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What is the best advice you could give to a starting lolita? 
15th-Dec-2013 06:48 pm
We've had a couple newbies floating in over the past few weeks. We've all been, at one point or another, in the same position as they are now. Like it or not, some things have changed since we all started. Fashion fads have come in and died, 'necessities' of old are no longer required, hemlines have jumped up and down over the years, and some things are coming back. What lessons that you've learned still hold weight in today's Lolita? Would you have needed to hear, not wanted, but needed to hear when you were starting out? Now with some experience under your sleeve, what is the best advice you would personally give to a girl or boy just starting out?

The jerks don't matter in the long run. Run with the good, and ignore the cretins that run their mouths. When you wear this fashion, it will bring out either the best in the public around you, or the worst. People who don't understand what you're wearing can turn into massive jerkwads that can't control their mouths, and they will bully you. They are not worth your time, your energy, or even a second glance.

Focus on that starry eyed 6 year old boy that tells you that you're wearing his favorite color today.
Focus on the girl that asks if you're a princess.
Focus on that tattoo-covered plaid-wearing punk that has to have one of his friends tell you how cute you are on his behalf, because he can't look you in the eye to save his life.

You'll be better off for it.
16th-Dec-2013 06:13 am (UTC)
Do research before you start buying. Learn what options are out there. Don't think you're stuck only being able to buy from one place. No matter what your budget or body-size is, you have options. Milan00 shouldn't be one of them though.
16th-Dec-2013 07:03 am (UTC)
My best advice is to not spend money right away. I decided to become a Lolita back last spring; I began research and studied my own fashion habits to figure out what sub-style would fit me best and what items I would get the most impact out of by buying brand versus making it myself or finding it at the thrift store / vintage store. Since then I have one handmade skirt, several vintage blouses, three skirts I've re-fashioned and two dresses I've altered as well as two petticoats handmade. With these foundation pieces I can now buy brand with confidence to fill out what could never be made (by me) or found off-brand. Overall I will have in the end spent less money and made fewer bad decisions all because I took the time to plan and plot out how to execute "project Lolita" in my own life.

Look in your current Closet and make a List about Yourself
I think that the most important thing in the beginning is to take inventory of your current fashion preferences and your fashion history. Going into Lolita should not be about wiping your wardrobe "hard drive" clean and starting completely over. I feel like that's why people sometimes quickly get into but then leave the fashion. What is your favorite color to wear? (example; if you wear jeans and t-shirt; what color t-shirt do you tend to buy most or wear the most?) It will likely still be your favorite color to wear even in Lolita. What are your favorite themes in fashion? (Flowers or stripes? Skulls or butteryflies?) They will likely still be themes you would like to carry over into Lolita. What is something you really hate about a certain garment in your closet? There is likely a cousin to it in Lolita fashion that you should try to avoid like the plague.
Overall, it's a good idea to try and analyze your own shopping motivations for the current style of clothing you wear and then try to logically break it down into very basic concepts. These concepts, such as "I really run warm so I hate layering shirts with hoodies" can translate into Lolita fashion; "I run warm; so maybe I should stick with separates or blouse-less JSKs with a very light cardigan on top". Understanding yourself on a deeper level like this can prevent tons of costly mistakes in buying Lolita and can also help keep any kind of anxiety out of decision to buy individual items.

Re-use your current wardrobe Strategically
Look at what you already own and consider this; is there anything that will fit into Lolita fashion? Never force an item to work if it does not naturally flow into the style; but many people do get blinded with the idea that if something isn't originally intended for Lolita then it cannot be used for it. If you have one strand of real freshwater pearls; use it. If you have vintage pins in good condition or a single 14k / 18k gold chain; use it. If you "were" Gothic and are now going to be a Gothic Lolita you can still use that lovely velvet mini-hat. Some pieces can work but only if altered; be very picky about this but never ignore the possibility that the frumpy, gathered-skirt jumper dress your grandmother gave you could be hemmed up and fit a petticoat underneath.

Find Honest Fashion Friends
They don't have to be Lolita but should respect it as a legitimate street fashion. You need at least one, preferably more, friends that you can ask for advice in balancing out an outfit or to get a second-opinion on buying an item you have mixed feelings about. This person should be allowed to be honest with you; they should be allowed to tell you when something makes you look bad and in what way it does this. Equally you should, if they say they like something on you, ask why they like it. Does it compliment you or the coord as a whole? The human eye is very good at sensing an overall balance to an outfit; but this can be clouded if it is you looking at yourself without any outside input. If you don't know anyone that can help you in this way then I really advise setting up an anonymous account on tumblr or a forum and ask for feedback. By keeping it anonymous, if something goes horribly wrong, then you can shut it down and move on.
16th-Dec-2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
One more bit;

Learn to Barter with your Local Comm.
If there is an active Lolita community in your area; learn to barter and trade within the group to get great deals for either no cash or very little. If you can do something crafty then try to make things that work for Lolita; like strechy glass pearl bracelets. Trade with the other girls; maybe make a set of making pearl accessories for her and she'll give you a larg head bow to match a coord of yours. This kind of trading can go up and down in scale and scope easily and can help you obtain all the little pieces to go with the expensive dress or skirt you bought.
A recent example of this that I experienced was that a friend wanted the free bag that came with Innocent World's recent Mook/book. I wanted the book for reference but didn't want the bag. Our agreement became that she found a really nice tote bag of the same equivalent value as the IW bag for me. There was no cash exchanged and we both got what we wanted.
The one important thing to keep in mind with this tactic is that it only works, and only saves you money in the long run, if you don't become greedy. If you begin to over value what you have to trade people may not want to barter with you and the system breaks down swiftly. Keep an open mind about how others see your belongings; you might have paid a lot for that AP pony bag, but within the comm. it might not be considered as valuable to them.
17th-Dec-2013 04:12 am (UTC)
I would agree that the best advice is not to rush--don't put together a quick coordinate just so you have something to wear. Even if money isn't a barrier, it's not a good idea to jump on anything that might work for you. To be honest, it can take up to a year for me to put the polishing touches on a coord that I'm satisfied with (yes, it can take that long even with buying a few lolita items each month).
16th-Dec-2013 07:37 am (UTC)
Research what you can before asking very basic questions. It's really not hard. Old advice is still better than nothing and most of it is still relevant especially in terms of how to coordinate and how to go about purchasing cheaper lolita clothes. It is really obvious if you asked something without much research. Also if you see plenty of posts not to buy something from certain ahem shops, it is for good reason so why would you even think of patronizing those places? If you cannot afford an entire coordinate at once or a brand item, it is not hard to save over time, granted it may take awhile but it's still the better option. Or learn how to mod/thrift/sew. It is perfectly fine to be nervous wearing lolita for the first time in public, I think most of us felt that way, but just act as if you're going about your normal things and you'll be fine. There is much drama in the comm but every comm has it's own share of mean people, and yeah, this is the internet. If you're really insecure about being flamed or laughed at then don't share your photos or you can take one without your face.

As long as you're keen on wearing lolita just do so and be happy about it! You really cannot tell what will happen until you do it right =D
16th-Dec-2013 10:46 am (UTC)
Hmm..personally my advice kind of goes against what other people are saying. I never "researched" anything, I just looked around at clothes and fashion spreads I liked and bought accordingly. Lolita is just clothes, it should be fun, not homework. My advice would be, don't sit there for hours reading what a bunch of people think you should or shouldn't wear. I don't think most people sit there and go "I want to become a Lolita" out of nowhere, I think people see a piece of clothing in a magazine or on the internet and go "hey, I'd like to wear that". Because of that, I don't really think there needs to be research on what brands or types of Lolita is out there..whatever made you want to get into the fashion to begin with should probably be what you go with...from there you can look at other similar brands but most of us got into the fashion because some piece of clothing or some photo spread piqued our interest so stick with that! People will say buy basics before you buy expensive main pieces...I don't agree with that either. I probably had 12 rare JSKs before I had 1 decent Lolita brand blouse. I totally looked half-assed in my department store half-sheer blouse for a while there, but I was having fun collecting stuff I liked and wearing JSKs I loved, so at the end of the day that's all that matters and nobody wears lolita to please others anyway (since most people outside of the fashion thinks it looks ridiculous anyways, this is really the type of clothes you wear for YOU). With time I think people naturally want to widen their wardbrobe and better their style...but it doesn't have to come right away. At the end of the day the only advice I can give is to have fun and go with your own personal style and interests and not sit there and check off rules and lists of what "has" to be bought as though this is some kind of take home project. I don't know why people approach Lolita so differently than any other type of clothing but clothing is clothing. You find something you like, you buy it, you wear it. If you don't know how to accessorize it you look at magazines or other snaps of people online. The end. It's simple!
16th-Dec-2013 11:32 am (UTC)
I think when people are saying people need to "research", they're mostly talking where/what to buy and not buy, not necessarily knowing the nitty gritty stuff like every single brand or print or whatever, but it's almost horrifying how many newbies don't know not to buy from sites such as milanoo and related sites, etc.
There are people who think that they will never obtain brand names, or even not WANT to, due to misconceptions about price and/or fit, and will opt for easier to find yet unwise choices.
So in that sense, I think it's important to at least search around a bit, because while clothes are just clothes, lolita is still a specific fashion and anyone just blindly delving into it will more than likely not end up well.
17th-Dec-2013 04:14 am (UTC)
16th-Dec-2013 05:17 pm (UTC)
I've found research to be part of the fun, at least the kind of research I did: checking out every post on a couple of sales comms to see the pretty and also to get an idea of prices and which brands create styles I like; making up a Pinterest board of Lolita items, coords and poses I like, including pictures of women about my size and shape; reading blogs (especially some "plus size" posts once I realized I was in that category for Lolita wear). So my suggestion is, "research if it's fun for you, or you don't already have a strong idea of what colors and types of tailoring work well for your size, color and body style."

Edited at 2013-12-16 05:17 pm (UTC)
16th-Dec-2013 11:33 am (UTC)
Dont. get. involved. with. drama.
Don't. buy. from. Bodyline. until. you know. what. is. GOOD. to. buy. from. them.
Don't. buy. a. dress. just. because. you. like. it. (buy it if you KNOW it'll look good on you)
16th-Dec-2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
All of this is good advice but I really want to promote your last statement; Don't buy a dress -just- because you like it!

You need to be honest with yourself and not fall into the assumption that somehow all of your clothing-wearing preferences will magically change once you become a Lolita. If you never liked bunny-prints before don't assume you will somehow adore and wear them now; keep an open but rational mind about could or what would work for you and what definitely wont.
16th-Dec-2013 12:33 pm (UTC)
research about the fashion, keep up with trends and such, and of course, wear it often!!
16th-Dec-2013 12:40 pm (UTC)
I didn't begin so long ago, but I think I've started pretty well so here's what I think is important:

– Do plenty of research. Don't just look around blogs with pretty pictures and budget Lolita finds; investigate to find good websites and resources, make your research for external feedback (on Livejournal, Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, etc.), learn how the website works by filling a cart and making the steps until you have to pay, cancelling and doing it again.
– Look at what you already have. You might have a cardigan, a bolero, or even a blouse that's loliable, as well as shoes, a purse and some accessories.
– Start by getting basic pieces: socks or tights, a versatile blouse and, most importantly, a petticoat.
– Choose no more than two colours and stick to them as you start. Plan entirely your first outfit and build your next one using as many things from the first as you can.
– Don't go too fast with the accessories, or you'll end up with 784979373 things that you don't wear in no time. You're not a decora. Accessories should emphasize your outfit, but not be the core of it. Limit yourself at one bracelet (or wrist cuffs), one necklace, one ring (and maybe earrings) per outfit as you start.
– Don't hesitate to part I with pieces that don't suit you well or are not of the right size; you will end up uncomfortable. The key to Lolita is to be beautiful for you, so it should never feel forced.

Again, this is just advice from my own experience.
16th-Dec-2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
My biggest peice of advice would be this: lurk. Be a lurker, for a long time. Follow discussions wherever you can, read everything- look at popular opinions, and form your own. I found lolita when I was 13, I couldn't buy anything for at least two or three years, so I lurked, I learned a lot. About the community, what was and wasn't a good fashion choice and about resale prices ect. I'm actually really glad I didn't just jump right in.

Othe Bits of advice: if its not lolita don't call it lolita.

If you ask for concrit don't write it off and actually think about what you were told. You'll learn a lot.

Use google. Lolita has been around a good long while and someone at some point has asked the same question you are about to. Don't be that person. You will likely find more useful advice ( and more of it) if you google it the. If you ask directly.

Second hand brand is cheaper then you think it is.

Lolita is not a right or a nessecity.

More=\= better.

Lolita is expensive. You can get peices for cheap, but this is not cheap fashion. It may not be the most expensive out there but a full wardrobe wont't be cheap, and won't happen overnight.
17th-Dec-2013 06:20 am (UTC)
All of this is just great advice! The only thing I might add is that brand has more size options than you might think! There are so many new Lolitas who are perfectly within the average brand size but think that they can only buy from shops that offer custom sizing.
16th-Dec-2013 04:22 pm (UTC)
I've been wearing lolita for a few years and have learned a lot (and still am learning)! It's good to start with the basics, like reading up on and then obtaining the different parts that go into making an outift/coord. Things like blouses, dresses, skirts, socks, shoes, bags, jewelry, headbows, etc. Also it's good to figure out what style you are drawn to/ would feel most comfortable wearing. Sticking to one style and a couple colors are good to see if it works before going full throttle into the style and buying up everything in sight. Look at your current wardrobe and see if you already have things that may work (aka loliable). Cotton blouses with lacy ruffled collars, simple headbows, cute knee socks, etc. Thrifting (i.e. Salvation Army/Goodwill) and buying secondhand brand (here on the egl comm sales) are good places to look for items. Bodyline too. It's budget friendly and decent quality. As a sweet lolita, my wardrobe consists of mainly pastel colors, which I can mix and match with almost everything I have.

Oh, and know your measurements> in cm! No sense in buying something that you know won't fit you.

Hope this helped :-) Good luck!
16th-Dec-2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
Bits from my own experience.

On a limited budget:
- Buy versatile pieces.
- Stick to a limited colour palette of no more than 3- EG white/black/pink, white/black/red, black/blue/red. It makes coordination much easier.
- A well coordinated offbrand outfit can look better than a mishmash of brand.
- Look EVERYWHERE for clothing. Loliable and even brand pieces can crop up everywhere and often for amazing prices.

General stuff:
- Just because a piece fits you doesn't mean it looks good on you.
- You will get looks from people.
- Oldschool=/=ita/bad; on that note- wigs and wearing a bajillion accessories are optional.
- Put some effort in and aim to look your best when you wear it.

- Real life has to come before fashion. If you can't pay bills, don't buy lolita. There may come a point you may need to sell your wardrobe if a massive unexpected expense come along; And seriously, accept that you won't be able to wear it everywhere (saving it for the weekends and having a long girly dress up session can be a lot more fun).
16th-Dec-2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
On your last point and to go with another; perhaps a middle ground for facing the reality that most of us can't wear Lolita everyday is to try and find skirts and JSKs that, without the petticoats, could be worn everyday. I have one JSK that was formally just a long jumper dress. I hemmed it for Lolita; but it's still otherwise just a plain, sturdy corduroy jumper dress so I do end up wearing it casually on a daily basis.
You can wear certain Lolita pieces and accessories everyday; just don't call it Lolita if it's not in the proper coord assemblage. If you don't have a petticoat on you can still wear your favorite dress; just don't call that day's look Lolita.
19th-Dec-2013 12:15 pm (UTC)
If you are allowed to go with a middle ground, fine, but sometimes you need at accept that you can't even do that. If somewhere isn't suitable to wear it at all and/or has a strict uniform dresscode/uniform policy; Keeping a job comes first over wearing lolita.
16th-Dec-2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
I'm new to lolita as of this past summer, so here are some thoughts from a beginner:

As has been covered, it's important to know what you're getting into with the fashion, and a good set of basics will take you a long way... but it can sometimes be hard to know what will work on you without trying different things. If you buy wisely and keep your clothes well, you'll be able to re-sell things you don't love - so it can be worth it to experiment a little. I know plenty of lolitas who assumed they'd be happiest with one substyle (or color family, or design element), but ended up favoring another.

Familiarize yourself with the different ways to buy, and see what your local comm has going on. You can get a lot of dress for your money if you learn how to order from Taobao or the Japanese auction/secondhand sites, especially with group orders. Also, if you learn what design elements are commonly used in the fashion, you'll be able to spot loliable basics when they show up in mainstream stores (like Forever 21).

Look at other peoples' coords. It's a great way to get ideas and inspiration for yourself.
16th-Dec-2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
Don't be afraid of other Lolitas.
We're not going to tear you to sheads or laugh at you for being new! Everyone was new at some point! Spend some time researching, make sure you've got your petticoat, blouse, headwear, and shoes covered. But you don't need to lurk for 5 years before you earn the right to wear it. It's not an exclusive club. :)

Don't be afraid if you don't have a perfect or complete coordinate starting out.
There are things that a lot of lolita guides won't tell you. They will come with experience. Don't be afraid experiment to see what works best for you. You'll have good coordinates and not so great ones. Maybe a whole slew of not so great ones until you get to a decent one. It's all part of the process!

Building your wardrobe is more than getting dresses:
You may have a million dresses you'd love to own, but don't forget to invest in different blouses, legwear, shoes, accessories and the like! Those will take you a lot further than having a closet full of dresses and very little else!

Look offbrand or through thrift shops to pad your wardrobe
I find some of the most awesome, perfect stuff in thrift shops or browsing around online. It can save a lot of money.

Edited at 2013-12-16 07:22 pm (UTC)
16th-Dec-2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
Buy a petticoat.
16th-Dec-2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
Google everything, but don't take the first answer as the only answer.

If you have a thick skin, and are not prone to posting a retort to every barb that is thrown your way (i.e. defending your stance on anything), then lurk /cgl/.
17th-Dec-2013 12:28 am (UTC)
/cgl/ is a great resource as long as you keep in mind the above. Nothing brings out more honest, constructive criticism, as well as compliments, as being Anonymous.
17th-Dec-2013 03:17 am (UTC)
I would say plan your colors. It's fun to just buy whatever you want but it's not so fun to wear all that mismatched stuff. Lolita had no staying power for me when I bought that way and was ultimately a bad experience I got out of as quickly as I got in. Judging by some of the leaving lolita sales I don't think I'm the only one but I don't know for sure.
17th-Dec-2013 03:24 am (UTC)
Quality over quantity. Seriously, look at a low-quality and high-quality blouse next to each other. The differences in materials and cut are staggering. I've resold all the first couple years' pieces I bought because the quality no longer satisfied me.

Your tastes may change. Good thing this stuff resells.

Nobody busts into your closet like a rampaging Kool Aid Man and steals your ruffles when you turn 30. Rock it as long as you feel it.
17th-Dec-2013 10:44 am (UTC)
Just be yourself.
I was 12 when I made my first "lolita" skirt. I was really scared of what people would think, and it made me act different.
I was really timid and shy, to the point that my friends thought I was sick sometimes, because I just wasn't talking/doing anything/enjoying myself.
When I look back I realize how silly it is, that I was acting that strange over a piece of clothing haha.
I also know quite a few younger people that do the opposite, and get louder and more outgoing when they put on the frills.
It helps to think, when it comes down to it, lolita is just clothes after all! :) You are still yourself, just yourself in a frilly dress.
Now I wear it almost everyday, and I forget i'm wearing lolita. I'm embarrassed to say I was ever afraid of something as small as wearing frills.

If you can't afford a whole coordinate , with blouse and accessories, (or don't want to blow a lot of money on your first piece to find out you don't like the fashion after all...) try to find a main piece that goes with things you already have or can get cheaply. You can get cheap loliable blouses, leg wear, head wear and cardigans from forever 21, or h&m. What I personally do is buy my filler pieces from bodyline (shoes, boleros, sometimes blouses..ect) because they are cheap, and then try and find cute accessories from department stores. I recently got a blouse I was eyeing for a while from modcloth on sale for $27, and cute 2-way flower clips from h&m for $1 each. Lolita doesn't have to be super expensive. If there is something that I really need, and I can't find it cheaply, i'll wait until a good deal comes along. It sucks not being able to coord my dress, because i'm waiting on a good deal for a brown blouse, but I can spend the extra money I would have spent on a good pair of shoes.

That being said: Don't buy things just because they are cheap. You can find some really nice deals on some good quality items if you put in the effort, or you can snap up the first white blouse you find for $15 and be disappointed. A good example of this, is when I first started. I bought a red dress, because it was cheap and a popular print at the time. It was a really good deal, but I ended up feeling disappointed and selling it in the long run, because it wasn't my taste and didn't fit me correctly. I think I did that with a lot of things when I started lolita, actually haha.

My last piece of advise: If you want to be a good lolita, don't be afraid to ask for help! I would have never improved if I didn't ask for constructive criticism on my outfits. Sometimes it's difficult to see something wrong with an outfit, or pick which blouse would look best on you. And that's okay. I don't think anyone here started out the perfect lolita. ;) I know facebook has a lolita mentor group, and if you aren't comfortable with having another lolita mentor you, there is always lolita-tips on tumblr where you can ask anonymously. If you have a good lolita friend, that's even better!

And most importantly: Have fun!
17th-Dec-2013 02:32 pm (UTC)
1 - Think before you buy. Yes, it's cute. But do you have a blouse to go with it? Where will you wear it? WILL you wear it? Just think twice!

2 - Be suspicious. There are SO many awful items masquerading as cute things out there. It's easy to buy something that you think looks good when your new and then find it is dreadful in person.

3 - Take it slow. Please don't buy one brand skirt, throw on an old school shirt and some random high street tights and flat shoes and call it lolita. It's great to be excited, but don't get ahead of yourself!
17th-Dec-2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
- Don't obsess too much over what people on the internet tell you about trends within the fashion or something similar. Its good to know these things, yes, but ultimatley you're the one who knows what you like and what works for you.

- Get things that you can mix and match, instead of buying a whole new outfit and set of accesories for every single item you purchase. Trust me, your bank balance will thank you.

- Look around a little! It's a great way to find inspiration.
17th-Dec-2013 08:52 pm (UTC)
I've only worn lolita for 10 months, but here's what I've learned in the process:

- Make a wishlist (pinterest, fb album, pics saved to your computer)
- Do buy a petticoat (Victorian Girl Dress is a great starter!) and realize that some dresses will need more petti for the poof!
- Look around for the best deals if you want to be thrifty (anything loliable in local stores? Learn mbok, y!j, and taobao for more finds!)
- Join your local community to join in on conversations, group orders, swap meets, and of course, MEETUPS
- Be courteous and constructive in online & IRL conversations since it will go a long way!
- Find a friend or family member that supports lolita in your life and ask for critique from them (even though you might not like it)

Edited at 2013-12-17 08:53 pm (UTC)
18th-Dec-2013 02:53 am (UTC)
Make a Pinterest or a scrap book of all your favourite styles! Take note of shapes that fit the bill, as well as styles that will suit your body shape. On that note, know your body shape. For example, I am an hour glass (94/68/96).

Research which brands make your sizes if you aren't tiny. By joining a local comm on your facebook, you can make friends, ask questions and find out which sites are dodgy, and great bargains!

Start with simple colours that will work with lots of co-ords: cream, black, white, navy, red, brown. Go for simple items that you can dress up with cool accessories that you can get from anywhere. For example, a brown skirt with a cream chiffon blouse, and then accesorise with a fawn collar and an flowers in your hair.

I personally love wigs to complete the look. They don't have to be expensive to be amazing. I have had a great honey blonde, shoulder length wig for over a year which cost me $20 from ebay (and it doesn't even look like it needs TLC yet!). Pick a natural hair colour and classic style that will go with any co-ordinate. Again, the aforementioned wig has been worn with sweet, classic and gothic styles. Curls are generally harder to take care of, as are longer wigs.

Items like socks and stockings can come from anywhere. I just picked up a cute pair of red, summer ankle socks from a department store for $7.
19th-Dec-2013 07:10 pm (UTC)
I agree with all the researching. MOAR MOAR MOAR OF THIS!
Find a style that'd suit you/you like and PLEASE learn what is ita or not(and thank heavens my ita phase never lasted to the point I wore Lolita out in public).

And for those of us who are on the tightest budget in the world:
Buy secondhand or make your own items.
Can't afford the fabric to put ruffles on the hem of your skirt? Trim it with cheap but good quality lace!
Buy offbrand items and accessories to jazz up your outfit. As long as it fits, doesn't matter how cheap it is.
Salvage materials from other clothing.
And for those of you whose mothers still has their old clothing and whatnot, raid your mother's closet(with permission of course). I'm 100% serious here. That way, you might be able to a) scavenge obtain something in your size or something similar, b) not pay anything, c) probably make some room for other stuff in your mother's closet as well, d) save good clothes from being thrown out in the trash.

I did the last one a few weeks ago and my bag woes were sorted out... for now.
19th-Dec-2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
Hmm... I'm still a bit of a newbie, but when I was even MORE of a newbie, I wish I had known about japanese auctions! I've found some brand on there for around bodyline prices sometimes!
Also, luckily for me, I was completely broke when I started out, so I had to wait, and I'm glad I did! If not, I'd be stuck with some really ugly ita stuff! I spent a lot of time researching, since I couldn't actually wear lolita, so now I know a lot more!
20th-Dec-2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
- If you are living with your parents, talk about it with at least one of them.
I've always come to my mom with clothing questions. From the time that I started dressing myself to now when I'm in college sending her mirror/outfit planning pictures. When I started wanting to get into lolita, I did my research and all the good things, and then when it came time to pick my first dress, I narrowed it down to four and showed them all to her. The dress she picked is now my favorite thing in the world to wear because she was completely right when she said "it looks like it suits you the best."
Unrelated to actually coordinating, it also helps to know your parents stance on lolita. My dad is fine with it, as long as I don't wear it when I'm out and about with him. It's not that he hates it or anything, he just has his reasons and he explained them to me. Because we talked about it, we don't have a problem.

- Do not assume that all your friends will be completely fine with it.
Lolita is an eye-catching fashion, and while you might have the confidence to be out in public wearing your frills, remember that, if you're with other people, your friends are a) getting attention just by being with you and b) they might not be too thrilled about that. I have a friend who is painfully, cripplingly, shy. She thinks my dresses are really pretty, but I haven't even thought of wearing them out in public when I'm with her, because I know without asking that she wouldn't be comfortable with having attention drawn to her, even second-hand, and that she probably wouldn't tell me that because she just wouldn't want to bring up the subject. If your friends or family aren't comfortable with lolita out in public, it's not them being rotten people who don't support you, it's just them being uncomfortable for their own reasons. Talk to them about those and you'll be able to go about things in a much more mature way.

I'm going to second the tips on raiding your mom's closet/going to a thrift store. I've altered/have plans to alter several things that I've found in my mom's closet or the local thrift store and the ones that I've altered work fantastically with lolita.

This one's a little silly, but teach your dog the meaning of "down" and "sit!" My dogs love me a LOT, and more often than not them having long nails has meant new tights and muddy paws have meant last minute spot-cleanings when I wasn't expecting it. They don't mean to inconvenience or upset you... they just love you with all of their puppy being.
21st-Dec-2013 04:07 am (UTC)
- Do not assume that all your friends will be completely fine with it.

I just want to 2nd this point REALLY HARD, especially if you have dressed 'normally' beforehand. I have a friend who never had any 'alternative' friends before me, and the first few times we went to the grocery store together (i wasn't wearing lolita; but i do have neon hair and tend not to wear jeans and a t shirt), she was incredibly unnerved at people staring at us as she was used to my style but had never been in public with me. It took her awhile to realize what was going on. She's not shy, but i imagine someone with shyness would be profoundly affected if they were not prepared. I try to warn people who haven't hung out with me before so they aren't caught offguard.
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