Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tips and Tricks: Lolita, Affording this Hobby

When I was a senior in High School and just getting started in the crazy Lolita world I booked marked a ton and I mean a ton of Fan+Friend stuff! It was cheap and it was cute and I was brand new to the lolita world, having not yet learned anything beyond the silhouette.

In my tips and tricks series we have covered how you might best start your wardrobe, from what would be the best to buy first to what colors you should stick to. This tips and tricks article (if you couldn't tell from the title) is all about how lolita's afford to buy these lolita items.

Though I would like to point out that this part below is how I have saved up and bought my clothes and in no way is how every lolita does this. Nor that you should do it the way I did.  My hope is that by being as candid as I can about how I got my lolita clothes it will help tear away the mystery of how people afford this hobby! Under my story is some other ways I've noticed lolitas afford their clothes!

My Lolita Money Story:
Very early on I realized this hobby was going to be an expensive hobby, and one I did not yet have money for. As a senior in High School I was more focused on finishing the year and doing sports. Thus I didn't worry about getting lolita clothes, I just absorbed as much of the fashion as I could. I also bookmarked my first dress and thought about what I wanted to buy when I did have the money. So naturally I didn't look for a job.

Most of us when starting this hobby are confronted with this issue, how do we afford Lolita? To help and get some of you guys started I will be talking about how I personally have afforded the things I have so far. Some of them might not have been the best budgeting ideas, or the smartest ways to handle money. But I feel I have to talk about this because this is a question many other new lolitas wonder about. And when people ask and get answers to the question of how older Lolitas afford this hobby... well lets just say I often feel people are not happy with the answers they get, no matter how truthful they are.

SO lets start with my first purchases! 
The first couple of things I bought I got with my money for graduation. I got $100 specifically to buy my first ever lolita dress!
Here is the part I am kinda ashamed of... as you might already know when we graduate family and friends often give money for college or for whatever you have planed after high school.
I don't remember how much money I got, but I do know I took "some" of that money and also bought a petticoat, shirt, another dress with matching headdress, and another dress, socks, etc. The beggings of my lolita wardrobe was started with money that was given to me after my high school graduation for college.

One of my first Lolita outfits with my new purchases!

I didn't buy any more clothes until I found a job.

I had started college at this point and was getting help from my parents till I found a job at a big fast food restaurant. I worked 25-35 hrs a week at this fast food place and started putting half my check away for when I transferred to a bigger college. The other half of my check I kept to buy what ever I wanted. I bought books and movies, but also saved up for more lolita clothes.

I ended up having to pay for my own schooling sooner than I thought for family reasons. Though because I was going to community college it was a bit cheaper. Meaning I didn't have to take out any loans but my money became very limited after that.

What happened NEXT!?
Well I got a seasonal job a  a mall, so quit my fast food job. Then I didn't have a job for almost a whole year! While I was looking for a job I had moved out, so what little money I had saved up went to paying for school. It wasn't until I had moved back, and got a job at a deli when Lolita things started looking up.

I started working full time and going to school full time my last semester at the community college. With the money I was making at that time I could finally afford to buy dresses again! So I have, the very first one being the AP lucky pack.


Most of us work and go to school, have other hobbies or other expenses. When newer lolitas ask how we earn enough money to afford lolita most of the time the answer is saving up! Though it doesn't seem like enough but trust me it is.

Ways in Which You Can Afford Lolita:
From EGL thread discussing how others afford Lolita: Read here!
I really wish it was like Momoko in Kamikaze Girls where everyone of us were just really really good gamblers! But sadly its not like that at all.

How Milkyfawn affords Lolita: Read Here!

To afford lolita stuff you could always get a job if you don't already have one!

IF you do but can't spare any money try setting up a jar where you can put loose change?? Or try to save a couple of bucks here and there to go to lolita.

IF you can't do that either you can try and get another job if you are able! If you feel like you can take on the extra burden of working two jobs you can totally use one check to cover expenses and what is ever left over you can save for dresses.

EXTRA HELP! Try to budget your money if you can. What I see a lot of is someone saying that lolita is too expensive and they want more stuff but they say can't afford it when they are out spending money on muggle clothes, books, movies, video games, cars, tattoos, etc. If you really want to buy this stuff but are also participating in other hobbies, its not that you can't afford it! Its that you spend your extra money else where, which I completely understand and fall prey too as well. Try to save a bit more or cut back on your other hobbies every once and awhile and you should be able to afford it in no time!

Really great and informative video talking about how this person affords Lolita: Watch Here!

But you just bought these clothes!?
I know that part of selling clothes is actually being able to buy them and if you can't buy them its nearly impossible to sell them!

But think of the other things you can sell but you have been giving yourself excuses on why not to sell them. Well you might have a reason now! So that is always an idea to get the money.

On the other hand, you have bought your first clothes and you are ready for the next big thing! Try selling or trading off your old dresses and stuff you don't want anymore!
Many other lolita's have done this. When they first get started in the fashion they might only buy bodyline to really start their wardrobe and if they choose to start buying brand they sell off the bodyline dresses to help afford the more expensive dresses! This is a great way to start dressing with out paying top dollar right away.
Though be warned, many lolita's do this to also keep their wardrobes down to a smallish size. If you want to build up a pretty big wardrobe its best to avoid selling off your dresses, but it is a good way to re freshen your wardrobe and to get rid of the clothes that no longer fit your style or old stuff you don't wear anymore!

Parfaitdoll's Blog post about obtaning your dream wardrobe, Really worth the reading if you ask me! Read Here!

What else can there be to get these clothes you have wanted for so long!?
Here are two other ways I have noticed lolitas do to start their wardrobes.

Great article about starting out in Lolita: Read Here!
GIFTS- I am not telling you to go up to your friends and family and ask for the brand new AP release for your birthday. But you could try asking for socks, or accessories. In my other tips and tricks post I talk about finding accessories also at places like Target, or Claire's. Lolita Wonderland started her wardrobe this way. Buying headbands and jewelry while saving up for the bigger purchase of a dress until she had all the basics down.

ALLOWANCE?- Now I am guessing most of you don't get allowance, or money from your parents at all really! But understand that there are younger lolita's that do and this is okay! Its just how some lolitas afford their clothes over others. Though Once again most of us have to save up and work to afford our clothes.

The best way to afford this hobby though is to be as thrifty as possible!
You can and should be thrifty in this hobby. I am being serious! Stop laughing! Don't buy right away, look for the best deals. Closet child, second hand sells, and Mbook are your best friends! I know a lolita who bought a Angelic Pretty Mint Caplet for $30 on Mbook, and there are always good deals on Closet Child for brand dresses if that is what you are looking for! Remember to spend your money wisely, you didn't save up all that dough to just blow it on one dress!

DO NOT forget that DIY is always cool in lolita! Wether it is making your own accessories to making your own dresses! If you are not like me and can actually sew that is a good way to afford getting into lolita.

Me and tons of other lolitas work for our clothes, and though that doesn't seem possible to lots of people it is 100% true.
Some of us sell off old dresses to afford new ones.
Some of us make our own dresses!
Some of us are thrifty and generally never pay full price for a dress.

These are all ways we afford this hobby. I hope it helps and you start your journey to saving up and starting your very own wardrobe!

Till Next Time

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