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Military items in everyday fashion 
30th-Apr-2014 12:34 pm
I've been a fan of uniform designs even before getting into lolita- there's something about the tailored cut that makes me stand straighter and be on my best behavior!

I only got into loli recently so I missed out on major 'military loli' releases like D. Walkure. Frankly the only piece I am really interested in is the hat; as I live in the tropics, wearing a jacket as normal clothing is pretty much out of the question unless it is raining super hard (or risk heat death). I also wear wigs most of the time, so typical mainstream shop hats do not fit my head ; ; mini hats are a safer bet for me.

As for my question- I am unlikely to ever obtain the D. Walkure hat, but my cousin still keeps the policeman's cap originally worn by his father. Would it be disrespectful to wear such a hat, even if it is an old design? I have a friend who does historical reenactments who is very particular about the details in his uniform and weapons (actual guns; it's his hobby xD) who gets very offended whenever he sees badly made SS costumes during conventions. I don't intend to wear a military hat as part of a costume, though I do find the old Meiji era uniform inspiring, and I want to try it with something in a kimono print (this is not lolita, mind; it needs more thought and planning). I would like to make a coord that does not provoke cries of 'fascist!' (D. Walkure, Airman Leeloo)

Also, could anyone recommend a shop that sells military-inspired items, or links to resources on this subject? I have a limited budget, but it would be nice just to look at military loli coordinates. :] Thank you in advance!
Comments 
30th-Apr-2014 08:34 am (UTC)
Hi,

I am also a fan of lolita and I often surf the web to find lolita online store. Recently I find a store that make lolita and cosplay costumes. And one kind of military & uniform lolita dress might be suitable for your request. You may go to have a see. http://www.fanplusfriend.com/wonder-powers-military-lolita-short-sleeves-dress-skirt-2colors/
And the matched mini hat also belongs to the military lolita series. It could be worn casually and very comfortable. Just a advice.
30th-Apr-2014 04:06 pm (UTC)
I like F+F's original designs too! I was considering getting that Wonder Powers set if ever I place an order, but their Machine Birdcage is tempting too... I need to plan my purchase carefully!
30th-Apr-2014 08:52 am (UTC)
Excentrique is a brand that consistently puts out military lolita. If you're going to go for a military look, it's probably best to not just wear the hat but also incorporate military details- it's understandable that you don't want to wear a jacket in hot weather, but things like tall boot or corset skirts with buttons on the bodice can bring a coord more into military territory. I think caplets are also a popular piece of outerwear when doing military lolita, and they might be cooler than jackets. I think the objection most people have to the D. Walkure hat is that it looks vaguely Nazi-inspired, so wearing a different sort of hat might actually be a better bet.
1st-May-2014 12:58 am (UTC)
Excentrique has such elegant designs! I am still searching for a reasonably priced basic skirt with details like you mentioned, as the one I found has lots of ruffles at the side so it looks a bit more steampunk.

Capelets sound like a great idea! I'll keep an eye out for those. Thanks for the suggestion ~
30th-Apr-2014 02:29 pm (UTC)
Regarding whether or not it's offensive:

From a legal perspective (at least, my vaguely-remembered knowledge of the law in the UK, so it may differ), as long as you aren't pretending to be a police officer or member of the armed forces, it's fine.

The offensiveness will vary from person to person, as all of these things do. It's rarely possible to please everyone, so even when you do your best to make this as acceptable as possible, people still may take issue with what you're doing. Also, your intent isn't to offend people, and you're actually considering the implications before you do anything, so I think you're doing the right thing.

As for the clothing in question, you can look at it in a few ways. There's nothing inherently fascistic in the clothing itself, they just happen to have been worn by those organisations. It's not like you're going around with pamphlets promoting the organisation, so to an extent you can argue that it's just clothes and you like them, and that they're not necessarily bad. It's a risky argument, but you can try. You could also try to say that you're trying to give the items less of a fascistic connotation by wearing them in a context completely devoid of politics. There was a comedian a while ago who decided to grow a moustache like Hitler’s. Facial hair is facial hair, he said, and nothing more. He argued that if everyone had a moustache like that it would lose its connection to Hitler.

Also, the offensiveness may vary depending on where you are. In the 80's in the UK, the word 'ninja' was so offensive that it was banned from all films, even those with an 18 certificate. At the same time in the USA, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was popular, blatantly saying the word 'ninja' in front of children. For a more fashion-based example, I've heard that a fez is considered a very politically-charged hat in some areas of the world (though I can't remember details), whereas to me it's perfectly fine.

My conclusion: I don't mind. I'd probably raise my eyebrows if I saw you in the street, but as long as you explain that it's just because you like the clothes, I don't have a problem. Others are probably going to be less accepting, though.
30th-Apr-2014 05:06 pm (UTC)
The only military no-no I can think of is dressing like a nazi.
And even then it's has to be like 100% spot on replica.

30th-Apr-2014 06:10 pm (UTC)
True. I suppose that's straying closer to wearing symbols of an organisation. Like the hat, there's nothing inherently wrong with, say, the boots or jacket. But when you start to wear several at the same time, it starts to stack up, until you resemble some sort of icon of the party. At least that's how I view it.
30th-Apr-2014 06:36 pm (UTC)
Which sucks because the Nazi party had some attractive looking uniforms
1st-May-2014 01:51 am (UTC)
They certainly did...
1st-May-2014 05:55 am (UTC)
Why did the Nazis have to have such good looking uniforms? WHY. WHY!?
1st-May-2014 07:26 am (UTC)
Hugo Boss. Sigh.
1st-May-2014 04:44 am (UTC)
I have no plans to xD though they were very... stylish uniforms, really.
1st-May-2014 11:46 pm (UTC)
Well i saw a nazi punk cutsew from Hellpunkcats....i was shocked to see that!In Japan no one would notice it but in Western countries is really offensive....
7th-May-2014 08:01 am (UTC)
o_o nazi cutsew... I imagine even Hitler himself would be rolling in his grave at that...
10th-May-2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah O_O!!I was really with a facepalm face to see that! I love punk japanese brands even with some swearing or horror stuff but that was too much....
1st-May-2014 04:43 am (UTC)
I have no plans to impersonate a member of the police force, so no worries there xD

I am fond of hats in general, even though they aren't commonly worn here; it's too hot. A long time ago it was considered rude to wear hats indoors, especially in someone's home, but nowadays it has become more acceptable- unfortunately the only hat worn by the general populace is the baseball cap. Some fashionistas wear boaters and fedoras; but it's pretty rare.

I agree that the clothes themselves aren't fascist, especially if there are no symbols or markings on it. I like the sleek, polished look to uniform designs. I've never heard of that comedian before, though I have seen pictures on the internet of a cat with markings around its nose that look very much like a moustache. I doubt the cat knows or cares about politics...

I find it odd that 'ninja' was considered offensive! Could you explain why? About the fez, again it is just something I like for its look; it may be controversial to wear one in the Middle East, but I don't think there are negative connotations with it here.
1st-May-2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
Splendid, it sounds like you’re legally acceptable.

I like hats too! Perhaps one day I'll have a collection of them- so far I have a fez (from a trip to Israel), an ushanka (because it keeps me warm), a keffiyeh/headscarf (because it is waaay better at protecting me from the sun) and some general hats like baseball caps. Next on my list is a sombrero (because it's cool) or a fedora (because it's cool and it would complete my costume of the 1940's version of the Invisible Man).

Yeah, being devoid of symbols is a massive point in your favour. As for the comedian, I don't think he was successful in his attempt- no matter how often he explained himself (and pointed out that Charlie Chaplain was famous for that style of moustache before Hitler), people still got angry.

I can't remember the reason exactly- I think it was one of those connotation things. It's a bit like most swear words have a definition, and refer to a noun or an act. But they're offensive because our culture tells us that there's meaning to them beyond what they literally are defined as. 'Ninja' was one of those things- while it technically only meant an assassin, it implied an awful lot more.
30th-Apr-2014 05:38 pm (UTC)
It's good that you're cautious, because outside of certain club situations and cons, you can get yourself in a lot of trouble. Whether wearing that hat is offensive or not depends upon the person. My parents are vets and that ensured I grew up around veterans, so I'm a touch bias. Some of them can get really upset with people walking around in a uniform 'they didn't earn'. Your mileage may vary.

Military lolita can look really, really cool, provided it's done right. Just try to stay away from certain designs, like the whole brown-shirts association you talked about already. Depending upon where you live, certain colors or certain designs might get you in trouble with the populous at large. Generally, if you go with a classic design (Sailor uniforms are totally kosher and people think you're REALLY cute), or a design that predates the first world war, you're generally safe.

Edited at 2014-04-30 05:41 pm (UTC)
1st-May-2014 04:51 am (UTC)
I wanted to avoid that issue, because it's true I didn't 'earn' this myself. I don't want it to be seen as silly or fetishistic, like those 'sexy policewoman' costumes you sometimes see ><

I also have some sailor items here! The blouse is a little loose, but it's nice and breezy, perfect for the local climate. The hat I am talking about (my uncle's) has no connection to Nazis and the like; it's just an ordinary policeman's cap, but the design is no longer used today.
30th-Apr-2014 06:50 pm (UTC)
Just echoing what is said above that it's going to vary from person to person whether or not people will be offended by something like that (also I assume we're talking about a police hat? Not an SS hat? An SS hat is probably going to be offensive to almost anyone)

Ages ago when I was in high school, maybe about 16, I had a military jacket I got from a thrift store, one of those dime a dozen surplus jackets. I used to wear it to school and had a teacher who used to be in the military who loved it, but I also had a really awkward run in with a grown man in public who was less-than-pleased seeing a teenager wear a military jacket. So, I guess if you absolutely don't want to even entertain the notion of possibly offending someone, I would avoid wearing it, because there's always the chance you will offend someone.

1st-May-2014 05:01 am (UTC)
The hat I am talking about is an ordinary police cap, not anything connected to the SS. :) Though actually my friend's issue with the SS costumes was that they were inaccurate and cheaply made- he knows what the Nazis did but does not take offense if it is in context, such as in their reenactments. He dislikes it when they are worn for shock value.

Anyway I suppose it can't be helped, there are always people who will take it badly. I wonder if modifying the hat a little would help?
1st-May-2014 02:14 am (UTC)
I'm assuming you mean a WWII German policeman's hat. Does the policeman's hat have a swastika on it? That's the general test for these things. If it does, I just wouldn't wear it anywhere, period.

If it doesn't, and you really want to you should wear it, but probably only to specific events. Basically cons and private events. You can pretty much tell by the shape and the aesthetic of the hat what it is. I had the opportunity to handle some Nazi hats/helmets and I could tell what it was just by looking at it before even seeing the symbols. It's a very specific aesthetic. When D. Walkure came out, people tried to argue it was just generic military style, but it really isn't. There is a specific look to it and people recognize that, whether correctly or not. So I would keep it to private events. There's a lot of misconception about people who like/collect German WWII memorabilia so it's not really worth the risk, most people in the public won't understand or even want to and just assume the worst.

Even wearing it to cons, you might get some bad feedback, but people there will probably be more open to the idea you're going for and a lot of people like the look.
1st-May-2014 05:13 am (UTC)
Oh, no xD the cap I am talking about has no Nazi connotations at all. It's an ordinary policeman's cap, but of a design that is no longer used. I was more concerned that people may take offense because I clearly didn't 'earn' it myself. I also don't want it to be mistaken for a fetish item like those 'sexy policewoman' costumes with fishnet stockings.

Regarding SS hats, I agree there is a specific look to it- there's something about the curve and slope of the hat, I think. There is such a knee-jerk reaction to these sort of memorabilia, whatever the collectors' reasons for keeping them.
1st-May-2014 01:46 pm (UTC)
I think military elements (brass buttons, high waists, tall boots, certain colours e.g. khaki and navy) are totally fine - "military" has been a recurring autumn/winter trend for coats and jackets and suchlike for years - but I would advise you to please be careful not to make your military lolita look at all fascist or be particularly historically accurate, whatever your friend says. If the association of such uniforms with Nazis was something purely in the past it might be different, but since some neo-Nazis and racists today still wear that sort of stuff as a statement you want to stay farrrr away from that aesthetic if you don't want to be mistaken for one. If I saw someone walking down the street in really Nazi-looking getup my first assumption would be more likely to be that they were a neo-Nazi or a uniform fetishist with poor timing than that they were in a play or wearing it as a fashion statement. But military elements on their own are not bad at all IMO, as long as you're not wearing a close replica of a real uniform.

As to the police cap, I'm no expert but it wouldn't strike me as a problem. Police hats aren't earned by acts of bravery or anything like military medals or something are, so I don't think it's disrespectful to wear an old one.
7th-May-2014 08:03 am (UTC)
I am not going for historical accuracy myself. :) My friend was referring to the cosplay aspect of the uniforms. It's like they want to wear it for shock value, but don't bother to get the details right.

Ahh, you have a point about the acts of bravery; I was worried about that, but (no offense to policemen) it probably is different from military medals in that aspect. Thank you!
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