AYWi30C #23 - Most Worn Main Piece

This is without a doubt my Fairytale Library skirt from Song and Temple. It might not seem like it, but that’s because so often this skirt got worn in ways that I don’t consider lolita, usually to work or when travelling. In the Before Days, whenever I wasn’t sure what to wear to work or was stuck for something cute yet comfortable, I inevitably reached for this skirt. The one thing I never did with it is wear it in anything even remotely OTT and this prompt was the perfect chance to rectify that…

| Song and Temple Fairytale Library skirt | Chess Story The Secret Key of the Elves blouse | Lady Sloth Metallic overdress | Boguta underskirt | Resailan Jewelry Box tights | Deary heels | Angelic Pretty Crystal Dream Carnival headbow | Chocomint clip | Twylite Fashion clip | offbrand earrings and ring | Risu Rose necklace | Twinkle Kitty Boutique ring | Peacockalorum wrist cuffs | Patisserie Pink Bookshelf brooch | vintage belt |

...and take this skirt to outer space! As one of my most well travelled items, it has seen its fair share of this world, so why not take it further? This whole look was practically created in my head already, though with Crystal Dream Carnival in mind, but it worked just as well with this skirt. A perfect homage to one of my wardrobe’s absolute workhorses.

Lots of lovely textures in this blouse

Whilst it’s a tiny bit of a shame that we don’t get to appreciate the fancy sleeves in this coord, this blouse still gets to shine. Pretty literally, as the glittery dot fabric that the sleeves are made of also features on the collar. This was my first Chess Story blouse and it converted me to that brand. The fit and quality are amazing for the price that you pay, the fabric on the sleeves is particularly pleasant to the touch. If you’re ever on the fence about a Chess Story blouse, I recommend giving it a go.

There is so much ruffling on this overdress it's insane to think about. And the metallic is like nothing else I've seen, even the video isn't doing it full justice.

Fun fact: this may have been the most last minute coord for this challenge. All because I decided to wait for this overdress to arrive. Thankfully, the gamble paid off - without it I would’ve had to substantially rejig the idea of styling this skirt in an OTT way. But it didn’t get to that and I’m glad because this overdress is perfect, both for the coord and on its own. Photos truly don’t do this metallic mesh justice, it’s a very different kind of shiny to the glittery one of my blouse. Rather than be flecked with specks of glitter, it’s all made out of shiny metallic fibres, so the way it reflects light is more consistent, for lack of a better word, like a sheen more than a sparkle. Totally worthy purchase, thank you, past me, for indulging.

The front of the tights might not seem like they fit the theme of the coord very well...

... until you look at the back.

At first glance the tights may seem like a slightly odd choice. Yes, they fit in terms of the colour scheme, but they’re neither book nor space/galaxy themed. That is until you flip them over and realise that there are crescent moons printed on the backs. Sadly, they’re not particularly visible when worn, but they’re there nonetheless and that’s enough for me.

This shape of heel is so elegant.

I always feel a little iffy when I get these shoes out. It’s not even because they’re Alice and the Pirates replicas, since I bought them second hand myself. It’s more so because they’re also my only fancy shoes in navy, so I feel like every time I wear something fancy with a navy main piece I have no choice but to use these. It’s all just in my head, really. They are really lovely (and surprisingly comfortable) shoes, were they not replicas, I would’ve happily gotten more of that style (and I heard that the original ones aren’t quite so comfy).

I do hope that when people look at these detail shots and compare them with the worn coord, they are noticing how what may not look like a lot of accessories on its own pile can be perfectly fine once in the context of the whole outfit.

Once again, my OTT leans more towards having big pieces rather than having lots of pieces. And I pulled out pretty much everything I own with stars and space motifs that was in the right colours - plus a few extras.

I still remember back when I started seriously building my wardrobe how hard I searched for this gold Chocomint clip. It was just after their peak popularity, so the coords you saw still gave the impression that it was a must-have accessory.

If you know me on a very personal level, you’ll know that one of my favourite salty hobbies is proving Lovely Lor wrong (nothing personal towards her, I just feel like given the platform that she has she can be a little closed-minded sometimes). She once mentioned that those star clips are only really for sweet coords and you wouldn’t see them in something classic. And to me those are pretty fighting words that I take as a challenge. There’s no denying that the coord overall is classic, even if it uses sweet pieces - and with the whole galaxy and space-themed styling these two dangly star clips are perfectly at home. If Lovely Lor would like to take this opportunity to eat her words, then I will happily offer her some condiments to make them go down easier, my fridge and cupboard are pretty well stocked.

It's only now that I'm realising the amount of star-themed accessories that I have. It never seemed like a motif I consciously extanded, more like one that seemed versatile enough to worth getting things with.

What’s particularly funny to me is that from what I can remember, this necklace served me more as a hair accessory than an actual necklace. For once it’s used for its intended purpose, though it remains an excellent hair accessory. The sad part, however, is that those earrings aren’t in as good a shape as they used to be. Their AliExpress price is showing as they started to lose their colourful stones (and somehow moon did so more than the sun). I debated using the same pair as I wore for the 3rd AYWi30C prompt, but I figured that the two coords already share enough similarities. Once I get to my earrings cull, I will have to have a very hard think on what to do with these ones though.

It is very lucky how arguably the least noticeable accessories (in terms of detail/motifs) are mostly hidden under the long ruffles of the overdress sleeves. So it doesn't matter so much that some of these themes are off.

I could’ve totally skipped wrist cuffs. The sleeves on the overdress are really long and very ruffly, so it’s not like that area would’ve been bare otherwise. However, I did feel like bringing some navy to my hands and in the absence of a bigger ring or more prominent bracelets, the wrist cuffs were the next best thing. Even though they are here purely for the colour and absolutely not-at-all for the theme. Rings, on the other hand (pun intended), are a mix of both: one for colour and one for theme balance.

Every time I pull this brooch out, I get mesmerised by it.

Lastly, because I completely couldn’t resist, is my favourite brooch from Patisserie Pink (and very likely favourite one ever). I know that the coord went for a space theme, but it’s still using a book print, so how could I leave this brooch out of the party? And it has glitter on it too! Let’s pretend that these books are about astronomy and studies of our and nearby galaxies, then that will stay relevant.

Fun fact: I found a shop on Taobao that sells this exact trim. It was tempting to buy it to make some of these underskirts myself that'd be less tight.

Quick stop at the underskirt because, well, stars.

Look at all these shades of blue that you could ever possibly want.

Not gonna lie, I am a bit of a sucker for fonts like these.

And then we can get to the print. I still stand by what I said all those years ago when I first got the skirt: the manga-esque style of artwork is not my cup of tea. But I can’t deny that it’s really grown on me over the years. The books still look beautiful and magical, full of intricate detail and gorgeous lettering. I can ignore the humanoid figures a bit and focus on those leatherbound hardbacks.

It's dumb how much I love this lamp and I can't even properly explain it. I just do.

The Little Red Riding Hood book is both a bit out of place in amidst all those blues and a welcome break from the monotony of shades of blue.

Moreover, although at a glance the print looks like an assortment of shades of blue, there are other jewel tones hidden in there. As well as some other shades. This is why it’s such an easy item to throw on - I can’t think of many colours that I wear that wouldn’t work with it. Just now I noticed a possibility of a lavender coord, which I want to try out next. Possibly the only colour that really wouldn’t work here is pink. The only warm colours are that rich burgundy red, the glowing jewel tone amber of the gas lamp and some darker browns that - everything else is a cool shade. No doubts if I really put my head to it, I could figure out a way to shoehorn pink into this. Then again, why should I, when there are so many other colour pairings yet to explore with this?

You know it's a library and not a private collection because there are book doubles standing next to each other.

This post's detail I hadn't notice before is how this clock is a not to Alice in Wonderland. It's not a book that's on the print's shelves, so this is a fun way to include that story in there in a less obvious way.

As for the details, my favourite is probably that gas lamp. The books are amazing and totally what drew me to the skirt, but that lamp is a spark of light in more ways than one, breaking up an otherwise fairly monotonous array of rows of book spines. It also illuminates the background, suggesting that there is something behind the books, even if only a really fancy wallpaper. This one element almost creates a story to what otherwise is just a book print.

2020 brought me ways to wear false eyelashes with a lot less faff and I'll be damned if I don't capitalise on that.

Of course, it’s not an OTT coordinate without more OTT styling. Since I was going to wear the eyelashes, I deliberately kept eyeshadow simple. Why overwork myself if all the fanciness will be hidden behind a pretty literal curtain? However, I am pleased how my faking a fancy hairdo turned out. This is literally four sections, two thick ones and two very slim ones, pinned up at the back, the thick ones crossing over one another and the thin ones going over those with a bit of a droop at the front. No thought, no planning, just hair pins and a devil-may-care attitude. Because all that was really needed here was volume, not intricacy.

This may be the most representative of these collages: we have casual outfits, travelling outfits, work outfits, slightly dressier outfits... Basically everything that I tend to do with this skirt.
From left to right these are from: May 2017, March 2018, May 2018, July 2018, February 2019, March 2019, January 2020, April 2020, July 2020, October 2020, and November 2020.

As I already mentioned, this skirt got worn way more in non-lolita ways than lolita ones. This means that what you see above is merely a fraction of what it saw in real life, the fraction that I could be bother to document. The April 2020 outfit is a solid indication of what happened with this skirt on those days, sometimes with a petticoat and sometimes without. And yet even including those outfits, there are still countless ideas I haven’t explored or tried left for me to do. Both properly lolita ones and not lolita at all, for when I want to be casual. Although hopefully, having done this post, this won’t be the only fancier coord this skirt will see, I think it deserves more of that kind of recognition too.

I said before that this coord waited until the last minute because I wanted to use this overdress. This also resulted in probably the fastest turnaround of putting together the lookbook video: recorded on a Sunday, edited and uploaded on Monday, and up as early access for patrons on Tuesday. Having a somewhat clear idea of what I wanted to do helped


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