1. Shop with Purpose
Perhaps the best way to make smarter purchases is to always have a purpose when window shopping. In the back of my mind I like to keep a running tally of my own personal wishlist. Currently I'm on the lookout for a few pairs of nice bright tights, a very classic hat, and a pair of tea gloves. Whenever I'm out and about around town, shopping with a friend, or perusing the internet, I try to keep my list in mind should I come across anything that I have been looking for. Not only does this little wishlist prevent me from falling into the common pitfall of impulse buys, but it also ensures that my purchases will always fit into my wardrobe.
2. Remember the Aesthetic
This idea is perhaps the most important one of all as it is often quite easy to fall in love with a particular blouse or a cute pair of shoes enough to buy them only to realize a bit later that they are really unfit for coording. While it is easy to stick a hem of lace onto just about anything, a touch of trimming does not necessarily make a piece loliable. Keep your own lolita aesthetic in the back of your mind especially while on the hunt of larger pieces like blouses. Gothic ladies should look for higher collars and ornate cuffs, while sweet lolitas should take care to find more rounded forms like peter pan collars and puffed sleeves. Trimmings can always be added and small details embroidered, but it is far more arduous to change the form. If you know your way around a needle and thread, even more items become available to you as a new DIY project.
One of the best reasons to purchase offbrand items is to save money which you can later spend on meets and main pieces. As such, you always want to make sure that you're actually getting a good deal on the items you will be purchasing. Sometimes a blouse or a bag will catch your eye and you'll be tempted to buy it only to find that the price tag indicates that you might as well go for a brand piece. Naturally, it isn't necessarily a complete turnoff and a good offbrand piece can add a lot to your wardrobe and your personal style, but it is always good to keep the price of brand items in mind. Why spend the money on one blouse when you can get a whole box of items from Closet Child?
By following these basic guidelines you can turn the potentially overwhelming process of hunting for excellent offbrand items into a far more manageable and hopefully enjoyable one! If you're a list-maker like myself, I highly suggest taking advantage of the magic of things like Google Docs for your wishlists which you can easily share with friends and loved ones should they ever be looking for birthday / holiday gifts! Good luck with your offbrand purchases and never forget that your style is utterly your own so wear what you love and make it work~
Until next time, stay strong and beautiful, my lovelies,
P.S. Sincerest apologies for the late post! I ended up getting a bit of writer's block yesterday~