Coord Roundup: January

Hello Darlings,

One of my goals for 2017 is to better document my coords, and share them when I can.

One main reason for this is that I constantly forget to take photos of my outfits, even if I put a lot of time and effort into perfecting them.

Or, after I spend all that time dressing up, I am too scared to post photos outside of my personal circle. And it's not necessarily about my clothing, but my face or body type. I worry about retribution for my physical aspects I can't change, so I rarely post.

However, criticism is not always a bad thing. It is, after all, meant as a constructive thing to help you improve. As long as I receive criticism on how to make my outfits better, then I don't mind.

And after all-- this is a fashion blog. In spite of that, I have a handful of entries at best showing my outfits. That's awfully pathetic, and tarnishes my credibility, don't you think?

This month, I got to wear Lolita 4 times in total. In the past, 4 times in a month would be a lot, but in my current state, I think that's just where I want to be. I am moving towards wearing Lolita, or some aspect as often as possible. But as a new mom of a two-month old infant, who also works full-time, I'd say four times in a month is quite a lot.

January 12th

This was my outfit for my comm's monthly swap meet. This was my first time wearing Lolita since giving birth. 

I was itching to wear some of the pieces I accumulated while I was pregnant, but couldn't wear. On the top of my list was this "Three Archangels" long OP by Innocent World. I find the silhouette very flattering, and I love the long skirt. This OP is also half-shirred in the back, which made it very comfortable. It was a good outfit to get back into the swing of things. 

OP: Innocent World
Blouse: Bodyline
Headdress: Sweet Mildred
Socks: Enchantlic Enchantilly
Shoes: Offbrand (Dolce by Mojo Moxie)

January 15th

This is what I wore for my new comm's 10th Anniversary Tea Party. (I've been here a year, but it still feels like a new comm to me!) The theme was "Winter", so I wore my new jsk, "The Gift" by L'esprit de la Noblesse.

L'esprit de la Noblesse is a Russian Indie Brand, headed by fashion power couple Elizabeth and Nicolas. Together, they create many whimsical and unique Lolita designs, drawing from traditional garb of Russian royalty, and creatures of fantasy alike. "The Gift" was a limited Christmas release. Part of the profits were donated to a Russian charity.

With the long hemline and metallic champagne chiffon, this dress is easily one of my favourites.

My concept for this event was "Clara from The Nutcracker".

Dress: L'esprit de la Noblesse
Blouse: Bodyline
Socks: American Apparel
Headbow: Innocent World
Purse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Shoes: Offbrand (Dolce by Mojo Moxie)

January 22nd

This is what I wore when visiting the San Antonio, Texas Lolitas, for their "Cheers to 2017!" Meetup.

My husband and I were visiting his family in Texas, when I attended this meet-up. My brother and sister in law both happen to be members of the comm, and were kind enough to take me along to the local meet-up. The theme just happened to be old school, which is one of my current obsessions!

My sister-in-law is to the left of me, in the photo above. I'm sorry, this photo caught me mid-blink!

Bonnet, Blouse, Jsk, Purse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Socks: Metamorphose
Shoes: Montreal

January 27th

This is my favourite outfit of the month. 

A lolita girlfriend and I decided to go out for macarons on a random Friday afternoon. I took her to my favourite Patisserie, "Sweethearts Patisserie" in Annapolis. I knew the shop often decorates for Valentine's Day about this time, so I decided to dress to match the decor.

Beret: Innocent World
Blouse, Bolero, Jsk, Purse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Socks: Metamorphose
Shoes (Not pictured): Bodyline 

And I think that's all I'll fit in this month! 

Since I'm gearing up to go back to work, and transition by daughter into Daycare soon, I am sure that the next month will be hectic. But I hope that I still find time to dress up! With a promised monthly swap meet, and a special Valentine's Day Tea, I at least have two events to look forward to!

Here's hoping I keep up with the outfit photos, and that the quality of the outfits (and outfit shots) improves throughout the year!


LBC: What Would You Change About Your Wardrobe?

Hello darlings! It's that time of the week (a little late this week, too), for the Lolita Blog Carnival!

This week, I would like to talk about the changes I want to make in my wardrobe.

I agreed with much of What Emily wrote on her blog, "It's Witchcraft". 2017 will be my eleventh year wearing Lolita, so my wardrobe is, for the most part, well-established and well-rounded.

Most of the changes I'd like to see have to do with cohesiveness, and building a stronger collection.

I would like to continue fleshing out my collection with blouses, socks, shoes and bags that compliment what I already have; and I'd like to cut back on what I call "stand alone" or "unitasker" pieces.

"Unitasker" is a phrase coined by one of my favourite television personalities, Alton Brown. He loves to loathe what he calls Kitchen "Unitaskers"- gadgets and gizmos that only complete one function in the kitchen. Though Lolita isn't exactly cooking, we definitely have unitaskers in our wardobe.

These are stand alone pieces, things we are all guilty of- for example, a single pastel jsk in a gothic wardrobe, that sticks out like a sore thumb and doesn't really coordinate with the rest of your closet. Or, a pair of pink shoes that you bought specifically to go with ONE dress, even though you have nothing else pink in your collection. UNITASKERS!

The worst part about stand-alone pieces is that it breeds more impulse buys. You find yourself compelled to buy more pastels, even if you don't like them, simply because you now feel obligated to include that in your wardrobe.

In case you haven't figured it out, this reluctant pastel hoarder is me, myself. Even though I HATE how I look in pink, and often find pastels look terrible on me, I come back to them again and again. I buy it, I try it on, and instantly resell it. It's a vicious cycle, and it results in left over pieces I will never use again- the one pink blouse I bought specifically for that one pink dress, or the singular lavender headbow I bought to match my only lavender jsk.

While there is nothing wrong with variety, if I've learned anything over the years, it's that I don't, and I won't wear pastels. The things I wear over and over again are often rich jewel tones, or dresses in black colorways. I'm especially fond of emerald green, navy blue and ruby red.

So why the hell did I buy pastel, mint green shoes?!

Or why do I follow the lemmings off the cliff, diving head-first into a new AP print release, when I know that I won't actually love it or wear it?

That is exactly my point.

So if I could change anything about my wardrobe, it would be to make it ship-shape, tight and efficient. I don't necessarily want a minimalist, capsule wardrobe, but I do want to borrow from that philosophy that everything has multiple purposes and can be combined with the other pieces.

My goal, in short, is to emphasize what I already have and like to wear... and find new ways to wear it, by adding in things that frame it beautifully.

A short list:

  • More solid, lace-topped socks in staple colours like white, ivory, black
  • More comfortable, multipurpose shoes 
  • More boleros and cardigans
  • Add in some Ouji pieces, that also match what I have
  • Less impulse buys on main pieces, that don't fit with my collection
To see an example of my wardrobe and what I've curated, please see my recent 2016 Wardrobe post. Since posting it, I've already cleared out some pieces I never got to wear, or knew I wouldn't wear. 

It's always hard to part with things, but I think it's a step in the right direction; and it makes room for new things to come!

What do you think about stand-alone pieces? Is variety the spice of life, or do you prefer to keep a general theme or colour scheme in your closet?

Let's take a look at what other Lolitas had to say!


LBC: Habits You've Picked Up from Lolita Fashion

Lolita fashion is more than a hobby to me; it's a part of myself.

To some people, fitness is who they are; or perhaps their career is an essential part of their reflection. Maybe they find their identity in a book club, cooking, or a sport. Others still find their true nature in performance: a stage persona, or a microphone.

Is it so odd for fashion to be a personal marker?

After all, it has permeated nearly every aspect of my life: the people I hang out with, what I like to eat, what I buy, and how I practice my hobbies.

Yes, I sew; but I don't sew curtains, quilts, or casual clothing. I sew Lolita fashion: jumper skirts, hair bows and onepieces.

Yes, I like music; but I like music Lolita fashion has brought me closer to, such as Visual Kei, or other music that fits the fashion's aesthetic. If I never got into Lolita fashion, who knows if I would have found some of my favourite bands, or vice verse?

In short, being a Lolita effects you in more ways than you realize. In this week's Lolita Blog Carnival theme, I'd like to look at some specific habits I've picked up from Lolita fashion.

  • I have more expensive taste
In my early teens, before Lolita, I was a bargain-driven shopper. I used to look for the best deals on clothing at a thrift store or department store, and would choose to purchase something if it was cheaper, regardless if I liked it better or not. 

Of course there is nothing wrong with being bargain-savvy, and it's still a useful skill; however after being a Lolita all these years, I've come to recognize the value of quality.

One may think that "value" and "quality" are the same, but it's not the case. Something can have value, because it is good quality; that is why heirloom jewelry is often saved and passed down through generations. Or, imagine a pack of plastic party cups, in a wholesale pack of hundreds. Perhaps it is a good value, because you get a lot for a low price; but plastic does not last, and rarely exceeds a single use. It will never be the same quality as fine crystal. 

Quality comes from technique, mastery of the medium, and an investment in good materials. Lolita garments are not only expertly made and tailored, but they are also made from high-quality textiles and materials. From the unique printed textiles made in small batches, to the one of a kind embroidered lace specific to one brand, there is nothing cheap or mass produced about Lolita fashion. 

For all of these reasons, Lolita has made me less of a bargain shopper. Now, I look at fashion as more of an investment. If anything, something that comes too cheap from the manufacturer makes me weary of the quality. 

  • I pay more attention to garment quality
Above, I spoke a bit about the value of quality. Since I sew, I've always inspected the quality of a garment in a store before I buy it. 

After becoming a Lolita, this habit became more frequent. I flip clothing inside out in the store, to check if seams are finished. I look at the hem, to see if it nicely done, a rolled hem to prevent fraying, or if it is even hemmed at all. If the garment does not pass my tests, I do not buy it.

  • I eat more sweets
Before Lolita, I did not have much of a sweet-tooth. My first job in my teens was lifeguarding, so physical fitness and nutrition were very important to me. Over the years, I came to know the simple pleasures of a small macaron; or the solace one could find in a cafe, with a sweet beverage. I've made good friends over hot lattes, or sharing an ice cream parfait after a meet-up.

I think Lolitas like sweets because they are aesthetically pleasing; that is why they are common motifs in prints. They also remind us of certain European countries, which are influential in Lolita fashion. Sweets are also an essential part of a tea party, one of our most frequent meet-ups. 

Whatever the reason is, at least in small quantities, I find myself indulging more than before I was a Lolita.

  • I mind my weight and measurements
Though this may sound contradictory to the above, Lolita has made me more conscious of my measurements, and more inclined to monitor them. Health, exercise and nutrition have always been important to me, certainly; but with Lolita, it comes back to the garments themselves.

Lolita garments are usually only produced in one size, as "one size fits all". I believe this is for two reasons: first, because Lolita fashion originated in Japan, where multiple sizes are not that common. Second, because of the quality and niche audience for Lolita fashion, it is produced in smaller batches. When clothing is produced in smaller batches, it is not always economical to produce many sizes. It is more efficient to produce one size, or produce one-offs in custom sizes.

Since Lolita garments are mainly made for Asian frames, they run smaller. As a clearly western girl, I have to keep myself at a reasonably low weight in order to fit them.

In the US, women wear an average size 14 or 16. I'd say with Lolita fashion, a western girl should average a size 8, to fit most of the clothing. Of course there are exceptions, and I am not claiming this is "ideal". I simply mean to say the size ranges for most brands max out around a US 10. 

Not every Lolita takes this personally, as it's possible to order custom clothing, or find pieces that are plus-size friendly. I have just made it a habit to "diet for Lolita" when necessary, because it is important to me. 

  • I plan my outfits more carefully
In the past I never planned outfits in advance, I simply threw them on. Now I find myself planning at least a week ahead, even for a casual outfit to wear to a concert.

  • I spend more time online
In general, many people spend more time online than they used to. Social media is a powerful drug; and it becomes addictive to share your life with the world, when you get instant gratification in the forms of likes and comments. 

However, Lolita fashion depends on the Internet to survive, especially as a means to attain the clothing. As Lolitas in the West, we do not have Lolita stores in most major cities. 

If you live near a fashion center, like Paris, New York City, or San Francisco, then you're lucky enough to live near a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright or Angelic Pretty flagship store. But the rest of us must rely on brand websites, shopping services, or websites where Lolita is sold second-hand.

I also spend my time online reading Lolita blogs, news about Lolita, looking at other Lolita's outfits, and reading debates about Lolita. Almost all of my news and resources, from what the latest releases are to when the next meet-up will be, are found on the Internet. 

This may be a bad habit, as it often distracts me from sewing, cleaning, or otherwise adulting. But conversely, it has also made me more Internet savvy, and more comfortable with technology. After all, I can't be the only one who picked up a bit of HTML coding to format a Livejournal post. 

Here's a few others I thought of:

  • I travel more
  • I'm more open to new experiences
  • I have a stronger sense of community
  • I study fashion history
  • I study more languages (French, Japanese)

These are just a few habits I have picked up from the fashion. It's hard to say if they are good habits, or if they've made me more nit-picky, elitist and anal. I think that there is both good and bad with everything, and it is important to understand why somebody does something before we judge.

Would you like to see what other people have picked up from Lolita fashion? I invite you to check out the blogs below, on this week's Lolita Blog Carnival:

2016 Wardrobe Post

Hello, Darlings!

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. 

Angelic Pretty

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. 

Atelier Pierrot

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!

Enchantilic Enchantilly


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 

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

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

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!

Xoxo, Cherie