FAQ (Come here first!)

This is the Lolita Tips FAQ page. If you have a Lolita related question I recommend reading through this before asking because there’s a good chance that your question has already been asked many times. Also keep in mind that I do have tags which are quite useful for finding past questions related to your subject. I hope you find this FAQ helpful but if not, feel free to post your question in the ask box or submissions.

A few notes on asking questions:

  • Please be as specific as possible. If you ask me “How can I coordinate Angelic Pretty’s Happy Garden?” that doesn’t give me nearly enough information. I need to know what color you have, whether you have the skirt, JSK, or OP, and if you have any ideas for things you wanted to do with it. If you ask me “What is a good first dress for a beginner Sweet Lolita?” I can’t answer that very easily either. I need to know your budget, measurements, any colors or themes that you like, whether you want a print or not, etc.
  • Please use your best spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Sometimes I don’t answer questions simply because I can’t understand what the question is. It’s understandable if English isn’t your first language but please do your best (and tell me so I know you have a good reason!)
  • If I do not answer your question within a week of you asking it that can mean one of three things. 1. I didn’t receive the question which sometimes happens on tumblr. 2. I have answered this question very recently. 3. The answer can be found by using the FAQ, tags, or my other resources. 4. You did not give me enough information.
    If your question is not answered within a week, check through my resources before asking again.
  • Please check the tags before asking questions! I get a lot of repeat questions that aren’t in the FAQ yet but could be very easily found by searching my tags. I take the time to tag each and every post so that people with similar questions can find the answers they need without waiting for me and I hope you utilize this and the other resources I have made available to you.
  • Important note on asking about dress shapes: Please read through the whole FAQ and learn the difference between the types of petticoats before asking what shape petticoat a dress needs. If you have tried and you still aren’t entirely sure, then you can ask, but in your message please tell me what you think it is! I’ll be happy to tell you if you’re right or not, but want to at least know that you’re trying and aren’t just coming straight to me. 

And now onto the actual FAQ!

Q: What is Lolita?

A: Lolita is a Japanese fashion that revolves around a very feminine look that is often very cute and elegant. Lolita is easily recognized by it’s modest look which features a dress or skirt (usually around knee-length) that has a very distinctive bell-shaped (or sometimes A-line although it isn’t nearly as common) silhouette. Lolitas are often told that they look like dolls or Alice in Wonderland as the style draws much inspiration of aesthetic from historical childrens clothing.
Lolita is NOT a costume or cosplay and has very little to do with anime in general. It is actually very common for anime artists to get the wrong idea about Lolita because they do very little research on it and end up portraying it very poorly. Lolita also has nothing to do with the sexual connotation the word has gotten due to the novel written by Vladimir Nabokov and the fashion has nothing at all to do with the novel.
Lolita is not a costume, it is a fashion and for many Lolitas, a lifestyle. A costume is something a person wears to look like someone or something else, to no longer be themselves. Lolita is exactly the opposite of that. Lolita is a fashion, a form of self expression, and something that is worn for the purpose of being yourself.

Q: Am I too young/old to be a Lolita? Is there a certain age you have to be?

A: You’re never to young or old for Lolita.
Very young Lolitas (11, 12, 13, that age area) will have some problems because you may be too young for a job and have problems getting the money for Lolita and you may also still be growing so you might end up outgrowing your things but there are ways to deal with things like this. Older Lolitas may have problems with finding time to wear Lolita because of a dress code at work but there are ways to deal with that as well.
The youngest Lolita I’ve met was eleven and the oldest Lolita I’ve met was in her mid-fifties so there’s really no right age range.
For more information, please see my age tag.

Q: Do I have to wear Lolita every day? Can I wear Lolita some days and other things other days?

A: Of course you don’t have to wear Lolita every day. Some Lolitas wear it every day but many only wear it on days they feel like it and wear something completely different on other days. Some Lolitas even just wear it on very special occasions. You can wear Lolita one day, Fairy Kei the next, goth the next, jeans and a t-shirt the next, whatever suits your mood. I’ve never understood why anyone would think that happening to like one fashion means your free will to wear other things outside of that fashion is taken away.

Q: I don’t live in Japan! Where do I buy Lolita clothes?

A: The internet is your best bet. There are plenty of Japanese brands that ship overseas as well as Western shops you can buy from. The best resource I can give you is this list I have compiled of places to buy Lolita online.

Q: I can’t shop online! What should I do?

A: If you can’t shop online and you don’t happen to live anywhere that has any Lolita shops, your next best bet is to make it yourself or have someone make it for you. There are plenty of tutorials online (I recommend looking here) that can help you with this. You can also go to places like thrift stores and vintage clothing stores and find some pieces that may work for Lolita or some pieces that can easily be modified. You may also happen to be blessed with a great local Lolita community full of people who can shop online! Try making some Lolita friends and maybe they’ll give you a special discount the next time they’re selling some things!

Q: These Japanese brands are so expensive! Is there anywhere I can buy Lolita that won’t cost me an arm and a leg?

A: The first place I send people is Bodyline. They’re cheap and almost always good quality, you just have to watch out for certain items here and there. I suggest reading through this guide that I wrote which will help you learn the difference between good bodyline and bad bodyline. I also highly recommend TaoBao. There are a lot of great TaoBao shops that sell Lolita for good prices and a lot of them even make things in custom sizes which can be very nice. To buy from TaoBao though you’ll have to either use a shopping service or you can go through a site such as QutieLand or Clobba which are authorized sellers of TaoBao products. They are very easy to buy through but they can mark up prices a bit. If you’re okay with using a shopping service though, here is a list of TaoBao Lolita shops and you can use the shopping service tag to learn more about how you can shop on TaoBao. Another option is buying second hand. There are a lot of places online where you can get second hand brand pieces for lower prices. I suggest the EGL Community Sales because they have the largest community outside of Japan for buying second hand Lolita so there are tons of options.

Q: Speaking of the price, why are Japanese Lolita brands so expensive?

A: There are a lot of reasons for this actually. The first reason is because it’s such a small market. It’s not like going to a department store where you can find something for just about everyone. Because there aren’t as many people going out to buy frilly Lolita dresses as there are people going out to buy jeans and t-shirts, Lolita designers have to jack up prices to make sure they can make money. It’s also because of the high quality of the products and the fact that there’s such a difference in economies.

Q: Can I wear cat ears with Lolita?

A: Nine times out of ten cat ears are very much frowned upon in Lolita. Cat ears (and other animal ears for that matter) give the idea of it being a costume, something you’re only wearing to look like a “kawaii anime girl” and this can be taken as insulting by many Lolitas because it is not a costume, it is a fashion that we take very seriously.
There is an exception to this though and that is to make them have meaning within the coordinate. If you want to wear animal ears, make the entire coordinate based on that animal. Wear a cat themed print like Whimsical Vanilla-chan if you want to wear cat ears or a rabbit themed print like Marshmallow Bunny if you want to wear rabbit ears. If it’s not part of a theme, there’s a good chance they’ll just throw off your coordinate and look like you didn’t have anything better to wear on your head and they’ll usually just make you come off as an ita.
Also keep in mind quality. Don’t just throw on those plastic or wooden cat ears that everybody and their grandmother sells at anime conventions (you know the ones. With the rainbow colored fuzz and the ribbons sticking out.). They just don’t look like they’re good quality and quality is very important in Lolita. Instead, go for something cute an fuzzy and soft looking, or something fabric like ears that brands will often make when they make a print that is an animal theme.
The two biggest things to keep in mind with animal ears are coordination and quality. For more information and inspiration, see the animal ears tag.

Q: Do I have to wear a petticoat?

A: Yes, petticoats (also known as panniers) are very important for Lolita. And here’s why! Lolita is defined by a few basic things: a voluminous bell-shaped or A-line silhouette, a sense of modesty, the right amount of frills and accessories, and an overall air of cuteness and elegance. The exaggerated skirt shape is really a Lolita staple and it’s one of the things that really makes the fashion what it is and taking that away would be like making a plain white cake without icing: it’s still technically a cake, but it’s not going to be nearly as pretty or exciting as a nicely decorated cake. Another reason I suggest wearing a good petticoat is because Lolita dresses and skirts have a lot of extra gathered fabric in them so that they can hold a petticoat properly and have a nice fluffy shape. If you don’t have a petticoat you end up with a lot of fabric just sitting there with nothing to do. This looks okay on certain skirts, like if it has really nice pleats, but most Lolita skirts don’t look right without a petticoat. For more information on choosing a petticoat, see this video.
Also, keep in mind that it should not be a bridal petticoat or a square dancing petticoat. Bridal petticoats are not made to last a very long time (as you are really only supposed to wear them for a day) and often are not the proper shape. Square dance petticoats also tend to be the wrong shape and if your petticoat is not the right shape your skirt or dress won’t sit right and won’t look very nice at all.

For examples of why you should wear a petticoat, see this post that shows dresses with and without a petticoat.

Q: What’s the difference between an A-line petticoat and a Bell-shaped one?

A: This is what a bell-shaped petticoat looks like:

 As you can see, it has a very round shape, starting at the waist and ballooning the whole way down until it reaches the widest part at the bottom. As the name would suggest, it is similar to the shape of a bell in that it is rounded and gets wider as it goes toward the bottom.

This is an A-line petticoat:

Like a bell-shaped petticoat, the A-line petticoat starts at the waist and has the widest point at the bottom, but instead of being round, it has fairly straight lines going down as it gets wider much like the shape of an A.

To get a better idea of the differences between styles of petticoats when they are being worn with a dress, see this post.

If you’re curious about what would happen if you wore the wrong type of petticoat, see this post.

Also check out this perfect petticoat guide!

Q: Where can I get a good petticoat?

A: My favorite place for petticoats is Classical Puppets. They make very good quality petticoats that last a long time. I really think they’re the next best thing to brand. They’re fairly cheap compared to brand too but they can be a bit pricy depending on your budget. Really though, if you’re serious about Lolita, I recommend spending just a little extra on a good petticoat because it’s a great investment. If you think about it, you’re not going to wear the same dress every day, but if you take good care of it, you can wear the same petticoat every day considering it fits the shape of the dresses you have, so you want to make sure you have a good petticoat that’s going to last a long time.
Here are my favorite petticoats for certain occasions:

  • This petticoat is perfect for getting a very full, pretty bell shape. This is my main petti which I use with nine out of ten of my coords. I have never found a dress or skirt that it is too big for, the only time I don’t use it is if I need an A-line. This is a perfect petticoat for every day use.
  • This petticoat is best used for casual Lolita and coordinates where you need a bell shape with minimum volume.
  • This petticoat is best suited for A-line dresses that have a lot of heavy layers or are made out of heavy material. It isn’t well suited for lighter weight dresses because it’s so huge.
  • This petticoat is best for most of your A-line dress needs.

Another place for good quality and reliable petticoats include Dear Celine on TaoBao if you’re on a budget. Their petticoats tend to be on par, sometimes even better than those of Classical Puppets. You can also get good petticoats from major Lolita brands such as Angelic Pretty, Baby The Stars Shine Bright, and Innocent World. I’m also a fan of the indie brand In The Starlite. One of my first petticoats was from them and it was very nice.

If you are good at sewing there are some petticoat tutorials in the tutorial list posted a few questions up but they aren’t quite as good as a professionally made Lolita specific petti. Making your petticoat is definitely not recommended if you don’t have much sewing experience though as it can be very difficult to get the proper shape and volume necessary for Lolita if you don’t have a lot of skill in sewing.
While we’re one the subject of where to buy petticoats it’s also worth mentioning where you should not buy petticoats. Aside from the square dance and bridal petticoats that I mentioned before not being a good idea, I highly recommend not buying a petticoat from Bodyline. They’re a great place to buy a lot of things but petticoats (or panniers as they call them) are not one of them. They are well known for flattening out and becoming useless after only one or two wears. They can be good options for layering if you want to put them under a good petticoat just for a little extra something but on their own they are awful.
For more information on petticoats, see the petticoat tag.

Q: Does the color of my petticoat matter?

A: Not really. You’re not supposed to see your petticoat anyway. If you can either your skirt is too short or your petticoat is too long, but it’s meant to just be under your skirt and not seen. A white petticoat usually works for everything. The only time I recommend getting another color is if you plan for your entire wardrobe to be the same color. Unless your entire wardrobe is going to be black or dark colors though, don’t get a black petticoat because it may show through lighter colored dresses. The same goes for brightly colored petticoats such as red and bright pink and things like that. (Which I don’t understand why you would be buying those colors for a petticoat anyway.)

Q: I’ve heard that beginner Lolitas shouldn’t wear the black and white color combination. Why is this?

A: The black and white color combination (usually a black dress with white lace) is seen as an ita staple. It is very popular with beginner Lolitas, mainly those who got into Lolita because of anime, because it’s the main example of Lolita seen in anime art and at conventions, whether it’s a good representation of the fashion or not. The colorway is difficult to pull off mainly because of the contrast between the black and white which can make the entire coordinate seem unbalanced.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is quality. Not just overall quality, but more specifically, the quality of the lace. It should be soft and pretty, not scratchy and plasticy. Balance is also a big issue. There are a lot of beautiful dresses that are just covered in pretty lace, but you have to be more careful with this when you have colors like black and white that contrast so much. It’s usually best to work with a base color (most often black) and then add accents of the other color rather than just plastering it everywhere.
For more information and inspiration on these kind of coords, see here.

Q: I’m going to an anime convention and I want to buy Lolita there! Is this a good idea?

A: Not necessarily. A lot of anime convention vendors that sell “Lolita” items actually don’t know what they’re doing. They find these stereotypical “cosplay Lolita” dresses and accessories for cheap and then jack up the prices to a lot more than they’re actually worth. Most of what you’ll find at anime coventions isn’t worth the price. The only time it’s a good idea is if you’re going to a really big convention like Otakon that sometimes has actual brands there. Like, in 2011, BABY The Stars Shine Bright had a stand in the dealer room (along with an amazing fashion show). Every once in a while you’ll find some pretty good items from other dealers, but unless you’ve been a Lolita for a while and you really know what you’re looking for when it comes to quality and pricing, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Q: So I probably shouldn’t buy Lolita at a convention, but is it okay to wear it to one? I’m a bit nervous about wearing it for the first time and wanted to wear it somewhere that people will already look “weird.”

A: Of course you can! As long as you understand that you are not wearing a costume and that Lolita is in no way a costume/cosplay, there is no reason you shouldn’t wear Lolita to a convention. A lot of people wear Japanese fashion to conventions, Lolita, Fairy Kei, Dolly Kei, Mori Girl, etc. A lot of Lolitas actually use it as an excuse to wear really elaborate and extravagant coords that are just too much to wear on a normal day. But Lolita is a fashion, you’re wearing clothes that express who you are. It’s really no different from anyone else who goes to a convention in their street clothes, you just look more fabulous. Just remember that, as I have said before, Lolita is fashion and not cosplay.

Q: So what about this Milanoo place? They have a lot of cute stuff! Are they any good?

A: No. Milanoo is well known in the Lolita community as a scam. They don’t care about giving you good quality items, they just want money. If you look at their website, almost every single photo they have is a stock photo that has been stolen from a Lolita shop or brand. See this? 

This photo is actually taken from the TaoBao shop Kidsyoyo.

They just cropped it and added their own watermark. This is not the dress you will actually get. They have also taken personal photos from Lolitas wearing brand dresses and used those for their own advertisements without permission. What they do next is they find whoever they can to make that dress as cheaply as possible. They don’t care if it looks anything like what you ordered. They have your money so they’re all good. Out of all the reviews I’ve read for them (excluding the ones on their website or their sockpuppet accounts) only about one out of every five were actually positive. There are plenty of other reasons not to buy from them so for more information on this situation and how to avoid scams like this, read through this article.

There are many shops online that are owned by Milanoo and work the exact same way, so don’t let them fool you. Here is a list of other shops that will scam you in the way Milanoo does.

If you need any more reasons not to buy from Milanoo, here is some photographic evidence showing a few things that people have gotten from them.

Q: I hear a lot of talk about larger girls being bad Lolitas. Is this true? I’m plus-sized but I really love Lolita and I don’t want to make a fool of myself.

A: Plus sized girls can make just as beautiful Lolitas as anyone else. The trick though is knowing how to dress to flatter your body. One tip is to define your waist as best as possible. Since most plus size body types tend to have a less defined waist than other body types it is important to try to give it more dimension. This can be done by wearing dresses with cute belts or waist ties directly at the natural waist or by wearing skirts and blouses in different colors (such as a white blouse and a darker colored skirt) that meet at the natural waist to draw the eye to the smallest part. The biggest tip for plus sized Lolitas though is to dress for your size! Don’t try to squeeze into a brand dress that is just above or equal to your measurements. Just because something “fits” doesn’t mean it flatters you. If it puts any stress on the seams, don’t wear it. If you don’t fit brand properly, it’s best to look for clothes that can be made custom to your size to make sure they will fit the way Lolita is supposed to fit. A lot of shops on TaoBao such as the ones you will find on ClobbaOnline and QutieLand make many dresses and other items in custom sizes so you know they will fit you just right! Don’t feel like brand and replicas are your only options! There are tons of TaoBao shops and indie brands out there that make beautiful original items in larger sizes and custom sizes. (See the custom sizing tag for more information.) I know it can be heartbreaking to have a dream dress that’s just below your measurements. I know, I’ve been there.  But unfortunately, even though the dress is beautiful, doesn’t mean it will look beautiful on everyone. It’s not flattering and not very comfortable either. If you really love that print though, look for a replica if you don’t mind them. I’ve also heard of girls buying two of one dress and sewing them together which is an option if you have the money and you’re really good with a sewing machine. You can also let it out a few inches using tutorials like this, but don’t let it out too much or there won’t be enough fabric left to give the dress the right shape. There’s also the possibility of losing weight if you’re really determined to get a specific dream dress that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to wear. It’s easier for some people than others but if you really put your mind to it, it can be a really great thing to do for yourself and it feels great to be able to wear that dream dress!

For more information for plus-size Lolitas, see here, here, here, and here.

Q: My measurements are (insert any numbers here). Can I wear Lolita?

A: Yes! Lolita isn’t all about your size. You can be any measurement and still wear Lolita, it’s just about looking in the right places to find pieces that fit you. Just look around. Take your measurements and see how they match up to items you like. If you can’t find any pieces that are within your measurements then go for other options like getting things custom made to your size or even making your own Lolita clothes. There is always an option, no matter what your size happens to be!

Q: I keep hearing about this Lolita Lifestyle? What does that mean? Do you have to act a certain way to be a Lolita?

A: Being a lifestyle Lolita basically means acting the way you dress. If you dress sweet and adorable, you’re going to act sweet and adorable. Lifestyle Lolitas like to indulge in a lot of cute and elegant things to match their cute and elegant clothes. They study etiquette, drink tea, bake, go to the theatre, etc. But it’s not a requirement to be a Lolita. Lolita is a fashion and that’s all it has to be. It’s not very realistic to expect everyone to be sweet and adorable and happy all the time and some people just don’t like tea. The Lolita Lifestyle is just a thing for those of us who want to take our love for Lolita farther.

Q: Do I have to wear makeup when I wear Lolita?

A: I am a firm believer that makeup of some sort is very important for Lolita. My reasoning is because it’s so easy so put together an incredible coord but if you don’t have any sort of makeup, your face will often just blend in. People will see your coord but they won’t see the person behind the frills. Another reason is because if you put a lot of effort into your coord but not into your hair and makeup it can just seem unfinished. Some people tend to dislike the idea of wearing makeup because they feel like it will hide them or make them look like somebody they aren’t but that’s not true. The point of makeup isn’t to hide you, it’s to enhance what you already have and show off your best features. Even something as simple as some foundation and powder to even out your skin tone (and help you show better in photos) and a little eyeliner and mascara to make your eyes pop can do wonders. A little eye makeup can go a long way, it brings out your eyes and makes sure people notice you, no matter how extravagant your coord is.
If you have problems wearing makeup because you’ve found that it irritates your skin in any way, try other makeup options. A lot of the time makeup irritates skin because of the chemicals in it so try out natural and organic makeup instead. It can be a little harder to find but it’s better for your skin and the environment.
And whether you do choose to wear makeup or not, always be sure to take care of your face! Keep your skin clean and moisturized and drink plenty of water to keep all of your skin hydrated. Use an eyelash curler to help your lashes look bigger, keep your eyebrows neat and clean, and use natural and homemade ways to keep your skin looking bright and healthy.
For more information, please see my makeup tag.
And if you aren’t experienced with doing makeup, don’t worry! I have a list of tutorials that can teach you how to get started with makeup and do many different looks.

Q: I’m a little scared about becoming a Lolita. My family and friends aren’t used to seeing me dressed like this and I’m scared about what people will think about me. Is there any way that I can ease into Lolita to make it easier to get used to?

A: The first thing you should do is just start adding small Lolita elements into your everyday wardrobe. This is especially useful if you’re not used to wearing things that are frilly and girly. Wear cute jewelry and hair accessories, start wearing more skirts, stuff like that. (For some ideas on how you can work little bits of Lolita inspiration into your everyday wardrobe, see here.) After you’re used to the little things like that, start out with casual Lolita. Get a simple Lolita skirt and blouse or cutsew, a medium volume petticoat, some simple Lolita shoes, and some accessories. Start out very simple and toned down until you get used to things like wearing the petticoat and getting a few odd looks here and there. When you get used to it you can start adding more detailed pieces and really getting into it. The best thing to remember though is to be confident! I personally suggest reading through my guide to being confident in Lolita.

Q: What is an “ita?”

A: “Ita” is an insult for Lolitas. Basically it’s a Lolita (or attempt at Lolita) that looks really really bad for any number of reasons. It comes from the Japanese word “itai” meaning “ouch” and is said to be “a Lolita who looks bad it’s actually painful to look at.” Not very nice but it’s very common unfortunately.

Q: Where can I buy Lolita shoes?

A: AnTaiNa, Bodyline, QutieLand, almost every major Lolita brand, etc.

Q: Do you have to wear a blouse with a JSK?

A: It depends on the weather and the cut of the JSK. If it’s really, terribly, unbearably hot then fine, go without a blouse. But also keep in mind that some jumperskirts look much better without a blouse than others. If heat is the problem you can also just wear an OP or a skirt and blouse instead of a jumperskirt and blouse because it eliminates the extra layer. There are also alternatives to blouses like wearing a bolero or cardigan over the jumperskirt.
For more information and examples, see here.

Q: (Insert item name) is no longer available on the (Insert brand name) online shop. Can I still buy it?

A: Of course! But you will probably have to buy it second hand. I highly recommend the EGL Community Sales but there are other places to buy second hand listed in the where to buy list.

Q: What does (insert Lolita term) mean?

A: This list should be helpful. If not, try to see if I have a tag for the word and if that doesn’t help feel free to ask directly.

Q: What is the difference between a JSK and an OP?

A: An OP (one piece dress) has some sort of sleeves and a JSK (jumperskirt) does not.

Q: Where can I get wigs for Lolita?

A: Gothic Lolita Wigs
Lock Shop
Arda Wigs
Minty Mix
Wig-Supplier (great wigs but not good for clothes at all)

There are also several TaoBao shops that sell wigs.

Q: Is Bodyline a good place to buy wigs?

A: They are very good for their price but not always as good as the more expensive shops. They are great for what you’re paying for though.

Q: Does Ouji/Kodona/Boystyle count as Lolita? And where can I get Ouji/Kodona/Boystyle clothes?

A: While some consider Ouji too be a Lolita style, I do not. The whole foundation of Lolita is based on the style and shape of the skirt/dress and because Ouji uses pants rather than a skirt I do not consider it Lolita. However, I do recognize that it has a lot of similarities and obviously has a lot in common so I like to consider it a very very close relative. Maybe Lolita’s twin brother?
As for how to wear it, where to buy it, etc. I suggest reading Ouji 101. Saku is much better with Ouji than I am.

Q: What do you think of the ebay shop Refuse to be Usual?

A: I don’t really recommend buying from them. They just buy most of their pieces from other sources, usually TaoBao shops, and resell them. You can get a lot of their items cheaper from somewhere else and a number of them are from really sketchy TaoBao shops that aren’t exactly known for their good quality anyway. They’re also known to put up things that aren’t really Lolita at all and try to label them as Lolita so if you’re a beginner it’s usually best to stay away from shops like this (and there are a few of them around ebay.) For more information on ebay shops, see here.

Q: Where can I buy fabric to make Lolita clothes?

A: Look around shops in your area, especially fabric outlets where things are cheaper than chain stores. Also look around etsy for cute fabric and you can even find a lot of cute Japanese prints. Here are some more places:
Super Buzzy
Shabby Fabrics
Fabric Worm

For more information see my fabric tag.

Q: How do Bodyline’s shoe sizes work?

A: They don’t go by any real size charts. They basically go based on you’re foot’s measurement in centimeters (or for the three digit sizes they list, millimeters). (For more information on how their sizing works, see this thread.) Measuring your foot is quite easy and should give you an accurate number for the size you need. See this post to learn how to properly measure your foot for shoes.

Q: Do I have to have bangs to be a Lolita?

A: No. Bangs have always been a popular style for Lolita hair because they help to give the look of a doll and they also tend to look the best with things like larger rectangle headdresses. They aren’t necessary though. See here for some inspiration if you don’t have bangs! If you like the look of bangs though but can’t seem to grow them or don’t want to have them all the time, check out wig shops like Arda where you can buy clip-in bangs to match your natural hair.

Q: How does Bodyline’s sizing work?/Will this size fit me in this Bodyline dress?

A: Please see this very important post for all questions about Bodyline’s garment sizes.

Q: How often does Bodyline restock? Will they ever restock this item?

A: Nobody really knows the answer to either of these questions. Basically they restock whenever they feel like it. As far as I could ever tell there is no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes they’ll restock things that were very popular somewhat quickly, other times they’ll sit out of stock for months before they just disappear. I think they probably just throw their item numbers into Mr. Yan’s giant hat and pull them at random when they get the whim to restock something.

Q: Can I buy directly from a TaoBao shop? If so, how do I do it?
A: It is very rare for a TaoBao shop to offer overseas shipping. Some shops such as AnTaiNa offer it if you email them inquiring about it but you can’t order through the actual website. Nine times out of ten though you will find that a TaoBao shop does not sell internationally. Because of this you will most have to buy from a shop such as QutieLand or Clobba Online which are both authorized overseas sellers for certain TaoBao shops or you could buy using a shopping service such as TaoBaoNow or TaoBaoSpree just for two examples.

Q: What currency does TaoBao use? This item says it’s ¥199.00 but that’s only $2!

A: It would be $2 if they use yen, but they don’t. TaoBao is a Chinese website and therefore they use yuan, not yen. They are different currencies but they use the same symbol which is sometimes confusing. ¥199.00 yuan is about $32 USD.

Q: Do I have to wear brand to be a real Lolita?

A: If you did, would I have recommended Bodyline, TaoBao, and handmade items so many times in the FAQ? You do NOT need to wear brand to be a Lolita. The most important thing is that you look good in whatever you choose to wear and that it’s actually Lolita. As long as you have all the basic elements that make something Lolita (the proper skirt length and shape, good quality, etc.) and you put in a certain amount of effort, it doesn’t matter if your outfit is all brand, all handmade, all offbrand, a mix of brand and offbrand, whatever. Please see my “brand-vs-offbrand” tag for more information.

Q: When is it okay for me to start calling myself a Lolita?

A: As soon as you have your first full coordinate. Lolita is a fashion and therefore the clothes are the most important aspect of it, so it seems a little silly to call yourself a Lolita when you don’t own any Lolita clothes.

Q: I’m trying to use tumblr’s search to find Lolita things but nothing is coming up! What’s going on?

A: Because of negative connotations relating to the word “lolita” it’s not uncommon to find NSFW things floating around tags with the word in them. Because of this you have to remove safe search in order to use tumblr’s search option properly. To do that, do your search and when you get to the page that says there’s nothing there, hit the little lock button in the corner.

You should also keep in mind thought that just because something is in the Lolita tags that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Lolita. Due to the things that pop up in the search I would avoid just searching the word “lolita” all together and be more specific. “Lolita fashion” is a good one. You can also search for different styles and specific brands. (Although with “lolita fashion” and style names you will still run into a lot of things that aren’t necessarily Lolita.) Or, just follow a lot of blogs that post Lolita things and you’ll rarely have to use the tags anyway.

Q: My question wasn’t answered here. Are there any other places I can look for an answer before I ask a question?

A: Yes! There are plenty of places. A lot of questions I get can be answered by reading through some of my beginners guides which include things about dressing for your body type, dressing for the weather, getting started in Lolita, and several other useful topics. My useful links page is also quite useful (hence the title) and even includes a link to more useful links! If all else fails, try searching tags.