You know that saying: it never rains, but it pours? One of the Polish equivalents of this idiom translates to ‘misfortune comes in pairs’. And frankly, so do the dream dresses. If you’ve ever bought one coveted dress only to discover another directly after, you’ll know exactly what that feels like. January is full of winter sales and people cleaning out their wardrobes after doing a wardrobe post. Successfully tackling this comes down to being prepared, so let’s not waste any time!
First you must figure out what is it that you want (or what will fit you wardrobe) – and then decide how much you want it. Include everything, not just dream dresses, in case a wild dream accessory or blouse pops up. Your wishlist can be as detailed as you want, include themes you collect or pieces to fill in gaps. Once you have everything down, prioritise them. You can focus on which items you want most or how much you’re willing to spend. Adding a price range you’re comfortable with will help you determine when to buy something. You can look up past sales on various sites to get an accurate idea of how much something goes for. A wishlist like this may take time to make, but it better prepares you for wild dream dresses appearing!
Once you know how much your dream dresses cost and how much you can spend, ensure you always have some money set aside for your most coveted items. When the ultimate dream dresses appear, you don’t want to miss out on them whilst collecting funds. Put money in a separate bank account or physically into a piggy bank, but don’t touch it for anything else. Make sure to have enough for at least one item, preferably the most expensive one from your wishlist. Any extra on top of that will act as a buffer in case two or more dream dresses appear. Hopefully you’ll never have to use all of it though. Remember to top it up as soon as you can after use, so that you’re not short for next time!
When the sales are private, on Facebook or Lacemarket, ask the seller for a payment plan. Two dream dresses at $200 each is a lot at once, but you may be able to manage $50 every two weeks. These sellers are Lolitas themselves, so they understand your position and may be willing to help. Remember to clearly lay down the terms of your payment plan to avoid confusion and mistakes later. Work out what you can pay and over how many weeks/months, then pay for your items this way. They will be worth the wait, especially if they were your high priority dream dresses.
You may be able to reap rewards by waiting – unsold items will likely undergo further reductions. Wunderwelt regularly puts items on sale and brands progressively lower prices the longer stock is unsold. On the other hand, private sellers may want to sell quickly, so also often lower the price. Don’t be afraid to make an offer too, either directly or via your shopping service. Make your offer reasonable to increase chances of acceptance, but also be prepared to receive ‘no’ for an answer. The risk of making an offer is much lower than that of waiting, since your item may sell out, so refer back to your wishlist when deciding which dream dresses to take that chance on.
Sometimes you genuinely won’t be able to buy all the things that appeared at once. That’s why research is so important, even more so if you’re new to the fashion. Research will tell you which of your dream dresses appear more often than others. Consider the item’s release year, its rarity, which brand it’s from and how popular is your preferred cut and colourway. When forced to make a decision, buy the item that you’re less likely to find again. Or the cheaper one, if you’re in a particular financial pinch. Or the one you want a whole lot more. This is why a detailed wishlist with priorities works so well. As a rule of thumb, indie and Taobao brands are harder to find after they sell out in shops, so take that into consideration.
We wish you happy sales shopping and hope that you won’t have to face the difficult choices too often. And that you get all of your dream dresses, of course!