Wednesday, 21 May 2014

♥ Boystyle: A Style In Its Own - (Plus a quick note!) ♥

It feels like it has been so long since I've touched this blog of mine! The past few weeks have been immensely busy for me as of late, as my boyfriend and I have moved from our small apartment to a new home. The home is a little older but it's absolutely beautiful! The previous homeowner had planted small garden plots all around the front and back lawns. There are small flowers just starting to bloom right now - the tulips have started growing especially strong!

Since we're almost done settling in, I'd like to start blogging again in full force! 

Today's article is all about boystyle! While some view boystyle as a substyle of lolita, I believe that it's more of a sister style (or bother style, rather) in the same vein as Aristocrat. 

Boystyle is a style reminiscent of aristocrat, but in more of a 'young', boyish style. The style is known as ouji in Japanese circles, Kodona in North America and other western communities, but is most normally referred to as shounen-kei or "boy style". Some incorrectly refer to the style as dandy, which is late 18th to 19th century male fashion, not to be confused with this modern style. While it does share some style elements, they are two very different fashion styles.

[Source: (left) Lavenderlillies, (right) Aerynsys ]

While normally seen with a gothic, pirate, or punk styled look, boystyle also is worn in sailor, sweet, classic and other various substyles not unlike lolita fashion. While bloomers are most commonly seen, other elements in the fashion include long pants, knickerbockers, culottes, and very rarely, jodhpurs. The jacket and waistcoat combo is a very strong staple in boystyle. Similar to lolita fashion, blouses are immensely important to the style and must be worn, with the exception of cutsews and other appropriate tops. Other common pieces in boystyle are blouses. Other items seen in boystyle include jabots, cravats, ties and bowties, bow clips, suspenders, cuffs, spats, hats and other hair accessories.

Boystyle is not necessarily a male-only style and if often worn by both men and women, alike. Boystyle is not completely limited to an overly masculine look either. One can coordinate the style in a completely mature and masculine style, but also in a cute and feminine style as well. It's very common to see coordinates that blend both masculine-styled and feminine-styled items together. 

[ Source: (left) Tatiana M., (right) EndlessTeaTime ]

Boystyle is easily one of the most difficult styles to dress in. Many people when they first try wearing boystyle often just throw a pair of bloomers or short pants with a male dress shirt and very little accessories, but it normally falls flat or doesn't really look reminiscent of the fashion. While simple coordinates can be done, they still require a lot of effort and skill. Boystyle is more than just dressing like a boy, it requires the same level of skill and item acquiring as lolita fashion.

So how does one make a good boystyle coordinate? Here are a few tips to start.

  • Boystyle is about appearing like a boy, even if worn effeminately, so it's a good idea to wear your hair short or in an updo. Ponytails and braids are also acceptable if incorporated well. Long hair can be worn as well, but it's uncommon and good to leave to the more experienced boystyle wearers, as it can be very difficult to pull off.
  • Heels, mary-janes and teaparties are very feminine, so try to go for shoes or boots with simple chunky heels or a platforms for a more  boyish look. Oxford shoes are also commonly worn. Oxford-style heels are uncommon but can be worn if coordinated well.
  • Keep makeup as natural as possible, unless wearing a very extravagant or themed outfit. It's good to try to keep as androgynous as possible and makeup is a large part of that.
  • Think of coordinating boystyle in the same terms as lolita - even the plainest coordinates need something to pull it all together. For a very plain coordinate it is good to have tops and bottoms with notable details, such as pintucks and laces Headwear and accessories are very important to the style in the same way as lolita fashion and shouldn't be ignored. The little things are what pulls things together and makes an outfit interesting!
  • Alice and the Pirates, Innocent World, Miho Matsuda, Putumayo, and Metamorphose are all brands that release boystyle pieces. It's good to study their example coords and how they put them together.
  • If the big brands are unaffordable, Bodyline and Fanplusfriend also release replicas of popular boystyle and aristocrat pieces. Quality may vary depending on the item. Taobo brands such as Dear Celine, Surface Spell and Infanta release original boystyle pieces as well.
  • Try practicing making coordinates with pictures online, either with paint or similar programs or with websites like Polyvore. It's free and good practice to improve your coordinates!

I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction to boystyle. How do you feel about boystyle?
If you have any questions, or would like some advice on the style, please let me know!

Thanks for reading!

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