In recent years most of the major Japanese Lolita Brands have started opening the doors of their online boutiques to international customers. This is a good thing since it eliminates the need for costly errand services and personal shoppers but none the less there will always be a demand for cheaper, more Western-physique friendly clothing and footwear that is of a similar if not the same quality as brand.
The usual first port of call is Ebay (an ok place for second hand Brand) but not so much for knock offs, a great majority of replica shops are scammers or produce incredibly poor quality garments. There are a lot of things that are labeled and key-worded as Lolita but just because it’s called that doesn’t mean it’s up to snuff with the aesthetics of the style or made of a good quality materials. At best I advise to stay away from Ebay since security and user confidence has declined greatly over the years.
In the past Bodyline have been reviled for their awful, cosplayesque, lace monsters but in the past two years have re-evaluated their Lolita lines and have started outputting higher quality items. Most are knockoffs of popular designs but ever since they too have opened to international trade (without having to go through the middleman and the mark up of say Cosmates) and a less than stable Japanese economy, being able to quickly purchase a basic Lolita blouse and a cute jsk for under $100 USD is a godsend to the poor and cheap amongst us. One other thing about their postage is that it’s super quick, from ordering, to confirmation to delivery it takes a max of 4 days to arrive in Australia from Japan. Despite DHL being expensive when running a group order the postage is split between participants amounts to cheaper than running a single order for yourself.
I’m so getting this dress in the near future. The cut is a replica of a popular BTSSB dress but the print choice, while a touch busy is in my book, very cute.
Brands outside of Japan have also become viable options for the Lolita wanting to make her currency stretch a little further – stores in China, Hong Kong and Singapore – such as Infanta, Black Alice, Dear Celine and R-Series. These are mostly original designed items and can be bought via QutieLand shop who stock most of the major non Japanese brands as well as replica Lolita shoes in the popular styles (tea party and rocking horse).
Infanta are my new favourite non-Japanese Brand.
With the expanding popularity of Lolita in the West there is now more selection than ever no matter what style, size or budget restraints and it also helps to break up the Japanese Brand monopoly, homogeneity of the style and give more options for your co-ordinates. An easily accessible, affordable alternative to the mainstream brands whether it be Brands from outside Japan, replicas or supporting a local small business/seamstress for personally tailored lolita fashion you save money and diversify your wardrobe.
Ah… I do harp on about Lolita on a budget don’t I? But as of late buying almost exclusively brand items is not an option for the unemployed full time arts student is it? And recently there hasn’t been much from the Brands that I would go out of my way to purchase so I for one am glad that there are now many more alternatives without having to compromise on quality.