Reflecting on One Year of Being a Homelita


It’s pretty much an exact anniversary too: March 18th was my first full day working from home (when I indulged in wearing pjs all day, as far as I remember), and then March 20th was my first Fancy Work from Home Friday wearing frills. It’s wild to even think about, but reflecting on how this past year may have changed me and my style seems like the best way to commemorate this momentous occasion.

As you’ll know if you’ve read my both Half a Year in Coords posts (links to part 1 and part 2), working from home allowed for a boom in my wearing lolita. I feel like I’ve repeated that sentence to death now, but wearing and documenting more lolita outfits over the course of 12 months than I have from 2017 to 2019 combined really is no mean feat. You can learn a lot about yourself from such an intensive period of doing something, particularly when there’s nothing else to distract you.

I still hesitate to call myself a lifestyle lolita, since plenty of what I do (or wear) has nothing to do with this fashion or isn’t something I do (or wear) because of it. What is interesting, however, is that over the course of last year lolita fashion has become so much more ingrained into my identity that it’s now a measure or a gauge of my mental health. Despite not wearing lolita daily, I do put effort into how I dress every (week)day and when I don’t wear lolita, I typically still plan some outfits to wear at some point during the week. Noticing the dips in that creative energy, as well as checking how severe those dips are (i.e. am I just lacking a spark of inspiration or is it a case of zero motivation to even try at all, how long do these thoughts/moods last etc.) has become a symptom that I look out for. So just like I know that getting annoyed easily is likely a sign of being hungry, when I notice myself not feel like dressing up or putting any effort into what I wear, that’s a sign that my mental health isn’t the best and I need to check in with myself to see what I need. The truly surprising thing is how quickly this happened. By July, so only 3 months and some change into working from home (and “only” 42 coords into the pandemic), I already knew that if I wasn’t feeling like dressing nicely, then something was wrong.

This also goes to show that you REALLY can't tell someone's mental health by just looking at them. Even though I managed to dress up here (August 2020), I was feeling pretty miserable up until I left the house for a sanity walk. I had no motivation to dress up, which highlighted how low I've been feeling, but I forced myself to do so and go out because I rationally knew that would help.

All throughout the last year I’ve been going backwards and forwards in my head about whether I am aiming to be a daily (or even more regular) lolita than I am now or not. It’s hard to predict what we’ll be like once life outside resumes because it feels a bit like New Year’s resolutions: we all start off with the best intentions and then reality and routine stop us. So whilst I may be wearing lolita more now that I’m at home, would I really keep wearing it to a similar extend post-pandemic? Looking at the coords I’ve worn whilst working from home and how not all of them are that office appropriate, rationally I know that the answer is “no”. At the same time, I don’t think that I would go back to being an exclusively weekend lolita, particularly as I’m looking at my current non-lolita wardrobe and feeling a shift in my style. After the November experiment of wearing more properly frilly outfits to work, having some more office-appropriate lolita options feels back on the table. Which in turn has renewed my desire to get a few more versatile pieces for daily wear. Without a year as homelita and getting used to being able to wear whatever I want, this might’ve come much later in my life, if at all.

None of the above are about the exact garments, but rather about ideas. Simple cuts, longer lengths, neutral colours, skirts and OPs are what I can with a hand on heart say that I would wear.

But work talk aside, a year of being a homelita cemented for me that I’m a chameleon and couldn’t give up any of the styles I own for the sake of a more streamlined wardrobe. Back in 2019 I genuinely had thoughts about sizing down and narrowing my style to something more specific, either by colour palette, substyle or look. But what I mistook for straying away from sweet lolita was less a symptom of “growing out” of that style and more of getting stuck in a bit of a rut. It’s not that I wasn’t experimenting before the pandemic, those experiments were simply confined within a narrower frame. Whereas in 2020 I let myself go beyond those: because I had more opportunities to do so (and notice how often I fell into the same patterns), but also because I let myself throw the rulebook out of the window. Since I literally could wear lolita every single day if I wanted to, why would it have to all be typical by-the-book kind? And why not push the boundaries with the clothes I own without worrying over what label they fit under? Through this I found joy in trying out different looks and mashups, and following different moods and strands of inspiration. Some of my favourite coords from the last 12 months involved mixing lolita with other styles, with non-lolita pieces, those that were only tentatively even classifiable as lolita. And variety, being able to switch up and go from one look to another was a big part of what kept me excited. Because let’s face it, if I really was ready to give up a certain style, then those “2020 by X” graphs would show a much greater ratio of one substyle or colour to others than they did.

On top of this, like for so many others, being stuck at home drove in the value of comfort. Comfort being, of course, a very subjective thing, which some people interpret as loose clothing with plenty of elastic while others take to mean things like breathable fabrics or clothing that is the correct size. I’m firmly of the latter category (though won’t say no to good old-fashioned shirring) and whilst I was never the type to get things that I could only fit if I wore a sports bra (it always seemed counterintuitive to me), I have started to make changes where I don’t feel comfortable wearing something in whatever way. Dress with a zip I have to fight? It’s either getting altered or I’m selling the piece. A blouse moves every time I raise my arms? That’s going to have to go too, I don’t have time for that nonsense. Yes, I still make sacrifices for the sake of a look (those Earl Grey shoes from Irregular Choice being a prime example), but in the grand scheme of things I’ve made more adjustments this year based on comfort thanI have in a long time. And doubt that I’ll stop that anytime soon.

Which sort of leads to the last point: after one year of being a homelita, even if I haven’t worn the fashion every day, I have 100% embraced and am living the “it’s just clothes” mentality. This is something that’s been happening anyway, picking up pace once I moved out, and which the pandemic accelerated further. When I started out in this fashion, it was my special occasion wear, for going out to burlesque and later for going to meetups. This gradually shifted into weekend wear/time off wear, until we got to the point now where if I want to wear something from that side of my wardrobe, then I just do, regardless of whether I’m venturing out to the supermarket, working or doing absolutely bugger all. It’s natural to have treasured pieces or some that get worn less (e.g. because they’re more dressy), but I don’t actually treat them any differently to those that are worn a lot - they’re still clothes to be worn when I feel like it. Certainly while I am a homelita, the “when I feel like it” will continue to be pretty often, a couple of times per week based on how things have been so far, and once outside life resumes - well, we’ll see what happens then.


  1. I think "lifestyle lolita" as defined by "loltia is an integral part of my lifestyle" is such a vibe. Embracing that they're just clothes, but clothes that are special and make you feel good is really the way to go.

    Also totally keen to see your future work-lolita coords...I want to end up doing more work lolita myself so going to be looking to you for inspo!

    1. That's probably the best way to describe it, particularly for the post-Livejournal days. It seems that then "lifestyle lolita" had a much more narrow definition that involved specific things, many of which were simply unrealistic without being affluent and privileged. But certainly since the pandemic, when so many people have come to either embrace lolita fashion more or completely put it aside, interpreting it as something integral to the way you go about your life.

      Fingers crossed that I can document them! One thing that I've learnt pretty quickly is that I don't have the discipline to get them photographed before leaving in the morning and by the time I get back I so often just can't be bothered lol. I might need to search harder for a good selfie spot/up my mirror selfie game...


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