Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A Complete Bittersweet Lolita Wardrobe for Under $500.

Ahhhh, the controversial substyle of bittersweet. On the one hand, those who say it’s just sweet lolita in black. On the other, those who say it’s more like sweet with a touch of punk/pastel goth/creepy cute, and is different enough to warrant its own name. Me, I’m on the fence, though leaning more towards to latter than the former, which should be made fairly obvious by the fact that I’m making this hypothetical wardrobe. I feel that the difference lies not in the clothing choice but more in the accessories and overall vibe...something that might not be conveyed too well here as I’m adhering to my usual no purse and no accessories policy ^__^

The wardrobe consists of the following items:

1 OP, 1 JSK and 1 Skirt:
I’ve followed my usual mantra of one plain and two patterned piece, this time all coming from Bodyline. The OP [$40] has a bit of a military vibe, the JSK [$40] is just fun and the skirt [$33] is the most neutral of the lot.  
1 Neutral Blouse with Detachable Sleeves:
We all know the drill here ^__^ For this wardrobe I picked a nice black blouse from Bodyline [$33], which has a detachable jabot for even more options.
1 Contrasting Blouse or Cutsew:
To provide a bit of versatility and zazz, I decided to use a super cute pink blouse from Bodyline [$40]. And no, I’m not being biased just because I have this blouse and love it to pieces.
2 Outerwear:
Again I chose to conform to my mantra of having something “structured” and something “pretty”.  The “structured” is the black with white trim blazer [$33] and the “pretty” is the black and white hooded bolero [$33] which really does have a hood, even though you can’t see it! Both are from Bodyline.
2 Headpieces:
Once more from Bodyline we have one of those spiked headbands [$7] that are all the rage and a more traditional lolita headbow in pink [$7].
2 Pairs of Shoes:
I really think shoes can make an outfit, which is why I think it’s not a complete wardrobe with only one pair. Both my choices here are from Bodyline – chunky, punky platforms [$40] from the punk section and cute-y boot-ies [$47].
5 Items of Legwear:
You can never have too much legwear. Ever. But for the purposes of keeping versatility while limiting amounts I think you need solid colour tights and a patterned or printed pair, as well as three pairs of socks – a plain neutral knee high or OTK pair, a more interesting pair of knees highs and a pair of ankle socks. For tights I chose a plain pink pair from eBay [$5] and a pair of Bodyline’s tattoo tights [$4]. All the socks are from Bodyline; plain black OTKS [$9], nice black ankle socks [$1] and black knee highs with a pink pattern [$7] which I think are actually designed to match the OP, so it’s a win-win ^__^
1 Petticoat:
I didn’t include a petticoat in the collage because it’s underwear and, you know, it goes under things. As petticoats vary in size, price and quality I’m factoring it into the equation as costing $50 which I think is a fair enough average.
Total Cost: $429
Well, um, wow. That is very within the budget! If I were doing this for real I’d probably look into getting another skirt with some of the left over dollars, and some funky accessories!

My definition of “complete” lies in being able to wear a pretty unique outfit every day for a week, here are seven sample outfits.

TBH, I really wanted to title this one "pink bits" ^__^

This outfit has lots of detail rather than relying on prints.

A great autumn outfit!

Using the blazer really tones down the busy JSK.

All black for a bit of a gothic-y day.

A very simple outfit that would be great for summer.

The sweetest outfit of all with the spiky headband bringing back the "bitter".

As always, if there’s a particular lolita style you’d like to see my budget version of, please leave a comment letting me know. Or if you want to see me to a certain style in a certain colour scheme I’ll see what I can come up with. And, if you liked this and feel like checking out the previous ones, I’ve done this kind of hypothetical wardrobe for sweet, classic, gothic and sailor lolita.

Two quick endnotes on pricing:
One; listed prices are exclusive of shipping costs, because they vary. Also, Bodyline tends to change prices for no apparent reason, so today’s cheap shoes may be tomorrow’s expensive dream.


  1. I really liked how you put these together! Is it possible to pull off a similar look with a completely pink dress? I might be getting one in a swap, and I would love to pull off a lovely slightly gothic look with it like this!

    1. Thank you, they're heaps of fun! And of course you could - black blouse, either black legwear and pink shoes or pink legwear and black shoes, maybe a pink hair accessory to balance it out and there you go. If you had a black underbust corset that could also work, or maybe use a black jacket of some kind rather than a blouse to tone the pink down even more.

  2. Ahh! I love the bittersweet style (even if it is not actually a style, who cares?). Thanks for making this, really helpful, I love the ideas and I love these types of posts. ^^ My wardrobe contains multiple colour combos with black. My favourite would have to be lavender x black.

    But it was a good idea to just stick to pink x black in this since it's so much cheaper to start a wardrobe that way. Plus, I find it's pretty hard to get lavender items compared to pink :'(

    1. So do I! It's lots of fun to make these, and I'm glad you liked it!

      Lavender and black would be lovely but you're right, so much harder to find.

  3. Can you do one for Country Lolita ?

    1. That sounds like fun! I'll give it a go :)

    2. I know it's been a long time since you left this comment, but I did do a country lolita wardrobe! You can find that post here: