Spotlight: Storage and Curation (Part 2)

Spotlight 11-2: Mariieeeeeeeeee Kondoooooooooo (Part 1 here)

You got to see the pastel side of the lolita closet last time, so here’s the jewel toned side! ❤

Welcome to the second part of Mukashi no Sewing’s eleventh spotlight! Today I wanted to talk a little bit about how and why I curate my collections. This post ended up being SUPER long, so I’ve split it into three sections that will come out over the next few weeks! 🙂

If you have endless amounts of money and storage space, I suppose you probably don’t need to worry about curation (but maybe you could call me? LOL). I have neither, however, so I need to make very real decisions about what stays in my collection and what is allowed to join it. Curation of one’s belongings is an intensely personal subject, so as I get started I just want to put forth the disclaimer that all of this is solely my own process for my own situation. Descriptive, not prescriptive! I’m not here to judge how much someone else owns or why, just to share my thoughts on my clothing collections and how I keep them curated in a way that works for me. ❤

Sailor Marine Kitten, my love! (Angelic Pretty, 2022). Shoutout to Mint Kismet Shopping for braving the Osaka crowds to get it for me!

This first curation post will focus on my lolita collection, since that’s what I started with in the storage post! As of the original publication of this post, I own 45 dresses. (I’m just going to discuss “main” pieces like dresses here rather than including blouses, shoes, wigs, etc – but the general strategy holds!) Just over half (23) are from my favorite brand Angelic Pretty, and the rest run the gamut of other major Japanese brands as well as indie brands from Japan, China, and the West.

The Wedding of Mrs. Fox, by Chinese indie brand Heaven Iris
Nightmare Rising, by Australian indie brand Rouge Aerie Designs

First and foremost among my requirements is the dress has to fit me and suit my body type. I happen to be at a weight that is healthy and comfortable for my body and have maintained it for years, so there’s no chance of “someday” fitting a dress that’s a few centimeters too small for me. I also know there are styles of dress that don’t suit me (looking at you, Empire waist and A-line cuts), so no matter how gorgeous the dress if it’s in one of those styles I won’t purchase it!

Oh how I wish this dress cut looked good on me… (Vampire Requiem Long JSK by AatP/BtSSB, 2009)

When it comes to the print/design, I force myself to be extremely picky. I love Marie Kondo’s philosophy that to keep a thing it must spark joy. With so many dresses in my wardrobe, I need to wear lolita about once a week just to wear each dress once a year, so if I reach the last quarter of the year and am dreading having to coordinate a dress just to hit my goal of wearing it then it’s probably time to let it go. Below are examples of a dress I kept (Castle Mirage) vs a dress I’m selling (Moonlit Walk). Both have similar themes and are even similar colors! They’re both synthetic fabrics, as well. Castle Mirage, however, is much easier for me to coordinate – I own blouses/accessories in many colors that go well with it, compared to Moonlit Walk for which I really only have black. Additionally, Castle Mirage has full shirring across the back, making it very comfortable to wear, whereas Moonlit Walk only has a partial back shirring panel and is more constricting. They’re both gorgeous! But considering they’re so similar, it made sense to only keep the one that’s easier and more comfortable to wear.

Finally, I think about color – if I’m buying yet another strawberry dress (LOL), it needs to be substantially different from something I already own – typically, a different colorway. However, it also needs to be in a color that my wardrobe generally supports – in other words, I need to already own blouses, shoes, and accessories that match. My one green dress is awesome, but there are a limited number of things I can wear with it because I’m not going to buy a ton more accessories in green. There’s always room for one more pink dress, though… 😀

The percentage of each color in my current wardrobe. Charts are fun! 😀

One of the hardest things to learn with lolita for me has been how to distinguish between “things that look good on the rack/model” vs “things that I will actually wear.” There are SO many beautiful dresses out there, and it’s easy to covet them even if they wouldn’t suit me or my wardrobe. It can also be hard to sell dresses like that once acquired – but I try to focus on appreciating that they’ll be going to a good new home where they’ll actually be worn! I do the full Marie Kondo when evaluating clothes — I pull everything out, and touch it, and even try things on, and it really is surprisingly helpful. I have learned that I can appreciate a garment objectively, but know that it’s not right for me! Besides Marie Kondo’s book, I can also highly recommend The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees if you have an interest in further exploring curating your wardrobe.

If you’d like to see my whole lolita wardrobe, you can find it here!

I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a peek into how I curate my lolita wardrobe! The next post in this series will discuss my kimono collection and how I manage an entirely different style of clothing – I look forward to seeing you again for it soon here on Mukashi no Sewing! ❤

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