Monday, February 16, 2015

How I get out of a Wardrobe Slump (52 Lolita Challenge)

When it comes to wardrobe slumps, I've never had an enormous issue with them. And I feel very, very lucky for such a thing.

I don't get to wear Lolita as often as I like, so I never feel a "slump" where I feel like I have no coordinates to wear, or that I'm wearing the same thing all the time; when I wear Lolita, it's usually for a special occasion or if I'm going out. So the dreaded "coordinate slumps" where I run into issues coming up with new coordinates doesn't really happen to me!

But if I had to give out some advice about how to avoid a "slump" in your wardrobe--whether that be wearing it or building it up--these would be my biggest pieces of advice.

1. Build up your accessory collection.

I feel like this is especially important part of your wardrobe, and becomes the staple in making every coordinate different from the next. And this is the section of my wardrobe that I really worked on "beefing up" the last year or so. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying main pieces--but every coordinate is going to look very bland, samey, and unoriginal if you don't have things like brooches, necklaces, rings, head pieces, and so on to help liven things up a bit!

Sometimes I'm able to take a single accessory and build an entire coordinate around it, using its theme as a jumping-off point. This can help me figure out items that I want in my closet, and give me inspiration for a new coordinate! Sometimes doing something as simple as buying a new accessory (a deer antler headband, a veil, a bat skull brooch, etc.) can inspire new ways of thinking about items already in your closet, as well.

2. Keep an organized file or list of wishlist items.

I'm a list-making kind of person. I keep things very organized. I keep a daily planner, make list of items I want to purchase, keep a formal budget of expenses every month, and so on. That's just who I am. But I find that keeping a physical list of items you want to purchase helps you in a slump where you don't know what things to go after, or what things your wardrobe is lacking in.

When you have a physical list of items you want to get, it's actually rather satisfying to check them off. And the best part is, you never forget what items you really want, or need for your wardrobe! My list is a Word document with the name of the item in question (as well as identifying material like brand, cut, and so on, if applicable), which I then sort out into a few bolded items that I want to look for in particular. This helps me focus in on what items I really want to add to my wardrobe, and keeps me on track on what my money should go towards.

Still having difficulty choosing what to buy? Or do you have a short list with rare, hard to find prints? Read through your list. Do you notice that you put a lot of certain colors in it? Certain cuts? Are there any motifs that you see in common? These are things you might be able to work into your closet before getting these items in question, which might help you get out of your slump. For example, let's say your dream print is Angelic Pretty's Whimsical Vanilla-Chan. You can work items that remind you of the print into your wardrobe before tracking down the dress itself (a kitten cameo necklace, for example).

3. Take a break.

If you wear Lolita every day, you might just need to take a short break! Coming up with coordinates is a lot of work. Take a few days off to wear "normal" clothes, if you still have them. Or, if you don't want to give up your frills entirely--try coordinating your Lolita items in a non-Lolita way! Wear your AP skirt in a Fairy Kei outfit, your Moitie JSK in a Dark Mori Kei or Aristocrat coordinate, or your Innocent World OP in an Otome Kei outfit. Think outside the box and come up with new ways to wear your Lolita clothes! Take what you enjoyed about these other outfits, and mix them in with your next Lolita coordinate using that item.

For example, let's look at that Moitie/Mori Girl combo I mentioned above.

Mori Girl tends to use lots and lots of layers for a kind of warm and cozy feeling. There's also the use of a lot of less elegant/more utilitarian-esque boots and chunky knits--things you don't always see in Lolita. So here, I used an underskirt and plenty of knit items to evoke that warm feeling. This would be one time when you would skip the petticoat with a Lolita dress!

Now let's look at the Lolita coordinate I pulled together. I'm using some of the same pieces here--that same cardigan and boots from the Mori Girl coordinate. I switched the chunky socks out for a cable-knit pair of tights that still hint towards it, while being less bulky and more of a Lolita staple. I switched out the knit hat for a knit headbow mounted on a headband. Again, this gives the same warm and cozy suggestion of the knits from the Mori girl outfit, but in a Lolita silhouette.

In short--take a break, change things up, and find inspiration for new coordinates from other fashions and your own "normal" wardrobe!

These are the three main ways that I manage to keep myself coming up with new and fun ideas, and keep myself moving forward. I'd love to hear about how everyone else avoids "slumps" in the comments below, or feel free to link me to your own posts!!!

The post above was a response to the Lolita 52 Week Challenge made by the ever so delightful Caro over at FYeahLolita.

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