Thursday, 30 May 2013


Though I was the first out of my friends to read the comics and watch the film, it was they who got obsessed with Scott Pilgrim. I enjoyed the nerdy references that I understood, and I really love the art style, but the storyline randoms the crap out of you. Which is why my friends love it...

Anywho, it's undeniable that Ramona Flowers is more than a bit of a BAMF, and has a wicked style to match.

I've always thought that if you are going to cripple your hair with chemicals, you might as well go for a whacky colour. Ramona, with her ever-changing hair colour, seems to stand by this rule too. What's the point of deliberating over a thousand shades of brown and blonde which are only a digit away from your previous hair colour's hex number, when you can go blue, purple, green or pink?

Another part of her style I love is her layering. Boots, tights, socks, shorts, belts, bracelets, bags and jackets are artfully piled on top of each other - in funky colours of course - to achieve a sometimes slightly haphazard but creative look.

With her occupation as a 'ninja delivery girl', she absolutely rocks rollerskates and goggles, finished off with a Subspace Suitcase which apparently possesses TARDISian qualities, and of course, a weapon. Handgun, Titanium Baseball Bat (+1 against blondes) or Large Hammer (+2 against girls)? Take your pick.

Ramona's pretty much always in boots, of which she has a fair few pairs, which look fantastic with her shorts, skirts and dresses. I love the casual sleekness of the hoody and skirt combo below, with the shiny black boots.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Art du Noir: Yumi G.

If you've ever looked round Lookbook for lolita, you'll probably have come across Yumi of Art du Noir - her interpretation of classic gothic lolita is just perfect, and I always admire the elegance and refinement of her style. I took one look at her collection of outfits and I fell in love. Will you, too?

Art du Noir
1. Bonjour, Yumi! What are three things we should know about you?

Hello! How to start? I'm a little French girl who loves fashion, art and literature. I'm only wear black clothes but I'm not a sad person.

2. Tell us about your love affair with the colour black.

I don't know why but I'm really addicted to black. That's obvious in my wardrobe because 90% of my clothes are black but I also try to decorate my new flat with pretty black furniture. People often ask me if I like colour - yes, of course, but always with black! Everything look more elegant or rock with black.

Black works particularly well with lolita, I think, because it makes an otherwise loud and eye-catching style slightly more reserved - at least in colour!

'Stairs' on LB

3. What first attracted you to lolita, and how has it influenced who you are?

I discover lolita fashion when I was about fifteen in Ai Yazawa's manga and then on internet. First of all I was fascinated by the Japanese lolitas' freedom, elegance and originality. I wanted to know everything about this fashion and lifestyle. During a few years I thought Lolita wasn't for me because I didn't feel confident enough - I was more attracted to punk fashion which is easier to wear in Europe. But I discover a few European lolitas and little by little I tried the clothes. I really felt close to the gothic lolita universe, between a strange doll and a dark modern princess... This fashion is not only pretty, but it means a lot of ideas to me. In fact, when I started to wear lolita clothes I just felt myself, and that's the most important I think. Now I consider myself gothic lolita since four or five years ago; it's my passion, my every-day motivation and my actual way of life.

With Wolfling Sandnas, who made these dresses

4. What do you think of the local and worldwide lolita community?

I met most of my best friends in the French lolita community. At the begining it was very important for me to talk with other girls because I wanted to share my passion and improve my co-ordinations; it was the "golden age" as my friends sometimes said. Now the French lolita community seems dead, and I'm often tired of stupid little wars. Nevertheless I always want to meet new lolitas, from other countries too. This fashion has changed a lot but I want believe the passion can be the same than ten years ago.

'Lace and Dots' on LB

5. Which of your looks is your personal favourite at the moment?

It's really hard to answer this, because since few months ago I've tried to wear new styles. For example I love wearing more long skirts for a "madam" style but I didn't take photos. Anyway, my favourite look is probably when I simply wear my dear dress from the Moi-même-Moitié. It's a chiffon polka-dot dress; the silhouette is perfect and the lace is gorgeous... I got it in 2009 and I'm still in love with it! The elegant gothic lolita (EGL) style is certainly my favourite one but not the only one. Gothic lolita is full of sub-styles!

6. Where do you like to shop, in the physical world and online?

I used to buy online because it's easier to find what I like in my size and at good prices. Most of my clothes come from Japan, for example from the brand h.Naoto and Moi-même-Moitié which are my favourite ones. I also love to make great finds, branded or otherwise, on eBay, yaboo and mbok auctions.

'Winter Vampire' on LB

7. Who are your style icons?

I have many inspirations but no icons I think, despite the fact I like Mana, Kaya, Arika and Aoki Misako for example. I don't want to copy those artists because I'm more interested by street fashion. My best friends and many girls I follow on internet inspire me to make new original outfits. Not only lolitas, but I also like other Japanese gothic styles, like dolly kei or rock gyaru.

The most inspiring people for fashion are often our own peers, real people who wear these clothes on a day-to-day basis. You never know who's eye you'll catch, and who has been influenced by what you are wearing one day in the street. And influence is power, isn't it?

8. What do you think of the street fashion where you live?

The street fashion in France is quite poor but I hope one day people will dare to wear what they really like and express who they are by fashion.

Black Theory on LB
Thank you so much for this interview, Yumi - you are the elegant gothic lolita in my eyes, so if I ever end up caving and buying a lolita dress, know that you are to blame!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

"I'll do the running for you"

You know that thing I said about the detrimental effect of starting RPGs during exam season? Well, I did it again. I haven't even finished Last Story and I'm already mired in Pokemon Diamond. This is bad. Plus, I'm rubbish at it - so far I've done the gym leaders in the wrong order, and taught my Gyarados a HM move which can't be forgotten until ages later in the game. More about that Gyarados some other time because I've got Pokemon to catch. Smell you later!
Jacket: Timberland
Vest: Esprit, China
Dress: New Look
Socks: Pringle, TK Maxx
Boots: Clarks
Bag: TK Maxx

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Lolita on Lookbook

It's a super huge bumper trend post today, with not the usual nine, but a staggering twelve victims hand-picked from LB. I'm not a wearer of lolita but it's still an influence on my style, and it's popped up on this blog a couple of times.

Most of LB is 'mainstream' fashion, and it hasn't really been taken up by other styles' communities, but there are lolitas to be found if you look in the right places. My favourite style is classic, be it gothic or casual or any other flavour.

Sometimes lolita can look very over the top, but it doesn't have to be that way - there are more subtle methods of incorporating lolita into your wardrobe if you want to try it out.

Put a petticoat under a full dress or skirt for that elegant A-line silhouette. If you are having trouble finding a petticoat, you may be able to nab one from the children's section, picking the largest size you can find. I got mine from Matalan's kids' section. It's a horrible bright pink and it's a bit on the short side, but it's floofy enough and does its job.

Accessorise with bows, ribbons, lace and frills. Large hair bows and frilly socks are in fashion now anyway and work with all sorts of styles, so you could use them to put a lolita twist on your outfit. If you can't find anything in the shops, it's so easy to just tie a ribbon in your hair, sew some lace trim onto some socks, or make your own lace choker.

Break out the Mary Jane shoes. Their defining feature, the strap, is more associated with little girls at primary school, but with a heel or even a platform, Mary Janes are absolutely wearable by adults. I especially like the lace-up kind.

Skirt: Bodyline

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Oasap May Giveaway

So I am trying this new, scary thing out: giveaways. Oasap is offering one of eight lovely items from their summer collection in this international sponsored giveaway. Interested? Just have a careful read of everything you need to do, including all the metaphorical small print, and enter via Rafflecopter below.

Oasap will only offer the prize with a minimum of 50 participants, so get entering, because you have 10 days. Your choice of prizes are:
Many of the items come in multiple colours, so be sure to have a look!

a Rafflecopter giveaway For your entry to this giveaway to be valid, you MUST:
  • have an account on Oasap
  • follow Oasap's Pinterest OR Facebook OR Twitter OR Instagram
  • comment on this post with your name, email address, and details of the item you want
  • follow Undercover Dress-Up Lover via GFC
This giveaway is sponsored by Oasap. Consequently I take no responsibility for the prize or its shipping. Upon winning, I will only confidentially communicate your shipping details to Oasap.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

"Through the veins of history"

I bought my Link dress back in February from a Primark. In there, it's as if all the cheap rubbish is conspiring to hide from you the bargains that are of passable quality. Yes, it's just an ordinary olive green jacquard skater dress, but to me it's a hero tunic! I wear it almost every week, and it's perfect for a casual cosplay, or quasi-cosplay - both pleasingly alliterative terms.

In winter I wear it with beige tights and my knee-high boots, but it's getting a bit warm, so I had to sacrifice cosplay accuracy for more comfortably cool feet. You'll have to wait for the cosplay 'til some other time.
Cardigan: Les Folies, TK Maxx
Dress: Primark
Belt: dad's wardrobe
Necklace: Clothes Show Live
Petticoat: Matalan
Boots: Clarks

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Name of the Doctor

I screamed at the end. I thought that voice was familiar. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can watch the last ep of this series here.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Links à la Mode: 16th May '13

My blogging overactivity recently has been due to study leave, which means long days at home trying to do something useful... and often failing. After days indoors, yesterday I went to town to return some library books (been reading lots of sci-fi lately: Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Orson Scott Card, George Orwell) and somehow I found myself in the New Look sale. And somehow I walked away with a jumper and a pretty detachable collar for a total of £12.50. I was doing so well with the 'not buying stuff' thing, too...

Slipping into Summer

By Jennine Jacob

Are you counting down the days until summer? Heaven knows I am! With all the wonderful things you have time to do, when the heatwaves roll in, you know like going wine tasting, going on vacation, catching up on summer reading, wearing light and flowy dresses… Heck, even catching up on DIY projects! It’s all possible when the days are longer! This week’s roundup slips into summer, it’s a wonderfully mixed bag of all the things you’ll need for the summer, the pinafore dress trend, ironic style, pastels! So kick back, relax, and read on.

Links à la Mode: 16th May

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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Lolita without online shopping

Unless you are a master dressmaker, which most of us aren't, lolita is pretty much impossible without the terrors of internet shopping. Once you've waded through the scam stores and the tacky costumes, there is always the insecurity of shipping the damn beautiful thing from the depths of China. This is precisely the reason I am not swimming in frilly lolita dresses and it is very frustrating that I can't wear a style because I can't physically get hold of it.

Consequently I set myself the challenge of finding pieces from British high street shops that could make up a classic lolita co-ord. All the items featured in the post are from shops that can be found in UK. They don't all scream lolita and a little DIY may be involved, but compromises must be made, and I think this is the best one can do without shopping online.

Surprisingly, it's reasonably easy to find footwear to go with a lolita outfit, since lace-up boots are so popular. A basic platform Mary Jane is a lolita classic that will go with your normal wardrobe too, but if you've a little more to fork out, perhaps look into Hush Puppies, a brand that does some gorgeous Victorian boots and heeled brogues.

Top left: New Look
Bottom left: Hush Puppies, Barratts
Right: TUK, Scorpio

Look for frilly, lacy affairs with sleeves. The big chain stores like River Island and New Look are worth having a look around. If you can't find anything quite elaborate enough, you could sew some frilly trim around the collar and cuffs yourself.

Left: River Island
Right: Tokyo Doll, New Look

A crucial feature of lolita is the silhouette, so a petticoat is a must. Look in fancy dress stores, and also children's sections if you're not very tall. For the overskirt, try knee-length skater skirts, or pleated skirts, which have enough material to fit a petticoat underneath. Alternatively, you could embellish a plain fifties circle skirt with a couple of bands of lace.

Left: Vivien of Holloway
Middle: New Look
Right: Hell Bunny, Sohos

Once you've got most of your co-ord down, accessories will feel really easy. River Island and Topshop have loads of frilly socks, which you could just as easily DIY if you want to save a few pounds. Bows are common motifs for bags and hair accessories, and Claire's is pretty good for the more unusual statement pieces, like pillbox hats and chokers.

Bag: Dorothy Perkins
Socks: River Island
Choker: Claire's
Pillbox hat: Claire's

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Three is a nice number, wouldn't you agree? Annika from The Pineneedle Collective inspired my own science posts, and she's got a really cute style to boot. I loved doing her pastel pink wig, though I don't think I quite succeeded in pinning down her wicked grin. These drawings have been getting progressively neater, which offends my desire for consistency.
on deviantART
Now, back to English revision...

This series of drawings:
|| Olivia Harrison || Megan McMinn || Annika Victoria ||

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


It's been a pleasure to watch Megan McMinn of Briar Rose grow into fame. And I couldn't miss the opportunity to colour her hair. The hair didn't turn out as well as Olivia's but Megan's face was a lot easier to draw, for some reason.
on deviantART
I'm working on one more of these freebies. Can you guess who it will be? She has long pink hair... sometimes.

This series of drawings:
|| Olivia Harrison || Megan McMinn || Annika Victoria ||

Monday, 13 May 2013


I'm sure you've seen Olivia H. on Lookbook before. She's the first victim of my post-exam procrastination. I'd like to do a few more of these - they're great practice, and a nice little gift too.
Have a pleasant day!
on deviantART

This series of drawings:
|| Olivia Harrison || Megan McMinn || Annika Victoria ||

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Pinafore dress

|| Twee W. || Nora F. || Jamie R. ||
|| Jo || Rachel S. || Kate G. ||

Originally, pinafores were a decorative and protective apron-type thing, with an open back. Literally, pinned to the front of a dress - 'pin' and 'afore', meaning 'front'. I remember reading really old-fashioned children's books by Enid Blyton in which little girls got told off for not wearing a pinafore when playing with paints, so for me, there's something intrinsically playful about pinafore dresses.

The other reason they appeal to me is because of the layering opportunities pinafore dresses present. Whether it's with casual t-shirt or a collared blouse, the mixing and matching sounds like so much fun to style. You could also tie ribbons to the bottom of the straps, or pin a brooch onto the button there, to personalise it a little.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Cohesion-tension theory: hug a tree

Hug a tree.

Try to pick a trunk that you can only just get your arms completely around, with your hands just touching. Remember this tree. Now go back to your tree at night and try hugging it again. Can your hands still meet? I haven't tried this myself - though I am planning to - but according to cohesion-tension theory, the diameter of a tree trunk is smaller during the day than it is at night. Cohesion-tension theory goes something like this.

The tree absorbs water into its roots, and the water travels up vessels called xylem, which go through the tree trunk. But how can the water travel upwards, against the downward pull of gravity?
a water molecule
Water molecules are polar. This means that one end of the molecule is more electropositive and the other, more electronegative. Opposites attract, so water coheres, or sticks together. That's why if you spill some drips of water, they form little round globules. As well as sticking to each other, water adheres with other things, like when you stack two wet tumblers together and can't pull them apart again.

Now, back to the tree. Water travels up the xylem under tension in a continuous stream. It's under tension because the water molecules are sticking to each other - cohesion - being pulled up by the transpiration pull. (Transpiration is the evaporation of water from the surface of the leaves via pores called stomata.)

The water molecules also stick to the walls of the xylem - adhesion. This pulls the xylem inwards, reducing their diameter. As a consequence, the diameter of the whole trunk reduces too.

The tree trunk is thinner in the day because it's sunny. High light intensity increases the rate of water evaporation but also opens the leaves' stomata, increasing the rate of transpiration. High rate of transpiration makes the transpiration pull stronger, so the water is under greater tension, so adheres to the xylem walls more, pulling them inwards more. That's why tree trunks are thinner during the day!

... Well, I think it's interesting, anyway.

I think the way tree roots and boughs branch out, dividing into smaller and smaller tendrils, is really beautiful. It's an image common in nature - just look at nerves and blood vessels in animals.

an angiogram (blood vessels)

Sunday, 5 May 2013


I'm all for interesting prints and photos to go on clothes, and I think clouds are really pretty. Not only are there numerous shapes, but also the way the light catches them, and the time of day, make for some stunning illumination and colour.

The science of clouds, their different shapes and heights and classification, would take decades to go over, so I am going to be realistic and simply attempt a general explanation of how clouds form.

Aerosols are tiny particles in the air that water vapour collides with. In some collisions, the water adheres to the aerosol to form a water droplet that makes up a cloud. The cohesion between water molecules that I talked about in the cohesion-tension theory holds the drops together.

This happens when the air is saturated - it can't hold any more water. To saturate the air, you can either increase the concentration of water vapour, or reduce the dew point, the temperature at which the air becomes saturated. The warmer the air is, the more water vapour it can hold, so if you lower the temperature, it can't hold as much water vapour, resulting in condensation.

Below's a handy guide to cloud-spotting. Thanks, Met Office!

Met Office guide to cloud types and pronunciations

Saturday, 4 May 2013

"I'll take you off to Moominland"

I trust your three-day weekend got off to a decent start? Today I did a couple of maths papers and half a chemistry paper, only venturing out the house into the late afternoon sunshine to buy some carrots and margarine for a cake tomorrow. I am So Productive.

Today I have for you a very casual outfit incorporating some adorable Scandinavian hippos hiding under a denim jacket. I feel so childish wearing it but it's a nice change from my usual dresses and granny cardigans. And besides, how could I just wear this awesome t-shirt as pyjamas? These Moomins deserve to see the light of day, especially now it's starting to get warmer.
Jacket: Timberland
Collar tips: DIY from owl earrings
Skirt: Next
Socks: Primark
Trainers: Converse 

DIY collar tips made from earrings

If you love the English Moomins theme song, you will LOVE the Finnish one.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Links à la Mode: 2nd May '13

I sincerely hope you got a chance to bask in today's unapologetic sunshine. At lunch, I lounged about in a park near school with some classmates in a state of absolute contentment. Everything that was worrying me temporarily slipped away to be replaced with the simple pleasure of the sun on my face, and the company of people I am so grateful to call my friends.

Meanwhile, enjoy this week of IFB's round-up. Doesn't that porcelain gown look familiar? It's almost like you've seen it on this blog somewhere...


Beauty Positive
By Jennine Jacob

Real beauty comes from within. It’s an old saying, and generally I find it to be true. Beautiful people have positive souls. But… it never hurts to have good makeup and style to make your inner beauty shine. This week we have a great mix of beautifying tips on several levels to bring out the very best in you. From positive fashion quotes, owning your age and style, to nixing online bullying in the fashion community… body positive thinking and actual beauty tips galore. As a beauty junkie, I was delighted to read all the beauty tips! Of course, we have loads of style tips to get you started for the coming summer season!

Links à la Mode: 2nd May

Instructions for Submitting to Links à la Mode:
1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.
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