Saturday, October 2, 2010

♥ A Newbie's Guide to Lolita ♥ (lot's of great links!)

It seems as if I've been getting a few lolita interested readers, so I thought I might as well make another post for lolita. I'd also like to give a little intro on it, since many newbies tend to get mixed up between all the amazing fashion styles which Japan has to offer. ;D

First of all, I'm not an expert on lolita or anything, I'm just a girl who likes dressing up in this style. All of this is just based on my own knowledge. :) If I said anything incorrect, please note it to me so that I can change it!

Basically though, lolita is a style of Japanese fashion that is based on the Victorian era (you know, those fancy, poofy dresses and stuff). A typical lolita outfit might include a onepiece (OP) - an all around dress, jumperskirt (JSK) - basically an OP without sleeves, a skirt, a blouse or cutsew (casual top), headbow/headdress/hat, socks, shoes, and sometimes a parasol.

That doesn't mean lolita is a very limited fashion, because there are an infinite amount of prints, styles, or coordinates you could dress up in. After you understand the basic concept and have a fair amount of lolita / like lolita clothes, it becomes fun!


If you'd like to know more about the fashion, here are some useful links:

Best Loli Comm EVER - Basically THE community for lolita, where you can meet fellow lolitas, join an event, learn the fashion, diy + sewing, and anything else you want! (btw, I urge you to check out the memories section on the left side, it's amazing!)

Lolita Handbook (great if you want to delve more into the fashion)

Lolita Fashion (another great site)


Okay now, let's get to the fun part!

There are lots of different sub-styles in lolita (and more to come), but the most common/popular ones are sweet, classical, gothic, punk, deco, and wa lolita.

Sweet Lolita
Lots of pastels, frills, prints, and super cute! Totally my style!

Baby the Stars Shine Bright (my favorite brand ever!)
Angelic Pretty
MILK (great for casual loli)
mimo. (cutest bags ever!)

Classical Lolita
This is probably the closest to the traditional victorian clothing, this sub style has a very elegant feel. With lots of antique colors, more frills, and fanciness, this is one of my favorites!

Mary Magdadene
Innocent World
Juliette et Justine
Victorian Maiden
Angel Fish (cute + affordable indie brand I just found!)

Gothic Lolita
In my opinion, I think this style is the easiest to pull off for a first timer. If you're on a tight budget even some of the most common stores (target, f21, etc) can work for your outfit. Very dark and gothic, but still makes you look cute and pretty!

Moi Meme Moite
Atelier Pierrot
Suppurate System
Alice and the Pirates

Punk Lolita
Lots of tartans, reds, blacks, pinks, this is such a fun style!

Algonquins (not really lolita, but can work)
Alice and the Pirates

Deco Lolita
Another super fun sub style, you basically dress up in pastels, eye catching colors, and mix + match accessories. Feel free to go all out! Also one of my faves~

Q-Pot (also has a cute store in Hawaii, Ala Moana)
Strapya (lots of deco tools)
6% DokiDoki
Nile Perch (amazing handmade stuff)

Wa Lolita
A beautiful sub style if you're interested in more traditional aspects. :)
It's not as popular as the previous styles though, so you may have some trouble buying.

Qutie Frash (lots of cool asian elements!)
There aren't many brands made specially for wa-loli, but brands like meta and angelic pretty have a few pieces occasionally.
If you don't mind a bit cheaper quality, Bodyline offers a few great dresses!

A more mature elegant sub style with lots of blacks, whites, long skirts, frills and corsets!

Atelier Boz
Miho Matsuda
Mille Fleurs/Noirs

Hime Lolita
Hime is basically princess in Japanese. Although very similar to sweet lolita, hime loli has a more cute and elegant feel, with lots of tiaras, bows, pearls, jewels, and mega ruffles! :D

Jesus Diamante (actually a hime gyaru brand, but close enough)
Annie Antique (gorgeous antique style jewelry!)
Most popular brands like Babyssb and Angelic Pretty typically have a few hime pieces, so you won't have much trouble finding coordinates. ;)

Where to shop for Japanese brands:
Tokyo Rebel (I'm so lucky that they have an NYC Store!)
Kera Shop
CD Japan

For the Budget Lolitas:
Closet Child
Alice+Fururun (crazy cheap sales)
Anna House Fashion (Hong Kong Based)
Bodyline (great site for beginners, but just be aware that not everything is great quality. I always shop here though! xD)
Paris Kids
Candy Violet (sale going on right now!)

The great thing about lolita fashion though, is that even the most common stores can make room for your outfit. You just need to pick and choose what works or not, and still look great!

Overseas Brands
Forever 21
Betsey Johnson (not so cheap, but they have some nice sales!)
Gap (if you're small enough, the kids section is great!)
TaoBao Guide
Some etsy shops

Another option would be to also sew/start sewing. Believe me though, it's a really fun hobby and you can save a lot of $$ too!

Egl Loli Diy
Fabric Tales
Spoonflower (create your own print!)
Lace Heaven

For your inspiration needs:
Lolita Stock Photos
Flickr Lolita Fashion Group
Free Gothic Lolita Bible, Kera, Alice Deco, etc. scans

Also, a couple more things before I finish up the post.
Lolita is NOT Cosplay, nor is it in any way related to Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

Hope you enjoyed the post! :)


  1. Thought you might like to know-- Meta does some wa-loli items from time to time, and sometimes has kimono or yukata with loli prints.
    I think AP might do the same.

  2. While Angel Fish has some really cute stuff, it all seems to be stuff that misses the "Lolita" mark by just a hair. While the patterns are similar to classic, the shape and overall style identify with the Mori girl fashion.