Saturday, 1 February 2014

How to advance from a Lolita-newbie to a Lolita-apprentice... The Lolita advancing ritual.

Lolita can be an easy fashion-style, if you buy everything from ONE brand and ONE coordination in ONE colour straight from the rack :)

But this isn't the reality for a lot of Lolitas' out there!
The reality is that many of us choose to buy from different brands, indie-brands, vintage stores and DIY. Which leads to a wardrobe full of items that may or may not be easy to wear together.

As a newbie-Lolli, the instant crush on the fashion may lead to a lot of impulsive shopping.

This happened to me :) I have now, more than 6 months later, a huge wardrobe full of odd-matching items in various colours and patterns and styles :P Which makes coordination rather impossible!

So, in order to advance from a Lolli-Newbie to a Lolli-Apprentice,
I'm going to make the following Lolita advancing ritual that's applicable for any Lolita; Master, Apprentice or Newbie ;):
1) Make a cup of tea

2) Spread your entire wardrobe in your room. Hang outfits on your door, on your curtain-rod, spread out your accessories on the bed and line up your Lolita shoes on the floor.

3) Sit down in a comfy armchair and bring out your laptop.

4) Surf the web and save pictures of all the Lolita-coords you love (and would be likely to wear).
Lolita coordinate database
EGL Daily Lolita
5) Choose the top 25 of these pics.
Use perhaps pixlr to make a collage.

6) Now look at the coord-photos - pick out the 6 colours that always seem to pop up.

7) Make a note of these 6 colours - do they harmonise together? If not, make slight alterations and finally choose the 3 most basic colours. These colours will be the base foundation of your wardrobe. Leave the other 3 colours for accenting your base colours. Eventually you will end up with the Lolita colour-chart for your style! :) Ramble Rori has a great post about Colour coordinating your outfits.

8) Now look at the designs of the clothes in the picture coords that you love. Are they Sweet, Gothic or Classic? Are they frilly, lacy or more simple pin-tuck? Do you prefer JSK+blouse or OP? Are there a lot of boleros, capes or cardigans? Bows, Headdress, Flowers or Hats? Printed or Solid Socks? RHS, chunky heels or Classic Mary Janes? Etc, etc... If you are really into categorising (I love that ;) LOL) you can make a simple table of the items appearing in the coords on the pictures- simply look at each picture and mark for every coord what item appears:

Comme ça:
Bolero - III
Hat - I
Tea Party Shoes - II
Classic Mary Janes - IIII
Flowers - II

In this way you can decipher exactly which items that occur most often in the coords you like.
(You can do the same thing with the colours!)

(Of course you can choose to have several parallel wardrobes going on - e.g. One Classic Brown/Rose/Ivory wardrobe + One Gothic Rococo Floral/Black/Ivory + One Sweet OTT pink/mint/sax. But be-aware that this will truly complicate shopping and will cost you a lot more! In the end, my opinion is that you'll get a nicer wardrobe if you build one at the time. So for instance, choose 2014 to be your Classic wardrobe-shopping year, 2015 to be your Gothic and 2016 to be your Sweet. This way you can build three wonderful wardrobes within three years (and not ending up with three half-good wardrobes and having to rob a bank!) F Yeah Lolita has an excellent post on how to create a Lolita Wardrobe.

9) Compare the designs of the clothes on the pictures, with the items of your wardrobe in front of you.

10) Sort your items in piles of "Matches my ideal Lolita style", "Does not match" and "Maybe".

11) Put out all the "Do not match"-items up for sale on EGL-comm-sales or Facebook-sales-groups :)

12) Coord the remaining items. 
(Leave the "Maybe"-pile for now, keep these items stored in your wardrobe for a rainy day, these are the items that you might regret if you sell them immediately. Re-evaluate them within a year: If you do not use them within 12 months, you're probably never going to use them - so sell them! If you have used them a lot, obviously just keep them :).

13) Ask yourself:
Which items are you missing in your wardrobe to make those amazing coords? (compare with your pictures!)

14) Make a SPECIFIC shopping list of the items you need.
With SPECIFIC, I mean really SPECIFIC - colour, length, design, brand, etc. So you don't get tempted to buy something "half-good" just because it's at a low price!

15) Pin this shopping list on your desktop (of your computer or your IRL desk or maybe both). Save your money and don't DARE to but anything else than the items on your list :)

Happy efficient shopping!
This will hopefully help you to spend money on better items and help you to reach another mastering level in Lolita.

So this is how I did:

My top 25 coordinates

Mostly coords from Fanny Rosie and Fancy Melody <3

Some of these coords aren't Lolita! But I really feel for them, so I'm inspired by them anyway.
I will probably forever style myself in the Limbo-land of Vintage and Lolita ^^ haha

Basically, it's skirt + chiffon blouse + grimoire tights + short jacket + lace-up booties

Most occuring clothing items:
IW Book Bag
Lace Boots
Short Jacket
Grimoire Tights

The 3 most occuring colours:
Antique Pink

Accent colours:

Classic Lolita

Cotton with prints/paintings
Corduroy (Manchester)

Fanny Rosie has made a great wardrobe post, and when I'm scanning through her items, I realise that these are the brands I like best:
Mary Magdalene
Juliette et Justine
Innocent World

<3 I'm seriously in love with Fanny Rosies' shoe collection <3

So my shopping list for 2014 will be as follows: 
(Cold weather edition)
*drum whirl*

> A brown short jacket with a bow.
> Two simple wool Lolita skirts, Brown and Navy.
> Two chiffon lace blouses, Cream and Wine.
> Two hats to match the wool skirts, Brown and Navy.
> A bolero, Brown (preferably JeJ).
> An all-matching Bambi fur collar.
> A pair of classic, sturdy and walking friendly Oxford shoes in Brown leather.
> Grimoire tights, 2 pairs.
> Decorative flowers in my 6 colours
> Antique-looking jewellery
> IW Book Bag or something similar :)
> If I can afford it :) A special OP or JSK from a nice brand!

So, now I'm pinning this to my desktop and sticking to my well considered purchases :)
I could even make a budget for the following months, so I can plan to save money for EGL comm sales. (especially after Lucky Pack season! A lot of IW pieces ends up second hand :)

For better coords for all Lolitas!

Love /Mary Hazelbelle

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