If you've ever traveled with Lolita, you know how much space it can take up. To help you pack more efficiently, I've created this handy guide for you.
This isn't a "How To Pack 101", but more of an add-on to all the other general packing tips out there.
I have two categories of tips for you: planning & packing.
Step One: Planning
Planning is important because you are limited by what you can fit into your suitcase and how much weight your airline allows you to bring. Planning how to consolidate accessories and clothing pieces to maximize coordination ability with limited space/weight is tricky.
The first step for planning out what you'll bring is why you are bringing Lolita. Figuring this out will help you decide what you can leave at home and buy there, how many unique coordinates you can bring, and how you will pack everything.
For example, if you were going on a three week trip to Japan and plan on shopping, I would suggest bringing only a few outfits with little accessories. You'll probably want to buy a lot there, so you can add to your potential wardrobe choices throughout the trip. You will also want to think of coordinates that use the same main pieces with different socks/accessories and the same one or two pairs of shoes. This minimizes how much you'll need to lug around.
Now think of another example: a Lolita convention for a weekend. Because you'll only need 2-4 Lolita outfits, you can pack more unique coordinates. I would still recommend bringing only one or two pairs of shoes (sans what you'll wear to the airport/in the hotel), but you have more freedom with accessories.
2. Choose one or two colors that will match everything. If you try to use too many colors, you will double up on things you could have reduced to one or two pairs. It is difficult for me to explain, but take a look at the photo again. You can see that I made sure everything could be matched to black shoes and ivory blouses. The burgundy velvet jacket can also match most dresses. Because I limited my color palette, I easily found just a few socks and headpieces in those colors.
3. Decide which pieces you are willing to lose. This seems strange, but trust me. If you are bringing plain socks or tights that you can easily replace, put those in your checked-in bag. If you are bringing an Angelic Pretty dress you just bought, put it in your carry-on. Even if you have insurance, some things are too expensive to risk losing.
Step Two: PackingHere are two different packing methods that I find to be good for packing Lolita. Which one you use depends on personal preference and the type of trip you are going on.
1. The first method is to stack everything together and roll it up. This is a method that has gotten popular on the internet for any kind of packing because it is supposed to save space and keep your clothes from wrinkling or getting fold lines.
There isn't a general rule for what order to stack the clothes in, but I recommend placing a sturdy piece down first and last. Like a sturdy-delicate-sturdy sandwich! This helps protect your more delicate chiffon and thin cotton pieces.
Before you roll everything up, make sure all sleeves are folded in neatly so you have a nice, tight roll of clothes to place in your suitcase.
This method is helpful when you have a lengthy trip with many different potential coordinates. It is also useful if you want to store brand items in a carry-on dufflebag, because you can place valuables in the middle of the roll and the roll keeps the shape of the dufflebag.
There are also two different ways you can pack your petticoats.
The photo below shows the first method of using your petticoat as a liner, which fills up unused space. You can either lay it under your clothes or over (it won't really matter since your suitcase will be upright most of the time). The downside to this method is that you might flatten your petti.
The other method is to stuff your petticoat into a plastic bag and squeeze out the air. Once you open up the bag, POOF.
If you have any other little tricks and tips, leave them in a comment below!