Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quality Definitely Over Quantity

It’s no secret that quality matters to most Lolitas, but how much does it matter to you? Do you look for bargains to save as much money as possible, or are you willing to make sacrifices for high-quality products? Would you be more content with a closet full of bargain items, or one or two expensive pieces? Feel free to expand on this broad topic.
If you like, think of this outside of the context of Lolita as well–does your philosophy manifest in other areas of your life”
I'll eat my 33¢ cereal in my $300 dress and love it all the same.
I walk a bit of a fine line here, I look for quality and will pay very good money for it (or for something I’m drooling over) but also will buy less than great quality as long as it will get the job done. And I try to follow a similar set of guidelines as one of my favorite bloggers/writers, he’s summed it up rather beautifully here: He’s also the guy who inspired me to always only live out of a backpack when travelling (okay I cheat and normally have a laptop bag which I can also shove my purse into but if I were to do more foot travel it would just be the backpack). Even when I’m doing full lolita. I don’t subscribe to his full idea of only the things I absolutely want/need but the idea behind it is very stout. I will spend $150 on a pair of Alice and the Pirates boots even though they aren’t real leather because I’ve been in love with them for ages and I was able to try them on in the store to make sure they fit perfect.

Why aren't you real leather?

But I also try to be smart when buying, I often wait for things to go on sale or clearance or until I have a coupon. Leather gloves at Target? They are some of the few that fit my tiny hands and if I like a certain pair or two enough I keep an eye on them and get them when they are on clearance (or the last pair no matter the price if I’m in love).

Walking in Target, there was a sign for all hats and gloves 40% two days only. So these gloves I've been covetting (Rossi Yellow!) are now mine for $4 less than before. Watch as someone gets them for me for Christmas.

But I also cheap out too. I’ll buy offbrand food and toilette products when I find no difference. Some things I’m kind of stern about like I hate spending money on furniture. Then again with how often I move this works for me since I never take furniture with me when I move. There are very few pieces of furniture I’ve ever bought. I bought a second hand couch, a folding bookcase (which I still own) and a DVD rack (which I no longer own) before my current apartment. That’s it. I had a bit more need so I had to buy some things for the new apartment: a small pantry, two DVD racks and small bookcase, all costing $20 or less each because I probably won’t take them with me in a few years when I next move. I’m scouring craigslist for a free/$20 desk. But I spent a good chunk of change on a 32” flat screen tv. I needed a flat screen because I’m not very strong and have to be able to lift it and I wanted a good sized tv. But for what I got (its even a name brand) I didn’t make out too bad, thanks to the pawn shop.

I don't always move, but when I do I dress fabulously.

I act in similar ways with lolita, I’m willing to pay $250-300 for a Victorian Maiden dress because I know the fit and quality are superb but almost always I won’t buy a Btssb or AatP dress unless I’m absolutely in love because the fit is not so great and the quality is also lesser (in my opinion). I also make a lot of my own clothes because it saves me money and I love some of the fabrics out there. And I’ve always got an eye out for off brand blouses that I can wear with lolita, I can never ever see myself paying full price for a brand blouse and even sale prices are kind of crap. It’s not that I don’t like some brand blouses but that I don’t love them enough to spend the asking price. If they were $20? I’d definitely have a few. But not $80+. And it is a rare occasion when I’ll spend money on brand shoes. I prefer real leather, especially for that price. The Justine boots are a rare exception because I really do love them. I love them so much that when they wear out I’ll probably find a cobbler to make a replica of them (but in real leather).

Utena size sleeve poof for $6 from an Austin thrift store! :D

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Haute Court... I mean Couture

There's a difference between 'high fashion' and 'hilariously impractical' but during Gaultier's Fall 2009 line the line was hard to see. Maybe because it'd be a fabulous wardrobe on a scifi.
 “Are you a fan of high fashion? Haute couture? Let’s take a break from Lolita today, and tell us about one of your favorite designers. If you don’t like high fashion, are there any other types of fashion that you like, or do you surround yourself with Lolita at all times?”

They had a tendency to die, or in some cases to avoid shanking to live to cause more trouble.
 Please forgive the pun up there, the Haute Court of Baldwin IV's time was just as silly as Haute Couture can be so it is forever linked in my brain. I enjoy gazing in but I take it with a grain of salt. I find Zoolander a good (satirical) summary of the fashion biz and ‘high fashion’. But I love looking at pics from the runway and watching Project Runway. It’s the same reason I love looking at Daily Lolita and other coord pics, I just love looking at fashion. I love sketching ideas. I love playing with clothing and design.

But I do have two fav designers of which I will probably never own anything from.

I fully admit to lovely quirkly heels. And metallic heels.

Christian Siriano
His shoes. OMG. They never fit me but he does things I love with shoes. They’re slightly futuristic and decadent. That is my fav combination by the way. Make me look like an astronaut that belongs in the Count of Monte Cristo anime or like one of the crazy support programs from Tron. The problem with his best shoes is that they never make it to Payless I only see them in runway pics! Sadness! I also loved a lot of the stuff he did on Project Runway but I’ve been less excited about his clothes since.

Practical? Probably not. Amazing? Completely.

Nicolas Ghesquiere for House of Balenciaga

Futuristic impossible looking clothes that actually can function? Yes please. The tights and that vest are my absolute fav of just about anything ever. If I could own one brand item of any brand ever it would be those tights. They are freaking amazing.

But other than those two weird examples I don’t really follow particular designers. I love what Burberry does but the whole brand not just one designer. Other than that it is normally just one or two outfits/seasons from a person because they fit my odd aesthetic. I love glancing at style columns to see what pops out though.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Trends: My favs and whether being in tune with them honestly matters

What are your favorite or least favorite trends in Gothic & Lolita? Do you think it’s important to follow them, or to wear whatever you want?”
I love that stars are big right now. Forget hearts I love stars and put stars in place of the dots of polka dots and you’ve got my money.

Also, green. And not mint green but hunter and olive. The fact we’re getting more of that makes me ecstatic! Maybe it says something about me by the two brand clothing (not including shoes and socks) items I have are both green of a not mint variety.
Green, Ash, Ink Blue and Phantom Grey are my favs, in just about that order.

Regimental Stripes. Oh. Oh my. I feel the need to fan myself. Victorian Maiden has done the most beautiful things with regimental striping but Innocent World has combined regimental striping and a green that is somewhere between Hunter and British Racing. Swoon. I just wish they had a flattering length JSK.
Some can really pull it off. But their numbers have been few.

There are plenty of trends I’m happy are dead and some which need to die but I’m very firm about my to each their own rule. As long as they love what they’re wearing then I don’t care too much.

I would say "Can chunky and/or age playish shoes die next?" but that would be rude. 
But that would be the crux of my position. If what you wear makes you happy then by all means. Then again this is coming from the girl with not one, not two but six or so Corvette specifically lolita items so my taste may be subject. But I love my Corvette stuff just as I love the stars and green trends.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Make-Up Monday: Everyday Lip Colours

This may be an every other week feature, I'm not sure.

I thought I'd do a comparison shot of all the Neutral/Nude/Light/Everyday lipsticks I own.

Obviously all aren't nude but you put a true nude lip colour on me and I start looking corpse like.

I went from darkest to lightest, though Satin might actually be a smideg darker pink. The bottom lip is tube to lip and the top is a very light application.

Rimmel: Just So
This used to be the color I used for all mid century period inspired outfits, it is a good color for that, especially since combining a flat red with a heavily smokey eye makes me look like I belong in a harem.

Chanel Rouge Coco: Satin
This is my current go to for that medium pink lip that I love for midcentruy period looks. It has a fainter scent which I like and looks a bit smoother. And I always feel a warmer tone makes me look less dead.

Rimmel: Paradise
The most nude shade of the bunch and I don't ever really wear it. I just tink it looks weird on me in the mirror though in photos it looks okay.

Rimmel: Airy Fairy
This used to be my everyday color because it is just about an exact match as the color of my lips. So I didn't have to worry if it had worn a bit as noone could really tell.

Chanel Rouge Coco: Perle
I bought this when I was still job hunting and wanted something professional for interviews and for when I eventually started my career. I fully admit I went with Chanel because that was a Grown Up brand and I wanted to be a Grown Up. It was my first bit of Chanel make up and after it being my everyday for about a week I realized how awesome it was. And once again it seems a bit more warm toned which always suits me better than neutral or cool toned things.


Rimmel costs about $5 a tube and Chanel costs about $32. Needless to say if I don't think it is a color I will wear often I'm not going to buy it from Chanel but I may buy it from Rimmel. The only advantages for Chanel are that you can test out colors in store before buying (so you don't spend $5 on a color that really doesn't work and will never be worn, I've lost $15 that way so far), the fragrance is a bit weaker (Rimmel is almost too strong to bear right when putting it on) and the texture of Chanel looks a little better but not markedly so. Both are good brands of lipstick, but Chanel demonstrates that better quality does go hand in hand with price.