Monday, May 9, 2011

Wardrobe building 101

Whatever your fashion, personality or view of showing yours off to the world in the end your wardrobe is the first, and sometimes the only, Lolita thing you'll see during your day. There's been an abundance of posts about wardrobes before, especially since only a few months ago EGL had an actual wardrobe theme. It's a good topic, a chance to brag and a chance to fully realise how much time, effort and money goes into this fashion. Sometimes I sit there in awe over all the brand you can find in a single closet, other times I fume that anyone could actually afford to have all that brand in one closet!

The point is, as a newbie Lolita you have to ask yourself the question. Where do I start and how could I ever amass that much?

This guide assumes you've at least got a grasp on lolita, otherwise how did you find yourself here? I'm not going to tell you THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT with an iron fist, lolita is however you want it to be be think of this as a vague 'you are here' on the map to the road to 'that dream wardrobe' you've been dreaming of.

Right currently, including items that are mid transit as we speak I have...

3 OPs, 4 JSKs, 3 blouses, 1x bloomers, shoes, petticoat, bonnet,skirt and wrist cuffs, 4 pairs of socks, 2 headbows, 2 bags, four wigs and a small handful of accessories like brooches and such. I think that's everything. Essentially that's a pretty small wardrobe in comparison to some, but also a large one compared to others, I'll let you judge! Obviously that doesn't spring up over night and I don't get thousands of dollars to spend in a single sitting so how does it all get there?

Let's start at the very beginning...

The first advice I'll give to a newbie lolita is buy a brand OP first. That sounds bad at first, but honestly just do it. Then you can 1. fawn over it 2. have at least one brand item and 3. Will get what people mean when they say 'brand quality'. It also means when you go to your first meet, and you're going to worry if you're gonna be the ita in bodyline, you won't feel as out of place. True fact bro. I don't suggest getting that dream $400 dress or the latest $300 print right off the bat but go looking! The sales comm has some lovely dresses you can find under $200 AND there's always yahoo japan or japonica market where you can find awesome deals. Just keep in mind to ask for shipping first because that can bring what appears to be a $150 dress to $200 dress including shipping. You can also always of course choose to do a layaway payment with a seller if you can find one. Now also, because you haven't bought a jsk, you can get away without wearing a blouse underneath.

So you've got the dress awesome, just nothing to wear it with. Yes you will have to resist the temptation to just go bodyline it up or run to the nearest department store but as a western lolita waiting is a big part of the fashion, it is indeed a virtue you should adopt.

Invest in a good Petti. i can't stress this enough, of course if you prefer a look without the petti, but yeah...I like cupcake poof. If you're unsure about a petticoat's endurance use the SEARCH function or just take my advice and BUY A DEAR CELINE FLUFFY PETTICOAT. Haha total plug but I love my petticoat from them. It comes in 4 different colors and NEVER dies. I'm buying a 2nd pink one though because i'm just one of those super fluffy people, one is honestly good enough and for $50 you can't go wrong.

These items pretty much make up the majority of you lolita outfit. Wow yep, two items.

Shoes and socks are the next big thing. Now socks, socks are cheap and easy, nobody looks down on a Secretshop shoe and sock replica match and both, including shipping won't break the bank.

Finally, and now we're getting into the truly offbrand, a nice pair of lace gloves, or you can get a loving relative to make you some wristcuffs, you've got some lolita hand wear. Roses are a staple no matter what substyle of lolita you're in so go invest the $30 you'd otherwise spend on headbows into some clips, pins and brooches you can display in your hair ( which is what I did for the lolita meet haha! ). Most towns have a place you can buy cheap hair accessories in a rainbow of colours so you can mix and match to compliment a print or makeup for a gorgeous look.

Wigs and bags are the only other optional thing you might wonder about. While it might be nice to have a brand bag they are...not practical. If you're planning a big day out invest in a pink or black bag/tote with some loli-esque details such as a bow or frill, you'd be surprised what some good bag shops will selll; especially what's on sale from the previous season. They also usually have them organised by colour so it's even easier!

Wigs...wigs, and I will be honest with you, all my wigs, apart from that one GLW and fantasy sheep wig, have come from ebay and all were under $50 including postage. I can honestly say they are all of a good quality and were exactly what I was looking for. The only downside was shipping times but hey, if you're lazy like me and dislikes hours of hair styling just buy one for $15, I'll be doing a post on ebay wig shopping soon so that will give you a better understanding hopefully.

And that concludes your first lolita outfit! Essentially it could all be bought in a single birthday haul, you may find you already own a few of these items, or maybe 1-2months saving for that op depending on your funds. I understand as a student it's also much harder but as I only got into lolita after a job at 15 I'm afraid I can't help much there!

but wait you say, this post says WARDROBE building! and so it does! That was just an idea of where to start now onto building the wardrobe~ Yes it's a very long post!


Now that you have an outfit it's a case of buying the smaller things first, but being carefll to make sure that they can match others. At first, try not to buy things that match only the main colour ( unless your next few purchases will be in a similar hue like mine were haha! ) Match a lavender print with a lavender hairbow or necklace, now when you buy an actual lavender jsk you can have something for both outfits. Start with getting small things, a new pair of shoes that differ to the feel of your other pair, say...elegant heels instead of platforms or teaparties.

Keep your eye out for cheap things in shops that could be loliable accessories ( a shop near me sold candy hairclips that were supercute all in awesome colours for $2 a pack! ) suddenly you'll have a large loli accessory collection! Start now by looking at Taoboa for jsk, op and all those other good things. While not 'precious burando' they plump up your wardrobe and give you good alternatives, not to mention you can feel free to wear these pieces out and about without thinking 'omigawd don't ruin the $300 dress!' which means you'll want to wear them out more and build up your confidence!

Set yourself little lolita purchase goals. Depending on your budget of course, a whole new outfit a month might seem outrageous but a new pair of socks for $10? A cheap brand blouse for $60? They add up and if you go little by little you'll suddenly find you have a lot.

So, when does the dream dress come in? Honestly this is a guideline, don't just buy taoboa or bodyline until you think 'now I have enough for my wardrobe to look awesome' if you want to save for the newest print instead of three bodyline jsk or offbrand blouses please do! You'll feel as pretty as ever and have something you love, you might get new years money, christmas money, graduation gifts etc. and these are all good times to think 'hey I might just get the next Moite release'

I hope this post may have helped someone a little! In the end most wardrobe building comes down to funds and time. It's taken me almost a year to amass what I have and for others, they seem to have whizzed through most of their chosen brand's selection in that same time! It's about budgeting and deciding what it is you really need Vs. What you want. Yes that dress is ONLY $150 but your last dress purchase of $200 still hasn't been worn because guess what, you've nothing to match it! Having a bunch of jsk and only jsk looks nice, but if you go out in it with nothing to match you still won't look your best. I'd rather see a beautiful bodyline lolita with thought and effort put into her coordinate than a girl wearing her knee high gym socks and 'sunday best shoes', in an off shade that only kinda matches, hoping that a brand dress alone can make her look beautiful.


  1. Thanks for this!

    I have a lilac AP skirt and an Anna House blouse and when I get a job I'll be able to work on the rest but to be honest I'd rather buy a bunch of the bodyline dresses I have an eye on than get one brand dress cause nothing for sale at the moment catches my eye.

    I need to get a job...

  2. No worries! I hope it helps. ^^

    No, I can see the pros of also buying a wardrobe of bodyline ^^ This is simply the way I went around doing things, but you know edited slight so it wouldn't take as long haha! I also don't fit into bodyline very well either ^^;;