Tips for the beginner Lolita looking to make their first purchase from Bodyline
I really wish Bodyline was as great as it is now back when I just getting into the fashion *old fogey rant*. Back in my day all we had was Fan+Friend, and their prices really aren't all that cheap, plus they always messed up the sizes. For some reason Fan+Friend seems to assume that their customers are always lying about their measurements and assume you are 7 feet tall and 50 pounds heavier than you really are. Bodyline is a much cheaper, quicker, and easier shop for new Lolitas to buy their first pieces from, but there are a few things you should keep in mind, especially if you are looking to make your first Lolita pieces something of good quality and of a design similar to what big name brands sell.
- Look for reviews of the specific piece you want. While most of their pieces now are of good quality, they still have a few pieces from the old days that are of questionable quality and might use really stiff and cheap lace, thin fabric, or a weird cheap fabric. It's better to look, or even ask, then to get something you weren't expecting.
- Keep it simple. The best pieces on Bodyline are relatively simple pieces, a solid or simple print dress with only a few decorations. Most of the Bodyline pieces that fail are filled with too much stuff, wacky hemlines, too much lace, zippers in crazy places, that kind of stuff.
- Stay out of the "separates" section. "Separates" in Bodyline talk means 2 or more pieces, usually a dress set of some kind such as a blouse and skirt sold together. For some reason, whenever I see new Lolitas asking about opinions on what to get for their first Bodyline purchase they always want something from the separates section, my guess is because they think they are getting more for their money since they are getting a whole bunch of different pieces. Except for the fact that things in the section are usually more expensive and not versatile pieces at all. Most of the pieces in the separates section are actually meant to be Lolita costumes not everyday Lolita.
- Don't be afraid to do a little bit of modification. I'm not suggesting that you take up sewing classes and learn out to completely change an outfit from Bodyline. I'm talking about simple and small things like removing bows. Sometimes Bodyline goes a little crazy with the weird looking bows, all it takes is a few tiny snips of thread to take them off.
- Use common sense. Especially when shopping in the separates section, you might think that you will be able to make 3 outfits out of one dress set, but can you really make 3 different outfits, or 3 outfits each featuring purple glittery plaid and batwing hems? Besides that does anything about the outfit seem off to you? A weird cut, kind of blah pattern, or something else about it that doesn't exactly look like something your favorite brand would do? While many Bodyline pieces are fantastic, there still are a few throwbacks from the old days.
Examples of "good" and "bad" Lolita on Bodyline
Examples of "bad" Lolita dresses from Bodyline
These are all very busy and Cosplay-ish pieces. The first one just has too much stuff going on, neon plaids, pearls, music notes, cat ears, bows, a sailor collar, a "gothic" cut to the jacket, you name it and this outfit has it, and honestly it just looks like a hot mess. The second outfit is actually an Angelic Pretty knockoff, a very poor Angelic Pretty knockoff. The gingham is huge and the details look half-assed and awkward. The third dress could almost be good, but it still looks just too messy with the asymmetrical hem and the lace details, like it's trying to merge a few different Lolita details but failing. The final dress is just all sorts of wrong. It's not even a proper shape, it's boxy and weird. These 4 pieces demonstrate 4 of the things Bodyline tends to fail, too much "wacky" stuff going on, bad knockoffs, something almost right but ending up awkward, and something that's just not the right shape at all.
In the end, you should buy what you like, not what other people tell you to buy, but when it comes to Bodyline, because of their hundreds of different dresses, they are sometimes hit-or-miss if you are going for genuine Lolita.