Fashion Implosion

I've been thinking about fashion lately.  I fluctuate between desiring a minimalist, almost-prairie style approach to dressing and a prim haute couture mixed with hipster details.  Usually, though, I just wear baggy, shapeless sweatpants and an un-flattering t-shirt.

I wish I could sew to make clothing to meet my odd criteria   They would be swishy dresses, cinching the waste to give shape, with dipped--but not too low--collars.  They'd have to go down to at least my ankles, so I wouldn't have to worry about shaving my legs.  Sleeves, to cover the unshapely arms.  Something I could just throw on and still look "dressed," while allowing for breathing room (curse you, Florida summers!) and a mild sense of confidence.

Or like, you know, an Amish uniform.

Sometimes I think I long for bygone centuries when people had more or less one outfit, so it had to be functional and attractive.  Plus, nobody got on to you for wearing it several days in a row.

Yeah, I'm going through a Baroque phase right now.

Then there is this for-real fashion trend called Lolita (not related to the novel).  It originated in Japan, and, knowing the Japanese (I consider myself somewhat an expert because of my interest in anime, martial arts, and modern Japanese culture.  Just go with it.), they never do anything half-hearted.  So we have this super-girly, super-modest, Victorian-inspired, tea-party fashion.

I quote from Anonymous:

We certainly do not do this for the attention of men.  Frequently, female sexuality is portrayed in a way that is palatable and accessible to men, and anything outside of that is intimidating.  Something so unabashedly female is ultimately kind of scary--in fact, I consider it to be pretty confrontational.  Dressing this way takes a certain kind of ownership of one's own sexuality that wearing expected or regular things just does not.  IT doesn't take a lot of moxie to put on a pencil skirt and flats.

There are several subgroup of Lolita, but I gravitate toward this:

Pretty, no?  (First image from Innocent World, the rest from Mary Magdalene)

Considering the cost of a pair of jeans from the Gap, it's not that expensive of a hobby/lifestyle, and the rationale behind it is kind of neat--allowing women to exult in their femininity without exploiting their sexuality.

What do you think?

If I were to invest in this (one day, when I Have Money), I probably wouldn't follow all the strict guidelines  like having to wear platforms shoes, bloomers, and a headdress with every outfit.  For an example of a realistic Loli-wearer, check out this chick.  

Uh, let me get back to you on that.  I couldn't find her on chictopia and have already spent an unconscionable amount of time on the internet this morning.



  1. Lolita was named after...Lolita, I do believe, so I don't think I would call it non-sexual.

    Anyway, I've found the Truly Victorian patterns to be excellent, and the forums are very helpful for sewing advice. The pattern designer will personally help you achieve a fit if you need it. (If you look at the patterns, the sewn samples in the pictures usually use the most atrocious fabric, so try to imagine sensible fabric choices.)

  2. @Rebecca

    I don't think I did say it was non-sexual. And do you mean the book Lolita? It actually wasn't based on that, but on the given female name, apparently something acquired in Japanese to mean "cute" or something.

    Alas, I cannot sew. At all. I really should learn. It would be part of my post-apocalyptic skills. I think I like the Belle Epoch patterns the best. But on the whole, I don't care for 19th century fashion. Which is weird, because I like Lolita.

  3. Fascinating! I love seeing other people's fashion musings ~ Lolita is..not what I expected, because despite what you said, I imagined it to be more 'lolita-esque' ~note to Rebecca, I think there is a 'lolita-goth-punk fashion subgroup that is based very loosely on the cultural image of Lolita the book.

    So, in your low is too low for a top?? Does it depend on chest size? I have a tendency to lean toward "too low" (SEE profile picture, I guess ;) )But not out of a sense of immodesty, just from a sort of carelessness and love of having a means to display big necklaces ;)

  4. @Masha

    I have the same exact problem. It's a combination of my love for non-straight necklines (v's, squares, and scoop-necks, please) and the fact that my bosom is the smallest part of my body, therefore making it frustratingly lose if I buy a blouse that fits the arms and tummy. I've always had that problem but it's worsened since I gained weight. Thanks, progesterone (remind me to tell you that story later).

    My wedding dress was frustratingly flashy because my bust didn't fill it out--and it was even fitted!

    It's hard to tell what's acceptable or not, it can differ from person to person.

  5. I'm glad to not be alone! My mother leans toward the "turtlenecks please" camp, and is only just beginning to accept that turtleneck + large chest = ugly & immodest ;p I'm on the on the opposite end of the chest spectrum, I guess in that my chest has always been and will always be the largest part of my body (except when I'm third trimester pregnant!) Anything that fits my waist and shoulders will be too tight, unless it's low enough to sort of open up around my chest..which is also a problem ;)

    But knowing how to sew is a help, I'm actually in the process of re-vamping my wardrobe (very slowly) to be more of what I want and less a random collection of clothes that I either don't like, or love but don't fit anymore, or like well enough and wear to shambles..

    And Oh no about progesterone! Did it betray you completely? I do want to hear your story ~ hormones are sort of the bane of womanhood, aren't they..too little this, too much that..and then dealing with it all makes your body seem so less like a mysterious, moon-guided being and more like a science project :P

    I'm probably not acceptable, modesty-wise, half the time, but I tell myself I'm fine because I look better in v necks and especially a funky sort of squarish-neck that goes /__\ almost like a halter top, but not.. :)

    The thing I especially like about your Lolita dresses above is the corset-style waist and the big favorite! When I have money..I'm getting a corset!

  6. ..and hipster details are the best! #yourglassesmakemejealous! :) that an appropriate use of #s??

  7. @ Masha

    Um, I wouldn't know, I'm a certified hashtag misueser. :p

    These glasses? They're an absolute necessity. Without them, I'm as blind as the child of a bat and a mole. I think they're more the emo glasses of the last decade, though. The hipster glasses are rounder and wide with a tortoiseshell pattern.


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