Going through the first issue of the Gothic and Lolita Bible got me thinking about trends in my own wardrobe. If an anthropologist were to go through my lolita coordinate snaps, what kinds of trends would they see? I decided to look at a snapshot from the first 8 months of 2021 and look at the accessories that I used in my coordinate photos.
For the purposes of this experiment, I defined an accessory as “not a main piece, shoes, blouse, or socks.” Necklaces, bracelets, rings, headwear, brooches, and more all fall into this category. While I’ve definitely worn my pieces more casually at other times, I count 15 coordinates that I’ve actually photographed. My accessory count for 15 coordinate was 45 accessories.
I was surprised as I looked at photos how few accessories I wore sometimes! Dresses with interesting necklines, for example, didn’t get a necklace. Same for blouses with interesting collars. Brooches in general got lots of wear, although I was pleased to see that I had the most variety in the pins I wore. There was only one pin I wore more than once!
So what trends did I see? I had three items that were clear winners.
There were 7 items that were worn twice in my coordinates. They included a red wool beret, a straw floral hat (a gift from a thoughtful friend), pins from Lulu Vanhoagland, headdress from Paradise Rose, thrifted fake collars from Depop, wrist cuffs from Kira Kira Kawaii, and a mirror necklace from a gift exchange.
Some of these weren’t very surprising to me. If I need a long necklace, my mirror necklace is a handy piece that works in my classic coordinates. Likewise, Lulu Vanhoagland’s enamel pins add the perfect mix of melancholy and cute for any lolita who wants to cut the sweetness a little.
#2. Three strand pearl bracelet from Wax Poetic (3 wears)
Wax Poetic’s classic style is really similar to mine. So when I politely (read: annoyingly) asked if she’d ever considered making bracelets, I knew I’d love whatever she came up with. This bracelet has been a favorite since I got it. I also have it in black!
#2. Wide brim straw hat from Wheat Goddess (aka the Ren Faire Hat) (3 wears)
Long before I knew what j-fashion was, I was playing dress up at the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire. I’ve built up a sizable ren faire wardrobe, but this practical, gorgeous hats was one of my first purchases. It seems unbelievably expensive at the time, but I’ve never regretted it! I swap out the ribbons to match my outfits. Plus, it’s perfect for outings in the summer when shade is scarce.
#1. Plastic bracelet set from Aliexpress (5 wears)
When I was first beginning my lolita journey, I seriously hated wrist cuffs. I knew I needed something for my budding wardrobe, so I found a set of 6-7 plastic stretchy bracelets on Aliexpress for cheap. They’ve proven invaluable as easy to wear additions to my coordinates. They look cute on their own or stacked up together.