Monday, 11 June 2018

Buying lolita for Western bodies

Lame title is lame, but anyhoo, let's move on. This post came about because over the weekend I met a really sweet girl who is interested in lolita, but due to being a bit tall and broad shouldered (which is pretty common among Westerners) has not bought anything due to concerns of fit. I said I'd message her a list of indie brands so she'll know what some of the options are. And then I thought, well, it's going to be a really long message so why not actually put my thoughts into coherent sentences and just do a blogpost instead!

So there are going to be two parts to this post: tips on what to wear and how to wear it, and I list of brands that I think provide good options for people who do not fit the standard Japanese body shape. So this is partially aimed at the fat lolitas, the tall lolitas, the buff lolitas, the busty lolitas, but equally as well to people who are just...not Japanese. Because we all deserve to look amazing in lolita, and sometimes just buying brand off the rack is not the way to do that. ]

First of all, some tips on what to do when you can't just look good in everything. As always, this is just my personal opinion. But as a tall-ish, fat, big framed lolita I think I know what I'm talking about ^__^

A picture of the body my experience comes from; five foot six and currently a size AU16.

The biggest tip is to know your measurements. More stuff will fit you than you think! However, you will need to pay attention to the skirt to bodice ratio; generally if you are taller or broader than the intended body things will fit but not quite as intended. Know what length of skirt you are comfortable with. Most of the time straps are adjustable in length (and you can always extend them or alter to a halter neck) but if the shoulder measurement is very much smaller than yours they may flare outwards rather than go straight over the shoulders. To me, if something is great other than the straps, just wear a bolero or cardigan, especially because that solves any issues with blouse fit. Speaking of blouses, you can wear a JSK with a blouse that doesn't close over the bust. If it's nice in the neckline and the sleeves but your boobs get in the way, what does it matter with a JSK? Of course, it's better to have things that fit properly but still that was worth mentioning. As a last point on picking your clothes, remember that underskirts can be a godsend but that if they don't match well they can look lazy. Use with caution.

Enough of tips, here are my suggestions on where to shop if you're not standard Japanese size!

Lady Sloth does great blouses and a lot of unique main pieces. I think her prices are fair and I have liked the things I have bought from her in the past (and intend to buy more in future, have you seen the preview for her new berry print?). She has a range of standard sizes and also offers many things custom sized.

A recent (and lovely) series from Lady Sloth

For blouses and boleros, both Glitter Tale and Bunny House are apparently also quite good, though I have not bought from them myself. But like Lady Sloth they offer good standard sizes as well as custom options. I used to also love The Floral Notebook for blouses too, but they don't seem to be active any more.

Bunny House also does petticoats, but my number one recommendation for pettis is Me Likes Tea. She also does phenomenal bloomers! Lately her stories on Instagram have also featured pretty dresses, so she may be going to expand her offerings in future.

I also recommend The Black Ribbon - I have cutsews from her that immediately become wardrobe favourites. I haven't seem any of her main pieces in real life, but if the cutsews are an indication they're top-notch too.

The Black Ribbob keeping it gorgeous.

As far as standard off the rack goes, I do actually have to recommend Bodyline as well. I have not have fit issues due to my big old Aussie frame in any of the pieces I have bought from them. I will say though, I haven't bought any of their releases from the last three or so years, so I can't vouch for their newer stuff. But the older things have definitely been good. As we all know, Bodyline can be a bit iffy on quality, but it's easy enough to find worn photos and reviews of most of their items before you buy.

If you do want to go full proper brand, I find Metamorphose temps de fille has also been great. The only issue I've had with clothes from them is one blouse being very tight around the neck but it did have a high collar so eh. But Meta dresses with full back shirring are very forgiving (up to a 110cm bust easily in my experience) and the shoulders fit fine. And their socks are amazing!

Meta socks are best socks <3

With longer lengths on offer, Innocent World is also sometimes a good bet...provided you don't have a particularly large bust. I'd cautiously recommend them, because it really depends on your frame. However, like Meta, their socks are phenomenal on chunky legs.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of lolita indie brands (or big brands that are good for a wide range of body types) but just the ones that first come to my mind when thinking of recommendations for someone with curves and nicely built shoulders.

Do you have any suggestions to add to what I have here? Any disagreements?

6 comments:

  1. Atelier Pierrot is great for generous shirring and long lengths!

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    1. Awesome! Thanks for the suggestions, I've never really looked at their clothes much so good to know ^__^

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  2. As far as Japanese brands are concerned, I second Atelier Pierrot and would also like to add Triple Fortune and possibly Physical Drop. Although I don't own any clothing pieces from either of these three, I have heard good things and AtePie and 3F regularly do fully shirred pieces, while 3F and PD do plenty of longer pieces as well. Oh, and Enchantlic Enchantilly also often do beautiful fully shirred pieces! And Mam Maxicimam is meant to be very good for plus size, as they carry a whole Lovely Size range intended for plus size lolitas. Oh, and Millefleurs have lots of fully shirred blouses, but whilst I keep eyeing them, I haven't actually bought one myself yet. (Haha, sorry, this is getting more disorganised by the minute!)
    I also recommend Haenuli, although with a word of caution. Her full back shirred pieces regularly get "complaints" from people who have ordered their size to find it too large for them. (The one dress I own is actually a size S/M, but still has plenty of room left.) They offer a range of sizes, though like I said, their shirring tends to be on the generous side.
    As far as legwear is concerned, I heard good stuff about Haenuli tights (though haven't been able to test that myself) and Enchantlic Enchantilly ones (I have a pair which did fit, but the waistband was lower than what I find comfortable and it was a little bit of a wiggle dance to get into them - and I mainly need sideways stretch for my thighs).
    And then there are all the various Chinese brands offering custom size and a range of sizes and sometimes lengths. Although of those Soufflesong is the only one I know that still offers custom sizing on *some* of their pieces and they recently upped their custom size fee a little.
    As far as actual plus size (so not so much for tall or broad framed) lolitas, Magical Girl Me has a range of very thorough reviews of the various places that she has shopped in, it's worth checking her blog out: http://www.magicalgirlme.com/lolita-fashion-blog As someone who is plus size, it's good to read/see reviews from someone who struggles with similar issues, as well as to see what the pieces she reviews look like on her frame for some extra context.
    I'm also sure that there's something to be applied to lolita from the Western 'fashion tips for various body shapes' rules, but that could be a whole separate post on its own! Personally I found that I like lower waist cuts and that generally they can be flattering on people with larger busts (because even if the dress rides up because of boobs, the lower waist rising still sits nearer one's natural waistline than let's say a standard AP cut). And pear shaped lolitas might have it pretty easy, since smaller shoulders will fit most blouses whilst hips are invisible and irrelevant in lolita fashion. Of course, those always need to be taken with a grain of salt because personal taste enters the picture a lot - so while high-waist cuts might not be recommended to bustier lolitas, if you like it on yourself after trying it on, then don't let anyone stop you from rocking that.
    So to sum up :P Thank you for this, it was a great post and I'm sure it'll be useful not just to that one person you wrote it for, but for many future lolitas looking for advice. :)

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    1. You win the internet award for the most thoroughly helpful comment! Thanks for all those additions!

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  3. Excentrique was great for bigger sizes, so long it is not the shoulders that is the issue,
    I have an op and it fit perfectly in the shoulders, however the recommended messaurement of 108cm in bust is no lie, I am basically floating in it, it is so big and flowy.
    Another would be cutsews from Cherie Cherise, they are just fantastic.
    However like every brand I buy jsks from, I had to move buttons down, because I am so long in the body.
    Mam maxicimam has a plussize line.
    However that is a hole between that one and their ordinary sizing, secondly they aren't super good for tall people.
    Lief has coats, jsks and ops. On occasions cardigans.
    Physical drop has mutible sizings and long lengths.
    Ergi & Piratessan
    Dresses, but socks is nice for taller people.
    Eat Me Ink me
    Custom sizing, mutible lengths, cutsews, underskirts and the socks I have is machinewashable and fairly long.
    Violet fane: the thights is great and can stretch to longer than written. Can't tell about her dresses.

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    1. Thank you for the additions! It's terrible though, because I am now browsing the Cherie Cerise store and have to resist buying the pretties!

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