Lolita On a Budget

Lolita has a reputation for being very expensive, which is not a necessarily true statement about the fashion. Throw any preconceived notions of the $400 dress and $1,000 outfit out the window because there are many ways to wear, and be, Lolita on even a pretty tight budget!
  • Complete Lolita coordinates for under $100- Three different styled coordinates for under $100, just add a petticoat!
  • Bargain hunting!- Some things I've learned from years of buying Lolita for cheap secondhand.
  • Padding your wardrobe with Bodyline- Bodyline is a very cheap place to get some good Lolita pieces from, but maybe you don't want to own a completely Bodyline wardrobe (after all, any wardrobe that is all one brand can get boring fast!). This post is about adding cheaper pieces to get the most versatility out of more expensive pieces.
  • Bodyline's like-brand looks- Prints are a big thing in Lolita right now, and a lot of Lolitas are willing to shell out tons of money to have just the print they want, but luckily our favorite budget shop, Bodyline, has been releasing a ton of gorgeous prints.
  • How to tell good lace from bad lace- If you're on a budget, and looking into cheaper places to buy Lolita from, you're going to want to know the difference between "good" and "bad" lace.
  • One dress, five different looks- One simple dress can be worn in 5 differently styled ways! A dress like this is a great way for those new to the fashion to get the chance to test out other Lolita styles without committing to buying a full outfit.
  • Building a complete Lolita wardrobe- This very long post shows different ways you can build complete and versatile Lolita wardrobes with minimal pieces.

27 comments:

  1. I have a friend who loves being lolita but lately hasnt left the house after breaking her ankle she gained weight shes a uk size 20 but actually doesnt look big I convinced her to be what she wanted whilst we went shopping and a group of snotty lolita types pointed and laughed and asked why she pretending to be lolita that she couldnt dress like this because she was fat im asking for her if weight actually matters in the lolita world because she looked great and her life was great until this? Any thoughts on what I can tell her to help?

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    1. sounds like some snobby ass bitches if you ask me. there are plenty of gorgeous larger lolitas.

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    2. you really shouldn't worry about it alot of sites will give you the option to custom size it and if i can find clothes to fit my male body and huge shoulders then your friend should have no problem

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    3. If they are snobby about Lolita fashion you shouldn't care, let your friend know that Lolita isn't about weight.

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    4. There are asses in every community. I say she should just hold her head up high and rock whatever fashion she chooses, Lolita included.

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    5. Can't speak for the UK, but a great deal of American Lolitas are overweight or "fat," and they don't look any less cute.

      This is old, but I hope your friend ended up doing what she wanted to do.

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    6. I'm a big girl too, I say fuck those bitches. They aren't comfortable with their own bodies and that is why they body shame, it's what pathetic people do. You can be beautiful no matter what size you are as long as you dress for your body type!! Be thick and be proud! Men like curves better anyways ;D

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  2. hello! i am a new lolita that is on an extremly tight budget and plus sized. i sew alot of my own skirts and accessories, some of my pieces are inspired by certain brand prints. even though most to all of my wardrobe is'nt brand can i still call this lolita or more lolita inspired? does it even matter? thanks in advance!

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    1. You can definitely still call it lolita! The fashion isn't defined by brand; I was a lolita for two full years before buying any brand, and even now most of my clothing is offbrand and handmade. As long as it fits within the basic "dimensions" of lolita, it doesn't matter where the clothing comes from.

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  3. I've been an admirer of Lolita for years and I really want to get started, but I don't have a big budget. I went online and found this site called milanoo.com, but alot of people I've meet at conventions tell me not to waste my time but I've found really good reviews online. Should I try buying something cheap to test the waters or set my sites on a different website?

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    1. Avoid Milanoo like the plague. Their prices are not cheap and the quality is hit or miss (and impossible to tell from most stock photos, as most of their photos are stolen stock photos from other sites) and the customer service non existent if something does go bad. Never "test the waters" on pretty much anything that's going to cost you more than like $10 total.

      You're much better off shopping from a reliable budget Lolita shop such as Bodyline or any number of Taobao shops.

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    2. I fell victim to Milanoo! I bought a dress there nearly a year ago and while I thought at first it was okay quality, the ribbon holding the neck closed tore off after only two wears. It shows that even though it looks and feels nice, it's cheaply made and was a lot of money down the drain.

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  4. I put together a whole Lolita co-ord, shoes and everything except wig and handbag, for £36.97 out of stuff I had thrifted. http://domesticatedgoth.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/lolita-on-budget.html There isn't a photograph of me standing up, but includes foofy skirt and make-shift petticoat.

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  5. Konichiwa!
    I'm a new Lolita and I need help! I have no idea where to start. Is blue, flower-patterned fabric OK for a basic Sweet Lolita skirt with a ruffly white blouse? HELP!!

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  6. Are accessories really a must have... I could afford a headpiece or a Lolita hair accessory. But what about jewelry? I'm not really into jewelry except my non Lolita opal ring (special, I wear it every where) and my diamond earrings I wear a lot.

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  7. Hello! I've recently had a soring interest in lolita. Mainly the styles of lolita I would be would have to be Classic, Gothic, and sometimes Bittersweet.(I really love such classic and darker colors.)
    Yet I have a problem. Being a younger girl I'm having a bit of trouble on how and where to get started, and yes there is A certain budget. I can sew pretty well too yet i mostly handsew since the sewing machine had gotten lost in limbo.
    I really do need help on where to get started in such a wonderful style of clothing. Any advice I could get would help, really! Thank you!

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  8. Hai, i am new to Lolita Fashion and would love to become a lifestyle Lolita but i am a UK size 20 and on a student tight budget, i have looked on bodyline and ebay and no where seems to do size 20 dresses, jks' or skirts in that size.. i hope my size doesn't stop me from becoming a lolita, can anyone point me in the direction of good sites for my size lolita clothing please? ^^

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    1. I know this is very old.... like a year old but for future people, Lolita plus sized + tight budget means you have to make it yourself + thrift things. But lolita plus sized NOT tight budget, there is a brand who makes dresses for plus sized ladies. :) Anyone can be lolita. Don't give up. Anyone can look good in lolita.

      https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dollbe

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  9. I have been purchasing lolita dress online and found this website: http://www.kigukawaii.com/ You may check their products. I've tried few stores before too . So far this site gives the best service and high quality products

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    1. Hi Kelly, I've visit the site that you share and they have really a nice products that they sell and I think I will always visit it to find a good clothes for me. But if you are looking for a secondhand items, specially a shoes, you may visit this website http://www.boex.tv/ for more information.

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  10. thanks for this share about cheap fashion clothing,
    "Sormukset"

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  11. Girls fashion and their age are always inversely proportional. You have fantastic stuff on this blog that keep the girls young and beautiful with you fashion tips. Being a fashion artist I really appreciate your efforts and work.
    Love from Royal Lady

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  12. Hi I have been admirer of Lolita for about 2 years and I've done my research but I don't know anyone to help me with it and I'm on a really tight budget and if any one knows any cheap Lolita site or if anyone can help me would really appreciate it thank you ^w^

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    1. Well, The best thing to do if you are on a REALLY tight budget is to make it yourself. I made a JSK for $5 plus a head accessary. and you can make a skirt for about the same price. You can thrift a Blouse for $7-$10. You can thrift shoes for $5-$10. Well now you need a petticoat right? And well, petticoats are not cheap. My advice... don't buy a cheap one if you want to wear it every day or if you want to look lolita. You could thrift one for $20 if you are lucky.

      But Bunny House is the cheapest nice petticoat option I have found. They go as low as $20 but I really suggest spending $40 on one. and gotta remember shipping will always bump it up. But remember your petticoat will be worn with everything.
      https://www.facebook.com/bunnyhouse.vn/

      The other place people get their petticoats from is Classical Puppets and those will run you $60 not even including shipping...But it is the most comfortable petticoat and you will only need two. One A-line and one bell. they will be under all your dresses.

      Part of being thrifty in lolita is having practical items that will not break down... that will not tear or fall apart. Part of budgeting lolita is that.

      I would say- a great tip I have for being thrifty in lolita is to make sure all your dresses have similar accessory needs. Like Gothic, Classic with rose prints, and Alice dresses all can use rose accessaries very easily so I can buy rose things with confidence and share them between very different dresses.

      For your first blouse, always buy white. For your second choose black or pink depending on what you want to branch into. sweet, gothic. Let your JSKs decide your next versatile blouse.

      For shoes- Go with a simple mary jane style black, white, brown, or pink. Preferably black. Even if you like light stuff, black is a good default that even if it doesn't "go" it will "go" when you are first starting out. And black mary janes are easy to find. So are white and brown. Pink not so much. But they are a good staple to have. It is also good to have one pair of lolita appropriate weather proof shoes in those colors too. They will match everything.

      Snap bows are easy to coord. You can put them anywhere you need them. They can go on your JSK strap even if you need them too. If you have the ones that double as pinable, you can even pin them in your JSK to add cute. Or a hat. or your shoe straps.

      Try to get a bag that matches everything. Like you you chose roses like me, I have a red bag. it goes with my stuff. Even if it doesn't "go" with lolita it goes with my stuff. It is cute and stylish even though it is cheap and I thrifted it. You could go the extra mile and make your own bag to look like an AP heart bag. Much cheaper than buying one for sure.

      It is really hard to be a thrifty lolita... if it sounds like work... that is because it is. :( I live below the poverty line. But Ganbate I believe in you. And don't worry. Lolita are actually really really nice. Not at all like the internet stereo type. Your in person group might have more localized resources.

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  13. I'm quite sure this was mentioned before, but I want to make sure I don't offend anyone later on. I was thinking of making/getting together a lolita outfit that I would wear as Gamzee Makara, a character from the webcomic Homestuck (The circus theme really connects with him). I am very iffy about doing this because I don't want to upset the lolita community for involving it in cosplay, and I am also really inexperienced with buying/making lolita fashion.

    (Also: Gamzee doesn't wear lolita, none of the Homestuck characters do, but I thought it would something interesting and possibly fun.)

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    1. Not a lolita myself - I'm more of an otome girl right now - but currently getting quite interested in poofing my style up and branching into lolita and teaching myself about the basics.

      From what I've gathered, it's okay to cosplay a lolita version of a character. Just remember that it is first and foremost cosplay and not a regular lolita outfit. Lolita is fashion, not a costume. You don't dress up as someone else but wear clothes that highlight who YOU are.
      You want to dress up as Gamzee wearing a lolita outfit. Your first concern is portraying a character. That's cosplay, even when you happen to dress the character in a lolita outfit.

      Still, it's kind of an complicated topic and it's probably impossible to make sure that no-one in the whole world will be offended by it. People are offended by the most ludicrous things. Just make sure to be informed what is the distinction between cosplay and lolita and don't label yourself wrong and it should be fine with most lolitas.

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