Long time no see here on my blogosphere; I can’t believe I published my last post in April. That feels like it was yesterday !!! 2018 was a busy year for me- I shared a month-by-month super-personal reflection on my Instagram Stories. It’s pinned to the top of my Instagram; @jessimoonheart if you’re interested in watching/reading that! Thank you so much to anyone who reached out to talk about blogging in 2018. My intention is to publish more/be more active here on the blog in 2019, but I’ll go deeper about that in one of my next posts.
To make up for my fashionable absence this year, I thought it would be fun to blog a little wardrobe “catch up” and share My Top 10 Fashion Choices of 2018. I love fashion so much that I decided to major in it this year! And I brought a lot of amazing clothing piece into my life this year. It was so hard to narrow down my wardrobe into ten pieces, but since I had so many favourites, this will be part one of a two-part series. This post is all about my favourite garments: tops, bottoms, jackets, dresses, rompers, etc. The next part will be all about my favourite shoes, bags and accessories from this year, and will be published very soon!! (I will link it here once it’s published!!)
In 2018- I remained true to myself and strengthed my kawaii style. My Top 10 Garments affirm my love for alternative, pastel and oh so kawaii street fashions. These garments are so iconic to my style, and I feel like my best Jessi Moonheart self when I wear them. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I loved writing about them!
1. Vintage Fairy-Kei Sweater by Jacklyn Smith
The first garment on this top ten list is actually a more recent purchase- one of my last buys of the year. This dreamy pastel embellished knit sweater from the Jacklyn Smith label. This item was designed and made in the 80s but it last lived in the closet of Vintage Toy Collector & Youtuber Heather Sparkles through her Depop shop! I can’t believe no-one else bought this before me- it has sections of cables interwoven with iridescent fibres, there are pearl accents embellishing parts of the knit, it’s set in a pastel peach tone with coordinate parts of sax blue and mint green textures, and there are shoulder pads! The fit is so comfortable with ribbing at the neck, wrists and bottom. I wore this sweater to Christmas Eve dinner with beady pearl vintage clip-on earrings and my Metamorphose Twinkle Journey Headbow! I’m so glad I collected my first fairy-kei sweater for more kawaii wardrobe in 2018 and was able to support a friend and fellow favourite creator in the process!
In 2018 I wore a lot of leggings. Or rather, wore a few pairs of leggings styled every way I could under the sun. I love leggings because they are a multi-seasonal garment. They can be worn for workouts, for getting groceries or for writing blog posts anywhere in the city. At the end of September, I picked up the Everyday Carry leggings from the Lolita Collective booth during Chicago Matsuri. It was my first experience shopping through Lolita Collective, and I loved being able to try on the leggings in person to see if I would like them. This is technically the second item I’ve picked up from Kamilah’s brand Hard Decora (the first being the Shooting Star Damn-it Pin that I go over in Part 2 of this blog post) and I know there is going to be a big ass haul from her brand in the coming months.
I love these leggings. I love the fit but I wouldn’t recommend wearing them for an intense workout. They are so soft, smooth and comfortable. The Everyday Carry design printed on these leggings is ICONIC. Weapons that go pew-pew and tiny bags of the goods intermixed with cute stars and other items essential (aka hot cash money) to be in the Hard Decora gang. I bought these babies in pink, but they also come in purple and white, and I need them. I can’t wait to bring more Hard Decora garments into my wardrobe in 2019!
In early March, I went under anaesthesia for one of the scariest procedures of my life. I was terrified that it would go wrong and my life would change for the worse. But I woke up from my procedure and I was ok! I was inspired to live for myself. I used my time wisely to change what made me unhappy and build my best and ideal life. And while I was hustling to make moves to change my life- I decided to go after what I wanted. A holy grail item.
Lazy Oaf’s Pastel Rainbow Cardigan had been on my Holy Grail list for over a year at this point. It was highly sought after on the secondhand market, and always seemingly out of my price range. But then in the spring, Lazy Oaf did a second production run of the cardigan. Still an expensive item, but at least there were more cardigans on the market. And then on Memorial Day weekend, Dollskill did an AMAZING sale and I was able to order this cardigan and the Skinny Dip London Pastel Rainbow Bag (that’s featured on Part 2 of this post!)
Out of all the pastel rainbow cardigans on the market, I truly believe that the one designed by Lazy Oaf was the best choice for me. It’s a thicker knit blend of cotton and acrylic with an allover pastel rainbow theme, which was too heavy for the summer but is perfect for Midwestern Autumns and Winters. It allows me to dress for the weather while still living in my iconic style. I love the oversized lavender buttons with the Lazy Oaf branding. I love the tiny embroidered heart- its styled like a comic book heart! An overall good pastel knit. I’m so lucky to own this cardigan and I feel like it brings me good luck, like the kind you find at the end of every rainbow.
4. Pastel Pink Leather Jacket
I have to confess: this was a very spontaneous purchase from Target! I love Target but try not to go very often (but that will get harder as Valentine’s Day draws nearer…). It’s a pastel pink faux leather jacket. I’m never going to let it go, quite frankly. I love decorating it with enamel pins & putting it on top of purple blouses.
While I love having enamel pins on this jacket, one of my goals for 2019 is to fully flair it out on a theme. While it started off its life as a simple pastel pink leather jacket on a rack at Target- I want it to live its best life as a slightly-punk, magical girl-powered pastel leather jacket! Imagine the back with Sugarbones’ Babe with the Power Patch! Imagine each sleeve with a Sugarbones Fighting Evil & Winning Love Patch! Imagine more magical girl pins on the lapels (secured by locking pin backs because losing my sweet enamel is one of my worst nightmares)!! Just imagine it…. for now!
5. UnPlanned Parenthood by Chrissa Sparkles
Chrissa Sparkles is one of my favourite up-and-coming fashion designers. Her work is colourful, sexy, and politically vocal. I bought this top when it dropped this year because of its timely importance towards my super personal life.
At the end of February 2018, I got really sick on top of a long phase of chronic depression. When I found out my sick was a symptom of pregnancy, I was so ashamed. I was the 1 person out of 100 people whose contraceptive was ineffective and failed. I was sick and pregnant and depressed and anxious but I got to make a choice about what happened next with my body.
So I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood for a termination procedure. This wasn’t an “easy” decision to make. Even though I was so silent during this time, my inner voice was screaming: “I don’t want to be a parent, yet, if ever. I want to live my dreams! I want to pursue fashion and design! I want to live!”
I remember being on the operating table before my procedure was about to begin. I was clutching Cosmo, one of my stuffed animal unicorn friends. I was facing one of my biggest fear and I was so afraid. Ashamed of my present and afraid of my future. But then I woke up, and I was no longer expecting to be a parent. And I went home and began healing. I faced my biggest fears- being pregnant (I was highly afraid of this before it happened) and having an abortion.
You might hate me for my choice, but I still like me. Now that I’ve written about this experience on my own platform for the world to see I now fully own my experience. There are so many different reactions I’ve received from sharing this story in my personal life, but I’m so grateful for the friends and family who shared their love and supported me. I became a unicorn warrior through this experience, facing my fears.
Owning this cropped t-shirt is healing. It’s punny and gorgeously graphic. I love the ribbed pastel yellow trim, especially since I don’t own much yellow in my wardrobe currently. The art was illustrated by local Chicago Kawaii Artist Hammy Haus. And a portion of proceeds went to Planned Parenthood, an organization that I am so fucking proud to support. There is no longer shame around what I experienced.
So thanks to Chrissa Sparkles for her timely release of this cropped t-shirt. I’m grateful that other magical women are sharing their politics through their fashion. I’m inspired to create my own designs in the future. Designs that help people become unicorn warriors themselves.
6. Vintage Windbreaker from Hollywood Mirror
2018 was a year of my embracing sportswear. Both in terms of coordinate separates and active sportswear. From my Pumas (Part 2 Here) to every single pair of leggings I wore this year and two purple sports bras I bought from Forever 21… My day-to-day cute style was very sporty. Especially during summer when I was in class and commuting in the heat, I liked being cute but really really functional.
I would commute downtown in the heat, but walk into every single freaking building for class and be freezing within a half hour. So I started looking for these polyester windbreakers at Ragstock, Belmont Army Vintage, and Hollywood Mirror. I wanted to have a jacket that I could wear out of my house, throw into my bag on my commute, take it back out and wear it when I was freezing in lecture and tie around my waist on my way home at the end of the day. Or use as a pillow on my way home.
I ended up finding this sweet baby of a jacket at Hollywood Mirror. It’s one of my favorite garments, despite its interior condition. I hope to do some repair work on this vintage garment in 2019, but I’m so grateful that my fun friends who work at HM sold it to me. This windbreaker’s color scheme is space princess periwinkle with soft sighs blue and precious, precious pink. An iconic windbreaker.
This sweater dress is part of the LO Basics Collection from Lazy Oaf. I did a huge order from the basics collection this summer because I love the fit of Lazy Oaf’s garments and I really wanted to wear them as my daily look for my barista job. While my job doesn’t allow me to wear pink, the cut and oversized fit of this dress rang true for other garments in the collection. I can wear this dress every day if it’s at or under 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I can bundle it with my lazy oaf cardigan, layer it with leggings and pair it with multiple pairs of sneakers. It has pockets. It is quite cozy. This dress is iconic. Thank you, next b-words!
This was one of the first garments I bought in 2018, a mini pastel birthday haul for myself from the favorite mall-goth retailer Hot Topic. I’m so glad I purchased it on sale when I did because it ended up selling out and has yet to be restocked as of December! This cardigan is the perfect shade of purple in a cotton acrylic blend. The pink embroidered heart patch with a “No Thanks” text design and adorable heart-shaped buttons were details that reminded me of Lazy Oaf but were clearly not copycatting any of their specific designs.
The slightly oversized boyfriend fit of this knit is so cozy. Actually, The ‘No Thanks’ Cardigan is my third knit item on this list, so I can now proudly proclaim to the world that I LOVE A GOOD PASTEL KNIT. I hope 2019 brings more knits and the art of knitting into my life.
9. Vintage 80s Blouses from Belmont Army Vintage
One of my favourite places to shop locally in my neighbourhood is the Belmont Army Vintage Shop. I spent many hours thumbing through decades-old garments coughing through the everlasting mustiness on the third floor of 855 W. Belmont. I was delighted to bring my closest friends shopping there before they announced their move to 925 W Belmont right in time for Halloween. I appreciate that the best part of Belmont Army still survives the turmoil that is the shopping district of Belmont & Clark.This year I bought multiple pink and purple vintage blouses secondhand from Belmont Army. I found that I had the best luck sifting through the 80s blouse racks because the garments from that era actually fit my bust and waist measurements. Belmont Army‘s vintage is also in very good condition, with very little staining and wear. When shopping with my close friends over the summer, I questioned my decision to buy yet another vintage blouse- but was encouraged by Kamilah to buy them and wear them if I love them. She also brought up that they would pair nicely with lolita, depending on the JSK. I ended up buying both blouses I had been contemplating that day, and have already worn one as lolita. Wearing these blouses helps me to present my love for pink pastels and purples in a professional manner. I feel like an aspiring academic- Dr. Moonheart, PhD in Kawaii Fashion!
10. Twinkle Journey JSK by Metamorphose
Before Twinkle Journey, my only experience wearing lolita was at Anime Central in middle school. I had purchased an all-black Bodyline OP that barely fit in my chest, even with ALL the shirring and ribbon corseting, and I styled it with fingerless gloves, combat boots and yes, a mini top-hat. It’s ok if you cringed at the memory because I am cringing with you. After that quick waltz with lolita, I had a long hiatus away from the fashion and didn’t think I would ever return to it. I had a lot of mental obstacles that that limited me from even longing for the fashion. I felt so ashamed for liking it and did my research on it in secret. That shame was a huge obstacle that I had to overcome in order to grow as a Kawaii Fashion Unicorn.
Looking back, overcoming that fear felt easy with the support and love of my friends Bunny, Hayden, and Kamilah. Seeing each of them wear lolita JSKs and OPs from their favorite brands, uniquely coordinated in their own styles out in public just INSPIRED me so much. They all just wear what they love, and lolita fashion is a part of that. And since they had all previously bought, owned and worn lolita, I was able to ask questions on my quest for my first dress.
I fell in love with Twinkle Journey after seeing Bunny wear it at ACen this past year. For one, they did an amazing job at coordinating it, and the print is so cute. The print has unicorns. UNICORNS !!! I ended up finding the Twinkle Journey JSK on LaceMarket and made the winning bid on the listing. The seller, Sam, was very communicative during the LaceMarket sales process. I was overjoyed when I finally brought the Twinkle Journey JSK and head bow home to my wardrobe this October. It’s such a beautiful garment. Such a gorgeous print with the utmost quality in construction, and those tiny star buttons set with ruffles!! Takes my heart every time I gaze upon it…
I love that I’m able to make a Twinkle Journey coordinate out of my favourite vintage blouse, my sparkle leggings, my pink Fenty Pumas, my Lightning Bolt Statement Necklace and my Guccis (more on those last two items in Part 2 of this post!) I love that even without the other garment trappings that define an outfit as lolita- this dress can transform the way people perceive me. I’m really proud of myself for growing past my shame to wear what I love and allow myself to be a motherhecking unicorn princess.
Wow, and that wraps up my favorite garments from 2018.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Blogging is one of my favorite activities because I get to curate and articulate my voice! I literally sit down in my closet typing aloud on my laptop to write these posts because otherwise, I get too distracted or in my head to write them.
I learned a lot about myself and my style from writing this series, and I look forward to using this knowledge to continue manifesting into a fashion unicorn.
What about you unicorns: What were your favorite garments in 2018? Do we share any? I’d love to know about the shirt or jacket or dress you got that captures the essence of your identity, that feels totally you. Friends share fashion finds with friends, and you can share yours in the comments below. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to All! May we find light together in the darkest part of the year.
With Love & Sprinkles,
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