Thursday, 31 March 2016

Items I Probably Wouldn't Buy From Brands

My post on Buyer's Guilt last week got me thinking about how and where I choose to spend my money when I am buying lolita. Items from the big Japanese brands are generally seen as pieces to covet and spend our hard earned money on. That is not to say that Bodyline, Taobao and the like are not great, because they can be, and this post will probably help to demonstrate that. However, there is just something about buying brand that feels exciting. Yet there are times when brand is probably not the answer. Not all brand items get the same amount of hype and praise in the community. As time has gone on some Taobao brands have been greatly improving in quality. So is brand always best? In my opinion, the answer to that question is no! Here is a list of items which I feel just aren't worth buying from the big name brands.

Novelty Items- You see a lot of the free brand novelties being sold on various second-hand sites and some of them (like the Lyrical Bunny candle above) are very cute. However, once you have them they can become kind of pointless. I don't know anybody who has ever burnt their candles, you see people collect brand teacups who are too afraid to use them in case they chip them and people who wont use their stickers/calendars/diaries in case they ever want to sell them on. So these novelties sort of just sit there and end up gathering dust. They are cute little extras and it is fun when you receive one with an order. But actually spending money on them is completely different.

Bloomers- I think brand bloomers are pretty expensive considering the only person likely to see them is the wearer. I don't always wear bloomers when it gets really hot anyway. The way I see it, my money could be better spent on a cheap second hand brand skirt or some nice accessories- something I can actually show people. There are some beautiful off-brand and cheaper alternatives out there. Shalisa does some lovely ones for Sugar Trampoline which Sammi is always raving about!

Petticoats- It's not that there is anything wrong with brand petticoats, in fact I have heard positive comments made about AP's petticoats. It's just that there are so many well-loved petticoats by brands such as Classical Puppets, Dear Celine, VictorianGirlDress etc that have a much better reputation. It makes sense to me to go to a store that has had many glowing, positive reviews from lolitas who have worn these petticoats for years, without them losing poof. A lot of these petticoats are cheaper than brand petticoats and with such positive reviews, I think it makes sense to go for these cheaper alternatives than brand ones which haven't been so widely reviewed.

Shoes- I have been told right from when I first started wearing lolita that I shouldn't bother buying brand shoes. For ages I couldn't understand why, and then I went and got a pair of brand shoes and understood exactly why. Brand shoes are honestly no better than Bodyline shoes. For the price you pay, you expect the brand shoes to be made of better material, to last longer and generally be more sturdy. But a lot of brand shoes are made from cheap pleather and the basic designs are nothing to write home about. Some of you may remember the story on the EGL Livejournal community of the Baby shoes that apparently fell apart after hardly any wear. Luckily I haven't had such issue with my brand shoes so far, but stories like that are quite worrying. My AP tea parties are cute, but so not worth the price and I am glad I got them quite cheap second-hand. If I had paid retail price for them, I would have felt ripped off. 

Sceptres and other trending items- If you genuinely love the latest trendy items, then by all means go ahead and buy them. If on the other hand you want something because you have seen a bunch of lolitas using them on Tumblr, then perhaps you should hold off. Lolita trends come and go and there are plenty of lovers and haters of every trend out there. Sceptres are a trend I could never quite understand. They look great for fashion shows and professional photo shoots, but if they are just being carried around at a meet then in my opinion they are a bit pointless. And I am sorry to say it, but in my opinion the Baby butterfly sceptre looks like it came from Claire's Accessories (don't shoot me!). Do you remember the Chocomint and 6% doki doki star clips from a few years ago and how every lolita had one? You don't see those around much any more and they don't always get the best reaction when they do make an appearance (Although for the record, I still love my star clips!).

So having a look at my list, it seems that in most cases the brand items are not bad, but there are many cheaper alternatives out there that are possibly better. But that is not to say that loving and supporting a big name brand is a bad thing. I love brand but generally prefer to go about purchasing lolita with the attitude that a higher price does not always equal better items. I know a lot of you reading this post might have purchased some of the brand items above. Perhaps you may agree with me, or completely disagree. A lot depends on a lolita's income and their personal sense of what equals good value for money.


  1. Thanks for the not-so-subtle plugging of my shop <3
    Brand bloomers don't make much sense in my opinion as like you said, they're not really going to be seen much, and the price brands charge is often a lot for what you get. It can be cheap to get them secondhand but the thought of that has always squicked me out. Just buy yourself a new pair from an indie brand (like mine lol).

    I really regret not buying more petticoats form VictorianGirlDress. I've had mine for 5 years now and it is really quite dead as of late, but it sure took a lot of wear to get it to that stage, and only cost me something like £16. They seem to have closed down their shop now :/ I don't think I know anyone who wears a brand petticoat!

    I don't understand the point of novelty candles at all, or anything that can be used up and yet is expensive or difficult to get your hands on. There's some items I've found pretty cool, though, like cushions, toiletry bags and jewellery boxes. Are they worth going after specifically, though? Absolutely not!

    Haha, those star clips! I totally forgot about those! Remember when fuzzy hair clips were also a thing? It's funny how these things become passé so quickly.

    1. Ha ha no problem! <3 The thing is, when it comes to brand bloomers, brands like Meta almost always put a pair in their lucky packs. So I have never got the point of people going out of their way to specifically buy bloomers from brands. And they are not a great deal different to indie brand bloomers so people should definitely support indie brands like yours!

      Tbh it has been so long since I brought a petticoat that I didn't know VictorianGirlDress had shut! That is really sad news...

      I remember when I got a drinking flask from Meta and I have never used it! But a part of me also doesn't want to sell it! XD I guess it is a nice memento of when I purchased one of my favourite skirts but there is no way I would buy one second hand.

      Urgh the fuzzy star clips! I still have a ball of snowflake yarn from when those clips were super popular and I only ended up making one. I never wore it! But I love my chocomint metalic ones so much.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...