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How To Master Lolita Fashion With Vintage Dresses

Lolita fashion burst onto the style scene in Japan during the 1970s, commonly associated with the Harajuku neighbourhood of Tokyo. While the fashion style has evolved over time, it continues to be associated with cuteness, femininity, modesty and alternative beauty. It is a style that does not aim to fit into mainstream trends. Lolita fashion even differs from other Japanese girl-centred trends since it is inspired by Western history. Lolita clothes draw their cute, eye-catching appearance from children’s literature such as enchanting fairy tales which feature adorable vintage dresses and curled or pig-tailed hairstyles.
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Japanese designers will always be the originators of Lolita fashion, but there are now Lolita designers across the globe including in Korea, China, North America, and Europe. Although the term Lolita has sexual connotations due to the novel by Vladimir Nabokov, the connotations in Japanese culture couldn’t be further from this. In Japanese culture, Lolita refers to cuteness, elegance and modesty. Lolita fashion has various sub-categories including sweet, punk and gothic. What all Lolita fashion has in common is that is characterised by vintage dresses with lacy frills and ruffles as well as modest accessories such as elegant gloves, parasols and headpieces. Originally, Lolita fashion was all about modesty and the cuteness factor. Now, being playful, eye-catching and experimental with colour and textures is all the rage amongst Lolitas.


Gothic Lolita


Popularised by Japanese musician Muna, the gothic category is one of the most recognisable forms of Lolita fashion.

The gothic style follows the usual Lolita style, featuring vintage dresses or bell skirts worn with bell-shaped petticoats to provide the classic ‘cupcake’ shape. Gothic Lolita may also follow the more "Classic" silhouette that uses an A-line petticoat rather than a bell-shaped one, to give coordinates a more mature, elegant appearance.


Gothic Lolita fashion often includes crosses or religious motifs, giving a striking look of deep colours and dark embellishments. Wear vintage dresses or accessories which feature bats, skulls, coffins, chandeliers, deep red roses and castles to embrace this style. Choose deep hues like black, navy, maroon, crimson, and purple to achieve a gothic lolita vibe. Gothic lolita hairstyles can be straightened or curled hair left down. Pigtails are also a popular choice and can be finished with dark-coloured ribbons or bows to soften the look. Sausage or spiral curls are one of the most iconic Lolita hairstyles and work well with dark gothic makeup. Pair deep lipstick with smokey or neatly defined eyes and a subtle blush. Taking our Vintage Lace Halter Dress for example, though a gothic look, all categories of Lolita fashion usually feature natural, modest makeup.




Sweet Lolita Style

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the term Lolita fashion was finally coined by fashion magazines. Sweet Lolita fashion was popularised in this decade and was mainly born out of the Japanese taste for the adorable Hello Kitty. Sweet Lolita styles remain the most popular alongside gothic lolita. Again, sweet lolita fashion follows the basic cupcake silhouette. Wear lighter colours such as baby blues and pinks and choose modest vintage dresses or skirts. Common motifs include children’s literature, fantasy, desserts and flowers. Hair can be worn in pigtails, curled down, up in a bun or in braids. A popular sweet lolita hairstyle is curled hair in pigtails. Makeup is usually light and neutral.Wear soft accessories like bows, headdresses, hats or mini hats and decorative headbands. Elegant parasols, pretty bags, and dainty jewellery will give you an adorable sweet lolita look.

Now that you have mastered the art of Lolita fashion, find stylish Lolita vintage dresses here.