Lolita Fashion on Taobao (Part 1)

Hey everyone! One of my friends recently got into lolita fashion and wanted a guide to affordable lolita items. I still have my MBOK guide up, I wrote up my first experience with Taobao, and I wrote a post for a Lolita Blog Carnival prompt about Favorite Taobao Shops & Pieces, but I never created a guide to great places to get lolita items on Taobao.

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So, what is Taobao?

Taobao is like a Chinese eBay or Amazon. There are tons of different stores and sellers!

Since the pricing is all in Chinese Renminbi (also known as Chinese Yuan), you’ll need to check conversion rates to see how much it’ll cost in your own currency. Definitely keep in mind shipping fees and shopping service fees, if you choose to use a shopping service. I heard there’s a way you can purchase from Taobao directly now and have them forward packages to you, but I’m still most comfortable with a shopping service since they can help answer my questions about products and give me peace of mind.

In my own experience, I’ve purchased clothes (lolita as well as non-lolita), shoes, wigs, false lashes, cosplays, and accessories from Taobao. I’ve also purchased a bag from Taobao too (my beloved Japanese-style school bag that was my go-to convention bag for over a year)!

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Wig from Taobao (fashion wig I used for my Sara Crispino [Yuri on Ice] cosplay)

Taobao is a lot of fun to browse, but can get overwhelming. I’ve definitely spent way too much time browsing Taobao… For example, being on Taobao and looking at all the things I want to add to my wishlist, and then I glance at the clock and wonder how the heck it is already past 2am?!

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Wig from Taobao (photo by theamazingknight)

Another thing that took a lot of time to figure out is… navigating! I speak Teochew/Chao Zhou, but not Mandarin (and I never learned how to read or write Chinese; I only know how to read numbers and a few characters). It was really difficult at first and I literally put things through Google Translate. Of course, Google Translate only works so far (like how it translates “product” as “baby” since the character for “precious item” is also “baby,” and products are listed as such). And Google Translate does not work on text within images. Most of the time, sizing is displayed in an image, so here are some sizing-related translations to help (Chinese (simplified) is on the left, and English is on the right):

  • 尺码 — sizing
  • 高 — height
  • 胸 — bust/chest
  • 腰 — waist
  • 臀 — hips
  • 长 — length
  • 宽 — width
  • 围 — circumference
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Skirt from SurfaceSpell

Something else that confused me when I first browsed Taobao was the number of “deposit” or “reservation” items there were. I didn’t realize this meant they weren’t currently in stock. 定金 (deposit) and 预约 and 预定 (reservation) mean you have to pay a deposit to be able to eventually get the item. From my understanding, you need to purchase the item from the reservation page before you’ll be able to purchase the item on the 尾款 (post-reservation, I guess? the actual item) page. I’ve never purchased something from Taobao that was a reservation since I was always paranoid about not paying the shopping service in time for the post-reservation item page. If anyone has experience with reservation items on Taobao, let me know! I’m curious to hear what the actual process is like. I remember once I tried to buy an item from the 尾款 page and my shopping service said I can’t since I didn’t participate in the reservation.

Here are some useful terms you can use while searching for clothing and accessory items relevant to lolita fashion on Taobao:

  • Dress (OP): 连衣裙
  • JSK: 無袖洋裝
  • Salopette: 背心裙 or 背带裙
  • Skirt:  裙 or 裙子 or 半身裙
  • Blouse: 衬衫 or 女衬衫
  • Petticoat: 襯裙
  • Bloomers:安全裤 or 南瓜裤 or 燈籠褲 or 灯笼裤
  • Cardigan: 小外套
  • Bolero: 短外套
  • Capelet/short cloak: 短斗篷
  • Lolita shoes:  洋装鞋
  • Round headdress: 丸 型发饰
  • Bonnet: 系带帽子
  • Gothic headdress (usually with veils!): 哥特头饰
  • Flower crown: 花环 头饰
  • Beret: 贝雷帽
  • Straw hat:  草帽
  • Lace socks: 复古蕾丝短袜
  • Lace gloves: 蕾丝手套
  • Wrist cuffs: 蕾丝手镯
  • Parasol: 洋傘

When I search, I also add in “lolita” sometimes to see what shows up.

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Cutsew from Dear Celine

Here are some style terms that were fun to use for Taobao searches too:

  • Gothic: 哥特
  • Victorian: 維多利亞
  • Rococo: 洛可可
  • Country: 田园
  • Punk: 朋克
  • Steampunk: 蒸汽朋克
  • Retro/Vintage: 复古
  • Sailor:  水手服
  • Floral: 碎花
  • Oil painting style (those classical painting prints!): 油画风
  • Lace: 蕾丝
  • Tartan/Plaid: 苏格兰格子
  • Cross/Crucifix: 十字架 粉

If anyone wants stuff added to this list, just let me know! I’m happy to update this. Over the years, everything I learned about Taobao were from a trial and error through Google Translate and Chinese dictionaries, lurking on LiveJournal, reading blogs, and browsing Taobao-related things on Tumblr. I did pop over to CGL on 4Chan for a bit to see if I could learn about Taobao but 4Chan really scares me and the posting format confuses me so I spent barely any time on there.

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One of my fave purchases from Taobao: a JSK from Chess Story!

I will definitely write another guide after this one, so stay tuned! My next one will be simple: a list of my favorite Taobao shops that are relevant to lolita. I’ll note if I’ve purchased from them before, or not yet. Stay tuned!

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KCON NY 2017

This was my second time attending KCON (I should probably write a throwback post about my first time…), and again, I attended for only one day. The difference here is I attended in 2016 for Friday only, but this year, I only went on Saturday. I knew I wanted to go on Saturday because TWICE was performing that night and that’s the group I was at the con for. My friend Ashley went on Saturday too, and she was there for NCT 127, so it worked out. We got to sit next to each other at the concert as well!

Photo taken by Brian Ngai

For the actual con, we got there pretty late (in the afternoon). I’m not sure how bad the lines were in the morning, but for us, the lines weren’t too long of a wait. The only problem we encountered was trying to find the area where we could pick up our wristbands (which are like badges for entry). The wristbands were really secure, so no worries about losing your “badge!”

During the con, it was fun learning some of Twice’s Signal dance at the dance workshop area. Signal was stuck in my head basically all day… but I didn’t mind at all. It’s such a cute and catchy song (and all the hearts in the dance are too adorable)! Ashley and I also got to sample yummy Korean snacks and beverages in the K-Food section.

 

We also browsed the K-beauty vendors (I didn’t buy anything, but I did get some free samples). The Innisfree booth was pretty generous with samples, and there was also a claw machine you could play to try to win full-size products. Claw machines were definitely a trend, since I also saw (a gigantic) one at the Toyota booth.

 

Photo taken by Brian Ngai

For lunch (or I guess “linner” since we ate lunch at like 4pm), we got food from the food trucks. I had fried dumplings, a Korean fusion taco thingy, and a refreshing yuzu fruity iced tea. Afterwards, I couldn’t resist getting a butterfly pea flower bubble tea with lychee jelly. Everything was delicious (although pricey).

Before sharing my concert experience, I might as well share my outfit rundown (even though it isn’t j-fashion):

 

 

  • Flower crown headband: a gift from my friend Arien
  • Earrings: purchased from KCON 2016!
  • Choker: Icing
  • Top: Offbrand (literally picked up from a random street vendor near where I live)
  • Shorts: Delia’s (got this forever ago, when there was a Delia’s store in the mall I used to go to in New Hampshire with my family)
  • Bracelet: Icing
  • Socks: Offbrand
  • Sneakers: Nike

Waiting in line for the concert felt like waiting forever (especially in the heat), but Ashley and I made some new friends. It’s cool how Kpop brings strangers together! We chatted about Kpop, but also about anime and travel among other things. Once we got inside the concert venue, I could really feel the excited energy from everyone there.
The concert itself was amazing! Even though I was only there for Twice, all the performances were impressive and I had fun watching all of the guests.


I zoomed in with my phone and recorded lots of snippets during the concerts (and sometimes watched through my phone to see somewhat better). I was grateful to the screens at the back so I could see close-ups and such!

I freaked out when Twice had their special stage! They covered one of my favorite Miss A songs, Bad Girl Good Girl. Click here to check out my fancam! I recorded a ton of fancams even though I was sitting really far from the stage. My iPhone did a fairly good job at zooming in!

There was SO MUCH CONFETTI AND STREAMERS at this concert. I feel bad for whoever has to clean up the venue afterwards… Even though I sat way up in the area for cheaper seats, confetti still managed to land around me.

When I left the concert, I even found some of the small pieces of confetti in my KCON bag.

If you followed me on Twitter during KCON, you would have seen me live-tweeting throughout the concert. After the concert ended, I stuck around a bit to snag the following photo:

Last but not least, here’s my loot from KCON 2017:

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Most of the stuff was free, which is definitely a plus! Not pictured is a free baseball cap I got from AT&T which had the finger heart gesture on the front (and cool silvertone rings on the side of the brim). I forgot to include it in my haul photo since I was wearing it on this day and it totally slipped my mind. Fun fact: I first discovered the finger heart gesture on V App!

Here are the cosmetic samples I got from Innisfree:


I haven’t had the chance to try any of them yet, but I look forward to checking them out! Right now, the sunblock I’m using on my face is from Innisfree. Have any of you guys tried Innisfree products?

If you went to KCON 2017, I’d love to hear your experience! Feel free to share via comments.
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B.A.P: PARTY BABY 

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I went to my second K-Pop concert recently! My first one was Friday night of KCON 2016. The concert I went to recently was none other than B.A.P’s PARTY BABY: NYC Boom~! It was an amazing event, although I spent the bulk of my time waiting in line. I didn’t realize it was a standing venue until I was already en route to the concert… (I should have worn my regular sneakers instead of my wedge sneakers… Oh well.) Here are mirror selfies of my outfit:

Fun fact: The cat ear headband and wedge sneakers were the same ones I wore to my first concert.

For this B.A.P world tour, there were dress code options set by each of the members.

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It ended up being Himchan’s night~! For my outfit, I was trying to fit the ROSE theme as well as the SEXY & SPECIAL one.

They had a “bar” set up, and it was really cute. Himchan took his time selecting the winner, and the other members kept urging him to hurry up! The SEXY & SPECIAL girl Himchan picked was someone with really pretty pink hair (and a cool handbag!). The girl got to go on the stage and hang out with the members a bit at the “BABYz LOUNGE,” pictured above.

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I met so many cool people in the line outside the concert! I even snagged a $1 light stick that a fan was selling. She made a ton of light sticks out of foam, and they were really light and easy to carry, and they also lit up green! There were also tons of freebies being passed around: fan signs, cards, and more.

It was amazing seeing all the Matoki light sticks in the crowd! Look at all the green bunnies~!

Unfortunately, all my photos are really blurry since I was really far away; I bought the cheapest ticket. I used my phone camera on maximum zoom to capture most of these. The only song I captured on video in its entirety was Wake Me Up since my arms were too tired to hold up my phone above other people’s heads for other songs (although I did catch snippets).
Watch my fancam of B.A.P’s Wake Me Up performance!

You can also check out my fancam of Feel So Good. I might upload more fancams later!

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My bias in B.A.P has been Zelo ever since their debut. I was sad they didn’t perform debut songs like Warrior or Power, but B.A.P has so many amazing songs, so it makes sense they can’t perform everything. My favorite performance was definitely the Wake Me Up one! This concert was also the first time I heard Zelo’s solo song. It was really pretty! I also thought all their outfits were on point!

And of course, I need to do a rundown of my own outfit… It was my first time wearing this MARS set out! The last time I wore it was literally just in my dorm room at college.

Here’s a coord rundown of my outfit for the concert:

  • Headband: Forever 21
  • Necklace: Vintage
  • Earrings: Claire’s
  • Top & Skirt: MARS
  • Tights: Offbrand
  • Wedge Sneakers: Guess

 

If you were at the concert, please share your experience too! I’d love to hear about the B.A.P concerts in other cities too.

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