Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Chaos of Big Outfit Planning

As I write this, the next Tea Party Club anniversary meet is about 2 months away. Due to personal reasons, I am not 100% sure I am able to attend this year and as such, I haven't really been planning an outfit. Usually for a big event like this, I feel it is a good opportunity to do a more OTT outfit than usual. It is not necessarily about showing off, but getting excited about the event and wanting to do something special to mark the occasion. With 2 months to go, I would usually be having one of my little outfit panics by now and to be honest, it feels really odd not having to worry about my outfit this year. It feels pretty refreshing too!

Out of all the outfits I have done for big events, the outfit I did for Regalia was the only one that didn't really cause me any major stress. Despite making a lot for my outfit, I managed to just get my head down and just get on with it. My other outfits were a lot more chaotic, right up until the very last minute! How exactly does one go about getting on top of all the tasks that come with a 'big' outfit?

I think a good place to start is to have a basic 'base' outfit. You need to decide which dress you want to wear, and then make up an outfit for it with items you already have in your wardrobe and requires no additional purchasing or crafting. Then you need to build on this 'base' outfit.

To build on your base outfit, you need to make a list of all the tasks you want to do. Then you need to put these tasks in order of priority. Rather than your outfit being an all-or-nothing situation, perhaps we should focus more on seeing how far up the progress ladder we can climb. Each task completed should be seen as an achievement, rather than just one task crossed off a long list. Because at the end of the day, wearing your outfit is only one of many ways you will be enjoying the event.

I think it is also vital not to get weighed down with the idea of 'competing' with other lolitas. I have touched on this subject previously on this blog, and I feel it is very easy to become preoccupied with what other lolitas are wearing and how you 'measure up' next to them. Yes, there are going to be amazing OTT outfits, but remember that there are many lolitas out there who appreciate a simpler, but well put-together outfit just as much.

When you are buying stuff for your outfit, it can sometimes pay off to think outside of the box. I remember when I was thinking up my outfit for Enchanted, I was struggling to find any wings small enough and of a decent quality to make these winged shoe clips. I almost abandoned the idea completely. In the end, I found the perfect wings online from a store that does dolls craft supplies. I would have never have thought to look in a place like that and I only found the wings by complete chance. It is funny because since then, I have found countless feather accessories on Taobao and even spotted stuff on the high street! At the time though, feathers were not a common accessory in lolita fashion. 

If all else fails, I try to have a back-up plan. My main challenge with my Regalia outfit was not my clothing, but trying out a completely new hairstyle. My hair is notoriously bad at behaving itself and doing what I want it to, so on the morning of Regalia I had a wig all set out. Thankfully, on the day everything went to plan.

It is going to feel strange not attending a big event this year, but I admit that the peace and tranquility is much appreciated! I am curious to know- how do all of you deal with these big event outfit stresses? Do you follow something similar to what I do, or do something completely different? I think it is safe to say that most lolitas do not simply pull these amazing outfits out of thin air. If nothing else, rest assured that you are not alone in feeling stressed!


  1. This year is the first time that I'm going to a big event like this, and not only did I manage to complete both outfits (main event and tea party one), but I eve have a "spare", which made me think very hard as to which two I should take (because I don't want to be dragging a mahoosive suitcase around London with me). It's probably thanks to the theme being quite within my comfort zone: I already had ideas not just on what to wear, but also on how to step it up into something more, and fortunately only needed little bits to finish off both coords.

    But I think in general/in the future I will rely quite a lot on the "1 dress X outfits" posts that I do on my blog. Doing these helps me see which pieces go together, but also provides me with at least 4 base outfits for a dress that I can then build up on. Though I'm not that comfortable/skilled (yet) with crafting, so I have to restrict my OTT ideas to either things I can buy or things I know I can make without stressing myself out about messing something up.
    Although I do love your idea of treating big event outfit planning as an achievemet ladder, I think that's brilliant! Seeing how much progress you've made rather than focusing on everything not being done is very motivational, and you could even prepare yourself little treats to mark those achievements (maybe a new bit of make-up or a trip to the cinema). I think I'll try that in the future for sure. :D

    1. I hope you enjoy your first big event! I once made a 'spare' outfit and it ended up being the outfit I wore! I have stayed in London for these events before though, and I do know that suitcase space is very valuable. Plus you may also need room if the vendors/bring and buy are especially good.

      Those sort of blog posts are very helpful. It is all about the practice. Although I don't really share it on my blog, whenever I get a new dress I will do a brainstorm of how I could co-ordinate it. Crafting is definitely one of those things that you sort of have to teach yourself throughout the year. I did make my Regalia sash with no previous experience in the run-up to the event, but that is only because by that point I was satisfied with how my outfit looked so far and it was sort of an added extra. Although sashes are easy to buy as well!

      I am glad you like the achievement ladder idea! I also love your suggestion of adding little treats when you reach certain goals. That would provide a nice little added incentive!

  2. Now this is a nice lolita topic! :D
    Been thinking about writing about my own coordinating habits and thoughts as well as the sort of competing with the most ott and original "costume" like outfit. This happens especially in big events...sadly :(

    It's nice to know what people do and think behind the exterior in lolita. Its very interesting to read about it. Happy I found your blog and I remember your outfit from Regalia. ^_^

    ~ Frillycakes ~

    1. Thank you!
      I feel that a lot of people at these events see that there are these amazing OTT outfits and feel that they then have to then 'up their game' and go more OTT. It is going to be interesting to look at the outfits after the big events of this year to see if the level of OTT has gone up or stayed about the same. Truth be told, I think there is a growing number of people who don't like the more OTT outfits. I personally find that if I worry too much about if I am on the same level as other lolitas at the event, it takes away a bit of the enjoyment I experience.

      These comments have given me a lot to think about with regards to future blog posts. Maybe I need to explore this area a bit more. And thank you for following!


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