I feel like this "You must be X-Lolita forever, and if you want to be Y-Lolita you have to sell your X wardrobe off completely to fund your new Y wardrobe" attitude is just another misconception some Lolitas have about their own fashion, maybe brought on by taking some advice about wardrobe coordination a little too far, or because they feel like they need to present themselves as more dedicated than anyone else. While I can understand the appeal of utter dedication to one specific style, I think that it sucks some of the fun out of the fashion. Even if you fall in love with OTT Sweet, it's okay to have a few black pieces in your wardrobe if you absolutely love the pieces.
My own wardrobe is all over the place when it comes to style! I have a lot of Gothic, a bunch of Sweet, a growing amount of Classic, and a little bit of Punk, Country, and Aristocrat. While I have had years to nurture my closet, I have found it to be relatively easy and cheap to add small, workable, sections of various different Lolita styles to my wardrobe. It just takes some creativity and a little bit of patience.
Tips for making the most (styles!) out of your wardrobe:
- Stick to simple pieces. Especially if you're just starting out! Avoid prints that are obviously meant to work with one specific style (gothic castles, sparkly unicorns, that kind of thing) and try to build a base wardrobe of solid colors, neutral tartans, stripes, dots, or even florals. I really believe in the versatility of floral prints!
- Don't be afraid to snag a good deal every now and then. Try not to go crazy, but if you do happen to see a dress or skirt that's not your normal style, but you really like it and it's got a great price, grab it! Worry about coordinating it when you get it. Try making coordinates with it with what you already have on hand. Don't think that a Punk Lolita skirt is only going to match a Punk Lolita top, pair it with some Sweet Lolita if you have to! This leads me to the next tip:
- Experiment with your current wardrobe. Don't be afraid to Experiment! Try to make different styles with what you already have, with a little bit of creativity, you'll be surprised at the different looks you can create with basic pieces.
- Accessorize. Accessories are a great way to add some different styles to your wardrobe for much cheaper than buying all new pieces, and are usually just the thing to turn that one lone black skirt in your closet into an unquestionably Gothic Lolita outfit.
- Don't worry so much about specific styles. If you want to wear a tartan Putumayo, safety pin covered skirt with a pink Angelic Pretty bow-splosion blouse, try it out! Don't worry about your outfits not fitting perfectly into one style. It's perfectly OK to have an outfit that is a little bit of several different styles. So long as the outfit looks balanced and the colors don't clash horribly, it shouldn't matter what styles you mash together.
What are your opinions on the various Lolita styles? Do you find yourself going down the list of them each time you dress up, pastel explosion Sweet one day, stark black and white Aristocrat the next, and refined muted mossy green Classic sometime next week? Or do you prefer a closet comprised completely of one style? Has your opinion on styles changed over your life as a Lolita? I've always pretty much felt the way I do about it, when I first started I wanted to try all of the styles I possibly could. I felt it wasn't right saying "I'm a Gothic Lolita!" until I had also spent a little bit of time in Sweet Lolita. While I didn't exactly go about this in the most efficient way (I would buy one outfit in one style, save up for a long time, and then buy another outfit in another style), sampling as many styles as I could really helped me find my own style.