Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lolita 52 Challenge Week 3 - My Own Lolita Lifestyle

Still winding down from Rufflecon and feeling the pleasant buzzing which comes from being surrounded by gorgeously dressed people for an entire weekend, the topic of my own lolita lifestyle comes at a good time. As I mentioned briefly in my Treatise A La Skye, when I first learned about lolita fashion, there was already a romanticized idea of the lifestyle lolita and how much her life seemed to be paradoxically a tangible goal and an otherworldly fairy tale in its effortless elegance. My own lolita lifestyle is far from the idealized version, but I like to think that there are often aesthetics which draw all of us to the fashion and therefore tie our lives together via delicate spider-silk-strong strands of commonality.

My hiatus from lolita meant that I never wore it when I had the most freedom to dress outrageously. Due to my current job, lolita (or at least my current wardrobe) doesn't much fit with the dress code. If I had been a kuro lolita, I'd have transitioned splendidly. But alas, my classic wardrobe full of wines, chocolates, and violets doesn't lend itself to becoming work attire anytime soon. As such, I do not get the chance to wear lolita nearly as often as I would like, but on days off I love to incorporate even the simplest pieces into my outfits - whether true lolita or not. I'm lucky to live very close to two girls from my local comm, and I'm getting into the habit of trying to see more and more of them on my days off to give myself more chances to dress up and step out in company. I like to wear lolita at least once a week and save my best coordinates and most prized pieces for meetups as I believe that a lolita wardrobe is like wearable art; where art is beautiful as a sole piece on one's wall, it truly flourishes as part of a well-curated exhibit. So too with lolita. While my own coordinates are lovely on their own, the beauty and value of them is enhanced when surrounded by similar outfits and like-minded individuals. Art history never really leaves you and neither does lolita.

Though I don't have nearly enough time to pursue the lolita-esque hobbies I once did, I've been getting plenty of hours logged behind the sewing machine at my job. My favorite activity by far is hand-stitching due to the sheer time it takes and the repetition of simple movements. It's the best sort of meditative past time - especially if you take away the deadline and add some tea and a comfy couch. My hope is that once the holiday season really pushes itself upon my consciousness, I'll be spending more time working on projects to give as small gifts to friends and family alike. Though I'm sure it will be a challenge, I'd very much like to take up embroidery to bring some personal flair to some of my coordinates.

When I'm not working or spending hours getting dolled up in frills, I spend much of my time window-shopping. Though it's not nearly as romantic as true in-person window shopping, my perusal of internet shops with wishlists growing longer and longer helps me avoid buyer's remorse and really focus on building my wardrobe. Because I value this fashion as wearable art, I see a wardrobe as an opportunity to curate a cohesive collection. My ultimate goal would be to have a wardrobe which is large enough to satisfy every occasion, while still being so interconnected that it would be easily comprehensible to anyone interested in fashion. If my wardrobe could walk the runway and make sense to an editor, I would be satisfied. I especially love finding pieces from offbrand websites that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. While brand blouses are amazing and perfect for the most extravagant meetups, they can oftentimes be a bit jarring when dressed down. This is the challenge of the classic wardrobe - a touch of OTT for the girls, but sticking to the simplicity which makes the substyle so appealing.

Though my lolita lifestyle might not seem like much, it occupies much of my thoughts and many of my days in the best possible way. It is a siren's song of the sweetest music, but in favor of sailing another day I will keep myself from the addictive plunge. For now at least.

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