and I have to say I never understood "good raschel lace" until I bought this dress. The lace is soft and silky and silver threads run through the design. My socks and shoes are also from BTSSB, and my floral accessories are obviously handmade. The wig I wore is Lockshop's Starlet in Vanille, but it is from the new supplier (which I like a lot less than the one I have in Flax from the old supplier...)

I really enjoyed myself at OTTea this year, and I encourage you to go next year if you can make it. You won't regret attending!

Photo credit Lens Collective

30 September 2016

Fall Meetup Ideas

Depending on where you live, autumn is either right around the corner, a distant dream barely seen through the haze of Indian summer, or something you just experienced a few months ago. If you fall into the latter category (fall? get it? I love bad puns) you probably aren't going to find much use for this until the spring.

This week's LBC topic was to come up with a list of fall meetup ideas. I made a list of winter meetup ideas last year, so I was excited to brainstorm for another season!

I hope you like this list and maybe even get inspired to host a few of these!

  1. Corn mazes. I don't know if other countries do these, but it can be quite fun. Some are even supposed to be scary. Split up into teams and see you can get out first!
  2. Autumn picnic. Picnics don't have to be reserved for spring and summer - you can still enjoy the crisp weather with lap blankets, thermoses of tea and cocoa, and all your plaid! Sit back and enjoy time with your friends while looking at the colored leaves (Unless you live in California, then just enjoy more green and brown).
  3. Quilting session. Quilting is usually done indoors, so it can be done during any season, but something about sweater weather calls for blankets. The bigger the group, the more/faster you can make!
  4. Harry Potter themed meet. My comm loves Harry Potter so much, we had three separate HP meets last fall! You couldn't pick a better season to drink butterbeer, show your house pride, take photos under a dreary sky, and play trivia with all kinds of magical food.
  5. Brewery tour. Speaking of beer, Oktoberfest is every September. See if a local brewery will give your group a tour and tasting. Just because wine tours are more for summer doesn't mean you can't get your booze on.
  6. Dinner party. While the weather still allows, host an evening dinner party. Hang up some fairy lights and light some candles. Whether you want to tackle the whole meal or decide on a potluck, an intimate, hearty meal with your comm can be really fun. 
  7. Attend a seance. Halloween is in the air, and that means all the spirits of the dead are hustling about for the host of ghost-related holidays in autumn. Get your goth on and attend a seance as a group for a spooky, unique evening.
  8. Sweater weather themed meet. It's time to pull out all your cardigans and sweaters! Go see a movie, have dinner, or just hang out as a group somewhere local, but do it in coords that involve knit-wear.
  9. Themed bars. Because of Halloween, strangers are much less curious about what lolita is when they see it - they just assume its a costume and leave you alone. This can work to your advantage if you want to all go to a themed bar or club. My comm rented out a pirate-themed bar in San Francisco (with a secret grotto fountain and a rum-based menu!) for an autumn meetup. Speakeasy, cabaret, circus themed bars, there are so many possibilities. Just see whats close to your city.
  10. Attend a show. Ballet companies are beginning their winter season soon, so buy tickets as a group and go in your fancy dresses. I personally love Phantom of the Opera, but my city is also playing The Sorcerer's Stone on the big screen with the symphony playing the soundtrack! There are countless ballets and plays and operas offered this time of year.
Other blogs who participated:
Poppy Noir
Parasol Obsession

23 September 2016

Skills Every Lolita Should Have

Everyone needs skills to survive in life. Every lolita needs skills to ... well I don't know, not waste our paychecks?

This week's LBC topic is skills that every lolita should have. Some suggestions were navigating brand websites in other languages, sewing, packing for lolita trips, etc. I thought of some more basic - but super important - skills I think would make you a better lolita.

1. Being able to budget. Budgeting is hard enough as it is (even I don't really have it down yet...) but add an expensive hobby and all hell could break loose. Unless you have an unlimited source of play money, limiting your fashion purchases is a good idea. Remember that you cannot buy every pretty dress you see online. There are a lot of dresses I would love to own and love even more to just stare at with puppy-dog eyes. But I know that my income can't support these desires. And neither could my closet... You'll be better off saving up for purchases through set amounts that you put aside each time you get money. Payment plans are sometimes a good idea when a dream dress shows up, but use that privilege sparingly. Saving up is always better for preventing impulse buys you later regret. Check out my video for some tips for making good purchases.

2. Having patience. This not only applies to waiting for a better deal on a dream dress than the first scalper you see after a bloodbath release, but it also means being able to sit back and take it easy. Don't rush into the fashion at the beginning, take the time to save up and buy all the necessities before flouncing around in a petti-less jsk and your ratty sneakers. Have the patience to sift through google results and Facebook group topics to find the answer to your question. Trust me - it's already been answered.

3. Learn how to use a needle and thread. I don't mean knowing how to sew a whole new piece or embroider or anything like that. Being able to quickly fix a tear in a blouse or sew back on a button is a priceless skill inside and outside lolita. Watch Youtube videos or ask a friend to show you how, and you will save tons of money from seamstresses or replacements.

4. Being able to control your emotions. I don't want to sound mean, but it's true! It is important to control yourself because people can be really judgmental. Be able to take constructive criticism on a coordinate without feeling like its a personal attack. Don't be so jealous of someone who gets to wear your dream dress, it will only harbor bad feelings and make you feel worse about not owning it. Don't go around exposing dirty laundry because you had a fight with another lolita. It creates a vicious cycle of bullies. Write your feelings out in a diary. Talk about them to someone completely outside the fashion. Close your laptop or take a break from meetups if you need to.

5. Have self-confidence. Lolita fashion is about expressing yourself, so don't be afraid or ashamed to do so! You can be any size, color, gender, or religion to be a lolita. You can like any kind of music, movies, food, animals, colors, etc. Lolita should be about what makes you feel beautiful, creative, and confident! If you don't have the confidence to wear lolita outside the house or try out a new substyle, you'll only limit yourself.

6. Know how to make a good coordinate. Unlike jeans and t-shirts, lolita takes a lot more effort to create an outfit. You have to juggle so many different elements, from blouses and socks to hair and makeup, that putting together an outfit is a vital skill. It isn't guaranteed that you'll be able to snag every matching piece from a series, so finding accessories and headwear that match is challenging. Knowing how to balance accent colors - or add whole new ones! - can really make your outfit shine. Take a look at my video for tips on how I make my coordinates.

7. Learn how to hand wash. Personally, I have never taken any of my clothes to the dry cleaners. Even when I was selling a courdroy and velvet piece, I carefully scrubbed the stain with a tooth brush and baking soda and lemon juice. Learning how to take care of your lolita by yourself will save you a lot of money and headache when stains arrive. Whether you need to spot-remove a small stain in a public restroom sink or tenderly clean not-colorfast prints, knowing the proper cleaning methods for a variety of stains and smells is a great tool to have in your lolita skill belt.

What other skills do you think lolitas should have?