Hard to Pull off: Wa Lolita

Firstly, I want to apologize for my absence from this blog, things have been crazy in the real world, but here I am. Still alive and kicking! 

Dorotee Sweetlips creation for a customer

Wa Lolita is a style the blends together the Lolita silhouette and elements of Japanese kimono or yukata. Outside of Japan, it's a style not attempted by many Lolitas and when done wrong, it looks really wrong. Like, costume wrong.

So how on earth do you pull off Wa Lolita?

1. Avoid cheap material.
            ~ Anything shiny, flimsy, or brightly colored should be avoided at all costs. This is a standard "rule" in Lolita but I believe it's one you really can't break when it comes to the Wa style. Some summer yukata can be fun and colorful, but likely you're seeing neon pink or primary blue as base colors. Treat your color palette the same as you would if you were shopping for a kimono. And contrary to mainstream (read: idiot) belief, kimono are typically not shiny. Some can be made from luxurious brocade, but cotton is also a popular fabric choice.

2. Sleeve choice is important.
             ~ The wider the sleeve, the higher chance you risk of your coordinate looking like a costume. If you're new to the style or have never worn a kimono ( all that sleeve flapping can be REALLY annoying ) opt for a sleeve type that flairs out slightly. This is especially true if you have an item with a busy floral pattern - you don't want to be drowning in your Wa style.

3. Black and Red - Don't do it!
           ~ The two colors together can be pretty sketchy in a regular Gothic coordinate, so they don't work much better in Wa, and this is especially true if you're going for something along the lines of authentic Japanese aesthetic. The only way I see this working well is if you're aiming for a Punk/Wa mash-up and then at best you've got yourself a darker red tone and LOT less lace and ruffles.

4. Color Blocking is your Friend! :)
          ~ When you've a sumptuous looking design or pattern, break it up with some solids. In this example you've got a solid red trim near the collar and swatches of white on the hem and in the obi. Wearing this with a simple hair style and some textured (and dark stockings) would make for a lovely Wa Lolita coordinate. 

5. Ama Wa = Normal Sweet
          ~ Taking the Sweet Lolita approach to the Wa style is pretty similar to dolling up a regular Sweet coordinate. Colors are obviously important if you're rocking a sweet print, so stick to a theme. The girl in the photo above is sporting a very Angelic Pretty-esque (it might be, goes to show what I know about brands ^_^ ) print on her Wa dress, but she's also wearing a very popular hairstyle found in Sweet. The most notable differences between this and regular sweet is the addition of Japanese sandals and an adorable pink parasol. The blending of the two styles is seamless and works very well.

Here are some examples of Wa Lolita done well. These are all my opinion of course, feel free to think differently. ;)


The Secret Life

DeerStalkerPictures brings us another hilarious (and some say true) video on Western Lolita culture. These are the geniuses that brought us Buy Mo' Brand and Shit Lolitas Say. Presented to us as a wildlife documentary - this video seeks to document the life of the average Lolita. From swimming through a bed of brand dresses to stalking after the post man - this is supposed to be stuff that us Lolitas can relate to.

Having said that....

I feel like I fail as a Lolita. 

I don't buy a lot of brand, and I certainly haven't filled my closet with it. I don't really have it out on display either - it just sits in the closet with the rest of my clothing.

I don't spend hours looking for Lolita items to purchase and to be honest, I don't really connect with any Lolita communities, local or otherwise. I prefer my friendships (the few that exist) to be based around something more substantial than clothing.

Definitely not a hoarder. I don't buy lots of useless crap and let it sit around my room. In fact, I'm such a minimalist that about twice a year I go through my room with a garbage bag and a box, determining what is trash and what can be shipped off to charity.

I don't think I've ever actually sat and waited for a delivery. Usually I forget all about it until I get a post slip in the mail and then when I find time to get to the office, I pick it up.

Even if DeerStalker did a Gothic Lolita version of this, I'm sure I'd still fail pretty hardcore.

I know, I know, this is supposed to sartorial in nature, but I still feel like it represents what the ideal Lolita is supposed to be like. She's supposed to be cute, wear a lot of well-known brands in popular prints, have several different wigs, and attend meetups when not shopping for more brand and (politely) snarking on other girls over the internet.

It's not a pretty image, but I think it sums up the average fairly well. And I don't fit in it at all - same with lots of other girls I imagine.

I have short hair. I rarely wear petticoats with my dresses. I hate tea party shoes. I will never spend more than $100 on any single item, ever. I don't attend meetups. I'm a terrible Lolita.

What gives me comfort is that I'm not the only one. And that's okay, because it means I have much more freedom to define myself outside of it. I'm not just a girl that wears frilly dresses once in a while. I exist outside of that - I'm a student, a writer, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister, a human being, etc.

What's underneath the veneer of Lolita, now that's the real secret life. Isn't it?


Lolitas with Short Hair: Redux (part 1)

I wrote an article like this a couple of years ago when I chopped my hair down and if you want to read it, click here, but I think it's time I updated that post and added quite a few new tips, tricks, and photos. So read on!

With the growing popularity of the pixie cut and other really short hairstyles, Lolitas may be wondering: Can I cut my hair short and still wear Lolita fashion without looking ridiculous or like a boy? And the answer is YES! You totally can - short hair looks adorable with Lolita.

Casual Lolita seems to have quite a love affair with short hair. And it's the easiest to pull off, in my opinion. You don't have to worry about adding too much to your hair to balance out a coord either. A couple of barrettes or a headband will sort you right out.

A pixie is the PERFECT excuse to experiment with boystyle or kodona if you haven't considered doing so yet. You barely even have to style it and hats look great with this look!

But by no means do you have to abandon frilly dresses and head bows. This lovely girl pulls off a giant head devouring bow even with her short locks!

There are lots of ways to style your short hair too!

This lovely girl curled her blonde locks and topped it off with a hat for a very classic look. She reminds me of Marilyn Monroe - had Miss Monroe been a fan of frilly frocks.

Hats. Hats will be your best friend. Especially for those days when your hair either isn't behaving or you're too unmotivated to mess with it.

This girl is using her pixie cut as a means to experiment with some really cute and maybe unconventional accessories with her look. The crocheted bow is too cute!

But that doesn't mean you have to forgo more traditional head-gear. Chokelate demonstrates this with a very nice head-piece. I love how it blends into her hair.

And let's not forget this inspiring beauty. She's rocked a wide variety of short styles and wild colors - from a green mohawk to this nice demure pixie in a soft brown color.

Some Hair Accessories to Consider:

Braided hair Headbands

Heart Clips

Bow Clips and Headbands.

Boater Hats




Bodyline Review: Card OP and matching socks!

On Halloween I put in an order for a dress I'd been eyeing on Bodyline for some time. I hadn't really seen anyone else with it so I wasn't sure if I should order it - but I finally caved in and added it to my cart. Along with a pair of socks that matched nicely.

It took well over three weeks to arrive and I was about ready to contact Bodyline and suggest that MAYBE it had gotten lost in the mail but at the last moment I received a summons to the post office so I could retrieve my package.

Everything was packaged nicely in these little plastic bags - as is Bodyline standard so no complaining there.

The socks are SO adorable! I completely love them - even when worn the little bunny-bear character doesn't stretch out awkwardly.

The bow came as part of the dress and while I'll probably keep it there it would work nicely as a head bow as well.

The dress itself is something that I would normally find a little out of my style comfort. I mean - it's a print for one thing. A busy one at that and my Lolita style has always been a bit subdued and dark. But I adore it and I can't wait to wear it.

The only downside I've heard from people is that the fabric will fade REALLY BADLY if you wash it. That's unfortunate but something that can easily be worked around and if I really find I have a need to immerse it in water there are plenty of solutions that you can soak fabric in to prevent bleeding and fading. So I could always give those a try and see what happens.

Socks - 
Bow - 
Dress - 

And a bonus pic!