When someone I care about asks for help with hobby I love, it's hard to contain my excitement. Here's how I help a friend pick their first lolita coord.
1. Don't Say "Yes" Too Fast
While you will want to say "yes" immediately, it's good to pause for a moment. Helping a newbie is fun, but it is also a potentially challenging or time-involved endeavor. If you are unable to help your friend out now, let them know! It doesn't mean you can help in the future. It's great if you can!
2. Find What They Like
This first step may feel overwhelming for you or the future Lolita, but stay with me! Ask them if they know what styles or brands they like. If the person is having difficulty, show them some street-snap websites with the lolita fashion tag, such as TokyoFashion.com, or lolita fashion brands.
For example, here are some well-known brands:
Encourage them to make a folder of coordinates they like. If they send you twenty options, have them reduce it to ten, then five, then three. This will force the person to narrow down the styles they are drawn to while reducing the number of future lolita main pieces you'll present as options.
Recently, I had my lolita-in-training choose their favorite coords from Tokyo Fashion's street snaps.
These are the ten styles they liked the most:
As a Lolita, you know that these styles are wildly different. Wa, Gothic, Sweet, Qi, Aristocrat etc. are terms you have learned as someone who has studied lolita fashion. Often times, someone new to the fashion won't be able to state what styles they like, just that they "know it when they see it."
To save you from making coordinates for such a wide range of styles, encourage a number you can work with. For this particular example, we ended with three favorite styles from the ten above.
My lolita-in-training liked the traditional Asian lolita styles Wa and Qi. They were especially fond of the prints, Wa-Lolita sleeves, and the ability to wear animal ears. Now, I had a better starting point!
3. Getting The Details
What's the budget?
It's important to know what budget you and the lolita-in-training are to work with, within reason. This will help give them realistic coord options and help them stay in a range that they can afford.
Get their measurements! How tall are they in cm? What's their shoe size? Chest width? Torso length? Waist? Shoulder width? Arm circumference? Wrist circumference? These are just a few requirements for planning a lolita outfit. After all, no one wants to order something that isn't going to fit them.
Does the newbie lolita have a special event where they want to wear their first coord? No matter the reason, it's good to know how long you have to order the items for them to arrive in time.
4. Present Their Potential Main Piece
Ok, now that you have the necessary details, it's time for the fun part! Find possible main pieces that fit your lolita-in-training's measurements, budget, and time-frame. I have found the best way to do this is to send each dress in a coord and all colorways! Canva is one of many great tools for this.
Souffle Song was the perfect brand to start with for this project! Not only does Souffle Song carry many Wa/Qi lolita styles, but they also offer custom sizing and other lolita coordinate options right from their website! I found six jumperskirts and a one-piece to submit to the newbie lolita to review.
My lolita-in-training liked all of these! While it was hard to choose, she soon picked her favorite.
And Hidden Lights Japanese Style JSK in Black it is!
5. Help Build Their Coordinate
Time to build the coordinate! I try to build a coordinate from only a few sources, but every case is different. It's important to ensure everything you send is in stock at the time. I create a coordinate photo, explain what everything is, and send it to the newbie lolita for review. That way, they can tell me what to keep and I start the process again. Eventually, we have a complete lolita coord selected!
When I built this coordinate, I included a full-sleeve blouse and the requested cat ears. Something I liked about this Souffle Song dress is that it comes with the optional obi and jacket for around $75. These items will help give the future Lolita more styling options! All of these items are from Taobao, include a petticoat and bloomers, and within the Lolita-in-training's budget. Talk about a success!
I was shocked that she loved this coordinate and approved it right away!
I can't wait for her first lolita pieces to arrive! Putting on your first lolita coordinate is such an important moment for a lolita. I feel very fortunate to be a small part of that experience.
Have you helped a friend dive into lolita fashion? What are your tips? I'd love to read them!
This is the account of one woman and her passion for lolita Fashion.