Monday, 8 August 2016

Kawaii on a Budget

Hello! ♡
Buying lots of kawaii things can be really expensive, from clothes to stationery. Also, if you're buying directly from Japan, shipping costs can be high, depending on where you live- sometimes even higher than the cost of the item itself! However, being kawaii doesn't always have to be expensive. It takes time to build up your collection, and a lot of patience. So, how do you afford all those cute things, even when on a budget?
Note: I am not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned below

Thrifting is great for finding kawaii clothing! The thing about thrifting is that you never know exactly what you'll find, and often you have a chance of finding some kawaii treasures there. There is no guarantee that you'll find something every time, but perseverance is key here! Often, I have better luck finding something that would work for J-Fashion in a Thrift Store than at the mall. Also- thrifting is really cheap! Really, it depends on where you go, but usually you can grab some real treasures for a very cheap price. I found a pair of really pretty pastel pink jeans for only 50p, and a gorgeous light pink skirt for 50p somewhere else. However, not everything you find will fit in J-Fashion right away. If something catches your eye, think how you could modify it. A lace trim and a few bows here and there can really transform a piece! Don't overlook the kids' section either! Browse for anything with a cute fabric that you can use, or a cute print. Is there a kids' shirt with a really cute graphic? Cut it out and sew it on a plain shirt that fits you. When you can, go thrifting! Who knows what you might find. Thrifting is also good for getting items like plain cardigans, shirts, skirts etc.
What to look for when thrifting? I keep an eye out for the colour. As soon as I see a pastel colour, I take a closer look at the item and see if it could be modified, or I imagine it in a co-ord. If it works, I take it! I take a basket and put anything with potential in it. Then, when I'm done I look over everything again, and eventually put back a few things. It's also helpful to have a list of things you'd like, as you will know exactly what to look for and won't waste time.
This top is really cute and could be worked into Fairy Kei and perhaps Sweet Lolita. I was thinking of modifying it a bit, perhaps by replacing the little bow with a larger bow, and maybe adding ribbons at the collar (the collar is a bit wider than it looks) that cross over at the neck and tie at the back.

I really, really love this skirt. The colour is perfect! It's great for Fairy Kei, for both OTT and more casual co-ords.

~Local Stores~
This is more expensive than thrifting, but by browsing at local stores such as H&M or Primark you have a chance of finding something really cute! This applies to clothing, and other things such as stationery. H&M sometimes collaborates with Sanrio I believe, so keep an eye out on their collections. Last year, they had a collection inspired by J-Fashion, and some of the pieces were good for Fairy Kei! It's worth walking into H&M to see if there is anything that has potential.
Primark is good for cute accessories, and some cute clothes too. Primark is also very inexpensive! I saw these unicorn shorts on the Primark website, and I think they could be worked into a kawaii outfit!
Sinsay is good too, especially for accessories. It's very affordable, and has some really cute clothes and accessories. Sinsay has stores in Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia and Czech Republic. Sadly, I don't think their website offers shipping worldwide. Some cute items I found on their website include these adorable pens, this mug which reminds me of Rilakkuma, this cute tee and also this one!
New Look also has some pretty cute things, such as these cute socks or this umbrella.
Claire's is really good for cute accessories! I've seen some Fairy Kei wardrobe posts before and I've seen some people who got nice Fairy Kei tutus at Claire's. Some of the cutest items I found on their website include this coin purse, those hair bows, this makeup bag and those erasers.
Other stores where I spotted some cute clothes include Terranova, C&A, Bershka, Zara and even New Yorker.
As for things such as stationery and cute lifestyle things, look in WHSmith or Empik. WHSmith has some really cute pencil cases, such as this one and this one. Also, they stock Japanese Iwako erasers, they come in lots of adorable shapes! They also have some cute notebooks and pens, such as this notebook. WHSmith is great for finding cute stationery, and I've seen some adorable bags and lunchboxes there, too (see this lunch bag).
Empik has stores in Poland, and it's similar to WHSmith, but of course with different products. I've seen lots of really cute notebooks there, and I believe they also stock Iwako erasers (I bought some from there quite recently). Some of the bags, cups and lunchboxes are really cute, and I've also seen some other little things. Empik is good for cute stationery, and a few other lifestyle things.
It will take time to build your collection, and sometimes you will find things, sometimes you won't. There are lots of adorable things hiding out in local stores, and they usually aren't more expensive than regular items! You just have to look and take your time. When you see something cute that you like and it's for a good price, buy it and your collection will build up over time.
 So, plan a trip to the mall or high street and see if you can find any kawaii treasures!
I found this bow at the mall, at a little accessory store. 
I bought those badges at WHSmith. I use them to enhance a Fairy Kei co-ord when I think it's too plain.

A sewing machine is a really good investment! You can make plenty of beautiful clothes with one. It can be used for adding a lace trim or to make beautiful clothes from scratch, once you have the experience. With a sewing machine, you also have complete control of every detail of the clothes you make. You can turn a plain pink T-Shirt into something really adorable! Some lace and a few bows and ribbons can make a huge difference. A tutu costs £40? Buy some tulle, which is pretty cheap, and make your own! There is even a no-sew way of making them. Even with a sewing machine, they're not that hard to make, as long as you know how to make a circle skirt. Polymer clay can be used to make all sorts of cute things, such as charms and jewelry. I have a few charms that I made that I add to necklaces and bracelets, and I switch it up sometimes. When one of my Fairy Kei co-ords is more plain than I expected, a necklace and some bracelets can make a big difference! Apart from that, there are many other ways to make your own kawaii items. You can customise things you already have- for instance, you can use transfer paper to add a cute graphic to an otherwise plain shirt. You can make lots of things cuter by adding a few modifications, and lots of things can be made from scratch. For instance, a few cute stickers added to a plain pink calculator will make it much cuter than it already is, and a light pink fabric with polka dots can be turned into an adorable skirt using a sewing machine and some skills.

~General Tips~
A few more tips for staying kawaii on a budget...
  • It's okay to splurge on something more expensive sometimes, like an expensive brand item from Japan. 
  • See what you already have! Chances are, you already have quite a few cute things, that are either fine as they are, or could be modified a bit. Look through what you have, because you might be pleasantly surprised!
  • Take advantage of sales. When there are sales at local stores, plan a trip to the mall and go on a hunt for kawaii items, you never know what you'll find! 
  • Also, keep an eye out for sales or offers at online stores too!
  • Keep building your collection. Look for items in cute colours or with potential, and it will accumulate! 
Hopefully, if you are on a budget this post will help you to keep building your collection, those are the methods that have worked for me and hopefully, they will work for you too!

 Have a lovely day!

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