My Lolita New Year’s Resolutions

There are a number of things that I have realized that I don’t do the way I want to and would like to change this upcoming year.

Firstly, I would really like to blog more regularly. I started the 52 week topic challenge, but didn’t exactly post one post per week. I also have a ton of WIP posts that I never made. I’m probably going to try to finish those and push them out; some of them will be belated event posts, which feels a little weird, but at the same time, I really do want to recap some of those events. I also meant to review a lot of things and didn’t.

Second, I don’t know how many people follow Lolibrary on Facebook, but I’ve been posting the Tag Tuesday and Throwback Thursday posts. What some of you might have noticed is that there weren’t any between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I just didn’t have time to posts them, which is silly because now FB offers a write-it-ahead-and-pick-a-post-date/time feature, so I want to make sure that from now on, I have multiple weeks of posts queued up in there, ready to go.

Third, I would like to make a massive sales post and get rid of about 1/3 of my “closet”. For those of you who’s ears just perked up because you know I have a dress you want, that’s probably not going to be what I’m selling. 1/3 of the lolita I own I don’t really even consider part of my closet; it’s the wrong size, color, style… whatever. I own it, never wore it, more than half of it is new… it just needs to go. It’s taking up so much space. I need more room. I need it to get out of my house. Like seriously need to clear out to the point where I’m starting to have anxiety over my lack of space. Likewise, I need to organize what I have and throw out a lot of stuff in my room in general. And mend / cull my work clothing, and possibly cull my book collection and craft supplies. Basically, I just need to throw away a lot of stuff because my room is not cute right now.

Fourth, I would like to make more valentines. I make them sometimes, but not consistently, and I’d like to spend more time recognizing the people I admire.

Fifth, I intend to get up to date on my assigned brand(s) for lolibrary and keep up to date on them. I’ve just recently been assigned Putumayo, which we never have been up-to-date on, so almost everything they have has to be added. It will be easier once I get the current stuff in. Which sort of backs up into keeping the PutumayoLovers tumblr stocked with content.

Sixth, I would like to post at least one discussion topic to EGL each month.

Seventh, I would like to pursue better health habits. Mostly making healthier eating choices because adding extra exercise would be difficult for me right now. I was being really good about what I ate for a while and lost some weight, but then I got busy and tired and sort of fell back into eating whatever. Granted, my eating habits aren’t horrible; I’m not overweight and I don’t tend to over eat… but I also sometimes don’t make the best choices. Toast breakfast, pasta lunch and tacos for dinner isn’t exactly the most balanced diet. (I like starches and many of them are faster and easier than adding more fruits and veggies)

Eighth, I would like to draw up a much smaller budget for my clothing purchases (maybe even not allocate anything other than profit from sales to motivate me to sell stuff?). I’ve been spending more than I probably should on lolita recently. I still have a few thousand dollars in outstanding student loans and while I’m well ahead on payments, it would make far more sense for me to cut my lolita budget down, and pay off the rest of the loans. I’ve just been sort of lazy about paying as much ahead lately because my student loan company changed their online payment system and I can’t actually log in and pay online anymore, so I have to mail them checks, which is tedious, so I’ve been doing it every couple months instead of every pay check like I used to. Which is just silly, because I could have paid this off by now if I sat down and did it. Now, keep in mind, I’m not behind; I’m still paid forwards by like a year. I also want to put more money aside for a car. I had a enough saved up for an ok used car, but I had an unforeseen expense which used a lot of it.

Ninth, I would like to participate more in my local community, including hosting contests / discussion topics.

Tenth, I will obtain a driver’s license before the summer’s end. This is not a “I would like”. This is an “I will”. Because I will. I must. I cannot go on like this. I spend 4-5 hours a DAY on my commute. I have been doing this for three years. That is a 15 minute ride to a bus station, waiting at a bus stop for up to 30 min in the morning, an hour 10 minutes on a bus, and 15 min walk. Then I work, then it’s a 15min walk to a bus stop, where I wait for anywhere between an hour and two hours, then a 50 minute bus ride and another 15min ride home. The time I waste daily is ridiculous, and tiring, and I’m sick of drunks on the bus, and being hit on, and getting in minor accidents because the drivers can’t drive. I only live 30-40 min from my work; I could regain 2-3 hours easily. Also, I’m sick of leaving my house 2-3 hours early to go to meetups or having to carpool, and missing events in the evening.

Eleventh, I would like to plan meetups for my local comm, aided by the fact that I will be able to drive and thus should have a much easier time attending them.

Twelfth, I would like to become better at doing my own makeup. I do it pretty basic most of the time, and I’d like to get better at contouring, eyeliner, and putting eyelashes on myself instead of begging my very kind and patient girlfriend to do it for me.

Raine’s Guide to Shopping Services

For people new to lolita fashion, shopping services can be a somewhat odd concept. However, once you get more comfortable in the fashion, they prove to be an invaluable resource. A shopping service is, in short, a person or company who will buy an item, and ship it to you for a small fee. This is useful for stores that don’t ship overseas and/or take payments from overseas, items only available in store, japanese auctions, etc.

Before I go into the rest, there are a few important points. Never contact a shopping service and tell them you want to buy something unless you are 100% committed and have the full amount to pay up front. It doesn’t matter if they say they won’t ask for it until later; you should already have the money and set it aside. You can’t change your mind or back out once they have purchased your item, so always be sure. That said, many shopping services are happy to answer questions about your items ahead of time. Just make sure that if you aren’t yet sure, and want to ask a question, that you make this very clear to the shopping service (for example, if you want to buy something but aren’t sure how much it might cost, you might write to them and say “I really like this item, but I’m not sure if it’s too expensive or not. Can you tell me how much it would cost?” or “I really like this item, but I’m not sure if it is the right size. Can you tell me the size?”). Avoid asking questions when you have no intention of buying from them; there are other places (like egl) where general questions are welcome, but shopping services are businesses, not your personal google. Also, always read the rules, fee charts and methods of payment accepted, as well as checking online reviews before you start a transaction. If you can’t find any reviews but want to try the service, consider using it for a smaller, low risk transaction first. That way, if something goes wrong, you won’t have as big of an issue.

There are two main types of shopping services. The first is what I like to call a personal or individual shopping service. This is a shopping service which consists of a single person, usually someone who is foreign and living in the country you are buying from, and usually someone who is either a lolita, or into another similar Japanese fashion. Because this person is experienced in J-Fashion, they tend to be familiar with different brands, shops and terminology. While not all individual shopping services will shop in physical stores, most do, and this, coupled with a personal knowledge of the fashion are the biggest advantages of this style of shopping service. Most charge a percentage or flat fee + a transportation fee for instore shopping (though many also offer online shopping as well.) , and most operate via email or another form of personal contact. If you want to buy a lucky pack, or something that will sell out quickly and is not an auction, this is the best type of shopping service to employ. For orders in Japan when I want to use a personal shopping service, I use Chibi_Tenshi, who I’ve found to be quite professional, and all around simple great.

The second type is what I call a business shopping service or a big shopping service. These are companies which employ multiple people. Most of them have their own websites, some have fancy ordering systems, some just use email. They pretty much only do online shopping. Some are specific to certain stores / types of stores, others will do anything available online in their country. Now, if there is a big sale, a limited edition item, a fancy new release or a lucky pack, this probably isn’t the best way to do things. Most of these companies assume that they can take their time to order and may take a day or more to process your order. For most things, this is not an issue. For time-sensitive items… not so much. If you have an item you expect to sell out quickly and want to use a big shopping service, contact them well ahead of time and ask if it’s possible for them to try. Explain about how fast you feel the item will sell out and give them the exact date and time you expect the item to be available. Some of them do snipe bidding on auctions and rush orders for auctions ending soon, but not all of them do. I like to use FromJapan for my Japanese orders because I like to buy a lot of little things that aren’t time sensitive and bid on a lot of little auctions and it’s easy to track my past purchases on their site.

Now, a few points that people often miss. Taobao (home of shops like Infanta, Dear Celine and Chess Story) is in China. So if you want to order from Taobao, you need a Chinese shopping service and there are a number which are specific to Taobao. I’ve used both Taobao Spree and Taobao Ring. I was not particularly pleased with Taobao Ring as they ignored some of my questions and ordered two pairs of shoes in the wrong colors (only one of which I caught in their proof photos). Taobao Spree has been reasonably good, though there was a weird instance with my first order where they didn’t charge me for something and had to come back and ask me to pay for it like a month later.

General Process for a personal shopping service:

  1. Find an item you like online, in a catalog, on a blog, etc
  2. Following the shopping service’s rules, contact them by their preferred method with the required information. Try to include a description of what you want that includes where it’s sold, the size and color you want, and a picture.
  3. Usually you will be contacted back to confirm, and given a quote if it varies from their standard formula. Some will ask for full payment, or a deposit at this time.
  4. The shopping service buys your item either in a shop or online (if they buy it in store, there is usually a transportation fee).
  5. If the item was bought online, it makes it’s way to the shopping service (you will pay this shipping cost as part of your total).
  6. The shopping service contacts you for shipping info if they haven’t yet, calculates shipping and invoices you for the final payment.
  7. You pay (try to be prompt, and contact them back once you have paid)
  8. The shopping service mails your item
  9. Your item arrives. If the shopping service takes reviews somewhere (like on egl_comm_sale’s review section), be sure to write them a review.

General Process for a business shopping service:

  1. Find an item you like online.
  2. Following the shopping service’s preferred method, submit the item you want’s information. If it’s an auction, submit your maximum bid and if you want it to be a snipe bid (bid at the last moment) or not. For online stores, be sure to include the color and size you want when applicable.
  3. Pay for the item. (some shopping services ask for a deposit, others charge you your full mximum bid. If they can’t automatically calculate the price, wait for them to send you a quote and then pay the quote as timely as possible).
  4. The shopping service buys your item or places a bid for you.
  5. If you win the auction, or it was a normal online store purchase, the item is shipped to the shopping service. You will be required to pay this shipping as part of your final payment. If you lost the auction or the item was sold out, you will get a refund (sometimes in store credit). Any extra beyond your winning bid that you paid already will be refunded (sometimes in store credit).
  6. The shopping service has you select a shipping option if they offer multiple methods, and then they calculate your shipping cost (some left you combine shipping of multiple orders; take advantage of this because it will save you money!)
  7. You will get a quote for any remaining balance, including both shipping costs, and most of the fees you incurred. Pay this to the shopping service.
  8. The shopping service mails your item
  9. Your item arrives.

Winter 2013-2014 Lucky Pack Round Up!

It’s that season again! I’ll be updating this post with lucky pack info as it becomes available. So far my personal favorites are the Angelic Pretty Candy Sprinkle print and the Alice and the Pirates’ Briar Rabbit’s print!

Alice and the Pirates [source] – December 13th, 2013

Briar rabbit’s Paysage Jumper skirt I SET Alice and the Pirates Lucky Pack 2014

109P2001 いばらうさぎのペイサージュ柄ジャンパースカートⅠ型セット (Briar rabbit’s Paysage Jumper skirt I SET) – ¥19,740
black x white blouse, black x black blouse

  • Jumper skirt
  • high collar blouse with tie
  • side ribbon headbow
  • over knee socks
  • synthetic leather bag
  • eye patch

Briar rabbit’s Paysage Jumper skirt II SET Alice and the Pirates Lucky Pack 2014

109P2002 いばらうさぎのペイサージュ柄ジャンパースカートⅡ型セット (Briar rabbit’s Paysage Jumper skirt II SET) – ¥19,740
black x white blouse, black x black blouse

  • Jumper skirt
  • round collar blouse
  • ribbon headbow
  • over knee socks
  • synthetic leather bag
  • eye patch

luckyset-ap

109P2003 PIRATES S/Sバラエティラッキーセット (PIRATES S/S Variety Lucky SET) – ¥8,400

Inside, you can find a Jumper skirt or a salopette and a blouse or a headdress, etc. 4 or more items from our spring-summer season collections will be included. Long pants or men’s items will not be included.

In other words, this is four total items (or more if they give you really inexpensive accessory items), probably a dress/salopette and blouse + 2 smaller items, that are random, probably things that were on sale before and probably don’t match.

Angelic Pretty 2014 Lucky Packs [source] [unofficial source] – December 12th, 2013

Update – Angelic Pretty USA will be selling AP lucky packs online December 26th and in-store Jan 4th
Angelic Pretty USA Lucky Packs

Angelic Pretty Candy Sprinkle Special Set

sppk splv spbk Angelic Pretty Candy Sprinkle Special Set Lucky Pack 2014 Angelic Pretty Candy Sprinkle

★ Candy Sprinkle Special Set – ¥31,500
pink, lavender, black

  • Coat
  • JSK,
  • Blouse
  • Cardigan
  • Socks
  • Bonnet
  • Bag

Angelic Pretty Candy JSK Set Lucky Pack 2014

Angelic Pretty Candy JSK Set Lucky Pack 2014 Angelic Pretty Candy JSK Set Lucky Pack 2014 Angelic Pretty Candy JSK Set Lucky Pack 2014 Angelic Pretty Candy JSK Set Lucky Pack 2014 Angelic Pretty Candy Sprinkle

★ Candy Sprinkle ジャンパースカート Set (Candy Sprinkle Jumper Skirt Set) – ¥15,750
pink, lavender, black

  • JSK
  • Blouse
  • Headbow
  • Socks
  • Bag

Angelic Pretty Candy Salopette Set Lucky Pack 2014

Angelic Pretty Candy Salopette Set Lucky Pack 2014 Angelic Pretty Candy Salopette Set Lucky Pack 2014 Angelic Pretty Candy Salopette Set Lucky Pack 2014 Angelic Pretty Candy Salopette Set Lucky Pack 2014 Angelic Pretty Candy Sprinkle

★ Candy Sprinkle サロペット Set (Candy Sprinkle Salopette Set) – ¥12,600
pink, lavender, black

  • Salopette
  • Cutsew
  • Socks
  • Baretta
  • Bag

Angelic Pretty Lucky Pack 2014 Dressy Doll Set

Angelic Pretty Lucky Pack 2014 Dressy Doll Set Angelic Pretty Lucky Pack 2014 Dressy Doll Set Angelic Pretty Lucky Pack 2014 Dressy Doll Set

★ おめかしDoll Set (Dressy Doll Set) – ¥10,500
pink, black

  • JSK
  • Blouse
  • Socks
  • Headbow
  • Bag

comingsoon

Coming Soon….

There is another set that has yet to be released. Last year, there was a brown Toy March set. I suspect this is probably a special edition cut or color of a release from this year as well.

Baby the Stars Shine Bright December 13th, 2013

Cherry Rose Jumper skirt SET Baby the Stars Shine Bright Lucky Pack 2014 Cherry Rose Jumper skirt SET Baby the Stars Shine Bright Lucky Pack 2014

137★2001 チェリーローズ柄ジャンパースカートセット (Cherry Rose Jumper skirt SET) – ¥19,740
pink, black (your choice of color!)

  • Jumper skirt
  • round collar blouse
  • ribbon headbow
  • over knee socks
  • synthetic leather bag
  • kuma kumya chan mini mini.

luckyset-baby

137★2002 BABY S/Sバラエティラッキーセット (BABY S/S Variety Lucky SET) – ¥10,290

Inside, you can find a Jumper skirt or a One piece and a blouse or a headdress, etc.4 or more items from the spring-summer season collections will be included. The items included in the lucky SETS are not chosen as coordinates, so please be sure to coordinate them with your favorite clothes.

In other words, this is four total items (or more if they give you really inexpensive accessory items), probably a dress and blouse + 2 smaller items, that are random, probably things that were on sale before and probably don’t match.

Dangerous Nude [source] – Available Now

Dangerous Nude Lucky Pack

Dangerous nude2014冬福袋 (Winter Bag from Kera Shop) – 18,060

Lucky bag containing tank top dress, petticoat, socks, and hair scrunchy, size M.

Emily Temple Cute [source] – January 1, 0:00 AM
Emily Temple Cute Lucky Pack

Emily Temple cute Online shop provides you the Happy Secret Bag! It’s a limited sale, 50 only, from Wednesday, January 1st 0:00 AM to Friday, January 3rd 11:59 PM. Price is 10,500 yen.

Happy Secret Bag is a variety of assortment. For example, it includes one piece, short pants, 3 skirts and 3 tops! If you have chance, you can find accessories, coat or bag in the Happy Secret Bag.

Ghost of Harlem [source] – Available Now!

Ghost of Harlem Lucky Pack

GHOST OF HARLEM2014冬福袋 (Winter Bag from Kera Shop) – 10,500

Lucky bag contains 50,000 yen worth of items based on original prices.

Contains tops and outerwear, mixed sizes.

Gloomy Bear x 汎用うさぎ/クマキカイ [source] – Available Now! – 5,250

Gloomy Winter Lucky Pack

グル-ミ-他キャラクター2014冬福袋 (Gloomy Kera Shop Winter Bag)

Lucky bag contains 12,000 yen worth of items based on original prices.
Contains items like tops and dresses, size M.

Innocent World [source – IW] [source – Kera Shop] – Available Now!

Innocent World Lucky Pack

2014 New Year Happy Set A – ¥31,500
Small, Medium or Large (Your choice, usually is the blouse size, not the clothing size)

IW Happy Pack A

Random item assortment, usually items which were previously on clearance sale. A sample assortment is shown above.

Innocent World Happy Pack B

2014 New Year Happy Set B – ¥52,500

Innocent World Happy Pack B

Random item assortment, usually items which were previously on clearance sale. A sample assortment is shown above. No size options.

Innocent World Happy Pack C

2014 New Year Happy Set B – ¥84,000

Innocent World Happy Pack C

Random item assortment, usually items which were previously on clearance sale. A sample assortment is shown above. No size options.

Innocent World Lucky pack

Innocent World2014冬福袋 (Kera Shop Winter Bag) – 15,750 円

Lucky bag contains 39,375 yen worth of items based on original prices.
An assortment which may contain JSKs, blouses, and accessories, size M.

Liz Lisa [source] – December 21

New Year lucky bag pre-sale in 2014 in Harajuku

リッチヴィンテージローズキャリー (Rich Vintage Rose Carry)  – ¥21.000
マイメロディコラボキャリー(My Melody collaboration Carry) – ¥26,250
ハートフルモノグラムトート(Heart full monogram tote) – ¥10,500
ハートフルモノグラムボストン(Heart full monogram Boston) – 【¥5,250
クラシカルリボントート(Classical Ribbon Tote) – ¥10,500
クラシカルリボンボストン(Classical ribbon Boston) – ¥5,250
Details / Images

Tralala~

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ハッピーハートバッグ(Happy Heart bag) – ¥10,500
※ 2 types: Sweet version or Casual version
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ハッピーデイジートート(Happy Daisy Tote) – ¥5,250
※ 2 types: Sweet version or Casual version

Penderie

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ドーリーストライプバッグ(Dawley stripe bag) – ¥10500
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ドーリークラシックバッグ(Dawley classic bag) – ¥5,250

LIZ LISA doll

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ブリリアントボストンバッグ(Brilliant Boston bag) – ¥10,500

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ブリリアントトートバッグ(Brilliant tote bag) – ¥5,250

Metamorphose [source] – Available Now

Metamorphose Lucky pack

10000080-samp3 10000080-samp2 10000080-sample 10000080-kinari 10000080-lavender 10000080-blacko
2013 Winter Lucky Pack – ¥10,500

Two options; Dark or Light.

Dark has a skirt that is a color like black, blue gray, bordeaux, wine.
Light has a skirt that is a color like off white, antique white, pink, lavender, camel.
Contents

  • full shirred waist skirt
  • blouse
  • socks
  • a few items such as hair accessory, accessary, original bag, and so on

Items in this bag are worth approximately 31,500 yen!!

You can choose the color of blouse only when you place Lucky Pack order by 15:00 on Dec. 20th, JST. (write your 1st choice; Black or Light Color in the comment section when you place an order)