Quantifying Fashion - My Lolita Spreadsheets

During a quiet time at work, when I still had to come in, but had nothing to do, I started a variety of spreadsheets relating to lolita fashion. Why? Mostly because if you have MS Excel open, people assume you’re busy working. But also because spreadsheets can be a great tool to organise yourself. Once I started mentioning some of these to people, I was surprised by the positive response, so I thought I’d share what is it exactly that I have and do with them.

Tracking Wear

The most important spreadsheet in my collection is the one where I keep track of the last time I wore a particular item. It’s super simple to set up, since you only need two columns and a filter sorted from oldest to newest. I went the extra step and added a column for planning when I’ll wear something. It’s a very quick way of seeing which pieces haven’t been worn and motivating yourself to cycle through your wardrobe a little bit more thoroughly and consistently. When I see that something hasn’t been worn for a year or even longer, I try my best to wear it at the next meetup. It doesn‘t always work out, but once it’s flagged up, I do make more effort. It also helps you identify pieces that you don’t wear that often and allows the space to think what you’re going to do about it. At one point I might expand this one into a tracker of how many times I’ve worn certain pieces, but that is an exercise for when I’m very bored. The primary purpose of this spreadsheet is to remind me that I haven’t worn something in a while and maybe it’s time to whip it out.

I don't know how I'll make a winter coord with Diner Doll, but dammit, I will try!

Tracking Prices

This one doubles up as a tracker for all the pieces I’ve ever owned, including those I have since sold. It comprises of two tabs: one where I have all of the information and one where I track only how much I have spent in British Pounds. This second one was more a curiosity project, since I don’t always purchase in the same currency and you naturally start to wonder how much money you invested in this fashion given that we know it’s a luxury one. The former is actually very useful should I ever need to sell something. I keep it fairly detailed by tracking: the year I purchased an item; the year it was originally released; how much I bought it for; retail price; its value on the second hand market (where possible); and price I sold it for (where applicable). With the more recent purchases that I can track I input the currency I purchased it in and then add a note to say how much was that in GBP on that day, to feed into the second tab. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to track these things accurately, e.g. when a dress is not listed on Lolibrary or when it was a lucky pack release. However, as this is primarily for my information, it matters only that I know what the different things mean. And while I don’t sell a lot, it’s nice to already have this information ready if I decide to – takes away one big thing from listing things accurately.

Obviously, I went for as much info as possible - I just like keeping track of everything.

Organising Output

I stumbled upon this template by chance when I opened MS Excel 2016 at work one day. There is a template there called Any year calendar (1 month per tab) – which is essentially a planner. It’s very handy in that all the formulas to work out days of the week within a month in a year are pre-calculated, so all you need to do is fill it in. Since I began writing for Wunderwelt Libre, I started using that to organise all my blogging and later on added YouTube to this. Being able to see a month’s writing at once allows me to stay on top of it and write up some bits in advance and schedule them (like the Lolita Blog Carnival posts, for example). I also put in any important events there, so I can tentatively plan when I will write about them for Wunderwelt Libre and here without disrupting my schedule. Lastly, there are always times that are busier than others (e.g. Christmas) and times when I might be away on holiday, so being able to plan these in advance by seeing how many posts would normally fall in that time allows me at least the chance to schedule something.

This is probably the best template in MS Excel 2016. Shame it won't automatically go over into the new year.

Event Spreadsheets

If you’re organising an event that’s a bit more complex than a meetup, then it only makes sense to keep all the information in one place. For the 2018 Winter ILD I had a whole spreadsheet dedicated to it where I tracked everything: attendee list, expenditure, running order on the day and any announcements on the event page. Knowing how much money I have to spend on raffle prizes and how much will have to cover the costs is crucial in ensuring that I don’t overspend. And seeing as I successfully managed not to overspend on anything, we can safely say that the spreadsheet has done its job.

Simple formulas like this help you work out how much money you have to play with.

Level Up

Last but not least, the Lolita Level Up Quiz 3.0 I revamped at the beginning of last year is a downloadable spreadsheet that will auto-calculate your result. It was interesting, googling and testing the formula that would apply the correct category to the score ranges, though I wish I remembered any of it. Since the 3.0 version is so much longer than the 2.0 I felt I owe people at least the opportunity to not have to count all the answers themselves. If you haven’t done it yet, you can download the spreadsheet here or check this tab for a blog version (you’d have to count manually though). I still go back to my own copy and update it as I go along, tracking my slow but steady rise amongst the arbitrary lolita ranks.

My copy of this spreadsheet with my current rank. Literally one extra point and I'll level up!

Of course, along the way I have also created other spreadsheets, but many of these were either short lived or something that could’ve been done in another program. Early on, when trying to expand my builder pieces collection, I had one where I tracked all the complimentary colours for each print, so that I knew which colour was worth getting a blouse, socks and headpiece set in. And I had some for Tea Party Club events where I listed things I needed to pack, separated by day 1 coord, day 2 coord and regular clothes – which could’ve easily been done in MS Word or on paper. Like I said, spreadsheets just makes you look busy with something important and complex when you work in an office setting, so quite often they tend to be my go to canvas for random stuff.

Thank you for coming to my Ted talk. 

* Thumb image is "I Love Spreadsheets" by Craig Chew-Moulding, taken from Flickr.


  1. I too use a spreadsheet to keep track of my wardrobe. In addition to the dates it breaks it down by brand, type (JSK, OP, blouse, etc.), colorway, and so on. The filter feature is one of the handiest features - being able to quickly find by type and color. One of the scariest features is seeing how much money is invested and what portion is shipping & handling!

    Someday I'm planning on making a map showing where everything came from since the sheet also contains the country and city the item was shipped from. Kind of a modern GIS version instead of just a wall map in my room with pins on it. I think it will be fun to see how many places are there (e.g. I can think of 7 countries just off the top of my head).

    Thank you for this TED talk, I'm glad I attended, professor ��

    1. Wow, your spreadsheet sounds super detailed, I love it! It really would be interesting to see where your various pieces have been, best of luck with that map. And I'd rather not think about how much money I spent on shipping and handling, that's something I'd rather forget (even though it is kind of important to know once it comes to selling a piece if you want to recover some of that cost).


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