Calling All Crafty Lolitas: Huge Tutorial List!

I recently compiled a particularly huge list of tutorials and posted them on one of my blog's permanent pages (Have you ever noticed them? They are over to the left under "About"!). The tutorials range from sewing projects, to crafting your own accessories, to making fancy things to decorate your Lolita life with. They also range in difficulty from absolute beginner to intermediate, so with a little practice they're all relatively easy to master. You can pretty much put together a whole Lolita wardrobe with the tutorials listed here!

Click here for the great big list of Lolita tutorials

Of course, I'm going to be adding more to this list as I find it, so if you happen to have a tutorial you have made, or know of a good one, I would be very interested in knowing about it so that I could possibly add it! I won't be adding every single tutorial I come across (I'm not looking to be the new Google!) just ones that are strictly Lolita related and have clear and easy to follow instructions.

How much of your wardrobe have you made yourself? I have to say that, sadly, very little of mine is made by me! I'm not very handy with a sewing machine, so besides my bonnets and a few pieces of jewelry, my wardrobe is either bought from a shop, or made by people much much more skilled than I am. Gathering up all of these tutorials has really inspired me to try my hand at sewing once again though, especially after reading through this tutorial on how to make a Lolita dress! Or maybe I'll try my hand at making resin jewelry?

When Your Friends Leave The Frills

Finding a friend in the Lolita fashion is something that many Lolitas crave. While some are content with being a lone Lolita, many are looking for a friend to share their frilly passion with. But what to do when you've found such a friend, but they start to loose interest in the fashion and are considering leaving Lolita?
  • Talk to them about it. They're your friends, so I'm sure you will be talking to them about it the instant you hear that they plan on leaving Lolita. Whatever their decision is, support them in it. If they want to leave Lolita for a different style, help them pick out some clothes for their new wardrobe. If they feel like they want to leave Lolita because something in the online communities has gotten them upset (I have seen this happen!), be a shoulder to cry on or just an ear they can rant off. You never know, your friend my not have their whole heart in leaving the fashion and just needs someone to talk to.
  • Don't beg them to stay. Don't make them feel bad about their decision, I'm sure they're already having a hard time with it, as a friend you shouldn't make it worse. Maybe urge them to keep a favorite dress or accessory that you know they will regret selling, even if they don't plan on ever wearing it, but don't give them a hard time about leaving the fashion. Remember that they are your friend, not just a matching fashion accessory.
  • Don't be hurt or angry. I know it might hurt a little bit to hear that a friend who spent so much time with you in the frills is giving it up for something else, but remember that they are not, by any means, leaving you. Don't take it personally, it's just clothes.
  • Don't act like they've confessed that they only have a month to live. They're not dying, just changing their clothes, so try not to be melodramatic about the fact that they no longer have much interest in the fashion. Don't lament the fact that you're never going to see them again, because there's no reason why you can't see them ever again just because they aren't wearing Lolita. Try not to beg them for one last go at the fashion either, maybe they don't want to go to one last meetup, or have one last photo shoot. They are obviously not that interested in the fashion any more, so don't force them to dress up one last time. If they make the suggestion, that's fine but the instant they tell you they're leaving Lolita you shouldn't exclaim "Oh my gosh! We have to have, like, the biggest meetup of the year as a farewell!" If you feel like you must do something, do something simple like make a scrap book or get a few of their favorite pictures printed out.
  • Buy a few pieces that mean a lot to you from them. If they are having a massive Leaving Lolita Sale to fund a new wardrobe, buy a few things from them that hold special memories for you. Maybe a purse you've always admired, a skirt that they wore to the first meetup you both went to, or just some special piece that will remind you of all the good times you had together while you both wore the frills.
  • Keep in touch. This one is obvious if they are a friend that you often keep in touch with, but if they're someone you really only see during Lolita meetups and events make an effort to keep in touch with them outside of the frills. Show them that you're interested in being their friend because you enjoy their company, not just because you like their coordinates.
One of my first Lolita friends has recently made the decision to leave Lolita. While she doesn't plan on permanently leaving the fashion, she is taking an extended break from it. She simply doesn't have the time or the money at the moment to keep up with the fashion or fill out her wardrobe in the direction she wants it to go. So, instead of having hundreds of dollars worth of clothes sit around, unworn, in her closet, she's selling the majority of them to pay for school books and general things needed for a life outside of the frills.

I plan on buying a couple pieces of hers that I've always loved, such as a couple Suppurate System necklaces that I've positively envied ever since I've known her and a BtSSB headdress that she asked me to add to an order I placed when we first met each other. It was the same order that I got my first brand dress from!

Lolita was what brought us together, but it certainly isn't what kept us together. Like any good friendship, ours wasn't based on something silly like wearing the same clothes. We both have the same nerdy interests, dorky hobbies, and stupid sense of humor. Even though we haven't seen each other a lot lately, I still love hanging out with her in her neon painted bedroom and just chatting (and often ranting) about whatever we feel like. The next time we get together, only one of us will be wearing a frilly dress and matching headbow, but it will still be just as great as it's always been.


Have you ever had a friend who left Lolita? How did you feel about it, and are you still friends regardless, or did you realize that, sadly, your only common interest was the Lolita fashion?

Playing With Digital Dolls: Poupee Girl

So, I'm back on the Poupee wagon after about 2 years of not playing. What is Poupee you ask? It's half dress up game and half wardrobe show off. You upload pictures of your own clothes to display in a virtual closet and in return you get clothes to dress up your avatar and "ribbons" which you can spend on the site to buy more clothes for your avatar.

Instead of clearing out my super old account (I've had it since Poupee Girl was all in Japanese, they had just celebrated their first Christmas!) I started a new account. Click here if you're interested in seeing the Lolita pieces in my closet. I only have a few things uploaded right now, mostly just the JSKs that were in my armoire, but I'm slowly adding more pictures. If you're already on Poupee, add me as a friend!

poupeegirl fashion brand community

This is what my Poupee Girl looks like!

Convincing Your Parents To Let You Wear Lolita

I seem to have accidentally deleted my old Ask Miss Caro-chan post! I have reposted it, along with a new form to ask questions through, I'll now be doing the questions via Formspring, or just through the comments on the Ask Miss Caro-chan page. Hopefully, this way, I will get to answer a lot of the quicker questions that don't require a full length post!

Now that that's cleared up, today's Ask Miss Caro-chan is from Sarabelle, who asks
I'm sixteen, and have recently discovered lolita fashion...and have fallen head over heels in love with it! I want to start building a wardrobe, but I don't quite know how to tell my parents, lest they say no. What could I do/say to convince them?
Note: This post was written with the help of my friend Cherie, who had to do a lot of convincing to be able to wear Lolita when she first got started!

I have to say, as much as I know you're not going to want to hear it, there is no magic word to get your parents to let you dress in Lolita. My own parents, when I started dressing Lolita all those years ago, where OK with the fact that I had decided I wanted to look like what they thought was a crazy Victorian doll, but strange fashion choices were really not something out of the ordinary for little Caro-chan. Your parents might not be as understanding, but I'm sure you know them more than I do, but are you sure they are not going to allow to wear Lolita? There are a few things you can do to test the waters before you take the plunge into frills.

First, look at Lolita fashions with them. Either find pictures online and show them, or buy one of the various Lolita publications out there and browse through it with them. Leave it on a coffee table where they're sure to find it if you have to! Avoid something like showing them pictures of Lolitas from a manga or anime, as they might think you just want to dress like a character from a cartoon or comic book, they might not understand that some characters in anime and manga wear clothes inspired by real life. See what their reaction to this and let them know that you would love to wear these clothes. If they seem OK with the idea, then you're pretty much good to go. Try to start small though, don't dive head first into towering pink wigs and ultra-rare and expensive dresses.

If you bring up the idea of dressing like the models in these magazines and your parents give you the "I don't mind it, but not on you!" speech then you're probably going to be in for a rockier ride. There's really not much I can tell you that will grantee them to give in and let you wear the frills, but there are a few tips and pointers you can try to get them to hopefully change their minds.
  • If your parents pay for your clothes, don't start asking for very expensive pieces. Show them the cheaper side of Lolita first, such as Bodyline. Bodyline prices are very close to mainstream store clothing prices, so it won't be much more than buying "normal" clothes. Do some creative shopping yourself and pick out basics, like blouses, socks, and shoes at local stores. You're parents might not even notice that they are buying you Lolita clothes that way XD Gradually introduce them to the pricier Lolita brands and save asking for expensive pieces for birthdays, Christmas, or other special occasions.
  • Dress nicer outside of Lolita. If you typically wear jeans and hoodies your parents might not think you are actually going to wear the fancy new clothes you are asking for. There's nothing parents like less than wasting money, so show them that you can indeed dress up when you're not forced to. Wear a blouse every now and then instead of a tee shirt and, especially if you're not used to it, wear a causal skirt every now and then. Some parents are afraid that their kids are just going to ruin nice clothes, you're obviously not a 6 year old any more, running around with a Popsicle melting down your arm and a tootsie roll stuck in your hair, but sometimes parents will still treat you like that. So prove to them that not only do you enjoy dressing nicely, but that you know how to take care of nicer clothes. Check out this post about wearing elegant clothes outside of the Lolita fashion for more ideas.
  • Earn your Lolita clothes. Whether you have a part-time job, an allowance, you sell off some old stuff on ebay, or just obsessively save money from holidays and birthdays, be willing to spend some of your own money on the fashion. If you don't get an allowance, you can always try bargaining with your parents, it's what I did when I was younger since I didn't get an allowance! Agree to do something like keep the lawn mowed for a month, or do all the dishes for 2 weeks straight in return for a Lolita dress (Keep the first tip in mind though, most parents don't think doing the dishes is worth $300). Let your parents know that you are serious about wearing Lolita and you're willing do work for it if you have to!
  • Discuss your budget with your parents. If you have a part-time job of your own that pays enough to be able to afford brand, but your parents are against you spending every penny of your paycheck on Lolita, talk to them about budgeting. Instead of just blowing whole paychecks on burando, put some money aside each week until you have enough. Prove that you're mature enough with your money to pay for both necessities and luxuries.
  • Find out why they might not let you wear Lolita. Some parents are very picky about what their kids wear and don't like the idea of them dressing "weirdly". There could be a lot of reasons why they don't like the idea, they might worry that you would get picked on, or they could have a misconception about alternative styles. If they flat out say "No, my kid's not going to dress weird!" try to find out why they don't want you to and discuss it with them. Make sure it doesn't turn into a yelling match though, as that might be all the more reason not to let you.
The most important part of convincing a parent to let you wear strange and expensive clothes is to prove to them that you are both serious about it and mature enough to handle it. They might think it's just a silly and expensive phase that you are going through and will get sick of in a couple months.

What to do if your parents don't trust the fashion because of the word "Lolita"?
It's no secret that "Lolita" has a few different meanings, because of this your parents might instantly get the wrong idea about what you mean when you say you want to start dressing in the Lolita style. First of all, you shouldn't really completely avoid calling it Lolita, as they're bound to figure out that it's called that since it's on many Lolita websites and right in the title of many Lolita magazines. Explain the style to them, let them know that it is a fashion from Japan that is based on wearing modest and feminine clothes. Reading the book yourself might be a good idea, even just so you will have first hand knowledge about just how little it has to do with the fashion. Also, it's a pretty good book and a classic, so you should definitely read it for those reasons as well.

That's about all the advice I could give on the subject, like I said, there's really no sure fire way to allow your parents to dress the way you want. Some parents are just more willing than others.

To my readers, how did your parents react when you first started wearing Lolita? Did you have to do any convincing or did they encourage you to dress however you wanted?

Happy Blogaversary Giveaway

Finally! I got all of my stuff together for the giveaway! This giveaway is in celebration of my blogs one year birthday, 250,000+ hits, and 500+ followers. Since these are all big milestones for my blog, that all happened within a couple weeks of each other I want to make this giveaway a big one.

This is all the stuff I'm giving away. Now, as awesome as it would be if one person won all this, I decided I wanted to share the wealth, so instead of one winner there will be five winners. Two grand prize winners: one Sweet Lolita pack and one Classic Lolita pack, and 3 runners up who will win a pin and some stationery destash. With the exception of the stationery and the craft supplies, I made all of the things in this giveaway! I plan on adding a few of the items in these giveaway packs to my shop eventually, so you all are getting a sneak peek! Now, let's see what the individual prizes are!

Classic Lolita Grand Prize

This set includes a pink and red rose corsage with an ostrich feather, a pair of Mori Girl inspired hair bows, an Alice in Wonderland puffy cell strap, and an assortment of beads from my personal mix of amber and bronze colored beads, because I like to make themed bead mixes so I have an easy source of inspiration when it's craft time.

This is the bead mix, it's an assortment of new, vintage, and handmade beads in an assortment of materials. The 2 big things are domino pendants I've made, there's also a few freshwater pearls, brass stampings, shell pieces, hand-blown glass, and semi-precious chips. Anything that has a decadent antique feel goes into this bead mix!

Here's the rose clip, not much to say about it, I just wanted to get a better picture of it. It's a small-ish rose corsage on a barrette with a white ostrich feather tucked into it.

While it's not my personal style, I really do enjoy the vintage, girly elegance of the Mori Girl style. These simple, and I do mean simple, hair pins were made with the Mori Girl in mind. They are simply raw edged bows, made from vintage floral fabric on little silver hair pins. A quick note about these, the backs, where the hair pins are attached are not pretty. These were an experiment in adding bows to a hair piece and next time I would definitely go with a hair pin that doesn't have a little round glueing pad on it.

The last item in the Classic Lolita prize pack is a puffy Alice cell charm. A while ago I came across some Fairy-kei/Spank cell charms and pins that were cute printed fabric that was made into a little shaped pillow. I loved the idea and thought it was adorable, but I am not too big on the sweetness of Fairy-kei, so I decided to Classic it up a bit with some Alice themed fabric. The fabric is custom printed with a colored illustration from Alice In Wonderland. The backside is covered in vintage calico fabric. As you can see (I put this next to my own puffy cell charm that I made of the Mad Hatter) these are quite large, so unless you don't mind giant cell charms this might be better suited as a key chain. The plus side is they are very light because they are just little pillows, so they're fun to squeeze. At least, I'm always squeezing mine.

Sweet Lolita Grand Prize

This set includes a big pink bow brooch, a gummy bear cell charm, a cupcake ring, and a little deco'd tin filled with deco supplies.

This is the assortment of random deco supplies. It's a hodge podge of stuff from my deco box. There are resin cabochons, metal roses, ribbons, puffy bunny heads, and an assortment of rhinestones. It's not a huge amount of stuff, but it's definitely enough to cover something like a compact or a small container.

Here's a closeup of the brooch. It's made with an iridescent pink fabric, reminiscent of the ballgowns Barbie wore in the 80's, covered in pink tulle with iridescent sequins sandwiched between the layers. It's decorated with a couple gold chains and a sweet and glittery bear.

The cell charm in this pack features a couple little polymer clay gummy bears. These aren't real gummy bears coated in resin or gummy bear shaped cabochons, I made them myself! First, I made a clay gummy bear, baked it, then made a mold from it. I then used translucent polymer clay to make a ton of gummy bears, which I then coated in lots of gloss.

I've deco'd a small tin in a black and white theme. There are lots of black rhinestones, white pearls, and cute cabochons covering this tin.

Runner Up Prize

Besides the two lucky people who will win one of the above prize packs, 3 people will win smaller prize packs that include a little pin with a little chibi self portrait, because I know you all want to wear a picture of me pinned to your bag XD Recognize the picture from the Blogaversary post? Also included is some destash kawaii stationery, because I have way too much of it. Destash, for those of you that don't know, means that these were from my own personal stationery stash, thus I am de-stashing them by giving them away.

A close up of the pin, it's about an inch and a half tall and is from my adventures in Shrinky Dinks. The pins are not all the same color, 2 are black and the other one is dark red, you won't get to pick which one you would like, it will be random.

Now, onto the rules and the how-to-enters. You will get 2 entry points just by leaving a comment on this post, each entry point you can put towards either the Sweet or the Classic prize pack. You may either split up the points or put them all on one pack, the more points you put towards one pack, the more entries you get when it comes time to pick a winner. You can get an extra 2 points by posting a link and giving a shout out to this giveaway on your own blog, livejournal, myspace, facebook, twitter, or other personal website and giving a link to the page you posted the shout out on in your comment. You may not spam communities with links though, that will get you zero points. These extra 2 points can be split up however you want as well. You cannot put your points towards a pin and stationery pack, as those are a second place prize and everyone will just get one entry point for them. If you forget to mention where you would like your points to go, I will just split them evenly between the 2 packs. Each person who enters may only win one pack, no one can win both packs, and either of the 2 grand prize winners cannot win a pin pack. It will be 5 different people winning each prize pack.

Each point would be, so to say, a name in a hat for either of the prizes. If you put all of yours towards one, you have a much greater chance of winning that particular one, but if you split them up, you'll have a chance at both of them. You won't have a chance to win a pack if you don't put at least one point towards it. It's to keep someone from winning a pack that is not their style.

With your entry, please include your name and email address (it can be in the name/email fields of the comment box, you do not have to write your email address in the message,I will see it privately) and to prove that you read this far, a brief note about what Lolita means to you, whether you wear it, or simply admire it. Comments without this simple little request will not be accepted!

Here's a quick rundown of what you need in your comment to enter:
  • Your name and email address (doesn't have to be in the message, just so long as those boxes are filled out in the comment)
  • A link to where you mentioned the giveaway (optional)
  • How you would like your points divided up
  • A brief note about what Lolita means to you

I hope this isn't too confusing to you! If it is, hopefully this will help, your entry should look a bit like this:
"Hi! I would like to enter! Lolita means a lot to me because it is pretty and I like pretty things, such as unicorns :D I posted a link to your giveaway here I would like 3 of my points to go towards the Sweet prize and 1 towards the Classic prize!"

The grand prizes are only eligible to people within the US. Sorry, but I don't want to be hit with high shipping prices by shipping overseas! However, if you live outside of the US you can still enter for a chance to win the stationery and pin. Please note if you are outside of the US.

Entries will be accepted up until 11:59pm Eastern time Thursday, August 5th. After that I will randomly select a winner and post the results within the following few days. When I select a winner I will contact them to let them know, if they do not respond to my emails within a week I will select another winner.

Don't forget, in honor of F Yeah's blogaversary I'll also be having a sale on my Etsy shop, Ophanim, and giving 10% off to readers of my blog. Just include the code "F Yeah Birthday" with your payment and I'll refund 10% of the price before shipping. This sale will last until August 14th!

Wow, that's a lot of info for one giveaway XD I hope you're not too confused? If you are, just leave a comment and I'll try to clear any thing up for you!

Happy Blogaversary!

Yesterday this blog celebrated it's one year anniversary :D When I first started this blog, or even before then when I was sitting around in my friend RayRay's room talking about starting a blog I never imagined it would have come this far, or have been this successful. Of course, I secretly hoped it would XD but seeing it actually happen has been a very pleasant surprise.

Not only has my blogs birthday just past, but a few weeks ago my hit counter has also passed the 250,000 mark and my followers have just reached above 500. That's a quarter of a million hits and a hell of a lot of followers!

To celebrate all of these milestones, and a way of saying thank you to all my readers I want to do something special. I sadly haven't really had time to get a giveaway in order to announce in this post, but stay tuned for one in the next week or so.

Until then, I'll also be having a sale on my Etsy shop and giving 10% off to readers of my blog. Just include the code "F Yeah Birthday" with your payment and I'll refund 10% of the price before shipping. This sale will last until August 14th, and I hopefully plan on updating my shop with a few new things before then!

Lolita means a lot to me for a lot of different reasons. Quite some years ago it started to mean more to me than just frilly clothes that looked pretty and started to mean a lot to me in my personal lifestyle. It has, somewhat recently, even begun to transcend things like having Lolita-appropriate hobbies and decorating with a Lolita touch. It now has managed to take root firmly in my heart and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling just to think about some Lolita things. Older volumes of Lolita mooks and certain styles and cuts of dresses have now taken on a nostalgic feel for me, which is probably why I've so recently been interested in acquiring old school pieces, especially pieces that were released when I first discovered the fashion some 8 years ago.

The Lolita fashion and lifestyle has changed me quite a bit in the past few years, and I'm really glad that I started this blog to share what I've learned and what I love with all of you! It's been a great year, and even though over the past few months my posts haven't been as frequent as they sometimes are, I hope to make it to another Fuck Yeah Blogaversary!

Metamorphose's Gardening Teddy Print

Meta has recently come out with a new series of prints called Gardening Teddy. The print itself is an all over design covered in classical florals and teddy bears. Click here for the reservation time.
This series offers quite a few different pieces, an OP, 2 JSKs, 2 skirts, an apron and bloomer set, a purse, and matching socks. Lets check out some of the pieces!

First, the OP, which is quite possibly my favorite piece in the set, especially in this brown print. Design wise, Meta pulled out a few classic designs from their early days and added it to one dress. This dress features a button up front, a detachable extra collar to be worn under the smaller collar, long straight sleeves, and Meta's classic 3 tiered skirt. All of this combines into one really cute dress that might not be everyone's cup of tea because of the dated details.

Next is a more modern JSK. This is a pretty standard JSK design with a fitted waist and a big poofy 3 tiered skirt. While the shape is up-to-date this JSK still has a few details in common with the OP before it, namely buttons up the bodice and the 3 tiers. For when you want a little bit of classic Meta, without having to go all out.

Finally is an underbust JSK with a rather simple design, just a few details on the bodice and a ruffle at the bottom. It looks like a cute and comfy dress than can easily be dressed either up or down for a more casual look.

There are no Alice bows in the headdress section of this set, just old fashioned headdresses, like this flat headdress. While these are very nice looking flat headdresses, I really wish they would have released headbows as well, because it's nice to have options. Maybe meta is forcing us to go back to our Lolita roots by offering a cute print series, but only old school school headdresses.

The only other headdress available is this handkerchief. This is a really weird choice of headwear, and honestly I haven't seen anything like this worn with Lolita in a very long time, it's much more of a Natural-kei accessory. Despite it's strangeness, it does match very well with the series, especially the old sleeved OP that it is shown paired with. If the dress were longer it would be the perfect Natural-kei dress set.

The final piece in the series that I'm going to talk about is this bloomer and apron set. In keeping with the old school/Natural-kei look that this set has this is the perfect finishing touch for an outfit. I really wish that they had shown this apron worn with one of the dresses, especially with the OP.

All-in-all, I am liking this set very much, despite some of the strange choices they have made with headwear. What do you think? That they should have played it safe with some more up-to-date designs? Or do you like this nod back to the early days of Lolita?

Lolita Movie: Mister Rococo

While checking my blog roll, I noticed mention of an upcoming Lolita film, Mr. Rococo. Mr. Rococo is an upcoming Lolita centric-film about a Lolita who falls for a guy who only likes strong girls, so to win his heart, this frilly little girl starts lifting weights and training. While this upcoming movie isn't actually a feature length film, like Kamakazi Girls was, it's apparently a short film, to be show at the Short Shorts Film Festival, a Film Festival featuring shorts that clock in at under 25 minutes.

This sounds like a cute and fun film, a guilty pleasure for Lolitas everywhere. The plot sounds like silly fun, and the main character is at least a departure from the frail and helpless girl that Momoko aspired to be.

There are a few things about this movie that kind of rub me the wrong way, mainly the way that movies like this often seem to be like feature length commercials for our favorite burando. But, all in all, I don't think this movie is meant to be taken very seriously, it seems like a silly romp through the frills that probably has a heart warming message at the end. So I'll try to quench my apparent rage at being advertised to, for something I already buy in abundance, whenever it is I get around to watching this film.

If you want to check out a trailer for the upcoming short, click here to head over to their official site!

So, what do you think about the upcoming Mister Rococo? Silly Lolita fun, or obnoxious feature length commercial? What kind of Lolita movies would you like to see made? More light and fluffy pieces about Lolitas that live in a pastel dreamworld, or more realistic pieces where Lolitas are just normal girls in fancy dresses that have relateable problems?

Aristocrat: Lolita's Older, Quite Possibly Vampiric, Cousin

This is a post I put off writing for far too long! Aristocrat is a style often associated with Lolita, while not actually being Lolita. Much like boystyle, Aristocrat is something of a sister style to Lolita. It has a completely different set of "rules", but there is a lot of overlap in the aesthetics.

How is Aristocrat different from Lolita?
There are a few differences between Aristocrat and Lolita, the first one is that Aristocrat is a much more narrow style. While Lolita can refer to anything from pastel pink Hime Lolita to nearly neon hair-clip-encrusted Decora Lolita, to subdued and mature Classic Lolita, Aristocrat is strictly Gothic. The second difference is length and shape, Aristocrat outfits are often floor length, and don't always have to be cupcake shaped. The third difference is that Aristocrat is a much older, or more mature look than your average Lolita style.

When it comes to the difference between Gothic Lolita and Aristocrat the line is a bit more blurry, and you can usually safely say that the difference between those two is simply skirt length. You can wear two nearly identical outfits, one with a floor length skirt, and one with a knee length skirt, and the long skirt would be Aristocrat simply because it's longer. But, when it comes right down to it, you really shouldn't worry too much about labeling yourself, or the things you wear, one way or the other. This post isn't about which box to put yourself in, it's just a quick primer on Aristocrat, for those who are interested in trying it out.

What makes an Aristocrat outfit?
As I said above, length and general Gothicness are what makes an outfit Aristocrat, but there a few other themes and aesthetics that will work well when trying to make an Aristocrat outfit. Now, keep in mind, that a successful Aristocrat outfit doesn't need to have all of these things, but they are something to keep in mind.
  • A antique aesthetic- Most Aristocrat outfits are very antique in nature. They often look like a very romanticized version of exactly what the name implies, and aristocrat. Full skirts, bustles, jabots, long coats, the things you might think of when you typically think of a gloomy 19th century aristocrat are things you will find in the Aristocrat fashion.
  • You're still probably going to need a petticoat- To get your long skirts to look full you are still going to need to wear a petticoat. Of course, your regular Lolita petticoat is not going to work at all, you'll need to invest in a long one. Don't buy anything too poofy though, or anything with hoops, as most Aristocrat skirts aren't meant to be as poofy as a wedding or ball gown. They will still need a little lift so they don't look clingy or swishy, and a light, full length petticoat will do just that.
  • Modesty- Aristocrat outfits are a bit more modest than Lolita outfits. Besides the fact that Aristocrat skirts are often floor-sweepingly long, you are rarely going to see short sleeves with Aristocrat. While sleeve and skirt lengths are often much longer than Lolita, necklines are often lower. A square, open, neckline is much more frequent in Aristocrat than it is in Lolita.
  • Gothic motifs- Traditional gothic motifs are used in Aristocrat, often in the form of accessories since there are very few Aristocrat pieces with prints on them. Spiderwebs, coffins, bats, candelabras, Gothic architecture, and the like are often seen.
  • Jewelery- You're not going to load up on hair clips or matching themed injection molded plastic doodads with Aristocrat, instead, you should keep it relatively simple and rather gothic. A few rings with large dark stones, finger armor, rosary styled necklaces, or a delicate and gothic choker will do the trick. Silver is the most common metal tone to be found with Aristocrat, but brass or bronze will work well, bright gold might look a little bit weird unless you are making it a standout detail on your outfit. You can even completely skip the jewelery, as Aristocrat is often times much less accessory oriented than Lolita.
  • Headwear- Aristocrat headwear is a little different than Lolita headwear. You're going to want to skip the bows, and even the square headdresses and go for something a little less cute and more elegant. A circle headdress or rose corsage is a perfect Aristocrat headdress, but hats, bonnets, or even skipping a headdress completely is just as acceptable.
The best way to learn how to dress Aristocrat would be to look for examples, browse through the Gothic & Lolita Bibles and you are sure to find many good examples. In case you don't have a wide variety of G&LBs to look through, here are a few examples that I've collected from various volumes. Click for a larger picture.

So what is "Elegant Gothic Aristocrat"?
Elegant Gothic Aristocrat is a specific term, coined by Mana, to describe clothing from his own clothes line, Moi-même-Moitié. You wouldn't call an outfit, or your specific style, "Elegant Gothic Aristocrat" unless it is made up entirely of Moitie pieces, or Mana fans won't be entirely pleased with you.
Calling an outfit, or style, simply Aristocrat is perfectly fine though. When you hear people say "Elegant Gothic Aristocrat can only be made up of Moitie pieces," they don't mean that to wear Aristocrat you can only wear Moitie, but if you plan on adding the extra words "Elegant Gothic" to the style you are wearing, it had better Moitie. After all, you wouldn't call an OTT Sweet Lolita outfit "Angelic Pretty Lolita" if it didn't have any actual Angelic Pretty in it.

How to avoid looking like Elvira: Or the difference between Western Goth & Aristocrat.
Don't get me wrong, I love Elvria, she's quite possibly my favorite person ever, but there is a a world of difference between the Japanese Aristocrat fashion and Western vampy goth. I think the main difference is that Aristocrat is much more modest, you're really never going to show a lot of skin, and you're not going to be wearing any kind of form fitting, clinging skirts. Another important difference is in materials, most Aristocrat outfits are made out of a matte cotton and feature ruffles rather than lace. You aren't going to find nearly as much lace overlay, velvet, satin, or brocade as you would find in Western Gothic.

Despite how it looks on first glance, you might not be able to make a "proper" Aristocrat outfit out of typical Goth pieces. If you already have a Gothic wardrobe, and are interested in something more than just inspired-by-Aristocrat, you're probably going to have to go out and look for proper pieces, or get creative with what you have. Of course, this depends on what you have on hand, if you have a full Victorian mourning wardrobe, you're probably set, and are only going to need to accessorize a bit to get the look down from authentic Victorian to J-Fashion Aristocrat. Aristocrat is a style that is a bit freer than Lolita in regards to "rules", but, probably because of that, a bit more tricky to pin point, it's going to take some trial and error, especially if you're working with Western Goth pieces. My best advice would be to look at examples, and don't be afraid to experiment a bit. Even if you decide upon something that's not exactly Aristocrat, maybe it's a bit more Western Goth, or a bit more Gothic Lolita, go with it if it's something you like and something that lets you express yourself!

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