One of the discussions that appears with relative frequency involves paying for high-priced lolita clothing. Most girls who have just fallen in love with a frilly, decadent dress–not knowing anything about the fashion–rethink their impulse when they learn of the price tag. I believe this is due to the somewhat materialistic nature of most modern cultures; if someone sees something they like, they want to own it–but usually not if it gets in the way of their owning other items. Additionally, a lot of people seem to take the high-priced items in their lives for a bit for granted; I constantly spot teenagers carrying designer handbags and wearing $200 denim or little children carrying around their own iPhones.
Personally, the high price of lolita clothing never seemed shocking to me. My parents provided necessities in my life (and the occasional treat), but stressed that if there was something else I wanted I ought to pay for it. As a child this meant doing extra chores above and beyond normal helping around the house, since my brother and I never received allowance. In high school I did some babysitting and applied for a part-time job as soon as I was of age. When I discovered lolita fashion, I knew that I would have to save up.
“Affording” lolita clothing is simple–earn money in some way possible for your age and abilities and use part of it to buy clothing. Younger lolita-hopefuls can hold garage sales, baby-sit, save up Christmas & birthday money, mow lawns, wash cars, or walk dogs. Older enthusiasts can work at various jobs. Crafters can try to sell their products or commission their services. It just take some effort and planning!
However, wearing lolita fashion is a bit like becoming a musician. The items you really want are often expensive (an ESP guitar or Baby, the Stars Shine Bright dress), but there are inexpensive options available (a pawn-shop instrument or something from an eBay seller). Sometimes, you can find an amazing bargain. Other times, you might be dissatisfied with the lower-priced item. What you have to decide is what matters to you. Is the status symbol of a Japanese brand important? Do you want as many outfits as you can possibly get, regardless of quality? Do you want a little bit of each side?
This choice determines how you will have to budget yourself. If you prefer buying Japanese brands, you’ll have to save up more, perhaps spacing purchases out a bit. You’ll want to look for used or otherwise second-hand goods at places such as egl_comm_sales on LiveJournal. Overseas shipping will always be on your mind, and you’ll probably become well acquainted with at least one shopping service. If you want the most inexpensive garments, you’ll test different eBay stores, learn all of the lower-priced seamstresses, or take up sewing yourself. Neither is more “affordable” than the other, because the true value of the clothing is determined by your opinion.
Despite the constant echoing of how expensive lolita fashion is, it’s really no different from having any other higher-priced hobby. Unless you are extremely lucky, there will be things you want that you will have to wait and work and search for. That is a fact of life–especially when you have other bills and obligations beyond personal interests.
And that’s why I’m typing this from somewhere other than the comfort of my own home~ ♥