Hello everyone! ^___^
I know this is a pretty common subject when you are talking about lolita, only I would also like to say something about it and give some tips. Building a wardrobe sounds so much fun and looks really easy but it isn't always easy and 'fun'. Most of the time it's fun, only there are also moments when you need to buy something that's important for lolita which you don't like. (For example I hate to buy petticoats, only it's so important) And it's sad when something breaks and you need to buy something but you can't buy the item anymore....
Building a wardrobe isn't as easy as it looks like, there are many pretty things but you can't have them all and sometimes the items you really want doesn't match. Pink isn't always the same and even black isn't always the same. Of course the price is also a big issue! Lolita isn't a cheap hobby!
1. Know your budget and absolutely don't spent more money on lolita than your budget!
Before you know it there is already a new package on your way! That's not bad, of course not... only not everyone can spend a large amount of money on lolita clothes.
When you begin with collecting the clothes and other items it's better to say to yourself: ''This is my budget what I can spend on lolita clothes &items each month''
That's simple and clear! This is different for everyone of us.
I don't have a certain month budget because I don't buy lolita clothes every month, I have a year budget. I'm not going to tell how much it is, that's private, what I can tell is that I never buy more than 2 'big' items in a year. (OP, JSK or skirt)
That fits in my budget, I don't get any trouble with this...there is enough money left for the other things that are more important than lolita for example school, travelling,having fun days with friends, or when something very important is broken and needs to be replaced. (phone, mp3, camera, laptop things like that)
2. Buy the basics
What do you really need when you want to wear lolita?
* White Blouse * White socks/ Black socks (OTK's or knee socks)
* Black Blouse * Lolita shoes that match with your (future) closet
* Bloomers * Lace stockings
Some Lolitas don't like to buy the basics, I think it makes it more easier to wear lolita and when you buy a new outfit there is always something to coordinate it with. Basics are important only it's up to you to buy them. For example if you only wear OP's there is no need to buy two blouses!
I'm wearing lolita for nearly four years now, I just finished buying the items from this list. I can tell you it wasn't easy, there was always something that I couldn't find in my closet.
3. Make a wishlist. ^__^
It's so much fun to make a wishlist! When you make one you are going to think about which items you like the most and which ones are not pretty enough to be written down on the list.
Try to buy everything on the wishlist and try to avoid impulse buys. Why? Because you can't have everything, a wishlist helps you to make right decisions. Of course, you can change your wishlist once in a while, sometimes after a long time that one item you wanted to have for so long wasn't needed after all.
4. Choose a favorite color/favorite colors and stick to this color(s)
Colors are important, some colors don't match at all. So... choose two basic colors to built up a wardrobe. It doesn't have to be black and white, please pick your favorite colors,those colors doesn't have to match with each other, because they are the basic.
Then you choose more favorite colors you would like to have in your lolita closet. Those colors do have to match with one of the basic colors. In the end nearly every piece of clothing can be used in a coord.
For example my closet:
Basic Colors: Black and Light Pink
Other Colors: Darker Pink, Dusty Pink, Green, Light Blue/Sax, Red, White
Light Pink or Black does match with one of the other colors, for the more simple coords, I use white as basic color.
5. Try to avoid impulse buyings.
Most of the time impulse buyings are more likely to be sold or to be hated after some time. You will lose a lot money on that, it's better to save up for something you really want. I sold everything I bought without thinking wisely, from that money I could have bought my most wanted dream dress if I was a little bit smarter back then.
6. Don't buy more than you 'need'.
Most of the lolitas wear their frilly clothes once a week or once in a month, then there is no need to have more than 10 dresses, I think
Yes, it's nice to have 10 dresses, only you can't wear them all at once!
That would look ridiculous ^_~ I'm pretty sure when you have 10 dresses there are one or two you can live without, it's so much better to love all you clothes and wear them with love.
When you are a lifestyle lolita or you wear lolita more than once in a week you need more clothes, it's still the same don't buy things you don't need.
Another example, you only need one or two poofy petticoats (a black one or a white one) there is no need to buy 5 petticoats. Do you only wear OP's? Don't buy blouses, buy cardigans or save up your money. Things like that! Another step to love every piece inside your lolita closet.
7. Accept that when you start wearing lolita, you are going to spent much money on the clothes.
Lolita fashion is very expensive, even if you don't wear brand. You always need special shoes, socks, petticoat, bloomers, blouse, hair accessory, other accessory and a skirt or dress with the right shape. There is no way that you can buy all this for less than 100 euro, or you have to be very very lucky!
Brand clothing makes this even worse, a brand only outfit will cost you about 500~~1000 euro new, it can be more expensive. (something like this? dress 250 ~~ 300 euro, blouse 150 euro, shoes 150 euro, socks 30 euro, bag 100 euro, hair accessory 50 ~~ 150 euro, other accessory/jewelry 50~~200)
Don't worry I don't say you have to buy all this! I never spend so much money on one outfit!
There is always a chance to buy second-hand or offbrand or make your own clothes.
It's still expensive, buying all brand outfits is extremely expensive but brand x handmade or second-hand isn't cheap either. I'm going to warn you at the beginning, you are going to spend much money, if it's too much money for you stop with it right away. I haven't met a lolita who only has one outfit, if you have one you want another one. Please accept that you are going to spend much money on lolita clothes, buying clothes because they are cheap isn't the right thing to do. You might regret it later, I'm sure you don't want that!
8. Start making your own clothes.
I think everyone can make their own lolita clothes, if I can do it everyone can. It's not easy, many things will go wrong, only when the item is ready to wear you will appreciate it much more. Try to make some small/easy items first: simple skirts, head dresses, head bows, other accessory. There are many tutorials for those items online or buy a Gosu Rori/ Gothic & Lolita bible. Or try to find a good school, I pretty sure there is one in your neighborhood. Finding good quality fabric and lace is difficult and it may be very expensive. I'm sure it isn't as expensive as brand clothing.
Another reason why it's nice to make you own clothes is because the design of the item can be completely your own. There isn't an item that's exactly the same! Isn't that amazing?
Handmade Little Green Monster JSK
9. Buy the things YOU want to have.
Let never ever tell anyone what you need to buy, buy what you want to have. It's your lolita wardrobe and not somebody else her/his wardrobe. Somebody else can give your tips to make it easier for you, only you are the one who has to decide. You are to one who has to be happy with the clothes and you are the one who needs to wear it. Do you like classic lolita? Then you buy classic lolita, it doesn't matter if everyone else in your community wears sweet or gothic. Wear the clothes you love! Do you really love bodyline clothes? More than other brands? Don't be ashamed, wear those clothes! Wearing lolita should make you happy and happy people are beautiful people! :)
10. Buy second-hand or offbrand.
It's not a shame to buy second-hand, many lolitas buy second-hand clothes. After all, people can't see if it's second-hand or new. There are many website where you can buy (and sell) lolita clothes, such as closet child, fairy angel, alice fufurun, EGL community sales and many more.
Most of the time you save a lot money on buying second-hand lolita stuff, maybe the item is only used once? Maybe it's new and never been worn at all! It's great when you save more than 50~~ 100 euro with that or maybe more. I'm a real discount hunter, I love to buy pretty dresses for less money, I spend the rest of the money on another dress or something for my dolls.
Not many lolitas have the opportunity to go lolita shopping in a 'real' shop. Just a few have the chance to go to Japan, San Francisco or Paris. That's why it's nice to go shopping for offbrand lolita clothes sometimes. Offbrand is cheaper and it's fun because you can buy it in a store and not on the internet.Stores like H&M, Zara, River Island, Taily Weijl & more have lolita inspired or actual lolita items in their shops. Or try to find some nice clothes in your local vintage shop, vintage items make coords more awesome I think.
Conclusion: You save more money on buying offbrand or second-hand, there is no need to have a lolita clothes full of brand. It's nice if you can afford that, only not everyone is that lucky.
Things like stockings, blouses, jewelry can often be found for a reasonable price at 'normal' stores or vintages shops.
Would you like to see more lolita wardrobes?
In this post you can find a few picture.. isn't that enough?
Here are some nice videos:
Here are some nice videos:
My Sweet Lolita Wardrobe by sherbertsugar
My Lolita Wardrobe by FilleDePorcelaine
Print Close-ups by thalionrin
Gothic Lolita Wardrobe by Satanicwitch (Damiën's other youtube channel)
More can be found on youtube!
My own wardrobe?
More can be found on youtube!
My own wardrobe?
I don't have a recent picture of my own wardrobe. I wish could show it to you, I guess you don't want to see it, my mom is still renovating the upper floors so my clothes are packed in a sort of curtain and when I need something I bring it to my room. (for those who are wondering, no my room isn't finished) Maybe next year when everything is finished, I can show you my room and my lolita wardrobe. If you are curious, please take a look at this post: Lolita Wardrobe 2012
It's not up-to-date again, I sold many things and I bought and made some new items.
It gives you an idea of my wardrobe, I hope you will like it. ^__^