Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sick Day

Yarn and Tea

These past couple days I have been laid up sick. This happens to me maybe twice a year; excepting a chronic condition, I am a generally healthy person. Since I am so rarely sick, I find it a very frustrating experience. I want to get up and do something; it drives me absolutely nuts to lay about on the couch all day, much less 2 or 3 days. So instead of being mopey, I have put together a list of lolita(ish) ways to entertain one's self when they are horizontal and have little to no brain power.

  • Read a good book - I am always a fan of literature, but often find I don't have time to read as much as I would like. ("As much as I would like" is a relative term, I do get to finish 3 or 4 books a month). Take this opportunity to get caught up on that book one started, but has not had the time to finish.
  • Knit, crochet, tat, embroider - A simple handy craft can do wonders for tackling the feeling of being an unproductive slug when one is sick. It takes very little energy to knit, but it is very satisfying to count the rows one has finished during that day. I have been working on a winter hat. The band is almost finished, but since I am working with sock yarn on a size 1 needle it is going to take a while. I would not recommend my dear readers try to learn a new craft while sick, because the fuzzy headed sensation is rather counter productive to learning a craft that requires concentration.
  • Play with a Poupee Girl - Goodness knows who thought this up, but it is a fairly decent way to spend the day. One must have photographs of one's wardrobe to post, that are just one's wardrobe pieces, not worn (although I take my pictures on a dress form), but one can spend hours looking through others' wardrobes. It may sound silly, but there is a great sense of accomplishment from having the majority of ones wardrobe cataloged online.
  • Watch a movie - The typical lolita movie, Kamikaze Girls/Shimotsuma Monogatari, is always an option, but one can branch out. My favorites: Movies based on Jane Austin books, BBC's All Creatures Great and Small, classic films such as It Happened One Night, and anything with a happy ending.
  • Take a shower - Its a little thing, but taking a shower always makes me feel like I did something, instead of just laying around. Bonus, if one is congested, it can help clear things up, and relieve sinus pressure.
  • Lounge in bloomers, socks, and a cut sew - A little lolita, if one does not already own lolita pajamas, can do a great deal for ones mental health. Feeling pretty does make one feel better. I have a cute night shirt and matching flannel bloomers for just such occasions.
  • Tea - Tea always helps when sick. Take the opportunity to explore what teas help with one's symptoms. I am a fan of Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger for head colds, and chamomile or peppermint for flues. I like to use a pretty mug as opposed to cup and saucer. Something about a mug when snuggled in a quilt feels much snugglier than a dainty cup. My favorite mug is from Starbucks, it is in the above photograph. The snow flakes are cute and the unusual shape makes it feel a little whimsical.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How Much Poof?

Although any aspect of lolita can be debated, the steadfast, make or break rule is the silhouette. If the skirt isn't full, it just isn't lolita. But how much fullness, or poof, does one need? To answer that I present 4 photographs:

This first photograph is a base photo. It is a simple JSK (Jumper skirt) without any support. All dresses will hang just about straight down without something to support them. Although the outfit is reasonably well coordinated with a matching blouse and some jewelry, it is not a complete outfit because the skirt has no shape to it.

This next photograph is the same JSK with a simple cotton petticoat underneath. The cotton petticoat does not give any poof, but it does create the appearance of fullness. This is a good option for when you want to wear lolita but the usual amount of poof would be impractical. Situations such as travel, standing room only concerts, and school (high school/college/graduate programs) lend themselves to a minimal poof petticoat.

This third photograph demonstrates a fairly typical single layer net petticoat. Although this one I made myself (tutorial coming soon) it is similar in construction to this one from Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. This is an every day amount of poof. It gives a decent amount of fullness but is not unmanageable. It will fit on train seats, roller coasters, in cars, and chairs without trouble, but is more than acceptable in terms of shape and fullness. Please, do note this petticoat, and the next one, are A-line petticoats. They create a shape that gets progressively fuller from the waist to the hem, as opposed to a bell shaped skirt. Both are widely accepted lolita skirt shapes.

This last photograph shows the same JSK with a two layer net petticoat underneath. This petticoat is again homemade, but similar to this petticoat from Baby. This is a more formal amount of poof. This much poof, although aesthetically pleasing, may be impractical for especially active days. It is more suited for days when many photographs will be taken, teas, and meet ups.

It is always worth noting that to some degree the amount of poof is a personal preference. Some consider this level of poof the bare minimum to really be lolita, while others require less. What is important is that one finds the amount of poof appropriate for one's self and for the activities of the day. It is also worth noting that if one is not wearing some sort of support under their skirt, because any support is impractical, then perhaps the choice of outfit in general needs to be reconsidered. Lolita require support, and if the day's activities prohibit the wearing of support, then the day's activities prohibit the wearing of lolita.