Monday, January 4, 2010

Keeping it Country In the Winter Time--Country Lolita, that is.

Country Lolita is not really considered its own subset of lolita fashion, yet we know it when when we see it. Country Lolita is probably my favorite lolita style, a derivative of sweet/classic lolita that is more geared towards the outdoors. Prints tend to be ginghams, calicos, images of fruits (especially berries), and florals. Accessories usually include a straw hat/bag, and a hat or bonnet for the outdoors. I also think one could throw in an apron and maybe some nature-themed jewelry. I would even go a step further and associate prairie revival aesthetic with aspects of country lolita.

Because this style is geared toward the outdoors, it's more common to see it in the summer and spring when the weather outside is agreeable toward less layers and lighter clothes. However, taking the country look into the winter is possible. I made some coordinates to illustrate, mainly for classic country, but most of these can apply to sweet styles.
Steps for Country-fying your winter lolita wardrobe:

1. Bundle up!: The Innocent World op has a high neck and long sleeves for warmth, and the jsk feels less opulent because the print is less ornate (no lofty cherubs or princess prints here), making it suitable for country lolita. I've accessorized with thermal leggings and earmuffs, but go a step further and add a cardigan or coat that coordinates well and readies you for being outdoors in the cold. Ruffles and knits seem to go well with country since they look more outdoorsy and opened. Avoid heavy velvets or satins, faux fur is fine. Look for flower or leaf motifs on outerwear and woolen fabrics. Some good examples of cardigans: 1, 2, 3 and of coats (one lightweight, one capelet, and one heavy): 1, 2, 3

2. Keep it on the darker side: While country lolita tends to be airy and lighter, in the winter time you can offset this by choosing darker hues. My example is this Innocent World op in a dusty brown plaid print. Brown is a wonderful color to work with because it's dark but not as harsh as black. Try to use a color palette that matches nature--only nature in the winter, with dark greens, browns, deep pinks and berry reds, and navy blue and white. Avoid bright pastels or neons .

3. Nature is in the accessories: Choose jewelry and hats/bags that relate to the countryside. In the first coordinate I include a straw boater hat with a brown trimmed brim as well as floral earmuffs with a dusty rose print and brown bows. If a straw bag/basket is a too summery, substitute wicker which is stiffer looking and more appropriate. Instead of asking, "what would a Victorian lady wear to a picnic in the country?" ask yourself "what would a country girl during the Victorian era wear for the winter?"

4. Use winter appropriate themes that fit the country style. Floral prints should feature roses, lilies or other winter-blooming flowers. Berry prints (without gingham as it's too summery) are great for the winter season because they fit the festive vibe of the holidays. Avoid prints/fabrics with a shine or metallic effect, as this will detract from the overall nature theme. The jsk or skirt in this second coordinate is a perfect example of a country theme in a winter palette--forest animals munching on a cornucopia of berries and apples.

5. Going out with my boots on: Boots, especially classical granny boots or riding boots, are perfect for bringing country into the winter. They are outdoorsy and weather appropriate. Sweet country lolitas might choose boots with cork bottoms such as these which bring an echo of straw or country grass, or scalloped laced boots like these which recall Victorian style boots. I love the idea of riding boots because it brings to mind horses and being on an old country farm.

6. Let your hair down or wear it in braids. This is pretty standard for country lolita since it is more casual while still maintaining its own unique aesthetic. Over-teased or uber-curled hair is too over-done for a country maiden. If you have frizzy hair, embrace it. Some examples of hairstyles for country lolita: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. If you are of a more Rococo persuasion, you might try to emulate Marie Antoinette's country hairstyles as seen in Sophia Coppola's film (images from The Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes): 1, 2, 3, 4

So those are my tips for taking country lolita into the winter. Hope this was enriching, tata!

2 comments/comment?:

Himemiya said...

I would totally wear the first set like, every day. I love floral muted things!

Miss Lumpy said...

Oh, I love both of those! This is such a great idea- I love country lolita, but I feel like I can only wear it in the summer. I'll definitely take some of these tips into account next time I try it out for cool weather!