As I may have mentioned in my last post, it can be incredibly difficult to acquire or purchase pieces for a lolita fashion wardrobe. Some of it can be costs and budgeting, but a lot of is WAITING or waiting for the right moment. Even on a resale site like Lacemarket, you'll be checking frequently or waiting for a bid that you registered for to end, and if you're the "winner" you'll still wait at least 2 weeks for an item to be shipped out to you (or more if you bought it from someone outside of your country). If you are buying new from a Chinese shopping service, you're also going to be waiting a week or two for them to inquire about the availability of the item, then the item needs to be made (MTO=Made to Order), which can take as little as 2 weeks to several months (OR UP TO A YEAR), and then of course whatever shipping you selected when you paid for the item originally (I usually choose the cheapest option so that's another 3 weeks).
The very next best thing to choosing your own clothes and waiting for them to be made and shipped to you is to attend a clothing selling meetup in your EGL community. Usually there are folks that have been in the fashion for awhile and they are letting go of pieces that are no longer their style or don't fit anymore at deep discounts.
Which brings me to my beloved Meta shirt. (Meta is short for Metamorphose Temps de Fille). Now at the time...I didn't know hardly any of the brands except for Bodyline and Baby The Stars Shine Bright (and I only knew the latter because a friend of mine from college bought a lot of their beautiful designs when she was teaching english in Japan probably around 2008 ish. That stuff that she bought is considered 'vintage' Baby now because it is from the earlier days of lolita fashion. I asked her if it's for sale and she said it's rotting somewhere in her parents attic...so I'm gonna take that as a no.)
The reason I was drawn to the Meta shirt was simply because of its color and the fact that it fit me--I didn't think it was possible for me to fit into anything Japanese fashion (I was still in disbelief...and for good reason) but I tried it on at the swap meet and it fit!
Now you know from my previous post all I had in my lolita wardrobe so far was the Rose Stripe Bustle JSK from Bodyline that I purchased in February of 2022. I knew I needed an off-white or ivory colored shirt to go with it, so I just went for it. I also purchased a couple of socks from another seller and some jewelry. However, when I got home I just felt like the Meta shirt was way too fancy for the rose stripe bustle jsk and that all the accessories that I purchased were meant for a sweet coordinate...not the classic one that I was half heartedly trying to build.
However, knowing what I know now about the fashion and brand loyalty, it is not uncommon for people to purchase used brand clothing that is stained, slightly altered, or missing buttons. I still can't get behind this mindset to be honest brand or not. I want all my pieces to have all their parts and if there's a stain, it ought to be somewhere I can't see it. There are some EGL communities that are very exclusive where you can only be a member if you're wearing a coordinate from your "brand" or an an amalgam of "brand" items. Luckily my local community isn't like that. People are always open to discussion, are incredibly creative with their choices, and some members even make their own clothes in the fashion! But let's be honest, if my community ever changed their mindset, I would absolutely just go on wearing the clothes without them.
I love EGL and alternative fashion and modeling. I am taking two of my favorite hobbies and making them into a story for you to read about.