Tag Archive | gothic

Lifestyle Lolita Finds: IKEA

Hello, readers,

The house renovations are going so slowly that I needed a motivational pick-me-up. Therefore, I went to IKEA and picked up some pretty and functional furniture to put in my still-very-unpretty house. It’s hard for me to find things I like at IKEA, since lots of their products are minimalist with clean lines, and I want everything in my life to be covered in decadent swirls. Still, I found some things that I think will work nicely in the house, and I also saw plenty of little things that would be great for any lifestyle lolita looking for home-wares.

First things, first, let’s start with what I think is the single most popular IKEA item for goths and lolitas: the glorious UNG DRILL mirror/frame. Jayne Jezebel already did a post on The Dark Victorian (from 2010!) about how popular this mirror/frame was. She even included several lolita brand ads that feature the frame, which is just neat to see. A little over six years later, and this frame is still the best and most reliable source for cheap Baroque/Rococo goodness. (Talk about an oxymoron…)

The mirror only comes in black, and the picture frame only comes in off-white. To me, that’s not really a big deal as both versions look better spray painted. The frames are both made of plastic, so they give off a (somewhat plasticky) satin sheen if left alone. It doesn’t look bad, but my two frames looked so much better after I spray painted them a matte black. You could even spray paint them both gold to look more period appropriate if that’s your style.

I also found two other frames at my local IKEA I haven’t see people talking about before, the KVILL frames.

They’re fairly big frames for how small an image they’ll display (5 x 7″). You can mount these on the wall, and they also have a little kick-out foot so you can stand them up on a desk or table. These only come in the same off-white color that the UNG DRILL frame comes in, which is not my style at all. Even if you like the color, I would recommend spray painting these. I’m not really sure if it’s the mold or the scale, but these frames definitely look much more plasticky than the larger UNG DRILL frames, despite being made of the same material. I think the round version is my favorite, but I may end up picking up the rectangular version as well.

The last frame on my little list is actually a segway into an entire line, the SKURAR.

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This lacy frame is also a 5 x 7″, and it also has a little stand/foot so you can set it on a table. The color is a nice off-white that isn’t beige-y at all, unlike the other two styles of frame I talked about above. The really cool thing about this frame and the whole SKURAR line is that it’s made of steel.

Metal lace! I think that is just so fantastic. The rest of the line has some really neat things, too, which is great since the UNG DRILL and KVILL lines are just frames.

SKURAR has a magnetic notice board with hooks, hanging planters, plant pots, a picture ledge (i.e., lacy shelf), a clock, and various “candle holders” and “candle dishes.”

I really adore this series. My impulse is normally to paint most everything black, but I actually love how these look in white. I got the large lantern/candle holder, but I’m using it to hold all my large/cooking utensils in my kitchen.

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Just imagine that my cooking utensils are any color other than this hideous yellow-green…

I’m really tempted to get the whole set. I know I’m going to get the smaller lantern to hold my makeup brushes.

Most of the items in this line seem so easy to re-purpose, too. Various people on the internet have done cool things with SKURAR. This person on IKEA Hackers made a tiered cake stand out of the two candle dishes, which I think looks fantastic.

This other person made a regular cake stand out of one of the candle dishes and an IKEA candlestick holder and wrote a little tutorial on her blog.

I think these would make nice little serving trays without any modification needed.

Speaking of serving trays, I’ll just end this post by mentioning a couple of dinnerware options IKEA has.

The pink set of these dishes isn’t for me, but I thought I would mention it as I don’t know how hard/easy it is to find pastel dinnerware. The black dishes, however, look so cool to me. I wish that the DINERA line was glossy instead of a satin sheen, but that’s only so they would coordinate better with my existing all-white dishes.

I don’t need to buy more dishes, but these are black… and I want them… and they’re black.

Readers, did I miss anything from IKEA that looks lifestyle-appropriate? How many copies of the UNG DRILL frame or mirror do you own? I have one of each, but I want so many more.

Stay lacy,

Raven

My Lolita Room: Part 2

Hello, readers,

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed that I haven’t been very active on this blog lately. I’ve gone through a lot of big life changes recently, including buying a house. I’m starting a very big, new adventure with renovating it. As of this writing, I have officially moved out of the little rental house I lived in for the past three years. As much as I wanted change, I was still a little sad to leave it.

In the middle of packing, I stopped to tidy my bedroom to show you the final iteration of my lolita room at my old apartment. If you didn’t see the work-in-progress blog post from a year and a half ago, just try to picture the old walls being a poorly painted buttercream color.

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The major change in the room was the wall color. I ended up buying the paint online because it is too much of a hassle to get to a hardware store without a car, and I was swayed by it’s fun name. I bought a paint called Purple Potion, and it was a lot more purple than I had thought it would be. If you keep up with my blog, you’d have seen it in the background of lots of my pictures. I don’t know what it is about this color, but it refuses to photograph nicely.

Anyway, here is my little room tour. This is the view of the room when I’d walk in the door.

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Behind the door is my poster of British sheep breeds.

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Best thrift store art find yet!

This is a view of the full wall. The bookshelf on the left is filled completely with my books and things. My poor boyfriend had to squeeze his books on the the top two shelves of the right bookshelf because I took over the bottom three shelves of that unit as well.

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Bookshelf Wall

Here’s a closer look at my dolls and our Squishables.

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My Lunatic Queen Pullip is being saucy and scandalizing my other Pullips. The giant Elissabat Monster High doll is faceless at the moment. Sorry!

Underneath, I put my dollhouse. It’s still not finished completely on the inside, but it’s still adorable.

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The box to the left is a kit to make a 1/12 scale grandfather clock.

I didn’t get a close-up shot of our Nightmare Before Christmas vinyl figures, but you can still see them in some of the following photos.

The door next to our bookshelves was the closet door.

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My clothes took up 3/4 of the space…

On the wall next to the closet door, I put my collection of mini-prints from the etsy shop Magical Tea Time. These particular prints (they come in larger sizes) are not always in stock on etsy, but I would just send her a message if you’re interested in any.

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I don’t know why the glare is so weird on some of these.

The sunlight was giving me some problems when I was trying to take pictures of this wall, so here’s a slightly split view of the window wall. When we actually lived in this room, the blinds were always down. The bedroom was way too close to a street with lots of foot traffic for me to be comfortable with the windows open.

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I painted my boyfriend’s computer case pink for him.

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My tiny computer station in the corner where I wrote most of the posts on this blog…

Next, we have the bed corner.

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My lovely Princess Bed

I no longer have this bed. It was my roommate’s, and we gave it back to her since my parents gave me a new queen-sized mattress and bedframe. I will do my best to princess-ify the new bed to make it as pretty as the old one.

As a bonus, here’s the view of my room from bed.

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The Andrew Lang Fairy Books were on the reverse side of the shelf for easy bedtime story access.

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Here’s the view on the way out of the room. P1080657

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Boyfriend’s comics

And that’s it! I’m still a little sad to see it go, but at least the people moving in said that they’re going to keep the room purple.

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Now that my boyfriend and I have a whole house to spread out in, I plan on making it as cute as I can. I hope you like home improvement posts, because there will be a lot of those coming as we finish renovating the new house into a mildly lolified one.

Stay cozy,

Raven

In case you didn’t see their posts before, here are the links to the other Lolita Blog Carnival members that responded to this post over a year ago.

Seraphine & The Striped BoxLittle Coffee ShopArt du noir

Candied Dreams

Also, check out one of my favorite blogger’s room journey. I’m not sure if I’m missing posts in the process or if there are newer pictures anywhere. She’s the artist who made those prints I showcased.

2011: The Dark Victorian, 2012: The Dark Victorian, 2014: Jayne Jezebelle

Beautiful Makeup Products

Hello, readers,

As I try to get more into makeup and try to find a couple of looks that work for me, I’ve come across some makeup products that are just either incredibly adorable or super pretty. I decided to write this post just to have an excuse to keep looking for beautifully packaged products that I may never purchase or use myself.

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All the links I include are to the brand’s websites. That may or may not be the best place to buy any of these products (if you decide you want them), depending on where you live.

(Blush) Face Color Rose du Ladree – Les Merveilleuses De Laduree

Ugh, this is such a beautiful concept. There are little paper rose petals that are covered in blush pigments, so you’re supposed to dip your brush into the petals. I really love the idea. The glaringly obvious negative is that this blush is really expensive. The pretty pots are also made of plastic, so this isn’t actually super luxurious and elegant. This is by a Japanese brand, and all their products are really beautifully designed. I feel like any of them, but this one especially, would be fantastic for any classic lolita’s vanity.

(Eyeshadow) Chocolate Palettes – Makeup Revolution

This thumbnail comes from this video: https://youtu.be/EViemjTnwa4. The video has a quick run-through of these three palettes, if you want to see the insides.

Makeup Revolution also has a “Salted Caramel” chocolate bar palette that looks more like a light milk chocolate, and a “Pink Fizz” bar that’s strawberry pink. The “Chocolate Vice” palette has black packaging. These are supposed to be duplicates for the more expensive Chocolate Bar Palettes from Too Faced, but I think that the Makeup Revolution packaging is a lot cooler. Also, they have more palette color options. I don’t keep up with the trends in sweet lolita, but I think these would be such a neat item for a sweet-lolita-with-a-chocolate-print-collection’s vanity.

(Lip Balm) Lip Balm Locket Ring – TheParlorApothecary on Etsy

I’m really enamored with this idea. I really wanted to put a lip gloss/balm ring from Anna Sui on this list, but they seem to be far too hard to find. This one from Etsy comes fairly close to the look of those ones, and it’s in stock. Forget leaving this on your vanity, I think that these sorts of rings would look delightful with any gothic lolita coord. Of course, you could try to find ones that would match a sweet or classic coord, but I like that these remind me of poison rings. It seems more inherently gothic to me. Since the lip balm is housed in a little pot, you could keep refilling it as it runs out.

(I know I have a metal allergy, so I thought I would include this little extra note. If you want to make one of these yourself, make sure you use a plastic pot/ring! You don’t want to accidentally get a bad reaction on your lips or ingest something you’re allergic to.)

(Blush) Love Flush – Too Faced

The packaging of these blush compacts makes me really happy. They’re cute little hearts with a heart-shaped mirror and embossed bunnies! I think that these blushes are just darling to look at. There is a big part of me that just wants to be silly and buy all of them because they’re so cute, but I won’t be doing that as they’re $26 each. I still want to, though. I think these would fit so well on a sweet-classic lolita vanity.

(Eyeshadow) Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows – Urban Decay

This is just such a pretty eyeshadow palette. Urban Decay released this to coincide with the release of the first Tim Burton Alice movie, so this is no longer available for purchase. I just had to include it in this list because I think that this palette is so pretty, and Alice in Wonderland has a special place in my heart. I love that this palette has pop-up illustrations, and some of the names of these eyeshadows (the blue shadow is called Alice and the black one is called Jaberwocky) make me quite happy. The brand did come out with a collection for Through the Looking Glass, but I don’t think that the packaging is pretty at all. It also does not remind me of Wonderland, either in the packaging or in the actual colors of the makeup products. (If you’re curious about it though, you can check it out on Urban Decay’s website.)

(Blush) Rose Powder Blush – Milani

This thumbnail is from this video: https://youtu.be/dvu8t5OXe2M.

I actually own two of the blushes from this line: Romantic Rose and Tea Rose. These blushes may be a bit simpler than the other two blushes in this makeup product roundup, but I still think that the 3D embossed rose is super pretty. I think that the roses are actually pretty style-neutral when it comes to lolita substyles, but the gold packaging would probably look best on a sweet-classic or classic lolita vanity.

(Setting Powder) Mystifying Mattifying Pressed Powder – LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs

Honestly, it was hard for me to decide which product from LunatiCK Cosmetics Labs to put on this list. The contour palette is what they’re famous for, I think, but I prefer the packaging on their other products. Their lipsticks are shaped like black bullets, and their eyeshadow palettes are coffin-shaped, covered with fortune telling images, with bat-shaped mirrors inside. Still, I think that their mattifying pressed powder has my favorite packaging. Normally, I wouldn’t like that it looks messy, but I really like that it looks like a Ouija planchette. This would be very cool on a gothic lolita’s vanity.

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Well, readers, what makeup products do you think have the prettiest packaging? Have you ever bought a makeup product or perfume just because you thought it looked darling? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay rosy,

Raven

My Pullip Dolls

Hello, readers,

Today, I’d like to share my two Pullip dolls with you. If you don’t know what Pullip dolls are, they’re highly pose-able Asian fashion dolls with roughly a 1/6 scale body and a 1/3 scale head. They are not ball-jointed, though I sometimes see people calling them BJDs. Lolita brands sometimes do collaborations with Pullip or the other dolls in her family, which is how I encountered these dolls in the first place.

 

In addition to the official brand collaborations, a bunch of the other dolls released are dressed in lolita from the get-go. Besides lolita dolls, there are also a lot of Pullip dolls that are based on characters from anime like Sailor Moon, Rozen Maiden, and Black Butler. Plus, there are a great many Alice in Wonderland dolls.

I’ve always thought Pullips were really cute. They have a cool eye mechanism that lets them look left and right, and they can close their eyelids. These dolls are normally between $100 and $150 new, but there are some new ones for cheaper. Like with lolita, the secondhand market is sometimes cheaper and sometimes wildly more expensive than retail.

I really wanted a gothic lolita doll, but I couldn’t settle on just one. Here are the dolls I got, both before and after I customized them.

Freshly Removed from Their Boxes

Pullip Seila

I bought her from Pullip Style in the U.S.

This doll came with a ton of extra accessories, which was super cool. I like her dressed more simply (and without the extra hair attachment), but it’s really nice to have options.


I think she’s lovely as is. I don’t think I would have customized her if I hadn’t gotten my other doll who needed some extra attention. Out of all the gothic-themed Pullip dolls ever made, Seila is my favorite.

Pullip Regeneration Fanatica

The doll I got is a rerelease of a much older doll just called Fanatica. There were a bunch of these Regeneration dolls, and their faces are mostly identical to the originals. I got this doll because I’m a little narcissistic and wanted a doll that looked like me.

I don’t have a picture of her set up nicely in her original outfit because I hate it. (The plaid/punk items are super cute, and I’d like to use them in other outfits, but I really don’t like her default blouse, skirt, and socks.) After I unboxed her, I took off all her original clothes and dressed her in Seila’s extra overskirt and capelet until the new outfit I bought for her arrived in the mail.

I decided to customize these two dolls because I was really disappointed when I got Regeneration Fanatica. Her eyelids are blank (because she’s a remake of a doll from before the company decorated eyelids), my individual doll’s eyelashes seemed very brittle and thin, and her eyes looked so dull next to Seila. Physically, the two dolls just have different colors of the same eyechips, but light actually reflects off of Seila’s lighter eyes so you can see the detailed ridges. Regeneration Fanatica’s eyes are so dark that they looked flat.

Rather than continue to be bummed out, I decided to open up their heads and change these details so they would match one another better.

Customization

Before

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I do not have any pictures of how I customized these dolls. I did it after watching many Youtube videos (like this one) and reading tutorials (like this one) made by people with much more experience with doll customization. These two pictures are the only ones I took during the process, just because I was so excited about the new eyelashes.

After

Seila’s reveal isn’t very dramatic, but her new eyes are very pretty and her lashes are lovely and full. Now that’s she’s really mine, I’ve named her Georgette.

Regeneration Fanatica looks so much better now. I painted on some eyeliner, gave her new eyes and eyelashes, and I also painted her nails. Georgette’s nails were already painted black, and she couldn’t be the only fancy doll. This doll’s name is Ruby, and I’m so much happier with her now.

Here they are in their normal attire. They’re best friends, and I always have them holding hands as their default pose.

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Stock clothes from Seila and Stica

In this photo, they’re bundled up for the winter weather. Ruby lent her muff to her friend, and then they traded capelets.

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Stock clothes from Seila, Stica, and Regeneration Fanatica

Now they’re just playing dress-up. As the dynamic duo, I sometimes call them “Ruru and Georgie.”

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Stock clothes from My Melody, Stica, and Seila

Pullip dolls make such lovely models. I just have mine in fairly static poses, and they’re both on their stands. If you want to see some absolutely breath-taking examples of doll photography, check out Pure Embers on Flickr. Her Top 50 album is a good place to start, but my favorite album is devoted to her doll Mina (a Pullip).

Stay fashionable,

Raven

 

Lolita Library: Gothic Charm School

Hello, readers,

I don’t know how many of you have read Gothic Charm School before (either the book or the blog), but I’m going to review the book for you all today. I can’t remember where I got the impression, but I feel like this is one of those books lolitas think they can appropriate by mentally replacing “goth” with “lolita.” How true is that? Well, I’ll go into detail below.

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General Book Review:

If you’re looking for an etiquette manual, this book is not it. It calls itself a guidebook, and Gothic Charm School does have some practical, goth-specific advice in it, but that is interspersed between lots of general “common sense, be polite” advice.

Also, I really don’t think that this book was really intended to be read cover to cover. This might be a remnant of its original blog format, but the book is incredibly repetitive. This is actually pretty nice if you just plan on reading just the couple of chapters that you think are pertinent because you’ll get everything the book has to say just in that selection. If you read a majority of the book, or the whole thing, be prepared to be frustrated.

Speaking of being frustrated, I really should comment on the “Lady of the Manners” persona that Venters puts on during this book: it’s excessive. Whether or not its persistence and silliness makes it endearing or aggravating is going to change based on the reader. For my part, I was mostly ambivalent towards it, but leaning towards annoyed. Then again, “The Lady of the Manners” thing may not be a big deal if you only read selected chapters instead of the whole book. For me, the saving grace was that she addresses the whole persona thing at the beginning, which at least makes it explicit that it’s meant to be lighthearted and fun.

The intended audience for this book is a mixed bag, with some passages explicitly targeted at high schoolers (maybe middle schoolers, as well), and some passages about professional job interviews. In general, this seems to be aimed at “young” goths, as in people who are new to the goth subculture. (There’s no advice here for Eldergoths, but there’s a lot of explanations about typical Eldergoth behavior towards newbies.) If anyone picked up this book specifically to learn about goths and what weird phase their devil-child is going through, there’s an entire chapter specifically for that (and it explains that goth might not be a phase and that devil-worship is not part of being goth). In general, though, the depiction of the goth subculture in this book is that of a bunch of silly, happy people spending half their energy on loving what they love and the other half on convincing everyone that “this is serious, guys.” It’s a sympathetic portrayal, which I suppose you could expect since Venters is a goth herself.

My main critiques for the content is that it all comes from Venters’s personal bubble. There’s only so much advice you can give outside of your personal experience, but I wish more of an effort had been made to talk to/about goths and not just similar-to-her goths. In the debate about music or fashion being most essential to gothness, she comes down on the side of fashion, and that’s very obvious throughout. Even in the fashion section, there is no mention of simple band T-shirts as wardrobe basics. Also, though she mentions in her wardrobe building guide that she’s trying to include men, the advise for men is quite watery and insubstantial. (She further insists that women have at least two blazers, which is obviously coming from her own fashion style. It rubbed me the wrong way.) Her advice is mostly meant for suburban and urban (American) goths and gothlings, and there is no special attention given to goths in rural areas or small towns. However, what I find most upsetting is that she really perpetuates the “all goths have very pale skin” stereotype, which is problematic and exclusionary.

Content and structure aside, I really love this book as a material object. The watermark on all the pages is a nice touch, and the illustrations are fantastic. They visually represent a lot of the goth diversity that the text homogenizes, although everyone is still paper white. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Lolita Book Review:

While Gothic Charm School doesn’t talk about lolita fashion, I’ve gone through and figured out which sections work for the replacing “goth” with “lolita” trick. As far as I know, there’s only one edition of this book, so I’ll reference page numbers to hopefully make looking things up easier.

If you’re a lolita in high school, some particular sections that might apply to you are pages 79-86.

Chapter 1: Am I a Goth?

  • Why you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the Internet, including those silly quizzes (25-29)

Chapter 2: I’m Not a Goth, But I Have Some Questions About Them

  • Can I comment on their clothing or makeup and ask if they make their own clothes? (39-46)
    • This is meant to be read by non-goths (or non-lolitas, in our reading), but I think it’s comforting to see that other alternative fashions deal with a lot of the same reactions that lolita provokes (mainly the unwanted touching or picture-taking). In this case, read it, but don’t substitute lolita in.
  • A few words for the Goths reading this chapter (46-48)
    • Go back to filling in “lolita” here, but some of the examples are really goth-specific and might not make the most sense in the reread here.

Chapter 4: Help! I’m a Goth and My Parent/Friend/Significant Other/Coworker Doesn’t Understand Me!

  • How to reassure people you aren’t a Satanist, drug fiend, or psycho killer (75-79)
    • This is another section that you should read for solidarity without trying to apply it to lolita. If this was written for lolitas, it would probably be called “How to reassure people you aren’t a delusional doll/princess trying to have sex with pedophiles.” There are some general strategies in this section for explaining away misconceptions, though.
  • Dealing with roommates (86-91)
    • This is a pretty solid section all around.

Chapter 6: Goths and Romance

  • The whole chapter (115-143)
    • This was probably my favorite chapter. It does a good job of filtering general relationship advice and questions through the particular concerns that someone in a subculture or alternative community might have. It also offers some suggestions for your behavior towards friends’ relationships or relationships you aren’t involved in. There are obviously some things that won’t apply to lolitas in general or to you specifically, but I think that those are few-and-far-between enough to suggest the whole chapter.

Chapter 7: Socializing, Cliques, and Gossip

  • Mostly the whole chapter (145-157, 165-167)
    • The two sections I don’t recommend are about the blurring and overlap between the goth and fetish subcultures, which seemed too specific to speak to general subculture crossovers, and the section about internet behavior, which read as very old and out-of-date. (This book was published in 2009, after all.)
    • There are obviously a lot of lolita-specific things that you can think about while reading this chapter, including /cgl/ and secrets/behind the bows, when Venters talks about gossip in general.
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    • The little illustration of a gothic lolita appears in this chapter, right next to the sections that talk about self-absorption, exclusivity, and snobbishness. Coincidence? Probably, but I found it amusing.

Chapter 8: Fashion – One of the Great Goth Obsessions

  • Dress codes (both spoken and unspoken) (182-185)
    • The section is super short, and it’s basically just meant to convey the idea that sometimes you just can’t dress how you want, and you must get over it. There’s a brief talk about “goth costumes” that I think lolitas can relate to well.
  • What to do when people ask you why you’re dressed like that (186-189)
    • If you replace “goth” with “lolita” here, it’s the same advice that the community has handed down since it began, but sometimes it’s nice to see things written down.

 

 

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Final Verdict

Is it worth it to add to your lolita library? Maybe. Get it if you like a lighthearted take on the goth subculture or if you’re a fan of the blog Gothic Charm School. Otherwise, no, I don’t think it’s worth buying to read about 1/3 of the book. Get it from your local library if you can, like I did.

Stay polite,

Raven