Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Cold Outside!

It's cold in the Northern Midwest, REALLY cold.  It was -20 degrees Fahrenheit last night, and when I just checked the local 24/7 weather channel it was 8 degrees.  I even told Husband to take the car to work, instead of me dropping him off, because there was no way I was going outside.  So, in between reading science and history articles on (God, I'm a nerd) and thinking about how cold it is, I decided I wanted to write about some of this.
Just through my regular browsing throughout some of the online Lolita community, I've noticed that many ladies don't wear their Lolita clothing in the winter time.  The main reason is that it's too cold.  I, personally, would be more concerned about getting salt stains on my shoes, but that's just me. 
I don't think it's so unreasonable to wear Lolita in the winter time, in fact it seems much better time than the summer.  I feel that with some minor creativity, this type of clothing can be very well layered and worn in the cold weather with the right articles of clothing.

Article 1: Tights
Really, it's a no brainer to wear tights once the temperature starts to drop.  Even stopping at your local Target you can find a good variety of colors and types of tights. 
There is one thing to make sure of in cold weather, though.  Make sure your tights are THICK.  I have a few pairs of tights that are thinner, and I might as well be wearing knee socks with bloomers (not a pleasant experience when it's cold and windy).
Article 2: Leggings
No, really!  I have two pairs I can't live without that I wear under my OTK socks.  One pair is a full length pair in black.  I like to wear these with my solid black OTK's.  I'm short enough that you probably wouldn't know the difference.  The other is a skin-tone type color pair of capris. I wear these with any of my other colored OTK's.  Unless someone is really paying attention or looking for it, most people probably wouldn't even notice I'm wearing them.  Due to personal experience, I prefer the capri type because I am short and they tend to make my socks wrinkle oddly around my ankles. 
On a side note, I wouldn't recommend doing this with plain knee socks.  Odds are the leggings would wrinkle around the knees giving a weird look.
I'm wearing OTK's with leggings AND boots!
Article 3: Boots
If for no other reason, than to keep your socks dry.  Seriously, I don't think there's an ickier feeling than wet socks.  I looked all winter for a nice pair of black, fuzzy, warm snow boots as and add-in to my wardrobe, but was unsuccessful.  However, I've seen lots of ladies on Daily Lolita Coordinates using them and looking so cute!  I do have my little ankle boots (seen above) but I generally only wear those the day after in snows when most places have plowed, but I still may get unlucky.
Article 4: Cardigans
If you're going somewhere that you won't need a coat but it's cold outside, wear a cardigan.  If it's not the perfect match to your outfit, so what.  Take it off when you take off your coat and put it back on before putting your coat back on. 
There's lots of cute brand and non-brand stuff out there that you can wear to go with your outfits, but if you don't have any, at least put something on under your coat for that chilly trip outside!

Alright, that's all of the stuff I was thinking on today.  I hope some of you find this helpful.  Keep warm!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

BodyLine Review for L304 & SOCKS369

I am thankful everyday for my wonderful husband.  I say this because I'm reviewing the dress and socks he picked out for me for our second anniversary (the cotton anniversary).  He knew I wanted the dress, but was unwilling to order it because of the shirring at the top.  I wasn't sure how it would look on me, at all.  He picked out the socks to go with (which look great!)
Alright, so onto my review.  First, L394 or the Antique Clock OP. 
Like I said before, at first I wasn't willing to order this myself, because I was very apprehensive about the shirring at the top.  I was afraid it would make me look lumpy, and possibly somewhat heavy.  However, I was head-over-heels in love with this print in grey.  Apparently, my husband really liked the print, too.
So, here it is hanging on the hanger. It's quite plain, over-all in construction, which I really like.  The print on this dress, while hardly obnoxious, has a lot going on so the plain construction looks really nice.  Also, because the top is plain, I can wear a pull-over sweater over the top and it looks gorgeous!

Another concern I had was the lace.  Here are some lovely picture of it, though:

In the picture on BodyLine's website, I thought the lace almost looked silly.  I actually told Husband that if I ever were to buy it, I would probably remove it.  However, once I had the dress in my hands and tried it on, I changed my mind.  It's quite lovely and cut nicely.  It does stick up somewhat odd, at the sides though.  I may make a tiny stitch on either side to help it lay more flat.
I was concerned because I own BodyLine's Sweet Biscuit Heart Chocolate JSK and the lace on the bottom was cut quite badly.  However, that wasn't the case here at all.  Also, the lace is pretty soft.  Once again, I was concered it would be typical semi-scratchy BodyLine lace, so this was a pleasant surprise.

The print is very lovely, and very detailed.  It features Harlequin diamonds, polka dots, clocks, and the printed on ribbon reading "Antique Clock".
I'm in love with the pattern, truely.  As beautiful as it is online, I think it's so much more lovely in person.  It's very detailed, and I love the distressed look to the clock faces.  In addition, I didn't think I could love the color gray this much.  Due to the many shades, it's really easy to coordinate with different grays without it looking odd.

It also came with a detachable bow, but I don't really have much to say about it.

I haven't really been using it, but I'm trying to figure out a good way to attach it to the back of the dress, since the back is really plain.  However, the pin is really low so the bow tends to tilt forward and look akward when attached.  I may just need to detach and move the pin up higher.

Alright, and as much as I love the dress, it's not all sunshine an rainbows.  For some reason there are loose threads all over the dress.  I've never had this happen with a BodyLine piece, so I was really surprised.

I know it's not really a huge thing, but I was irritated, especially because a lot of it was on the outside of the dress along the bottom of the shirring.  All I need to do is go along with a scissor and clean it up, but there's a part of me that thinks I shouldn't have to.  I know it's BodyLine and their quality isn't supposed to be the best, but when I buy a $20 Mossimo dress at Target I don't need to clean up sewing sloppiness.

So, in closing:
-Plain dress constuction compliments the print
-Shirring fits nicely and is forgiving
-Lace is soft and lovely
-Print is beeautiful!

-Lace on collar sticks up strange in one spot
-Pin on detatchable bow sits too low
-Loose threads everywhere!

Overall: I'd give it an 7.5/10

Secondly, the socks.  As I said, Husband picked these out himself to go with the dress.  Which, you may be surprised how well harlequin diamonds, polka dots and striped socks go together!

The lace on the top is so incredibly soft, it's kind of amazing.  Overall, the construction is good.  However, the bows on the socks are, kind of, in a random spot on both socks, once you put them on.  They look like they would sit to the back, unworn, but they really don't.  Also, these are supposed to be OTK socks, but they are really stretchy and have a snowball's chance in hell of staying up over one's knees without sock glue or fashion tape.
Overall: Nice constuction, but with some irritating flaws.  6/10

Finally, I just wanted to share some pieces I've been using with this OP.  Like I said, because of the many colors of gray, it's been fun to play with!

I got these hairclips and watch necklace from Claire's/The Icing after I got the dress, to go with it.  I love the flower clips with the dress, as it's something I wouldn't normally just put with clocks.

I also have this sweater that my parents got me for Christmas (but my big sister picked it out for me).  It's from Kohl's and the brand is Apt.9.  It's a wool sweater and is all warm and beautiful when there's a pretty clock "skirt" to go with it.  It was a nice surprise, since I had gotten the dress only 2 days before Christmas (it was late in the mail).

Monday, January 10, 2011


Alright, here we go with this brand new blog that is a little bit like a New Year's Resolution.  For my first post, I just want to list down some things that I expect to try and accomplish here, along with why I want to do these things.

To start, a little bit of background.  As stated in my information, I'm in my mid-20's and I'm married.  My husband and I are both employed and hard-working, but money is often tight for us.  As such, I've found lots of ways to adapt my hobbies to our budget.  These hobbies would include: Lolita fashion, bento-making, jewelry making, cooking/baking, video games and various other crafts.  As such, I've found that it's possible to be extravagant almost every day, even when you're on a budget.  That's what I want this blog to be about.

To begin with, I really want to keep my focus within the scope of Lolita fashion, and ways to make it work when you're on a tight budget.  As far as I see, most of my other thrifty hobbies will be able to seamlessly weave in and out of this focus.  That's not to say that my focus will never change.  Part of the idea of "Everyday Extravagance" is all the little things that can happen in a day, or week, or month that make life and the world around us a little more beautiful.

So, to begin with, you can expect the following:
-Craft Tutorials (both of the practical and fun varieties)
-Product/Clothing Reviews
-Pictures of Pretty Foods (and hopefully recipes!)
-Views and Advice for ways to help stay within a tight budget.
-Pictures of Various Pretty Things

So, I hope I can really deliver and make this work for my sake, and for the sake of any out there interested in what I have to say.  If all goes well, I hope to make a schedule so that I can post once a week on one of my days off (either Tuesday or Sunday).
See!  It's my first picture of something pretty!
(BodyLine shoes with BTSSB socks)