7 Apr 2017

What do You Believe is Important to Make a Cohesive Coordinate?

Some fashions are ok, even promote chaotic mish-mash and putting together things that clash. Lolita isn’t one of them – we strive for perfection and for the whole outfit to flow together, from the smallest to the largest piece. It’s a skill, putting together things that are so cohesive that individual items blend together to form one whole coord, one that we learn and polish all of our Lolita lives.

Having said this, Lolita is still a fashion, which means that there’s loads of room for individuality. Therefore, what I consider important when putting together coords that are cohesive may be irrelevant to another person with a different approach to the fashion. Therefore, take these things with a bit of distance, these are personal opinions, not facts set in stone.

1. Hair and makeup

If you’re one of those people with a haircut that naturally works with Lolita and just needs brushing – I envy you. If you’re one of those people who look good and feels confident in Lolita without makeup – go for it! For me hair and makeup is an integral part of the coord and although I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, I wouldn’t have the confidence to wear Lolita and not put even a minimal amount of makeup and do something to my hair. These things can make or break a look. Imagine: you’re going for a retro-inspired coord, but have a split twin-tail wig and pastel overload makeup – your look won’t be realised and will feel off. Similarly, if you’re aiming for OTT Sweet and piled on a tonne of accessories, but you just left your hair be and not done anything in terms of makeup – this will feel unbalanced and with so many accessories you and/or your head will just disappear. Again, especially with makeup, I’m not saying that it’s essential or forcing anyone to wear it. I’m merely stating that it’s important to me and that with some outfits your hair and makeup can make the difference between a put together look and merely putting on clothes.

2. Accessories

Photo by Angela Carone
I’ve talked about how accessoriescan turn the same set of clothes into different outfits, but I haven’t really talked about how they can elevate a coord. This applies equally to all coords, from casual to OTT. Your main piece, blouse, head- and legwear are important parts, but even when they work fantastic on their own, a carefully selected accessory can bring it up a notch. A statement necklace or a ring can tie in the themes in your outfits so that they make more sense together. That extra hair clip or brooch could bring the colour balance in your coord to perfection. Changing up your bag can take the outfit from ‘casually going out for some shopping’ to ‘I’m off to a party’. Even barely visible, matching earrings or a bracelet layered over your wrist cuffs can change the vibes in your outfit and add that extra point of interest. Accessories are showing off your attention to detail and when used right they can make a world of difference, even if you’re wearing a full set from a brand. This is what truly marks experienced Lolitas from the comfortable intermediate ones.

3. Skills

Ultimately though, all that you need to put together cohesive and well-balanced coords is practice in your skills. If you know what you’re doing, then you’ll know exactly how to work minimum hair and makeup effort into a coord so that it still looks great or will pick out the right accessory for any coord without thinking twice about it. But at the same time, if you don’t practice this and if you aren’t used to putting Lolita clothes together into outfits, then you may struggle to make it cohesive even with just the basic pieces (unless they’re a full set because that’s designed to work together). The good news is, from what I’ve glimpsed, is that the majority of Lolitas, new and those a bit more experienced, have a good idea of what they’re doing and what clashes. They just need to get comfortable with basic outfits before moving onto the less obvious ones and to polish it all out around the edges. And, as most often the rough edges are down to pragmatic reasons like money, just save up and plan your wardrobe as much as you can to ensure that every item purchased or made will be as versatile as possible.

We could further break down what makes coords cohesive and what’s important to achieve that, but I think at this point we’d be getting down to individual outfits, which is that bit too specific. After all we have our own individual styles and aesthetic, so what one person considers cohesive may still lack something to another. What things do you look out for when ensuring that your coords are well put together and balanced? Any pro tips out there to share with the rest of us? Leave them in the comments and in the meantime this is what other participating bloggers have said:

1 comment:

  1. I always for accesory. However I better like to use themed jewelry than big items like bags, shoes and headwear etc. Another thing would be having matchning basic set in your main colours. I am not matching shadenazi, but it does ease coordinating.