Art by Imai Kira
I've been neglecting my formspring, and my blog, lately! But to get things, hopefully, back to normal, I'd like to start out with an Ask Miss Caro-chan that has to do with one of my favorite old-school styles
I love aprons in Lolita, but is there anyway it could look cute or mature and not look like a maid or Alice get-up? Iv seen VM's tablier and it looks gorgeous, but that is the only good apron i've seen that doesn't look like a a costume!
Personally, I'm a big fan of aprons with Lolita, however, I'm very well aware of how tricky they can be to wear and not look like you're a very fancy maid. While I do love the look of maid or Alice aprons, I do know that it's not everyone's cup of tea. If you want to wear an apron that isn't so apron-y, the best way to do it is to simply make your apron color math the rest of your coordinate. Despite what most people think when they think of aprons in Lolita, not all aprons are stark white maid accessories. You can actually pick up a Lolita apron in almost any color that you normally can find in Lolita. If you match the color of your apron to the color of your dress, the apron adds detail and texture to the coordinate, without making it so obvious you're wearing an apron.
Sort of like this!pinafore, which is a bit more of an apron, and a bit less than a dress. Basically, a pinafore is a lot like a JSK that buttons or ties up the back, a dress that you wear over your dress. Victorian Maiden's Tablier is more of a pinafore than an apron. Despite the fact that many dresses use the word "pinafore" in their name, there are very few pinafores released by brands. Metamorphose has released a few pinafores that are very Victorian or even Natural-Kei looking in design. There are a lot of possibilities with a pinafore looking more like a dress than an apron, but because so few are made by brands, they tend to still be made in the basic apron-like style.
Victorian Maiden's Tablier
If you're more of a print person, but still like the look of aprons, brands often release skirts with apron-like looks. From half aprons, to detachable apron tops that can make the piece go from skirt to JSK/apron hybrid. The best part about these is their versatility, some of them really do just look like JSKs, while the aprons on others are much more subtle because it's color coordinated to match the rest of the outfit.
Some times brands also release pieces with small aprons which, in my opinion, tend to not look very maid or Alice-like. Combined with a print, and the fact that the apron is usually smaller than a regular apron and often has some sort of cute detailing on it that ties it to the rest of the dress, these pieces feature an apron as a cute detail, rather than a maid-like aspect to the dress.
If, like me, you do happen to like the normal look of an apron with Lolita, but just don't want to look like a maid, the best you can do is to coordinate it in a way that does not make people instantly think of maids. Try wearing one with anything other than a non-black design, avoid old-school headdresses, and try to avoid any sort of "sexy" additions like shorter skirts or heels and thigh-high socks.
In addition to subtle aprons, maid-like aprons, apron-like skirts, and pinafores, some brands also release aprons that are costumey to the extreme! Baby is probably most famous for doing this, they always seem to have some sort of over the top apron in their shop from their infamous Gloomy Bear apron, to aprons with, instead of the standard heart, use all sorts of ridiculous shapes like cookies and bunnies.
I think at least one apron is a vital addition to any sizable Lolita wardrobe, not just because it's a cute way to keep your dress clean if you're doing anything that might put it in danger of getting a bit dirty, but also because I think they can be an easy way to make something a bit different out of almost any outfit, from adding an over the top costumey touch to an outfit (when you're looking for that of course!), to adding a classic old-school touch, to even making a Classic Lolita piece look more Natural-kei.
I have an older Baby the Stars Shine bright heart-shaped apron in my wardrobe, as well as a vintage crochet half-apron, but I'm always looking for more aprons to add to my wardrobe. Especially because you can often pick them up for a pretty good deal! My BtSSB one cost $40, and my vintage crochet one cost me about $13.