Hi friends! <3
One of the most difficult things when starting out in lolita, is building up a wardrobe. It generally takes years of saving, searching, and much trial and error. Along the way, you learn and grow. But what do you do once you have a fairly decent wardrobe established? That's where the maintenance part comes in.
Maintenance is important. It should be done periodically and to different degrees. Depending on ones wardrobe, it may take a few minutes to an hour or more. Here are some tips.
It shouldn't have to be said, but please wash your clothes. This can be done either by machine or by hand. I recommend checking the inner tag for specific directions. There are places online that can translate the little symbols. Test cleaners on an unnoticeable area of the garment to see if colors run or prints bleed. Use a gentle detergent. Small items can be hand washed in a sink, while dresses can go in the tub or a large bucket. Lay heavy items like dresses flat to dry (on towels) to prevent placing extra strain/pulling on the straps. I like to place my otks and blouses in little netted bags in the wash machine on low delicate cycle with cold water, then remove promptly and hang to air dry.
Sometimes accidents can happen, or just after repeated wearings your items become damaged and need some extra attention. Lace may tear, buttons may fall off, necklaces may break, etc. Take out your repair/sewing kit and find a cozy seat with good lighting. I got a blouse from a thrift store that had a button pop off while trying it on. Luckily I found the button and can stitch it right back on.
It's great to have a wardrobe, but it's not good to have to hunt for an item when coording. Everything should have a proper place and be relatively easy to find. Clothes hung up in the closet, shoes lined up on a rack, and accessories sorted neatly into little containers. And once you're done with something, it should be put back. I like to use these boxes with the dividers to keep my necklaces from tangling up.
Small wardrobes grow into larger wardrobes that can get out of hand or be overwhelming. This is especially true for those who have been in the fashion for a long time. You tend to acquire a lot. But you don't always need to keep everything. Look closer at what you have. Items that don't fit, have unflattering cuts or colors, regretful impulse buys, things that don't match anything, are unworn or rarely worn should be set aside. Consider putting them up for sale. It may be difficult, but your wardrobe (and you) will be better off in the long run. Doing this can also help you realize areas where you may be lacking. Funds earned from sales can be put towards a much needed item or even a dream dress.
I hope these tips were helpful :-)
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