What To Buy When Starting Lolita


There are varying opinions on what one might purchase first when new to lolita. For me, I think it should be this one thing.

A secondhand (Japanese) brand name lolita JSK

(This is Angelic Pretty's Lyrical Party aka Lyrical Bunny set. The JSK and matching headbow usually show up for under $100 together.)

Now, one might protest at this kind of opinion. But here is why I think it should be this specifically:

1. Brand Name

Choosing a brand name lolita item means that one can expect a certain level of quality. That's not to dismiss indie brands as being lesser or anything like that. What I mean is that because it's brand name, it is more likely that other people have the same piece and can attest to its quality and fit. 

The current state of things is that plus size lolitas are often told to look for indie brands to satisfy their sizing concerns. Depending on the dress cut, it's actually very possible to fit into Japanese brand name lolita dresses. It's easier to look for photos of people wearing the dress, so it's easier to get a better judgement of fit concerns.

It also helps that it's much easier to sell a brand name dress than an indie brand dress off Taobao or a Bodyline dress if there are regrets about purchasing it.

2. Price

Price is a major concern. But if looking very carefully, the cost of secondhand brand items is closer to the cost of a brand new indie brand dress. With the countless options out there for lolita now, secondhand brand has gotten so cheap that it's basically accessible to anyone with a decent grasp of their finances. A secondhand Angelic Pretty dress under $100 shipped is not impossible.

Also if you know where to look and don't mind old, not very popular brand pieces, a $50 brand dress is still within the realm of possibility.

A lot of young girls get into this fashion, but don't know how to dress themselves in general. This is their first foray into dressing well and having a fashion sense. Being used to fast, cheap fashion gives off the wrong idea that clothes should be cheap.

Lolita is a specialized luxury fashion and while it can be done cheaply, it has to be done very carefully once someone has had a good grasp of the fashion already. Starting with a brand name piece known for quality is a safer bet for those new to the fashion.

And I'll reiterate again - it's easier to resell than an indie brand or Bodyline dress! With such a saturated market now, things can sit unsold for months because there are so many different, better options out there.

3. Basics

And why a JSK? Why not a petticoat, or a wig, or a skirt? 

The JSK is one of the most versatile lolita pieces. The way someone styles it with other pieces can drastically change how an outfit looks. It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

In comparison to a skirt, the JSK is easier to wear. A skirt will need at least a blouse or cutsew top. The standard is that a JSK needs a blouse, but this isn't actually necessary. A bolero or cardigan can be worn on top of it instead. And with a JSK, blouse options can be more varied since part of it hides under the JSK. Cropped blouses are popular nowadays and those certainly cannot be worn over a skirt by itself. They are also a cheaper option compared to traditional blouses.

Contrary to the what pictures might show these days - a wig is NOT REQUIRED for this fashion. Wigs can help make outfits more cohesive if someone doesn't have the right hair type to achieve a certain hairstyle. But they are also worn as a lazy option instead of actually styling one's own hair. This is why I don't think it should be the first purchased item, because it's literally not required!

While foundations like a petticoat are necessary in the fashion, getting an actual lolita dress as the very first purchase also helps bring more joy. The feeling of finally getting that first lolita dress is one that cannot be replicated.

Once the dress is bought, it's easier to accept that getting the other pieces are necessary in order to coordinate it properly.

Choose carefully, and your first lolita piece will be one you cherish always.