Almost three weeks ago now I published a post on my own blog showing examples of complete all-brand coordinates that you could get from websites like Wunderwelt. This was mainly to show that if you are not particularly picky, you can unlock some great bargains shopping second hand. However, we all know that you can make a lolita coordinate using items from major lolita brands. But can you do it using other brands? Let’s find out!
When window shopping for those all-brand coordinates I found enough cute clothes that still fit the lolita silhouette that were much cheaper. How come? Simply because they were from other lolita brands or from brands that predominantly focus on other fashions such as otome. Many newcomers to the fashion overlook these, either due to lack of familiarity or lack of experience with what is lolita enough. And it’s true that shopping like this will require a slightly better understanding of loita fashion. But I believe that with enough time spent on researching this fashion, it is perfectly possible to achieve. Just think of how much more unique your outfit could be by shopping this way!
Just like in the original version, the goal is to create a complete and cohesive lolita outfit as cheaply as possible. Each item has to be from a brand other than the major lolita ones and the coordinate has to be good enough to wear it to a meetup without shame. Each coordinate will include the following items: JSK, blouse or cutsew, headwear, legwear, shoes, bag, and 2 accessories. Despite using otome brands etc., the JSK has to indisputably conform to the lolita fashion guidelines on length and silhouette. Moreover, each item has to be available for purchase at the time of my search.* Lastly, to exemplify my point as best as possible, there will be one coordinate for each main substyle of lolita fashion: sweet, classic, and gothic.
* May 5th, availability at the time of publishing not guaranteed
As more of an otome brand, Emily Temple Cute has a bright, colourful and often quirky look. This makes it perfect for sweet lolita, even if it’s usually other than your typical pastel type. This gingham outfit is wonderfully summery and the print offers plenty of colours to coordinate with. You could easily play up the pies and tarts theme to super OTT sweet levels, but also wear this JSK more casually as a sundress. My rendition tried to squeeze as many colours in as possible, which I think I achieved without losing colour balance.
I know that I just said about Emily Temple Cute being bright and quirky – but this brand is not one to get boxed in easily! If the above look is not your thing, why not try ETC’s other mood which is more subdued and elegant? Classic lolita doesn’t have to mean foregoing colour, as proven by the pops of pink in this one. You could wear it to classy afternoon tea and then go straight to your family dinner afterwards. Or come to meetup straight after work or church, which this coordinate is also appropriate for. The beauty of where classic lolita and otome overlap is that they both fit a multitude of occasions.
Those who prefer something more gothic are spoilt for choice with other Japanese brands. From gothic brands to visual-kei ones to simply lesser lolita brands, you will no doubt find something appropriate in black. This coordinate would look amazing with an Antique Beast headdress or similar, however the veiled canotier brings this coord closer to where gothic lolita and visual-kei meet. The boots would certainly make this quite a comfortable coord for a concert!
What you need to remember when shopping with other Japanese brands is that it won’t always mean the entire outfit will be cheaper. These coordinates are still equivalent to a brand new JSK from a major lolita brand. This is because smaller brands still sell quality, well made items and that retains its value. But you could save by mixing your major brand pieces with those from other brands. And if you have bought a dress from another brand, hopefully this has given you ideas on how you could style it in lolita ways. As we’re still stuck at home, now is a great time for experimenting with how you put things together. So try it at home yourself and stay safe, everyone!
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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