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Deciding on a style. 
25th-Jan-2013 06:32 pm

You all have probably already guessed my problem. I'm having trouble choosing which route to go down in terms of style. As a bit about me, I've been wearing Lolita since eighth grade (I'm now a sophomore in High School.) Since then I've built up a pretty substantial AP/Sweet-centric wardrobe. I'm very proud of my wardrobe, I even obtained one of my dream dresses (AP's Sugary Carnival OP in Lavender), but lately I've felt...lost (?) about where to go now.

You see, I’ve always been all over the place with the way I dress. One day I could be wearing something fairly ‘preppy’ then the next a corset and floor length black skirt. So of course, this transfers over into Lolita as well. This is troubling for me, for as you all know Lolita is very hard to build a large versatile wardrobe for and is very costly.  My only income comes from grades/holiday/birthday money. This is few and far between. My parents are also very adamant about me putting in a good portion of what I receive into savings. So I may get, let’s say, $100 but I have to put $20-40 into savings. Now I know this is for my own good, and I will appreciate it once I get out on my own.  This makes it hard to buy the $300 dresses I lust after. And pay for blouses. And shoes. And accessories. And bags. And headdresses. And all the other things essential to a well rounded Lolita Wardrobe.

Getting back to the initial question, I want to be able to build a full and complete wardrobe but I feel as though I cannot accomplish this when I go from style to style. So, lately I’ve been wanting to decide on a main style to wear and to stick with.  Unfortunately, I cannot decide on which. I’m stuck between two very polar opposite styles. I want to either stick with a very AP-style sweet wardrobe OR a very JetJ-style classic wardrobe.

I love both styles equally. I find JetJ’s designs and style extremely enchanting and mystical. The coordinates I see for this style are so inspirational to me. Then again AP’s sugary sweet style melts my insides.

This is where you all come in. What is your opinion on my situation? Have you been in a similar state of distress before? If so, how did you overcome it? Any advice on building a complete wardrobe?

Lastly, I hope I do not sound like some spoiled child whining. I really do genuinely feel distressed over the situation as I feel disappointed with every coordinate I make lately. I feel so lost, and I want to resolve this as quickly as possible so I can go back to wearing my lovely frills.

Thank you all so much in advance for your help. If you want to know anything else to get a better grasp on my situation feel free to ask.

Comments 
25th-Jan-2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
I was the same way in high school! It was before Lolita was readily available though. If you really feel equal about both styles, maybe go for classic since it's a little more able to cross over into normal wear. There are a lot of cute sweetish prints that would go with classic if you ever need something to quell the urge to wear sweet, too.
26th-Jan-2013 12:03 am (UTC)
That is very true. Good food for thought, thank you. C:
25th-Jan-2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
Well, based on the number of "leaving sweet for classic!" and "leaving gothic!" etc. type posts that people make on the sales_comm I'd say your not the only person having this problem :)
I know I have been in your boat. I also have a very limited income, and the only way I can afford lolita is to never buy anything else XD What I did, when trying to choose a style, knowing I could probably only afford one style, was looked at the long term. I liked sweet style, but realized when I got older I may not feel as comfortable in it as I would in classic lolita. So, I sold my sweet clothes and started to only buy Classic. Although, sugary sweet prints make my heart melt too, and sometimes I still have lust for AP dresses, I accepted the fact that sometimes just looking at other people wearing it would have to be enough. Also, unless you ARE going to buy J-Jet or Mary Magdalene dresses, I found that classic can be a more affordable version of lolita. (given IW is a lot less pricey then many brands, and that many non-brand pieces and vintage pieces & accessories coordinate well with it).

Anyway, that's what I did. Hope that's useful.
26th-Jan-2013 12:04 am (UTC)
You raise a good point on the price. IW is fairly affordable compared to other brands. I do love IW. P: Hmm. Buying vintage is wonderful too. Thank you for the advice.
25th-Jan-2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
I'm often stuck between classic and sweet as well, so my personal solution is to buy a little of both. But I try to invest only in pieces that I absolutely can not make/customize myself... I try to incorporate some normal wardrobe in with my lolita. Sometimes I do thrifting and customization. I don't really buy brand blouses, socks, or shoes anymore because I feel like I can use 'normal clothes' to substitute for these. I'm also very good to my clothes so if I decide I don't like something after buying it at least I can resell and get part of my money back- so maybe let your parents know that this isn't cheaply made stuff that falls apart after a few wears? My mom's pretty supportive of my lolita stuff and she often says I can pass my dresses on to my nonexistent kids like heirlooms haha 9.9;
26th-Jan-2013 12:07 am (UTC)
I don't know how to sew (yet-- I'm going to learn this year.) So for now at least too much customization is out of the question. I agree with the 'normal clothes' statement. I feel it rather unnessacary to buy expensive brand blouses/socks/what-not when you can get similar close to home and for a fraction of the price. My mum is also supportive of my Lolita obession. ^^
25th-Jan-2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
If you have to pick one, I would suggest going for sweet lolita for the time being, not that I think older people can't wear sweet or anything, but a lot of people seem to naturally and gravitate toward classic styles as they get older. if that happens you really have all the time in the world to wear classic. so you might as well wear sweet now. though you could also argue that if you might want to do more classic one day, you might as well start building your classic wardrobe now. But I think that matters less since if you decide to change styles, it's pretty easy to sell your dresses and buy new lolita dresses in the new style.
you could also build both wardrobes but really economize within each wardrobe, and try to keep accessories one color so they work with all items in that half of your wardrobe rather than buying lots of new accessories for each new dress. kind of confusing so I'll use an example: for sweet lolita, buy dresses in pink or lavender or whatever, but try to buy socks and purses and accessories in mostly white, rather than also buying sax and pink accessories to match each dress. that way, you have a lot of base accessories that can work with all your different dresses. that cuts down on costs a lot.
similarly, for your classic wardrobe, instead of sometimes buying dark colors and jewel tones and sometimes buying Innocent World style dusty colors, pick a color palette and stick with it. it's really efficient no matter what you do. I don't know if you already doing this ofcourse.

Also, if you decide to do both wardrobes, if you picked black or white (or any color that works in both, these are just most common) as a base color to buy most accessories in, then you could use some of the same accessories ie blouses, socks shoes for either classic or sweet. So it might not have to be so divided after all.

I actually empathize with your situation a lot, I don't think you sound whiny at all. I want to wear everything from cyberpunk to himegyaru. I would rather just accumulate clothes slowly *or* make more money than pick one thing and go with it though lol. I don't know if that's really the best solution...
26th-Jan-2013 12:07 am (UTC)
"I would suggest going for sweet lolita for the time being, not that I think older people can't wear sweet or anything, but a lot of people seem to naturally and gravitate toward classic styles as they get older." very true. I, for one, am glad that I let myself wear more sweet when I was younger. Now that I don't feel as confident in sweet at least I can still look back through my albums and reflect on those times fondly :)
26th-Jan-2013 12:13 am (UTC)
This is also a very interesting point of view. I definitely agree with buying versatile accessories. It makes things exceedingly easier when coordinating. Thank you. :D You've given me a lot to think about.
25th-Jan-2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
wear whatever you like. Once day you can be sweet the next gothic. You don't have to stick to one style.
26th-Jan-2013 12:14 am (UTC)
This would be hard for me because as I stated above I feel I can not build a complete wardrobe when i'm constantly changing styles. I'd end up with a bunch of dresses, that don't go with anything else and I'd never be able to wear them. :/
26th-Jan-2013 12:18 am (UTC)
try using white/black as a base color then. Black/white shoes, bags, socks, even black and white blouse. They match with everything.
26th-Jan-2013 12:02 am (UTC)
I know the feeling of putting an outfit together and having a sense of disappointment that you can't quantify. I still have a crisis like that with my own wardrobe. Not just my lolita wardrobe, my WHOLE wardrobe. Speaking as someone who never neatly fit into any style, I've come to realise as I get older that I like it this way. My style basically revolves around buying pieces that shout. So I have a truckload of funny shirts, crazy socks, more novelty jewelry than I can poke a stick at, and of course my sweet lolita prints. Buying plain pants, blouses, shoes and jumpers is torture for me. But I need those pieces to balance out everything else. And I just kind of buy whatever I feel an urge for at the time.
Now I would never claim to put together the world's most breathtaking coordinates. In fact, I imagine my sense of style is pretty terrible. But I always try to make sure that I am happy with what I'm wearing. And that's all I can really ask for, because I can't control how other people judge or view me.

But your quandry is also cost related. I understand you haven't got a lot of income coming in. But despite that, I still think you shouldn't be afraid of verging into classic. You're still working within the lolita framework, so there will still be items that can cross substyles. And these aren't permanent decisions. Everything can be rectified in the long run if you find down the track you're not happy with what you've bought.

Sorry I kind of blabbed all over the place. But I hope you find it helpful.
26th-Jan-2013 12:16 am (UTC)
Don't worry, I found it rather helpful. Thank you. :D
26th-Jan-2013 04:49 am (UTC)
I am the same with all my clothes, I have a mix of zombie 50's pin up to victoria, punk and gothic Lolita, I usually buy shoes and purses that match each style and I usually buy mostly black with colored designs or trims. I have full complete outfits for all the styles I like wearing, you shouldn't have to chose one or the other. You just need to take your time and keep buying items to complet the looks, buy one whole outfit then add a purse and shoes later.
26th-Jan-2013 12:03 am (UTC)
Indeed, classic is a great idea. And there is nothing better than finding staples from second hand shops (thrift stores in the US I think they are called). I still only own 3 blouses (1 bordeaux and 2 black). The key is to buy similar but different items, instead of buying the spare of the moment purchase on that wacky new print that doesn't go with anything. Personally, I generally only like dark colours so that is awesome when it comes to not having to buy heaps of different stuff just for one outfit, because it all goes together. So maybe, you could go towards a classic look with creams, ivories, whites, pinks, lavender and brown. This could probably incorporate some of your items from sweet (saving!!).

Another idea could be to go to Kuro or Shiro. Prints are often really desirable (and expensive) for second hand items on the comm, and it would be easier to mix in "offbrand" items and wear the items outside Lolita.
26th-Jan-2013 12:18 am (UTC)
I like that color palette you suggested. (Cream, Ivory, White, Pink, Lavender and Brown.) I think it would be very versatile for having a sort of joint sweet-classic wardrobe.
Thank you. :D
26th-Jan-2013 12:35 am (UTC)
You're welcome :D
26th-Jan-2013 12:43 am (UTC)
It doesn't matter; pick pieces you love. You don't have to keep yourself mired in one specific style. I recommend a few basic items, like blouses and bloomers in white, black, and cream, and then you can mix and match from there with skirts and dresses and JSKs.
26th-Jan-2013 02:57 am (UTC)
Maybe sell some old pieces you don't wear that often and invest in some more versatile dresses that could go both ways, sweet/classic. With the right accessories, one dress can be an entirely different outfit. I know there are some really cute girly classic items out there in pink that can easil be turned into a sweet outfit if you play your cards right.

Classic accessories are also pretty easy to thrift. You can probably accessorize for an entire outfit at a thrift or consignment shop, so don't worry about buying overpriced brand jewelry.
26th-Jan-2013 05:04 am (UTC)
You're old enough to work - get a job, save some money and buy a few things items you love and you'll figure out what style you like then. The best time to save for frivolous purchases is when you still live at home and have no expenses!
26th-Jan-2013 01:30 pm (UTC)
which style to pick dont matter because you can dress in any style really!
i think the most important is that the colors match, so instead of just picking
one style, pick a color and build your wardrobe around it. for an example,
if i were to pick blue i can pretty much buy gothic dresses in navy as well as
sweet angelic pretty dresses in sax, even classic dresses in royal blue. my
outfits no matter what will match despite the sporadic styles i choose.
does that make sense? That is basically what i am doing at the moment with
my wardrobe. :)
26th-Jan-2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
There are some dresses (I'm thinking particularly of Innocent World here) that could cross from sweet to classic depending on how they're accessorized. For example, pairing a dress like this in pink or this in brown with a white chiffon blouse or a pastel pink blouse; a few hair flowers or lots of cute clips; a plain handbag or a pastel heart-shaped bag; lace gloves or plastic rings; court shoes or tea parties. (Admittedly I don't wear sweet styles, so someone may be able to offer a better example, but hopefully that gives you an idea of what I mean...)

You could consider investing in a couple of pieces like these as your staple items, and then focus on having a range of accessories to push the styling one way or another. Since accessories are infinitely easier to buy offbrand or make yourself, that would help with the money situation. Perhaps you won't hit the extremes of either style doing it this way, but you'll give yourself a fair amount of flexibility!
28th-Jan-2013 05:00 am (UTC)
Why not just have a wardrobe that incorporates both styles? As you can see from the wardrobe posts this year, some people just buy things they love regardless of choosing a main style whereas others are so in love with the aesthetic of a particular style that they only buy those items, and most seem to be somewhere in-between. Obviously, if you stop loving an item, just sell it, but if you still love to wear some of your dresses then keep them.
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