How to Be a Budget Lolita

Are you interested in wearing Lolita Fashion, but intimidated by the price tags? This guide will show you how to stay true to the fashion's feel and aesthetic without breaking the bank.


  1. 1
    Get your basics down! Before you begin, be sure to familiarise yourself with the fashion. If you only have a vague idea of what you're trying to achieve, you may end up shopping through vintage stores and the high street, and completely miss the mark in terms of the overall look.
    • The Lolita Handbook on Livejournal is a great place to start understanding the most basic elements of the style.
  2. 2
    Plan a cohesive wardrobe. If you pick and choose bits of different substyles, it will be much more difficult and expensive to coordinate your dresses. Select one substyle or theme to start with. That way, you can mix and match basics, and reuse expensive items such as handbags and shoes in different coordinates without ruining the look.
  3. 3
    Learn to sew. Many Lolitas make their own dresses and accessories, and it means that you can tailor dresses to your size. This is especially useful if you find yourself being bigger or smaller than most standard sizes that brands manufacture.
    • Be sure to select good quality materials. Cottons and soft laces are great for beginner projects. Avoid cheap-looking satins and scratchy lace. Remember, these will likely be dresses you will wear often, make sure the materials will be comfortable to wear!
    • Further discussion of materials and basic patterns can be found on The Lolita Handbook on Livejournal.
  4. 4
    Shop secondhand. Even on a tight budget, you can afford to buy brand if you're not buying brand new.
    • Make a Lacemarket account. Lacemarket is a marketplace for Lolitas to buy and sell their clothes and accessories. Always be sure to check a seller's feedback on the site before purchasing!
    • Closet Child and Alice Fururun are two reliable Japanese second hand stores. If you check their sites often, you can sometimes grab a great condition brand dress for as little as ¥6000 ($48~/€46 at the time of writing).
    • There are also some Lolita Sales groups on Facebook. Again, be sure to check feedback and obey group rules.
  5. 5
    Join a local Lolita community. Some communities hold swap meets, where members bring along items to sell and buy from others. Some even have their own small sales communities. You will hopefully come to befriend some of the members, and may even learn some tips about where to shop, or where to pick up Lolita-appropriate shoes or accessories locally.


  • If you find that you're not hitting the mark with your handmade coordinates, don't lose heart! Ask for advice and feedback in sewing or coordinate groups, or even from Lolita friends.


  • Do not purchase knock-off prints or "replicas". They are often very low quality, ill-fitting, and not worth buying. There is also the issue of profiting from stolen artwork, which should not be supported. If you really want a particular printed dress from a brand, save and save. It's worth it.
  • Never purchase from sites with generic names (such as Lolita Cosplay Store). Always make sure you're buying from a reputable source. These websites often give their products equally generic names (Lolita kawaii frill bow dress), and are known to steal stock photos from actual brands, so avoid them at all costs.

Article Info

Categories: Japanese Fashion