Friday, November 19, 2010

Dolly Kei for Winter

We had our first snow today. It was only mild flurries, but...still. The only thing about winter I like is that I can wear my fabulous winter coats, and extravagant scarves and hats. And all those great knit and heavy tights and socks that are much too warm for summer. The thing I hate most about winter (other than the cold), is that I have to wear my fabulous winter coats, concealing my outfits that I put so much effort into perfecting.

So, how do we wear Dolly Kei in winter?

Since your usual layers, accessories etc won't be visible, you have to look to your coat, and items like scarves, hats, boots and mittens/gloves to accessorise with. You won't be able to get the layers really, but you will be able to achieve the same "feeling".

Coats with a fur trim and embroidery details are a good start and lend a great eastern european/homemade look. I love this coat:

Heavy patterned tights with knee high boots, great button-edged gloves, patterned scarf and tapestry bag add rich details.

The above ensemble has a great coat as well (the fur on the shoulders is amazing), but is also making use of really interesting accessories.

And of course, not everyone has access to these amazing coats (I don't!), but you can find similar ones in used clothing and vintage stores, or purchase a more plain version new and add your own fur and embroidery panels or lace.

In the case that you aren't crafty at all, or don't want to modify your existing jacket, or...for whatever reason none of these ideas will work for you, I made some examples of "dolly kei-ing" a plain black military-inspired peacoat that you can get in most stores, used or otherwise, and cheaply (this is the actual coat I have, from H&M):

Keep in mind, you can obviously get as creative as you like. I kept these pretty simple. The main idea is to get the look from your accessories.

Some quick ideas to take your "plain" winter accessories and make them more interesting:

-You can easily take your plain gloves and sew on bows, buttons, lace and other findings. Fur trim as well.
-If you have a long knit scarf, you can pull through some ribbon (or long lace) starting at one end and working it though to the other. You can then let the ribbon end hang or tie it into a bow. You can do a single ribbon or more.
-Add brooches and cameos to a plain bag.
-Remove your boot laces and replace with ribbon or lace.
-Get some fake fur (which can be purchased at most craft and fabric stores). Trim off the edge (under the fur edge, without cutting off too much of the actual fur). You can then sew a ribbon on either side (lengthwise) to make your own fur collar to wear over your coat.
-Same a above, only sew the longest edges together to make a fur "tube". Tada! Instant fur muff!
-If the buttons on your coat are plain, you can easily replace them with more ornate ones, either vintage or new from a craft or fabric store.

Happy Winter! Stay warm!

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