Notes from other lolitas- Whenever I buy anything, I always love seeing the little notes that people include. Sometimes it could just be a simple thank you, or perhaps it may include something that references what you have purchased or a private joke. I love all the different cute paper and stationary I get. This may sound weird, but I also like looking at other people's handwriting. There is just something really pleasing to the eye about good handwriting! Adding notes adds an element of caring to a purchase. It makes you feel that as a buyer, the seller didn't simply chuck your item in a box and then forget about it the second they get their money.
Brand Tags- They usually include Japanese washing instructions that I can't read anyway, but for some reason I have this weird compulsion to never throw out my brand tags. A lot of the logos look cute anyway. I think as well that sometimes when you are selling things on, there is an emphasis on how new things are. You will often see in the description whether the item you are buying comes with tags or not.
Stickers- I absolutely love getting stickers! I never want to use them, because I want to keep them looking new and pretty (one of the reasons why I never go out of my way to specifically buy brand novelties). Some of my stickers have memories attached to them too. The Baby ones in the picture for example, are ones that I got from Hyper Japan. I had just brought my mini Usakumya, which is quite an iconic lolita brand item. The lady in the store looked amazing in head-to-toe Baby, was happy to demonstrate how to properly tie waist ties and did this whole gesture of sealing up my bag and handing it over in this obvious 'presenting' gesture. The Pixie Bunny one is from where I won her competition, so that has happy memories attached to it too.
Postcards- These are an easy way to get hold of some Imai Kira artwork, as she works with Angelic Pretty a lot. It is really exciting when you get artwork of a print that you may own. Like notes, sometimes the postcard may have personal messages on them. One of my postcards from when Angelic Pretty Paris was Boddywood included a note to say I had been entered in to their contest for a place at their tea party (I won, but was unable to attend unfortunately...). There are also a great number of talented artists in the lolita community who really love to have the chance to showcase their artwork. I completely forgot to photograph the postcards that came in my Tea Party Club event goody bags. Some of the free postcards are super cute!
Catalogues- Physical printed catalogues don't seem to get printed as often as they used to be. Or sometimes you will find the art used for special "art books" instead (typically these art books are a novelty item with a small leaflet, which has a few pictures of a new release). Metamorphose gave me a catalogue when I ordered Magical Moonlight, which I thought was a really nice touch. It meant I could see how the dress looked on a model and how the whole series looked. I know some lolita like to cut these up and frame the artwork as well, a bit like with the postcards.
Novelty fair items- I have only ever been lucky to receive a special novelty item, given away during a brand's promotional fairs, once. It was a Metamorphose drink flask, which I got with my Meta lucky pack all the way back in 2010. They held a Winter Novelty Fair at the same time as their lucky packs came out. These items are only available for as long as stock lasts and some of them can be hard to locate. Sometimes you will get novelties that are designed exclusively for events, which provides a long-lasting memento to a fun day you had. Badges and hand mirrors are quite easy to make, and are another way to show off a print that you love.
Fabric Swatches and spare buttons- Do Angelic Pretty do fabric swatches anymore? It has been ages since I have received one with anything I have brought. It does mostly seem to be AP who do the fabric swatches, but most brands will often provide a spare button. Given how fragile some of the buttons can be, it is obviously a very good idea to keep hold of these spares! I have a drawer in my sewing box stuffed full of spare buttons. I don't think I even own some of the items the buttons go with anymore.
Shopping bags- I actually had to throw out a load of Bodyline bags once because they wouldn't fit in my "Bag of Bags". I have a big Metamorphose shopping bag which I use to keep hold of all of my plastic shopping bags. I really love how when you buy from brand stores they will provide you with a spare shopping bag, even if you haven't attended the physical store. It is nice how they know how much their fans appreciate these bags! A lot of the time the bags are cute and colourful. If you have too much stuff to fit in your actual bag (which happens a lot with a lot of tiny lolita bags) these brand shopping bags are a cute and cheap way to 'remain lolita' instead of carrying a bag from a high street store.
Clothes hangers- I didn't take a photo of mine, because they are not always that exciting to look at. Sometimes when you order bigger items from brands you will find that they throw in a clothes hanger for free. They are often just bog-standard hangers with no indication that they came from a lolita brand, but on rare occasions brands have put out branded hangers. Knowing how much clothing I have, I simply am unable to throw out a clothes hanger, because you never know when you are going to need it.
GLBs and other Japanese fashion magazines- Unlike the glossy 'weekly' magazines which typically get thrown out after being read, Japanese fashion magazines are more like books. Sometimes when I am feeling ill or a bit bored, I will sit and look through all of the street snaps. There is something really satisfying about sitting down in a comfortable seat, all snuggled up, with a physical magazine in hand. It feels a lot more personal than finding content online, as you can hold it in your hands and you have the physical reminder to keep. And as embarrassing as this sounds, I did go out and buy the Japanese Gothic Lolita Bible when I saw I had been featured in it! For me personally, that was a really special moment and I wanted something to remember it.
So as you are flicking through all of those wardrobe posts or even making your own, take a moment to think about the person behind the clothing. Some of the items I mentioned in this post are highly sentimental to me. They have memories attached to them and some are unique to me. They document my lolita story through the years. I keep a lot of the personal stuff, such as the notes, with my lolita scrapbook so that I see them frequently when I need some inspiration. Do you have any 'collections' outside of your lolita wardrobe? I am curious to know what other lolitas think of these little mementos and if you cherish them, like I do.