Coordinating: Special Event vs Regular Meet


I love creating and planning coords, especially the big ones where I can go OTT. Now that’s not always appropriate for the occasion, which tends to confine my OTT coords either to blog posts or to some big events. However, whilst coordinating for a meetup shouldn’t be much different from coordinating for events, after all they use the same set of skills (e.g. colour balance, ‘weight’ balance, accessorising etc.), they are quite distinct from each other.

Coordinating for a Regular Meet = Purpose and Practicality

Cardi and OTKs for warmth, full back shirring and
full shirring blouse for comfort, pockets for extra
room to carry things and flat Bodyline shoes for
maximum ease of walking.
Even when the meet is themed, purpose and practicality have to be treated on par with the theme of the outfit when going to a regular meet. This incorporates almost every piece of a Lolita coord, from the dress itself all the way down to your hair and makeup. Depending on the meet and what you’ll be doing there are different things to be kept in mind: comfortable shoes when doing a lot of walking, warmer clothes for outdoors event when it could be cold, plenty of shirring for binge-eat meets, a bigger bag when you need to carry a lot of things, easy to wash things on wetter/messier meets like crafts or outdoors, natural hair and waterproof makeup if going to a theme park… The list is pretty much endless because the list of meet ideas is endless. In a way it’s more of a skill to create a coord that balances all the practical needs whilst remaining on point and balanced – we’ve all taken shortcuts or compromises somewhere, so to achieve a perfect balance of all these factors is seriously impressive. Besides, we keep emphasising that Lolita is not a costume, so if we’re just wandering about town, doing a bit of food and shopping, going all costumey doesn’t help our cause of educating the public, does it?

Coordinating for a Special Event = Look and Theme

Wig, circle lenses and false eyelashes for
impact. Blouse kept slipping up and bra
straps were peeking, but worth it for the
look I was going for. Two big petticoats and
an underskirt made me grateful for air con.
Lots of worries whether my hair accessories
were still there, but boy, they looked good!
Gel insoles saved my feet, though it was still
nice to take them off. All that effort balanced out
any discomfort, and then it was all topped by
compliments from Haenuli, the designer, herself!
When it comes to special events, regardless of whether you’re into OTT things or not, I think the majority of Lolitas dress to impress. Whilst there are just as many practical issues to be taken into consideration, sacrificing your own comfort for the sake of that perfect look for a couple of hours comes a little bit easier. Mind you, there are still some tricks that can help make that experience a little less painful: layering for warmth/lighter fabrics for coolness, gel insoles for lots of walking, a bag or a tote big enough to carry a bottle of water and an energy snack – but at the end of the day, during an event it’s the coord itself that has to shine. This is when I find myself doing a lot of the so called ‘building on top’ things. I take an element of that event: the theme, a special guest, the season during which it takes place, even a dress that I was dying to wear for a while – take anything like that and build on top of that. How could I make my coord perfectly on theme or tell a story related to that theme? How can I show the special guest that they’re my inspiration and show my appreciation for their work? How can I incorporate elements of the season into the coord? How can I make a coord out of this dress that does justice to the print/detail or that makes it different from what’s been done with it before? Once you know that, then add your own personal touch to it and own it! And don’t feel like you have to go OTT because it’s an event – if OTT isn’t your thing, don’t do it, you won’t enjoy it and you’ll feel like in a costume rather than like yourself, no matter how many compliments you may receive.

This is my basic formula and difference when coordinating Lolita: purpose vs look. After that it boils down to following your usual coordinating instincts to make sure that your colours are balanced, that the look doesn’t feel too top or bottom heavy and most importantly, that you’re happy with it and it’s something you’d wear.

How does that look for you? Do you distinguish between coordinating for special events and regular meets or is it the same process for you? Share your ideas and routines with me, please, and in the meantime read what the other bloggers have said on this topic:


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