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Three Outfits with One Item in Three Substyles


One of the many great things about lolita fashion is how versatile it can be. Many lolitas like more than one substyle, so having pieces you can wear in multiple ways means more potential outfits. Moreover, the mainstream fashion’s idea that wearing the same outfit twice is a faux pas has permeated through our fashion too. Although it’s not true, being able to wear the same piece in different ways saves a bit of money. Of course, this depends on having a good collection of builder pieces. Still, it can be done and this post will show you just one example how!


The Dresses

Not all dresses will carry all three substyles of lolita fashion, although many can be worn in two. Solid colour pieces are easier to use, as they do not have any themes in the print that could clash. However, there may even be certain prints, e.g. some florals, which could cover all three substyles. Moreover, a JSK or a skirt will be more versatile, because it’s easier to change its look with blouses, as well as any other outerwear. OPs are more limited by design, so while you can certainly find some that’d work for three different substyles, pulling that off will be more challenging. To make this extra interesting – and thus, hopefully, extra informing for you – I will be using both a printed and a solid main piece in coordinates representing all lolita fashion substyles.

dresses for outfits

The dresses I selected for this challenge are Velvet Cecilia JSK from Metamorphose and Wonder Queen Soldier JSK from Angelic Pretty. Both of them are in wine red colourways, which will work well with all three substyles.


Sweet Outfits

Sweet lolita is all about that whimsical feeling. Whether you pile on accessories or keep it simple, the outfits have a feeling of coming out of a child’s dreams. This often involves the use of pastel and bright colours, although some sweet dresses come in dark colours too. Luckily, as long as you balance the colours out in the outfit, most styles of builder pieces will work with this substyle. With the recent trend in a more mature sweet look that leans into otome and larme fashions, sweet lolita wardrobe should easily share space with some other substyles.

Even such a fancy dress can look cute and sweet with the right pieces. Tea parties are a staple in sweet lolita outfits, while this cutsew cardigan has a hood with bunny ears. Shoes are from Queen Bee, tights from Haenuli, headbow from Enchantlic Enchantilly and cutsew cardigan is from Baby the Stars Shine Bright.


sweet outfits

Alice in Wonderland is one of the most common themes in lolita. A Mad Hatter meets the White Rabbit outfit is whimsical enough for a sweet substyle. Hat is from MAM, blouse from Angelic Pretty, OTKs from Little Rose Planet and shoes are from Queen Bee.


Classic Outfits

Classic lolita is supposed to be the most elegant of the three substyles. The coordinates look like taken from portrait paintings of the past, whether they lean Victorian, Rococo or 1950s. This means that it can use anything from soft pastel shades to rich jewel tones, usually complimented by creams and ivories. As classic lolita spans such a variety of looks, it is probably the best bridge to other styles. You could share your lighter pieces with sweet dresses as easily as you could darker ones with gothic. And if you’re quite an experienced lolita – probably the other way around as well!

classic outfits

Solid dresses look great with patterned tights. Adding a simple rectangle headdress is a recipe for timeless classic lolita outfits. Shoes are from Alice and the Pirates, headdress from Metamorphose, blouse from Innocent World and the tights are from Enchantlic Enchantilly.


classic outfits

Whilst very subtle, there are in fact some roses in this print. Florals are undeniably classic, so emphasising that theme will tone down the sweet elements of this dress. Keep everything simple and focus on the cut/style of each piece. Shoes are from Alice and the Pirates, headdress is Mary Magdalene, blouse is AmaStacia and tights are Enchantlic Enchantilly.


Gothic Outfits

Gothic lolitas have a dark, mysterious aura around them. They can look elegant, but also spooky or shocking, depending on which kind of gothic fashion most inspired the coordinate. There is a misconception that gothic equals black. While black certainly is a gothic lolita’s base colour, this substyle can sometimes share a colour palette with classic lolita. Also pay attention to the cuts because, for example, not all black blouses will work with this substyle. Because of this gothic lolita blends much more easily with classic than sweet in terms of sharing pieces. Still, there are plenty of lolitas who wear both gothic and sweet, proving that it is not impossible.

gothic outfits

The dark colours help turn this very classic dress into a more gothic one. To ensure your outfits don’t start leaning too far back into classic, accessorize with gothic jewellery. Shoes are from Alice and the Pirates, blouse from Marble, tights from Abilletage and bonnet from Krad Lanrete.


gothic outfits

In fact, you could use almost the exact same base to create gothic outfits with printed dresses too, like here. The Queen of Hearts is quite a dark character, after all, and she did wear red with black. Shoes are from Alice and the Pirates, blouse from Marble, tights from Enchantlic Enchantilly and bonnet from Krad Lanrete.


More Outfits with Other Dresses

The three coord test is a great way of checking whether a piece you’re considering buying will work with your wardrobe. This doesn’t have to be three different substyles, after all you may not wear all three yourself. Simply being able to put together three different looking outfits with one piece is a good confirmation that the dress won’t be collecting dust in your wardrobe. This is also a fun way to get your creative juices flowing with what you already have! I regularly create coordinates with my own pieces on my blog, stretching it to four outfits instead of three. If you want to some examples of how this exercise works within one person’s wardrobe, click here for more on my personal blog.



* All pieces pictured were available on Wunderwelt and Wunderwelt Libre at the time of writing. They may not be available at the time of publishing.

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