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Unread 11-22-2010, 10:19 AM   #1
Sword-Saint
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Is Lolita something people would buy?

Like, purchase, as in Lolita style clothes?

Personally, I love the lolita style. I love the look of all the different branches of it, and I love the mindsets that go along with it. But, I'm a guy. And I dislike the victorian boys' outfit look. It's just... not the same.

So...I was trying to think of a way to satisfy my interest in the style and yet without wearing it, and I decided I'd love to use my sewing skills to MAKE Lolita stuff, and sell it. Though the money isn't really the goal at all, but seeing that people like what I've made, seeing people wear it.

So my question is: Would people be interested in lolita clothes if I made them? Is it something people would buy? I mean, I'm no professional but I can make fairly nice-quality stuff. I've got a ton of designs drawn-up and ideas for things but I'm trying to test the waters first. I don't want to spend a ton on materials and time on making the stuff if no one's going to want it or want to buy it.

So what do you guys think? I need suggestions. Is this something worth pursuing? And by the way, I'd prefer to avoid any messages like "you're a boy and not a pro, so anything you'd make is crap don't even try." I'm looking for either helpful suggestions or market feedback, not discouragement. Got enough of that from my brother, who thinks I'm going gay. :-)
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Unread 11-22-2010, 11:51 AM   #2
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To be honest, I don't know, and I'd love to see what other people say. I'm interested in this as well.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 12:17 PM   #3
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If you keep these things in mind when making lolita stuff to sell, you should be successful:

1. The quality of the materials (lace, fabric, etc.) has to be awesome.

2. The items have to be well made and not falling apart.

3. The designs should keep the basic lolita silhouette (they should also stand out so that potential buyers take interest).

4. Take lots of well lit, high res pictures.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 12:25 PM   #4
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Well, seeing as I'm not a fabric genius...
1. How am I supposed to know that? I mean, in all honesty. What distinguishes "good" lace from "bad" lace? Just like, the toughness and style? Or is there some sort of type of stitch, some sort of cotton that I should avoid, etc...? I mean, I'm only just now hearing that there ARE different quality fabrics amongst types. I didn't realize there WAS such a thing as "bad" satin until just recently. How am I supposed to tell the difference, and why does it matter? Isn't it the look and the quality of production that matters?

2. Well obviously. But is there some sort of construction type that I should specifically AVOID for making lolita stuff?

3. Uh... I'm assuming this only applies to dresses? How on earth does an arm-warmer or hat keep the "lolita silhouette"?
Also, with the design... yes I'm trying to make them stand-out as unique. Honestly I think the design is my greatest strength: I may not be the most perfect seamster or most knowledgable about fabrics but I am (I've been told) a good designer/creator.

4. Can't do much about the high-res part, as I've got a 5 MPx camera and am not going to buy another camera just to take pictures of my clothes, not yet anyway. Not till i've got a flourishing business or something. As to well-lit... you mean to display the true garment colors, right? Just trying to make sure I know what people are looking for.

And thank you!

*1. Note: I just wanted to say that I'm not AGAINST buying high-quality or expensive fabrics. In fact, I'd be perfectly happy to do so if just to say that I did. What I'm trying to express is that I don't understand the difference, or how to tell them apart, or why it matters if the construction is good.

Last edited by Sword-Saint : 11-22-2010 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Added note
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Unread 11-22-2010, 12:48 PM   #5
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1. Here is a guide on lace. Read up on it.

Quality is important because you want something that is nice and will last for a long time. Even if it looks really pretty, no serious lolita will buy it if the materials are sub-par.

2. Ororo is just telling you straight up that is has to be something that will last. No other meaning to it other than that.

3. First off, arm warmers are not part of lolita. I would not recommend even trying to design any.

Since you mentioned clothes, yes Ororo was talking about dresses and such.

When being unique, try not to step out of the box too much, because sometimes it will have to opposite effect of what you really intended. Keep it relatively simple but still eye catching.

4. If your pictures suck, no one would want to buy your clothes or accesories. There are things you will have to spend money on if you want to set up a shop, a good camera being one of them. For well lit pictures you need plenty of light and a light background to work with for darker items, and a dark background for lighter items.

Also, if you love lolita, what's stopping you from dressing in it? There are plenty of other guys like you out there, we call them brolitas. Nothing wrong dressing in what you love.

Sorry if I seem short but I'm just getting straight to the point. I do not intend to sound like a bitch in any way or form. I am extremely supportive of anyone who gets into lolita fashion and the lolita community is also very supportive of people who make things such as what you are looking in to.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #6
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Hi Eleksin

It's easier for me to think in a linear fashion so, I'm gonna go with the bullet points again :-)
1. lol ok I'm not a COMPLETE idiot...maybe dumb sometimes but... yeah. Of course, I want to buy materials that are nice quality and not junky. And of course, I want to make clothes that are also nice quality. I want people to be happy with them! My confusion comes because I've now heard several times from different sources that lolita clothes ESPECIALLY need to be high-quality. Which, to me, sounds like it's therefore something different from the nice quality EVERY garment should be. So... what is it I'm missing? What is unique/special about the quality or make of lolita garments?

2. Gotcha.

3. Why not? Who decides that? I mean, lolita started as a street fashion (sorta), so... why can't I make unique garment pieces? I'm not talking stretchy rocker arm-warmers here, or something knitted. I'm talking about fur and lace garments that tie at the elbow with bright pink ribbon. Seems lolita to me.
Hmm. I appreciate your desire to help me be succesful at making stuff, so thank you, first off. But at the same time... the whole draw for me is designing things. I want to make stuff people will like not because I want people to have things I made, but because I want to make things they like. Make sense? Like, what's important to me is seeing someone is happy with my design and wants to wear it, NOT that someone has a garment I constructed. Obviously, I could just copy existing patterns. But I want to INVENT, and CREATE. Can't do that if I box myself in.
So yeah, i'm not talking over-the-top here. But every artist has to be unique. If no one innovates, nothing new will never come around.

4. Yes that's true. For now (and probably for a while) I'm just experimenting. I'm just seeing if the stuff I make/design is things peope would want and like. So, for now, y'all are gonna have to stare at my only-average camera shots ;-)
No no, you're not being a bitch! Why would I think that? You're being honest! And that's a good thing!
lol now that I've said that I should put-in a disclaimer that I'm not trying to be bitchy either. So be merciful ;-)

And sorry for the long posts. :-(
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Unread 11-22-2010, 03:57 PM   #7
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To tell you the truth, if you asking all these questions then no, I probably wouldn't buy anything from you. You obviously don't have a grasp on lolita fashion entirely (or even importance of fabrics or construction or quality in clothing development in general), especially to even start thinking about making lolita clothing for others. I mean, your implying that fur armwarmers or something with lace are ribbon are lolita...? How long have you been observing the style? o_O

Sorry to be harsh, but I see all these random people trying to make money on lolitas and they aren't even bothering to do their research on the market or even what's in in terms of trends and what we demand quality wise -- this doesn't seem any different. Its pretty annoying to say the least. All I can say is lurk more, hang out with some actual lolitas and do some research before dabbling in something like this if you want to be taken seriously. You keep saying you want to do something innovative with your designs but how the heck are you going to do that when you obviously lack the basics of the style?
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Unread 11-22-2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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I can see what you are trying to do here with wanting something unique and of your own design however a few key points kind of bothered me while I read your reply. I am an avid sewer and enjoy making my whole outfit from the op, to the accessories which include headbows and scarves for winter time, the wristcuffs, and now I am even doing my own print with a friend of mine. I have complete control of what I shall be producing however I still follow the guidelines that make the fashion lolita which are basic elements like a bell shaped skirt to the knees, not showing excessive amounts of skin, and accessorizing to tie an outfit together.

I think what bothered me the most is this comment:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sword-Saint View Post
3. Why not? Who decides that? I mean, lolita started as a street fashion (sorta), so... why can't I make unique garment pieces? I'm not talking stretchy rocker arm-warmers here, or something knitted. I'm talking about fur and lace garments that tie at the elbow with bright pink ribbon. Seems lolita to me
This is like the age old battle of if it has lace then it is autmatically Lolita. Pink ribbon does not make a garment sweet lolita, it just makes it a garment with pink trim on it. Anything that ties around your elbow region and has the intention of being on your arm is an armwarmer so in essence you are making arm-warmers. I agree with Lolita*Neko that you should look examples of the different styles a lot more to get a better grasps of outfits. community.livejournal.com/sew_loli is a great place to see the sewing projects of other seasoned Lolitas and what inspire them to do their designs while community.livejournal.com/daily_lolita will show you an array of outfits that people like to put together.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 05:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sword-Saint View Post
Well, seeing as I'm not a fabric genius...
1. How am I supposed to know that? I mean, in all honesty. What distinguishes "good" lace from "bad" lace?

3. Uh... I'm assuming this only applies to dresses? How on earth does an arm-warmer or hat keep the "lolita silhouette"?
Also, with the design... yes I'm trying to make them stand-out as unique. Honestly I think the design is my greatest strength: I may not be the most perfect seamster or most knowledgable about fabrics but I am (I've been told) a good designer/creator.

4. Can't do much about the high-res part
I'm going to be honest here:

1. If you can't distinguish good lace from bad lace you really shouldn't be sewing lolita outfits. Someone isn't going to pay 200+ dollars for something if it's horrible quality. I'm not even a professional nor hobbyist when it comes to sewing but even I know what's bad lace.

3. Armwarmers are not very accepted in Lolita fashion, so I would strongly advise trying to sell armwarmers as lolita. Also tophats are usually looked down upon and advised against. First do research on what's considered lolita then try to come up with design ideas.

4. If you're really serious about selling your products, find a photographer friend or someone with a high resolution camera to take the pictures for you. Loltias WILL NOT spend money on something they can't see very well.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 06:03 PM   #10
Eleksin
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I think so far the general consensus is:
Learn more and lurk the communities today to keep up with current trends and to drill yourself on basics and such.
Keep one foot inside the box at all times.
High grade photography is a must when trying to market anything

Does that pretty such sum it up?
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Unread 11-22-2010, 06:27 PM   #11
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Wow.
Alrighty then.
See, I thought by asking questions and stuff I WAS showing that I cared and am interested. I AM trying to do research, obviously, or I wouldn't be posting asking folks for help!

I AM serious when I say what is the point of trying to invent things if you can't find a way to incorporate new ideas? I hear that, obviously, arm warmers are out as far as Lolita style is concerned. What I don't understand is why, besides that no one does it apparently. Wouldn't it be possible to make arm-warmers that DID fit with the style? Or are you really going to tell me that the fashion excludes certain clothing accessories?

I'm not attempting to make a store here. I just thought this would be cool to do as a hobby. I guess tone is hard to get across in forum posts, so that's something, but man. If I'm encountering this much resistance just from trying to understand, then... why bother?

I lack the basics of the style? Well so far what I've heard is that you demand expensive clothes, made from expensive fabrics. But I haven't actually heard anything about LOOK or such. I'm trying to understand, because I think it's a cool fashion. Instead of giving up on me and telling me to piss off, SHOW me what to do! Help me understand. Give me suggestions of fabrics or colors or sites or stylists or whatever. How am I supposed to learn if all I get is a finger and a kick out the door?

This should NOT be that hard. Consider this: I COULD have just posted the stuff I want to sell, marketed myself as a real professional lolita producer, and screwed lots of people over, couldn't I? But instead, I am trying to make sure I'm HELPING, rather than hurting, the fashion and its wearers. Isn't that a good thing?
I'm not going to devote my life to becoming a professional lolita-clothing designer. That's not my goal. I know how to sew, I know how to design, and despite what you think I DO understand the basics of the style. I know the prints and the colors and the variations in the sub-styles. I know the lengths and the shapes. Like I said, I COULD just make knock-offs. But why do that? Why take from others when I can invent my own things?
You're right. I don't know much about different fabric types but why do I need to know all these different types if I can put them together? Do you really care about my motivation for choosing a particular cloth if it's the nice quality in the end?
I want to learn. Sheesh, I'm TRYING to make stuff for folks JUST LIKE YOU! I'm saying I like your style. So, help me! Like I said, I don't care about getting money for my stuff. I just want people to like it! So, help me figure out what lolitas like. Please.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 07:01 PM   #12
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The problem is you didn't seem to be asking questions about the style, which you don't seem to comprehend fully. Instead you're asking questions about selling things, which doesn't make sense without a lot of research. So then. Might I suggest some stickies?

A Quick Lolita Handbook
Lolita Link List

And also some good old fashioned reliable guides?

The Lolita Handbook
Lolita Fashion .org

You say you're well acquainted, but honestly not knowing what good or bad lace is and thinking arm warmers are appropriate sounds like you could at least use some brushing up on the basics. The reason that arm warmers aren't generally accepted is because they make you look like a mall goth, which we try to distance ourselves from. It's the same reason why mini top-hats have faded out, although arm warmers were never popular to begin with.

You also seem to keep asking why things deviating from the style won't work, and that's simply because lolita is very strict about guidelines. You might sell some ~special snowflake~ things, but not to a lot of real lolitas. Real lolitas want good quality things that typically have to stay far enough inside the lines to go with the rest of their wardrobe.

...also yes, you will need a nicer camera as others have stated.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 07:17 PM   #13
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We are not trying to discourage you at all. We just don't tend to sugar coat things here. You either know or you don't know and we try to address issues, be it the ones you clearly state or the underlying ones that only we see.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 08:12 PM   #14
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Thank you Meiki.

Ok maybe I'm using the wrong word...maybe arm warmers isn't the term I'm looking for, because I know what YOURE talking about and that's not the image I have in my head... but I don't know another way to describe it, so... nevermind. I guess I meant more like handmuffs. You know, those fluffy things you put your hands in in winter to keep warm? Arm warmers! Arg.

As to the lace: ok, this is really bothering me. There IS no such thing as good or bad lace people! Eesh. Either it is well MADE or NOT well made. Good and bad don't describe it. In the end, if it's well made, the determining factor for the fashion should be LOOK, right? So I've just been going off what I think looks cool with it. I didn't realize that there WERE such things as 'good or bad' lace. I thought it was just down to quality and style preference.

I hear you with the quality. I can totally understand that. I WANT to make good-quality stuff. Never said I didn't.
My confusion comes with the style guidlines. Fitting with the wardrobe I can understand. But since when does EVERY dress in the style have to use, for example, surged edges at the bottom hem? (I'm just giving an example here, don't know if that's true or not). I mean, why couldn't the bottom hem be overlocked instead? See what I'm saying? It sounds like very arbitrary guidelines that some designer once upon a time came up with to lock others out of the market. Leastwise, that's how it feels.

Eleksin, I'm not asking you to sugarcoat stuff. Sorry if I implied that. I'm asking for tools to get me where I want to be, and to avoid just telling me "it can't be done, give up." That's helpful for none of us. And I'm not pointing a finger at you either, just expressing my frustration. I feel like I came here excited to show everyone what I've made, trying to make sure I'm on the right track, and I got told to go home without trying. See how that might make me feel crappy?
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Unread 11-22-2010, 08:38 PM   #15
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If you like lolita you don't have to dress as a boy you know.

I've seen quite a few lolitas dress as girls, crossplay is rather accepted there I think.

Although I just mix steampunk and dandy and I get really good results.
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