The topic of lolita fashion as bridal wear comes up very often. And it’s not surprising – bridal wear has that aura of luxury, both in the shopping experience and how it’s something to wear once in a lifetime. The high quality of lolita fashion garments makes it an excellent choice of attire for one’s wedding. Still, deciding whether to wear it to yours or how to blend the love for your partner with that for the fashion may be trickier than expected. Have a read at some ways to marry lolita and bridal fashion (pun intended).
Generally speaking, lolita fashion is often cheaper than bridal gowns. Looking at various sites, the average cost of a wedding dress in the United States is around $1,500, with prices varying greatly between designers. And that’s likely just the price of the dress – you still have accessories and alterations to consider. Since a brand new made to order couture release from a brand like Baby the Stars Shine Bright can cost less than that and many other wedding-appropriate dresses are cheaper even when brand new, this is a great incentive for brides on a budget. Moreover, bridal price tag does not always equal great quality, something which lolitas are particularly sensitive to. You know what you get with lolita fashion, because you wear it regularly. This also means that you know what sort of feel and fit to expect before even considering any alterations. Ultimately, what kind of bridal wear you choose is entirely up to you – these are merely some reasons why some have opted to wear lolita on their big day.
Not every lolita wants to wear it to their wedding and that’s ok. There will be plenty of chances to wear it, while only this one opportunity to wear a ‘proper’ wedding dress. This doesn’t, however, mean that you have to forego everything!
There are plenty of pieces common in lolita that would work with your bridal attire. Veils and shoes are the obvious choice, but it goes beyond that. A pair of lacy socks would keep your legs covered, yet breezy. Should you lift your dress, the guests would see that your outfit is beautiful even in parts that are not normally seen. If your dress exposes shoulders, but there’s a risk of a chill, consider a lolita bolero or capelet to cover up. And depending on your wedding theme, how about using some lolita jewellery? Q-Pot has designs that would be a little more unassuming, whilst still adding that frilly flair to your wedding outfit. They even have their own bridal range, which makes it perfect for adding that something new.
So you’ve convinced yourself to wear lolita instead of a regular wedding dress. Some people certainly have dream lolita wedding dresses that they try to hunt down. Others go down the custom order route, creating something bespoke for the occasion from an indie lolita maker. And some only just warmed up to the idea of frills for their bridal attire. It’s for those that I’d like to present the following suggestions of styles and brands to consider.
This gothic lolita brand is an excellent choice for bridal wear. Many of Atelier Pierrot‘s releases come in white and/or ivory and are incredibly elegant, which fits the occasion. Moreover, their designs are very size inclusive, as many are fully shirred. Their dresses range from typically lolita to more aristocrat, from just above the knee to floor length, from empire waists to corseted. With such diversity in styles, there is bound to be something perfect for you, regardless of your personal preference of cuts. And if you’re a gothic or classic lolita, you will certainly be able to incorporate the dress into your wardrobe after the wedding.
Both Angelic Pretty and BtSSB/AatP offer more expensive, dressier gowns at least once a year. These are typically made to order and do cost roughly as much as a new bridal gown. With the lolita ones you already know what to expect with the quality and fit. These are not always white, which will be a turn off for some and a positive for others, so know what you want. Make sure to look at the listing very carefully. Ensure there is shirring if you need it and that the bodice cut is something that’d work for you. If you’re determined to get a couture dress even though it’d be too small for you, contact an experienced seamstress beforehand. Having a professional opinion on what sort of alterations may be needed will determine whether the dress can be made to fit as is or whether you’d need anything else.
Although it sometimes divides opinions, Juliette et Justine markets itself as a slightly more mature brand. Which is exactly what makes it a great choice for bridal wear. Their range includes simpler and more elaborate pieces, as well as various dress lengths. Whilst they usually offer two sizes, these are not as size inclusive as brands like Atelier Pierrot, so do take that into consideration. Unless you’re lucky enough to fall for one of the few dresses they did that are fully shirred, that is. Having said this, their pieces should be easier to find second hand than the couture dresses, which means you could buy two to alter into one that’s a perfect fit. And unlike Atelier Pierrot, Juliette et Justine has more patterns and prints on offer, if that is where you’d like your bridal wear to go.
All lolita brands produce pieces that do not feature a print. Instead, they add detail and charm through lace, ruffles, gathers, bows and all sorts of other structural features. As long as they are not from the brand’s couture range, these will be much more affordable compared to regular bridal wear and still top quality. Moreover, you should have an easier time finding a piece that fits both your size and style. Whether you need shirring or want a particular cut, from simple designs to completely OTT, there will be something for you out there. And, of course, if you don’t want to be a bride in white, this will be very easy to rectify!
Do remember that this is your special day – which means that you can wear what you want most. If that means printed dresses, to truly show off your love for lolita fashion, then so be it. From as unassuming as appliques and small bits to bold border prints, the world is your oyster. If you’re unsure about a plain dress, but also don’t feel a full print, consider something subtle like florals or embroidery. These will mimic a Western vintage look somewhat, which has also been a popular choice of bridal.
Of course, not everyone wants to wear a dress to their wedding. For those looking for stylish menswear, brides or grooms, there are plenty of options from the world of lolita fashion. You can find exquisite coats and jackets to spice up your suit or go for a full princely set. It’s common in Japan for grooms to also wear white, which you can find from Alice and the Pirates or Atelier Boz. Though if you prefer darker colours, they have you covered too together with some other brands.
Feeling inspired by these suggestions? As I said, many already wore lolita (and ouji) to their weddings, so there is more inspiration out there. Start on Instagram and Alice Holic, as well as the relevant thread on Rufflechat. Once you’ve found enough pictures to have your own lolita bridal Pinterest board, you will at least have more energy to tackle what YOU will wear.
29-year-old Capricorn, Polish-born, UK-based and in love with Japanese fashion (predominantly Lolita). I enjoy a good bargain, OTT coords, cats and baking, and when in Japan I’m a self-confessed purikura addict. When I don’t blog, I work in the education sector, overseeing international exchange programs, and sometimes I get to do some exciting freelance translations on the side.
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