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How to Add Colour to Your Lolita Wardrobe?

Add colour through cutsews

Neutral colours are great to pad your wardrobe with, however sometimes they can feel a little too safe. Don’t feel intimidated to introduce colourful blouses and other builder pieces to your collection. With these few tips you’ll add colour to your wardrobe in no time and without breaking the budget!

 

Look at the Colours Already in Your Lolita Wardrobe

The first and most important tip is to not do anything at random – plan. It’s no point to add colour that won’t match anything you own. This is where having a detailed wardrobe post comes in useful. Make a list of every colour that’d complement each piece and look for those that appear most often. Those are the best ones to start with as they will be the most versatile. And as comfortingly safe as it is to do, try to ignore white, ivory and black for now.

Haenuli's Whipped Cream Kitty JSK

Look at all the different colours you could extract from this one dress alone! Red is obvious, but there’s also pink, mint and yellow that could create a lovely, colourful outfit.

 

Add Colour in Blocks

A classic mistake is to only think of one kind of pieces, like blouses, when incorporating colours into your wardrobe. Unfortunately, that leaves you with a bunch of imbalanced and/or incomplete coordinates. To successfully add colour to your wardrobe, you need to think in blocks. Remember the suggestions for creating colour balance in a coord. Personally, when adding a new colour to my wardrobe, I try to complete a base set: headwear, blouse and socks. Alternatively, opt for a bottom or top coord block. Bottom block would be your blouse and legwear and top block would consist of headwear, main piece and shoes. However, unless you’re already thinking of adding a new main piece, top block is an expensive option. Simply ensure that you add a full set, not individual pieces, so that you could coordinate straight away.

Coordinate from May 2017

When you add colour in blocks, not only you can coord things straight away, but create the appearance of better colour match.

 

Don’t Fixate on Perfect Colour Matches

It’s a fact of Lolita life that colours don’t always match. Sometime pieces from the same series from the same brand will differ in colour too. Even your blacks and whites are often different shades! That’s also why it’s important to think about introducing colours to your wardrobe in blocks. Separating one colour with another creates the illusion of matching shades, as well as balances the two. As you add colour and accumulate pieces, eventually you’ll find something that matches perfectly, but don’t make that your goal. It’s actually very rarely that you’d need a perfect match, mostly in monotone coordinates. Focus instead on finding pieces in the colours you want that will allow you to create complete outfits.

Add colour, not colour matches

The headbow and the JSK are two very different shades of mint. Clever coordinating can mask that. Photo by Emily Valentine Photography.

 

No Pressure to Add Colour from Brands

While Japanese brands create many gorgeous pieces in a whole assortment of colours, don’t limit yourself to those. It’s one thing if you like a design or found a bargain, but the fashion world is full of alternatives. Inexpensive Chinese brands is just the tip of the iceberg too! Look at brands like Axes Femme and Fi.n.t. from Japan. They offer plenty of tops in various colours, are cheap second hand and have enough detail to work with Lolita fashion, even Sweet and pastel variety. Even eBay or AliExpress can be your friends if you’re after solid pieces like tights, socks or berets. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for appropriate pieces in vintage or even second hand shops. Colour is everywhere, so stop clinging to certain labels over others. Instead focus on getting the shade you want in a cut or style that will be appropriate for Lolita.

You don't have to add colour from Japanese Lolita brands.

This Axes Femme cutsew has all the detail necessary to work with Lolita fashion at a fraction of the price.

 

Stay Patient

It’s ok to be excited about expanding your wardrobe, but don’t rush into anything. Better to buy a piece with the perfect colour, cut, fit and price than just whatever you can find. Sometimes the right colour and cut combination is harder to find – the wait makes getting it all the more satisfying. If you’re ordering from abroad, it could also be pricier to ship one small bit than a larger order. Consider what is it you want, your budget and how urgently you need it. Fashion nowadays is so diverse and inclusive that there definitely is an option for you out there. So don’t compromise and only add colour to your Lolita wardrobe when the piece meets all of your criteria. That’s the key to a happy you in your new colourful wardrobe.

Angelic Pretty OTKs, Vendula bag and offbrand cardigan

This shade of blue on Angelic Pretty’s Candy Fun Fair OTKs is not common in Lolita fashion, but there’s plenty of it outside of it. Patience and open eyes can help you add colour that’s just right.

27-year-old Capricorn, Polish-born, UK-based and in love with Japanese fashion (predominantly Lolita). I enjoy a good bargain, OTT coords, cats and baking, and when in Japan I’m a self-confessed purikura addict. When I don’t blog, I work in the education sector, overseeing international exchange programs, and sometimes I get to do some exciting freelance translations on the side.