Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Taking Inspiration From... Yourself!?

Lately, I've been going through old coordinate photos and wondering how some of my earlier coordinates look so good to me now. Sometimes, taking a step back (or in my case, letting about 4 years pass) allows you to look at yourself a bit more objectively, plus hindsight allows you a much better understanding of past situations and experiences. Focusing on your personal style as a way to come up with new ideas also prevents you from getting the urge to compare yourself to others, and simply allows you to build on your own successes.

While I have no burning issues with my current style, I sometimes can't help thinking it's not where I had planned on going. I've ended up putting together the perfect wardrobe for daily wear-- which is good, as I wear lolita wherever I go: work, errands, hanging out with friends, etc. But I rarely look at recent coordinates and feel there's anything special about them. I mainly stick to black dresses, small hair accessories, and little to no jewellery. 

I can't help feeling a bit of nostalgia for my older photos, so I'm taking things back to 2011 in hopes of figuring out what it is I want to change.

May 2011

This was my first full on lolita coordinate where nothing was half-arsed, I had a real petticoat, and I made an effort with my hair and makeup. A lot of hard work went into putting that outfit together, and I was especially careful with it seeing as it was my outfit for London Expo. There's a lot of red going on but I think it remains balanced. I think I like this outfit so much because it's precise, carefully coordinated, and unapologetically bright. It's certainly matchy-matchy, but I like it for that reason. And as an aside, I wish Bodyline would re-release those shoes so I could get the next size up as sadly, those amazing shoes never fit me properly!

June 2011
This... this was a good outfit. I love the otome kei vibe and very simple use of colour. Again, very matchy with all the red, but who cares? I think the simplicity of this look really suits me, and it makes me want to get into otome kei properly. I think wearing lolita super casually can make you look a bit frumpy, so it would be nice to own more dresses which aren't made specifically for use with a petticoat like this one.

June 2011
Still summer 2011! What was happening that season that made me put together such great outfits?! This was the day I took the photo that was to become my blog banner. I think I liked this outfit due to its unusual shades of pink and brown. The headbow is the waistbow from the skirt, with a plastic headband threaded through it. Once again, effort went into the hair and makeup, and everything in the outfit has its place, from the cute bag bringing out the pink in the skirt print, to the cupcake necklace. I must say, I really love this outfit. Great job, 17-year-old me! I can't help but wonder why I don't still wear large headbows sometimes. I think I'll rectify that!

So, my conclusion? I think I used to put a lot more care and attention into my outfits. They were never heavily accessorised or OTT, but I definitely think I've become a bit lazy when it comes to lolita-- hence why the vast majority of my outfit pictures never make it online! I know it's because I wear it all the time now, and back then it was just a special occasion thing. Still, I prefer how I looked in lolita then, to how I look now. Perhaps the fact I've gone from teenager to adult-in-their-twenties has allowed some of the whimsy and softness to leave my coordinates at times, plus the general lolita climate has changed a lot since then, stylistically speaking. Sweet was still very much the dominant force in 2011, but now it's all about OTT classic, and I think I've subconsciously felt the need to wear my clothing in a more mature, refined way.  Even how I do my hair has completely changed, and I find myself trying out up-dos and wearing extensions to look more mature. Looking back at these pictures, though, I don't think my sweet lolita style was ever garish or tacky, and I simply began to second-guess myself by spending so much time agonizing over what the current trends are. One solution for my overly casual outfits would be to try out otome kei, as I mentioned before. It's still a cutesy fashion (with retro sensibilities I love), but it's more suitable for day to day life, and would mean I could "save up" lolita for days when I want to go all out again, Failing that, I think I should at least try to make more effort when going to meetups, instead of dressing exactly how I would any other day!

Going forward, I still want to continue on with my old school lolita quest, but I also think I'll go back a few years and look over the sweet lolita trends I used to love, which almost seem old school to me now! The ever popular classic lolita doesn't suit me sadly, so it's time I focused more attention on what does, and what made me feel so excited to wear lolita in the first place. I used to obsess over Angelic Pretty, and although it's probably not apparent in these photos, my aim was to one day graduate to being an all pastel-wearing sweet lolita.

It's like I'm regressing! Surely the natural order is to graduate from sweet to classic as you get older? I don't know... somehow, sweet lolita always pulls me back in again. Even if I only wore super pastel sweet dresses on special occasions, it would be great to finally have the confidence to look as unashamedly cutesy as I've always wanted to. It feels almost like a final hurdle in terms of self confidence. If I can wear an all pastel outfit comfortably, from a large headbow to pastel OTK socks, I'd feel like I'd come full circle.

Do you ever look over older photos of yourself? I'd love to know if you've ever tried to return to your roots in a certain style, or revisit past aims you forgot about! Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your comments!