To begin this properly, I feel like I need to tell you a few things about myself and the story of my wardrobe. I am a woman living in Finland, I'm 27 and married, and have just recently found my inner (and outer) lolita. I am a professional visual artist and I also have a little shop in Etsy, where I sell my handmade jewellery and accessories (you can check the links at the sidebar :3).
How did I find my lolita style? Well, actually I didn't exactly find it, I just realized one day I had a wardrobe already suited for lolita fashion (which as I said was quite recently). I have always been a bit obsessed with cupcake prints, but I never really could coordinate it into much anything, even though I loved wearing pretty clothes and always had a very specific taste.
In my youth I used to wear only black clothes, I also favored various kinds of metal music (and still do). Here's me ten years ago in 2004:
2004 I loved wearing jewellery already back then
I was told I was a goth, but at first I didn't see myself as one, because all I had done was wear what was most comfortable to me (and listen to music I liked most). That just happened to appear as gothic to others.
2005 Me gothic? Nonsense
Later on I realized it was just a word to tag me, to make it acceptable and understandable to others, and I finally accepted myself as part of some "group" called goths. That resulted my wardrobe getting more lacey and feminine, I got into skirts, dresses and corsets and finally ended up hating jeans and most long pants (still do, they are unusually uncomfy, too tight, suffocating and make it hard to move around!). My appearance became softer and more feminine than it had been.
2005 All in black, well at least my hair had some red stripes on it
Years and years went by with this gothic fashion being a part of who I was.
2005 above and 2008 below, I think I grew up a bit?
Then, after having dyed my hair black for 7-8 years, and after a few red, pink and brown years I got back to my original undyed brown hair, and have been happy with it ever since (about six years now). Also my horrible migraine left me alone when I stopped dying my hair! I was at a point where I started looking for more colour and began looking for a cuter style instead of just dark gothic. I wanted to be free of some old chains that had started to bind me instead of empowering me, but I barely knew how to do that while still being myself and feeling comfortable.
2006 Actually it was my mother who brought home that skirt :3
Eventually I tried adding colour, but always ended up with mostly black outfit, like that time when I went to buy turquoise shoes and came back with black ones instead :< how did that happen? Luckily colourful selfmade jewellery helped me out at this point, because they could easily be coordinated with any black outfit! Years went by like this with me always choosing mostly black in my outfit, gradually adding more and more colour.
2009 Trying on a flower printed dress in a dressing room, but I ended up leaving it behind in the shop
2011 The backyard of my house, made a wreathe of flowers, but wore colourful clothes only at home
I had a hard time growing up even in my early childhood and have got somewhat of a difficult background. Looking back now I think my gothic endeavors were mainly resulted as an attempt to make myself feel safe and strong. Wearing those black clothes and makeup empowered me, it gave me a sort of misleading appearance telling others that I am strong, when in fact I was hurt and misplaced and needed someone to tell me I'm going to make it through.
2012 The first top hats I ever made, I only wore top hats in special occasions even though I really loved them
I realize now that I wore my clothes and make up like an armor even though I was looking for a way out. But then something happened that changed my life. I encountered some serious situations and it destroyed my life so thoroughly that I had to learn to live anew. I've had this happen before, but not like this, this was something beyond anything I've ever experienced. I was forced to try and find completely new ways of coping with it and I learned to look at things in completely new perspectives. After pulling through I realized I needed to start living more for myself, I needed to start living like every day could be the last. And in that chaos I found myself anew, and among so many things also my passion for lolita :3 (notice how I never smiled before lolita ;P)
2014 I'm still wearing my old favourite dress, the very same as in the third picture from 2005 >w< I'm still in love with black, but I'm happier with myself now than I ever was before
I got to thinking I need to realize my dreams while I still have the means to do it (and especially WHEN I have the means to do it!), because there is no point in thinking "it's too late" or "I can't do it". Those are just excuses for not being able to muster up enough courage or being indecisive. I needed to do what I had always wanted, no matter what anyone said, so there would be no regrets left behind.
2014 My very first lolita piece: ice cream printed skirt from Bodyline, I just love it!
The things I learned about myself during these new kinds of hardships gave me order and a feeling of being able to control just enough in my life to know what's going on without trying to control too much. I found the feeling of being free, to expect the unexpected and find the joy in ordinary everyday things again, to live in the moment. I found a new sense of happiness. I felt light and a bit lifted up, no more chains of the past, I was no longer the same old person, but accepted that person being a part of me. I had found the courage I thought I'd never have, and it had been in me all this time. I suddenly knew I could do anything!
2014 My selfmade colourful dress, I was very proud to wear it out on just a normal day, I no longer needed a special occasion for it
I hope you are inspired to do corageous thigs too just as I have, trust me it's worth it <3