Lolita Fashion Starter Guide for Under $100
Oh. My. Goodness. A while back, my sister-in-law introduced me to the world of Lolita Fashion. My Victorian Era-obsessed, pastel-loving, frilly-lace-wearing, Elle Woods and Marie Antoinette-incarnate heart is totally aflutter! Naturally, I’ve been scavenging my favorite online retailer to find Lolita starter pieces for under $100. There are of course, ah-mazing designers who specialize in beautiful, detailed pieces, but I’m going to have to save up for one of those!
In the mean time, let me explain what Lolita is and show you my favorite finds so far!
What is Lolita?
Lolita is a fashion style started in Japan (with no relation to the Western idea of the name). Some sources say that it was begun as a feminist idea of focusing on the self and personal style, instead of the socially expected “school, work, man, baby” progression expected of women in the 1970s, then gave way to an organically evolved style as time went on.
However it began, I’m so glad it’s here! The fashion involves Victorian and Rococo-styled elements with petticoats, voluminous skirts, pastel or Gothic colors, quality fabrics (cotton, silk, organza, tulle, etc), and involves a high level of femininity and modesty.
Cleavage and shoulders should be covered and the skirt, although voluminous, shouldn’t rise much above the knee. Shoes are reminiscent of loafers, Victorian pearl boots, or Victorian low-heels. Lacy socks or tights are expected—in fact—just put lace and frills EVERYWHERE!
Many women wear pre-styled wigs, as Victorians and Rococo Divas loved their curls and wigs! They’re easier to manage than curling your own (at least for me) and they can come in an array of pastels and candy-colored hues, in addition to more natural styles.
Can you tell I’m completely smitten?
Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, and Moi-même-Moitié are some of the top independent designers of the fashion, but until I can afford them, I’ve been scouring Amazon (Yay, mostly free shipping!) to find myself a starter outfit.
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Below, you’ll find different pieces that are basically my own wishlist, but for those who maybe want to try out the fashion while saving up for the absolutely gorgeous designer pieces (I’m completely partial to Angelic Pretty myself), here is a starter Lolita list for you! Please be aware that most of these run small, as they are not American sizes (check the measurement charts before purchasing).
These are also much cheaper if you have Amazon Prime (click here for a 30-Day Free Trial), since most of these pieces have free two-day shipping if you are a Prime member. Almost all of these designs come in different colors, so if you like the design, but not the color, you can click to see if they ship in other colors 🙂
Lolita Style Starter Shoes
Lolita Style Starter Blouses
Lolita Fashion Starter Skirts
How to Style Your Look
Remember, the goal of dressing Lolita is modesty and femininity. We’re trying to channel our “Marie Antoinette-meets-Queen Victoria” looks, so any dresses with spaghetti straps or super short sleeves are MEANT to be worn with a high-collared shirt underneath (long or short-sleeved depending on weather).
Socks or tights should always be worn with shoes. Wigs or styled hair with hair accessories or hats, and frilly or girly jewelry is a must. Always wear a quality petticoat to make your skirt more crisp (another inexpensive option for these is to find a used one at a thrift store in the bridal section, then cut and hem it to the length of your choice).
It’s good to have one Lolita handbag that matches many pieces too, as well as a fancy one, should your budget permit.
How to NOT Dress Lolita
Lolita is not about dressing “sexy” as Westerners think of sexy. If you are looking for Lolita pieces and the skirt starts broaching the “sexy Halloween costume” length, just say no.
Same goes for cleavage (there should be none), and anything that just looks like a French maid’s costume—totally not the point or look of Lolita.
Some of the above pieces DO contain polyester (remember, you really want to stick to higher quality fabrics), but they were so cute in design and had the proper silhouettes (plus they were cheaper) that I went ahead and added them.
If you’d like to see some designer pieces and completely styled looks, feel free to browse my Lolita Fashion Pinterest Board for inspiration. Looking into smaller accessories like head bands and jewelry, I wasn’t too impressed with the selection on Amazon, so I’ll likely do some DIY tutorials in the future! If you’d be interested, go ahead and follow my Lolita board, as the tutorials will be pinned to that board first when they are finished 🙂
Would you rather see a hairpiece, jewelry, cape, or other Lolita accessory tutorial? Let me know in the comments!
Stay Classy Ladies,