Clothes is just something you put on to cover yourself… fashion is a way to communicate. – Dries van Noten

In my series, I have explained quite a bit about the fashion but I have not explained any substyles yet! Gosh, what a miss. Just as a note: I won’t be going through all of the substyles, because there is quite a lot of them. There will be links to my sources on the bottom of this post where you can find full lists and explanations in case I missed the one you’re specifically looking for.

Gothic Lolita

This style is one of the most commonly found and most popular styles in lolita. It’s inspired by the gothic style and was popularized by the Japanese musician Mana and their brand Moi-même-Moitié. Darker colors, crosses, and veils are not uncommon in this style. Compared to the western goth style gothic lolita is much sweeter and cuter. Mainly black coordinates with accent colors are quite common, but there are also tons of gothic prints out there nowadays.

Blue dress with black blouse. Golden glasses with roses. Brown wig with blue headbow with roses. Blue shoes and black tights with golden bows.

Sweet Lolita

Sweet lolita is another big substyle of lolita fashion. The colors often in the pastel range and incorporate much more cute prints and accessories. Berries, pastries, teddy bears and sweets are common themes. This is also the frilliest and most bow and ribbon covered substyle. There is quite the color range with baby blues, whites, pinks, mints and even yellows to pick from and easy to coordinate around once you have a bit of a collection.

Classic Lolita

Classic Lolita is the last of the three bigger substyles. The style often a bit more mature and muted than the others and you can often see solid colored pieces and floral prints, but they are not required for the substyle. The style is much more simple, with fewer big ribbons and ruffles but still keeps a cuter aesthetic than for example the Aristocrat style has. Dresses are often more A-line than bell-shaped and the head accessories are smaller and more elegant in style.

Besides these styles some of my personal favorites is military lolita (which isn’t mentioned in any of the links). I just love the whole uniform feeling of the style and the clean lines as well as the color schemes. I have not been able to get my paws on a dress in this style yet, but one day I will get myself something in that substyle. I also prefer to stay on the more classic – gothic axel of things, but my style mixes all of the three styles mentioned. Not every coord is obviously just from a single substyle, they can be mixed and matched a bit to create something that suits you.


Lolita Handbook
Penguin Lolita