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!