Archive for loving on the frills

Changing Tides

Various events have been preventing me from making a lot of updates to this blog recently, and for that I apologize. The good news is, one of those big events is that I have moved in with two of my very good friends–friends who are both lolitas.

Yes, I have infiltrated their natural habitat, all Steve Irwin-style, so that I may better understand the lolita’s elusive habits. Long has the academic community debated over such questions as, “What does a lolita eat?” “How does a lolita attract her mate?” “What are a lolita’s nesting habits?” and “How does she make her hair do that?” I feel that this is a most thrilling opportunity to find the answers to these questions, and report them to you, the reader.

On that note, this blog began primarily as a place to more formally discuss my thoughts and opinions, but I wonder whether it’s missing a more personal element. Perhaps I should be posting more about my regular lolita excursions, my outfits, my hair woes, and things of that sort. I don’t want to bore anyone with my mundane life, but I do think this blog might benefit from being able to put a face to my name. Any thoughts on what you would like to see here?

And just so this won’t be a text-only post, let’s talk about Polyvore. In case you have not yet discovered this piece of procrastinating fodder, Polyvore is a site that allows you to make collages from pictures you find around the internet. Specifically, it is intended to create outfit collages from store stock photos. This makes it, needless to say, lolita coordinate heaven.

The upside of Polyvore is that it does most of the work for you. With a few clicks, you can copy (or “clip”) the item photo, and with a simple drag and drop, you can place it in your new collage (called a “set”). If the photo has a neutral background, Polyvore can even delete the background color, allowing your item to float free. You can layer and arrange things however you like, something people like to take advantage of.

The downsides of Polyvore are the clipping limitations and the frustrations of poor stock photos. Some sites are blocked from clipping (such as the Jesus Diamante site, oddly enough). Polyvore also does not allow you to clip from image hosting sites such as Flickr, Photobucket, or Tinypic. As such, you may have the perfect item for your coordinate, but no way of getting it into the clipper. As well, some brands are notorious for their lackluster stock photos, which are small, blurry, and set on an overly-busy background. Sometimes, I find that my set looks better with a poorer item using a better stock photo, than an amazing item with a poor photo.

Still, one of my favorite aspects of Polyvore is the community part. There are various lolita-related groups to be found, including Sweet and Gothic, Pour Lolita, Gothic, Victorian, and Lolita, and my personal favorite, The Lolita Fashion 50, a group that challenges you to create a coordinate for each of 50 prompts. In addition to the communities, people can comment on sets and favorite them. The favorite system works as a sort of rating system on communities, allowing “popular” sets to rise to the top of the list.

My own sets can be found on my profile, but here is one of my personal favorites.

LF50: 9. Pirate
LF50: 9. Pirate by Ellorgast featuring All Saints accessories



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Bloomin’ Love

ATC: Bloomers

Originally uploaded by diann0605

Bloomers are quite likely the most ridiculous article of lolita clothing that there is.

Well, except for cake hats.

But here you are with something halfway between shorts and panties, with a puffy bottom and elasticated waist and little bits of lace flaring out around your thighs. It normally goes unseen by anybody except you, and if it is seen, then it might mean that you forgot to put on your skirt this morning. It’s not sexy, it serves no purpose other than to keep everything inside your giant dome of a skirt well protected, and allowing them to be glimpsed by the uninitiated could potentially lead to embarrassing questions.

I have heard some naysayers even suggest that bloomers are unnecessary.


I love bloomers, in all their ridiculous glory. In winter, they offer extra insulation for those days when no blizzard will keep you from your frills. In summer, they prevent the highly uncomfortable situation of your sweaty thighs sticking together. They offer just the right amount of poof under a skirt without a petticoat. They preserve a lady’s modesty. And they just look really darned cute.

I have nothing deep to say in this post. I just like bloomers.

I declare today to be Bloomer Appreciation Day. Tell your bloomers how much you care.

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Learning to Laugh at Ourselves

Harajuku in Osaka

Originally uploaded by Marxpix

Cupcake. Alice. Doll. Little Girl. Preteen. Little Bo Peep. Nymphet. Wedding Cake. Princess. Amish. It’s-Not-Halloween-Yet. Raggedy Ann. American Girl Doll. Little House on the Prairie. Julie Andrews. What-the-Fuck-Is-That?

How many nicknames for lolita can you think of?

Here is a piece of old news: lolita looks ridiculous. Really ridiculous. There are bows. There is lace. Strange undergarments. Bizarre headwear.

Yes, we love it. Some lolitas define themselves by it. We wear it at the most inappropriate times, just because we can. We walk down the street in it, while other girls our age stick to their jeans and pumps. We are proud of our fashion. It’s who we are.

But for other people, we’re still the silly girls in the silly clothes. And what I think we often forget is that this is a simple truth. We take ourselves too seriously. We are silly girls in silly clothes. Isn’t that part of the fun?

We, as a whole, need to laugh a little more. It is a documented fact that laughter makes you feel, think, and even look better.

You’ve got a giant bow on your head. Isn’t that hilarious?

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Lolita in the Media

Lolita’s been getting an awful lot of press recently.  It was only a matter of time before the New York Times discovered it, particularly after their report on steampunk earlier in the year.

First, I have to congratulate the Times on doing such a fantastic job on their report. Although the article itself is fairly sub-par, what caught my attention were the audio interviews with individual New York lolitas. Where the article, like every other media attempt at representing lolita, is little more than an outsider’s attempt to define a fashion movement that she clearly does not understand herself, the interviews allow the lolitas to actually speak for themselves. What becomes immediately apparent through the audio interviews, where text would have failed them, is that these are ordinary, genuine young women. You can actually hear them smiling as they explain their feelings with their endearing East Coast American accents. The immediate message is “these are not random socially inept freaks wearing a bunch of bows. These are cute, well-spoken young ladies who happen to dress differently.”

I wish I could say the same of the inevitable aftermath of the article. The Jezebel article attempting to analyze lolita’s relation to feminism, while well thought-out, generated a shocking amount of hate in the comments. Although feminists would be expected to claim a forward-thinking, open-minded attitude, many comments were no more thoughtful than your average 4chan thread. Somehow, it is considered okay to speculate on a young lady’s mental and social capabilities, not to mention her sexuality, based on a few photos.

I admit that I became particularly irritated by the suggestion that the feminist movement is impeded by what I choose to wear to the mall. But other than the relatively unexpected source of criticism, should any of us be surprised? And moreover, should we be bothered?

The fact is that an alternative subculture is not alternative if the mainstream accepts it. Every time Little Mama shows up in Angelic Pretty, there is a hilarious amount of widespread outcry among lolitas. If lolitas truly want their fashion to remain exclusive, maybe a few insults are to be expected, maybe even embraced. After all, do you really want those girls who sneer at you in the hallway to be flouncing around in Metamorphose tomorrow?

So put on your ruffly armor, ladies and gentlemen, and wear it with pride. You never know when somebody will try to shame it off of you.

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