I always have trouble putting together a wa-lolita outfit, but I'm almost happy with this one! The obi is annoyingly bunched up in this photo, rrrrgh that I didn't notice it while it was being taken, and that brolly tooo-talll-yyy does not match the colours of my dress! Er, it was raining, that's why brolly. :D
I don't assume I'm a specialist in this or anything, but here's a little list of things I've noticed during all those times I wore wa-lolita.
#1. The quality. Wa is the style that looks five times cheaper than what you bought it for, in case you bought it for cheap to begin with. Materials mean everything and you really can't be excused a lace monster here. It's a showy style so it's better to go for toned down but high quality.
My dress was made by the ever so talented Tian Shi, who I introduced in this entry and that is all the proof you need for level 9000 quality!
Front view! :D Judging by my legs I just sort of turned on the spot.
#2. Shoes don't need to be geta. In fact, they probably shouldn't. Most geta are meant to be worn without socks, especially the cheap type that is most commonly seen. There are exceptions to this rule, but even so geta are slippery and trying to wear them with socks makes that even worse. It's the skin contact that really helps keep geta in your feet while you're running downhill on cobblestones after the last bus of the day, but bare toes are still a huge no-no in lolita.
Earlier on the fashion stated clunky boots were A OK in wa, but that opinion has changed. And why not? They do look like a breach in style and the only reason one would wear them would be to imitate the okobo, tall geta that maiko wear, but the same effect can be achieved with safer options. The easy answer is clunky/platform shoes or Rocking Horses. They go well with most wa styles and give the bottom of the outfit some much needed balance. Sometimes simple pumps can do as well, but they still need to match the general look somehow. An easy rule is that the more poof the sturdier the shoes.
#3. Hair. It needs to be done. It can seriously NOT just hang loose the way it did after you came out of the shower. Hime-cut used to do the trick, but even that needs to be carefully styled into shape - and preferably it also needs hair ornaments. These can be anything, but some of the loveliest wa-loli outfits I've seen have incorporated tsumami kanzashi, Japanese folded silk flower hairpins! Me, I just went with a headful o roses as usual.
There are plenty of cute hairstyles to choose from, but technically any lolita-esque style can do. It all depends on what type of a wa outfit you're putting together. Same applies for make-up, which also needs to be done. Seriously guys, I'll never understand what the idea behind thinking you can skip those bits in wa-lolita style is! It's a difficult style, so why not put some effort into it?
#4. Socks. Or tights. They are needed. Even if you by chance were wearing some type of trad Japanese footwear you still need them. However, you cannot wear ordinary socks with geta as they bunch up in an awkward manner between the toes. I've heard said that it's not something anyone would see but alas, it is, and besides it feels highly uncomfortable and makes the risk of slipping out of your footwear even bigger (don't ask how I know, but trust me that I do).
Uh... we all start from somewhere? :D:D:D:D This is the same dress on me years ago (my guess would be 2006 but I can't remember clearly). While I don't absolutely hate it there are several things I would neverevereverever do again. Point them out for cookies! :D