Friday, September 28, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: Three Budget-Friendly Coordinates under $100

This week, the Lolibloggers of LBC are blogging with the budget-conscious in mind! Our challenge this week was to create a fab coordinate for less than $100. Well, as everyone here knows, I have a problem with designing coordinates - or, more accurately, with stopping. I was designing these with a beginner lolita in mind, so I thought, why stop at one? Someone new to the fashion is going to want ideas on building their wardrobe; they're not going to want to buy a single-use outfit that doesn't have any other practical application. So I took one skirt - $40 by the Etsy shop Eat Me, Ink Me - and built three outfits that are definitely different and aimed towards different temperatures/times of the year, but that still have the cohesive style which we recommend that newbies develop so that coordinating within their wardrobe is that much easier.

An easy way to do this challenge would've been to hop on any of the awesome, wallet-friendly lolita shops on TaoBao. However, because my first priority is always to support small artisans when possible, I decided that this would be a great opportunity to represent some of the amazing crafters and vintage shops on Etsy, so I took as many items as I could find that suited the aesthetic and price point, and then filled them in with easily-accessible Western stores, some of which sell online, others which populate every mall worth its fluorescent lighting and fatty food court. The key to these coordinates is accessibility, because for so many girls who are just starting out, the idea of buying a full outfit online and then paying all those shipping fees/customs can be really intimidating. So instead of just designing a cheap coord, I took it a step further by making three $100 outfits using only items from easily-accessible stores, because god forbid I let anything be easy on me! But I love making coordinates, so the challenge just made it even more enjoyable for me!

Before I get to the outfits, you may be wondering- what on earth is a Lolita Blog Carnival? Well, it's a group of Lolibloggers like myself who all blog together about the same topic on the same day. The topics are voted on at the Facebook group and a deadline is set, and everyone works on their articles until the posting deadline. At the end, we all link to each others' entries at the bottom of our own, so all of our lovely readers can see what other participating Lolibloggers had to say.

skirt  ♥ hair clip ♥ blouse ♥ shoes ♥ socks
This first example uses a vintage blouse, glittery flats from Forever 21, thick ankle socks from Sock Dreams, and an adorable hand-crafted leaf hair clip to echo the floral pattern in the skirt. I see this as being a perfect outfit for early summer, when it's just warm enough to feel the breeze on your calves, but not quite warm enough for short sleeves.

blouseheadbandtightsearringsshoes ♥  skirt

This time, I went for a more toned-down approach, opting for a cheaper blouse from Forever 21 so I could give my newbie loli a little wiggle room with her accessories. For a casual summer outfit like this, I wanted something that would be easy and breezy (and certainly beautiful!) for long, hot days spent at ice cream parlors or boardwalks.

skirt ♥ ringheadbandsocksblousenecklaceclutchbelt
With this last one, I cheated a little bit. I figured, at this point, our lolita had invested in a proper pair of shoes for herself, or that she could reuse one of the two other pairs of flats I've already given her, so I gave her some more budget-room to build up a collection of accessories which would work with almost any of the other coordinates. This outfit reminds me of early fall, the type of weather I'm in right now - sheer fabrics because it's warm in the sun, but you can still definitely feel a nip in the air that warns of changing winds. I hope my budget-loli is saving up for a winter coat!

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