Holiday Tea Meetup and First Encounter with 42 Lolita
The next meetup was a Holiday Tea Tasting at Savvy Tea Gourmet in Madison, CT. [I also planned this one]. I had seen an advertisement for it in my local townie newspaper, and thought, man, I'd love to go to one of those...but who could I convince to go with me? OH! I know. Fashion club! It was about $25 to try 6 flavored teas and attend a workshop about how tea is produced and how to brew it by color, temperature, and aroma. It was easy to get tickets as it wasn't a super popular event. In fact, the only people that signed up were members of my group; so it felt we had our own private back room tea tasting.
The coordinate suggestion was winter holiday or jewel tones. Now, at the time I was going to wear a different OP dress (one that I had pre-ordered through Devil Inspired back in September that was due to arrive sometime in December). However, I won a contest on 42 Lolita.com in the middle of November, upon which I was notified that I won THIS dress. 42 Lolita shipped it like lightening and I received it within ample time before this meeting happened in the middle of December.
Now if you look at the size chart on this one, it's a little strange. Why is the largest bust measurement only 96cm while the waist is kind of large at 88cm? It's the cut of this particular piece. It's very high waisted and there just isn't a lot of room in the bust. (My bust and waist are 98cm and 80cm, respectively). So I ordered the XL, but the waist was obviously swimming on me. I had to do something to make it look more put together. I had a light pink waist belt in my closet that matched the pink in this print and just went for it. I also attached the bow a little lower than it shows on the model to break up the distinction between the two different fabrics [and the fact that my bust is actually way bigger than the part where the red fabric ends].
The print on this dress is very sweet as is the sailor collar, and the cut, but the colors lend themselves to a more classic look with the deep red and the off-white tones. [It certainly doesn't look as off-white as it is in the original photo on 42 Lolita.com.] Other parts of my outfit include a light pink pair of diamond tights I purchased from Hot Topic, gold costume shoes I purchased from Amazon (I wouldn't recommend purchasing Lolita shoes on Amazon..they don't have the same level of cushion as other known brands, even though they look good), a beige colored ribbon bow in my hair I got from Shein, and the peach colored beaded purse I used for my junior prom.
Even though I had started building my lolita wardrobe in May 2022, I still felt like I was grasping at straws trying to accessorize my coordinates. Part of it was that everything that I had bought seemed to be for the season that preceded it by the time it came in the mail. So I went from spring pieces that were too hot for summer, to summer pieces that were too cold for winter. I strategized my efforts in December and January and started placing larger orders that included more accessories (socks, head pieces, shoes, and a few cardigans) that worked with the coordinates I already had, along with some "coming attractions" for the rest of the winter and upcoming Spring meetups. I also noticed that 42 Lolita had better pricing and follow-through than Devil Inspired so I started ordering from them more frequently as well.