Luckily, my ass is recovering from the trauma. Don't procrastinate like me, kids. You just get ass-raped by work if you do.
With holiday shopping (and me shopping), I've been looking into additions to my wardrobe that I can make with holiday cash and the ease that I tend to have being off my campus for a month (i.e. not needing to pay for every meal or laundry load). So, going around DSW, initially looking for work shoes to wear to an office job I don't have while my sister looked for herself and considered getting our mother a giftcard, I saw these:
This was a particularly awesome find, since I actually had just been talking about sneakers in lolita with a friend. I really think that sneakers are awfully overlooked in lolita which is sad. They're extraordinarily comfortable, and for urban lolitas, it's really good to have comfortable shoes that are easy to care for and have for more casual meets. Of course, they're beyond difficult to work into classic and gothic style and you certainly can't wear them for a formal meet like a fancy tea party on International Lolita Day, but what about movie meets? Disney World meets? When you're on your feet for a long time, you can rack up a lot of damage if you don't have the right arch or too high a heel, and while there are a lot of alternatives to sneakers like tea parties and rocking horse shoes, I've seen lolita friends' shoes end up getting worn so much that they're beaten to the point where they're loosing their soles, especially since most of them are taobao replicas or Bodyline. Some shoes aren't meant to take the beating of walking cross town in Manhattan several times in a year. I propose that sneakers are a very good alternative to save the live span of your nicer lolita shoes. They're made to take the beating when we need to do a lot of walking and they've been a huge part of fashion for the last few decades, breaking away from their duller gym mold and jumping into many more interesting designs, especially in this past one.
Sneakers look best in more casual coords, but they can work fantastically in more elaborate punk and sweet outfits. There's a fantastic abundance of brightly colored fashion sneakers available, and while they can get pricey... well, firstly, if you're not willing to shell out some serious bucks on foot wear, you're probably in the wrong hobby fashion, and secondly, I'm willing to bet that your folks or S.O.s could be more willing to shell out $40-$80 on sneakers that you can wear just about everywhere but the office than a $250-$300 brand one piece or $150-$20 on a pair of highly embellished lolita shoes.
Another advantage is that with sneakers, you definitely get to play around a lot, as you can with more casual outfits. They add versatility to your wardrobe so that you can wear those loli accessories with your jeans and tee-shirts and balance out everything a lot better. Let's look at the new Chucks I got for example.
I have a coordinate for lolita that I can easily swap out my skirt for jeans and still have a completely working coordinate. I can't really do that with my heart buckle shoes, and my run of the mill boots that I could wear otherwise with other outfits, lolita or day-to-day, really don't add or take from the outfit. The sneakers here, though, are eye-catching but not out of place for both.
For those of you interested in the same pair that I have, you can find them on DSW's site. There were a few more special designs I was going to link like this one, but it's sold out and I haven't seen them elsewhere, sadly. Still, the good thing with Converse is that they come in many designs and colors, and you can even customize a pair for yourself on the site or, if you like to take on craft projects, get a simple white pair and draw on them with fabric markers or paint.
You can also go beyond Chucks, though, and wear more athletic sneakers. A con of this would be that they can be harder to coordinate since, unlike Chucks, they aren't as customizable, as well as the fact that these can get really pricey. A pro is that you now have a good incentive to start running (my sport of choice, btw), and there are also a lot of nice designs and colors of these available that can get you wearing lolita with certain accessories that you didn't think of before. Also, there are some sneakers that give you extra height while not only staying comfortable, but are shaped to give your legs more tone as if you ran regularly just from walking. Who doesn't like having nicer stems?
Honestly, a year ago I would have had my doubts about wearing more athletic-looking sneakers in lolita, since I've seen so many people wear converses before and they're fabulous enough to be featured in Marie Antoinette, but my friend Amber (amanikitty on egl) has work Southpole sneakers with a casual sweet outfit, and I think they work fabulously.
Those other chucks were actually bookmarked with her in mind, but they sold out before I shared them.
So, you might be thinking, "Big deal, you and your friend have worn lolita with sneakers, but I don't think that I've seen any that might work for me..." Well, let's make some fantasy coordinates then, shall we? We could put Meta's recent Kimono Print pinafore with a pair of Ed Hardy's, Meta's Old Rose with a pair from DKNY, AP's Milk-chan in brown with a pair or Pumas and AP's Marionette Girl with a pair of Marc by Marc Jacob. The first and third pairing, though, certainly lend to a lot of other potential coordinates since they're a solid color, but having the second and fourth shoes could really get you thinking about your wardrobe in a different way. For example, accessorizing more solid pale outfits with a lot of gold and cream, in the case of the DKNY sneakers.
There are many other outfits, but I don't want to over flood this article with the possibilities. Plus, in the end, it's all up to you and your own sense of style to really make it work. And also keep in mind that sneakers have this one wonderful thing that can get swapped out to be made just a little bit more girly: shoe laces. Laces can be done up in a variety of interesting patterns and can be bought in many cute ways... or made, if you're really clever about it.
And for those of you who are still doubting hard and thinking that you'll not accept it until you see brand making sneakers... well, you're already late to the party. Done and done.
Now i just need this damn snow to thaw so I can enjoy the first outfit I've coordinated for my boss new kicks.