29 Apr 2016

Journey to a Daily



For a lot of people out there Lolita isn't just a fashion for special occasions and meets - it's what they wear every day. It's a big commitment that not everyone can make, for whatever reason. But it's also what I think a lot of us want and aspire to, more or less secretly.




Recently I've been thinking a lot about maybe becoming a daily Lolita: how doable would that be for me, what would that entail, what things would I need etc. I spend so much of my spare time doing Lolita related things (blogging, searching for dream dresses, planning outfits, looking up my local, and less local, meets etc.) that it seems like a natural thing to do for me, at least at the moment. I’m not yet 100% sure that this is what I want to eventually do, but right now I like the idea of it very much and if I managed to get any closer to it, that’d definitely sit well with me.

The biggest obstacle is my job. Whilst I don't have to adhere to any specific or strict dress codes, even a very toned down Lolita outfit would feel quite dressed up for my workplace, and I'm worried that it would attract the wrong/unwanted kind of attention. Maybe if I didn't work at a sixth form college or if I was in a different area I'd have more confidence in trying, but that's a lot of 'ifs' and 'maybes'.

Taken on April 10th 2016.
Having said that, for the past two weeks straight I haven’t worn trousers even once, except for pyjamas. This was in big part inspired by this desire to move onto being a daily Lolita, and enabled by the List-Making Challenge on The Lolita Princess blog and by doing some rearranging in my wardrobe when I noticed that at the time I had something like 19 blouses and shirts (including Lolita ones)! Although still flaky, especially recently, I'm hoping the weather will go back to being nicer, dryer and warmer (could do with being less windy too), and I must say that having done this gave me a lot more confidence in how realistic it’d be for me to become a daily Lolita. Yes, what I’ve been wearing is still toned down by Lolita standards (vintage or vintage-inspired fashion, ca 1950s in feel, with some more modern, shorter skater skirts every now and then), but as far as my area is concerned it’s more elegant, more feminine and does stand out in the crowd. And, probably more importantly, it’s been received rather well at my workplace: no questions as to why I suddenly started to dress like this, when before I wore jeans and a smart casual top, I didn’t feel as if I attracted any more attention to myself that usually, and I felt comfortable the entire time. That’s a big, big success!

Not that this experiment was all great and as easy as putting some clothes on. It was also an eye opener about how much effort goes into the whole process. The list I made helped a lot, I already had plenty of options available and didn’t have to think about them, but as the majority of them involved circle skirts it also meant I had to iron them the night before. By the time I got home, it was already wrinkled as well, so if I was to wear it again, I’d have to iron it again. Whilst ironing isn’t my most hated chore, doing it daily is a lot of effort, more than I would like.
Also even the most comfortable heels tire out your legs and feet eventually: my job is usually half-desk and half-movement (standing up, walking places or pacing around the classroom), so I do get some rest time, but I have to climb a hill to get to my bus stop and then to get to the building I work in, none of which are particularly fun when done in heels. Even less so when the weather decides to go back to the cold and wet. I thought about wearing flats or some other practical shoes whilst I commute and then changing into heels upon getting to work, but it needs a bit more thought whether I want to be carrying shoes back and forth.

However, overall I not only realised that becoming a daily Lolita might be easier than I thought – not wearing trousers and dressing in nicer clothes also made me that little bit happier. As one of my colleagues pointed out, we spend most of the day at work, so wearing nice clothes gives you at least that one little bit of joy for the day. In practical terms if I were a daily Lolita I’d have to get a few weatherproof pieces: definitely an umbrella, more boots (wellies?), some warmer legwear for the colder months… It’d also help if I had clothes made with heavier fabrics as well: Yorkshire can get very windy and I don’t want to be constantly worrying about my skirt flying up.

So, what would I actually get? I have thought about this as well, in fact, that was probably the first thing I started thinking about. :P Overall it’d probably centre on Classic, spanning over to toned-down Sweet on one side and to Otome on the other. This means block colours versus prints, but I’d like a bit of frill, a ruffle or some other exciting but subtle detail to be there. I see myself wearing more wine and navy, I love those colours and they’re easy to find as well as coordinate, but I’d throw some sax, red and ivory/white too, since wine and navy would be dark and heavy for spring/summer time. That’d probably be the bulk of my wardrobe, although with block colours pretty much anything goes and if a bit of brown, green or grey finds its way to my wardrobe, that’s ok too. Luckily, as you’ve seen already, I’m quite stocked up on blouses, I’ve also been gathering cardigans and have a fair number of shoes already, so I really could make that transition by just obtaining some main pieces – which I didn’t quite realise until I wrote it down, that’s very exciting!

Some of the items and/or styles which appeal to me and which I'd want if I were a daily Lolita.
All photos taken from Lolibrary.org.

Taken from Laforet.ne.jp
The ironic thing in all this is that not that long ago I was saying that I wouldn’t ever wear Casual Lolita because I wanted to keep the fashion special – yet being a daily Loli is essentially the same thing as Casual. But the more I look at what's out there, at what 'the uninitiated' wear, the more I feel like I don't want to be a part of that world, it’s very boring and unexciting as far as the clothes go. This whole thought experiment brought me even closer to Japan and Japanese fashion, from little things like wanting to go back to shop in the shopping centres I frequented when there to as big ones as starting to like the chunky-heels-and-cute-socks look which is very common in Japan (and which I couldn’t really get before). I plan on going to Japan over Easter 2017, fingers crossed, so I might take this as my deadline: save up as much as I can in order to be able to spend my money on Japanese fashion, but also keep dressing how I’ve been dressing for the past two weeks to firmly establish this as my style (if you do something for long enough, it becomes a habit, right?). Then I’ll be able to look back at how I’ve done and ask myself whether I’m ready to take the next step and become a daily Lolita.

Sounds like a plan! I didn’t set off writing this post to end up with a plan, but it looks like I have one anyway, which is great.

How about you? Any of you daily Lolitas out there: did you just plunge into it or work your way up to it? Or maybe you’re also thinking if becoming a daily is right for you? I love to hear from you, so don’t be shy! :)

2 comments:

  1. When I was at uni, I wore lolita most days - my go-to was a simple JSK with a plain cardigan over the top. I looked cute but it also wasn't too out-there (and offbrand cropped cardigans are usually easy to find and cheap, meaning the daily wardrobe investment wasn't too bad!)

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    1. I think that's the direction I'd be going towards if I did decide to become a daily. The problem is my love of prints (and since I stopped wearing trousers, I noticed this extends to my civvies), I'll probably spend tonnes of time looking for just the right plain JSK. :P

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