The View from My Auntie’s Balcony

The View from My Aunties Balcony blog

The view from my auntie’s balcony in Hong Kong

Soooooo beautiful isn’t it? The View from My Aunties Balcony blog

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How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡

Because lolita fashion is not really suitable for every day wear..

I’d like to tell you how I put together an Otome outfit!

What’s otome?

It means “maiden”. It’s a fashion that embraces being girly.

Because of this, there’s quite a lot overlap with lolita fashion, but it’s a lot more suitable for casual wear as there are less rules!

How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog

This is an example outfit.

It’s sooooooo cute! How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog


How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog


What do you think?  How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog

 I really how girly it is, but still rather normal!
I often wear these type of things to work although I stray away from prints like the rabbit dress above as it’s not very work appropriate!


I will tell you now how to put an outfit together!


First, you must decide your main piece.

Usually it’s a skirt or a dress.


For dresses, I typically like to choose dresses without sleeves.

Because you can wear blouses underneath. It allows more variability in how you’d like to wear it!

When I wear the same piece often in the same way, I often get tired of it and stop wearing it eventually. How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog

 How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog

Here’s a dress I picked!

It comes in beige and blue (like a denim jacket).

I picked beige because you can still wear it in the autumn! Light blue feels a lot more spring and summer~y.
There’s nothing wrong with that! But to save money, I try to pick things that will work more seasons than one.


Before we move on, think about the aesthetic you’d like to go with!
I think that this dress is pretty versatile.
You can dress it very summer-y if you add sandals and a straw hat!
Or you can wear it to work if you dress it up a bit with a really nice blouse!

Be careful. As this is where a lot of people mess up!

Usually people just tend to mix and match aesthetics.
As an example, they might wear a straw hat, but a REALLY classy blouse.

I made a lot of mistakes like that too! It’s a learning process.



After you’ve decided that…


What’s next?

You must pick a blouse!

There are many, many, many kinds of blouses these days!
It’s really hard to choose one. How can you decide?

Because of the way this dress is shaped above the bust.. it almost looks like a heart.
That’s really cute, isn’t it?!

Because you don’t want to lose this detail, you should pick a high collared blouse.
If you picked a blouse with a peter pan collar, I think that you would lose focus on the lovely heart shape and you might even cover it up!
If you didn’t pick a high collared blouse, you might find a blouse that has a neck hole that is square or round. It would clash quite a lot.

I tried… to demonstrate my point below.
The blue represents the collar for the shirt.
The square collar clashes quite a lot. The circular collar might be acceptable?..

How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog

In my opinion a high collar is the best still!


Here’s a blouse I might pick if I was wearing it to work.

It’s nice and classy, isn’t it?! 

 There is a black and gold brooch which is removable.

I would remove it for this outfit! But you can include if you’d like. I might add other black/gold accessories though! 

How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog

Next is stockings!

Because the blouse is white… and the dress is beige.

I’d like to coordinate the stockings so they are white as well.

This is just to create a color balance so you don’t have too much of one color on the bottom or top.

A good rule is to have the main color take up 2/3 of your outfit!

I usually do not pick solid colored tights. Having something with a pattern just helps add a bit of texture.

But because I’m choosing this for work, I can’t pick something too loud!

If I wasn’t wearing this to work, I wouldn’t mind picking out some heart patterned tights!

  How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog

OK – we’re almost there.

Now shoes!

I’m going back to the beige color of the dress to balance the colors.

I opted for oxfords with no heels as they are dressy, but not too dressy (like the dress).

How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog


Now we’re on to the last thing!


I’m personally obsessed with book bags.. and they do look classy.

So here we go go. A beige book bag!

How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog


Here’s the outfit I put together!


What do you think?

OK, OK. The color is the bag doesn’t completely match… ;_;
These are nit picky things, but they really help make the outfit much better!
But if you are just wearing this for everyday wear, it’s OK!


How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog

You can also obviously add more accessories to complete it!

Such as hair bow, hat, jewelry, etc.

 It’s a rather simple outfit. I especially did not play around with colors too much.
But these are the basics to help you explore more!


Was this post helpful?

Do you have suggestions to make it even better?

I’ll be happy to hear it! How to Put an Otome Outfit Together ♡ blog

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Thanks for the Feedback! ♡

I wanted to thank everyone who left feedback and who will leave feedback.

As I’m going traveling tomorrow, I may not have time to respond to your feedback just yet.

So please sit tight. I promise I will read and consider everything you send to me! Thanks for the Feedback! ♡ blog

I will respond to your feedback when I get a chance, OK?  Thanks for the Feedback! ♡ blog   Thanks for the Feedback! ♡ blog   Thanks for the Feedback! ♡ blog


I’m not sure about internet availability during my travels. But I will do my best to post if it’s possible!

I have one more post scheduled that I already wrote ahead of time.

Thanks everyone and have a good Easter!  Thanks for the Feedback! ♡ blog

Thanks for the Feedback! ♡ blog

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Requesting Reader Feedback! Part 2 ♡

Hi everyone!

I’ve started to become more and more worried about my blog recently. Requesting Reader Feedback! Part 2 ♡ blog

Since I’ve started re-blogging again, my own sense of fashion has taken on a different direction and I’ve become completely obsessed with frilly dresses!

Not only that, I’m a very big fan of Japanese idols.

This all doesn’t make much sense to me…

And I’m quite concerned that I’m losing all audiences of my blog like this because I probably don’t have much of an audience that likes both things.

Do you guys have suggestions on what to do about this?
I’m not sure what to do.. besides to stop talking about idols. I think it just makes most people confused.. Requesting Reader Feedback! Part 2 ♡ blog

With regards to me changing my fashion… are you guys OK with this? I’m really sorry if not, but I can only write what I am passionate about. Requesting Reader Feedback! Part 2 ♡ blog

I hope that you can take the time to fill out these questions for me..
The more people that fill it out, the better I can write a better blog for you!


  1. Do you have suggestions on how to talk about idols and lolita fashion on my blog without alienating any part of my audience?
  2. Have you lost interest in my blog because of lolita?
  3. What does strawberryjam do well on her blog? (Photos? Writing? Content? Etc.)
  4. What does strawberryjam not do well? (Don’t be afraid to be honest!)
  5. What kind of posts do you enjoy the most of strawberryjam’s?
  6. What makes me special that keeps you coming back rather going somewhere else? (Please tell me! It can be the most minuscule thing!)


Thank you everyone for filling this out! Requesting Reader Feedback! Part 2 ♡ blog
I know that some of you have filled this out before.. but I’d appreciate it if you could fill it out again to see how things have changed!

I will consider all feedback as I did before.

And again – I’m sorry for always having long spells of not posting… Requesting Reader Feedback! Part 2 ♡ blog


P.S. Here’s a picture of me from the weekend!
Sorry, I was making a derpy face, hahaha.

Requesting Reader Feedback! Part 2 ♡ blog

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Japan 2013 Haul ♡

Spring is coming!

It’s gotten so much warmer in Dublin. It’s soooo super exciting!  Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog



One of my commenters asked for my makeup haul from my trip in Japan 2013.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a whole lot, hahaha.

I will just show you everything cute I got!  Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog

Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog

Make up and cute things!
I got a re-supply of Dolly Wink items… Especially my favorite Dolly Wink eyeliner!

Can you see the 2 charms on the bottom left of the picture?
It’s a charm I bought for me and a.!
It will bring us happiness as a couple! Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog
Many temples in Japan sell these kind of charms. I sure hope that it works, hahaha.

Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog

A lovely coat I got! The fur is removable. I got it for less than $30 USD… I think, haha.

Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog

Socks and tights! I don’t think I got enough still. ;_;

Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog

These are 2 skirts I got in Harajuku (where young people like to hang out and there’s many fashionable stores there!)
I really love the library bear skirt! I wear it often.

Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog

And 2 pairs of shoes I got! 
I love the heels, but they are tooooo high, hahaha. I’m very unlady like in this regard..
And I got school girl loafers!
They are so uncomfortable. I got really bad blisters on my ankles wearing them.
I saw many Japanese girls wear them with the backs of the shoe completely flattened and now I can understand why..


I feel like I got so little items…! 
Am I crazy? Haha…
I think that I am too frugal.. I hope I can bring myself to spend more on my next trip because who knows the next time I will go!


Last weekend, my friend and I went to a Teddy Bear exhibition!

They had many teddy bears on display from many time periods. They had Irish bears, German bears, French bears, etc!
I got so excited I think I want to start a teddy bear collection, hahaha.
Unfortunately I couldn’t take a pictures of them as most of them were in a very dark room to preserve them.

But here’s a picture of us in the story book room!
I wore my teddy bear dress again! Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog

Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog


P.S. I was unable to buy the Morning Musume concert tickets. It seems they love to reject foreign credit cards. I will have to buy them at a ridiculous markup when I am in Tokyo.  Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog   Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog   Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog

In other news though! I was able to buy the Morning Musume box set for their newest single Toki o Koe Sora o Koe / Password is 0!
Why is the such good news?
Well.. the box set enables me to take a picture with one of the members Iikubo Haruna or Oda Sakura.
I’m soooooooo excited! Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog   Japan 2013 Haul ♡ blog
What should I wear????????? 

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Japan 2013 – Idols in Akihabara ♡

I have been very bad at keeping my promise of posting more..
And also posting about Japan!  Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog
This one isn’t related to fashion so please bear with me..


Akihabara in Tokyo is probably how a lot of people imagine Japan!

It is nicknamed Electric Town.

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

You can buy many inexpensive electronics there.

It’s also home to many maid cafes.

When you are walking around the streets, there will be maids handing flyers out asking you to go to their cafe.
I really want to take a picture with them, haha. They are just so cute! But I was toooo embarrassed to ask! Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

Besides maids, it’s also home to many idol theaters!

If you are a fan of idols, you will most likely know that this is where AKB48 started!
They are probably Japan’s most famous girl idol group at the moment.

This is the Akihabara train station!

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

Right outside is the AKB48 cafe and shop.
They have a very good location..
But of course, it helps to be very popular! Although these days they are beginning to decline somewhat.

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

Outside the station, there is a big open area and sometimes there are people singing and dancing!

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

The Electric Town is primarily a street of shops.

Do you see that Akiba One building on the right?

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

They have a couple of very exciting stores in there!

One of them is Trio.
At Trio, you will find many second hand idol goods such as photos, posters, cds, etc.
It was truly heaven for me!   Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

This is a picture of all the CDs, pictures, photobooks, etc. I bought when I was in Japan.

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

I found many photos at Trio for around 100 yen (roughly $1 USD)!

At Trio, I also bought Morning Musume  One Two Three single set for around 2000 yen ($20 USD)
It is very inexpensive considering each single in the set cost at least $12!

Another amazing store I recommend to go to is called Book Off.
It is a store where you can buy second hand CDs, DVDs, books, etc.
It is not limited to idols, but they still have idol CDs, DVDs, and photobooks there too!

I bought many Morning Musume singles for less than 500 yen ($5 USD)!

This experience was tooooooo exciting for me really. My heart was beating really hard the whole time I was there!

In Book Off, I spent at least 3 hours browsing.. but in all honesty, I could browse there an entire day finally buying every Japanese CD I’ve enjoyed!

 After browsing a couple hours, I literally had a basket filled full with CDs.. Unfortunately, it was just too much for me to carry.
Next time I go to Japan, I think I need to split my trips to Book Off and buy a little bit every time I go..
Yes, I’m that crazy, haha. 


I’m very sorry for the lack of photos, but many stores are very strict about taking photos in their stores. Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog


As you walk further down the street, you will see the Don Quijote building!
Don Quijote is an inexpensive store where you buy pretty much anything! I bought some make up when I was there!

At the top of the building though is where the actual AKB48 theater is.
Yes, I went to see a show here! It is a very small theater. I’m not really sure of the capacity, but it’s only around 200.
I could clearly see the idol’s faces and I noticed many times when they had direct eye contact with me!

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

Outside the building, there were still maids handing out fliers.
But to my surprise, there was also a member of an indie idol group handing out fliers for their show!
I asked if she was an idol and tried to ask how to get to the show.. but my Japanese is really super poor.

But I really, really wanted to go! Unfortunately, it was the 2nd to last day of my trip then and they didn’t have any more shows scheduled before I left.
There is just so much to do in Japan!


Further down the street you will see this building!

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

Do you see what’ special about it????
Yes, there is the Hello!Project store! Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

 Out of sheer luck – on the day I went to the store one of the idols Tasaki Asahi was having a mini live and handshake!
I was sooooo surprised and happy! Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

Again, I don’t have pictures as they were prohibited. Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

Asahi played a couple of her songs on the keyboard and sang along.
She is truly passionate about her music. I was so impressed!

And next came the handshake!
She was nice to me and super surprised when I told her I was from California!
I also told her best of luck with her major debut.

a. also came with me too! Of course, he got more attention because he is not of Asian descent! So she got very excited!

 You can hear one of Asahi’s songs here.


Akihabara was an extremely exciting place for me!
I couldn’t be more happy as a major idol fan…
I think I can die happy now, hahaha. Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

What do you think of the atmosphere there?

Would you like to go too?


P.S. I received my seifuku from Taobao! I think it’s soooo cute! Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

Japan 2013   Idols in Akihabara ♡ blog

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