The goal of this blog is to give Lolita Fashion Beginners a vivid impression of what an outfit should look like in various sub-styles!
It's worth noting that, in addition to the basic framework of Lolita fashion, I classify these apparel based on my own experience. Also, due to time constraints, this article may contain errors.
Always keep in mind that there are no Lolita Laws or principles that must be adhered to. The style of a Lolita dress can be mixed and, in many cases, should be determined by the person wearing it.
Lolita fashion has absorbed many styles and cultures while creating its own sub-styles. In today's article, I'll tell you about the top nine Lolita Fashion styles based on the dresses themselves.
1. Sweet Lolita
Sweet Lolita is one of the most popular styles that can evoke a sweet feeling. It is fairly simple easy to recognize. This style is typically characterized by light and pastel colors, a plethora of ruffles and bow decorations, and cute themed prints.
----Baby pink, sky blue, lavender, and cream are the main colors for Sweet Lolita.
- Flowers, Berries &Desserts:
- Flowers in cartoon form; Berries such as strawberries, cherries, and so on; Desserts such as lollipops, donuts, nuts, cupcakes, etc.
- Strawberry Story Cherry Gift Box Square Cake Salon
- Fantasy elements:
- Hearts, circuses, fairy tales, tea parties, etc.
Bittersweet Lolita Dress：
Bittersweet Lolita dress is a Western-specific term for a Sweet Lolita outfit in a black color scheme with gothic influences, rather than a specific style. A user on EGL coined the phrase "Bittersweet" in 2008 to describe her personal taste. (The EGL, or Elegant Gothic and Lolita community, is a LiveJournal community where Lolitas can discuss a variety of topics.)
In general, it is usually indistinguishable from Sweet Lolita, and it is a popular choice for Halloween due to its pink, over-the-top, angelic pretty print in a black color scheme.
Dark Kawaii Lolita Dress：
Dark kawaii is not a specific style, but rather a mix of Punk Lolita with a touch of Sweet Lolita. Scottish plaid is often used for Dark Kawaii Lolita dresses. It is also a popular choice for Halloween themes!
2. Classic Lolita
Classic Lolita, inspired by historical fashion, has a more mature appearance. Classic Lolita dresses typically have elegant designs and vintage prints, making this style more appropriate for taller girls and refined ladies.
Classic Lolita redefines and recreates the Victorian and Rococo fashion styles, and has prints featuring classic oil paintings, art decorative (especially Victorian-style), modern art prints (such as animals, flowers, crowns, bandages, antiques, architecture), and so on.
Classic Lolita is longer than Sweet Lolita. Tea-length skirts (mid-calf-length skirts) are popular, and underskirts (plain A-line skirts with lace ruffles at the bottom) can be used to lengthen a knee-length skirt to the length of a tea-length skirt.
----Plain cloth in a solid color is usually used for Classic Lolita
- Solid Color with simple lace and bowknots decorations:
Solid-colored Classic Lolita dresses just keep the basic Lolita silhouette, and Classic Lolita tends to be A-line shaped. The modest atmosphere of the dress is achieved by reducing the complexity of the design. The dresses have few complicated details and are usually made of plain fabric in solid colors with lace and a few decorations. And when designers add more details and elements to them, they can be coordinated with more accessories for a more stunning look.
- Flowers, Animals, and Fruits:
While Classic Lolita's floral, animal, and fruit prints tend to have a realistic or antique look, Sweet Lolita prefers a more cartoonish or fantasy style.
- Prints inspired by Modern Art Genres
- Royal Flag, Precious Frames Square, and Victorian Jacquard, etc.
It is common to see Lolita costumes incorporate fashion elements from other fashion eras. Classic Lolita incorporates elements of modern painting, as evidenced by the images below.
- Victorian-inspired Decorative Art Motifs
- Crowns, Badges, Antiques, Architecture, and reproductions of old master paintings, among other things.
We can have beautiful Classic Lolita by redefining and recreating Victorian fashion in a Lolita way. Designers intend to give a dress rich layers and textures to enhance the feeling of beauty and nobility. Such over-the-top classic dresses are most commonly seen at tea parties.
Classic Lolita V.S. Sweet Lolita
- They all have similar prints, such as flowers, fruits, animals, and modern paintings, and so on.
- Sweet Lolita usually has a bell shape, whereas Classic Lolita usually appears in an A-line shape.
- Classic Lolita's floral, animal, and fruit patterns are realistic or have an antique look, whereas Sweet Lolita's patterns are in a cartoon or fantasy style.
- Classic Lolita adds a mature look through its brown-beige tones, wide tough stripes, and double-breasted buttons.
The choice and matching of colors, as well as the style elements of the dress, distinguishes Classic Lolita from Sweet Lolita.
3. Country Style
It is a sub-style of the Classic Lolita style or Sweet Lolita. It usually strikes a balance between a classic feel and a sweet vibe. An easy way to tell if an outfit is Country Style is if it reminds you of picnics and the countryside. Floral motifs and gingham are the most common themes.
Accessories are usually simple. They usually feature fruit or flowers, with straw hats, baskets, and bags, or simple bonnets.
4. Old-School Lolita & Traditional Lolita
Old-school Lolita is the original version of Lolita fashion. It consists of cute, girly dresses made of plain, natural-toned fabrics (usually cotton) and lace. The emphasis of this style is on the way basic colors and lace are combined. They can be paired with a variety of materials to achieve a variety of feminine looks in different shapes. It is a typical and timeless Lolita style.
Old-School Lolita has gained popularity in Japan since the film "Kamikaze Girl" (2004). Momoko, the girl who loved Lolita costumes in this film, was dressed in lovely and straightforward Lolita costumes made of cotton with a solid French Rococo style.
Momoko's Lolita dress in "Kamikaze Girl" (2004):
Old-School Lolita is often simpler compared to modern dresses. They are less print-based and more design-based. If prints are used, they are usually simple floral or full body designs, border prints are very rare unless they are embroidered or screen printed. Black and white designs are common in Old-School Lolita, and this is acceptable as long as the lace is of good quality and the actual design of the dress is suitable.
Traditional Lolita is similar to Old School style but in a more luxurious way (especially Victorian clothing) and longer.
5. Gothic Lolita
Gothic Lolita is a Lolita style that is heavily influenced by Victorian Gothic fashion. Gothic fashion is characterized by darkness, mystery, antiquity, and other similar characteristics. It is the other side of Sweet Lolita, full of mystery and elegance. It typically reflects the dark side, with most accessories featuring symbols such as black crosses, coffins, skulls, black butterflies, and bats.
---- Black, Maroon, Crimson, Deep Purple, Navy, Royal blue are Gothic Lolita's main colors.
- Black cross, Coffin, Skeleton, Black butterfly, and Bat.
- Dark Magical elements & Victorian or Rococo elements
A dress with dark magical elements could easily bring out its gloomy, solemn, and strange atmosphere. As a result, elements such as cemeteries and religious churches have become a common theme in Gothic Lolita prints.
Elegant Gothic Lolita:
Classical oil painting prints can also be used to create an Elegant Gothic Lolita dress by varying the color tones and arrangement.
Elegant Gothic Lolita came from a LiveJournal community called Elegant Gothic and Lolita Community (EGL). People who love Lolita Fashion gather there to discuss various topics. Elegant Gothic Lolita is what they call their elegant gothic Lolita style, and it is widely used and popular among many people. As the name suggests, it emphasizes both a modest gothic feeling and a sense of femininity at the same time.
Kuro Lolita V.S. Gothic Lolita
Kuro Lolita is the name given to the all-black Lolita dress. Kuro Lolita is closely related to Gothic Lolita. Before delving deeper into Gothic Lolita, it's important to understand that not all black or dark clothing is Gothic Lolita, despite their similarities.
Kuro Lolita is a Lolita costume made up entirely of black clothes. Kuro Lolita can be taken from any style of Lolita, it can be Gothic, Sweet, or Classic, and if the garment is entirely black, then it is Kuro Lolita. The name "Kuro" means "black" in Japanese. No other colors are used in Black Lolita, so it is quite friendly to beginners of Lolita fashion.
Shiro Lolita, by the way, is a Lolita outfit comprised entirely of white/cream/off-white clothing. The name "Shiro" means "white" in Japanese. Wearers frequently pair themselves with Kuro Lolitas in twin outfits to create an exciting contrast.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that wearing black shoes and socks with Shiro Lolita outfits looks terrible and should be avoided.
6. Punk Lolita
Punk Lolita is a sub-style that incorporates elements of Punk fashion.
The rise of Japanese visual rock bands was responsible for the development of Japanese Punk Lolita. Girls who liked these visual bands would dress up like them to attend their concerts. The band depicted on the left is a well-known visual rock band. X Japan, and on the left are their fans dressed in dark or similar clothing.
Metal accessories such as rivets, chains, and studs are most often seen on Punk Lolita. Plaid and irregular skirt designs are common in a Punk Lolita dress.
Cyberpunk Lolita is now trendy for its unique and cool appearance. It is inspired by cyberpunk video games. This design incorporates a strong mix of technology and mechanics.
- Locomotive Girl Cyber Maid Housekeeper
Steam Punk Lolita is a Lolita style that combines with Steampunk fashion, which is a western style that revolves around the Future Victorian era.
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that combines vintage technology and beauty inspired by nineteenth-century steam-powered industrial machinery. Steampunk works are frequently set in the Victorian era or in an alternate history of the American "Wild West," where steam power is still the norm, or in a fantasy world that also uses steam power.
Colors associated with steampunk, such as brown, cream, or bronze, dominate the color scheme. Leather and bronze or copper accessories are popular in Steam Punk Lolita coordinates.
Because of its thematic solidity and prop-centered style, Steampunk Lolita is frequently considered a special occasion outfit. It may appear to be a costume that is not suitable for everyday wear.
7. Hime Lolita
Hime Lolita is a Lolita style that emphasizes a princess-like appearance, which is frequently overdone. It has a similar appearance to Classic Lolita, but it borrows many decorative elements from Sweet Lolita.
- ----Baby greens, pale pinks, and white. Mint green and pale yellow are also options.
- White Hanayome Dusk Snow Sissi
Darker colors can sometimes be used to achieve a more Gothic-inspired look. Hime Lolita's color scheme is very similar to Sweet Lolita's, so the two are easily confused. Hime Lolita, on the other hand, has a more layered look.
8. Qi/Wa Lolita
Qi Lolita is a sub-style of Lolita Fashion inspired by traditional Chinese traditional culture, sometimes even borrowing from Qipao (Chinese cheongsam, Qing Dynasty costumes), and Hanfu (Han Dynasty costumes).
Because Qipao and Hanfu are the main themes of Qi Lolita, so you can call it Han Lolita.
There have been numerous popular Qi-style collections. Among them are "Cherry Blossoms and Water Lights," "The Azure Dragon and the White Tiger," "Vicinal Chirping on Flowers," "Stars in the Twilight," "Ode Of Whales," "The Mountain Spirit," and so on.
The Chinese water sleeves are frequently used in Han Style. The prints on the dresses are usually associated with Chinese poetry, adding a lot of beautiful imagery to the attire.
Qi Lolita is often paired with more traditional Chinese hairstyles, as well as traditional Chinese accessories and jewelry. Legwear is usually solid or subtly patterned over the knee socks or tights and shoes can be traditional Chinese shoes or simple classic Lolita shoes.
For Qi Lolita, a lot of excellent indie Lolita brands have been creating lovely stuff in China.
Wa Lolita is a style of Lolita that is combined with the Japanese kimono.
Wa Lolita often exhibits apparel inspired by Japanese culture and traditional costumes-kimono.
Traditional Japanese fashion is a complex and rich art form, with colors, styles, and motifs that change depending on the wearer's age, social class, marital status and gender, and even the season. As a result, Wa Lolita is incredibly challenging to decipher.
However, Wa Lolita has made modern costume changes to make it easier to wear, so you don't need to have a good understanding of traditional Japanese clothing, which most people outside of Japan do not.
9. Boystyle and Aristocrat
Boystyle, also known as Ouji (王子) or Dandy (ダンディ) depending on the substyle. It is a Japanese fashion style similar to Aristocrat that is frequently associated with Lolita but wears a frilly shirt with pants instead of skirts. It is not considered an "official" Lolita style. Nonetheless, because they share many Lolita Fashion aesthetics, it is frequently regarded as a more masculine alternative to the typical Lolita dress.
In Japanese, the word "Ouji" means "Princess." Ouji Lolita draws inspiration from Victorian-era clothing worn by young boys. Rich colors can be seen; extravagant accessories such as crowns, wands, or epaulets; and royal fabrics such as suede and velvet instead of cotton in an Ouji Lolita. Ouji Lolita is also well-fitting and tailored, making you think of a young Victorian prince. The most common themes are generic cutesy boyish, pirates, punkish, and gothic. It may also include fantasy elements such as pirate, military, Mad Hatter, and White Rabbit themes.
A typical Ouji Lolita outfit consists of a blouse, vest, and breeches. Its pants are also in a boyish "prince" style and occasionally mix with punk. Even though it's a boystyle, Lolita can look very feminine.
Dandy fashion, also known as Dandyism, originated in the 18th century in London and Paris. It was a way for men to enjoy their clothing and break free from the suffocating style of the time. Back then, fashion included a lot of lace, jewelry, and even wigs and corsets. There were two regional dandy styles at the time, each with its own silhouette: British and Parisian dandy.
Over time, Dandy fashion has evolved from lace and corsets toward a "well-dressed gentleman" look. In modern-day dandy, you can see well-tailored suits, vests, and pants. A modern dandy pays close attention to detail but does not overdress as long as it fits well and conveys confidence.
In Lolita Fashion, Dandy Lolita refers to a more mature boy style with long pants rather than shorts that do not quite cross into aristocrat territory. Dandy Lolita is completely distinct from a truly Dandy outfit when compared to the well-dressed men of the 1910s-1960s and has nothing to do with the actual modern dandy looks. But they are still related; Dandy Lolita is more like a less Elegant Gothic Aristocrat, with dapper and colorful three-piece suits, decorative pieces, hats, canes, etc.
The difference between Ouji and Dandy is that Ouji is a young Victorian prince whereas Dandy is more like a well-dressed gentleman, as in the image shown below.
In contrast to Dandy (which was popular in Europe in the 1800s), Aristocrat is a more modern dark Japanese fashion that is far more mature than Lolita in general. You can almost say it is the most mature style in Lolita Fashion. It has a lot in common with the western "Romantic Goth". The term EGA was coined by Mana-Sama. Aristocrats are inspired by dandy, but it's clear that this fashion has taken its own direction.
Aristocrat Lolita's main colors are black, white, and jewel tones. There are no cute motifs (prints, lace, too many frills, bows, etc.). Skirts are often longer like in floor-length, to create the illusion of less skin. They can be shorter at times, particularly during the hotter months.
It features high corseted waists on skirts, wide pants, long sleeves, jabot, top hats, fitted jackets with tailcoats, frilly shirts (and cravats), veils, etc.
Aristocrat for men has a very straight silhouette. The outfit usually consists of a jacket/gilet/vest, blouse, and trousers.
Aristocrat for women can have a straight silhouette or be more triangular due to voluminous skirts. The outfit usually consists of a blouse + skirt or one-piece dress and can include delicate headpieces or corsets.
For men, the difference between Ouji and Aristocrat is that Ouji has more lace, frills, or trims, whereas Aristocrat has simpler cuts and is more flowing.
Exploring your favorite style can be a time-consuming endeavor. There are numerous other sub-styles that are named after their themes, or important design elements. Military Lolita, Alice Lolita, Pirate Lolita, Nurse Lolita, Sailor Lolita, Nun Lolita, and so on. They are so well-recognized that I won't display them here.
Many of the images of dresses on this blog have been showcased and classified, and I hope that this will help in answering questions such as "What style does this dress fit?"
Please feel free to leave your own thoughts at the back of this blog!