I've been a part of the EGL Lifestyle for about 6 years now, and I wanted to share some things that might help those of you that have interest in the fashion.
I'm sure some of you know this stuff/have heard it, but I'd like to cover some of it anyway ...
One of the first, most in-depth, websites I always point people toward is: Welcome to LolitaFashion.org - for Lolitas of All Styles
Seriously, if you haven't checked it out - I highly recommend that you do so before you do anything else. Particularly the articles on: Lolita Styles, Anatomy of the Outfit, Styles of Dresses, Lolita on a Budget, and Cosplay to Elegant in 7 steps.
While I'm not a fan of most Indie Shops - some, like * QutieLand * are very good quality (and do Bespoke orders for a lot of their stock if needed). I've bought shoes, petti's, and a JSK/bonnet set from them before as a bespoke order and it fits like a dream.
If you are handy with a sewing machine or know how to sew (or would like to learn) - you can always make your own too! That's how I learned to sew. In fact, I'll share a pic of one of my coordinates:
Everything that I'm wearing - I either made or modified myself with the exception of the boots and ponytail extension clips I used for the pigtails.
For reading, see the following:
Gothic & Lolita Bible Volume 1: Various: 9781427803474: Amazon.com: Books
The Gothic Lolita Bible Mooks (There are 5 volumes)
Unless you are fluent in reading Japanese, most of it is an 'OOH SHINY' kind of visual reference. However: A) Visual inspiration is always important and B) Who doesn't like looking at frilly dresses?! (seriously. RUFFLES! )
Gothic and Lolita:
Gothic and Lolita: Masayuki Yoshinaga, Katsuhiko Ishikawa: 9780714847856: Amazon.com: Books
This is a coffee table type of book, though from what I've seen on the (sadly rare) occasion that I was able to look at it - it tends to have more pictures of the sub-sets of the fashion. Such as punk, cyber and goth.
Kamikaze Girls (Novel):
Kamikaze Girls: Novala Takemoto, Masumi Washington: 9781421513959: Amazon.com: Books
The (In my humble opinion) quintessential EGL lightnovel. The cover of the English-language book shows the actresses from the movie (see below), because it was released in the US after the movie - but it is the original story and is varied from the film.
Kamikaze Girls (Film):
Amazon.com: Kamikaze Girls: Ky˘ko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Sadao Abe, Eiko Koike, Shin Yazawa, Hirotar˘ Honda, Kirin Kiki, YosiYosi Arakawa, Katsuhisa Namase, Ry˘ko Shinohara, Yoshinori Okada, Tetsuya Nakashima, Arimasa Okada, Kazuya
Hands down, one of my most ABSOLUTE favorite films that I own. Not to mention one of the few that I don't mind the subtitles. (The track is ONLY in Japanese with English Subs - unless you want to watched without Subtitles in the native language.) It's very quirky, kind of off-the-wall yet very endearing and touching. Not to mention hilarious. A movie that everyone should at least watch once in their lives. Even if they don't like frills.
Kamikaze Girls (Manga):
Kamikaze Girls (Manga): Novala Takemoto, Yukio Kanesata: 9781421502687: Amazon.com: Books
Yet another, different, adaptation (and equally awesome) version of the original story by Novala Takemoto.
Alrighty...well...I think I've rambled enough for now! If anyone has any questions or anything - please don't hesitate to ask at ANY TIME. I'd love to help in any way I can. However, please bear in mind that at this time - I'm still under that one-week waiting thing...so I won't be able to answer PMs or VMs until that is complete. Feel free to post questions here though - there may be others with the same or similar situations, and if I can help more than one person - I'd love to.