Consider this scenario: you casually browse Wunder Welt or some other Lolita fashion sales in your spare time, when all of a sudden you find something you like. It’s unexpected, maybe you’ve never seen that item before or the photo shows it off better than the stock photos, or maybe it’s for a price that’s too good to say no to – but it’s also not an item you would’ve normally gone for. How often does that happen to you? And how often are you really sure whether this item would fit with the rest of your Lolita wardrobe? It’s not always easy to tell what would fit our collection, so if you’re in that position look no further!
If your style’s drastically different from what you want to buy, you will struggle to incorporate it into your wardrobe. For example, Sweet and Gothic substyles will be very hard to gel together, but Gothic and Classic might work. Unless you’re prepared to invest in a whole lot of pieces to match just this one – or were looking into branching out into different styles anyway – avoid things in styles that are too different from what you already own.
Do you have pieces in colours that you could coordinate with the one you’re looking to buy? It doesn’t have to be the exact colour match, but they have to work together, e.g. print’s accent colours or complementing shades. Whether your go-to colours are fairly versatile (white, black) or substyle specific (pastels for Sweet Lolita, jewel tones for Classic Lolita), if they won’t work with your new purchase, then it’s probably better not to buy it.
Not everyone has a clear running theme in their Lolita wardrobe. But if your purchase’s theme is too different from what you have, you risk not being able to wear it. For example, princessy blouses with excessively large bell sleeves and layers upon layers of lace might not work with a wardrobe that’s full of cutesy, Sweet pastel prints like toys or Disney and Sanrio collaborations. On the other hand, a pair of socks with crown embroidery could still work with a Gothic wardrobe as long as the colours and style complement each other.
If in doubt, do the Three Coordinates Test. Simply try to put together three coordinates using this new item and everything else from your current Lolita wardrobe. This can be a thought experiment, but it works best as a photo collage to see if the outfits are any good or if you have any major gaps. This is a fool-proof way of telling whether something really will fit into your Lolita wardrobe or not. And if it does, you’ll be able to wear it in three different ways as soon as it arrives!
Making a smart purchase that won’t require buying any additional items is an exercise in knowing what you already have. Keep a reference of your Lolita collection on your mobile phone, a folder on your computer or Facebook page. This will allow you to quickly check and establish whether you can buy something or not. It’s easy to forget some bits when your Lolita wardrobe is already fairly large.
Similarly it’s useful to keep a reference of your wishlist handy. Compare this new item to what you had liked before or use it as a reminder to keep saving for your dream dresses. It’s important not to lose track of where your wardrobe was heading before you stumbled upon this new thing. You can add it to your wishlist for later too, if you think that it could work, but can’t buy it just yet.
Keep in mind that colours can differ depending on monitor settings as well as between pictures. Look for other photos of the piece to make sure it’s the shade you think it is to avoid disappointment. Other photos might also provide you with extra details you didn’t see before, which could sway your decision.
But most importantly, remember that patience is a virtue and impulse purchases don’t always work out. Try waiting a couple of days and see if you still want it after the initial excitement cools off. Often you’ll find that you’re happy simply admiring rather than wearing and owning the item, saving you money and hassle. Or it sells out and then how you feel about missing out on it (relieved? disappointed? unsure?) will tell you whether you really wanted it. All until the next item, that is!
So how does it look now? Will this item fit your Lolita wardrobe? Hopefully you’re now confident to browse Wunder Welt with an open mind and take advantage of the great sales!
* Featured image by La Carmina, used with author’s permission.