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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❥❧ Facebook: Cosplay and Fashion

❥❧ Instagram: PearlPeony and AliceinLolitaland

❥❧ Tumblr: Personal and Fashion

❥❧ Twitter: TreizeMacarons

❥❧ Youtube: Alice in Lolitaland

❥❧ WorldCosplay: Xiao

❀ For inquiries, contact me at: missxiaorawr@gmail.com ❀

 

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Blippo: Kawaii Items!

Blippo is a webstore full of super cute items! They sell adorable purses, kawaii accessories, cute Japanese stationery, candy, plushies, magazines, and more! Blippo sent me a mystery package to review, and the items inside the package were all pleasant surprises.

The package arrived in a sturdy cardboard box:

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Look at that cute kitty and heart that Blippo drew! ❤ The package never got stuck in customs, yay!

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The package had plenty of fillers inside to cushion and protect their products. Blippo sent me the following items:

1) Jewel Checkered Seal Phone Sticker

2) Kawaii Animals Ceramic Mug

3) Strawberry Hairpins

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These are all new, unused items. The ceramic mug was wrapped in bubble wrap within its original box, so there were no damages at all. The mug I got was a cute piglet one!

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I love how the ears are on the inside of the mug. It’s very unique and adorable, and of course, useful! Here are some more views of this kawaii mug:

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Here is a closer-up photo for the strawberry hairpins:

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The quality of all these items are great. I can’t wait to wear the cute Strawberry Hairpins and use the Mug for my tea on campus. You can see what the hairpins look like with flash and without flash in the comparison photo below:

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To use the Jewel Checkered Seal Phone Sticker, you just cut the sheet into sections that you want to use. Clean the surface you want to place the stickers on, let the surface dry, and then you can stick the jewels on! Here is what I did with the sheet of stickers:

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I kept most of the sticker sheet intact for the large chunk on the back of my phone case, and as for the sections I cut off, I placed two small squares on my phone and other small bits on my iPod case. The stickers also come in different colors (Clear, Blue, Pink, and Purple) on Blippo‘s website! They even have a huge Decoden section if you want to look for supplies to make cute decoden phone cases and other crafts.

I also have an upcoming surprise for you all… But I can’t tell you what it is yet. Maybe it will be revealed in my next blog post…? We’ll see! For now, please check out Blippo; they have so many cute things to offer!

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~Connect with me~

↪Facebook: Cosplay and Fashion

↪Instagram: PearlPeony

↪WordPress: Alice in Lolitaland

↪Tumblr: Personal and Fashion

↪WorldCosplay: Xiao

↪Storenvy: TreizeMacarons

❀ For sponsor inquiries, please contact me at: missxiaorawr@gmail.com ❀

The Wonderful World of MBOK

You can find some great deals on Mbok! Mbok is a Japanese online auction site that has a wide variety of items. There are lots of great J-Fashion (including lolita!) items there: you can find dresses, shirts, skirts, pants, jewelry, hair accessories, bags, novelties, and more. If you are not a resident of Japan, you need to use a shopping service to bid on Mbok items. The shopping service I used is Japonica, but there are other shopping services out there.

Searching for specific items on Mbok can be time-consuming, since you have to scroll through different pages, but it is pretty easy to find good deals on brand (and offbrand) items.

I would recommend using the Google Translate extension if you have the Google Chrome web browser. If you do not have Chrome, copying and pasting the Mbok URL into Google Translate works too. Google Translate is not perfect, but it works well enough to help with Mbok navigation.

Check out Mbok’s Alternative/Punk section for lots of lolita items! This is where you will find Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, h.NAOTO, Emily Temple Cute, Jane Marple, and more. This section houses lolita, gothic, punk, and other alternative styles.

You can also search for items from a specific brand on Mbok by looking at the brand category. Here are some great links to lolita brand items on Mbok:

Innocent World

Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Angelic Pretty

Metamorphose

Putumayo

Here are links to some great brands that may carry loliable items on Mbok:

Axes Femme – This brand has great cutsews and cute blouses! There are some nice skirts, JSKs, and OPs too (but not all items will accommodate a petticoat). An Axes Femme item was one of my first Mbok purchases!

Liz Lisa – This is a popular Gyaru brand that has some loliable blouses, cardigans, and cutsews.

Tralala – I’m not too familiar with Tralala, but it is one of Liz Lisa’s sister brands. You may be able to find loliable stuff here too!

Jesus Diamante – I’m not too familiar with this brand either, but it’s a popular Hime Gyaru brand and I’ve seen lots of cute loliable coats from them! They also have really cute parkas/sweatshirts.

If you are interested in Gyaru fashion, check out the whole Mbok 109/GAL section. I have not extensively explored this section yet, but there are tons of brands and lots of cute and cool clothes!

If you want to use Mbok’s search feature, here are a few terms you can try:

ロリータ or ロリィタ-  Lolita

姫  –  Princess (Hime)

ワンピース – One Piece (OP)

福袋 – Lucky Pack (Fukubukuro)

Find many more helpful search terms from this EGL post by Kyomu.

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know! I am not an expert, but I can try my best to answer your questions. I hope someone finds this post helpful!

Have fun browsing and shopping~!