Friday, 19 September 2014

♥ Lolita Fashion: A Beginner's Guide - Part Three/FINAL ♥

This is the third and final part of the Lolita Fashion Beginner's Guide. I've created this to have a short, but in depth guide to help new members of my local comm, as well as others new to lolita fashion that may have a use for it. For part one, see here.

In this section of the guide, I will go into detail on how to purchase lolita fashion online, some recommended stores and scam sites / scammers to avoid.


Buying Lolita Pieces - Scams & Replicas

[ Source: Lolita-Tips | Original Source: EGL ]

There are a lot of lolita scammers out there, so you must be careful. There are many different websites that are notorious for being scam websites, the worst being Milanoo. These websites often sell lolita at “too good to be true” prices and feature stolen pictures from other lolita companies. Quite often they will send out low quality and/or damaged items and sometimes even don’t send out the items at all!

Please keep yourself educated and well informed on these websites. You can learn more about Milanoo, their scams and see a list of scam sites here.

As well, please try to avoid buying lolita from eBay and Aliexpress. While some of the stores are safe, they are also filled with scam stores featuring stolen photos and replica sales. There are exceptions buying from eBay, of course, as sometimes used lolita items are sold there safely.

Many lolita stores online sell copies or “replicas” of items created by lolita brands. These items can included dresses, blouses, shoes, purses and more. These items are usually only made when the real items are no longer made or are in high demand. In most situations these are acceptable, though opinions on replicas vary in the community.

A very important thing to keep aware of are print replicas. Many stores create their own copies of new print dresses and skirts created by lolita companies. This is highly frowned upon as it is direct art theft, copying their designs exactly but in much, much lower quality. These lolita companies that make replicas trick girls new to lolita and often say their replicas are the real thing or simply lie by omission and imply that they are their original designs. The two largest print replica makers, DOL/Dream of Lolita and Oojia are guilty of both.

[ Source ]

It is actually sometimes more expensive to buy these print replicas than it is to buy good quality lolita items new or secondhand. It is highly recommended to not buy replica print items. As well, print replicas are incredibly looked down upon in many lolita communities, both online and locally, due to their blatant art theft and poor quality.

Recommended Reading


Buying Lolita Pieces - Measurements & Where To Buy

The first thing you have to do before buying lolita fashion is taking your measurements. While some lolita companies sell pieces in multiple sizes, their S/M/L sizes do not reflect the typical clothing sizes in stores. Lolita items will have their measurements listed, most of the time in centimetres. In order to know if these will fit you, you must take your measurements.

Recommended Reading

How to Measure Yourself for Lolita
Inches to Centimetre Converter
Shoe Size Converter

There are many lolita brands you can directly buy from. Innocent World and Metamorphose are both brands with dedicated websites for international buyers. Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Angelic Pretty both have a US based store and an international store you can order from. However, you do need to use Tenso to order from Angelic Pretty’s Japanese webstore.

You don’t only have to buy lolita fashion brand-new. Often you can buy new or lightly used items secondhand often at a cheaper price than buying new. Good places for secondhand are Lace Market, Lolita Sales in English and Closet Child. Yahoo Japan Auctions and Mbok are great for amazing deals, but you need a shopping service like Japonica Market or FromJapan as the website doesn't have any options for overseas shipping.

If you want to buy things new and also keep things affordable, there are indie brands such as Anna House, Infanta, Bunny House, and The Floral Notebook. There are also Bodyline and Fanplusfriend, but you have to be careful ordering from them as not everything they sell is lolita even if it's under the lolita category. Both websites sell “cosplay lolita” as well, so be careful ordering from them. 

This is a good guide on buying from Bodyline as a beginner, showing examples of the differences between proper lolita and “cosplay lolita”.

Etsy and Storenvy are both great for affordable handmade lolita. Miscy, Silversark, Sweet Mildred, English Charm, I Do Declare, Eat Me Ink Me, and In The Starlight all are reputable stores. For Indie lolita with a more brand-like feel, there is Haenuli, Baroque and Ergi. There are also endless stores on Etsy & Storenvy that sell handmade lolita accessories.

Another option for buying lolita is Taobao. Taobao is a Chinese website similar to ebay. There are many different store that sell lolita items. The entire website is in Mandarin so you will need to use translations and dictionaries. Just like the Japanese auction sites, you need to use shopping service to purchase from Taobao. You could also buy from a reseller like MyLolitaDress, GlitzyWonderland, and Loli-Loli Paradise. However, keep in mind resellers do have a markup on their prices and it ranges between them. 

Recommended Reading

Taobao FAQ
Taobao Guide for Beginner Lolitas
List of Indie Lolita Brands on Taobao


Reccomended Guides and Websites For Those New To Lolita Fashion

[ Source: Bonxy ]

Hopefully now you have a good idea of what lolita fashion is and how to start wearing it! Things may seem very new and intimidating at first, but being new is not nearly as scary as it seems! There are many supportive community and endless resources online so you will be able to learn quickly and connect to other lolitas very quickly with just a little bit of effort.

Here are some helpful links and advice that compliment this guide with extra info and topics I may have not covered in my guide:

Thank you so much for reading my guide for new lolitas! I hope it was informational and helpful!
If you have any questions or would like advice, please comment below!
Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

♥ Lolita Fashion: A Beginner's Guide - Part Two ♥

This is the second part of the Lolita Fashion Beginner's Guide. I've created this to have a short, but in depth guide to help new members of my local comm, as well as others new to lolita fashion that may have a use for it. For part one, see here.

In this section of the guide, I will go into detail on "Cosplay Lolita" and Starting a Lolita Wardrobe.


"Cosplay Lolita" Versus Lolita Fashion

Despite the name, Cosplay Lolita is not actually a part of lolita fashion at all. These clothes are inspired by lolita, but ultimately can't be considered lolita because they don't follow the basic guidelines of the style. These dresses and items are almost always made by cosplay companies trying to cash in on the lolita fashion style. These companies are unaware of what makes a lolita coordinate, aside from maybe one or two elements, so their pieces could never be considered lolita.

These are often the most common reasons why an item may be cosplay lolita:

  • NO PETTICOAT OR NOT ENOUGH ROOM FOR A PETTICOAT - This is the cardinal sin of lolita fashion. In order for it to be considered lolita, in almost all cases, there must be enough room for a full petticoat. 
  • TOO SHORT - Short dresses and skirts aren't unusual in lolita, especially when you consider Angelic Pretty's pieces, but these pieces are often outrageously short. The rule of thumb for beginners to lolita fashion is the dress should be from an inch above the knee to an inch below the knee in length.
  • BAD MATERIALS - Low quality cotton, see-through fabrics, and shiny satin are all too often used in cosplay lolita. If the lace is scratchy, itchy, messy or thin it is bad lace. These laces are often used in cosplay lolita. Ribbon used in cosplay lolita will often be shiny and easily frayed, unlike the quality satin & grosgrain ribbons used in proper lolita pieces.
  • INCORPORATE NON-LOLITA ITEMS - Arm warmers, leg warmers, fingerless gloves, maid headbands and other cosplay items are often incorporated into these cosplay outfits. Cat ears and aprons can be worn in lolita, but only if they're high quality. It's very common to see bad quality ears and aprons in these cosplay outfits. If it looks comparable to a Halloween costume, it's most likely cosplay, and not lolita.
It is all too easy to accidentally buy Cosplay Lolita. If able, please check into a local or online community before purchasing any items. Even if you're positive it isn't cosplay lolita, a second opinion from someone experienced in the fashion is a great help when starting to buy lolita pieces.

Cosplay Lolita isn't the only thing mistaken for lolita fashion. There are other Japanese fashions that are often confused for lolita fashion. Himekaji and Himegyaru are the most commonly confused styles. While cute and stylish, these styles don't follow the same guidelines and ideas as lolita fashion. Many items described as "lolita" online may actually be one of these two styles.

Recommended Reading


Starting A Lolita Wardrobe

[ Source ]

When you start wearing lolita, you aren't expected to have a complete wardrobe immediately. It takes time to build your closet.  Still, it is reccomended that you buy a few essential pieces at once to build a 'basic' closet when you start wearing lolita fashion. This way you won't be stuck wearing the same outfit every single time you wish to wear lolita.

Here are a few necessary things for your first lolita wardrobe:

  • 1 Petticoat - Make sure your dress(es)/skirt(s) all share the same petticoat-shape. If you have both a cupcake-shaped piece and an a-line shaped piece, then you will need two petticoats right off the bat.
  • 1 or 2 Blouses - Owning a blouse is necessary for this fashion and a good way to start is with a convertable blouse. By buying a blouse that has detachable sleeves, you'll have both a long-sleeved and short-sleeved blouse in one! If you have two blouses make sure that they have different collar styles to keep your coordinates i
  • 1 Pair of Socks and 1 set of Tights - It's good to have both socks and tights not only to keep your wardrobe versatile, but also to be prepared for all kinds of weather. When buying socks, plain knee-highs just won't do. Try to find lolita-style socks that will match your blouse. It will be easier to coordinate with them this way. Solid tights or lace tights are a great investment for a starter wardrobe. 
  • 3 Main Pieces (OP/JSK/Skirt) - At the bare minimum it's good to have at least two or three main pieces to keep things fresh. With your pieces you should keep them easy to work with the rest of your wardrobe and match the rest of your items. If you add too many different colours or styles to your wardrobe at the start, it will get very expensive as you’d have to buy matching accessories for each colour/style.
  • 1 or 2 Headdress/Hair Accessories - Make sure they'll be able to match all or most of your main pieces!
  • Shoes - One good pair of shoes can work, as long as it matches everything. Make sure the colour and style will work with all your main pieces.
  • Jewelry - Keep things simple to start. Bows, pearls, flowers and other 'basic' lolita themes are the easiest to use for multiple styles. 
  • Depending on your climate, you may need to buy a cardigan, jacket or coat.
Building a lolita wardrobe does take a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. By planning ahead, you can build a strong wardrobe. A good lolita wardrobe is one you can mix and match with. By buying multiple pieces that share something in common, it’s easier to make your wardrobe work to your advantage.

Recommended Reading


If you're interested in reading more, please continue onto the final part of the guide.
If you have any questions or would like advice, please comment below!
Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

♥ Lolita Fashion: A Beginner's Guide - Part One ♥

My local lolita comm has gained quite a number of new members recently and it's became very apparent that quite a lot of these girls are very new to the fashion and have a lot to learn. I tried to search for an easy to understand guide that explained everything in the fashion but it was almost impossible to find anything. I decided that I would make a guide for them with information from various guides and sources, combined with my personal knowledge.

This guide is not too long considering all the information it contains, but I still must post it in a segmented format for easy reading. This portion of the guide includes the absolute basics on understanding lolita fashion: defining what lolita is, what makes a lolita outfit and an explanation on substyles.


What Is Lolita Fashion?

[ Source: TGGC ]

Lolita is a street fashion originally from Japan, but now spread worldwide. Lolita fashion has it’s own unique subculture based on the style. The clothing is mainly inspired by Victorian and Rococo fashion, but also takes inspiration and ideas from other styles and eras.

This fashion movement started in Japan in the 1980’s and has evolved greatly since. Lolita is a fashion heavily influenced by it's rules or "guidelines" of the fashion. These 'rules' however are more meant to show what makes an outfit 'Lolita' rather than limit the wearer. Lolita fashion is not about looking sexy, but is instead about being elegant and cute.

Recommended Videos:

Lace & Petticoats - A Documentary 
Sugarcoated - A Documentary
Lolita Fashion True or False- Facts, Tips & Misconceptions About Lolita

Recommended Reading:
What Makes A Lolita Outfit “Lolita”?

Lolita fashion is known for it’s very complicated outfits. Since there is so much work and different items put together into these outfits, lolitas call them “coordinates” or “coords” since they spend time ‘coordinating’ their items.

Each outfit must have, at the very least:
  • Petticoat - The most important piece! Every outfit requires one.
  • Hair Accessory - Hats or hairbows are common and easy to wear.
  • Dress [JSK/OP] or Skirt - The main focus piece of the outfit.
  • Blouse/Cutsew - You should always wear a blouse, but there are some exceptions. Try to wear a blouse with every outfit until you’re more experienced with lolita fashion. Blouses can’t be standard-style work shirts, they must be “lolita style”.
  • Socks or Tights - OTKs, Knee Highs and ankle socks are very popular.
  • Shoes - Must be lolita style shoes! Converse and crocs need not apply
  • Hair & Makeup - It doesn't have to be complex, but basic makeup/hair styling is required.
Other items you can add to an outfit include:
  • Wigs - Not every outfit needs one. When using wigs, make sure your wig suits the style. For beginners wear natural hair colours with classic, natural or pastel colours with sweet, and natural or bright colours with gothic.
  • Jewelry - Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings, etc 
  • Bags - Purses, handbags and sometimes backpacks
  • Boleros & Cardigans - Good for an extra layer of warmth, as well as a nice layering effect
  • Jacket/Outerwear - Lolita styled outerwear for colder months
  • Gloves, Scarves, Wristcuffs and more 
There are two very important aspects to a proper lolita outfit: The outfit must have the right shape/silhouette and the outfit must have all the main pieces required. You can learn more about the shape and basic requirements of a lolita outfit here at

Recommended Videos: 

 Recommended Reading: 


Substyles of Lolita Fashion

[ Source: Hellolace ]

Lolita is a fashion of many different substyles. A substyle is still lolita fashion, just worn in a different way. The big lolita substyles are Classic, Gothic and Sweet(Ama/Kote). The other styles fall underneath those three.

Other substyles include:

  • Themed Substyles - Sailor, Country, Hime, Pirate, Military, etc 
  • Colour Based Substyles - Shiro, Kuro, Sax, etc 
  • Over The Top / OTT - An extravagant way to wear lolita, with a large amount of accessories and pieces. Sweet is the most common, but can also be gothic and classic. OTT Classic Lolita is also sometimes known as Art-Lolita in Japan.
  • Old School/Traditional - Lolita fashion from before 2008. It can still be worn today.
  • There are other substyles like Casual, Ero, Qi, Wa, Guro, Deco & Punk, but those are recommended for more experienced lolitas. They can be very difficult to be understood worn by those new to lolita.
  • Lolita also has two sister styles: Aristocrat and Boystyle, also known as Ouji or Kodona. 

In order to wear lolita you don’t have to ‘stick’ to one substyle. You can wear as many different substyles as you’d like, but it’s easier to start with one style and work from there.

Recommended Videos: 
Types of Lolita (humor)


If you're interested in reading more, please continue onto part two of the guide.
If you have any questions or would like advice, please comment below!
Thank you for reading!