Friday, November 13, 2015

Lolita Blog Carnival: 3 Favorite Brands and Why


This week in the Lolita Blog Carnival, we've been asked to talk about our favorite brands and why we like them. I think the answer to this question is always heavily tied to what aesthetics define Lolita for each person individually, as well as how and in what context they wear Lolita fashion. Because everyone has different tastes and different circumstances, we can see a variety of answers!

The particular aesthetic that most coincides with my personal feeling of being a Lolita is a sweet-classic feel. It's like tiptoeing the line between sweet and classic, where it is not too mature, but also still has a sense of elegance and demureness to it. While I adore looking at intricate prints, and I can appreciate the artwork that goes into them, a lot of my personal preference lies towards more solid-color designs or simpler floral and other all-over prints, rather than border prints. I also tend to prefer a more simplistic approach to accessories, partly because I prefer that look on myself, and also because I get irritated when I have too many objects hanging about me.

While I naturally tend towards a more toned-down aesthetic, the way I dress is also influenced by the fact that I consider Lolita to be part of my everyday wardrobe. While I do tend to go more elaborate for special occasions, meetups, conventions, etc., most of the time I'm wearing Lolita to do mundane things like running errands and going about the neighborhood or my apartment. Thus, I tend to put together my daily outfits with practicality (and sometimes speed of dressing) being primary factors.

With those things in mind, let's talk about my three favorite Lolita brands!


I am at heart always and forever an Innocent World girl, right from the beginning of my Lolita days. The brand aesthetic is exactly the balance of sweet and classic that I hold in my mind as my personal image of Lolita. My very first brand piece was a carousel print JSK from Innocent World, and it is still one of my favorite pieces.

I own a lot of pieces from Innocent World, and every one of them I would consider to be high quality. They use good fabrics with a nice feel and appropriate drape, and as far as I can tell the construction is solid. The printed pieces have crisp imaging, and I've yet to encounter any issues with running or color transfer.

Quality aside, what really draws me to this brand is the abundance of simple but elegant designs. Of course, as with any brand, they offer a range of very elaborate to more wearable pieces. But overall, they tend to have very clean and simple cuts with some frills and lace embellishments, but not so many as to be overwhelming. In general, I feel like their cuts and the shapes of their silhouettes tend to have a slightly more mature girly feel, which gives even their sweeter print designs still a feeling of elegance.

Much of my IW collection consists of solid designs rather than prints, but something that I really like about their prints is the "old fairytale book illustration" feeling that the artwork tends to have. It's not really so much sugary cute, as just rather charming and quaint. Illustrations along the lines of the original Beatrix Potter books, or Alice in Wonderland share that type of feeling.

The most representative piece of what I love about IW is the Viennese Waltz Frill JSK. The artwork is charmingly cute, but done in more muted colors that lend it a more mature feel. While high-waisted cuts can be childish, this particular shape retains a sense of elegance. The small frill details express a certain princessy or doll-like aesthetic, but are not so overly bold as to take away from the simplicity of the piece.


Baby's aesthetic tends towards the sweeter, more princessy side of the sweet-classic spectrum, but still captures the feeling I love. In particular, I am a fan of their non-print, floral and all-over print designs. My first Baby piece was the Blooming Snow White JSK.

While they do put out many print-focused pieces, especially more recently, they do a good job of balancing that with non-print designs and staple wardrobe pieces.

One thing that I especially like about their prints is that they often follow themes drawn from literature and fairytales. I always gravitate towards those subjects and find them very hard to resist. I am also fond of many of their older print designs, such as their Swan Lake print, Music Salon print, and their Alice and the Fawn print.

My signature piece from Baby is the Dessert OP. This is a design they've re-released almost yearly with minor variations in lace and details, and I would eventually like to have it in lavender, black, and pink as well. The design is cute and princess-liky, but not overly childish. The fabric is beautiful with a dot texture that adds interest, and the lace is beautiful and plush. It embodies my favorite aspects of Baby's non-print designs, in which complexity comes from details in the design (fabric, pintucks, lace, ruffles, layers, tiers), rather than elaborate prints.


My third favorite brand is not strictly a Lolita brand. and as such most of their pieces are not designed with Lolita fashion in mind. In fact, they tend to distance themselves from Lolita, preferring to be labeled an otome brand. That said, because I do prefer something a bit simpler than some other Lolitas, quite a number of their pieces fit quite well in my personal Lolita aesthetic. Especially when practicality comes into play, and giant petticoats are not always appropriate, ETC dresses and skirts with a moderate petticoat fit in perfectly.

My favorite thing about ETC is their quirky prints, with sometimes unusual themes. Because they are not a Lolita brand, and don't really care to follow the goings-on in Lolita trends and such, they actually tend to stand out for me. For example, they don't usually line up with Lolita brands in terms of print themes, and the illustration style is also different. I would described it as part children's book, part old-timey fairytale. It shares that sort of antique charm that IW illustrations have, but usually brighter and more bold.

Another area where they stand out for me is with their really nice designs for wardrobe fillers and accessories. I always like their cardigan and cutsew designs, which would be perfect for everyday wearers in terms of comfort and being not too loud or outlandish. They also have very cute coats and hats, which I would very much like to own some of one day.

My favorite piece that I own from ETC is the Victoria Music OP. It has one of my favorite print themes, music! The artwork exemplifies the all-over prints they do, and the streamlined high-waist cut of the piece is one commonly seen in ETC's OPs and JSKs.


Of course I have pieces that I love from many other brands as well, but these three are my top three in terms of matching my own Lolita aesthetic as well as fitting into my wardrobe for wearing Lolita fashion on a daily basis.

Please visit the other blogs in the Lolita Blog Carnival who participated in this topic!



  1. Ah, I love the Btssb Dessert op on you, it's so cute and I love the saxe color way very pretty. Very well detailed post, good job!^ ^

    1. Thank you! The Dessert OP is definitely one of my favorite dresses in my wardrobe ^_^