I want to talk for a bit, about timeline views. I have seen many Lolitas discuss how they, or others that they are commenting on, grew overtime. This is often done visually with a timeline of photos. Often, the comments are along the lines of how an individual grew in their ability to coordinate various outfits, and while this may in some cases be true, I do not think it is the only reasoning to explain better outfits as time progresses. Now, a little progression:
The year 2013 was the first year I had ever worn Lolita clothing.
The year 2013 was the first year I had ever BOUGHT Lolita clothing.
My very first event, I bought a skirt and socks the day before and was lent a blouse. The rest of my shoes and accessories I had to throw together with what I brought with to a convention (not expecting to attend a Lolita event) and what I could find at nearby stores.
My second event, I had ordered a new JSK, but I was awaiting its arrival, so I made something.
My third event, I finally received my JSK, but I still only owned the one black blouse, so I had to work with clothing items I already owned in my regular, non-Lolita wardrobe.
My fourth event, I had nothing new, so I decided to wear my first skirt again, this time with the assistance of the rest of my regular, non-Lolita wardrobe, rather than only what I had packed for a convention.
My fifth event, not wanting to repeat, I made a new skirt, and again, had to supplement the rest of the outfit with my regular, non-Lolita wardrobe. I did, however, now own a few appropriate wigs, so that added to the polish of the outfit.
My sixth event, I had nothing new as far as main items go (well, I do have a new skirt and caplet, but the skirt is a little tight, and it is more summer wear anyhow), but I finally had received a bunch of blouses that I ordered, so I repeated my first skirt again, and while much of the outfit was supplemented again, I was able to make a completely different look with a new blouse and a wig.
My seventh event, I wore a JSK that I had been sitting on for several months, but would not have been able to wear until I had received the shipment of blouses.
I bought a few new accessories here and there along the way, but you can see a definite improvement in my outfits over the course of the year. This is not due to my ability to coordinate an outfit however, but rather an increase in the selection of items I had at hand to create an outfit from. As I purchase additional items, I can do more with the items I already own, building on them, and wearing them in new and different ways. Looking at a persons timeline photo with this in mind brings a whole new perspective to the person. It is not that they learned, it is not that they “got better,” it may just be that they now own more.
I have a new JSK and a new skirt in transit now, so I am looking forward to receiving those. I also have a new skirt cut and ready to be sewn together, but my sewing room is currently being inhabited by humans (it is the guest room), so that will be finished in the next month hopefully. I am looking forward to 2014 and seeing what new items I acquire for Lolita and what new outfits I will therefore be able to create.