So without further ado, I want to talk about the three things that I wish I had been told when I was new to the Lolita fashion.
1. Do not buy your Lolita clothing on eBay (in general).
Though this example is from Milanoo, I could have easily gotten stuck with one of their eBay coverups...
My first two Lolita dresses were bought off of a Chinese replica maker on eBay. And while they are definitely not the train wrecks that they could have been, and they were actually wearable (for the most part), the quality on them was most definitely not up to standard for Lolita clothing. I still own one of these dresses--a jumperskirt based off of a Victorian Maiden dress--but I am more than aware, now, of the bullet I dodged in buying from an eBay shop. It could have been one of the many cover shops used by the notorious bane of Lolitas' existences, Milanoo, or a company that was along the same vein. Thankfully, I escaped relatively unscathed.
2. Just because Sweet is popular doesn't mean you need to wear it.
Whimsical Vanilla-chan by Angelic Pretty
Sweet Lolita was in its heyday when I started wearing Lolita in 2011. OTT Sweet was becoming the "it" thing, and my preferred style--Gothic--had long since fallen by the wayside. It was rather discouraging to see a flood of sweet Lolita coordinates, with Gothic coordinates few and far between--and plus-sized girls wearing Gothic being almost non-existant. For a while, I felt that I wasn't a Lolita if I didn't own a sweet dress, which is just silly (especially since I would probably never wear said dress). I would have liked hearing someone tell me that I didn't have to wear what was "popular", and instead wear what I loved.
3. Just because you're plus sized doesn't mean you can't be a "real" Lolita.
A picture of myself, circa 2014
I think this was the hardest lesson for me to learn. I found it almost impossible to find other "plus sized" Lolitas when I started out in the fashion (at least, until I ventured over to join Tumblr--ironically, for non-Lolita reasons!). Given that my exposure to Lolita thus far had been the EGL Community on LiveJournal, finding the Tumblr Lolita community was something between a revelation and an overload. There were so many Lolita blogs, and so much variety. Plus sized, LBGT+, girls with all brand or girls with no brand--the fact that I could see Lolitas of so many different shapes, sizes, budgets, and backgrounds was miraculous, and made me feel a lot more at home in the fashion. Best of all, however, was that it made me realize that everyone could be a Lolita, and there were no boxes that had to be checked off--so I, too, could feel at home in the fashion, and that I was validated in calling myself a Lolita.
The post above was a response to the Lolita 52 Week Challenge made by the ever so delightful Caro over at FYeahLolita.