Feeling Floral


While labels are pretty constricting, since there are no rules that one must be ONLY a Sweet, Classic or Gothic Lolita, we do all have our own styles and preferences. Sometimes these match up with whatever labels we apply to differentiate between sub-styles, and sometimes they don't. Very often, however, our styles and preferences can change as we learn new things and as we ourselves change.

Recently I’ve been feeling very into floral JSKs in Lolita. Maybe it’s the approaching summer (which seems to be sort of on and off here in West Yorkshire) and the summery feel those JSKs have, or maybe it’s just a newfound appreciation for the more Classic (and slightly oldschool?) aesthetic within Lolita. Whatever the reason, I’ve since been on a hunt for just the right one.

I adore this JSK so much...
Photo from Lolibrary
I can pinpoint that change in attitude down to Innocent World releasing the Georges Rose JSK up for reservations earlier in May, that’s the piece that definitely made me notice and like florals a lot more in Lolita. I adore how the roses are broken up with wider vertical stripes, preventing the print from becoming too busy and wallpaper-y. But there’s also something to be said for the simplicity of the cut which compliments that vertical pattern very well and makes it shine. For me personally it’d have to be the ivory colourway: as lovely as the green one is I could do a lot more with ivory, plus I do like it that little bit more.

Liking florals actually shouldn’t be that much of a surprise to me; it's more like it's making a comeback. I remember during my study abroad in Japan I had a big crush on Labyrinth of Rose as I was saving up for AP's Fantasy Theater. It had a strong 1950s vibe, with the flowers and the halter neck, but I couldn't afford two new brand dresses and I wanted Fantasy Theater a lot more. Afterwards I sort of forgot about it – right until I saw Georges Rose when that appreciation for florals came back. As I said, they remind me of summer and actually seem perfect for the warmer seasons. They’re also incredibly feminine and quite versatile, all of which are qualities I like in my Lolita.

But the thing with floral prints is that as long as it’s “just” a floral print (and not something like, e.g. Romantic Rose Letter, which has other themes to it as well) I don’t have to own the new(er) JSKs. Don’t get me wrong, if Georges Rose survives until the sales or if I spot it used for a good price I’ll probably get it because I do like it that much, but I wouldn’t call it a dream dress when it’s this and no other. In fact my daily browsing through used Lolita clothing websites opened my eyes to all kinds of old floral JSKs which I previously ignored – and which are often ¥10’000 or under! What are now oldschool designs, the dresses from about 2010 and earlier, get that balance between gorgeous floral and overly busy wallpaper so right, and that classic-look lace details compliment the prints amazingly well. To keep myself “in the zone” I even made a moodboard of all floral JSKs I like – I scoured through Lolibrary like mad for a good hour or two, but I only picked the dresses which I had a chance of fitting into. Why, BtSSB, why did you not do shirring on so many of your gorgeous old floral JSKs?! T_T

Photo by Baby San Francisco
Finally, that last little bit which helped florals win me over: most of them are subtle enough to be perfectly acceptable to wear on a daily basis and in a non-Lolita context. I’d feel quite comfortable going out in something like Georges Rose or, to keep it even more recent, Meta’s Country Flower (the off-white floral button down one) just somewhere to town without having to worry about being bothered about what I’m wearing at best and being catcalled at worst. Considering how I got everyone at my work used to my very feminine, vintage-inspired and lots-of-Japanese-brands style, they’d probably be ok for me to wear to work as well. Not only are floral Lolita dresses easy to dress down, but a lot of them simply don’t stand out as something that different and could be easily mistaken for vintage clothing by those unfamiliar with either of the fashions. Wearing Lolita brings us all joy, I’m sure of this, otherwise we wouldn’t be into this fashion, so if I could use something in my day-to-day wardrobe, then why not?

It actually feels quite refreshing to have a Lolita dress goal which doesn’t seem daunting or impossible. The last dream dress I’m still genuinely keen on proves as elusive as unicorns, but I know that I can find a floral JSKs that I like for a good price. I set myself a challenge to find one for around ¥5’000, that’s the price I’d buy one for immediately and without hesitation, but I would go as high as the ¥10’000 I mentioned earlier. Obviously, the cheaper the better, everybody loves a bargain, but I need to stay realistic and remember that unless I miraculously find one on Facebook UK Lolita Sales, I’ll have to factor in shipping costs and very likely VAT charges as well, which is why I’m keeping it so low.

Have you ever had a style or theme in Lolita which you were indifferent to, but learnt to like or even love? Let me know in the comments! :)

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