Monday, 13 November 2017

Why Lolita Has Ruined Everyday Shopping For Me

There is nothing I love more than doing a bit of lolita-related shopping online and it's something that takes up a good chunk of my free time. There are just so many auctions and new releases to check out! But before I got in to lolita, I used to love going shopping anyway. Clothes, hobbies, some new cosmetic line... I loved going out and having a good, long shopping session. Eventually, as lolita seeped more and more in to my everyday life, my feelings towards any non-lolita related shopping changed. It no longer feels like a pleasurable experience and if I need to go out and buy something, it fills my heart with dread! I blame lolita for this, as I have found that it has completely changed my views on so many things. I have picked up these little habits and thoughts which I cannot shake off. So here is a list of the ways that lolita has destroyed everyday shopping for me!

Any concept of pricing has gone- See a nice looking blouse in town for £30? In my head that seems expensive. See an auction for a lolita brand blouse for £40 before shipping, service fees and customs? Bargain! I pay loads more for my lolita purchases but when it comes to justifying buying something for my everyday wardrobe, I find myself dithering and wondering if it is really worth it. The crazy thing about this is, I probably wear lolita about 10% of the time and yet when it comes to that other 90% I just can't seem to part with the cash so easily.

I can't buy anything with cheap looking details- Low quality lace, shiny ribbon and other things that tend to make a garment look cheap are something I actively look out for in lolita. The trouble is, I am now doing it with my everyday clothes as well. Although this may sound like a good habit, sometimes I wonder if it really matters. For example, if I wanted to buy some underwear and it had cheap lace on it, who is going to see it? Probably just myself and my husband! And I can tell you with confidence that my husband has never once looked at me and called me out for wearing cheap lace! And yet, I still can't bring myself to buy those cheap lacy undies... There is always that voice in my head telling me that lace wouldn't look out of place on the most hideous ita dress. Oh well, those cheap panties are probably super itchy anyway...

There are no stickers or other cute freebies- Anybody else like collecting those little freebies that come with their Japanese fashion purchases? Stickers, maybe postcards and even a cute shopping bag- I have loads of little collections that I have gathered from buying lolita over the years. Even the price tags are super cute! I also love the experience of visiting a stall at a big lolita event and seeing the stall owners wrap up my items in pastel coloured tissue paper, gently putting them in their cute logo shopping bag and maybe using a cute looking sticker to seal the top of the bag. Do you get that when you go to a bog-standard shop on the high street? No! Here in England you just get asked if you want a plastic carrier bag (and then they inform you that will be an extra 5 pence) and they just shove your stuff in the bag with little care or attention. There are no cute little extras here. Although you can't really blame the retail staff on the high street, as a lot of them are working long hours for a paltry wage and usually there is a big queue of people to deal with. On the rare occasions where you do get exceptional treatment, it makes me appreciate the extra effort that little bit more.

I actually have to try stuff on to check it fits- Usually with lolita clothing I have a pretty good idea if something will fit or not before it has even arrived. And there is always the shirring and waist ties as well. If something really doesn't fit, I have the confidence of knowing I can probably sell it on and get most of my money back. When I go out shopping for stuff like jeans, for example, I have to try them on in the store with no exceptions. I am not sure what clothes stores are like in other countries, but here in the UK we have a big problem with 'vanity sizing'. So you could be a size 8 in one store but a size 10 or 12 in another. And in the cheaper places like Primark, 2 items that are supposedly the same size could in fact be completely different sizes. So it is vital to try things on. That means queuing for ages for an available cubicle, and sometimes the cubicles are not the most clean of places. It all feels like a complete hassle. And the only reason I do it is that I know that if I walk out the store with something that doesn't fit, I will then have the hassle of queuing at the returns counter and wasting more time. Even then, I may get store credit instead of getting my money back.

I have no idea what sort of everyday clothes I even like any more- I know what themes I love in lolita and when I am not wearing lolita I have this sort of casual 'uniform' of jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie. I live in a town where if you wear anything other than jeans, you really look out of place. So a lot of the time when I don't wear lolita, I usually tend to just 'blend in' and I look the same a lot of the time. I work from home too, so I don't usually get much of a chance to dress up usually, because there doesn't seem to be much point. Most of the time, this is fine. However, when a special event comes up, I usually have to go and buy myself a new outfit. And when this happens, I usually don't have a clue what sort of clothing I like. It's been so long that I have brought anything other than casual clothes or lolita, that when I look at all these fancy non-lolita dresses it is a real shock to the system. I had to go outfit shopping for James' work Christmas do last year and I almost had a complete breakdown in the middle of a busy shopping centre! It is because I have become a creature of habit and anything that takes me out of my comfort zone causes panic.

I am always trying to 'lolify' everything- Even when I am trying to switch off the lolita part of my brain, it still has a habit of popping out when I go shopping. I find myself asking if it matches the colours of my lolita wardrobe, even if I have no intention of wearing it as part of a lolita outfit. And accessory shopping is a pain too. I look at stuff and think "If I add a bit of lace to that, it could maybe work for lolita...". As much as I love lolita, I feel the need to take a break from it every now and then and I try not to let it dominate my life. Sadly, I can't always tell my brain to stop thinking as a lolita would!

Even sales don't seem that great any more- Because nothing will ever compare to the Mr Yan Happy Birthday 50% off Everything Sale of September 1st 2011. My friends and I still tell tales of that epic sale to this very day...

"I could be spending this money on brand!"- And finally, what is possibly the most frustrating point on this entire list! I am out shopping and I have finally convinced myself that I really want this item I found... I get to the queue to pay when that voice inevitably creeps in- "What if some amazing bargain has just come up on the Japanese auctions?". And when you are looking for a dream dress there is always the paranoia that as soon as you part with any money, it will suddenly pop up and you no longer have the money for the dress. This feeling of dread has plagued me the entire time I have been in to lolita and to be fair, this fear is well founded. Only a few weeks ago, I was buying something online and something from my wishlist happened to pop up for sale a day later. One of the most important lessons a lolita has to learn is how to get over "the dress that got away".

Something tells me that if or when I leave lolita, these little habits and thoughts are not just going to just go away. To be fair though, lolita has also taught me some really positive things about shopping. I had to teach myself how to budget and be responsible with my money. I take a lot more time to think my purchases through now and if I am having a dilemma about buying something, I will usually ask a friend to talk me through whether I actually want it or not. Well, I hope you enjoyed me sharing my shopping experiences with you all. Maybe you empathised or laughed, or perhaps you completely disagree with me. The important thing is, that despite these little rants in today's post, I still look at my beautiful lolita wardrobe and feel it was all worth it.


  1. I agree with pretty much all of this - except I never liked shopping in stores before Lolita either. They're too crowded, you have to go through the hassle of trying things on and for most of my life (that I remember doing or going shopping) I struggled with size, especially with trousers. When online shopping became a thing in everyday stuff, I was all over that stuff and once I figured out that every shop has to put a table of measurements for their sizes, it made my life a whole load easier (because even if something wasn't right, a return would only involve a trip to the post office rather than queuing at the shop).

    Still, since I got into Lolita this has gone even worse. Having said that, I have also changed my style to involve absolutely no trousers and getting even my normie, everyday clothes from places like Axes Femme (new or used), and I know where I'm at with their sizes. This has made my life a whole lot easier, since their clothes are great quality, so I know that a £20 top from Axes Femme will be infinitely better than a £20 top on the UK high street and will last me a lot longer. Plus, this is an easy way to bulk up an order from Japan so that you don't feel like you have to pay the expensive shipping to ship just one little Lolita brand accessory to you. :P

    1. I completely get what you mean about trousers. I am pear shaped, so I usually end up having to size up for my hips and then have a load of baggy material gaping around the waist area. I think I need to get in to online ordering more, although I also like being able to feel and examine pieces beforehand too, so I am always a bit conflicted about it.

      I keep umming and ahhing about placing an Axes Femme order, but after reading your comment I think I am going to have to go back and place it! Their prices are so good and it is reassuring to hear somebody mention their good quality. And you are so right- it is an easy way of bulking up an order from Japan!

    2. If you're unsure, look for used Axes Femme stuff. Closet Child has started stocking some, but it goes for even less on Mercari or Fril and just like with used Lolita clothing, it's often in an incredibly good condition. Although they also have some good sales around New Year, which isn't that far away, so if you find yourself with a bit of spare money and something you like the look of, then do it. :)


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