15 December 2015

How to Find Gifts For Lolitas

This blog post is not a gift idea guide, but more of a general gift buying source for all styles. 

Are you not a lolita but want to buy a special gift for your lolita friend of family member? Are you a lolita who has no clue what to get your friend? Then you’re in the right place!

The most important thing to consider when buying gifts for Lolitas is to match their style. Nobody wants to fake gratitude for something you’ll never wear or use. It’s the thought that counts, but don’t waste your time or money on something that will sit in the back of the closet. So don’t just type in “lolita clothes” into Google or Ebay!

Most lolitas post photos of their outfits online. Some even have photo albums on Facebook where they will post photos of their lolita wardrobes. Look through the social media of the person you’re buying a gift for. Get a feel for their style and what items they generally go for.

If you make or buy something that matches a specific piece they own, bonus points for you! Your loved one will really appreciate the thought and consideration you put into thinking of them. 

For example, if the person you’re looking for has a wardrobe like mine, full of roses and teddy bear motifs, a great inexpensive gift would be a headband with some pretty flowers on it in pinks and whites. I have a lot of dresses with bears on it, and my friend got me this adorable hair clip that goes really well with some of my dresses.

If you’re not good at thinking of creative gifts, you can always get resourceful with gift cards. Angelic Pretty USA provides online gift cards with a minimum of 20$, but you can also get your friend a card for a makeup store, somewhere that sells really cute shoes or accessories, etc.

Last but not least, if you have a decent budget for these gifts, there are a multitude of indie lolita shops that are easy to buy from. I know my mom will sometimes get me lolita gifts for my birthday or Christmas, but she never wants to navigate around Chinese or Japanese websites. This year, she bought me a coffee-themed dress from a US-based designer called Sweet Mildred. Etsy and Storenvy are great places to look for these kinds of things.

Here are a few great shops to look through that are easily to navigate and purchase from:

  • DaisyDaisy sells lolita clothing and also some beautiful jewelry.
  • Mervailles makes gorgeous headpieces, but if you want to see her fancy hats, check out her Facebook.
  • Cute Parade sells sugary sweet accessories and jewelry that are inexpensive.
  • Sweet Mildred is one of my favorite brands for headpieces based in the U.S. (she also makes a few dresses).
  • Fantastic Grim makes gothic jewelry.
  • Fatally Feminine makes detailed sweet jewelry but is a bit pricey.
  • Eat Me Ink Me makes classic and gothic lolita dresses.
  • DreamHolic sells great quality wigs for lolitas that like to wear them.
  • SheenasBellaBows makes really unique headpieces and accessories for lots of themes!
  • VoodooDolly makes hauntingly beautiful jewelry, but items go quickly and are pricey.
  • My Dear Charming doesn't have many items out yet, but the owner is amazing and her tights are adorable.
  • Tour New Soul takes a long time to restock, but makes mini hats in a lot of different styles.
  • Mossbadger makes amazing lolita clothes and accessories, but items go quickly!
  • Peppermint Fox also has amazing dresses and accessories that go quickly!

I’ve also made a video about this topic, I’ll put the link below. Please go and watch!

There are countless lolita-related gift ideas. In fact, you don’t need to get anything that relates to lolita fashion, but sometimes people are difficult to shop for. Maybe your loved one asked specifically for something lolita related but didn’t give you a wishlist. I hope this video helps you find something special that will bring a genuine smile to someone’s face!

35 Winter Meetup Ideas

Creative Meetup Ideas:

  1. Chocolate factory tour
  2. Dessert tour around your town
  3. Ice skating
  4. Baking swap
  5. Museum tour
  6. Horse-drawn carriage rides
  7. White Elephant/Secret Santa
  8. Watch a holiday parade before lunch/tea
  9. Do something charitable (i.e. Project Linus)
  10. Make gingerbread houses
  11. Attend a dog sled race (depending on your state/country)
  12. Go caroling
  13. Antique fairs/shops
  14. Ballroom dance lesson
  15. Indoor mini golf
  16. Drive to see Christmas lights
  17. Craft night
  18. See The Nutcracker
  19. Hot chocolate tastings
  20. Private tea party at home
  21. Decorate cookies
  22. Victorian house/castle tour
  23. Embroidery/knitting group lesson
  24. Movie night
  25. Indoor rollerskating
  26. Bowling
  27. Visit a Christmas Market
  28. Victorian Christmas Faire (i.e. Dickens on the Strand, Dickens Fair)
  29. Private LUSH party
  30. Speakeasy/bars that offer warm/winter cocktail specials
  31. Visit a butterfly/flower conservatory
  32. New Year's Eve party
  33. Murder Mystery dinner party
  34. Stroll through an outdoor Christmas park
  35. Attend a symphony

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11 December 2015

04 December 2015

16 November 2015

Hogwarts at the Winchester House

This past weekend, my community met up for a casual photoshoot at a local Victorian house. It was a lot of fun, and we had a good turn out of different houses and colors. The day was a tad chilly which fit perfectly for taking photos outdoors and set the mood for a back-to-Hogwarts afternoon.

Please enjoy these photos I took, thank you everyone who came and let us take photos of you!

Our brave-hearted Gryffindors! 

Herbology class was well-attended today!

Stop flirting with the professor!

Enchanting your...serpent~

Our group of non-house characters!

Godric Gryffindor's saviors

Salazar Slytherin's successors

Rowena Ravenclaw's heirs

27 October 2015

5 Things I Learned at Disneyland Lolita Day

1. If you’re planning on being at the park all day, wear comfy shoes

I had dressed comfy-cute, but I wanted to wear tea-parties to polish off my outfit. I tried adding some insoles, which are usually a good idea. However, after walking 8 miles back-and-forth in the park and standing on my feet for hours at a time, they were pretty much useless. Next year I will either break up my visit into 2 days or buy thicker, sports-quality insoles. The cheap ones at Target won’t hold up to 12 hours of constant walking and standing.

2. Bring your own food or tupperware

The hotel I was staying at did not have a mini-fridge, so bringing anything more substantial than snack bars, fruit, or jerky was out of the question. My group went to the pizzaria in Tomorrow Land, where spaghetti and meatballs are the best bang for your buck. Someone had brought her own tupperware to store the food she couldn’t finish to eat later on in the day. That is such a good idea, I wish I had done the same!

3. You’ll waste half the day if you look for characters

Unfortunately, this is what my group did. We did end up getting signatures/photos with every character we were looking for (mostly because 3 appeared in the same place simultaneously), but we were not able to get on as many rides as we wanted to. Cast members are unreliable if you ask them where a character is because they only really know if they had just walked by them. 

4. Bring a parasol and a fan

I was the only one in my group who brought a parasol, and I was sure glad I did. Los Angeles can get super hot, especially in October when DLD occurs. A parasol will keep the sun off your back and prevent strangers from bumping into you. We didn’t bring any fans, which would have been nice for moments of no air conditioning or breeze. Keep in mind though, that bringing a parasol that isn’t collapsable will mean you will be holding it in-between your knees during rides!

5. Little kids will think you are a princess

There was an adorable little boy on the tram circulating the park who sat facing backwards, staring at me the entire ride. He kept whispering to him mom “she’s a princes…”, and it was adorable. Even though I don’t consider my coordinate resembling a princess in any way, Disneyland just sets the mood for any young woman wearing a puffy dress and something pretty on her head to be confused as a princess. It’s cute, so please don’t discourage little kids who think you are a princess! 

05 October 2015

Rufflecon 2015

Where do I start? I had such a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend, there isn't enough time to mention everything that happened! Here will be just the highlights. I didn't regret traveling cross country for Rufflecon, and I would definitely do it again. If you ever have the chance, take it and make your own memories.

I think what made this con worth it was having snagged a VIP pass way back in the spring. Those coveted tickets were expensive but were definitely worth the cost. They sold out within fifteen minutes, and there were probably about 30 for sale. For $100 VIPs received a goodie bag with a bunch of tiny accessories, pins, and vouchers for freebies from vendor; free breakfast buffet the entire weekend; early Marketplace, Consignment, and Fashion Show access; VIP only meet-and-greets; and an included ticket to the tea party.

I arrived late Thursday night, so I ended up missing Day 0. I had to forgo my free breakfast Friday morning in order to pick up my badge, model pass, and VIP goodie bag. I raced from registration downstairs to the Marketplace to get an early place in line. I got down there about 9:00 am (for VIPs, the Marketplace opened at 10:00 am) and was eighth in line. Luckily a few girls in front of me weren't in line for the Triple Fortune bonnets so I was able to purchase one in my favorite colorway! 

The rest of the afternoon was spent attending the Kimura U meet-and-greet (which unfortunately ended up being a Q&A panel about her anime and fashion tastes) and the VIP-only Triple Fortune kabe-don corner. Kimura divulged to us that she was planning on eventually creating and anime with her original characters, and will be appearing in a new video game as a voice actor. How exciting for her! The kabe-don with Kaie and Babi was expectedly awkward but thrilling. I still remember Babi breathing down my neck and lightly slapping me: "No smile."

Later that night, I attended the Masquerade Ball - which I'll admit was not as good as it could be. They held it in the lobby's atrium, playing mostly waltzes, and offering no refreshments except water. Although the music was beautiful, few people danced because not many know how to waltz or tango. I think another factor leading to the ball's flop was that since it was held in an open area, the staff were only allowed to play a setlist of pre-approved, lyric-less music.

After a solid two hours, my new friends and I moseyed up to the hotel's bar for drinks and hanging out. I got to know a bit more about the NYC lolita community, and how different the East Coast is from the West Coast.

I had been selected to model on Saturday for the big three designers of the fashion show: Triple Fortune, Haenuli, and KokoKim. What an honor it was, and an unforgettable experience I'll treasure forever. As fun as it was, I don't think I'll be modeling three times in one show again. The frantic changing and makeup re-application was too stressful for me. I was there from 9:00 am until the show ended at 7:30 pm. I missed a lot of the panels I had looked forward to attending and couldn't really eat for most of the day.

Triple Fortune's lineup was loosely Alice in Wonderland themed, with a queen and Mad Hatter, floral and garden prints, a cherry cheshire cat, and two Alices. I was thankful to be the light Alice, as I got to wear one of their gorgeous bonnets for the show. 

Kimura dressed me in a silky-soft dress with seashells and wrote "Mermaid" on my face with a pink marker. I'd never seen myself with pastel, rainbow hair before, and getting to skip around in such adorable clothes was worth the painful clip-on earrings! 

Visit my Instagram for more photos of the individual looks I wore for each of the sets.

Sunday was more last-minute shopping and the Rufflecon tea party. I don't think I have ever has so much fun at a tea party before, and I owe it all to the wonderful people I sat with. The food was alright, as most hotel fare is, but the problem I had was that they served tea as hot water and tea bags. Not a big issue, but it bugged me a bit.

Our table was pretty lucky in the raffle: Kira won a box set of Numi teas and teapot, Sabrina won a full weekend pass for next year, and I won a JSK & headbow set from the indie brand Baby Ponytail. Unfortunately it isn't my style at all, so I may end up selling it.

Rufflecon did have its issues - namely scheduling and lack of food options in and around the hotel - but overall I enjoyed it immensely. I made new friends, met online friends for the first time, modeled for three amazing brands, took home a decent haul, and partied away. It was worth the expense and travel anxiety. I did not feel alone, left out, sad, or regret for one minute this past weekend. It was the experience of a life time, and I hope that I'll be able to attend another in the future. Maybe you'll see me next year...?

If you've made it all the way to the bottom of this post, you deserve kudos - But theres more! I'll be posting two videos about my Rufflecon experience: one personal vlog of the weekend and one haul of my goodies. If you aren't subscribed to my Youtube (which you should be!), I'll be putting both videos down below as they are uploaded.

26 September 2015

OTTea Party: Welcome to the Bay

On Saturday, September 12th 2015, I attended my community's first independent, large-scale event. We have had big tea parties in the past, but they have always been sponsored from either Angelic Pretty or Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. So this was the first time members of our own community spent time and money to put together a magnificent party for us. And it was a huge success!

This was the chance for the San Francisco Bay Area Lolitas to show their pride and creativity to the world. The event coordinators (the ever lovely Ana, Elize, and Katie) hired professional photographer and videographers for the event and even hosted the debut for my friend Shannie's new indie brand My Dear Charming!

The tea party was held in the French Room at the regal Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco. It lasted for about 5 hours in total - which was a tad bit longer than some of us would have liked. Everyone arrived adorned in their most elaborate outfits, often with intricate hand-made elements. I take pride in my community's ability to really innovate and bring OTT to the next level. The amount of creativity here is astounding. Just wait until you see the pictures!

I personally didn't take too many photos, I was too busy engulfing the sights and experience. I did manage to film a slew of clips to string together into a short vlog for you in addition to an official video filmed of the event. You'll find both videos linked at the end of this post.

I will also be adding more photos to this post as I find them!

The food was decent. There was a selection of four teas: a classic Earl Grey, a full fruit decaf, a standard green tea, and a vanilla-rose-bergamont black tea.

We were also served a single cherry scone and a few small tea sandwhiches. For dessert, as seen above, we nibbled on a tiny lemon cheesecake, a shortbread cookie, and a mini fruit tart.

The OTTea Party had three main events: a "guess the number" game, a scavenger hunt, and a coordinate contest.

The winner of the coordinate contest was hands-down the most deserving of the award. I think it was pretty much decided as soon as she sauntered into the building. Brittany has had a past of coming in extremely over the top and original outfits, customizing to no end. This time she came as a glorious valkyrie:

(Photo credit to Tobias)

I am honored to be able to have witnessed the debut of My Dear Charming. The first release consisted of tights in two sizes and three colorways: pale gray, dusty pink, and a darker pink-brown. I purchased for myself the lightest color because it would match a bit more of my wardrobe than the other colors.

(Photo credit to Tobias)

I had such a fabulous time, and I can't wait until the next time I get to dress up with my community!

(Photo credit to: KV Photography)

(Photo credit to: KV Photography)

(Photo credit to: Ozwzrd)

(Photo credit to: KV Photography)

Here are the videos as promised:

18 September 2015

08 August 2015

My Favorite Motifs and Themes

If you were to step into my bedroom and turn to look at the wardrobe that ensconces the entire wall behind my door, you'd start to recognize patterns. My Lolita wardrobe is pretty generous - although I never feel completely satisfied.I'm actually running out of room for my blouses and shoes! But I digress - about half my main pieces fall into two motif categories. One dress even falls into both!

When I started out in this fashion, I never anticipated or planned to theme my wardrobe around certain motifs. I certainly didn't stick to one color. My wardrobe has some sweet, classic, gothic, and a good range of colors: pinks of different shades, mint, navy, white and cream, black, red, and brown. I purposefully avoid yellow, blue, orange, and purple. I don't purposefully theme my pieces, but when you look at the prints as a whole, you'll see it. 

My wardrobe currently revolves around teddy bears and roses. 

The most populated motif is teddy bears. I've never received one from a lover, I don't have any at the moment, and I'm not particularly fond of bears in the real world. However, I seem drawn to prints and items with those soft, cute bears printed upon them. 

Now, these are just my main brand pieces! I have many more items such as jewelry, headpieces, tights, purses, and outerwear that fit into these two categories.

Now, Baby the Stars Shine Bright's "My Favorite Things" dress up there in red could also be placed down below in the roses category. It features both! And, although it doesn't look right on my bust, I keep it because it is sentimental. Just like Honey Cake, I rarely wear it but they were some of my first brand pieces that I can't bear to part with!

I hope you enjoyed seeing just how many pieces I have that follow a specific trend! I have many wishlist items. Lo and behold - a lot of them have either roses or teddy bears somewhere!

What are your favorite motifs in Lolita? Or how about the most common themes in your own wardrobe? Do you like any that you don't own? 

I also have made a video a long time ago about this very subject, please check it out below and follow me on my Youtube channel.