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Can you all tell me stories from when you...
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Can you all tell me stories from when you first started wearing lolita?
What mistakes did you make? How did you learn to improve your coords? Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?
What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?

I mostly want to hear from people who have been doing this for awhile and what it was like to start out and how you feel about it now.
I'm a huge newbie myself and I only started buying stuff last year. I'm curious as to what the progression is like and what I should and shouldn't be doing along the way to get good at coording/going to meets and what not.
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>>8807740

>Mistakes made

Trying to use normalfag skirts for lolita, using mediocre handmade items such as bags/headpieces in coords, wearing way too heavy of eye make up, buying from milanoo and bodyline.

>How did you learn to improve your coords?

I learned that when you buy items you need to have an idea of what they will match with in your wardrobe. For example, if you have a lot of brown/wine/navy in your wardrobe, don't buy pastel pink socks because you think they are cute. That may seem like common sense but when I started out in lolita I would just buy whatever looked cute and it summed up to a hot mess.

>Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?

Yes, but it is still pretty annoying when you wait like a month for an item to show up and it doesn't match and you have to start all over. However, friends in my comm have helped me realize that everything doesn't have to be a 100% perfect match. The standards for lolita coords on the internet is a bit higher than standards in real life. Your friends at a meet aren't going to post you on BTB because your browns don't perfectly match.

What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?

I did change my wardrobe from a hot mess into something cohesive. I went from mostly sweet style dresses to classic. I also made sure my dresses fit better because a lot of the initial ones I bought didn't have a very good fit. It was a lot of selling but I'm pretty happy with where I am at now.
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>What mistakes did you make?

My biggest mistake was wearing replicas and supporting replica makers. While I regret it in that respect, it helped me to appreciate the quality and design that goes into original garments. Back then, I really honestly believed that because I was larger, I had literally no options other than replicas. The amount of options and viewpoints have changed since then. So I feel better for more fatty-chans getting into the fashion.

Other mistakes was buying everything I liked because the price was right, or it was cute and had some theme on it I really liked. It didn't match my coord but I still wanted to wear it.

>How did you learn to improve your coords?

Really, it was honestly not being afraid to fail, and not being afraid to try something different. I figured out what colors and cuts look flattering on me, how to make styles I really love work best for me.

I learned not to buy things unless I can put together a whole coordinate with that item with what I have. Every few months, I'll add a new color to my working color pallete, by getting a blouse, legwear, shoes or a bag. Usually two of these options and I can usually create a coordinate with it. This will expand and allow me to add new main pieces. This way, my wardrobe isn't all over the place but I can still have variety.

>Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?

At first it was a little frustrating because pinks tend to be all ranges of dusty rose to hot pink. It can be a little hard to tell in some online photos. But eventually I got a feel for it. I make less of those mistakes now, and if it happens I can usually make it work out with something.

cont
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>>8808426
>What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?
I went from buying everything I kinda liked that would fit and it grew into having a lot of main pieces with few options to coordinate with them. I had a lot of dresses I couldn't do much with. I sold a lot, kept my absolute favorites, invested money in blouses, accessories, legwear, shoes, etc. When I had the money saved up, I started buying high priority items off my wishlist.

Now my wardrobe is at a point where even if I stopped here and never made a purchase again, I'd be pretty happy. Unlikely though because there's always new things I want.

My style changed from super OTT sweet everything to more toned down sweet, or more classic sweet as well as classic. I still wear OTT sweet on occasion because no fucks given, even if it's not as flattering on me as classic.

I think everyone wants to push you to wear what looks best on you. But you need to find a happy balance. If you're not happy and don't feel yourself in a style that suits you perfectly, what's the point? I think it's a good idea to have variety and on occasion do the things you really like doing for the fun of it.

Also, don't be afraid to fail. Failure is how we improve. I think the online lolita community and /cgl/ in general pushes flawlessness. But even flawless people had their humble beginnings.
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>>8808427
>>8808426
>>8807906
Thanks guys! These are the exact kind of posts I'm looking for, keep em coming
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> What mistakes did you make?
I made the mistake of buying all these clothes and accessories that I thought remotely looked anything like lolita. In the end, I ended up wasting money that I could have saved to buy a decent dress secondhand.
Also, I bought the infamous Time Lord skirt. Enough said.
> How did you learn to improve your coords?
Through here, actually. I learned what not to do.
> Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?
Depends how badly I want the item and how different the shades are. If it's barely noticeable, then I brush it off. However, if it's an entirely different hue, then that's when I decide to sell it and find something else.
> What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?
I started selling off the items that I realized didn't fit my taste at all and used the money I made from there to buy better items.
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> What mistakes did you make?
Buying quantity over quality, cheap crappy accessories from taobao and pettis from ebay. With the amount I spent I could of easily made a nice small capsule lolita wardrobe and when I sold most of it off I couldn't even re-coup 25% of the original cost.
I was also very stubborn about my style, I really wanted to do gothic but it really, REALLY didn't suit me.
Only 3 piece from my original lolita wardrobe are still with me today but even I debate about selling them as they simply aren't getting worn
> How did you learn to improve your coords?
Through here and also getting to know color theory a lot better. It sounds silly but I would often search for pictures of rooms on google rather than search for a lolita specific clothing picture for various color combinations. The rooms would often be magazine shoots so the color schemes had been thoughtout by interior designers so you'd get to see what works well together.
> Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?
Yes but that was when it was all black, navy and purples. Now I've moved to classic and it's a been a bit harder. To off-set this I've gotten a bit better with using the filters on my phone camera, a shade or two lighter and all chocolates match
> What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?
Painful, expensive and it's still really un-cohesive. I can't choose between gorgeous florals/chiffions and jewel tones with quirky prints. I seem to be stubborn about doing the two. So for this year, my main focus for the next 6 months is cardigans, legwear, shoes and bags before any more main pieces.
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>>8809546
>Through here and also getting to know color theory a lot better. It sounds silly but I would often search for pictures of rooms on google rather than search for a lolita specific clothing picture for various color combinations. The rooms would often be magazine shoots so the color schemes had been thoughtout by interior designers so you'd get to see what works well together.
This is brilliant!

>To off-set this I've gotten a bit better with using the filters on my phone camera, a shade or two lighter and all chocolates match
oh.... this sounds tempting but I'd rather just buy a bunch of pinks until something matched rather than just fixing it after the fact.
I guess no one cares in person?
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>>8807740
>What mistakes did you make?

I remember wearing doc martens and fishnet stockings for one of my first coords, I had barely any accessories or decent shoes, I also bought a lot of items cheaply instead of seeking out and waiting for items I'd actually want, buying up popular prints and then never wearing them or liking them.

>How did you learn to improve your coords?

As others have said, buy things ensuring it matches items in your wardrobe. You want to think of outfits instead of buying a singular item for the sake of it. You need a decent amount of basics that allow for variety.

I also learnt to dress better for my height being a tall anon and I go for things that fit me well instead of dealing with an awkward fit. You'll realise how much better you look when you wear items that sit on your properly.

Don't buy items just because they seem like a good deal, and don't buy items just because they're popular and sought after - figure out your own style and stick to it - you'll be much happier in the long run. Only get items you truly adore.

>Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?
I tend to use colour palettes that are complementary rather than wearing an all monochromatic outfit. Generally I don't have issues with colour, but I also primarily wear otome these days.

What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?

My wardrobe has always had classic and otome pieces as that's what I gravitate to. I have removed all my sweet and any OTT dresses I had, mostly because they were ill fitting, didn't mesh with my overall style, or I didn't wear them enough to justify keeping them.

My wardrobe is very wearable now that I can easily dress up or down. I've ensured I have enough blouses, zillions of cardigans, and really nice high-quality shoes and accessories to work with.
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>>8809553
Yep, as long as it's not glaringly obvious.
In my comm, I'm yet to encounter someone who is really OCD about it. Most girls understand that it's great if you can get them all to match, but when not even the brands have a set "chocolate"or "lavender" tone it's something to be flexible with.

In regards to the pictures, my problem area with matching is shoes to handbags. In pic related, If my bag doesn't match very well I'll often have it to the side and if it does match then I'll pose like the lady with the black bag.

Hope this clears it up
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>What mistakes did you make?
All of them! Buying "loliable" normalfag stuff - thank god I was a mainly thrift store shopper then. I also bought cheap lolita items rather than focussing on making one outfit, bought dresses because they were cheap rather than because I loved them, thought I wanted to wear sweet OTT lolita and pastels because that was popular when I started to be able to afford lolita and easier to afford.

>How did you learn to improve your coords?
Lurked a fuckton, looked at and copied aspects of others' coords (e.g. colour combinations, using certain types of blouses and dresses), started wearing things I was comfortable in (jewel tones rather than mint x pink). If youhow to dress and flatter yourself normally it really helps, but I used to "make do" with above mentioned cheap loliable items which made my outfits look bad.

>What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?
Time consuming! I've bought and sold SO much stuff over the last 6 years, but now have a more cohesive wardrobe and know exactly where a main piece, blouse, jacket, pair of shoes or accessory will fit in my wardrobe if I buy it

>meets
Don't complain that everyone is cliquey and stuck up if you aren't willing to talk to people and make conversation. It's damn awkward sometimes because the only thing you know you have in common is frills, learn to ask someone about themselves and listen for the things you might have in common.

>other tips and tricks
make ONE good outfit when you start with decent quality pieces that include some basic neutral colour items. Doesn't have to be expensive, doesn't have to be brand, and doesn't even have to be super fancy but it should look nice, go well together and have a colour which will go best with your selected substyle/colour palette.
Buy something you love and can imagine yourself wearing even before you purchase it.
Learn to budget for your lolita purchases
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>What mistakes did you make?
Being overly OTT because it was popular. Looks especially tacky in gothic coords; I feel like the sweet lolitas get away with it a lot easier

>How did you learn to improve your coords?
Lurking /cgl/ and listening to my mentor.

>Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?
Still can't. It kills me. I try to buy from LC at cons or buy offbrand stuff from normie stores in order to avoid this; but in lolita ordering online is kind of mandatory, especially in the West.

>What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?

Painstaking. I started out with a bunch of mistmatched themes and colors and eventually I sat down and picked a color/theme scheme for my wardrobe. It sucked to have to do cus there's a lot of prints I want in colors other than lavender/purple but those are my favorite colors and now what most of my wardrobe is comprised of.
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When I started wearing lolita the only way to get a hold of the fashion was a shopping service, body line was only sold via cosmates & had a terrible reputation, and metamorphose was the only one who had a English website. my first purchases were all secondhand and most of them were pretty terrible lucky pack items from metamorphose. once I started actually buying Lolita and putting together a wardrobe I found that I had a lot of items that just didn't work together and for the first year too it was really really hard for me because I didn't have a whole lot of cash and I kept spending it on subpar items instead of things that I really loved and would make a good coordinate . This is before anything ott was popular, so looking back on it I really should not have had such a hard time . I think that newbies have it a lot easier these days but there is also a lot more pressure to look perfect and to purchase more items for your coordinates then there used to be . For me joining a community and seeing other Lolitas in real life and being able to see other brands besides metamorphose really changed the way that I felt about lolita and helped me to improve my coordinates and branch out .

Since most replicas simply didn't exist back then I do think that I am grateful I didn't have that temptation as a new Lolita because I ended up being able to purchase better quality things at earlier stage and not feel any guilt or attachment to pieces that were of subpar quality or were replicas. Once replicas came around it was a lot easier to disregard them because I already knew what I liked and I didn't need to justify the cost difference.
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>What mistakes did you make?
I wore 'lolita' dresses from gothic brands and also commissioned a non print replica from a picture I saw on milanoo, the dress still turned out horrible.

>How did you learn to improve your coords?
I found the fb groups and read up on all the general lolita resources out there, including /cgl/, and also stalked other people’s co-ords.

>Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?
I rarely get to wear my burando so I have so many ideas and a list of planned out co-ords I want to complete. So I don't see this being a problem until much later when I'm probably an oldfag and I’ve worn everything.

>What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?
I started off indecisive with what substyles I wanted. I bought a mixture of basics, accessories, and main pieces in different styles and colors, so it wasn't that hard to transition to what I eventually decided to wear, as I had enough good core pieces to crossover.
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I started buying lolita over this past summer. During that time I had two jobs and a lot of free time to research the fashion. I
Before the bulk of my research I had an ita buying phase in which I bought all the things in pic related.
A taobao seller listed a pink Dream of Lolita replica of Sugary Carnival as the real thing and my noob ass fell for it. Once it arrived I realized that it was a replica and re-sold it. I also bid on lots of random bodyline on ebay, including sweet parfait by bodyline. I ordered a pink and lavender rhapsody wig from amazon because pink hair was the most rori to me at the time.
I re-sold each of these purchases before ever wearing them. I quickly learned that even if I were ok with replicas, the kind of sweet that Sugary Carnival represents is just not my kind of sweet.
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>What mistakes did you make?
I'm pretty much exclusively handmade, and my first sewing project (aside from a flannel nightgown my mum helped me make in 5th grade) was a purple JSK that turned out badly. I cut a pattern size 4 when I was really a 6, I used that cheap broadcloth from Hancocks, I didn't follow the lines on my sewing machine to keep seam allowances even, and there just wasn't enough poof in the skirt for a petticoat. At least I didn't use cheap raschel lace? Also guilty of calling normalfag shirts lolita just because they had lace. I did that with sundresses from JC Penney and Macy's too before my sewing disaster.

>How did you learn to improve your coords?
I trashed my first JSK and kept practicing and over time my sewing has improved. /cgl/ has helped me with colors, before that I had no idea why my cool pink OP didn't match my peach-colored bag. I guess my school never taught color theory. I also learned to not be so cheap and that normalfag stores really don't sell much "loliable" things.

>Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?
I think I could, now that I have backup neutral-colored shoes/accessories/bags/whatever to wear in the meantime.

>What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?
I'm trying to sell some of my older handmade dresses for cheap and I got rid of a few. Kinda sad to see them go, but I never wore them once I improved my skills.
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>>8807906
>Trying to use normalfag skirts for lolita
This, so much. I used to wear a lacy top and a box-pleated skirt with a bunched-up maxi skirt under it because I didn't have a petti. It was terrible, but I never left the house in that atrocity ('petti' kept falling down).
>How did you learn to improve your coords?
Lurking. I bought plain IW pieces and used them for toned-down gyaru and himekaji as well as very plain lolita, and learnt how to coord decently because each dress had a set of accessories that went well with it, and I switched the pieces between the dresses until I started to see why piece A looked crap with dress B. From there, I learnt to coord things like cardis and socks and tights, because until then I'd just worn nude tights and called it a day. I bought shoes that matched the colour family of the dresses (cream, light pink and brown) and suddenly I looked cohesive. Not great, but way fucking better than I did at the start.
>Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?
Things tend to match for me (gyaru/himekaji aren't quite as anal about exact matches, so it's not like the item would be unsalvageable) so it was never a real issue. I got items in the wrong colour from ebay sellers, but it wasn't a big enough issue to make a fuss about because I liked the stuff I got, and whenever something arrived in a colour I could absolutely not shoehorn into my current wardrobe, I just saw it as an excuse for shopping. Mint accessory= mint dress and shoes and bag, right?
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>>8809883
I would love to see your wardrobe (even just stock photos)
I'm trying to bring more purple and lavender into mine but love my other jewel tones too much
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>>8807740
>What mistakes did you make?
Not buying a blouse in my first order and therefore only wearing OPs for ages, not buying hair accessories and thus wearing coords without hair accessories. My style has also changed and evolved a bit, but more in a "I like more styles now" way than a "I hate styles I used to like" way, so I still have a lot of the same pieces I started out with.

>How did you learn to improve your coords?
I think I was never really bad, but I've definitely got more of an eye for the fashion over time, through seeing more coordinates on tumblr and seeing what people nitpick on /cgl/. At first I just learned through the handbook and blogs, which gave me a sort of basic and oldschool approach to coordinating, focused more on colours than on keeping themes cohesive. As my wardrobe got bigger, my coords got better, as I got more stuff to coordinate with. It helped that I didn't join a comm til I'd been wearing lolita a year, so nobody saw my shaky first tries in my room (and I didn't start buying lolita til I'd been lurking two or three years). I think that if I'd had the money for my current wardrobe when I'd started out, there wouldn't be such a dramatic difference between old pics and recent ones, aside from posing and make up.

>Could you handle being patient waiting for items to show up to see if they'd match?
I wore so much black it barely mattered, although I remember being particularly pissed off when I bought 4 wine main pieces and some accessories in an attempt to move away from black and they were all different fucking colours. I sold some of them off, and learnt to live with the rest.
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>>8818564
>>8818564
>What was it like to change your wardrobe if you did?
There's nothing I seriously regret buying, even though I've sold pieces and changed my wardrobe over time. Everything I bought was either a learning experience about what did and didn't suit me, or something that even though I no longer want, it was good to have at the time. A lot of people say they'd advise themselves to save for brand instead of buying Bodyline or whatever, but I think a Bodyline/Taobao wardrobe was right for me when I started out - I was on a very limited budget and all the brand dresses I wanted at the time were either popular and expensive, or very similar to stuff you could get offbrand, so saving up for brand would have left me with either a "wardrobe" of two dresses that I wouldn't have been able to learn mix-and-match coordinating from, or one that looked similar to what I bought at the time anyway would would have been much harder to make back retail price on.

I have a 50-50 mix of brand and Taobao at the moment, but I made back most of my money on the stuff I sold, and wouldn't have been able to afford the stuff I had now even if I'd saved at the time my wardrobe was mostly Bodyline, so I don't regret much.
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