In the Lolita community, it has become a yearly tradition to share a yearly "Wardrobe Post".
Lolitas usually write about how their style and wardrobe has changed since the previous year, as evidenced in their purchases. Or, maybe each new ensemble has a story, rhyme, or reason behind it. Or sometimes, Lolitas just take it as an opportunity to photo dump and share their fashion eye candy. The posts are as colourful and varied as the individual Lolitas themselves.
I haven't completed a wardrobe post since 2014. I posted it here, on Darkly Darling, but many Lolitas also post it to the EGL community on Livejournal.
The EGL community, often referred to solely as "EGL" used to be a Lolita's main source of info on Lolita fashion, as well as a sounding board for Lolitas to share their outfits, lifestyle projects, and the like. Over the years, as the popularity of Lolita fashion grew, and the popularity of Livejournal died out, Lolitas moved on to easier to use platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. These days there are even stand-alone social media outlets for Lolitas, such as Lacebook.
Still, no matter how many have wandered, many Lolitas consider it a tradition to return to EGL and share their wardrobe posts; as you can see here. (Though recently, posting to Livejournal has been considered an "Oldschool Lolita" practice.)
This year, for nostalgia's sake, I'd like to post my wardrobe to EGL as well. But first, I'd like to share it here.
In the past year my wardrobe grew considerably. My closet used to contain only a few main pieces, with scarce accessories, shoes or bags. I had a couple of offbrand blouses I would switch out, but generally, I only had one coordination for each main piece.
Over the past year, instead of constantly buying main pieces, I focused on buying accessories and add-ons, such as boleros, different hair accessories, and different bags. It was a big success, and it's possible I even overdid it. I now have several different ways to wear a single item, increasing the wearability and vitality of my wardrobe. It brought new life into pieces I've had a long time, and also helped me invest in new main pieces more efficiently. It's hard to justify buying a pink dress you'll never wear, when 98% of your closet is a series of coordinated darker colours!
Another thing I did a lot of this year is re-buy old pieces I had years ago, when I started Lolita fashion. I started gravitating more towards an old-school aesthetic, such as older Baby pieces with embroidery, and solid coloured dresses with white lace. All-over prints appealed to me less and less, unless it was a piece I've had many years, or one I've coveted for a long time.
I may add a blurb with each main piece, but for now, I'd like to just jump in to the photos!
You may notice the photo backgrounds vary, and that has to do with the method of curating this post. Rather than re-photographing each individual piece, I reused old photos I took over the course of the year. The photos were either from when I first received the new piece, or as I was working out an outfit for an event. I apologize for the inconsistency, but hope you understand; I saved a lot of time this way!
Alphabetical by brand...
Alice and the Pirates
I've had the St. Helena's jsk since 2012 or '13, and it remains one of my favourite pieces. The silhouette is quite flattering on a tall hourglass figure, and the solid navy colour is appropriate to wear year-round. In 2016 I was delighted to complete the set with the matching capelet.
In 2016, I trimmed down my AP collection. Fad prints came and went, and though I went all-out in Melty Berry Princess for Summer ILD, I realized I just wasn't comfortable in OTT sweet.
The prints I've held on to are more toned down, or, in the case of Wrapping Ribbon, it's just one I've loved for years. But in general, I've kept the prints that are in darker colourways, or have a more mature print.
I held on to both of my Holy Lantern pieces, because I adore the styles of the dresses themselves, aside from the print being considered "overdone". The Holy Lantern OP was comfortable for me to wear late into my pregnancy, because of the flowy trapeze-dress shape.
Another piece I've had since 2012 or so. Green has become one of my favourite colours in Lolita fashion, although it's rare. This is also a print I rarely see anymore. I don't see myself letting go of it any time soon.
Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
You can see the strong Oldschool influence in my BTSSB collection. I purchased three of their classic high-waisted jsks, both because of my infatuation with Oldschool style, and because of their ease of wearability while I was pregnant.
This year I also purchased an Usakumya rucksack, something that was a long-time wishlist item for me! In truth it's rather impractical, as you can hardly fit anything in it. But really, it's more of a Lolita icon than anything.
The "Angel in the Window"/"Angel's Relief" jsk (bottom right) was an important purchase to me. The first time I met a Lolita offline, she was wearing that jsk. At the time, I was wearing a very "ita" outfit, as I had just started wearing the fashion that year. When I saw her in that jsk, complete with a black Baby blouse and headbow, I remember being in awe of how beautiful she looked. I also remember marveling over the little details of the embroidery on the dress; after all, it was probably the first "real" brand dress I had ever seen. I was blown away by the quality.
I purchased the dress for myself a few years later, around 2008-'09. I wore it to my first Hiloli meet-up in Hawaii, where I made some of my closest friends I still keep in contact with. I ended up selling it later that year.
For all the memories attached to this design, as well as my love for the embroidery, I decided to bring it back home to my collection. I'm very glad I did!
Chantilly is one of my favourite brands, for their delicate prints and vivid jewel tones. I ordered a Happy Pack from them this year, and am excited to see what else I can add to my collection!
Not only is this jsk a favourite for me, for the military-style design; but it was also the jsk I wore when my husband proposed to me, at the top of Tokyo Tower.
I also won a "Best Dressed" fashion contest at a Steampunk event this year, dressed in it!
Innocent World remains one of my favourite brands, but I severely trimmed back my collection this year. The "Three Archangels" dress on the right is stunning when worn, and I think it's very flattering on my hourglass figure. I hope to purchase more long OPs from them in this cut, in the coming year.
L'esprit de la Noblesse
L'esprit de la Noblesse is a Russian Indie brand, headed by an incredibly talented couple, Elizabeth and Nicolas. (You can see their signatures on a gift tag in the print of this dress).
This dress is a Christmas themed print, featuring Christmas trees, angels and small children in period dress. I love the long hemline, as well as the delicate, faintly metallic chiffon.
Part of their proceeds from this print went towards donating Christmas presents to the elderly, and children in need. When I received the dress, it was wrapped like a Christmas present, and accompanied by a Christmas tree ornament and Russian Christmas Card. It filled me with the joy and spirit of Christmas. I can't say I've had such a full experience connected to ordering a dress before!
You can find their Etsy shop here. I highly recommend following them for future release.
I believe Makiro is a Taobao shop. I purchased this dress second-hand, so I can't say for sure.
Marie Antoinette seemed very on-trend this year, and is popular with Lolitas in general. I, however, greatly prefer Elizabeth the First as a style icon. When I saw her on the print of this dress, I just had to add it to my collection.
Metamorphose temps de fille
When I first started Lolita, Metamorphose was my favourite brand. Today, I have surprisingly few pieces from them.
The Nostalgic Matryoshka Doll set, on the right, is the first set I've purchased from them in years. (The last thing I purchased from them directly was the Honey Picnic Lucky Pack!) However, I have an affinity for Matryoshka Nesting dolls, and have a small collection of them, now displayed in my daughter's nursery. So I could not resist investing in this set!
Purchasing it was a bit of a blood bath. I was travelling for work training, and six or seven months pregnant, but still woke up at 3 am to buy it! I'm happy I did, because the red colourway sold out in a matter of minutes.
Moi Meme Moitie
I actually just sold this, but I like the coordinate photo anyway. As much as I love Moitie, I always end up parting ways with their pieces. I think part of the problem is the empire waist, which makes my bust look much bigger than it really is.
Funny, a lot of styles these days are hyper-sexualized and would probably value that! But in Lolita, it just doesn't go with the aesthetic, so it had to go.
Sweet Mildred is a wonderful Indie brand that I highly recommend. I believe she is mostly known for her high-quality headpieces, of which I also own; but she also has a variety of jsks appropriate for Lolita and Otome fashion. This coffee jsk, which I purchased from her in-person at a convention, is one of my favourites. I love the unique charcoal colour, and how well it compliments warm tones such as brown.
You can check out Sweet Mildred on Etsy, here.
Triple Fortune was an unattainable brand for me for many years. Though I've loved their bonnets for as long as I could remember, they lacked a website where one could have their goods shipped overseas. So until recently, you needed an intensive shopping service to order from them.
However, recently Triple Fortune has started doing more and more events outside of Japan, allowing multiple opportunities to purchase from them in-person. Their increased popularity has also lead to more releases, which made them more attainable on the second-hand market. Because of these factors, I increased my bonnet collection from one to three, and also invested in my first Triple Fortune main piece.
I love it, but I will probably invest in a nice long petticoat for it this year. I am currently using a hoop skirt, to accommodate the long, full skirt. Though it fills out the silhouette perfectly while standing, I tried to wear the outfit like this to a tea party, and it was utterly impractical! The hoop skirt simply pushed forward and got in the way. It was very difficult to sit in, and as the host of the tea party, I was up and down constantly. I definitely need a proper petticoat for this dress, or to pass it on to the next lucky Lolita!
In addition to the above items, I also have these currently "in transit"...
I'm very excited to post about my Chantilly Lucky Bag! Some of my friends purchased one and got a great haul, so I have high expectations.
I was going to post individual accessories such as jewelry, tops, shoes, and bags, but this post is long enough as it is! That is why this year, I decided to post each main piece as it's own "coordinate", with hints of the other items included. It's not a thorough documentation, but close enough for me!
I hope that you enjoyed this wardrobe post, and that it wasn't too long! I am excited to see how it grows and changes in the year ahead! I wonder what new releases await this year, or what old dream dresses may pop up second hand?
As always, thank you for reading! I look forward to checking out everyone else's wardrobe posts this month!