How to Identify Lolita Clothing

Mar 15, 2018


Have you ever see a dress you fell in love at first site with, but you don't know where it's from or where to begin looking for it? Fortunately, lolita fashion enthusiasts are really dedicated in preserving the fashion's history. This guide was written for the What is That Dress? (Lolita Fashion) group, but it can be used for all types of clothing and styles other than lolita. Other fashion styles may not be as well documented though. Follow these steps to start your search!

How to Find The Dress

  1. Search Lolibrary.
    Lolibrary is able to item names in their native languages. For example, if the time is from a Japanese brand, then the Japanese name can usually be searched.
  2. Use Google's reverse image search.
    Taobao has its own reverse image search: [GUIDE] Using Image Search on Taobao.
  3. Google Translate the item listing.
  4. Ask the owner/seller/person wearing the item if possible.
  5. If you know the brand, check their blogs and social media. Wayback Machine can be used to view old instances of websites.
    • On Google, you can use "site: ____.com keywords" to narrow down results.
    • Japanese brands will list the blogs on their main site. They usually have a blog for each separate physical shop. Blogs are usually on Ameblo, FC2, or Yaplog.
    • Chinese brands use Weibo.
    • Western brands usually use Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr.
  6. Check printed publications if possible.
    It's a little easier if you have the physical copies, but if you don't various scans can be found at Lolita History and other magazine scanning sites. The most comprehensive books would be the Gothic & Lolita Bible and the specific brand's catalogues. KERA and other magazines are also helpful, but will require more searching. 
  7. If you have the name, but no stock image, other sites to check are Flickr, Photobucket, and Polyvore.

Requesting Help

If you still can't find the item, here are some tips for requesting help in the group.
  • Upload front and back pictures if possible.
  • Provide as much information as possible. The more specific you are, the more helpful it is.
    • When did you buy it?
    • Did you buy it secondhand?
    • What material is it?
    • Does it have any distinguishing features not apparent in photos?
    • Can you describe the elements in the print?
  • Link to the listing if possible.
  • If the item still has tags, snap a picture. Japanese brand tags usually include a product number on them.
  • Innocent World and Moi Meme Moitie items have item numbers printed on their care tags. 
  • Angelic Pretty tags used several different tags over time and they can be used to identify the general time period the item was released. Check out RaineDragon's Brand Tags post for specifics. 

If you've successfully identified the item, congratulations! Please consider adding it to Lolibrary yourself or you can provide the information to a Lolibrarian to add it for you. Lolibrary a non-profit organization that is always recruiting volunteer contributors. If you'd like to help with preserving lolita fashion history, please consider making a donation!

No comments:

Post a Comment