An Ouji Overview: Part 5 Tops and Outerwear

Nov 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! I bring you a very overdue part of the Ouji Overview.
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Tops are essential in every outfit otherwise everyone would be naked and cold! Blouses are foundation pieces. More blouses can make your wardrobe more versatile. If you want to fancy up your outfit, start adding layers. There is no limit to how many things you can wear; just be able to breathe and not get heat stroke.

Blouses and Cutsews
Blouses are pretty self explanatory. They should at least be semi-fitted to your body and cover up your torso (no cleavage or midriff). If it's too large, the excess fabric will create bulges and make you look larger. If it's too small, your body will strain the seams or fabric and buttons may gape. Generally, very thin and shiny fabrics should be avoided. There are exceptions to the shiny rule if it's a nice quality material (ex. costume satin that costs $3 per yard is bad). Alternatively, cutsews can also be worn if you want to be more casual since they are made of knit materials.

Collars and Necklines
These aren't the only types, but they are the most common. High and pointed collars are the most elegant. Round and sailor can be either elegant or casual depending on the rest of the outfit. Square and and cowl are mostly casual and often used for cutsews. Certain neckwear will look better with certain collar types.

Sleeves 
Sleeveless and short-sleeved tops are great for areas with high temperatures. With sleeveless blouses, it is possible to be too bare, so either accessorize to balance the bareness or cover up. For even more versatility, look for blouses with detachable sleeves. For beginners, I would advise avoiding enormous bell/princess sleeves like this.

Outerwear

Cardigans and Boleros
Avoid too many ruffles or lace. Many lolita cardigans and boleros are too feminine for ouji.
Vests
Related terms: waistcoat, gilet (long)
Vests are the most widely varied outerwear. They come in all lengths and also come in many different styles like underbust, halter, swallowtail, etc. These are usually the most ornate items.

Corsets
Related terms: bustier, cincher (waist only)
Corsets in ouji are typically used for decorative layering purposes instead of defining the waist. They are worn over blouses. Plastic-boned corsets do not drastically change the waist, but can smooth out the area. Metal-boned will define much more, but since this is boystyle, it isn't necessary.
Jackets and Coats
Jackets are the shorter of the two and usually end at the waist or hips. Coats are longer than jackets. It shouldn't be too tight, but shouldn't be too loose either. Remember you don't want to look sharp and not too bulky. Lolita coats may not work since they need a petticoat to support the coat.

Capes
Related terms: capelet (short), mantle, cloak (long)
Fully functional capes will keep you warm. The warmest materials are velvet and wool.

Miscellaneous

Tips:
  • Important measurements: bust, waist, shoulder width, arm length, arm circumference, torso length
  • Most lolita blouses can work, but be wary of the super feminine elements (ex. super large bell sleeves, full shirring, cross neck straps, too much lace, too many bows, etc.).
  • Tucking in your shirt is a small detail that can instantly polish an outfit. With the blouse tucked in, waistbands and belts can be shown off and gives you a neater appearance. For casual and punk styles, it's acceptable to leave it untucked because it gives a messier appearance. Shortcut: blouses with plain hems, tuck in; blouses with ruffle or any decorative hems, leave out or tuck in. 
  • Bust reduction is completely optional. A sports bra can help subtract a small amount if that's all you need. If more reduction is needed, consider using a proper chest binder (personal recommendation: the Underworks tri-top). Using bandages or tape to bind is very unsafe. Take a break if you experience difficulty breathing or discomfort.  

Part 4  |  Table of Contents  |  Part 6

Pattern: Otome no Sewing Book 4

Nov 20, 2013


The Otome no Sewing series has been gaining popularity with seamstresses over the past year. The fourth book was released earlier this month and features some ouji patterns! The ouji specific patterns include a mini hat, a capelet, and suspender shorts. Additionally, most of the blouses (from the past volumes, too) also work for ouji coordinates.

Image courtesy of kaoriloveage
The drawback is that the entire book is in Japanese meaning you'll have to rely on the diagrams unless you can read it. The sizing will also be limited especially for the pants, so pattern alteration is most likely needed.

Mook info: 
English Title: Otome no Sewing Book 4/Sewing Book of Girls 4
Japanese Title: 乙女のソーイングBOOK 4
ISBN-10: 4834736806
ISBN-13: 978-4834736809
96 pages

Available to purchase from these online shops:
YesAsia - This book is an item for free international shipping.
Kinokuniya - The link is for the US branches, but all Kinokunuya stores should be able to order it.
Kanga Kanga
Amazon JP
Rakuten JP



 Maybe it's time to start an ouji sewing pattern list, eh?

Photo Shoot with Rye

Nov 5, 2013

A few days ago, I did a small photo shoot with my friend Rye. She usually wears sweet lolita, but she wanted to try out being a prince for a few hours! Originally, she wanted to do complete white and gold, but I keep selling my white pieces, so I couldn't make a whole white outfit. Not bad for coming up with it in 5 minutes and I do really like how it looks like with the black.

This was my first time photographing someone else seriously and I learned a few things I'm used to a tripod and self-timer. The location was at my cousin's house. Funny thing is I never noticed how good it was for photos even though I've been there a million times. Here are my favorite pictures from the shoot:

 We take pictures next to bathtubs because we are classy individuals.


Hat: Alice and the Pirates Caladrius Silk Hat
Jabot: bodyline
Jacket: Atelier Boz Eternity Roland
Blouse: Dear Celine
Pants: Dear Celine
Socks: Enchantlic Enchantilly
Shoes: offbrand

For Rye's next coord, she wants to do a white rabbit themed one. I have successfully converted another to the ouji side! This last picture was a complete accident, but the way the light hits the jacquard is wonderful. It is a wonderful sight you can't see from Atelier Boz's tiny stock photos.