Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To offbrand or not to offbrand

Does brand make the lolita?

This topic has been brought up time and time again. People choose offbrand over brand items for many reasons: money issues, size problems, opportunities to have a larger wardrobe, variety, or wanting to support entrepreneurs.

The common answer to that question is no. However a very small group of brand enthusiasts believe that to be a true lolita you must have a closet of highly coveted purely brand only items. I however am not one of them. I believe that one’s closet value does not make you better lolitas than those that own no brand at all.

I use and encourage the use of offbrand items. I believe that as long as your ensemble meets the basic lolita criteria of quality, shape, and aesthetics there is no reason why any of the articles of your ensemble or accessories cannot be offbrand. The only time your outfit must be brand only is if you are attending a brand specific event.

The use of offbrand items adds an uniqueness to your outfit that cannot be achieved with using brand only items. Another reason I support using offbrand items is that it helps small or new business owners. Amazingly I find that sometimes I prefer my offbrand accessories more than those I paid twice as much for from a brand store.

But remember to make an ensemble work perfectly your offbrand items need to be good quality.

- Beware ebay shops. The quality of most of these shops can be horrible, the lace is poor quality and overwhelming and 90% of the time the item’s picture is from a brand shop.
- Popular stores such as H&M, Kohl’s, Forever 21, claire’s, and Target carry items that would be perfect for lolita and himegyaru.
- There are also plenty of stores which carry replica or offbrand shoes. Secret Shop and Montreal are some of the well trusted offbrands.
- Many seamstresses from the main egl livejournal community make top quality items that could rival any brand.
- There are less mainstream shops such as Bodyline and Anna House which are popular.

Forever 21:
Bought from ebay:
(I wear these w/ both lolita and himegyaru outfits)


Violet LeBeaux said...

Yes! I completely agree with you on this. There are always going to be those lolitas who are insanely loyal to a brand, hell that used to be me and AP but by ignoring off brand items you are just cutting your own nose off by missing out on so many beautiful and diversely styled pieces! Awesome article :)

Lady Kristen said...

I agree. I've seen maybe people in lovely offbrand outfits. If one only focuses on brand items so many neat and sometimes less expensive items can be missed.

Princess Madeleine said...

Thank you! I just went shopping today for some Lolita-inspired offbrand outfits and found an amazing blouse from Forever 21. I cannot afford brand, and I don't like being thought of as not Lolita just because I cannot afford Angelic Pretty.

Lady Kristen said...

You're welcome Princess Madeleine. You should never feel that way! There are plenty of well dressed and well coordinated lolita that buy offbrand items or wear homemade items.

Besides if the offbrands skirt isn't quite the correct shape you could wear it for just a hime-kei look.

Narcissique said...

I totally agree with you. I think that it is easier to make an original outfit if you combine brand and off-brand. Personally, I usually combine brand, offbrand and handmade, and I vaue my off-brand items as much a I love my brand ones.

Lady Kristen said...

Combinations of brand, offbrand and handmade ensembles lead to excellent outfits. I sometimes find that everything I am looking for I can never find from just brand.

Lolita-chan said...

OH MY GOD O.O I would SOOO love to go there.... If it wasn't for that I am totally broke -.- and live on another continent X3 thihi

Well... just peeked by to say thank you very much! ^_^ Nice of you to comment my pictures ^_^

Lady Kristen said...

I live on the East coast of the United States so it is almost as if the store is on another continent to me as well.

You're welcome!

hina said...

cute blog!! 8(*^ ^*)8

I love baby the star's too!!
and Jesus Diamante ♪♪

Lady Kristen said...

Thank you for visiting my blog!

I've seen a few pieces from Jesus Diamante. They make lovely outfits! I would die for a wear of their shoes, but they are always too small for me.

Cheebee said...

Those earrings are wonderful. I need those, are there any more around?

Now to more relevant subjects.....

I find it a bit sad Lolitas consider brand to be the only good items around. I think many of them capture and shape what lolita is, and through magazines create the new trends, and some lolis dislike it when someone isn't wearing the outfit the brands pick out for you. Lolita is a fun style, and I don't think people should turn it into something so...well, you shouldn't look like a store mannequin! The style is for fun, right? I believe fashion in general is. Lolita's shouldn't close themselves in like that! They should have fun picking out and making coordinates, from all different types of stores. But I guess I can't really tell people what to do here. I know there are some people who just can't find anything better than brand. I guess there are also people who honestly love a brand name trip, too. I just think that people should try and have fun with their clothes, instead of just listening to what a store tells you.

I'm the type who likes fishing out of sale bin in a clothing store, there's the things everyone else thought were out of style, but sure look good to me. The best part is how much cheaper it is than when it hit the front of the store! And yet, it's the same thing it was before.

I guess I'm all for doing my own thing. I like lolita clothes, but I won't call myself a lolita just because I wear the outfits in so many ways; my own ways, and I don't really want a name for my style.

Err, I'm so annoyingly long-winded, though.....

Lady Kristen said...

Yes, they are still listened on ebay. If you would like a direct link you can e-mail me.

I completely agree with you. Fashion should be fun and I never found it fun to be focused on brand only and worry that others will have a negative opinion if offbrand items are worn.

It is good to hear you are happy with your own style and don't worry about the opinions of others.