Magazines are still a fairly large part of our culture. There are magazines available for a huge range of interests – from weddings to food to video games to coffee. So naturally, lolitas have their own magazines as well – things like Kera and the Gothic & Lolita Bible. But lifestyle lolitas may be more interested in something a bit deeper, magazines that focus on other aspects of life. Not to mention, magazines that you don’t have to import from across the world would be great.
I have four magazines that are readily available in most stores where I live (Massachusetts), are relatively inexpensive, and are perfect for lifestyle lolitas. Please allow me to introduce to you: Romantic Homes, Southern Lady, Bliss Victoria, and Tea Time.
Romantic Homes is a monthy-release magazine that sells for $5.99 USD and focuses on home decor. It features many advertizements for related companies and stores, commonly showing antique stores and other “feminine” decor retailers. Each issue of the magazine has a theme: above are the rose issue, the Valentine’s issue, and the Christmas issue.
The magazine generally features photosets of different rooms, along with decorating tips on how to create a similar look. They tend to give a website and a price for key pieces in each look, such as the floral hat boxes above (The caption reads: “Nesting boxes, $45. -830-9700 or the bellacottage.com.”). Sometimes they feature DIY tutorials, like the floral vase pictured above.
Southern Lady is a bi-monthy magazine intended for the sterotypical “southern belle”. Each issue is themed, and some themes are annual – shown above is the January/February Decorating issue from 2013 and 2014. The price per issue is $4.99.
Southern Lady is truly a lifestyle magazine, regularly featuring articles on travel, shopping, decor, recipes, and more. However, most of the travel and shopping articles focus on locations in the American south, as that is the target audience. However, even if you can’t visit the specific locations advertized, you can still appreciate the eyecandy shown! Also, the traveling ideas can inspire your own life – for example, the travel article on the left is Williamsburg, a colonial town. That inspired me to look into colonial towns myself to see the attractions mentioned in the article, such as tea emporiums, antique vendors and ancient churches.
The decor in this magazine, shown right, has a wide range of style – some rooms shown are elegant and gentle, some are flowy and ethereal, and some, like the one above, has a highly glamorous feel.
The advertizements in this magazine tend to be for decor, things like artificial sweeteners and other “diet” foods, jewelry and other accessories.
Bliss Victoria is another bi-weekly magazine that retails for $4.99 per issue. Keeping with the theme of themed magazines, Bliss Victoria has annual themes they follow as well – above are the gardening issue from this year, and the entrepreneurship issue from two different years. One feature of this magazine is the beautiful design – such as the foiled gold title seen on the issue on the right. The fonts and photos in the magazine are all easy on the eyes and pleasurable to read. If nothing else, this magazine is lovely eye candy. This magazine’s caption is “Decorating ~ Enterprising Women ~ Traveling ~ Entertaining”.
That caption is more or less a perfect description of the magazine. Bliss Victoria features decor, travel, interviews and recipes all revolving around the theme of the issue. Unlike Southern Lady, the traveling segments of this magazine are more global, featuring locations from all over the country and the world.
One particular feature that differentiates this magazine from Southern Lady is the emphasis on the woman in modern society. While Southern Lady tends to aim themselves at housewives, Bliss Victoria focuses on the business woman or savvy adult. Many issues feature interviews with modern women: hotel managers, entrepreneurs, textile designers, and others of a variety of professions. Although Southern Lady occasionally interviews women, most of them are housewives, and very rarely there will be an interior decorator or cafe owner. This is one of the main benefits of Bliss Victoria magazine: it is both feminine and feminist, and is perfect for the modern woman.
The advertizements in this magazine are mostly for jewelry, clothing, gifts, and decor.
Bliss Victoria is also available digitally on the Apple store, Amazon Kindle, Google Play, and Nook, making it highly accessible.
The final magazine that I know of that is perfect for lifestyle lolitas is Tea Time, which is presented by Southern Lady. It is a bi-monthly magazine that retails for $5.99 per issue. The first notable thing about this magazine is the value, or lack thereof. Although produced by the same company, Tea Time magazine is more expensive than Southern Lady and is about half the size. However, Tea Time is more of a “specialty” magazine, which raises the price.
Tea Time magazine, as suggested by the name, is all about tea. It features brands of tea, tips for brewing tea, tea wares like cups and pots, decor for tea parties, and recipes that go well with certain types of teas. The top left image, for example, is an article about matcha, which is traditional powdered green tea popular in Japan. This magazine would be ideal for the host or hostess of a lolita meetup to skim through – I think the recipes are perfect for the “traditional” meetup.
The advertizements in this magazine are generally things related to tea, such as tea makers, tea pots, and automatic brewers. However, since the magazine is presented by Southern Lady, it shares many of the advertizements that are not related to tea, such as those for home decor, jewelry, quilting trade shows, and antiques.
Personally, my favorite magazine of these four is, without a doubt, Bliss Victoria. I find it to be well-balanced, varied enough to hold my interest, and girly yet mature. Second is Tea Time. I really enjoy finding new teas to try, and I adore that each recipe is matched to a type of tea that would compliment it. Next I enjoy Romantic Homes. I’ve had an interest in decorating for many years now. Since I will be moving into an apartment for college this upcoming summer and will have comparative freedom in my decorating, this magazine inspires me a lot. Finally, there is Southern Lady. I read this magazine every time it releases, but there is always something that rubs me the wrong way about it. For example, the fact that they often advertize diet pills and weight loss foods seems misogynistic to me and makes me very uncomfortable. I do continue to read it anyway, though, because I enjoy the travel sections and the decor featured.
So, are there any of these magazines you’re interested in reading? Which one(s) appeal to you? Please let me know in the comments!