PJ-Hime's PJ-Hibernation


Hello friends! Some of you on the server have probably noticed that I was mostly missing up until recently. It's a little rude to silently abandon a community that you started, so I'm sorry for disappearing 

First of all I've been doing okay, all things considered. But mentally it's been more of a struggle than usual, and it's been really hard to feel cute or have the energy to keep in touch. I'm not in crisis or anything, I just feel tired most of the day and haven't done the best keeping on top of my regular chores or taking the best care of myself. Ideally it's good to have a healthy balance of self care and dressing up cute. Instead I've spent every day in pajamas playing games. Even if I dress up, my room is too cluttered to take outfit pics. Then before long I become overly sensitive to the fit or texture of the clothes and I'm right back in my pjs again. Lately I just can't tap into my inner cuteness, instead I'm full gremlin 24/7. I'm actually fine with myself not feeling cute sometimes. I love feeling cute and good about my appearance, but there's plenty other things to focus on or feel proud of myself for. It's just hard to keep in touch with a fashion and beauty based community when I'm wearing the same sweatpants again for the 4th day in a row

As someone with Brain Problems there's a constant push and pull with me and my fashion. It always seems like dressing up makes me happier, but it also takes more energy than being wrapped up in blankets all day long. It feels a little like parallel MP and HP bars. In himekaji clothes I feel powerful so my MP bar fills up, but my comfort clothes let me restore my HP while my MP stays low. (Ok I've been playing a ton of FFXIV lately) I've noticed that a lot of us in alternative fashion communities have a similar up and down. Maybe the struggle of taking care of yourself makes you more invested in the outcome. Like, okay, if I'm getting out of bed and washing my face it's gonna be on my terms 

Overall, it can be hard to tell if I'm sad because I'm not wearing himekaji or if I'm not wearing himekaji because I'm sad. I think it's best not to attach judgement to it though. Going back to MMOs, you've gotta balance your resources properly! I do want to be more active in the community though, even if I'm not feeling well to dress up at times. If nothing else it's a good reminder that there are still things to dress up for ♡




Offbrand Vs Himekaji: Cardigans

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day about offbrand cardigans and why they were the bane of my early himekaji coords.

As a habitual sweater wearer, I tend to feel a little naked if I don't have some kind of outer layer. Because of that I already had tons of cardigans when I was first starting to build my himekaji wardrobe. They're soft and comfy, but a little dressier compared to sweatshirts, and more convenient than pullovers. Surely these qualities make cardigans perfect for himekaji! Or so I thought, as I shoehorned all my vaguely himekaji colored cardigans into my wardrobe. Cardigans can look really cute in a himekaji coord and there are tons of good examples out there. However, just because it's a cardigan, doesn't mean it will fit with your wardrobe automatically. At their worst, offbrand cardigans can make a perfectly cute coord look ill fitting and cheap. Please learn from my mistakes as I teach you about the key features of brand cardigans and what to look for in your offbrand endeavors!

Arm and Shoulder Fit

Most western brand cardigans have fairly form fitting sleeves. This is fine in western fashion where there isn't usually too much bulk in the shoulder area. The problem for himekaji is that typical features like puff sleeves, shoulder ruffles, sleeve cuff ribbons, or slouch shoulders are going to have a tough time fitting without some extra room in your sleeves.

In contrast, most brand cardigans will have puff or gathered sleeves that are full in the shoulder and pinch in at the wrist, leaving ample room in the arm and shoulder for all the details to fit under smoothly without getting squished. The poofy sleeve silhouette also creates a cute girly feeling which himekaji is all about. Sleeves with a small gather at the shoulder as well as the cuff will give the most fullness as well as the cutest silhouette!

Texture and Weight

Brand sweaters also tend to be made of thicker fabric on average compared to western brands. Chunky knits with cute designs seem especially common, but even a basic stocking stitch sweater will usually use thicker fibers than your average western mall or thrift find. If your sweater is too thin, you'll have the same problem of details from your blouse or dress poking through and create awkward lumps.

Length



Himekaji skirts and dresses almost always synch at the waist, so a short cardigan that's cropped at about that length will usually be the most flattering! Unfortunately the majority of offbrand sweaters in the west will fall at about hip length, which can undermine the synched waist silhouette that himekaji often creates. Clobbering your natural waist in a cardigan on top of the bulk of all the ruffles on your shoulder and hips can create an awkward blocky figure, so finding a shorter cardigan that stops around your waist can be quite important!

On the other hand, extra long robe length cardigans are also quite trendy and common in himekaji coords! I still have no idea how to wear those though, so I'll write about those some other time 

Details

Other than the basic shape, the line between normie and himekaji is all in the details! Ruffles, lace, ribbons, hearts, pearls, and sparkly things can also totally transform a sweater. Some of these details will be built into the pattern itself, but a lot of these details can also be added to a plainer sweater with a good enough basic silhouette! For example:
  • Switching the buttons for heart, crystal, or pearl buttons
  • Adding ribbons to the sleeves or placket (the part with the buttons)
  • Adding ribbon lacing
  • Adding lace ruffle to the collar, placket, or cuffs



Himekajiable Offbrand Cardigans

All of this being said, that doesn't mean that no western brand sweaters are himekaji-able! There's plenty of options out there especially as frills and lace continue to be somewhat popular in mainstream western fashion! Here are a few examples I found on google as of Summer 2021:

Zara
Ruffles
 Peter pan collar

H&M
 Fluffy fabric
 Puff sleeves (near cuffs)

Target
 Puff sleeves (near cuffs)
 Plain sweater that could be a good base for DIY decorations


As non-print items, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that any offbrand cardigan will do for your himekaji coords. On the contrary, sweaters have such a variety of details which are just as important to the look and feel of your coords, so just as much care should be taken when shopping for offbrand items as any other wardrobe staple! Especially if you're first starting out, I would strongly encourage you to buy at least one or two himekaji brand cardigans whether brand new or second hand, and only use off brand items as a supplement to your wardrobe. Having a couple of genuine Liz Lisa or related brand items in your wardrobe will help you a ton when comparing off brand items and hunting for easier to acquire himekajiable pieces!

Have you fallen prey to the cardigan trap like I did? Please show me your best and worst cardigan coords in the comments!



Katsu & Window Shopping ♡

Today's momentous occasion: we went on a date! Like.... outside!!!


Okay, so all we did was window shop and get lunch but it was our first time really going anywhere in public just for fun in a loooooooooong time!  As I will be blogging about more later, my boyfriend and I have moved in together, and we need some items for our new balcony. We thought it would be best to browse in person before making any purchases, so since we've been fully vaccinated for about a month now and the cases in our city continue to go down, we thought it would be nice to check home depot to compare some of our options in person! Even though it was just home depot, I decided to get dressed up and make it a little date! It was really nice just walking around and browsing a shop since it's seriously been since before the pandemic that we've done anything like this. We looked at patio furniture and then took selfies in the lighting department 

After that we picked up some boba and put in a takeout order from a katsu sandwich shop that I had never been to before. Originally we thought to eat it in the car, but the shopping center was pretty empty and there were some nice tables outside, so we decided to give it a try eating outside the restaurant! Ordering ahead of time and paying online, picking up our food and then eating on our own outside was exactly my speed! It felt a lot more normal than I've had in a while, while still having almost no contact with the waiters or other patrons. I definitely want to do this more often as we head into Summer!


The other momentous event..... I used a public toilet for the first time in over a year as well! What a big day LOL

It's been a pretty stressful month with moving and completely totaling my car  Getting out of the house and going on a nice date was exactly what I needed to get my mind off things for a while!

See you next time!


Mahou ☆ May

Good morning! It's already been a bit of time since I was active, other than finally getting around to finishing up some of those konmari posts that had been sitting in my drafts forever! Last month I got really busy and I wanted to post my little recap since I never got around to posting about the tea party or what I was up to!


The theme for last month's tea party was Mahou May, with the concept being that putting on Himekaji can really feel like a magical girl transformation! May was also Fanime month, so I was extremely busy getting all the last minute preparations going. It was really great getting to see everyone virtually but I'm already hoping that we'll get to return in person for real next year 


For the tea party, even though I was so busy I definitely had to put together a coord for such a cute theme! I picked an ank rouge skirt with star lace trim with red accents. The color scheme kind of reminded me of madoka and for some reason the stars just felt very magical to me! I picked Mr. Bilbert (name courtesy of my boyfriend LOL) as my obligatory mascot character! It was really fun seeing everyone's coords and their pets and plushies they would pick as their mascot character as well.



I can't wait for this month's tea party!