1. Wardrobe Cohesion
I've made posts about this before, and I'm sure that I'll be making more of them in the future. In my mind, wardrobe cohesion is simultaneously your greatest ally and your worst enemy. Wardrobe cohesion is the glue that keeps your coordinates together and allows you to enjoy the fashion to a much broader extent as you are able to mix and match pieces to make a much larger quantity of suitable outfits. At the same time, wardrobe cohesion is your enemy because it will inevitably crush your dream dresses into the ground unless you search for a compromise. It is quite rare that you'll find a dream dress that perfectly matches everything else you have (if only because dream dresses are often unique enough to draw your eye and spark your interest). With a little patience and a good amount of creativity, a relatively one-dimensional wardrobe scheme can easily shift gears into a wonderfully complex array of possibilities.
2. Timing Your Purchases
This tip is obvious in some cases and a bit more abstract in others, but none-the-less helpful in the long run. It is important to keep season, climate, and retail cycles in mind when looking to buy new lolita pieces. I always keep a running tally in my head of pieces I think I will be needing and begin scoping out the best possible times to buy them. Are you new to the fashion and just looking to add some volume to your wardrobe? Lucky pack season is the time for you! Pay extra attention to the secondhand sales communities at this time as many lucky pack buyers will be looking to sell of pieces they are uninterested in - often for bargain prices! More veteran lolitas will be sure to keep tabs on their favorite brands' websites to take advantage of holiday or weekend sales that might crop up at the end of each season as the designers attempt to make room for their new collections and stock. For all you secondhand bargain hunters, keep in mind that the equator changes up those seasons for you! I had the good fortune of buying a winter coat from a girl in Australia who found she hadn't worn it enough and needed to make room in her wardrobe for the upcoming summer. Countries with opposite climates are your chance to score an excellent bargain when people begin to shift their wardrobe to match the season.
3. Offbrand As Fillers
While there is plenty of discussion in the lolita community surrounding elitism and wearing brand, the best way to save money and fill out your wardrobe with unique and interesting pieces comes from the plethora of offbrand options. There is no better way to add a sprinkling of individuality to an coordinate than my showing off an interesting blouse or an amazing pair of shoes. Use offbrand pieces as your opportunity to reflect your own personal lolita style. Sites like ModCloth and Irregular Choice are prime places to find something amazing and oftentimes for less than the brands would charge!
Our baby steps in fashion are oftentimes painful and a bit pitiful, but with a little bit of time and a touch of help it's easy to find a way to flourish!
Until next time, stay strong and beautiful, my lovelies,