Adventures into Historybounding
I’ve been captivated by the idea of historical dress in everyday life since I was a teenager. I even dipped my toes into actually doing it a couple times by making Edwardian walking skirts and getting lacy blouses in my late teens/early twenties but peer pressure eventually made me stop. Fast forward to 2020 and I discovered the CosTube community and the amazing historybounding youtubers that are Bernadette Banner, Morgan Donner, Rachel Maksy, Abby Cox, and Karolina Zebrowska.
I’m 35 and living through plague times with an autoimmune disease so I find myself with a LOT of time alone in my house and the knowledge that this could easily be my last year on earth if I get sick. So screw society and their pressures, I’m gonna dress how I dang well want to. Might as well look and feel fabulous when the world is falling apart around you, right? It’s the little things that get us through. Let’s do this!
I started with a Pinterest board to try and decide how I want my style to look. I needed to narrow down my focus and create a capsule wardrobe to get me started so each piece needs to pair with at least 2 others so I can get multiple outfits out of each piece of clothing. Dresses are great but limit your pairing options so I’ll stick to skirts and blouses for now. But how historical do I want to get with my historybounding? I love floor length skirts but they’re a tad impractical and made me look like I was a super religious conservative or just wearing a costume which isn’t what I’m personally going for.
Okay, so shorter skirts. Maybe below the knee or tea length. The eras I love are basically anything from the Victorian era to the 1950′s. Edwardian shirtwaists with their ruffles, lace, and buttons in the back are gorgeous but I am not very flexible and have no one to do up my buttons for me so I’ll modernize them by making them front buttoning blouses. Yes please to all the lace, ruffles, and pintucks. If I make a couple waistcoats and throw in a couple 40′s and 50′s cardigans, coats/jackets, and accessories then I think my style is really starting to shape up.
And then something occurred to me. While doing these Pinterest searches for inspiration, I notice the blouses and skirts I kept being drawn to were actually Classic Victorian Lolita and Vintage Lolita styles. And when I thought about it I realized I was kinda trying to reinvent the wheel a bit, here. Historybounders are not the first to incorporate history into modern fashion. Lolita, Goth, Steampunk, and Vintage styles have all been doing this for decades already.
And when I looked at some of the outfits in these Classic Lolita substyles, I could see potential. If I lengthened the skirts to below the knee and tea length, got rid of the hoop skirt but kept a petticoat, ruled out super busy prints, and overabundance of accessories and trim... you basically get FannyRosie.
(All photos property of FannyRosie)
People, this lady is a goddamn style QUEEN! This is exactly what I want! So I’m gonna go on a sewing frenzy making all the Lolita skirts and blouses and pairing it with all the smart, elegant 40′s and 50′s hair, makeup, bags, etc. I’ll make sure to post updates and finished outfits as I go. I am so excited for this!
♡52 Weeks of Lolita Questionnaire♡
In a recent Lovely Lor video, Lor answered questions from Loliprompts’ questionnaire “52 weeks of lolita”. It seems like a fun list of questions and I thought I would answer them too~ ♡
1. What is your favorite brand, and why? What’s its history?
♡ I guess my favorite brand would have to be Angelic Pretty. I love a lot of other brands, but the majority of dresses in my wish list right now are Angelic Pretty. As for their history? I don’t really know haha, I guess I should research that a bit.
2. How would you describe lolita fashion to a curious person you met in passing?
♡ I always just say I am apart of a fashion club? People don’t generally require more than that but if they did I would probably tell them that it’s an alternative fashion based on Victorian fashion and we have a fashion club and we get dressed up and meet for tea and stuff.
3. What style do you think is the most underrated, and why?
♡ qi and wa lolita. I almost never see them, or see interest in them which is a shame because there are some really beautiful dresses out there that are suited for these styles.
4. What does the phrase “lolita lifestyle” mean to you, and do you, or would you like to, adhere to it?
♡ lolita lifestyle is when you try to bring lolita or lolita-esque aesthetics into every aspect of your life. Maybe wearing lolita every or most days, and having a very “loliable” home/room. I could never be a lifestyler because I have other fashion interests. Also lolita is not appropriate at my workplace.
5. What do you think constitutes lolita etiquette or good manners?
♡ I don’t believe there is any “lolita etiquette” I think you should just be yourself. Good manner are good manners, don’t be rude to your comm members, don’t dance on the tables at a tea party. But that’s just commonsense I don’t think there is a way to behave that is lolita.
6. Does your style change with the seasons, or do you dress the same and try to bear the cold/heat?
♡ I try, but admittedly I am awful at it. I try to keep berets in the cooler months, as well as long sleeves. BUT I’m a sucker for ankle socks and I wear them all year despite the cold and I do freeze my legs off at winter meets.
7. Do you have a fashion role-model? What do you admire most about them?
♡ I actually have several! I will list them and their instagrams here:
sleepyriri - Her coords are so dreamy looking, very light floaty aesthetic which I love. She also has her own lolita brand!
Le_verger_sucre - Her coords are so pink and princess-y. I find myself sharing her photos a lot.
Fannyrosie - the classic lolita queen. Need I say more?
Tokimeki.bunny - I love the cuteness of her coords. They always have a lot of extra elements and are so well balanced. She’s also really good at coordinating printed tights which I am awful at.
Tsumikko - Lavender QUEEN! I love her use of aprons, layering, and color balancing. Very light, floaty vibes.
Milkcircus - Print QUEEN. Her use of prints and patterns absolutely inspires me. Coords are always very multi-dimensional
Cursed.Kaiser - They’re coords are honestly so cool, there’s a kind of drama in them that I really like.
Darkxdelirium - She almost made me want honey cake with her impeccable coording skills.
8. What are the top 10 things you love most about lolita? Can you also compile a list of things you hate?
♡ I don’t think I can come up with 10 but I’ll do my best.
The community aspect, the ability to reclaim my femininity through lolita, the creativity that goes into building coords, crafting to make one of a kind pieces, being able to feel beautiful without being “sexy”, having a hobby to focus on when I need something to escape to.
Second-hand market price fluctuation, brands still releasing dresses with a max 96cm bust, buying petticoats, storing my stuff (especially purses), brands who charge astronomical prices for low quality materials (AP purses, Q-pot jewelry, etc).
9. How strict are you in applying the rules to yourself? To others?
♡ I am pretty strict on myself. For a long time I was terrified to be seen as ita. I was even afraid to wear bodyline for fear of being ”ita” even though my coord was good. These days I am less strict on myself and worry much less about these things, but I still struggle to get out of the strict mindset from time to time.
others? I love experimentation even if I am afraid to do so so I am really not too strict on others, if it works, it works, and I am not going to criticize anyone.
10. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever incorporated into a coord, or the weirdest material you’ve ever worn?
♡ The weirdest thing I think I have ever worn in a coord were a pair of korilakkuma bell earrings. As you can imagine, bells on your ears? not great.
11. What’s the story behind your discovery of lolita fashion?
♡ When I was a senior in high school, a new girl started attending my school. She wore fairy kei and sweet lolita to school. We became friends through art class and eventually she ended up teaching me about the fashion. She sold me my first dress, and later my first brand piece. I am really glad to have met her and to have been exposed to lolita. You can follow her on instagram here
12. What is the one item that you’ve owned the longest?
♡ I still own my very first dress I got in 2012. Bodyline Squirrel Party. However, I am planning to sell it since I’ve worn it in everyway I can think of.
13. Do you think lolita is only about clothes, or does it also encompass a certain attitude or mindset?
♡ Lolita is about the fashion. All kinds of people are lolitas and they like it or wear it for different reasons.
14. Have you ever decorated a room or other space (car?) with lolita aesthetics in mind?
♡ My old bedroom used to be very “kawaii”. I love pink so my car stuff, my desk, as much as I can get away with, is pink.
15. Is it possible to be too obsessed with lolita?
♡ If lolita is interfering with your ability to pay your bills, or to be happy, or to focus on school or work or family then you should probably pull back. Some people do get very absorbed by things and in those cases it can become too much.
16. What are you favorite and least favorite trends? Do you think it’s important to follow them, or to do as you like regardless of them?
♡ My favorite trend ever is the chiffon half blouse. So comfortable, affordable, light, cute, and much more size inclusive. Least favorite trend? mis-matched shoes from the 2010 era. I like my shoes to get equal wear. I think these days more than ever, you can really just do whatever you want. Wear the fashion is right now is like anything goes which I think is great,
17. How do you define “lolita cosplay” and how do you feel about it?
♡ Lolita cosplay is stupid. sorry
18. Are there other fashions that you wear regularly, or are you an everyday lolita?
♡ I don't wear other street fashions anymore. I used to wear fairy kei and himekaji but these days I just dress regular outside of lolita.
19. Do you look for bargains to save as much money as possible, or are you willing to make sacrifices for high-quality products?
♡ I try to find the best prices when applicable but if I am in love with something I’ll do what I have to do.
20. When was the last time you wore lolita, and what did you do that day? If you wear it daily, when was the last time you went OTT or extra-fancy?
♡ The last time I wore lolita was in April lmao. For a virtual meet-up with my comm.
21. If you were to combine lolita fashion with an unrelated style or theme, what would your new creation be?
♡uhhhh I honestly have no idea at all.
22. What is your favorite accessory, and why is it your favorite?
♡ I have 2, 2-way bow clips from back when bodyline had a massive “sundries” section. They're no longer available and haven't been for a long time. I am really glad I got them, I wish I had bought more sundries when that section was still there.
23. What’s your favorite online lolita community or forum? Are there any that you avoid?
♡ I don’t have a favorite tbh. I have never been on 4chan and I never will be.
24. What is your favorite theme (e.g. school loli, pirate loli, nurse loli) or motif (e.g. deer, music notes, stars/constellations)?
♡ black and gold stars! Valentines day! fruits! gingham!
25. Is there any music that you associate with lolita?
♡ orange caramel lol
26. Will you ever be too old for lolita?
27. Do you enjoy sewing? Why or why not?
♡ I don’t know how to sew :(
28. How does your location affect your involvement in the local lolita community? Would you like to move elsewhere to be closer, or perhaps farther away?
♡ I drive about 1.5 hours for meetups because that’s the closest active comm. I do not mind so much. I’d like to maybe be closer.
29. Does your sleepwear resemble lolita at all?
♡ not at all. I sleep in oversized t-shirts
30. Can you admit to any unpopular opinions regarding lolita?
♡ I hate peeking bloomers. I’m sorry :(
31. How do you feel about Visual kei or Jrock, and do you feel it’s related to lolita, or not?
♡ Love it, and absolutely. Visual Kei is like lolitas relative.
32. Whether or not you wear them (looking at you, Ouji), do you prefer the look of skirts, JSKs, and OPs with or without prints?
♡ I like both, but these days I am appreciating non-printed items more.
33. How has your style evolved over time?
♡ It hasn't really, just gotten more refined.
34. If applicable, what other communities do you belong to? What other identities do you adopt?
♡ I’m queer, so the LGBTQ community is important to me.
35. What are your favorite shoes to wear with your style, or what’s your dream pair?
♡ I love heels. I do not like flat shoes because I like to elongate my legs. I don’t have a dream pair.
36. Would you, or have you ever, dressed your pets in lolita?
♡ lol I’d try but I don't think it would work.
37. How do you feel about people who wear lolita for Halloween? Does it depend on whether that person is already a lolita?
♡ Wearing lolita for Halloween as a lolita is fine, but wearing it as a costume is kind of meh.
38. Excluding fashion shows, what’s the most amount of outfits you’ve ever worn in a day?
♡ just 1 haha
39. What’s your worst lolita horror story?
♡ I don’t really have any. I one time went with some of my college friends to a con and I left my dorm building in full sweet early in the morning. I was afraid my dormmates would see me cause I did not want to explain but luckily no one was awake and I made it to the van unscathed.
40. Do you like sweets? If so, what’s your favorite dessert?
♡ I love angel food cake
41. Do you have any beauty products, health routines, or special diet to keep you at your best?
♡ I take co-q-10 for my eczema, I like laneige lip sleeping mask, especially in the winter.
42. What were the best and worst meetups you’ve hosted? If you haven’t hosted, would you like to someday?
♡ I wanted to host a garden meet this summer but covid ruined that. Maybe next year.
43. Who is your favorite artist? If not famous for lolita art, do you think they have lolita appeal?
♡ I love a lot of artists, some of them I think are lolita-adjacent because their style is kawaii. I’ll list some here:
and many many more. Go stalk my following on instagram for lots of kawaii artists.
44. How do you feel about wigs? Do you wear any, or style your natural hair?
♡ I used to wear wigs, but my hair is too long now so I use my natural hair with fake bangs.
45. What’s your favorite animal motif?
46. Have you ever visited a brand’s shop/boutique? If so, what was your reaction? If not, what shop would you most like to visit?
♡ I want to visit AP San Francisco
47. Do you think posting photos of your coord online is a crucial part of belonging to the community?
♡ YES, it’s how we all stay connected and inspired
48. How has the lolita community changed since you became a part of it? Where do you see lolita heading in the future in terms of community and networking?
♡ I think it’s become way more accepting and accessible. When I got into lolita there were virtually no legit resellers, the community was entirely on livejournal, buying second hand was a nightmare. Buying anything! was a nightmare. There was so much stress around looking “ita”, and the superiority of brand. These days its just not like that. So much amazing taobao brands have really helped even the field for lolita. We have so much more access to the clothes, the community, everything. It’s great. I only see it getting better as years go on.
49. What advice would you give someone who is nervous about starting lolita? Or do you think they should learn their own lessons?
♡ I think too many lolitas today rely on seasoned lolitas to tell them everything. I would say, go watch lovely lor, read @lolita-tips and look at other peoples coordinates. Lolita Tips tumblr taught me basically everything I know back in the day and it a wealth of info and concrit. Part of what makes the lolita journey so great is the research, the learning, the mistakes. You don’t wanna be like someone else, you wanna be you. So you really need to do the work yourself so you can put your personal flair into the fashion. That’s when it’s at its best.
50. What’s your dream dress/garment? Is it a faraway goal or have you obtained it?
♡ My dream dress was AP sweetie violet jsk in lavender. Which I got in 2019. My new dream dress is AP rose tea garden jsk in navy. It’ll probably be a while before I can afford to buy one.
51. How do you feel about the stereotype that lolitas are full of drama? What’s the worst drama you’ve ever witnessed or been involved in?
♡ I think any and all groups of people are bound to have drama. I don’t believe that’s specific to lolita at all. I personally have not been involved in any lolita drama.
52. Are you loyal to any particular makeup brands?
♡ I am very particular about my makeup because I do not like to use certain ingredients. I really like Pacifica. But I also like some Korean brands like The Saem, MISSHA, and TonyMoly.
This was super long but I had fun answering all the questions. Have you done this questionnaire? I’d love to see your answers~