tirsdag den 9. oktober 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole: New to Lolita

Original picture from Flickr
Someday, somehow, you found your way down the rabbit hole, and arrived in Wonderland. But, oh my! You are not at all dressed for the occasion! How do you start building an appropriate wardrobe? Fear not, let me give you some step-by-step advice to making your first purchases. 

Picture from Clobbaonline

1. Petticoat

I know that you might wanna get right to it and just "Buy a dress already!", but your dress is not gonna look that good without a proper petticoat anyway. The petticoat is the life of your look! It gives your skirt that fluffy A-line or bell-shape that it takes for you to become a lolita. A petticoat is also the one item that you can be very sure that you won't find already in your closet (unless you've already dabbled in another fabulous, poofy vintage style). It will pay off to look up reviews and spend a bit of money on a good, voluminous chiffon or organza petticoat, so that it will not deflate right away. I would recommend checking out Taobao, or Victoriangirldress on Ebay!

Picture from Hellolace
2. Versatile JSK or Skirt

Now that you've got a proper petticoat, it's time to start building a wardrobe for real! The first piece you should get, is a versatile JSK or skirt that can easily be dressed up or down, so that you can use it for any occasion. Look for something simple, but with an interesting pattern or details that can be the focus point when you want to get fancy. This piece should be chosen in that color that you want to build your wardrobe on. A very busy print, Angelic Pretty-style, might be versatile in that you can combine it with more colors, but it is also tougher to go casual with, and it takes a large wardrobe with many accessories to master. 

Picture from Polyvore
3. Shoes

A good pair of shoes that go with most of your wardrobe is essential to finish off your look. They don't need to be the focus point of your outfit, but your old, over-used sneakers just won't do! They can be simple Mary Janes in a neutral color, bought at your local shoe store, or they can be shoes especially designed for lolita that you can get at Taobao, Bodyline or even brand. The most important thing is that they go with your wardrobe! Now that we are at the topic of what to wear on your feet, we should also talk about socks! Apart from being an important part of an outfit, you are also going to be very uncomfortable in your shoes without! You can find cute and elegant tights in most stores and maybe even lolita appropriate ankle socks,  but socks can also be bought second-hand, directly from brands, Antaina on Taobao, or Bodyline.

Picture from Chictini
4. Blouses, Cutsews and Cardigans

Don't be surprised that this is placed so low on the list. The reason is simply that stable items for this point might already be in your wardrobe! A cute t-shirt will work perfectly well with a skirt for a casual look, and cardigans are very often used with a JSK instead of a blouse! If you have an elegant chiffon shirt like the one pictured above, it could also look good under a JSK! Be aware that business-look blouses with pointy collars, even though they might look similar to some lolita blouses and are very job-interview appropriate, just aren't.. lolita-elegant. Blouses can, apart from with a bit of luck in your everyday clothing stores, be bought at Taobao, Bodyline (Beware of the lace-quality!) and of course, second-hand or directly from brands. You might also have luck browsing vintage shops.

Picture from Flickr
5. Accessories!

You probably already have at least a couple of accessories that could work with your lolita look, and if you don't, accessories can be bought anywhere and everywhere! Vintage-looking jewellery is currently very fashionable, so Classic and Gothic lolitas are especially in luck, but it is also possible for the more sweetly-inclined to dig up something nice! The childrens' section usually has adorable hairclips and other goodies. Check out your local Accessorize, H&M or whatever other clothing- and accessory store's near you! Apart from that, you can find plenty of second-hand lolita accessories online and great stuff on Taobao or Etsy. Foxcherry333 is an online taobao store that I am especially fond of (though you will need to use a shoppingservice to buy from her. I recommend Taobaospree!) She makes hair-accessories, hats and much more!  
Building a wardrobe takes a long time! Have patience and enjoy hunting for new items and making your pieces work in a bunch of different ways! 

Now that we've gone through the steps, tell me about your experiences with building a wardrobe! Do you have any advice you'd like to share? Share in the comments below!

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