Hey, all, long time no see!
It’s been months since I last posted, but I wanted to touch on something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently: I’m just not that happy with my closet anymore. It’s not as if I hate my clothes—in fact I still love and adore each piece—it’s more like I don’t quite look….like me.
I’ve been through a lot of changes over the past two and a half years. I started HRT, underwent surgery, and gained every single one of those 60 lbs I lost in 2018 back. I can no longer fit into my ouji closet. It doesn’t feel the best, that last bit, but I have to remember that generally ouji and lolita aren’t meant for men, and I now have a man’s body.
I’ve toyed with the idea of making my own clothes to wear with ouji and buying some men’s blouses from ASOS’s new collection, such as the two blouses on either side of this paragraph. That’s all good for ouji, though, but what about my casual style?
Since starting Kuroshiro Kawaii in June of 2019, my daily style has veered off into the netherworld. It seems like I’m always working, and I never really have time to think about what to wear. Cutsews from SEX POT ReVeNGe are so easy to throw on with a pair of jeans and run out the door. They’re effortlessly awesome, but let’s be honest…they can make you lazy. (Nothing wrong with that though.)
My wardrobe didn’t only veer away because of KSK. It also had to change because of my weight gain and redistribution. Things just didn’t fit like they once did, and I no longer liked the way they looked. I donated a lot of pieces because they were too small, or I was bored with them, or because they made me self-conscious in one way or another.
I’ll stop there. I can sit here and tell you how much I miss my old wardrobe until my fingers fall off and my keyboard turns to dust, but it won’t get me anywhere. It’s time I get used to dressing this new body of mine, and have fun doing it. How can I rediscover—and rekindle—my style and my love for my closet?
I’ve written the steps I’ve taken so far to help redefine my style below, and my thought process. I hope my journey helps someone else out there.
You don’t have to do a full closet post or anything crazy. I just think it’s important to know where you are to understand where you have to go. You can pull out what you have in your closet Konmari style or just list them from the top of your head. I chose the top of my head option because I’m short on time.
Currently, I have the following:
Here’s where the fun begins. I’ve done this several times before, and I like to stick to sources where I can follow links back to the brand or store where the items were bought. In other words: avoid Pinterest like the plague.
Note: It is worth mentioning at this point that I am also including myself as a style icon, back when I loved my wardrobe.
I started off my search with a few keywords or hashtags that I thought would get me somewhere. I typed “goth boy” into Instagram, which seemed like a good place to start. A bunch of the posts were rather cringe, but I did get somewhere with this, surprisingly.
Meet Depression, a unisex streetwear brand focused on wearable art. They’ve been featured in Fashion Week, style museums, and a bunch of other ~legit~ fashion spaces. While their prices are definitely on par with another favorite of mine, Yohji Yamamoto, I couldn’t help but fall in love with their pieces.
I won’t go too in depth with them, though, for now. I’d prefer to find a style person, rather than a brand, to see how they mix and match brands and items.
Next, I found this guy when I searched for “mode fashion.” Needless to say, Kaito earned an instant follow.
At this point, I discovered wear.jp from Kaito’s Instagram profile. I HIGHLY recommend this website when you’re starting to poke around trying to find style icons. Wear.jp is a social media site that allows you to search street snaps and outfits shots from hundreds of different brands. It has filters for everything from hair length to height and gender, so you can narrow things down to exactly what you want to look for.
I instantly made an account and followed Kaito and some others. Here’s a screenshot of my favorites list so far:
Once you’ve gotten a few style options, it’s time for the next step.
The more I look around, the more I fall in love with mode, and mode-esque styling. I figure this is a good a place as any to start with. It checks all the boxes of what I have liked in the past, such as oversized shirts, layers, draping, clean lines, and texture. It also helps me steer towards some of the basic requirements of my new body: larger sizes with layering capability. I even have a few brands to check out, and a few patterns I’d like to make. Hey, that’s headway!
I’ve never really tried straight-up mode in the past, so I feel like it’s given me some ideas to try in my current wardrobe: wide pants, suit jacket, mesh hoodie, black shirt. I definitely think that this is a good place to start.
This can get dangerous, but hear me out. Pick one item that will enable you to start exploring this new style–one item that will let you make as many new coordinates as possible.
I went shopping at a secondhand shop for this, since I am trying to save as much money as possible. I ended up finding a Hugo Boss grey trench coat for $10 that fit me perfectly and fit the mode aesthetic I want to get in to. Unfortunately, since Wunderwelt Libre is closing down, I don’t have the time to grab an outfit shot of it like I planned, so I’ll find a similar item and post it below.
It’s surprisingly difficult to find a photo of a similar coord to the one I have in mind. Basically, I would like to draw from a mixture of Lee Tae Min’s style (K-pop) and Japanese mode. I decided to put this coat with my Drug Honey wide pants and a black turtleneck, a fancy belt, dress shoes, and a black tote bag. Maybe a necklace! I can’t wait for the weather to cool off a bit so I can try out this coordinate.
Surprisingly, this process really inspired me to start thinking outside the box with my current wardrobe. Just this one coat sparked a bit of joy in my closet, and got me thinking of other ways to coordinate the pieces I had.
Bottom line? Don’t forget to experiment outside your comfort zone every once in a while!
Kal from Lightningsavage Photography specializes in creative portrait photography for J-Fashion enthusiasts and more. He has served as the J-Fashion event photographer for Oni-Con 2016–2020, as well as fashion shows, meetups, and personal shoots. He is also a co-owner of Kuroshiro Kawaii. You can follow him on Instagram at @lightningsavage_photography and @kaldec_
He is currently into visual kei and EGA fashions.
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