How to build your lolita closet

September 25, 2013

Hello lovelies,

I got a few questions concerning builing up a lolita closet for complete newbies and let me tell you something, no girl popped out of her mother's womb fully lolita dressed.
Be aware that this takes time and money. (Even though I want to give you cheap(er) alternatives too).

So you have seen all the pretty dresses and the famous Lolitas and want to build up your own wardrobe. Easy! But where to start?

I always think it's easier to start with the undergarment and then slowly turn to the dresses and then to the coats.
So, undergarment is only one piece for "lolita": bloomers in white.

That's the most basic piece! As for bra's, I like to wear a simple flesh coloured bra, without lace or padding. You want to maintain a more "childlike, innocent appearance" except if your wear Erololita. But I would not recommend starting with ero (short for erotic).

The petticoat is the next basic thing every lolita needs. It makes the skirt go pooooof. But be careful, a too poofy petticoat looks weird.
A petticoat is one of the few things which don't have to be ordered on the internet. You can find find them in vintage stores or in gothic stores. I bought mine in a local gothic store and I am really satisfied with it.

The next layer would be the dress. Or skirt. But let's start with the dress.
There are two different kind of dresses, the one-piece dresses (OP) and the jumper skirt's (JSK). 
The only difference is that the OP dresses has sleaves. Therefore you always were a blouse underneath the jumper skirt.

 Left is the OP and right is the JSK.
When starting, I recommend an OP.

Before turning to the rest I would like to give a useful hint on how to colourcode.
If you are starting with lolita, pick one colour you like eg lavender.
Lolita is all about combining and you want clothes that match, don't you?
Now with the lavender you take one of the primary colours; either black or white.
For a cute outfit you take white and imagine a JSK in lavender, with a white blouse, white socks, a white headdress and lavender shoes. It works perfect. As you get more items you will add more colours to your collection but keep it simple and only use 2-3 colours. Except with shiro (white) or kuro (black) lolita of course.

The blouse is a must have for lolita and you can't have enough blouses. Repeat after me, you cannot have enough blouses!
The most basic is a short sleaved white blouse.

It fits perfectly to JSK's and skirts. My most favourite combination is a high waist skirt with a white blouse. 
The plus with blouses are that sometimes you can get a good offer in your local stores. Sometimes H&M has cute frilly blouses and with a bit of lace they would be perfect for lolita. But also be aware that blouses are quite expensive.

A good alternative for a blouse is a cutsew. A cutsew is used for a veeeeeeery casual look. They are inexpensive and come in a lot of colour and prints.
 I am not very fond of them but they have a big plus. You can always combine a cutsew also in your normal day clothes and I sometimes wear a cutsew with a skirt for work.

If you have a blouse it is high time to buy a nice skirt. Colour doesn't matter. Even if you buy a skirt in the weirdest color available, if you have a white blouse, white stocking/socks, white shoes and a white headdress, it does the trick. And never forget the petticoat.
This skirt is an example of a weird colour plus colourful print. But in my opinion, it would totally work out with a black or white plain cutsew and accessoires.

Be aware that you can either tuck your blouse into your skirt or leave it outside to flap over your skirt.

This is everything you need to wear in summer. But summer is so short. Therefore there are also a good variety of coats, jackets, bolero and capes.


I would suggest you buy them when they are needed (a month before a winter lolita meeting) and keep it black or white. If you always want to wear sweet/kawaii lolita, take pink as your main colour.

Socks and stockings are important too. Never miss them. Of course, white socks with white lace fits to everything but socks matching the skirt or dress is also wonderful.
Currently stocking with prints are the newest trend. I'm quite weary of them because they can ruin or make a good outfit, so be careful!

 So what about shoes and boots. Keep it in the two to three colours of your dress. White, pink, and black are the most common shoe colours.
People tend to forget about the shoes and wear ballerina's to their outfit. That's not acceptable.
But sometimes the local shoe sellers have lolita-able shoes. Ignore the high-heels and instead take flat mary jane's. You can always but on a fake strap and decorate it with pearls ;D! Most gothic stores have mary Jane's so it's time to check them out.
For winter, either take plain boots and decorate them or buy them but they are quite expensive.
Rocking horse shoes are also very common in lolita fashion. You can buy them on ebay.

Never forget a headdress or ribbons, and flowers in your hair. They make your outfit perfect.
Apart from the brands, your local shop definitely has a few flowers or ribbons. But be careful to take non-glittery ones. If you want a flower, tuck up a few strands of hair and tuck it behind you ear. For a ribbon, place it on top of your head and put your hair in curls.
You can also wear hats and bonnets and actually, anything you like. Be creative! :)

To wig or not to wig. That's a good question but in the end, it's your decision. If you think your haircolour or lenght doesn't fit take a wig. But let me tell you, there are a lot of different hairstyles, you can't do with your wig. Except if you are a wig-pro. 

Finished? Haha, no. there are still two chapters left.
First, the handbag. You definitely don't want to ruin a beautiful outfit with an old, ugly bag, do you? Handbags are not cheap but with good care, they last long. Get a bag in black or white, and your second colour and you are on the safe side.
But did you know, that also a cute teddy can be a bag? Everything is possible and they do come in very cute designs!

Accessoires round up every outfit. Necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelet, hairclips, etc etc. But use with care. If you have too much, it can easily lead to over the top lolita (OTT). Unless that's your goal, of course :)

  1. wear 2-3 colours
  2. buy a pair of bloomers and one petticoat. 
  3. start with one piece dresses (OP)
  4. wear socks/stockings and mary janes
  5. a headpiece, a flower, accessoires and bows and you are ready to go!

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