Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Living like a princess on a commoner's budget.

Most of us into any kind of fashion or expensive hobby know the struggle-- "I want all the things and I cannot afford them!" Whether you are living at home or paying all your own expenses, it is difficult to balance your needs and wants. Many people getting into lolita fashion have said to me "Oh, I want to wear lolita so badly, but it's too expensive". I do my best to tell them that it doesn't have to be the case. Looking at the price tag of a full coordinate can be very intimidating, but there is hope! Even if you have just a small amount of disposable income, you can start your lolita wardrobe with patience, planning, and shopping around.

1. Make a wishlist.
As you browse the internet and see things you just have to have, make a document or a folder and save them to it. Ruminate on it. When you come back a week or two later, the appeal might not be so strong. This is a good way to weed out what you really want and what just grabbed your eye, and should help keep you from regretting your purchases later.

2. Do not make impulse buys.
Whether it's a large item like dress, or a small shiny thing, impulse buys add up. If you're on very limited funds, that pair of shoes might be the difference in getting your dream dress when it pops up for sale a few days later. It is incredibly easy to "nickel and dime" your hard earned savings away before you even realize it. Try to plan out your expenditures and prepare for what you'd like to buy in advance. Now, grabbing up a good deal when you see it isn't necessarily a bad thing at all, which leads to my next point--

3. Have a game plan.
And money set aside. So that you know what your wardrobe really needs, and can get in on good deals as they appear. Whether it's basics like shoes and accessories, or a new dress, it's good to have an idea of what your wardrobe needs to give you the most usability and versatility possible (when you are starting out especially). Keep an image folder of the things you do own so that you can quickly see what you already have. Glancing into your closet, you might not notice how many similar black cardigans you have already. Try to build up one full coord first, before going for the more exciting items like JSKs and OPs. What good are three dresses if you have no appropriate footwear or tops?

4. Get thrifty!
Not all loli-able items come from lolita and j-fashion specific sources. You can find a cute blouse or cardigan on the clearance rack at bargain stores or at Goodwill and other thrift stores. Basics like tights, tops, shoes, jewelry, and headwear can easily be found at various IRL locations, minus the shipping costs and often marked up prices. If you are shopping online though, Amazon and eBay are great places to scour for items and easily compare prices.

5. Try tutorials and DIY.
Some things only require a bit of money and a portion of your time. Even if you aren't great at sewing or crafting, a cute hair accessory or a headbow can be a very easy starting item for those with little technical know-how. Never forget internet is a wonderful place for tutorials! You can find one for almost anything with a quick Google or Youtube search. This also goes for things to help you with your entire look, like a good make up tutorial or a fancy at-home manicure.

6. Be patient and work with what you have.
No, really. I know it's hard to see people with enormous wardrobes and think "I'll never get close to that", but nothing happens overnight. Focus on the now and getting the most mileage you can out of a limited wardrobe. Go for things that can be used to make multiple outfits. Try sticking to a limited color scheme so you can make the most of a few accessories. Try dressing up one simple dress multiple ways with different items (cardigan one day, blouse the next. Change out tights for socks and vice versa). This is why keeping an image folder of your items is a useful idea, you can play dress up virtually whenever inspiration strikes.


  1. These are great tips! Another awesome resource for tutorials (DIY, makeup, hair, nails...) is Pinterest - it's always my first stop when I'm looking for craft or beauty inspiration.

  2. These are really great tips! I've recommended your article, and written my own advice on the subject at this post http://domesticatedgoth.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/more-budget-fashion-tips.html on my blog. I think the point about impulse buys, and about establishing a long-term plan for building up your wardrobe are really good points.


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