Christmas

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! This year I received a few presents from my family: a rhinestone bow necklace, and a rhinestone bow bracelet, and a cardigan.

But my greatest gift came from my fiancé.



He gave me a second engagement ring! I'm so happy!

My first engagement ring was a plain claddagh. I love both of my rings though. I think I might wear my claddagh ring on a necklace.


It being worn:

Season's Greetings

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and many other Season's Greetings!

I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays, spreading cheer, spending time with their families, and giving to those in need. I want to thank everyone that visits, reads, and follows Princessly Living. Now sleep well and I hope your wishes come true tomorrow morning.


image from: Arne's blog

We Love Colors

With temperatures starting to drop below 35°F and colder temperature still to come, socks are no longer sufficient.

Last year, I had only been successful in finding the standard white, black, navy, tan, and maroon colored tights. But this year, I was determined to find a wide verity of colors!

Then I stumbled upon We Love Colors™.

They had everything I was looking for and more. Their color pallet has the usual colors, neon colors, and pastel colors such as ivory, mint, baby blue, and iliac which I have been looking for.

We Love Colors™ provides a wide varity of sizes from S/M to EE in plus sizes. And the best news is that all of colors are available in every size!

Coats

So far I have been using a normal store-bought winter coat. But lately, I have been wanting a sweet lolita/hime style winter coat. Having been unsuccessful at finding anything close to what I want in stores I have finally turned to brands.

I must say the brand I least expected to produce a simple coat has made what I feel is so far the best looking design for a coat this season.

❤ Angelic Pretty's Pretty Girl Coat ❤




It comes in three colors: pink, blue, and black. I want them all!

Sadly being the large, giantess I am I will have to get them commissioned. Besides, that they seem to be sold out.

Happy Holidays!

It's that time of year again! Christmas lists, shopping frenzies, and card sending. This year I participated in a local lolita community.

Sadly, right as the deadline date approached I became swamped with class projects, tests, and a final. I will mail my card tomorrow morning, hopefully it arrives on time.

All of the stickers are 3D except the white snowflakes. I took 2 sets of pictures so the white glittery stickers and small pearly beads are visible Plus, I think the gold accents of some of the stickers looks better in the first set.

My card:






I hope she likes it.

I was happily assigned my friend so I did not have to think too long of what to put in my card. She likes the steampunk lolita fashion so I found some gear trinkets and then I saw two cute charms to add as well.

Not feeling it

Everyone has those days, weeks, or months when you are just not feeling in the mood to do anything much less dress up. You search for the most comfortable pair of jeans, put on a plain T-shirt, tie you hair in a bun, and find the biggest pair of sunglasses to hide your face. It can be caused by weather, stressers, changes in season, or any number of issues in life.

I was previously in one of these phases.. I like to wear lolita, casual princess-style, or princess-style clothes as much as possible, but every once in awhile a break is warranted. It breaks the monotony of my wardrobe and gives me an opportunity to explore new fashions. No matter what some people may say, I believe that the clothes do not make a lolita. Even if I am in the grungiest of clothes and covered in mud I am still a princess.

During these times of grunginess there are generally two options:
1.) Force yourself to dress up
2.) Take a reprieve

I tend to avoid option number one. I believe dressing up should be an activity to take pleasure in and look forward to, not dreaded as if it were a chore. Forcing yourself to dress up might result in a decline in interest of the fashion you used to love.

Taking a reprieve can sometimes allow one to expand their wardrobe. In the case of myself, I find that taking a break from dressing up allows me to rediscover my love for the fashion. It also allows me to sit down and decide if the item(s) I am currently coveting are truly something I want to buy or an impulse purchase.

Take a reprieve, explore new fashion ventures, and when you return to the fashion you're taking a break from rediscover your love for it. And always remember look for the best in every situation and enjoy everyday to the fullest!


P.S. Happy Friday the 13th.

Sweet Cake Shoe Replica

As promised, here is my pair of Sweet Cake Shoe replicas from Coser Dream.

You can definitely tell the difference between this replica and the Angelic Pretty original. But they are consistent with the stock imagine from their auction page.

Coser Dream was wonderful. I gave them the size of the shoe I wanted but to make sure that my shoes fit they asked me for a measurement of my feet. It took about 3 weeks for my shoes to arrive. The box was slightly dented in a corner but there was no damaged to the shoes.

My shoes fit perfectly! I wore them all day Saturday to the VGXPO and had no foot pain. I would recommend giving a centimeter or so extra when you order this shoe style for the purpose of the longer Velcro straps. Every once in awhile the strap across my foot would un-Velcro if I flexed my foot too quickly.

Small scuffs are easily rubbed off the material. The bows appear to be glued on, but are rather well attached. The Velcro is sewn on well. The soles of the shoes have a slightly gripping rubber which I was thankful for because the show room at the VGXPO was not carpeted. The white scalloped material is very soft so no worries about them scratching your tights. The wedge soles of the shoes are hard so if you plan on wearing the shoes repeatedly for long periods of time a cushioned insole is recommended.

The available colors for these replicas are White/Cream/Pink/Orange/Red/Wine Red/Gold/Silver/Blue/Black. Until I am able to find a better looking replica I plan on order a few more pairs of these shoes.


Angelic Pretty's orginials.


♡ Customer service: 10/10 - perfect
♡ Product: 9.5/10 - perfect
♡ Shipping: 10/10 - perfect
♡ Fit: 9.5/10 - perfect

姫☆Style


I have recently became aware of a new magazine tailored toward the hime-kei fashion. I love collecting various other lolita and gyaru fashion magazines, so when I found out about Hime☆Style I ordered it right away! I purchased the three issues available on amazon.co.jp at the time. Sadly the August issue went out of print while I was waiting for shipment and now all the past issues seem to have gone out of print as well.

I waited excitedly for my package to arrive. However, upon opening it I was a little discouraged at how thin the books were. The July/09 issue is 98pgs and Oct/09 issue is only 96pgs. But I know new magazines are not going to have tons of features during the first issues.

These are in essence a smaller version of the ageha magazines. The street snap section dominates the front of the books. There are tiny sections on the deco items and nail designs. Hime☆Style features a few pages of hair styling, brand modeling, quizzes, music recommendations and model recommendations. Images of the model's blogs, purikara, the model's free time activities, and picture outtakes are featured in both issues as well. And of course the typical ageha plastic surgery before and after ads dominate the final pages.

IMG_0866
(I so plan on typing Kyumi's curly pigtails.)


The weirdest section I must say is the model recommendation for cosmetic beauty clinics along with the pictures of their false eyelash attachments, botox injections, tattoo removal, and art makeup (which by the look of the machine in the photo appears to be cosmetic tattooing).

IMG_0867


The street snaps are a mixture of styles. I've seen himegyaru, hime casual, and plain casual clothes.

IMG_0865


Hime☆Style is an okay magazine. I plan to buy the future issues, but it will in no way deter me from buying more ageha. I hope the future issues will have more brand modeling since these two issues have nearly none at all.



I am going to need to use an additional shelf soon.

Heart floor cushion

Some family members should be avoided at all cost. But that is not the focus of this entry so I will get to that in a moment.

For my first craft project I decided to post my heart floor cushion.

This project started out with a water main break in my house. Which led to a collapsed waterlogged ceiling destroying a majority of the furniture in my room including my computer desk. I went on a search for a new desk but could not find any I liked. Being thrifty I thought the old butler's table from the foyer would make a cute desk. It works well and does not overpower my room. The only problem was I had to sit on the floor.



This new problem sent me on another quest: a floor cushion. I knew what I wanted, a blue heart, but I couldn't find a store that made that shape or color combination. This is where my family member comes into the picture.

My aunt having discovered her new ecological conservationist roots bought me three cushions from her couch she was going to get rid of.

- "Recycling these will help the environment!", she told me.
- I pointed out to her that not throwing away her couch because she wanted a new one would also help the environment. She ignored my wonderful advice while throwing the cushions in my room and running off to the nearest furniture store. (I need to stop before I get on a tangent.)



Now left with these three disgraces to the environment and my own devices, I began my work.


1. I cut half of the cushions down the middle and toward the ends making sure not the cut through the folds I had created.


2. I basted the cushions together to keep them in place. Then I drew the outline of the heart I wanted.


3. I then cut the heart out. ❤


5. Measuring the heart, I cut out the fabric pattern. (The fabric is "Soft & Comfy" and is actually a light sky blue color.)


6. Then I sewed the fabric together, put it on the cushion form, and sewed the pillow closed.



Ta-da! Now I have a wonderful "environment-saving" floor cushion which is very comfortable.


The only problem now is my cats like to steal it while I'm not looking.

"The Road Not Taken"

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

            --Robert Frost


I have been wanting to include a poetry column for quite some time now, but have been unable to decide how to start it. After thinking about it I decided the poem "The Road Not Taken" fit well.

A traveler comes to a split in a path (of life). Though both paths are the equally the same he decides to take the path which appears to be less traveled thinking that one day he can come back and take the other path. But then acknowledges that he will never come back to that impasse again. The last stanza is for the reader to interpret for himself or herself. I interpret the last stanza as in the future the traveler will sigh and look back deciding if he made the correct decision. But he knows there is a difference in his life that would not have been if he took the other path.

The poem makes me look back to the time when I decided to be different from the individuals around me. I took the road less traveled and decided to dress in lolita. With a sigh, I look back at my decision and know it has definitely lead to a difference in my life than if I had chosen "the road not taken".

To thine own self be true

Every etiquette book and princess training manual talks about the topic of hobbies. Being a lifestyle advocate I love the ideas of tea parties, badminton, and embroidery. However, changing your actions and past times for the sake of clothing is pointless.

I still enjoy and participate in the hobbies I was interested in before I discovered lolita, and I have no plan on changing. I will never eliminate Saturday morning video games or warm summer days playing volleyball with friends.


No matter how much you love a fashion or want to adopt it into your lifestyle you should not change who you are or what you like just to fit into some ideal image. Don't let someone you do not know dictate how you are going to act and who you are going to be. It is pointless to do so. You are not being true to yourself and will eventually grow tired for the charade. It is the 21st century there is no point in being restricted by a set of lady-like gender restrictive ideals from several centuries ago.

Developing new hobbies is always excellent. If you genuinely want to learn to play violin, do so. However, if you want to learn because it will make you more lolita you are not being true to yourself.




This weekend I will be attending the video game expo in Philadelphia. I am really excited, this is the first mass attendance event I have ever been to.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend as well.

International Loli Day

A Holiday Made By Lolita for Lolita

Since today is the exact middle between the two Lolidays I decided to make this post. Last Loliday there were a few questions to the main egl community about the community-made holiday called International Lolita Day, Loliday for short. International Lolita Day is a biannual event, which means it is celebrated twice a year. Since 2005 the preplanned dates for this holiday have been the first Saturday in June and the first Saturday in December.

International Lolita Day is a day for lolita to host and go to meet-ups in masse to introduce and possibly educate your community/city/state about the lolita fashion. To show off your latest summery or wintry wardrobe additions. And last but not least to make new friends!

Meet-ups can of course be a couple friends, small groups, large communities, or combined communities.



December 5th will be the next scheduled date.

Are you already planning what to do for your Loliday?


Future dates:
2010: June 5th | December 4th
2011: June 4th | December 3rd
2012: June 2nd | December 1st

The golden rule

If you cannot say anything nice, don't say anything at all.


Princess, debutante, lolita. To some these words bring certain images to mind of spoiled brats, superiority complexes, catty arguments, gossip, and premadonnas.

Wearers of lolita fashion have been exhibiting undo cattiness instead of the attitude worthy of Victorian dolls and maidens the fashion was originally made to portray. Princesses are categorized as being vain, overly pompous divas instead of the lovable, charitable matriarchs that most little girls aspire to be. Just because you can wear a crown doesn’t mean you deserve the princessly title.

Remember that when you are dressed up you are not only representing yourself, you are also acting as representative of whichever fashion you are wearing. No one will consider you lovely and lady-like if you cannot act appropriately. The aesthetics and beauty of the lolita and princess fashions diminish when the wearer does not portray herself as a lady.

However, life isn’t always going to be cupcakes, rainbows, and tea parties. There will always be times when you must put your foot down and there is always a princessly way to do it. You don’t have to be meek, but in no way should you act like a drunkard or a sailor.

Tips:
- Ask yourself "Is the argument truly worth it?"
- Avoid snid comments and gossip
- Try to act friendly toward everyone
- Avoid arguments
- Never talk down to anyone
- Stay calm
- Do not engage in a battle of volume use your wit
- Do not fight for the last word
- Be the more mature person and walk away


As I was working on this column Victoria the author of the popular lolita blog Lolita Charm wrote an article on the downfall of the lolita fashion. I agree with her on some points presented in her article "Endangered Species: Lolita". In small alternative fashions such as lolita and himegyaru each of us should be encouraging the newer or less educated members instead of pruning them off like the less prolific flower buds from a rose bush. In no way do I think the fashion is dying out. However, I believe we are developing a nasty reputation that will attract the most uncouth sort of individuals.

While wanting to be popular in a fashion is understandable, acting like a nasty common high school most-popular clique is not. No one wants to be friends with those girls because they are nice. People only want to be recognized by them so they can become popular as well. This sadly seems to be the future path our favorite fashions are heading towards.

Organization

I like many fellow lolita and himegyaru am a shopaholic. I believe there is nothing wrong with this being such. But with the more regalia you own the responsibility to keep things organized becomes greater.

Lately I noticed my jewelry box becoming overcrowded with earrings and my make-up bag budging with the multitude of new nail polishes I purchased. So doing what I do best I went and bought an earrings stand and polish rank to display and keep these items well organized.




I really love this earring stand from ebay. It revolves and can come in a black, silver, or bronze color. It is available in the circular shape you seen in my picture or a square shape. This stand holds 96 pairs of earrings and there is an even larger stand that holds 128 pairs. This stand is compact and actually pretty. The metal strips are well spaced so that my dangly earrings can be fully displayed.




This rack was purchased on ebay as well. I bought the clear plastic so I can decorate it later without the worry or any clashing colors. I am currently gathering ideas for the decoration now. Expect pictures of it later.

The 'How To' for the Princess-in-Training

"Forget your Inner Child. Who wants to embrace that whiny mess? Your Inner Princess is calling...and she's got some fabulous plans for you... [sic]"
-- Princess Jacqueline de Soignée


As I mentioned before I love my penpals and I truly love receiving and giving gifts. This time my lovely penpal has sent me a delightfully satirical book called The Princess-in-Training Manual because she said this fits into my genre.

This is actually a self-help book disguised as a first person fiction. This two-in-one flip book includes Divas Don't Fake It on the other side, which I haven't read yet. Much like The Princess-in-Training Manual Divas Don't Fake It is a first person guide to being the prefect diva.

This 159 page story follows the events of Princess Jacqueline de Soignée as she deals with her first movie cameo, writing the book, woes of tabloid paparazzi, misfortunes with a "Prince Not-So-Charming", and the burdens of her two crazy health guru and weight conscious friends. All the while showing you how to be graceful and poised through her actions and advice.

Some advice Princess Jacqueline featured in this book:
A Princess:
- ". . . loves herself and loves being who she is."
- ". . . never considers herself entitled to more than others."
- ". . . knows her regalness is an obvious fact requiring no overt behavior to prove it."¹
- ". . . is not prefect. Even diamonds have flaws."
- ". . . knows she deserves what she dreams of, and sets out to get it herself."
- ". . . knows how to love herself just as she is and how to enjoy life."
- ". . . knows self-acceptance and poise are the cornerstones of beauty."
- ". . . carries herself as if she thinks she looks stunning no matter what she's wearing."
- ". . . is never brought down to anyone's level. She sets her own standard and expects others to rise to meet it."
- ". . . helps those around her feel as comfortable doing what feels right for them as she does doing what feels right for her."
- ". . . knows it's all about creating your own style, not spending a ton of money you can't afford."

This story was an amusing hour looking into the life of a faux 21st century princess. I did not learning anything new reading this. It is also neither the best nor worst self esteem book I have ever come across either. This fits more into the category of a time filler read. This would be prefect for a long bus ride, getting stuck in traffic, or just a short time in which you need to let your mind wander.

If you are looking for a little pick-me-up or a lighthearted read and do not mind the frequent label dropping I would recommend this.

Soignee, Jacqueline De. Princess in training manual. Don Mills, Ontario: Red Dress Ink, 2003. Yes, I went Junior Highschool MLA style!

Grand Opening

The frenzy is starting to build! With only 8 days and X number of hours until the grand opening of the new BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT shop in San Francisco meetings are being finalized, hotels booked, and outfits planned.

However, I will not be joining the hundreds of people planning a cross country trip for opening day on August 15th. Though I sincerely wish all that are attending the best of wishes, a bountiful wallet, and a wonderful time.

In honor of this event NEW PEOPLE and BABY are hosting a tea party with model Aoki Misako and designer Uehara Kumiko on August 16th. According to NEW PEOPLE the first 50 customers to spend over $200 will be invited to this invitation only special event. Happy shopping to you!

To offbrand or not to offbrand

Does brand make the lolita?


This topic has been brought up time and time again. People choose offbrand over brand items for many reasons: money issues, size problems, opportunities to have a larger wardrobe, variety, or wanting to support entrepreneurs.

The common answer to that question is no. However a very small group of brand enthusiasts believe that to be a true lolita you must have a closet of highly coveted purely brand only items. I however am not one of them. I believe that one’s closet value does not make you better lolitas than those that own no brand at all.

I use and encourage the use of offbrand items. I believe that as long as your ensemble meets the basic lolita criteria of quality, shape, and aesthetics there is no reason why any of the articles of your ensemble or accessories cannot be offbrand. The only time your outfit must be brand only is if you are attending a brand specific event.

The use of offbrand items adds an uniqueness to your outfit that cannot be achieved with using brand only items. Another reason I support using offbrand items is that it helps small or new business owners. Amazingly I find that sometimes I prefer my offbrand accessories more than those I paid twice as much for from a brand store.


But remember to make an ensemble work perfectly your offbrand items need to be good quality.

- Beware ebay shops. The quality of most of these shops can be horrible, the lace is poor quality and overwhelming and 90% of the time the item’s picture is from a brand shop.
- Popular stores such as H&M, Kohl’s, Forever 21, claire’s, and Target carry items that would be perfect for lolita and himegyaru.
- There are also plenty of stores which carry replica or offbrand shoes. Secret Shop and Montreal are some of the well trusted offbrands.
- Many seamstresses from the main egl livejournal community make top quality items that could rival any brand.
- There are less mainstream shops such as Bodyline and Anna House which are popular.

Examples:
claire's:
Forever 21:
Bought from ebay:
(I wear these w/ both lolita and himegyaru outfits)

Summery dismay

With winter long past and the temperature outside steadily climbing toward unbearable I retreat indoors to a cooler environment and the season I most dread drags across North America. I loathe summer: hot and humid temperatures, crowded roads, and sporadic rain showers. Adding lolita fashion into that mixture is anything but delightful.

As complicated as this fashion can be it can still be treated like any other. Short sleeves are a must. During this season brands and replica companies gratefully release sandals and open-toe shoes. Also I have also noticed that summer lines seem to release jumper skirts and skirts that are made out from a lighter material.

~ Impracticality:
Lolita is essentially an impractical fashion; however, there are times that fact it is helpful. Summer however is definitely the time of year where four layers of undergarments are not practical. One pieces are an alternatives to the multi-layer issue. Your whole outfit is one layer leaving only the needs for a petti-coat and bloomers.

All tulle petticoat: While petticoats can add insulation in the winter they can also keep you cool during the summer. I own two styles of petticoat. I have a full fabric covered petticoat for the winter and I have an all tulle tiered petticoat for the summer. Depending on the stiffness of the tulle petticoat they can be splendidly airy and can actually hold a skirt form well. Tulle can irritating against bare skin so I had my petticoat lined with a soft lace.

~ Baring it all:
While ladies must be aware of the ever present modesty issue; it seems to take a back seat to comfortability during this season. During summer and places where the temperature is constantly humid it is acceptable for lolitas to go blouse-less under their jumper skirts. Also during this season lolita around the world have bent the rules a little and wear dainty ankle socks.



Other tips:
Here are some other tips I use that help me making it through these hotter months.
- Socks are definitely more pleasant to wear than tights.
- Carry sunblock in your bag.
- Accessories such as fans will help keep you cool while walking outdoors.
- Parasols will aid in shading you from the sun.
- Wear updo hairstyles.
- Drink plenty of water. Because of the multiple layers you can dehydrate easily.
- If you are too embarrassed to go blouse-less with your jumper skirt wear a short sleeve bolero.


Although this is my least favorite of seasons there are some wonderful things about it too... Outdoor sports such as badminton and volleyball are a few favorite summer sports. Swimming and visiting the beach on warm days. Day trips to topiary gardens and flower shows are all the rage right now. And finally, eating ice cream on cool a summer night. Actually that sounds like a wonderful idea. I hope everyone enjoys their summer! Bye~

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To: Princessly Living

~Happy Birthday!~

As of today Princessly Living is 1 year old. I greatly thank everyone for reading and commenting on my little blog. I never thought it would have done so well. Over this year I learned that this type of blogging can actually be work. But I really love running this blog and I think I’ve grown from this whole experience.


Changes:
- I conjoined the ideals and column categories for easier navigation.
- The neglected inspirations category was also incorporated into the column category.
- The blogger url received a much needed update.


Aspirations:
In the next year I hope to incorporate new categories
~ Crafts: Different crafts I would like to share
~ Photos: Self explanatory
~ Sweet finds: Items I have found lately

Just to name a few. And hopefully much more.


If anyone has sent a request for their free gift and has not received a responding e-mail back from me reply to this entry with your e-mail address and I will contact you.

Twinning

All ladies have heard the tale of two women showing up at an event wearing the same ensemble. The horror! There are always only three scenarios that happen. 1.) The women brawl until one is forced to leave the event, 2.) the two women avoid each other like the plague, or 3.) one woman sneaks off to change into a different outfit. Women seem to have a fear that the other person might look prettier in the outfit than they do. Or they might fear their popularity status will decrease because their reputation for having first off the rack style is no longer true.

However these awkward moments never seems to happen with the Lolita fashion. I believe Lolita and himegyaru might be the only two fashions where this instance in celebrated if not planned. If one lolita is cute than two is double the fun!

Twinning can be accomplished in a variety of ways: with contrasting colors, identically outfits or fraternally outfits.

Contrasting
This style of twinning happens when the duo are wearing the same print just in a different color or with all black vs. all white combinations. The twins could be wearing just contrasting jumper skirts or their whole outfit color could be opposite their twin.



Identical
The pair are dressed in exactly the same print with identical or similar accessories. This style of twinning can be difficult with deco style outfits.


Picture from flickr username: librarianguish


Fraternal
The pair are dressed mainly in the same colors sharing one common article of clothing but with completely different outfits. This style of twinning can also occur if one twin is wearing a jumper skirt or one piece of a certain print while the other twin is wearing the matching skirt. I believe this style would be easiest for deco coordinations.


Picture from flickr username: buttonss


Triplets and even quadruplets can be seen in Lolita fashion. Usually they are not identical though. Too many copies of the exact same coordination takes the fun out of this style.