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Maid Outfit ╳ Lolita Fashion: Genuine Knowing of the Charm of Maid Lolita

This article serves for lolitas or brolitas who love maid lolita outfits. Whether you are an Otaku, a Weeb, or anyone who is appealed to this maid-style lolita dress, you will find some useful knowledge for making a good Maid Lolita Coord. Besides, you will learn about the differences between a maid outfit and Lolita Fashion, the development of maid outfits, different maid outfit types in Otaku culture, practical maid lolita coordination tips, and some breathtaking maid dress recommendations in this article!

Is Maid Uniform A Lolita Fashion Substyle?
The Development of Maid Outfit
• Why is Maid Outfit So Trendy in Japan?
Three Main Types of Maid Outfit in Otaku Culture
Tips on How to Finish Off A Maidcore Lolita Dresses
In What Occasions We Can Wear a Maid Lolita Outfit?
Maid Lolita Outfit Recommendations

Is Maid Uniform A Lolita Fashion Substyle?

Lolita Fashion ≠ Maid Outfit (Maid Lolita is just a Theme for Lolita Fashion)

Lolita Fashion was very often misunderstood as "a maid outfit" or "cosplay costume" for a long time especially when it started becoming popular in the very beginning. Even now, people who don't know Lolita fashion well still confuse Lolita Fashion with those two types of fashions.

The fact is that they are not identical. Lolita Fashion is a cute Japanese street fashion inspired by Victorian or Rococo Era clothing. The main features of a lolita fashion are the skirt's volume, the main goal of covering most parts of the body, and the pursuit of cuteness aesthetics. Maid Lolita is just a theme for Lolita Fashion like Nun Lolita, Nurse Lolita, and Pirate Lolita.

Nevertheless, a Maid outfit is a uniform worn by the female maid that works for upper-class or noble families in western countries. Maid outfits first originated from housemaid's black-white afternoon uniforms of 19th-century France. It typically consists of a black dress, a white apron, and a maid hat or headband with their hair tied back. In the current fashionable sense, the maid outfit refers to a woman's outfit that is modeled after a real maid's profession.

To sum up, the Maid uniform is not officially a substyle of Lolita Fashion. But maid uniform does in fact like Lolita Fashion in some way. Both maid outfits and Lolita Fashion can be used as cosplay costumes to roleplay any anime characters you like. They both take inspiration from animes or manga sometimes.

This is why we have Maid Lolita Coord — A Maidcore Lolita Dresses Collection where you can find lolita dresses with a strong maid vibe. In reverse, Maid Lolita works perfectly for anyone who wants to try maid cosplay or anime cosplay.

The Development of Maid Outfit

The female maid first appeared and was popular in the Victorian era in England, the most typical maid outfit is the black-white Afternoon Uniforms shown below. The maid outfit showed the nobility and the status of the family at that time.

Housemaid's Black-White Afternoon Uniforms (19th-century France)

In the USA, maid outfits also develop and absorb different elements from American culture. It incorporated women workers' short-skirted uniforms during the American industrial era and evolved with the development of cafes.

The American maid's outfit is more like a waitress costume. So an American-style maid outfit usually has brighter colors, or in a "French Maid" style. In fact, French Maid is a type of maid's costume derived from famous American stage plays and vulgar comedies. It is usually different from the traditional Victorian maid's costume and tends to wear exposed clothes. But they mostly use "French" as a satire, so actually "French Maid" has nothing to do with France!

American-style maid outfit 1 - Waitress Style
American-style 2 -French Maid 
Retrospace: Mini Skirt Monday #82: French Maids

After absorbing ACG("Animation, Comics, and Games") elements, the maid outfit later becomes a part of the Otaku subculture in Japan. Meido cosplay is very popular in Japanese Otaku culture. Meido(メイド)  means "maid/maidservant" in Japanese. It often refers to a female fictional character who is employed as a maid, who usually wears a stylized maid outfit as shown below.

Japanese "Meido" from Anime

Nowadays, Lolita Fashion incorporates and improves on the common elements of traditional maid dresses, such as sharp cuts, solid color combinations, aprons, and triangular scarves, and creates the theme of Maid-style Lolita.

In the recent design, there are even Chinese Qipao Style, Japanese Kimono Style, Cyberpunk Style, Steampunk Style, Military Style, etc. Those new elements all collide with Maid Lolita to create a different kind of beauty.

Maid Lolita Styles

Why is Maid Outfit So Trendy in Japan?

The trend of maid outfit fashion can date back to the early 80s in the Akihabara(秋葉原) area of Tokyo, Japan. It first started because of the anime cosplay craze among Otaku. This costume play craze makes cosplay restaurants such as maid café popular among fans who love Japanese anime or manga. Maid outfits are considered to be "moe" in the anime and manga fandom.

Anime: Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid(2013)
Anime: Kaichō wa Maid-Sama!(2010)

    Otaku —  Otaku(御宅族) are people who are obsessed with their hobbies. They first appeared around the Akihabara area of Tokyo and usually spend much of their time in "anime, manga, maids, idols, and games." Otaku is a unisex word. It involves not only anime/manga fans but people addicted to anything.

Otaku Male and Female
Is Otaku Culture Sexist? - Japan PoweredOtaku: Japanese 'Obsessive' Subculture Explained - Japan Yugen

    Akihabara Akihabara(秋葉原) is a "Otaku Heaven"area around Akihabara station of Tokyo, Japan. Also known as Akihabara Electric Town. A central shopping district for manga, anime goods, video games, electronics, and computer-related goods. The center of modern Japanese popular culture and you can find all kinds of geekery stuff there. Many famous cosplay restaurants like maid café, animal café, and arcades can be found in Akihabara. 

    Akiba-kei (秋葉系) or Akiba-chan (アキバちゃん) is a Japanese slang term for Akihabara style

Street Views from Akihabara
KOTOBUKIYA AKIHABARA-KAN | Japan Shopping Now

    moe "Moe(萌え)" means "have a strong affection feeling about someone or something" in Japanese. It is a Japanese slang term that is used to describe cuteness.

    Maid Café — a cosplay restaurant where you can see meido("maid/maidservant" in Japanese). The waitresses will dress in maid uniforms, with rabbit or cat ears if in a Neko(cat) maid café. Those meido will address their guests "Master(ご主人様, goshujinsama)" or "Mistress (お嬢様, ojōsama)", wait by the door saying "Welcome home! (お帰りなさいませ, Okaerinasaimase)", and try their best to cheer guests up.

Maid Café

    Cosplay Restaurants/Cafés in Akihabara: Maid Café, Butler Café, Neko Maid Café, Robot Maid Café, etc.
    Butler Café —  Also known as Shitsuji Kissa(執事喫茶). The butlers in these cafes are well-dressed male employees in a typical waiter's uniform or a tuxedo/tails.

Butler Café
    

    Neko Maid Café — Cat Maid Café. Waitresses will wear cat ears and tails and punctuate sentences with a meow. Offering food that resembles cats or kittens.

Neko Maid Café

Three Main Types of Maid Outfit in Otaku Culture

There are three most popular maid outfit types in Otaku culture: French Maid, Classical Maid, and Mini-skirt Maid (also known as Maid Café Style).

The first maid outfit you are familiar with is the French maid outfit. It may be the first style you will think of when you picture a maid outfit in your head. French Maid outfit now is often used in cosplay, sexual roleplaying, and uniform fetishism. A typical French maid costume usually consists of a black dress with white trim that is usually has a full skirt and above the knee length; a white half apron with ruffle lace; tights or stockings; black high heels; a feather duster; white or black lace garter; and optional accessories like chokers/necklaces, gloves, cleaning equipment, etc.

Type 1:French Maid Style   &   Type 2.1:Classical Maid Style 
 

The second one is the Classical Maid Outfit. A Classical maid outfit is a mixed style. It usually has a traditional maid look inspired by 19th-century housemaid afternoon uniforms. Classical maid outfits are often seen in Japanese manga, anime, and video games. It mixed the traditional style with other styles like Lolita Fashion, which brings it a decent English maid look.

Type 2.2: Traditional European Look Style: 19th-century Maid Uniforms
(Classical Maid Style's Inspiration)

The third one is the Mini-skirt style. A typical Japanese maid outfit in a maid café usually has a mini-skirt style. The mini-skirt style maid skirt is the most popular maid outfit type in Otaku culture.

Type 3:Maid Café Style(Mini-skirt Style)

Tips on How to Finish Off A Maidcore Lolita Dresses

1. Choose A Suitable Main Piece for Maid Lolita

Shape— The main piece for a Maid Lolita coordination should be in a low poof silhouette, usually an A-line shape. In most cases, a maid lolita outfit has a traditional shape look, but you can also choose styles that are modified or revolutionized according to different styles.

Length— The length can be knee-high, thigh-high, or even a tea party length. A tea party length is usually seen in a classical maid lolita outfit with a traditional look. While a thigh-high length works great in those sweet Lolita outfits with strong maid café vibes. Anyway, a maid lolita dress is always modest, the petticoat will not only give you the poof effect but make you feel more modest. So you will never feel too exposed or sexy like wearing a French maid outfit.

Color— The traditional maid's uniform is mainly in black-white, gray, navy, and other low-key and stain-resistant colors. But in Lolita Fashion, the main piece is mostly a color combination of black-white, and can also be solid colors like blue, pink, and other creative color combinations.

Fabric— Often use cotton as the main fabric for its lightweight and comfort. The accessory fabric can be lace, leather, velveteen, ribbons, etc.

Prints/Patterns— Solid colors are always a great choice, but if you prefer main pieces with patterns. You'd better stick on those with very simple prints, tartan/plaids patterns/ gingham sometimes works well depending on what kind of maid style you want to achieve. For example, Polka dots patterns work great for an American-style maid lolita outfit.

Laces— High-quality laces, such as Ladder lace, Raschel, Torchon, Cluny lace, etc. are commonly seen in a maid lolita outfit.

Details— Pintucks or shirring, ruffles, corset lacing, smaller bow, and scalloped hems.

2. The Style can be Creative, but Should be the One You Would Definitely Wear

Choose the style that you would definitely go to conventions in the future. Make sure you will be in your choice of maid lolita dress one day rather than let it dusted at home. The classical maid lolita dress with a tea party length should be a safe choice. The thigh-high or knee-high length style maid lolita dress may be suitable for a sweet lolita coord and is relatively more casual. And there are also other Maid Lolita Styles you can choose from: the most common Mini-skirt black-white style, the traditional Classical Maid Style, Chinese Qipao Style, Japanese Kimono Style, Cyberpunk Style, Steampunk Style, Military Style, etc.

3. Choose Certain Cute Accessories

You can style your maid lolita dresses with some certain cute accessories, such as a triangle scarf,  or a rectangle headband, a apron is a must. 

Other accessories like leather gloves, leather or lace chokers, cat ear KC, bunny ear KC, and other animal KC are optional.

4. Tips on Choosing a Matching Aprons 

An apron in Lolita Fashion could look cute or mature depending on the overall look. You can choose a simple white apron with lace ruffles to have a maid or Alice-in-the-Wonderland-like look.

If you just like the cute look of an apron and don't want to have a too strong maid look. You can choose an apron in any color that matches the rest of your coordinate. In this situation, aprons are not so obvious to notice but can add more details and texture to your coordinate.

Or you can go with those skirts or dresses with apron-like looks if you prefer prints. This kind of apron-like look is achieved by having a fixed or detachable apron design.

Those dresses with small aprons also work. The aprons are smaller than a regular apron and are usually combined with cute prints that match the rest of the dress. It's more like a cute detail rather than a maid-like aspect to the dress.

5. Choose Stockings in the Right Size

A pair of under-the-knee stockings is always the first choice of legwear for Maid Lolita Coord. If you have a thick thigh you'd better pay more attention to the size before you buy.

You can find stockings for plus-size in this Plus Size Collection.

In What Occasions We Can Wear a Maid Lolita Outfit?

You can wear a maid lolita dress to attend a thematic tea party. Or for other lolita meet-ups on May 10th Japan Maid Day, Internation Lolita Day, etc. The international Lolita Day is on June 4th this year, and you can prepare it from now on!

You can definitely make a Maid Lolita Coord for a Halloween party cosplay, anime cosplay, Stage show, Maid-Sama vibe cosplay, and Neko maid cosplay. It can also be Valentine's Day Coordination. Or it's just your everyday wear if you are a Japanese Kawaii anime fans who want to try some similar costumes to your favorite character.

Anyway, don't hesitate before you actually try something! Let's go and have a wonderful Maid Lolita outfit trip now!

Maid Lolita Outfit Recommendation

Common Black-White Maid Outfit Style— Japanese Café Maid Vibe 

Little Bella
  

Human Tale

Japanese Café Maid Vibe — In Other Color Combination

Little Bella

Softness of Winter and Night
 

European Elegant Style —Classical Maid Vibe

Little Mary

Japanese Neko Café Maid Vibe

Meow Maid
 

Plush Turndown Collar Short Sleeves Maid Lolita Dress OP Full Set
 

Black Meow  Apron

American Waitress Style — American Café Maid Vibe

Retro Mary Lapel Collar Lolita Dress OP / Apron Set
 

Aries OP Set
 

 

Blue Dress + White Apron — Alice-like Maid Vibe

Alice's Fantasy
 

Alice in The Forest
 

Alice Wish

Chinese Qipao Style — Chinese Congfu Maid Vibe

This type of coordination has a strong Chinese town maid vibe, the dress usually has traditional Chinese elements like the mandarin collar, plate buckle, tassels, and other Qipao(cheongsam) elements, and the maid sense is well preserved by the black and white color combination.

Panda Buns Shop
 

Berry Cafe
 

Japanese Kimon Style — Japanese Taishō Style Maid Vibe

Sound of The Wind Flower haori/skirt/apronset
   

Cyberpunk Style — Bionic Mechanical Maid Vibe

An irregular skirt hem design is commonly seen in Cyperpunk style maid lolita outfits. It breaks the stereotypical image of the maid outfit. Besides that, elements like chest buckle, PVC belt, letter pendant decoration, and black rubber gloves can add a strong sense of bionic mechanical maid sense to the dress.

Cyber Maid III Housekeeper Lolita Dress OP Set
 

 

 Cyber Maid IV
 

Circuit Board OP Full Set
 
 

Countryside Style — Country Diner Maid Vibe

Chunshui Sencha Maid Contrast Color Lolita Overall Skirt
 
 

Old-school Style — Doll Kei Maid Vibe

Puff Doll OP Set
 

Soft Sweet JSK Set
 

Love Berry OP Set
 

Magic-themed Style —Witch Maid Vibe

Witch's Codex

Amusement-park-themed Style — Circus Maid Vibe

White Bear Drama
 

Picnic Style — Strawberry Picking Maid Vibe

Strawberry Maria
 

Strawberry Teddy
 

Heartbeat In This Moment JSK Full Set
 
 

Other Animal-themed Style — Bear Café Maid Vibe

Bear Bakery

Teddy Barista
 

Sweet Afternoon Teatime Style — Bakery Maid Vibe

Chocolate of Love

Red Panda Party
 

Conclusion

Maid Lolita has incorporated various elements, and the designs are becoming more and more innovative and varied. Which Maid Lolita Coord above do you like the most? Feel free to comment below and tell us your views.

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