But I have limited income.
I can't afford my dream dress.
I don't know how to shop.
But I'm in college and trying to lolita on a budget.
You guys are so pretty. I wish I could afford ...
This list goes on and on. I am sure we have all been in this boat about something and Lolita, being a luxury fashion, is no different. So here are some tips and how-to's for letting go of excuses and getting into Lolita.
Brand vs. Off-BrandEveryone wants to look like a doll baby and sometimes you just don't have doll baby prices. Personally, I just don't commit to shopping that often and enjoy quick fixes in bulk. Whatever your reason, off brand is a great way to get started. Just because it's generally labeled off-brand doesn't always mean cheap quality. However, it can mean kinder prices.
A great go-to for some off-brand experimentation is Bodyline. I am proud to say, as an in real life (IRL) Lolita, about 85% of my closet is Bodyline and I absolutely love it. It affords me time and money to experiment with my Lolita, become more expressive, and find what styles I would enjoy investing in, further, brand-wise.
In the years that I have been shopping Bodyline, I must say that there quality is on a come up to compete with brand. However, a fair warning is that their panniers and petticoats aren't great at all. They just aren't fluffy enough and die within minutes of wearing them. So if you're looking for that inexpensive perfect poof, they are NOT the way to go. In sizing, sometimes, Bodyline can be trial and error. You'll probably find that mostly in shoes but no fear! All Lolis need shoes, so they are generally easy to resell within communities (pending style and size, of course) so that you can re-up and get what you need.
For petticoats, I would suggest Fan Plus Friend. While you're there, you may find some nifty replica styles and other do-dads for Lolita styles. They are especially great if you are into Gothic and old-school Lolita. But if you're sweet you may be in for a hunt to find some items. A fair warning about their items, hwoever, would be that some of there items do look costume-y and can become very ita very fast. So, easy doest it and take time planning coords with Fan Plus Friend.
Buying Replicas and Second-handEventually, brand is inevitable. It's not a bad thing. In fact, in all of my years, I am recently opening up to acquire a bit of burando myself. Some prints are simply pleasing to my eye so I have to suck it up and join the masses. To be kinder to my pockets, though, the Live Journal EGL Sales Community has become my friend.
With overseas shopping always on my mind, I am starting to become more familiar with shopping services to navigate places like Taobao and Closet Child. Then there's Oo Jia for some replica customizing goodness.
Unfortunately, I have yet to shop these suggestions. So I don't have much input ... YET! But give me time and I'll be sure to share my experience. However, these suggestions come highly recommended so I'm positive I'm not steering you wrong.
No matter which way you rock in Lolita, though, hands down, you HAVE TO SAVE! I really cannot stress that enough. Pennies and other change count, too. So grab a jar, start a Lolita fund, and hit up your nearest Coinstar to change your change into bills before shopping. But there's absolutely no way around that fact.
The Dollar vs. The YenThe dollar is stronger now. Why is that great you ask? Easy! Easier conversions and less dollars spent. No matter where you shop, if there is an option to pay in JPY over USD, you'd better choose JPY. If you don't believe me, do the math! You may not be saving a great deal on orders, but if you 'bout dat life, every little bit counts!
Until next time