This post is in collaboration with PGLC’s Education Series on Facebook which covers the basic elements of Lolita Fashion.
Putting your best foot forward begins with proper legwear. Matching colors is just the beginning of the adventure – different styles of shoes and hosiery will make a major difference in the overall look, and so it is important that everything comes together.
In this post, I will be comparing versions of the same base coordinate. These are the riddles of my wardrobe; combinations formed around the spark of an idea that didn’t quite work the first try, refined over time and after much thought. I would not say that these are perfect, they could probably be built on for future coordinates; but the differences from the early versions are still considerable.
- Alarice (low heel vs. high heel)
- Maiya (2016 vs. 2017)
- Chihiro (2016 vs. 2017)
- Yuu (2016 vs. 2017)
For the coordinate on the left, we did an outdoor shoot with photographer Levi Risholm. I wore low-heeled shoes and breathable leg wear: close-weave fishnet tights. In retrospect, I should have prepared band-aids for my ankle as I got a slight blister from the chafing, but the shoes themselves held up well walking around the park.
The coordinate on the right looks much more polished, just by changing out the shoes. Even though the blue flats were a near-exact match for the blue JSK, the brown heels are more elegant. However, this would have been totally impractical for an outdoor shoot. I would probably have sunk in the soft grass.
Here is another wa coordinate that needed a couple of takes. The first picture on the left uses BL’s knee-high boots; they are a good color match, but they take the focus away from the rest of the coordinate. They look too ‘busy’. This coordinate frustrated me more than any of the others in this post, because the balance is so off. A consequence of last-minute shoots…
The second picture features RHS; an echo of the thick wooden base of traditional zori and geta. They add a touch of color without detracting from the bright colors of the yukata.
Wa is actually really difficult to coordinate when it comes to shoes. I personally dislike the look of zori and geta in Wa-lolita because the split toe reminds me of flip-flops. In addition, most lolita socks weren’t made to accomodate the split, so they tend to get wrinkled. Boots are popular footwear with hakama, and they are also good for Wa; however these H&M short boots are just a bit too short when paired with a skirt that falls above the knee. Instead of adding height, they make my legs appear shorter, with the leg appearing to ‘stop’ above the ankle. With a slightly longer skirt, these would have been alright.
The coordinate on the right features lace tights with a vertical design going down the front of the leg, and a classic mary jane with a low heel and no platform. They have about the same heel height, but the mary jane seems to lengthen the leg because it is more low cut than the boot. Even with the ankle strap, the mary jane creates a visual line down to the base of the toes.
Almost nailed it the first time! Brown normally goes well with green, but in this case the brown OTKs seem almost dreary. The flash of red from the shoes seems to be floating at the end of a long mass of brown; not a nice effect.
By changing the brown socks for off-white, the entire coordinate looks much brighter and more cohesive. The same red shoes now tie in properly with the red skirt; the rubberized plastic material is very modern, but it works for the coordinate.