Victorian Maiden, I Love You, But

I was browsing through different brand sites, looking to see if there are any new releases and I saw a very beautiful lolita dress.

I think it's a really nice dress, however, I can't shake the feeling that I've seen the print somewhere before..

Aha! I'm sure many people are familiar with this Bodyline dress. I sort of like it myself, and would have bought it already if it wasn't for the halterneckness (is that a word? Well, it is now. You saw it here first!). The print is very similar, if not, exactly the same as the new release by VM. The difference?

Okay, it's really obvious that they're completely different dresses in terms of construction, and it's likely that VM's fabric quality is of much higher quality. I know that a lot of brands just buy fabric instead of designing every square millimetre of their clothing. It makes me wonder though, do brands ever bother to check what their competition is stocking? Perhaps they did, and said "Hey! That's a nice print! Let's do it our way!" and to be fair, the VM one IS more appealing.

I'd love to see if the Bodyline dress could be reconstructed, and I'd try it if I could. Is there enough fabric? Hehey, there's one way to find out!

To an untrained eye the dresses COULD be mistaken for each other, and it would be sickening to have a dress mistaken for something that cost less than a return ticket to the capital.

At the same time...

(Hey! I forgot to wish you all a Merry Christmas! *headdesk*. Hope you all got nice things! I'll probably make a New Years post, if I'm not busy with general merriment.)


Ask Miss Caro-chan: Mature Elegance For Curvy Girls

Today's Ask Miss Caro-chan, comes from a woman named V. V asks:
Hello there!

I was wondering if you could help me? I love the whole lolita/quaintrelle look but I'm a UK size 16 (I think that might be a US 14?) and veeerrry curvy (i.e. largish boobs and a small waist with an epic hips-and-bum combination!) I'm also 23 now, so I'm coming to it quite late and don't want to go too sweet.

I'm interested in a slightly more classy, adult look that is flattering for an older, larger girl. Do you have any advice on how I could include lolita qualities in my everyday dress without looking like a huge, pastel-coloured, frilly child-doll!

First of all, you might want to check out my Everyday Elegance post, which is directed at someone just getting into Lolita who is looking to start dressing more elegantly. I must admit that I am not too familiar with the Quaintrelle, correct me if I am wrong, but it is a rather romantic and old fashioned approach to life and dressing? If you are not necessarily going to go for a straight up Lolita approach, you can easily find beautiful clothes that have a very romantic look to them but aren't ruffly and pink. Pair a fluttery top that has a flattering cut with a swishy skirt, wear a very light petticoat, not so much to give it poof, but to keep it from being clingy. Use accessories, such as elegant bracelets, chandelier earrings, pretty rings, and Victorian inspired evening bags to make the outfit romantic.

If you are planning on trying to get into Lolita, without looking like a pink cupcake, try one of the more mature styles such as Classic Lolita or even Gothic Lolita with cheap black cotton. The muted colors in Classic Lolita, and the basic black and cleaner lines of Gothic Lolita are not as childish as pastels, and are even more accepted in mainstream fashion for anyone over the age of 8. Many Classic Lolita dresses, especially A-line and ones that don't require lots of poof, can get away with being worn to "normal" social functions, such as weddings, company parties, and whatever other "grown-up" things you have to bother with.

Now, onto the matter of your hourglass figure. I personally think that an hourglass figure is one of the most flattering figures to have in Lolita. Mainly because a defined waist and X-shape (that is poofy sleeves, tailored waist, and fluffy skirt) is what often makes the Lolita silhouette so special. Combine that with a womanly figure and it can just look so classy and timeless! You don't always have to be a willowy little waif of a girl to pull off the style. You might want to check out the Lolita community for plus-sized Lolitas, EGL_Plus, or even my friend Rayray's blog, Part Time Lolita, as she is a plus-sized Lolita and occasionally posts about it. In fact, for a more expanded post about plus sized tips, check out the post she did on the subject.

Tips for hourglass shaped Lolitas
Don't worry so much about your hips and bum. Lolita skirts and dresses are meant to flare out at your natural waist, so even if you've got a bit more going on in your hips and bum than you would like, the poofy Lolita skirt, even if they are A-lined or don't have a lot of poof, is going to hide that.
Avoid underbust dresses and empire waists. Underbust dresses and JSKs are just going to over-emphasize your bust, and empire waists simply will hide your hourglass figure completely.
Avoid an overly ruffly top. Lots of ruffles on your chest is just going to make it look larger than it really is.
Don't overstretch shirring. If you are going for brand dresses, and you're very busty, you're probably only going to be able to fit into a fully shirred dress. But don't think that just because a dress can stretch to nearly 50 inches that it's going to look good on you. It's called a boobloaf, ladies, avoid it. Avoid wearing things that gives you anything that can be described with the word "loaf" XD

Make sure things fit nicely around your waist. Make sure that the waist on a dress does not fall above your natural waist, is too tight, or loose and wrinkly. If you're a bit iffy about the shape of your waist, and want a Lolita/Victorian feel right down to your underwear, you might want to invest in a steel boned corset, check out my old post on corsets. Or, if you're looking for something less expensive and less extreme, look for modern alternatives, such as shapewear designed to smooth out your tummy.

Not all Lolita dresses have to look like a lace and bow and tulle encrusted pink cupcake. There are many Lolita dresses that are more inspired by Victorian elegance than hyperactive kawaiiness. The following dresses are from a variety of brands, Innocent World, Mary Magdalene, Victorian Maiden, and a few other classic brands. If you are of a larger size, you're most likely not going to fit into the actual brand dresses, as Classic Lolita brands tend to be absolutely tiny, but they are great inspiration for when it comes time to commission something, or simply to keep in mind when window shopping.


Ask Miss Caro-chan: Lolita Styles for Short Hair & A Peek At What I've Been Up To

Today's Ask Miss Caro-chan comes from Enichan. She asks:Hi! I was wondering if you had any tips for lolitas with short hair. I recently got my hair cut pretty damn short, and while it kind of works as is to create a more androgynous look, I'd like to have a few more options. I just can't really think of much to do with it.This is not exactly a subject I am well versed on, as my hair is very long, but I'll do my best! Well, first of all, there is the  obvious and nearly limitless choice of wigs and hair clips. With short hair it wouldn't be hard to tuck your hair under a wig cap and plop down the wig of your choice on top of your head. This way you have near limitless color options and styles that you really don't have to worry about.

Look at the Best Seller Pink Short Sleeves Bow Cotton Sweet Lolita Dress. If your hair is long enough to pull into pigtails or a ponytail, you could skip the full wig and just buy a ponytail fall in a color to match you hair and have instant long hair in perfect curls that you can take off whenever you want. Of course, there are down sides to wigs, nice ones can be expensive, they can be a pain to store, they get hot, and maybe you just don't want to deal with actually having to wear one. In that case, there are still many things you can do with your own hair.If your hair is very short, too short to style or even pull together into a tiny tuft of a pigtail, your best option is to decorate! Wear a head piece, add some clips to your hair, or even consider wearing a full-sized hat. A cute beret perched at an angle above a pixie cut looks adorable! Very short hair cuts can look really cute with Lolita. Here's a post on EGL of girls showing off their short hair cuts with their frills.If you have slightly longer hair you have even more options. Personally, I think that one of the cutest styles to wear with Lolita is the bob. If you have a bob you don't even need to consider styling it, just put on your favorite hair bow and fluff it up a little bit and you've got perfect hair!  If your hair is long enough to style you could always do a sort of mini updo, keep your bangs straight (assuming you have bangs!) and curl the rest of your hair so it's nice and poodley and then pin it up and add some accessories to it.Because many Lolitas are bit more comfortable and confident doing something if the Bibles have proved that it can be done, here's a selection of short hair styles from the Gothic & Lolita Bibles that are used in a variety of different kinds of Lolita.

If you want something a little different, try a look from the past, like pin curls. They might take some practice doing, and you might even need a friend to help you, but they give beautiful results, especially with very short hair. Here's a great tutorial on how to do them on short hair. If you are interested in other kinds of curls for short hair, check out finger waves, they were a hair style popular in the 20's and 30's.


Ask Miss Caro-chan: Lolita Styles For Warm Weather

Today's Ask Miss Caro-chan comes from Haruko, who asks:

    What would you recommend for a summer lolita look. Where I live it's hot most of the year, and a lolita coord with so many layers can be pretty uncomfortable, and even not worth the cuteness :(

Summer is often the worst season for wearing Lolita. True, it's lovely and beautiful out, but Lolita just has so many layers that it's usually just too hot to bother with. If you are hard core about dressing up in your finest frills the most you can do is just deal with the heat, but if you just don't want to bother, there are some things you can do to make a Lolita outfit a bit more bearable in the heat of summer.

    Loose some layers. Start from the inside out. It can be something as simple as just not wearing bloomers, but you can keep going from there and loose the blouse and just wear a JSK, and then loose the socks or tights. If you are scared of committing a Lolita faux pas by going blouseless under a JSK, don't worry about it! Going blouseless is usually seen as OK nowadays, and a lot of Lolita brands even make halter styled tops in the summer that are meant to be worn without a blouse under them.
    Use protection. From the sun that is! Carry a parasol or wear a large brimmed hat to keep a patch of nice cool shade wherever you go. Don't forget to wear some sunscreen too.

    Wear open toed shoes. If you're not wearing socks, of course. Try a pair of summery platform or heeled sandals in a matching color.
    Go easy on your hair. You're probably not going to want to use a whole bottle of hair spray in the heat of summer, or worse yet, a wig. Wear your hair either down and loose, with maybe a bit of a wave to it, or up in something very simple like curled pigtails. In addition to keeping your hair light and simple, wear an easy head piece. In the heat of summer you're not going to want to wear a big square headdress that just makes your head hot, instead go for a simple headband with a flower or a bow on it.
    Wear lightweight fabrics. Put your velvets away for a few months and start wearing lightweight cotton, the breezier the better. If you still want to wear blouses under your JSKs, it's a good idea to find some very lightweight blouses to wear in the summer. If they are a little bit see-through it's not really going to be that big of a deal because you're going to be wearing them under a JSK.
    Wear cutsews. If you wear skirts more than JSKs, invest in some cutsews. They are much less stuffy feeling than button-up blouses, and the fabric usually breaths better.
    Dress for the season. Wear a lot of light pastels, or look for prints that feel summery to you. Welcome to visit ocrun.com and you get more lolita dresses.


How to Wear Lolita Everyday

As I have mentioned before, I wear Lolita nearly every day. I don't really consider myself a Lifestyle Lolita, and yet, I live my life in it, I like to consider this an Everyday Lolita. I don't always deck myself out in show-stopping get-the-most-photos-at-a-meetup Lolita though, I've managed to find a nice medium between going all-out and casual Lolita. The best part of being an Everyday Lolita is that there are enough days in a year to experiment with going from one extreme to another and playing with the different Lolita styles.

Finding the time to wear Lolita When people who don't know me in real life learn that I wear Lolita nearly every day, the first question they often ask is "How?! Do you have a job where you can wear Lolita?!" I would actually never in a million years be able to wear Lolita to work, so what do I do? The answer is ridiculously simple and sort of a no-brainer: I change my clothes. I am not going to hang around all day in my work clothes, and it's not very often that I will go straight from work to PJs, so I change into my Lolita clothes when I get home.The Black Cotton Gothic Lolita Dress is my best choice.

It might be a little frivolous, but Lolita is a frivolous fashion. As silly as it sounds it makes me happy to spend the extra few minutes a day to change into something I really enjoy wearing, even if I only plan on wearing it for a handful of hours.

For those of you that can get a little fancier at work, but can't go all-out Lolita, consider wearing a few accessories or even more mature styled Lolita blouses. Even something like carrying a Lolita purse or wearing a piece of jewelery from your favorite brand is enough to make you feel like you're wearing a little bit of Lolita, even when you absolutely cannot.

If you are the kind of person who gets out of work/school and hops straight into a pair of PJs, consider investing in a couple PJs that are more on the Lolita side of things, or even some cute and frilly roomwear.

Some tips for wearing the frills every dayYou can, of course, just go all out every day, but that usually takes a ton of effort, time, and a pretty epic wardrobe, which most of us don't have. Realistically, wearing Lolita everyday usually means you need a few shortcuts and modifications on the "usual" Lolita look. Find what works best for you, for your budget and your schedule. If you have the resources to go all out every day, by all means do so! But if you find that it's too much of a hassle and you want a more wearable Everyday Lolita style, check out some of these tips, which have made it possible for me to wear Lolita nearly everyday for several years now!
You're going to need a lot of foundation pieces- The most important foundation pieces, I think, for wearing Lolita every day is a couple petticoats that just don't deflate, and a ton of different socks or tights. Several pairs of longer bloomers are also pretty handy if you don't want to be washing petticoats every day. I cannot stress how many pairs of socks or tights you're going to need, unless you live somewhere that's just too hot for socks, you're going to need quite a few pairs. If you're like me, you're probably going to need even more than that because you're constantly losing them. Luckily, you don't actually need to have 2 dozen pairs of $30 brand socks, basic offbrand socks are going to be a million times more versatile and so much cheaper. Just start stocking up on OTKs and tights when you find them for a good price in basic colors that go with just about anything in your wardrobe (generally white, off-white, or black) and you'll soon find you have plenty of socks.
Have at least one pair of shoes and one purse that matches just about everything- Having perfectly matching accessories, maybe a bunny purse paired with a bunny print dress and a pair of shoes in the exact same shade of pink as the bunny's heart-shaped spots, is a Lolita's dream, but it's just not practical for wearing everyday. Of course, you can still have these things for meetups or days you just feel like going all-out, but for everyday wear you're probably going to want something you can put on without a whole lot of thinking about and something that's going to match just about anything in your wardrobe. A pair of comfortable style-neutral shoes (if you wear several styles, that is!) and a style-neutral purse that's large enough to fit your everyday items in, in a base color that matches most of your wardrobe are both vital pieces for the Everyday Lolita's wardrobe. For my own wardrobe, my go-to pair of shoes are a pair of black tea party shoes and a black h.NAOTO purse. The shoes are super comfy and I can walk all day in them, and the purse is large enough to fit all my stuff in and matches most of my usual wardrobe.
Cutsews are very useful- I love cutsews! I practically live in h.NAOTO cutsews. They're so much more comfortable and less stuffy than button ups, you can also just toss them in the washer and dryer and not have to worry about them so much. They can be dressed up with accessories and jackets or dressed down by just wearing them plain.
Look for pieces that have detachable parts or are convertible- Pieces with detachable sleeves, removable bust pieces, detachable collars, giant detachable bows, removable skirt ruffles and whatever else can be mixed and matched up a bit are a lifesaver in an Everyday Lolita wardrobe because they mean you can have more looks with less actual pieces.
Don't be afraid to be Lolitaesque- I talked a bit about the idea of Lolitaesque in this post, and mentioned how it has really helped me add a bit of interest to my everyday style. Even Lolita, when worn everyday, can get a little bit boring, so it's nice to be able to wear something that still has the same aesthetic as Lolita, but is more versatile and just plain ol' a little bit different. Consider other fashions that have a lot of Lolita overlap such as Fairy Kei, Aristocrat, Dolly Kei, Mori girl, Victorian Goth, or even Hime-Gyaru that can add a bit of something different to your wardrobe and still mix and match it with Lolita. Or even take a look at some of the "non-standard" Lolita pieces that various brands have put out, such as the various fishtail skirts, full-length dresses, A-line dresses, or casual cutsew dresses for inspiration on how to include some frills to your day-to-day wardrobe without wearing the usual Lolita.
Don't be afraid to leave out some of the basics- If you're going to wear Lolita everyday, you're probably going to have some lazy days where wearing full Lolita just isn't practical. If you don't feel like wearing a button-up blouse with a JSK, don't bother. If it's just too hot for socks, screw 'em. Invest in a few dresses or JSKs that can be slipped on and worn as is. Find a couple good dresses that can double as a lazy day house dress and a "throw a cardigan over it and slip on a pair of cute shoes" out-and-about dress. For inspiration, check out some dresses and coordinates by Otome brands such as Emily Temple Cute.
Learn to deal with standing out in public- Learning to wear Lolita in public is a huge hurdle that some people who want to wear Lolita everyday have to get past, but a very important one. If you plan on wearing Lolita on a daily basis, you're going to have to get used to people's reactions to it. If you want to read a bit more about dealing with wearing Lolita in public, check out this post on just that!
Learn how to wash Lolita clothes at home- Knowing how to take care of Lolita clothes at home is very important if you're going to be wearing them on a regular basis. Check out this post for some tips and tricks when it comes to washing your Lolita.
I've been interested in Lolita for a pretty long time, and it actually took me several years to get to wearing Lolita on a daily basis. It took me quite a while to work up a large and workable wardrobe, and it took me a while to even just work up the nerve to start wearing it from day-to-day. But, this is just me. An Everyday Lolita wardrobe can be made much more compact than mine is, especially if you're dedicated to keeping up on laundry (which I am certainly not) and aren't afraid to step outside of the rules sometimes.

The new year is just a few hours away, and I know that every year, many Lolita's new year's resolution is to wear Lolita more often, and to even wear it everyday. It's not impossible to do so, if you are a bit creative when it comes to making the most out of your wardrobe and if you aren't afraid of a little bit of dedication.

Do you have any Lolita wardrobe specific resolutions for the new year? In 2012 I hope to wear more Classic Lolita and to add more lush antique details to my outfits, a sort of Dolly Kei inspiration to my outfits, and to have less lazy day outfits. Currently, my lazy day outfits typically include an h.NAOTO cutsew and a plain black skirt, which is awesome for a lazy day but not so awesome for... 5 days a week. Back in October I talked about a wardrobe makeover that I'm actually still working on, and getting rid of so many lazy day outfits is something I've been having a bit of difficulty doing. In addition to adding more Classic Lolita to my day-to-day wardrobe, I'd love to finish my wardrobe makeover within the first few months of the new year!


Lolita Challenge Day Three

1. I hate red- This is actually just a joke between my friends and I. Red happens to be my least favorite colour so sometimes my friends will ask me "How do you feel about red?" and I'll say, in a pouty valley girl voice, "I hate red!". I only dislike fire engine red though, I love wine colour!
 2. Bobs with ponytails- I don't get those wigs that have long, full, curly clip on ponytails but just a bob hair cut for a base. They look so funky from the back.
3. Unlucky packs- I love lucky packs because you get a lot of value for your money but I really dislike when brands put really awful stuff in there. Most of the time you get a decent haul but sometimes you get a monstrous collection!
4. When things wear out- I understand the concept of wear and tear but I really dislike items breaking when you pay so much money for them. Recently a pair of my Putumayo socks got a hole in the toe and I was like "oh hell no!". I sewed them so, so hardcore, like three times better than they probably needed to be sewn.
5. Prints growing on you- I often have this problem. I'll see a print that is up for reserve on a brand website but I won't think too much of it. When the reserves are closed and I see what the dress looks like on people I often fall in love with it, it's so obnoxious because by that time there's no way to buy the item.
6. Sold out items- Brands stock a ridiculously low amount of dresses. I understand why they do it but it makes buying clothing really stressful. I wish they would restock items like mainstream stores.
7. Massive head eating bows- The really, really, unnecessarily large ones just don't flatter anyone. If it's bigger than my skull I'm not going to wear it.
8. Wearing different socks/shoes- I guess it's an OTT trend to wear different coloured shoes and socks but I'm really not a fan of the look. Look at the 0.35inch High Heel 0.2inch Platform Pink PU Lolita Shoes and I like the shoes very much.

9. Photoshoots at meetups- When I go to a meet up I like to take photos but I really am not comfortable with full on photoshoots. If I'm going to have professional pictures taken of me I don't want it to be right after I've finished roller skating or eating!
10. Weird material- Bodyline does this a lot. They make really cute designs but choose to use the strangest material ever. Their latest blouses are so lovely but they're all made of polyester!
Bonus: I really didn't like making this list, I don't like to dwell on negative things!


How To Clean Lolita Clothes At Home

Look at the 2012 Pink Puff Sleeves Cotton Sweet Lolita Dress, which is very sweet and beautiful dress. Welcome to visit ocrun.com. If the dress is dirty, it will boring for some people to washing it. I often hear people saying things along the lines of "For the price of brand, I should be able to just throw it in the washer!" which is just a ridiculous to say, often times high priced clothing needs special care when it comes to washing or, truth be told, they will get ruined. So, this post is about the various ways to clean and care for your Lolita clothes, keeping them looking as new as possible. Of course, each clothing piece may require a completely different cleaning techniques depending on fabric, trims, and even just varying from brand to brand and from piece to piece. I can't guarantee that these tips will work perfectly on every piece, but they are all a lot safer than just throwing it in the washer and dryer.How often should you wash Lolita clothes?This question has a few different answers depending upon who you ask, or which piece you are talking about, but my answer to this question is: as rarely as possible.

Most Lolita pieces are not going to spend much time against your skin, you're going to have petticoats and bloomers and other blouses and probably even undershirts between your main Lolita pieces and your skin. So long as you aren't wearing all those layers on a 90 degree summer day, you're not going to be getting as much sweat on your Lolita as you would on, say, a tee shirt. After you are done wearing your Lolita clothes, inspect them for spots that need to be cleaned, if any, and clean those spots up with a damp washcloth with a little bit of detergent, rub it on the spot and blot up the excess moisture, do this a few times until the spot is clean. Try using a Tide To Go pen if you have one, it tends to be quicker and easier. After that hang your clothes up. This is very important because it helps air them out, and often times simply airing your clothes out will help with any smells on them, either from being places with a strong smell, perfumes, or just the regular smell of your own skin. Keep one of those little scented drawer sachets around the hanger if you are extra worried about any smells. If you follow these simple steps you can keep an item of clothing looking and smelling like it's new for a long time before you absolutely need to wash it.General washing and wear tipsFirst of all, if you haven't gathered this yet from the intro, never just throw your clothes in the washer and dryer! While you should never put your Lolita in the dryer, especially if it has cotton lace on it, some pieces you can wash in the washer, but you should use gentle detergent, on the gentle cycle, in cold water. Also, you need to make sure you don't load up your washer with a bunch of stuff, especially not towels because they tend to get fuzzies all over your clothes that are hard to get off. Wash only a small amount of clothes at a time, and before you put them in be sure to take off all detachable things such as bows, lace up ribbons, charms, and anything else that you can take off. If you have something that laces up through some delicate lace, be sure to take that out because it can get caught on other things as it's going for a tumble and rip the lace. Bows, if they are very heavy, can also get pulled off and rip the fabric, you also may run the risk of the pin on the back rusting. Chains and charms should never be washed because they will nearly always break. Clothing should also be turned inside out before you wash it, because the piece will fade slightly with each wash and this way it ensures that most of the fading will happen to the inside. Once it's done you should hang it up somewhere out of direct sunlight to dry. Usually a washer gets most of the excess water out of clothing so you can often hang up pieces to dry inside.If you have a clothing item that was both very cheap and has no cotton lace on it (dryers make cotton lace shrink, shrivel, and get fuzzy), you can, technically, put it in the dyer, but don't keep it in there until it's toasty and warm, put it in for only about half the time you normally would and then hang it up to finish drying somewhere. I use this for a few pieces that are "throw-away" (I hate that term though!) pieces from Bodyline, pieces that typically only cost me about $15 or a few dresses that I consider house dresses.If you have the time, you should seriously consider hand washing your pieces, it's much more gentle on the fabrics and the trims.

If you plan to hand wash, first remove all the bows and ribbons and flip the piece inside out, just as above, then fill up either a clean sink, bathtub, or bucket (don't spray them down with bleach to clean them before hand! Just wipe it down with some soap and water!) with some cold water and add a little bit of gentle washing detergent. Swish the detergent around to get some bubbles and then add your clothes. Swish them around a bit until they are completely wet and soapy and then gently scrub at any areas you think need to be cleaned, such as the armpits or hems. When you feel like it's clean enough take the pieces out and gently squeeze the water out. Don't wring the clothes! Just squeeze gently and then put them somewhere to drip dry. Remember that a whole lot of water is going to drip off a hand washed piece, no matter how good you think you got the water out, so hang it up in a shower or over a tiled floor with a whole lot of towels under it.

How to make sure you don't ruin your printed pieces.Prints are a very touchy thing to clean. Some prints simply can't get wet! If you own a print, especially a rare and expensive one, check out this list on EGL that is a pretty in depth print list that lets you know how you can wash certain prints and what prints you simply can't get wet. If your print is not on the list, or has conflicting reviews, test a small spot somewhere hidden, such as on the back of a bow or near wear the knots in a waist tie would go. Test it by wetting a small spot and rubbing it a bit, let it dry completely and then checking to see if it bled at all. If the print looks sort of fuzzy and the whites look dimmer, beware! You now are the unlucky owner of a print you can't get wet.So, what now that you know you can't get your dress wet? Well, the first thing you need to do is to avoid the rain! Secondly, you might want to rethink how you wear it, if it's a piece you normally wear all the time, consider only wearing it to special occasions, so it gets dirty less frequently and you have less chance of spilling a whole glass of water on it or getting caught in the rain on your way home from the grocery store. When the time comes to clean it you should stick to very carefully spot cleaning it and airing the piece out.Caring for velvetsFirst of all, you should be careful when you wear velvets, because if you are wearing something that rubs up against it too much you can easily rub the plush right off the velvet so you end up with bald spots! Avoid wearing tight coats over velvet, be careful where you put your elbows if you have a long sleeved velvet piece (I have a velvet jacket from high school that I rubbed the elbows bald from putting them on tables!), be careful about putting your purse over your shoulder, and just generally be aware of what is happening to your velvet pieces.When it comes time to wash your velvet, don't put it in the washer or dryer, because it will more often than not, ruin the nap of the velvet. Instead you should practice very gently spot cleaning it and hanging it up to air out.If you need to get wrinkles out of your velvet, you can't iron it. If you have very slight wrinkles, try hanging it up in a steamy bathroom (this works well for other lightly wrinkled pieces too), usually this is enough to get the wrinkles out. If it is very heavily wrinkled try steaming it, either with a steamer or by setting an iron to steam and holding it above the velvet. Don't press down on the velvet with the iron, as it can ruin the nap of the velvet by pressing it down.Cleaning fake furThere are a number of Lolita pieces that are made with fake fur, ranging from trims to stuffed animal purses, to accessories. If you spill something on fake fur you should stick to gently spot cleaning the area. If the piece is very dirty there are a couple of things you can do, you can either put the piece in a pillowcase, tie the top of the case, and then put it in the washer on gentle and then when it's done in there remove it from the case and hang it to dry somewhere. You can also actually dry clean fake fur pieces with cornmeal, but this technique works best for small pieces such as small stuffed animal purses, as you will need a whole lot of cornmeal to cover larger pieces.To clean fake fur with cornmeal you need to place the item you want to clean in a container with a lid and then cover it in cornmeal, put the lid on and shake it up for a few minutes, then leave it to sit overnight. The shaking will help get the cornmeal in all the crevices and help loosen dirt and the cornmeal should soak up any oil in the fur, pulling grime out with it. When you take the piece out, shake out the extra cornmeal and wipe it off with a dry cloth to get any difficult cornmeal off.Cleaning and repairing marks on shoesShoes can very easily be cleaned a number of ways, depending upon the type and color of the shoe. My favorite method of cleaning shoes is Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, or any other kind of generic erasing sponge. I've heard that this only works on white shoes because it contains bleach, but a bit of googling tells me that there is actually no bleach in these, and I have had it work on a variety of different colored shoes. I guess, just like everything you clean, you should just check somewhere unnoticeable on the shoe before you go gung-ho and start scrubbing all over the shoe.You can also buff out scrubs with a little bit of white toothpaste (the abrasive kind, not the gel kind) on a washcloth. Then use a little bit of shoe polish, mineral oil, or even the inner part of a banana peel to make the shoes shiny all over again.Most Lolita shoes are made out of pleather and are prone to the outer layer of the pleather scraping away on really bad scuffs, leaving the inner, grey material visible. If this happens to you the best thing you can do to fix this is use a little bit of nail polish or permanent marker over the area to make it the same color as the shoe. It's not going to have the same texture or be shiny there any more, but this tends to happen to shoes in only a very small area and it will, at least, cover the marks from far away.If bows or other decoration falls off your shoe, or the heel starts to peel away, pick up some 2 part epoxy or E6000 glue and glue it back on. Super glue or any kind of water based glue like craft glue or Elmers just wont work.Cleaning out deodorant stainsEspecially if you wear dark clothes deodorant stains are often a big problem. This can sometimes be fixed by switching deodorants, but, more often than not, is going to happen no matter what. The best you can do to prevent this is to wear an undershirt with short sleeves under your dresses and to wait for your deodorant to completely dry before putting your clothes on. If you still get white stains on your clothes from deodorant you can try a variety of remedies to fix this, but you're going to have to do a bit of experimenting to see what works best for you, and your clothes. Simply scrubbing at the area before you wash it is usually going to help a whole lot. But if there is still some stain left there is a few things you can do, you can either dampen the area with vinegar and let it sit for a while before washing it again, or you can try rubbing the area with a pantyhose. I have no idea what makes it work, but rubbing the deodorant stained area with pantyhose really does work to help get the stain out!Caring for black clothesKeeping black clothes "new black" is the bane of my existence! I have so many black clothes that I try to keep as black as possible. My routine is typically to wash infrequently, doing the spot clean and air dry thing, and when I do wash, always make sure you use cold water, as hot water will leach the dye right out of the piece! Use a cup of vinegar in your first wash to help lock the dye in (don't worry about it smelling like vinegar! Vinegar is a common home remedy for clothing care and the wash will get the smell out). Also buy some special detergent made for dark clothes to further help keep the dye in.Even following these steps, there will come a time when your black clothes simply aren't as black as you would like any more. When this time comes you might want to reconsider redying them. Black dyes are sometimes tricky, as they are usually a very dark brown, or green, or purple, not actually black, so do a bit of research into what brand is the best brand of dye to use when dying something black. Even if it's a little bit more expensive than the $2.99 dyes, you're going to be using it on a very expensive piece of clothing, and honestly I think it's very much worth it to get a dress to look new again.Keeping whites brightThe first thing you should know about keeping whites bright is don't bleach! You shouldn't actually be bleaching any of your clothes besides possibly gym socks. Bleach will just drastically shorten the life of your clothes and it can eat holes in delicate fabrics even after only using it once. Instead, look for some Oxy Clean or try to find some bluing. Many people swear by soaking clothes for a few hours in Oxy Clean to brighten them up. Bluing is also something that has been used to brighten up white clothes for centuries, what it basically is is a very very slight blue dye that is used to cover yellowing in white clothes, making them look brighter.Those are all the tips I can think of for taking care of Lolita clothes! Nearly all of these are ones that I have been using faithfully ever since I started wearing Lolita, but, as I said before, I can't guarantee that they will all work on everything you need to clean or fix. Try a few things out and figure out what works best for your clothes, your budget, and your schedule. Also, check out this post by The Ugly Duckling on caring for your clothes for a few more tips, as we both had the same idea to write about the same thing around the same time, she just beat me to it!What do you do with your wardrobe? Do you meticulously hand wash everything? Just throw it in the washer? Or send it all to the dry cleaners and let someone else deal with it? Have you ever had any major laundry catastrophes? I actually managed to ruin one of my first printed pieces because I had no idea at the time that some things couldn't be washed! It was an older Metamorphose print, Sweets Collection, that I tossed in the washer and it came out fuzzy and the lace sort of greyish! That had since scared me into very carefully washing all of my Lolita clothes.