Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Guide for Beginning Lolitas~

    • Disclaimer: This isn't a perfect guide, and there is a lot of room for mistakes, and individual input! For the most part, I think this is what would have helped me first, in this order! 
      This is also geared a little more towards sweet lolitas, since this is my main style~

      Table of Contents:

      1. Always Check Your Measurements.
      2. Do you know what Brands/Styles you like?
      3. Buy Your Basics First.
      4. Buying a Dress.
      5. Other Information

      1. Always check Your measurements. 
      You need to know your bust, waist, hips, and even shoulder width sometimes!

      If your bust is a little bit larger, look for piece with more shirring!

      Now that you know that, you can start looking at the basic anatomy of a lolita outfit!
      (Although this is more for the sweet lolitas, since classic, and gothic generally have more of an A-line shape, rather than a cupcake/poofy shape! Thanks to Chelsea for recommending this link as well.)

      2. Do you know what brands/styles you like?

      It is better to start off with only one style, since it is cheaper, and you can create a more cohesive look!


      Tells you about styles, basic look and brands:

      A little outdated, but still useful:

      This is practically a MUST READ!

      Here is a list of brands, and if they ship overseas or not!

      3. Buy your basics first.

      First of all though, you'll need a petticoat! Invest in a GOOD one. There is no point in buying a bunch of cheap $12 ones if they loose their poof in the long run. 
      Look for a petticoat that is poofy by volume, not stiff netting or tulle. 
      My recommendation for sweet lolitas:
      The "cupcake" petticoat is the most popular shape for sweet, the petticoat shown is also known as "Maclo Modes 582."
      I don't recommend buying actual stuff off her site because you can dig around to find them cheaper.
      But if you're not gonna plan to really invest in lolita for too long, 3 of the $12 petticoats will suffice. xD;

      For Gothic and Classic lolitas:
      You're going to be looking more for an A-Line petticoat!
      Although some sweeter sides of classic may look better with a slightly more poofy and cupcake shaped petticoat! Always check the shape of your dress!

      Also, since your petticoat is poofy, it's always best to have bloomers so that your panties don't show when you bend over. @_@ You can find them for really cheap on the EGL Comm Sales, and there are also people who can custom make it!

      (I'm a sucker for blouses with bows that you can tie!)

      Blouses are expensive... they usually are about $185 new, and still a good $80 -  $100 or so used. >__<; (But you can find some of the cheaper lucky pack ones for about $50!)
      For blouses, buy from bodyline if you don't want to drop the money!
      Stick to a simple one! I say get a white one, or black because they match with about everything!
      Go for more plain ones if you are going to buy them from Bodyline!

      You can always get a blouse with detachable sleeves, that way you have a long sleeve blouse, and a short sleeve! It's really versatile and worth it!

      Also, sometimes you can find really cute ones at F21 too~ 

      Although if you buy an OP, one piece (sleeved dress), rather than a jumper skirt, you can skip the blouse!

      (Tsubasa in Lolita!)

      4. Buying a Dress:
      Let's face it, the dresses can be expensive! They are from $250 (for a skirt), up to $500 (depending on the brand) for a new dress!.
      However, a lot of the dresses are about $300...

      Honestly, second hand shopping is your best friend!

      There are other cheaper alternatives or places to shop:
      Anna House (I really recommend them!)
      Amber Topaz (Second hand shop)
      BodyLine (Great for wardrobe fillers and basics)
      EGL Comm Sales (Great for finding rare prints, and older items!)
      Fan+Friend (Certified Distributor of a lot of other Lolita Brands!)

      TaoBao shops (You will need a shopping service like Taobaospree or obook):

      Keep in mind that the prices are cheap, but shipping can really cost you!

      They also have a ranking system to keep in mind!
      Hearts (lowest)
      Diamonds (good)
      Crowns (best)

      I don't use TaoBao, so a lot of this information, I got from /cgl/! 

      5. Other Information.
      My favorite brands for the pastels are definitely Angelic Pretty and Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (both ship overseas and have a shop in San Fran).

      If you're looking for older pieces, you'll have to check the EGL Comm Sales on LiveJournal

      Or check auction sites:
      But you need a shopping service to purchase the pieces for you, I recommend Japonica Market (I linked their services page, so it has all the instructions you need to get started!)

      The socks that are the main aesthetics for the styles around the board are OTK (over the knee), now that does not mean a coordination with knee socks can't be killer...
      I feel like the reason why most lolitas like it, is because for taller girls, it gives the dresses the illusion of more length, and covers up their thighs!

      If you find you are taller, or want to cover up more, tights are perfectly fine too! Brands sometimes release tights but it is much more rare!

      Depending on your style and planned wardrobe, pick out a pair that would match with most things!
      For me, my first pair was pink... I had 5 jsks that were pink at the beginning, and one brown/pink... XD;

      You can get REALLY cheap ones that are great quality (for the price) from BodyLine! When they have sales, shoes are from $12 - $19! :D So wait for one of those big 50% off sales!

      From TaoBao shops, they also make a lot of replicas, so you can find the same, or similar styles for less. These generally also need shopping services as well, but you can check the EGL Comm Sales for sellers!

      Tying a Bow:
      A lot of girls actually don't really know how to... :X
      Tying a Bow for a Blouse (This works practically the same as bows in the back~)
      Tying a Single-Faced Back Bow
      Tying a Double-Faced Back Bowtie

      You can Google (use that Google-Fu~) reviews for brands and off brands!
      Or you can check EGL!
      Link to EGL's Memories of Reviews

      Please let me know if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them~ I am not an expert by any means though!

      I'll probably always come back to update this once in a while! It is hard to put out a lot of information at once! ^^;

      Topics still to be covered:
      Circle Lenses


  1. Wow you sure know a lot about lolita!! I remember back in high school when I heard about the G&L Bibles, we went to San Francisco and finally found it there and bought it. Now we probably have about a dozen copies since my mom ended up buying them XD She would always talk about how me and my sisters should create our own designs and she'd help us sew them and open a web shop LOL! I miss those days~ <3

    This is a really good guide for someone like me who doesn't even know the basics! :'D I would've gone right out and bought a dress and try to coordinate with ugly non-lolita items at home XDD I'm no longer that into lolita style, but I do adore seeing people who are brave enough to wear this out all the time! And wtf Tsubasa.... she looks SO cute in lolita! I never even imagined her in lolita... *sigh*

    I also had no idea they make tops with detachable sleeves!! :O That's very creative and useful :D Two tops in one, can't beat that! ^^

    Is it true BTSSB store in SF might close down?? I think I heard that a while ago since everything is super expensive :/ I've been inside twice I think? @__@ SOOO cute, but indeed expensive. Of course I don't want to walk out without taking the entire store with me >3>

    YES! I've FINALLY purchased Dolly Wink! I'm so excited :D I'm really bummed that No.1 ran out right when I was going to purchase it though! I was totally thinking "I need to order fast before something runs out!" But seriously, what are the odds LOL. Plus, they're so much cheaper on Sasa I had no idea :OO I guess because they can dodge the import fees ^^ Oh well, if I really really want No.1 I can fork over a few extra dollars at Mitsuwa I suppose haha!

  2. great job, i always love refreshing my mind of the basics...

  3. You still do know quite a lot which I think is very impressive! :) It's great that even if you don't wear it as much that people still come to you for advice! I know who I'll ask if I ever need advice too :))

    Oh good!! Maybe it was just a silly rumor I heard before, or my boyfriend ranting about expensive clothes LOL. Sorry I mix things up a lot <3

    I'm still bitter about the No.1's going OOS on me like that ;o; I SO badly wanted to try those *sigh* I went with the other ones just cause they looked so pretty on Eki XDD

    Oh I actually just found a post where she's wearing No.3 and No.8 together! haha :)

    I'm more excited to try the bottom lashes too :) These are supposed to be one strip I think. ^^ I was curious about No.6 until I realized that they're individual and I'd lose them all lol. ALTHOUGH... now I want to try them again. XD

  4. Btww I tagged you on my blog! :))

  5. Hey~ I love reading your blog, it's so cute and very informative. I've given you the lovely blogger award <3