Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tips for Beginner Lolitas

I was originally going to post this as a comment on EGL, but I surpassed the character limit (by a lot), and realized I'd written a blog post. So, I've edited it and posted it here.

This post is meant to help guide people who are starting to dip their toes into lolita fashion. I've covered the things that I'm qualified to write about; I've included links to other useful posts that talk about things that I haven't written about here.

Another thing to remember is that there are no steadfast "rules" to lolita. It can be difficult to sort out what is and isn't lolita. So don't worry about getting every detail right, especially when you're starting out.

On to the tips!


  • One thing I'm going to say right off the bat: your shoes don't have to be the same color as the rest of the outfit. I'd recommend getting a good pair of black (or brown) mary janes. Unless you're doing shiro (all-white) or something, it's perfectly fine to wear black shoes. So if (say) you wear a pink jumperskirt with a white blouse & socks, black shoes will still look good. (The reason I'm emphasizing this is that I've noticed that some people get worried that they have to have pink shoes to wear a pink dress, etc.) (There are some dresses/skirts (usually classic ones) that look better with brown than with black, so if you have such a dress/skirt, then you might want to get some brown shoes.)

  • For getting brand pieces I highly recommend the lolita sales community on LiveJournal. You can get a wide variety of loli clothes there second-hand. It's cheaper than buying new, and you don't have to use a shopping service.

  • As for blouses, I'm a fan of Anna House. Their blouses are sturdy and can be hand-washed cold. (The tag says "dry clean only", but in my experience hand-washing is fine. Just don't iron/put the blouse in hot water, as the rayon lace will melt.)

  • Don't fret over getting brand socks. I wear lolita most of the time, and I don't own a single pair. Socks are easy to get off-brand, even in the socks section of whatever clothing store you shop at. I'd recommend starting off with white knee-highs (or over-the-knee, or even tights). You can add other colors (and find some printed ones) later. (I wear a lot of black, for instance, so I have a lot of black socks as well as white; again, they're not all printed.) Printed socks can also be found pretty easily. If you can't find them at a local store, there are places online that carry loli-esque socks. Most of them don't even advertise them as lolita.


  • An odd thing I've noticed is that some beginner lolitas are worried about the necessity of bangs. I'm not sure how the confusion arose, but let me assure you that bangs are not required for lolita.

  • Anyway, hair styles in lolita range from very simple to complicated updos. Some simple styles include braids, a headband/headbow, a hat, pigtails, and a nice hair clip or two.

  • I'd say that most (if not all) complicated lolita styles involve curling your hair. Now, there are many ways to do this, and different people have different ways of doing it. You can use a curling iron, hot curlers, sponge curlers, rag curls.... Different methods work for different people. My hair doesn't hold a curl with an iron, but sponge curlers work like magic for me. (Protip: wash your hair before putting in sponge curlers, so it's clean and wet.)

  • Pigtails and rectangular headdresses both look great with curls, and imho pretty much any hairstyle looks good with them. One fancy updo I particularly like for special occasions is this Regency-inspired one. (Protip: curling your hair overnight works, so it's okay if you do that instead of overnight braids like in the tutorial. Also, it looks just as good without a ribbon.)

  • I don't wear wigs myself, but this post on the blog Parfaitdoll is worth reading.


  • Try matching your socks with your blouse. That is, wear a white blouse with white socks. I think it helps to tie the outfit together. Also, match the main color of you "main piece" (the skirt, JSK, or OP) with whatever you've got in your hair.

  • You don't have to match prints to the letter. If you have a black skirt with white roses on it (or something), then a solid black beret or headbow is fine. A slightly-different print is also fine. So, if you have a printed main piece, don't worry about getting the matching headbow.

  • Don't worry about having everything be the exact same shade of ___. If your pink bonnet is slightly lighter than your pink dress, that's completely fine. Don't worry about exact matches. Some shades are lighter, darker, dustier, etc., than others. This goes for all colors -- even blacks and whites can vary a bit, and that's perfectly okay.

Finally, I'm going to recommend a couple of useful links:
How to Have Your Dream Lolita Wardrobe -- This is a great article from a well-respected lolita blogger.
How to Wear Lolita Everyday- The Everyday Lolita -- This is more geared toward people who want to don the frills a lot, but it's still worth looking into, even if you just plan on wearing lolita for special occasions, imho.
Universal Currency Converter  -- This is very useful when you're buying things in a currency other than your own.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"For the Archeologists": The Voynich Manuscript

It seems to me that there are some things that were made primarily to confuse future archeologists. Whether the author(s) of the Voynich manuscript were going for that is up for debate. Archeologists of the linguistic persuasion still continue to puzzle over it, because here's the thing: it's in an unknown writing system, in an unknown language.

Like so.
There have been many theories as to the purpose and contents of the manuscript: an almanac, a grimoire, a hoax, glossolalia, aliens, a diary, Leonardo da Vinci, proto-Dungeons and Dragons....

Pictured: the Dungeons and Dragons theory.
There have been many proposed solutions, but unfortunately none of them seem to work in practice. Example: the writing system is a simple cipher used to write an anagrammed version of Italian, and Leonardo da Vinci created it as a boy (the manuscript supposedly has childish handwriting). But when you try to make sense of passages based on that, you just get a bunch of gibberish consisting of random Italian words coupled with words that don't (and couldn't) exist in Italian.

So, it remains a mystery. All anybody really knows is that an antiquarian book dealer named Wilfrid Voynich got a hold of it in 1912. (Thus, the name.) The general consensus is that the book is ~500 years old, but it could be older or younger (the hoax theory thinks it's a lot younger).

Whatever explanation there is, I think it's beautiful -- if anyone ever makes Voynich manuscript fabric, then I'd love to buy some. (If there's a Lolita skirt/dress out there, then even better!)

So what do you think, readers? Is it an almanac? Aliens? D & D? Or was it written for the noble purpose of stumping future archeologists?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oval Headdresses?

Notice: In my previous posts, I have written in a "voice" that doesn't completely suit me. From now on, I shall write in my own "voice"-- my writing style. Thus, the tone of this blog will be a bit less formalised.

Now, on this blog I have mentioned three types of Lolita headdresses: round, oval, and rectangular. This was a mistake of mine; I somehow became under the impression that "oval" was its own category.

For clarification, here are examples of each headdress:

Round headdress.
"Oval" headdress.
Rectangular headdress.

The difference between the last two may be difficult to see. The second one, from Victorian Maiden, has a distinctly round edge, whereas the third, from Baby, is more of a rectangle. The truth is, these are both rectangular headdresses; I somehow became confused a while back.

So, for those of you who were wondering what an oval headdress was, I hope this gives clarification.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Help Japan

The disasters in Japan have left many people stranded and many more people missing-- and a lot of people outside the country don't know how to help. So, I have made a compilation of links to help the relief effort.


Global Giving: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund This organization is giving to several different groups who are helping Japanese victims.

The American Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross

The British Red Cross

Российский Краскый Крест

Missing People

Google Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake A searchable database of missing/found people in Japan. The database has information on people, including whether they are alive, dead, missing, or unknown. You can add to the database if you have information on a person.

I hope this helps.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lolita and Piano

If I told you that I played piano and guitar, was a lifestyle Loli, and was wondering which instrument to put more focus on, which would you choose?

Throughout my Lolita years, I have occasionally mentioned to someone or another that I played both piano and guitar. Whether I asked them or not, people would consistently encourage me to stick with piano. If I said that I also sang, I would be told that playing piano and singing would be the best way to go.

There was something that I never said, however. The truth is, I love guitar. I also love piano, but guitar is the instrument that speaks to me most. Piano was my first instrument, but it is still almost like a stranger to me.

I was a very timid person, and was afraid of saying that guitar, the instrument that nobody mentioned, was so close to my heart. I still am timid, although I am writing this post. I could never ask, "What about guitar? Isn't it good enough?"

So, now I ask. What about guitar? Isn't it good enough? Could frills and lace really be enough to stop someone from getting out a six-string (or twelve-string) and playing to their heart's content?

Ms. Velveteen decides to play her guitar to her heart's content.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holidays and Eclipses

This is a little late, for some. After all, Eid has long since passed and Hanukkah is nearly over. I have an excuse, though: I've been celebrating Hanukkah and... I must admit defeat here: I have no explanation for posting this so long after Eid. A very late, very happy Eid to everyone who celebrates it.

There are, however, a few holidays which have not passed quite yet. The Winter Solstice (also known as Yule), Christmas, and the Gregorian New Year (the one on January 1st) are still to come. Actually, now that I look at the calendar, I see the Islamic New Year, as well, plus what I call the "other" Eid. So, I haven't completely blown over those of you who celebrate Islamic holidays.

That's five holidays, plus the rest of Hanukkah. Five and one-third holidays.

Therefore, I hereby declare, "Happy holidays!"

Something else caught my eye, though. This is not a holiday, but it's still in December, it's still on the calendar, and hey, it even falls on the Winter Solstice.

The Moon, in a partial eclipse.

It's a lunar eclipse. Before you roll your eyes, however, I would like to say a few things about this particular eclipse.

First, it's total. That's not to say everyone in the world will be able to see the eclipse. For a lot of people, the eclipse will happen either when the moon has already set or when it's about to rise/set. I found a chart on the net showing where you can see the eclipse:

This chart shows where one can see the eclipse. It isn't frilly, but it does the job.

If you're anywhere in North America, you're in luck-- you will get a perfect view (unless some clouds come along). Most of South America will also be able to see all of it. If, however, you live in the Middle East, India, almost anywhere in Africa, parts of China, or anywhere else in the darkest area of the map, you will not be able to see it at all, I'm afraid. Japan, almost all of Europe, parts of South America, and the eastern Oceania are lighter greys. The darker the grey, the less you will be able to see if you live in that area.

Those of you in New Zealand, for instance, will see the moon rise in a partial eclipse, and if you're in northeastern Australia you'll be able to see... well, according to Ian Musgrave of Southern Sky Watch, "the Moon should appear dimmer than normal, and as it rises there should be a gradual brightening of the southern part of the Moon, more easily seen as the sky darkens." It will be that way for far eastern Indonesia, some of northern China, eastern Malaysia, and anywhere you see that is near the line labeled "U3" on the eastern side of the dark part.

My guess is that people in much of Europe, all of Uruguay, far eastern Brazil, and southeastern Argentina will have the same experience, but reversed: as the moon sets, it will get dimmer than normal, starting with the southern part of the moon. I think so, anyway.

If you would like to see the lunar eclipse on December 21, I would recommend looking at the map. If you will be able to see the eclipse in your area, you don't need a telescope to see it. (In my humble opinion, it looks better without a telescope than with one.)

Also, last but not least:

I could not resist the temptation to reference this book, which I have not read.
 So, happy holidays and happy watching the (lunar) eclipse!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


There has been, as I'm sure those of you who read this blog have noticed, a hiatus, and an unexpected one at that. I'm sorry for keeping you waiting, and I plan to start the posting back up again. Many things happened, but I won't bore you with the details. The point is, I stopped posting, but I am now posting again. I will try my best to warn you if another hiatus is coming.

Let the posting begin!
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