Cat Cafe Meetup
Just after the World Goth Day meetup, I went to an actual website for Chinese Indie lolita brands and started ordering pieces for coordinates. I went to Devil Inspired, which is a website that has not only EGL fashion, but also a lot of other fashion styles. They often have a lot of free shipping promotions and sometimes even sales on top of that...but they are incredibly slow at acquiring your items and communicating with you if something isn't actually in stock and processing refunds. Most people advise against using them at all, but I have found that if you're wondering about the status of an order or an item, creating a "Ticket" within your order on their website is the easiest way to get their attention. And then if you need further help...just keep making tickets. It's kind of a customer service nightmare to be honest, and I think I just have a lot of patience [I used to be a middle school teacher], so this is just a minor inconvenience for me. I actually made two orders before the Cat Cafe meetup (one at the end of May and another at the beginning of June). I figured I would pick up a few sweet lolita jsk, a petticoat, something like a peignoir, a few blouses in different colors and sleeve lengths, some OTK (over-the-knee) socks and a sweet lolita purse. These orders mind you...did not come close to arriving until about the end of JULY.
The Cat Cafe meetup was in mid June 2022. We had to purchase tickets for our time with the cats in advance (on weekends) at the Mew Haven Cat Cafe. Your ticket is timed for about one hour with the cats and you can purchase beverages and food on site to consume while hanging out with the cats. The food/beverages are prepared in a separate area from the cat enclosure. Overall plan to spend about $18-25 for visiting and getting a beverage.
The person who set up the event for our group encouraged us to wear coordinates with cats on them. I had exactly one real jsk at this point, and it if you looked closely there were tiny brown silhouette cats with heart shaped chests on the print. THERE. CATS. The rest of the outfit I put together from stuff I had. This shirt from Hot Topic actually works pretty well with sweet and classic lolita coordinates because it has a slightly puffed sleeve, peter pan collar, and the buttons are adorable. If you are waiting for the "real stuff" to come in, this is what you can wear in the meantime. Other parts of my outfit include a pair of semi-sheer polka dot Snag Tights, the natural colored oxfords (I bought when I was an art teacher but never wore because I didn't want to get paint on them), and a paper flower hairband I received in a Tarte makeup order as a free gift circa 2015. Interesting to note, I added a cameo pin that belonged to my maternal grandmother that fit perfectly between the bows on the bodice.
Clover's coordinate is much more put together and reads as Classic, but also "OTT" [Over the Top]. She perfectly pairs a jsk that is sax blue and gray as its main colors with a gray shirt, gray hat, socks that match the coordinate, and jewelry that matches in color and theme. She even had a giant bow bag which can be seen on the side table that kind of matched. You can't tell in this photo, but she also had matching blue shoes that worked really well with the dress. I think that particular jsk could also be read as a Sweet style if it was styled differently. For instance, instead of the long gray button up to swap with a white short sleeve shirt, a KC (bow head band) of some sort instead of the bonnet, and a pair of shorter white lace socks would give this piece an entirely different vibe.
Want to know a secret? I originally had this beautiful pastel wig on with my coordinate. AND THEN IT SLIPPED OFF MY HEAD while we were inside the Cat Cafe. I was so embarrassed but I threw my wig in my backpack and just carried on. NO ONE apparently noticed and said that the flowers looked just as good on my real hair. I learned after the fact that I was wearing the wrong kind of wig cap and some other tips and tricks from my cosplayer friends for putting wigs on. I still am working up the nerve to try again...