Wednesday, 23 April 2014

♥ Posing Like A Lolita ♥

In my opinion, the most difficult thing about lolita fashion is knowing how to pose. Even with my past experiences with cosplay, I still had a very difficult time with posing. With cosplay, I had just copied poses directly from the source material, but in lolita you can't exactly do the same thing. You can copy model poses out of Gothic Lolita Bibles and other publications, but not every pose will work for everyone.

I know others also have had or continue to have trouble with poses that suit the lolita fashion, so I've decided I would make a little guide in posing for lolita to try to help! This guide includes both photos as well as drawn examples, featuring a character of mine from an upcoming webcomic!


The Smile & Expressions

The hardest part of posing for photos is making your facial expression look natural and comfortable. This can be a very difficult thing, especially if you're not used to being photographed. 

The most important thing is your smile. A full smile is great for well-angled candid shots, but otherwise tends to make photos look uncomfortable. A small/half smile is perfect for photos, as it looks delicate and also hides gums and teeth. A closed smile can also be nice. They're great for close-ups, but don't come across as well for full photos. Silly faces also work really for dynamic poses and can be cute!

It's good to give yourself a range of facial expressions in photos, in order to learn what face works best for you. Practicing in a mirror also helps you learn the right 'angles' for your face and  how to control your expression.


Selfies and Close-Ups

Almost everyone in this generation is guilty of 'the selfie'. I think selfies are a nice and cute way to show of your hair, makeup, and general look! Selfies are also nice practice for getting your expressions and angles right for a photoshoot setting later on.

The two most important things for close-ups and selfies (and photography in general) is the lighting and the angles. In lolita fashion, it's good to take photos in natural light or in shadows. It's very important to not use too powerful lighting, as it can wash out the details in your outfit. For super-close-up style photos, you can use strong lighting as a way to wash out features. It's a very cool look for gothic, aristo and boystyle!

It's good to vary your angles in your photography, but the most flattering angle is definitely holding the camera at a slightly higher angle. It makes your eyes look larger! slightly turning your face to the left or tight makes the photo look much cuteer! If you have a nose you're not happy about, it's good to look straight-on to the camera, to make it look smaller.

[Photo Source - Frilly Pink Dreams]

Another good look for close-ups is the cute 'hand on face' pose. Holding ones hand on the cheek or chin can look very cute or playful, depending on how the face is held. It is a nice and carefree pose!


Leg Posing

One of the most difficult part of posing for me is figuring out what to do with my legs, haha. After reading many lolita magazines and studying poses, I found two (technically three) poses that work for almost everyone.

"The Straight and Narrow"

[Photo Source - Lunie Chan ]

 This pose is really easy and simple. Just keep your legs completely straight and point your toes forward. This make your legs look slimmer - no matter which angle they're taken from!

The "pigeon toed" look isn't much different from this and does look very cute. Though, a good thing to keep in mind with when pointing your toes together is 'keep it subtle'. Rocking your feet to their side or pushing your toes together so that you can nearly see the sides of your shoes is far too much. Just point them subtly together, only a little, for that cute look.

With this pose you can also have one leg slightly behind the other, for a more mature or formal look.

[ Source - BTSSB Ad]


"The Dainty Princess"

This is a very popular pose and one of my favourites! It really flatters almost all types of legs, but especially flatters those that are thicker or more muscular. You want to just subtly push your one leg farther back, but not enough to look forced, or like a curtsy. If you are unable to stay balanced, you're pushing your leg too far bag. It's just a simple half-step back, keeping the weight on the tip of your toe.

[ Photo Source - (left) Brookellebeebs (right) AP ad ]


Arm Posing

When trying to pose, I find my arms tend to flop over to my side too often. It gets boring and often looks tired and makes coords look frumpy. Confident arms makes a confident outfit!

"The Superhero"

This pose is the most basic and often poses used for models and in runways, for good reason. By placing your arms on your waist, it makes it look slimmer and more defined. This pose is also great for a confident looking model! Be careful if you have wide or thick shoulders, this pose does accent them.


"The Lady"

This pose is really great for keeping an innocent or sweet look. It works very well for both classic and sweet outfits! By placing your arms together in a "V" shape, it creates a slimming look to your waist and also pushes your shoulders inward, creating a soft and sweet look. This pose can look a little plain with straight-posed legs, so it's good to pose the legs crossed or dynamically to avoid a boring look.


"The Magical Girl"

This pose does look a little "Japanese Tourist" but it's still a very cute pose! The hand-on-waist-look give that extra bit of definition to the waist, and the lifted arm helps create less of a boxy looking frame. The "V" sign adds a little splash of kawaii to this otherwise plain pose! You can also change the posing of the hand in a 'cat paw' pose or another other cute hand-signs to keep things fresh.


I do apologize for the length of this guide! I wanted to get all the bases covered, haha. I hope this helped!
What poses are your favourite? Are there any poses not in this guide that you love? 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

♥ A Guide to Twinning ♥

Twinning is a common and fun way to wear lolita with friends. Twinning is a term used for two or more people wearing the same main piece (OP, JSK, or skirt) together in a similar style. 

Twinning is not limited to two people only, but it is the most commonly seen done in pairs in twin lolita. Sometimes it is done with three, four or more people at once. Many lolita communities, both online and offline, organize meetups and events surrounding twinning style. Twinning has been done in lolita fashion for decades and is a popular way to wear lolita.

This style is a bit more complicated than it may initially seem, as there are many different forms of twinning!

The Perfect Match Style

This is the most common and easily recognizable style of twinning. In this style, the wearers wear the exact same outfit, down to the smallest details. All of the colours and items are identical. Sometimes the wearers will flip the items in a way, so that it looks similar to looking in a mirror. This is the most difficult style of twinning to wear and usually requires planning ahead in order to have all matching items.

The Opposite Style

Opposite colour twinning is one way to be a bit more 'individual' while twinning. It's exactly the same as true 'perfect match' twinning in which the wearers will wear the exact or near-identical items, but it varies in which the wearers can wear a different colourway in the items. In this style, there is more room for varying items.

Sometimes the opposite style isn't done as seen above with the identical items but in different shades, and instead does opposite elements. One wearer will wear a dark blouse and light tights for example, and the other will wear a light blouse and dark tights. They are still the same identical items, but have a much different feel than simply changing the colours. It creates a very interesting look!

The Same Item, But Worn Differently Style

This is the least challenging form of twinning and the farthest straying from the idea of 'twins'.

While this isn't a bad way to twin, many don't view it as true twinning because it's very individualistic and doesn't focus on matching as much. The items can be the same colour or 'opposite' style and there is much more freedom to play with your style in this form of twinning. In this style of twinning, one can even wear a different but similar item. For example, one can wear the JSK but the other wearer can wear the OP.

One must be very careful  with this style though, as straying too far away from the idea of twinning will make it look more like people wearing the same dress rather than people as a pair (or group) together.

So How Do I Twin?


Twinning is easy with practice. Before you make a twinning coordinate with another person it's a good idea to try to practice making coords yourself, either with your own wardrobe or with Polyvore or like programs.

When you're ready, it's a good idea to ask your friends first. It's easier to twin with a friend, but if that isn't an option you can ask anyone in your local community or even do practice with someone online!

At this point, you should choose your main piece together and decide on a theme. Most aren't lucky enough to own the exact same items at once, so if you're planning to do 'Perfectly Identical' or 'Opposite Colour' twinning it is a good idea to plan ahead for a specific meetup or event. It's easy to plan ahead and order identical things, rather than try to rush out a coordinate from what you have.


What do you think of twinning? Which is your favourite style of twinning?

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

♥ Thrifting and Antiquing - Lolita Style ♥

Personally, I love thrift and vintage stores. I just adore them. Most of the time, it seems like it's endless junk, but it's amazing when you find that perfect piece for you! Thrifting and antiquing are important in fashion. Plenty of fashion bloggers worldwide buy their clothing from modern brands as well as vintage or used clothing stores. Lolita is no exception, as you're able to find plenty of 'lolitables' from these stores as well!

Plenty of thrifting and antique stores carry lolita-friendly blouses and skirts, as the lacy and flowing style of skirts were often worn in the 1950s and 1970s. These stores can also carry beautiful vintage jewelry and even those old decor pieces and teacups perfect for those passionate lifestylers! Vintage stores are especially good for finding gloves and hats. These gloves are almost always perfect for classic lolita and many popular hat styles from the fifties and sixties that work very well with lolita if incorporated right.

Many store carry vintage gloves like these.

When you're choosing items, be very careful to check the condition of the item - seams of the clothing, chips on a teacup, etc. It's highly unlikely that it will break immediately when you bring it home, but it's good to accept something at a level of 'used' you are comfortable with. The most important thing to check, with skirts and dresses specifically, is if the item fits the lolita aestetic. Will it fit a petti? Is it too long or too short? How will it look incorporated into a coordinate? These are all very important questions to ask yourself will thrifting with lolita fashion in mind.

Not every store will have something perfectly lolita every time, and often these items will require repairs or modifications to 'make it lolita'. Think about how you'd be able to modify or 'lolita-fy' items as you shop. Ask yourself "Is it worth putting the time towards fixing this up?" Sometimes a piece that looks like it will have lolita potential is a lost cause, and it's okay. Sometimes they aren't the right length or they don't have the right shape. Not everything is meant to wear with the fashion and there is no use trying to save what doesn't work.

Lucky thrift find by Tangerine Taiyaki

Now depending where you live, it may be easier or harder to find suitable things. Living in an older city or a 'historical' town it will be much easier to find things, but it's not impossible to find things in a very modern area and small towns. If you thrift, it's good to make it back to your local store(s) every week or two, as the inventory changes all the time! It's also nice to be friendly and get to know the people who own or work at the store. Not only is it great to make new friends, but you may get the added bonus of them holding items they think you'd like.

In my opinion, thrifting is great for the lolita on a budge but it is impossible to make an entirely thrifted lolita wardrobe without it looking a little off. Thrifting is a wonderful way to expand your wardrobe and find decor and books suitable for lifestylers but ultimately, it's really hard to perfectly match a niche Japanese style with solely local products. It is completely within possibilities to have a handmade wardrobe supplemented by thrifted items, but it's good to keep a realistic view on thrifting and not rely on it soley for your lolita fix.