I tend to like doing my shopping all in one place, so I decided to create three looks using items from three websites: Bodyline, Etsy and eBay. However, I didn't include postage in the totals and you must forgive my somewhat shoddy Photoshop jobs - low resolution editing and I are not on friendly terms.
When you think cheap lolita, you think Bodyline. Or maybe taobao, but I haven't ventured there yet so I'm going to stick with what I know. So naturally it was my go-to site for this challenge.
Because I have a thing for this Alice print, I decided to run with the skirt version - mostly because it's cheaper than the JSK. After grabbing shoes, socks and blouse I couldn't accessorise without going over the limit. However, though it's under the blouse in my picture the skirt actually comes with a detachable bow which could easily be made into a headbow if one used the few remaining dollars to buy a cheap headband and some glue. As the file was too small to photoshop easily, I sourced the headbow in the picture here.
When browsing Etsy I wasn't sure if there would be shoes within the budget, so that's what I started with. There were a surprising amount of adorable flats! When I saw these ones I figured it would be easy enough to put together a more casual sailor lolita outfit but I found after shoes, skirt and t-shirt there was little budget for accessories Plain white tights would have left enough for a headbow, but the octopus socks were such a great touch I couldn't not include them!
However, the lack of accessories for a sailor inspired outfit can be easily rectified - some navy ribbon, brass buttons and something to hot glue them to and you have instant hair clips, necklace pendant or a brooch. Easy!
This outfit was probably the simplest to put together. The hard part was choosing a cheap but nice dress - I'm fairly sure this one is actually Infanta, so it should be quite nice. After finding the ridiculously cheap shoes I thought I'd accesorise in a dark red to bring a bit more colour to the outfit. I love bargain hunting on eBay!
This was actually a really fun and interesting challenge. Looking back at those three outfits they are all very different and none of the parts are really interchangeable but I could have modified them all [maybe by using the same blouse and shoes, for example] and been able to put together a small and simple but workable lolita wardrobe for around $250. Ah, the joys of online shopping.
Want to see other people's take on this? Have a list of bloggers who participated in the first Lolita Blog Carnival challenge: