Lolita Fashion Wiki
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Now, many lolitas will tell you that Lolita is a very expensive hobby to get into and that usually cheap items means cheap quality. However there are some great places to get Lolita clothes that won’t break your budget entirely, and by following some of these ideas you can spend a small amount of money getting some nice clothes compared with spending the same amount and getting yucky clothes.


Secondhand Clothes

One thing that many new people to the fashion over-look is the world of secondhand shopping. If you’ve done any secondhand shopping before you know that when you look in the right places you can find some amazing bargains. Because Lolita is such classy and expensive hobby you’ll find that most people will treasure their Lolita clothes, and that most secondhand items will be beautiful cared for, and free of imperfections. Usually in auction listings and sales posts if an item does have an imperfection such as a tear, or a stain the seller will usually provide photos and the price of the item will be reduced dramatically. (A great way to buy if you don’t mind the odd tiny stain, have a bleach-pen or are handy with a needle and thread!)

So this wonderful world of secondhand clothing is waiting for you, but where do you go to get it? Here are some auction sites, and sales communities that sell secondhand clothing:

Please read the shopping service guide for more information.

Useful Tools

Google Translate
After pasting any link into Google Translate and pressing enter, it will highlight it with a link to a translated version. The translations may not be perfect, but they’ll be reasonable enough to tell you the information you need to know in English.

Translate Web Pages
It's a fantastic translation addon for the browser Firefox. Once it's installed, whenever you visit a website in a foreign language, it will automatically translate all of the text into your prefered language (this becomes especially useful when checking the measurements of certain items).

Commissioning

Another alternative to buying Lolita on a budget is to get something commissioned. Depending on the item you could commission a replica, or an entirely new item of your design for much cheaper than a new brand dress.
Talented tailors, and seamstress' are fairly easy to find in the Lolita community, and making a ‘wtc’ (want to commission) post somewhere is bound to bring them out of the wood-work to show you what they can do. As with buying any other item be sure to ask to see photos of a seamstress' work; this allows you to judge the quality of their pieces and see if they would suit the work you require. Asking how long it would take to complete the commission is also a good idea.

Sewing Your Own Clothes

If you’re handy with a sewing machine you may consider making your own clothes. By making something yourself you’re only paying for the cost of the materials to make a piece of clothing, without paying for someone else’s time or shipping, etc. etc. This also allows you the freedom to experiment with your own designs, and use your own fabrics. The Gothic & Lolita Bibles are full of craft ideas, and sewing patterns to help lolitas who wish to make their own clothing. (I recommend the two Gothic & Lolita Bible ‘Extras.’ They’re packed-full of craft projects, sewing patterns, and useful how-to photos.)
How-ever if you have some problems understanding japanese sewing patterns you could always make your own pattern out of any existing Lolita clothes you may own (Or you may be clever enough to draft your own patterns.) or use some Lolita-friendly patterns from your local fabric store.

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