Monday, February 23, 2015

Lolita 52 Challenge Week 5 - My Wardrobe Turnover

Stock Photo of Meta's Heart Pocket Embroidery JSK in Navy
Arguably one of lolita fashion's most interesting deviations from mainstream fashion is the strong presence of an informed secondhand market. It is common for lolitas to buy and sell relatively unworn pieces while maintaining a wardrobe that has a decent amount of turnover throughout the years. There a number of pieces in each substyle which are so iconic that they seem to retain high demand and decently high supply solely due to the resale market. In a recent video about her dream dresses, Youtube personality Cat made a remark on how Sugary Carnival has been owned at one time or another by most sweet lolitas she has known. This in itself is an interesting concept which many fans of mainstream fashion would find difficult to grasp.

The strong secondhand market simultaneously reinforces high brand prices by ensuring that a well-kept piece has decent resale value, and encourages lolitas to expand and trim their wardrobes over time to best suit their current style needs. While it can take a good bit of time, it's entirely possible for a sweet lolita to transition to gothic and vice versa without spending a fortune simply by maintaining a balance between sales and purchases of similarly valued pieces.

In direct contrast to the turnover of many lolitas' wardrobes, my own has only really seen additions. There are a number of dresses which I no longer wear, or which do not fit in very well aesthetically with the rest of my collection, but I have a hard time parting with them for purely sentimental reasons. This is not to say that my own wardrobe hasn't gone through a series of changes, but rather the pieces I have removed from my regular rotation of coordinates are like old friends waiting in the wings.

One of my first experimentations with lolita circa 2008 sans the bodice bows which I didn't care for 
Perhaps a bit surprising to some lolitas, I still own my first ever lolita dress - Meta's Heart Pocket Embroidery JSK in red which I featured in my Ita to Lolita post. Though I don't wear it out anymore, I have many fond memories of buying this dress from the website back when the stock photos featured a wrinkled and rather unattractive looking piece on the dress form. It's funny to think that I saw that stock photo and was so taken by the dress that I spend a good bit of my money to purchase it - being unsure if the silhouette would suit me at all.

In the end I'm glad I took that leap of faith and took a chance on a dress simply because I thought it might look cute on me. I can't seem to let go of that old JSK because it feels like home to me. I have fond memories of wearing it out with a big smile on my face. Perhaps one day I'll wear it out with a new, matured twist and reinvent the JSK of my past into my present style. Or perhaps I'll join the lolita community in passing a well-loved piece onto a lolita who will better appreciate it and make it her own. 

Until then - much love,

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