It's that time of year again where I look to the year ahead and have a think about what I personally feel could benefit the lolita community over the next 12 months and ideas I would like to see. Looking at my list from 2015, it looks as though a lot of them didn't come true sadly. Maybe I will have a bit more luck this year. So here is my list for 2016 and let's see if anybody agrees with me!
Less Crosses- I have nothing against crosses, in fact I do have some cross themed items in my wardrobe and I love them very much. But 2015 felt like the year when crosses became too big a thing and they started to get randomly inserted in to prints that really did not need them. The one that instantly comes to mind to me is Angelic Pretty's Cherry Marguerite, with the daisy crosses. The crosses looked cute, but did the dress really need the added crosses to an already busy print? In fact, AP seemed to be the biggest offender and there was one point in 2015 when every single release had crosses in there somewhere. I am hoping that this was just a trend and hopefully this trend will ease off a bit next year.
Blouse Only Lucky Packs- I very briefly touched on the idea of blouse-only lucky packs in last year's post but I decided to elaborate on my idea a little further, as it is something I am surprised hasn't really been done. A lot of lolitas may be surprised to hear this, but there is a large chunk of lolitas who maybe don't wish to add more dresses to their wardrobes. It could be an issue of space, or that they don't feel they wear the dresses they already own enough to justify getting even more. Perhaps a lot of the releases in the past year simply didn't take their fancy. But I feel blouses are a bit different. They are an essential item in any lolita's wardrobe (unless you stick to only OPs, which I don't know of many lolitas who do this) and you can never have enough of them. If you wear lolita frequently enough then having those extra blouses is useful. I remember when I was starting to build my wardrobe and it seemed like I was always waiting for a blouse to dry when I had washed it, and I didn't have another blouse which matched an outfit I wanted to try out. I would love to see Baby do a blouse lucky pack, maybe with one simple cotton blouse and one chiffon blouse with fancier sleeves. It could come in colours like off-white, black, pink and ivory so that there was a colour option for most styles. I can say truthfully that I have never once looked at a lucky pack exclusive print dress and fallen in love with it. But I feel that I would find a blouse lucky pack very useful indeed.
More Scarves- One of my biggest self-discoveries in 2015 was that I really love the idea of printed scarves! When Metamorphose released Fortune Tarot I wasn't interested in the dresses- I just really wanted the printed scarf that was part of that series. Sadly, it sold out so quickly that I never even saw the black one go up on the website. Towards the end of 2015, Meta started to release more scarves, and I hope this is a trend that continues. I think scarves are a fun idea and I wouldn't necessarily wear them with just lolita. I know that if I eventually track down that Fortune Tarot scarf I will have a lovely, warm neck over the Winter months. I don't just want to see more printed scarves, some cute solid colour designs would be useful as well. I struggle to find scarves that match my outfits and a lot of the scarves that lolita brands do put out tend to be cutesy animal shaped ones. There needs to be more variety!
An Innocent World Duck Print- Here we go with the duck prints again! But I am really pushing the idea of an Innocent World one because I would love to see their sweet/classic take on a duck print. I am not talking of overly cutesy cartoon ducks. I want to see the sort of ducks that you see a lot of in children's book illustrations- a bit like the ones Beatrix Potter used to draw. Innocent World did do a Peter Rabbit series, so maybe this idea is not as random as it seems. I feel like this would be a fresher take on the duck print idea because the duck prints that are out there (like Meta's March of the Duck) have a very overly sweet look to them. Wouldn't you be curious to see what Innocent World would come up with?
More Hats- 2015 was the year I officially became obsessed with hats. I love the vintage feel they can add to an outfit but also, they are simple to wear. I love the bowler hats I have from Haruhi Clover, because I can simply chuck them on my head and that is my hair accessories sorted for the day. But it isn't just bowler hats I am interested in. Last year I saw a lot of different vintage inspired hats, which looked stunning. There were large rococo designs, boater hats, cloche hats... There are so many different options and that is what I love about hats. They don't have to always look the same. I love how a lot of lolitas are getting hats commissioned or have found beautiful vintage pieces. Now I would like to see hats become even more widely available. I have seen more lolita-friendly hats popping up on Taobao and I would love to see more.
Sticking to similar shades of a colour- If any readers of this post wear colours like lavender, then you will definitely feel my pain. No 2 shades of lavender ever seem to match in lolita. I have started to have this problem with other colours like pink as well. Maybe I am being a little bit too nit-picky, but when I am wearing mis-matched shades of a colour, I tend to start noticing it more and I get paranoid that it sticks out and other people are noticing it. But the really strange thing is, sometimes you can buy items from the same series and they will be different shades! It is really frustrating when you are trying to add a colour to your wardrobe and you can't even buy items from the same brand without worrying that they wont go together. When it comes to colours like lavender, I have gotten in to the habit of just sticking to either cold or warm shades, even if the shades are not exactly the same. But this wouldn't be such an issue if the brands just stuck to the same shade in the first place!
Less Sack Dresses- Let's be honest here- how many lolitas do you know who actually look good in those shapeless sack dresses? It takes a very specific figure to wear a sack dress and even then, that is no guarantee that it will look good when worn. They are not in any way boob-friendly and you have to be fairly petite. But even then, sack dresses can swamp a smaller person's figure. I have seen some people wear sack shaped dresses with a belt, but when I see people do that I do sort of wonder why they didn't just choose the other dress cut instead. Maybe we need to have a bit of a break from the sack dress and focus more on dresses that actually look good when worn.
More Balance between OTT and simpler pieces- Some lolitas dislike OTT and some lolitas seem to wear nothing but OTT outfits. So when I see a new series coming out, I find myself looking at the dress designs and looking to see if they will appeal to a wider audience. I personally like the more simpler dresses, because I can then use dressier accessories if I want to go OTT, but at the same time I can wear the dress more casually if I am just hanging out with a few friends. But I appreciate that different lolitas look for different things in a series. It feels like with some series all of the dress designs are very OTT and as a result, I feel that it puts me off the series, even if I really like the print. But there are other times when the dress designs go too far the other way and are very simple and (dare I say) a bit boring. In my opinion, a brand release is best when it has one more dressier OTT dress, a simpler dress with a more mature look and perhaps a more cutesy looking dress. I personally love it when brands put out pieces that can be worn in a more casual way as well. A bit of variety can help a brand release appeal to a wider audience of lolitas.
So that is my list for 2016. Let's wait and see if any of this list actually comes true or not! And do feel free to comment and let me know what you would like to see over the next year. It is always interesting to get the view point of other lolitas! I would love to know if you agree or disagree with my ideas.