After running through hypothetical budget wardrobes for sweet and classic, the logical next step was a gothic lolita version, so here we have it, using the same basic guidelines to make a fairly complete and versatile wardrobe for $500.
However, before I go any further, I do want to say that I’m not a huge fan of the monochrome. So this wardrobe has a fair bit more colour in it than what the stereotype of gothic lolita would imply. I chose to incorporate royal blue with the black instead of the more typical red or white because that’s the signature Moitie colour scheme, so using the same colours is a way to take an influence from one of the big brands without necessarily using any of their pieces. However, the blue items can all be purchased in all-black versions, so just picture that if this is too colourful to fit your particular vision of gothic lolita.
The wardrobe consists of the following items:
1 OP, 1 JSK and 1 Skirt:
Normally I suggest having one of these in a plain colour, with the other two being in a patterned or printed fabric, preferably with one being more elaborate than the other. However, given the largely monochromatic nature of the gothic substyle, it’s not so easy here to depend on a cute border print or a vintage floral to get your different patterns. So here I’ve gone for an all-black chiffon onepiece [$53] which can be easily dressed up or down, a blue with black detailing JSK [$67] and a rather fancy black skirt with embroidered details [$40], all from Bodyline.
1 Neutral Blouse with Detachable Sleeves:
There are two keywords to remember here – neutral and detachable. To get the most bang for your buck this is the best way to go for a blouse. Bodyline has a nice black blouse [$47] which also has a detachable jabot, giving even more versatility.
1 Contrasting Blouse or Cutsew:
This piece is to add versatility to the wardrobe, so I went with both a different colour and a different fabric. The combination of being both blue and made of nice satin makes this F+F blouse [$45] a definite statement piece.
Though these are terribly unspecific terms, I think having something “structured” and something “pretty” are two good choices for outerwear such as, for example, a full coat and a light bolero, or a military style jacket and a ruffled cardigan. Both my outerwear choices are from F+F; an elegant bolero [$38] and a fantastic military style vest [$58] that I have totally and utterly fallen in love with. So maybe it’s not the most gothic thing out there. I don’t care, it’s gorgeous!!
Something unquestionably lolita, either a headbow or a rectangle headdress if you like the old school look, and something else that suits your personal style – a floral crown, a full sized hat, a miniature hat, a beret, whatever. I feel like gothic is a style where you can got a bit more old school with a rectangle headdress, here from Bodyline [$7], and a bit more artsy with a floral headband [$28] from an etsy seller that I can't find a link to any more - if you know who this comes from please let me know so I can credit them!
2 Pairs of Shoes:
You could get away with just one pair of incredibly style neutral shoes but having two different pairs makes a wardrobe that much more complete. I’m a huge shoe person so I know I’m biased here but I really don’t think you can be totally stylish with only one pair of shoes. Both from Bodyline, the kitten heels [$40] are the more elegant option while the strappy platforms [$40] are the more typically Western gothic style of shoe.
5 Items of Legwear:
Like shoes, socks and tights are one of those things I never think you can have too many of. But for the purposes of keeping versatility while limiting amounts I think you need two pairs of stockings, one that’s a solid colour and one that’s either patterned or printed. Then there are three pairs of socks – plain neutral OTKs, a more interesting pair of knees highs and a pair of ankle socks. With these selections you’ll have something for your legs from the height of summer to the depths of winter. All the socks pictured are from Bodyline; black OTKs [$9], blue OTKs [$7] and black ankle socks [$1]. Both pairs of tights are from eBay, lacy thigh highs [$8] and a plain black pair [$4].
I haven’t put a picture of a petticoat in the collage because really, there’s no need to. There are also lots of differently shaped and priced petticoats, so I’m factoring it into this equation the petticoat as costing $50.
Total Cost: $478
Yay! Under budget! I’d probably invest in a headbow if I were actually purchasing this wardrobe, and some black flowers to clip in the hair ^__^
You will note I’ve left out accessories, jewellery and purses from this list. Most ladies will already have a collection and also, in particular with gothic lolita, there are a few different routes one can take from spikes to bats to crosses to skulls, from classical loveliness to uber gothic-ness, and even though the choice of such items can really alter the vibe of an outfit, I never want to suggest a particular route for such things.
On to the seven sample outfits!
Contrasting the soft chiffon with more structured pieces.
Simple and elegant.
A very simple kuro coord with a bit of an old school vibe.
A very richly blue outfit with lots of black detailing.
This is elegant gothic lolita, what more is there to say?
An almost sweet outfit, perfect for summer.
There's a lot of subtle texturing in this outfit. Yup.
And there you have it, a workable gothic lolita wardrobe that isn't just black, black and more black. If you have a lolita substyle you'd like to see me work up a hypothetical wardrobe for, leave a comment and let me know!
Two quick endnotes on pricing:
Firstly, all the prices here are exclusive of shipping. Lastly, Bodyline tends to change prices seemingly on a whim, so today’s cheap dress may be tomorrow’s abuse on the wallet. You have been warned ^__^