'Tis the Season to Evaluate Wardrobes: Organization Tips

Dec 4, 2016

Fa la la la la la la la la...

December has come and that means the annual EGL wardrobe post tradition will soon be here in January. I've learned the stubborn way that I should always start taking pictures in December, so I can have time to edit, but somehow I always end up procrastinating and can never get pictures of all 100% of my wardrobe. Well, hopefully this year I'll learn my lesson (haha, yeah right).

I'm a really messy person, so I end up using my wardrobe post as an inventory sheet. It's an easy way to see everything in one place since my room organization is scattered at the moment. It also let's me see what I actually like wearing and what I should sell. When I was first starting out, I bought anything that was a "good deal" and that led to me having a giant mismatch of all styles. Then as I wore lolita more and more, I started to develop my own style. The process is similar to developing an art style. Sweet and classic lolita are beautiful styles, but they weren't truly me. I learned to stick to my dark visual kei roots and focus on ouji, aristocrat, and gothic lolita.

Eight...nine...ten years? I lose track of when I actually fell down the lolita hole, but now I really have a closet I like. It's pretty to look at, is organized, and easy to make different coordinates. It was definitely a multi-year process, but I thought I would share things I've learned along the way, so maybe you don't have to take as long to reach a cohesive wardrobe! Of course, you don't have to have a cohesive wardrobe. If you like everything, then go for it. A cohesive wardrobe is best for those who want to maximize their clothing combinations and/or save money.

  1. Write down everything you don't like. This will be your lolita blacklist. There doesn't need to be a scientific explanation for everything, just write it down and stick to it. For example, here is my list that I could think of at the top of my head although I'm sure there's more:
    • velvet/velveteen: I live on the coast of Texas where there is winter is practically non-existent. Also, it's too much effort for me to properly take care of it. 
    • suede, corduroy, etc.: I don't like wearing the plush fabrics. This applies to velveteen, too. I'm ok with them on furniture, but I avoid it on clothing and shoes as much as possible for some reason.
    • empire waist dresses: This cut looks best on flatter busts which is something I don't have.
    • brand shoes at retail price: I learned not to buy synthetic leather shoes at full brand price. I'm a rough walker and they get damaged way too fast. 
    • men's size (for most things): Mainly that I can't fill in the shoulders and length.
    • multi-color stripes
    • peter pan collars: They accentuate my round facial features.
    • damaged items with the intention of fixing them: I never actually fix them.
    • AatP transparent socks 
    • tartans and plaids 
    • gingham
    • cherries: I hate cherry everything in all forms and sizes.
  2. Take inventory. You can do this with a stock photos or your own pictures. It just helps to know what you have. Also if you have anything from the blacklist, it's time to sell it. 
  3. Make wishlist. It will help streamline your purchases. 
  4. Keep it organized. 
  5. Know what you don't wear. I just take note mentally, but many recommend the backwards hanger trick. Excluding collector pieces, say goodbye to things you haven't touched for 2+ years. Your tastes may change at any point in time, so you may want to do this on a regular basis.
  6. Think about purchases overnight. If it's not on your wishlist, do you really want it? Waiting 24 hours before deciding to buy something really helps stop impulse purchases. 
  7. Get a second opinion. Ask a friend (or not). This is actually a double-edged sword. There's always that one guy that says yes to everything, but on the other hand there will be that guy who says no to everything. Ask multiple friends for safe assurance. 
  8. The KonMari Method. Written by Marie Kondo this book is "a comprehensive, illustrated manual on how to declutter and organize specific items throughout the house, from kitchen and bathroom items to work-related papers and hobby collections." While I haven't personally tried the entirety of it myself, I have seen many people highly praise its effectiveness. I did start using her folding methods last month and it definitely optimized my storage area. Rather than sorting things by quantity, it focuses on sorting things by the happiness it gives you.
It could take months; it could take years. Everyone has their own method, so just take your time. Do you have any tips or tricks to reaching the perfect wardrobe?

You may have noticed I've taken down a lot of my past posts, but do not fret. I decided to really reorganize my blog just like I reorganized my closet.

Coordinate 05

Jun 25, 2016

Lately, I've been very interested in femme gothic aristocrat. I've always been a fan of the style since the livejournal days. The only drawback is that most of the skirts are super long on me, so I have to hike them up really high and wear tall platforms. Ah, the pains of being short.


Outfit Rundown
Jacket: Sheglit Tiered Frill Jacket
Skirt: Mille Noirs
Necklace: Voodooodolly The Knight's Repose Necklace
Hairpiece: Prisila VO-68

Coordinate 04: Bluebonnets

Apr 20, 2016

These Sheglit socks are so detailed without making my legs looks too busy.
Every Texas spring brings bluebonnet season and it's a state tradition to take pictures with them. Despite living in Texas for all my life, I never got any pictures and I figured it was time to change that. I chose gothic lolita for a delicate look to match the flowers. Also, my real hair is a current mess, so I have been avoiding ouji for the last few months.

This field was a couple of miles away from my house. The sky was overcast when I was at home, but then the sun decided to come out the whole time we were getting pictures. Right when we were done, the clouds started moving and then blocked the sun. Thank you for nothing, clouds. Now for a full shot of the outfit which I posted on Closet of Frills earlier this month.


Outfit Rundown
Headband: Alice and the Pirates
JSK: Atelier Pierrot Long Corset OP
Blouse: Millefleurs Georgette
Socks: Sheglit Caged Ulysses OTKs
Shoes: offbrand
Parasol: offbrand

And finally here are some extra good old black-on-black detail shots. I've been getting into parts wigs lately because full wigs in humidity aren't a great combo. This hair piece is from Prisila and I think I need more. When I finally get a much needed haircut, maybe I will get back into ouji.

A photo posted by Stephano (@buttcape) on


Coordinates 02 & 03: Houston Tea Festival

Mar 29, 2016

A new festival was announced near where I live, so I decided to check it out. The first Houston Tea Festival was held on February 20-21. The theme was Alice in Wonderland, so coming up with outfits was no problem. The festival itself was very small and like most first year events, there are problems to fix, but overall it was alright.

On the first day, there was a costume contest, so I went over the top with a Mad Hatter coordinate. I managed to get second place in the contest and received a $25 restaurant gift card. Food is the best prize I could ask for.

Outfit Rundown
Hat: Alice and the Pirates Mad Hatter 3 Stage Hat
Jacket: Atelier Boz Gilford
Blouse: Atelier Boz Dion
Pants: Alice and the Pirates Crimson Jack
Brooch: Miss Danger Shop Masquerade Bunny
Boots: Queen Bee
The only tea I had was a hibiscus black tea topped with fruit. I don't like fruit, but I've been trying to eat more of it.
buttcape @ instagram
On the second day, I was part of the fashion show organized by the Houston Lolita Society. To match the festival's theme, the fashion show was also Alice in Wonderland themed. I wasn't planning to walk in the show at first, but the organizer invited me to take part. My outfit was inspired by the King of Hearts. There were some hiccups with the organization of the show. Mostly because things were never finalized and a lot of last minute decisions had to be made, so it wasn't a 100% smooth operation.

Nice cape flipping leads to cape difficulties.
Outfit Rundown
Hat: Alice and the Pirates Moonlight Temptation from the Monochrome Guide of the Dark (borrowed, thanks Grimy)
Jacket: Alice and the Pirates Moonlight Temptation from the Monochrome Guide of the Dark
Capes: Atelier Boz and h.NAOTO SEVEN x Underscore Collaboration
Blouse: Alice and the Pirates Moonlight Temptation from the Monochrome Guide of the Dark
Pants: Alice and the Pirates Moonlight Temptation from the Monochrome Guide of the Dark
Necklace: Automatic Honey Royal Heart
Boots: Queen Bee
King of Hearts detail
Ultimately, I didn't like how my styling was and I would change several things next time I decide to wear this set. It has been months since I went to a public event, so it was nice catching up with old acquaintances and meeting new people! My life has changed a lot in the last few months, but I may be able to get outside more often now. I wasn't able to get that many pictures, but here are a few.


I still want this print. Maybe. Kind of. 

The next event I plan on attending is the Houston Japan Festival. I'm hoping to get more pictures to make a more interesting event post. If you see me, say hi!

The New Ouji Overview Part 3: Where to Buy

Mar 23, 2016



This list mainly includes clothing rather than accessories. Previous (and broken) version of this post can be seen here.

The spreadsheet is divided into 4 tabs: Brand, Indie Brands, Retailers, and Secondhand Shopping.

View in another tab ↗

Brand

Japanese brands are the main producers of ouji style clothing and is usually the most expensive option. Brand name clothing is not a requirement to dress like a prince! By default, brand is listed as lady's sizes unless otherwise noted. If you want to buy from a Japanese store that does not offer international shipping, you need to use a shopping service or mail forwarding service.

Indie Brands

There are also smaller independent brands out there that are cheaper than brand and still provide nice quality clothing. The quality of each indie brand varies, so check buyer reviews to ensure you are getting something you want. Taobao brands are included in this tab. If you want to buy from a taobao shop that does not offer international shipping, you need to use a taobao shopping service.

Retailers

These are official distributors for brands. Depending on your location, it can be cheaper to order from the distributor than directly from the brand.

Secondhand

Buying secondhand can be the least expensive route of shopping. The established secondhand shops on the list are reliable, however when it comes to selling communities of individual sellers, always check feedback.

Other Sources

Of course, buying online is not the only option. You can often find prince-like clothing in many Gothic or punk stores. Every once in awhile, militaristic designs pop up in mainstream shops. You may be able to find something in historical reenactment, vintage, or thrift shops. Handsewing your own clothes is also a way to show creativity and skill!


Beginner Tips

When shopping for your wardrobe, there are several factors to influence your decision. The main two are price and quality. Ask yourself what you prioritize.

Do you prefer quality over quantity or vice versa? How often will you be wearing these clothes? If quality, gravitate towards brand. If quantity, indie and secondhand are your friends. Are you inside or outside the "standard" size range? If you are outside, custom sizing and tailoring may be in your interest.

Make a wishlist and stick to it. Narrowing your goal can help prevent impulse purchases in order to reach wardrobe cohesion. Cohesive wardrobes are the most efficient since you can create more combinations without having to buy new items every time you make a new coordinate.

For shops that do not ship overseas, use a shopping service. I recommend FROM JAPAN for Japanese shops and auctions. It's especially handy because you can use it to bid in real time for Yahoo!Japan. I do not have a preferred taobao shopping service, but this Taobao Shopping Services Guide spreadsheet is very comprehensive.

Happy shopping!

Please comment with any additions to be made in the spreadsheet. I do not follow taobao brands closely, so I most likely missed some.