I think the three most challenging lolita substyles are Punk Lolita, Ero Lolita, and Guro Lolita. These three substyles each have their own unique characteristics, but they still fall under the umbrella category of “lolita fashion.”
- What is Punk Lolita? This lolita substyle is heavily influenced by punk fashion. Popular fabric patterns I noticed for Punk Lolita are tartan or plaid, stripes, diamonds, and checkerboards. Some popular motifs are chains, skulls, thorny roses, and card suits (trump). Platform boots and shoes, Hello Lace describes Punk Lolita as “REBELLIOUS WITHIN THE OWN FASHION” and “edgy and cute.”
- Good brands to look at? h.Naoto, Black Peace Now, Putumayo
- Tips for achieving this style: I think a punky cutsew would be super cool in a Punk Lolita coordinate. A blouse would work well too, but I think this is one of the substyles that cutsews and other more casual tops (sweatshirts and cardigans) would work really well for. You can also experiment with legwear: leg warmers, unique printed tights, or mis-matching OTKs could look great with the right Punk Lolita coord! I think that an asymmetrical skirt would look great for Punk Lolita too. (And asymmetry in general is really fun… asymmetrical hems on a cutsew, for example. Or wearing a glove on only one hand.)
- Great example of a Punk Lolita coord: I love GirlonSunday‘s style, and I found this old Punk Lolita coordinate of hers. I love her use of the pink and black jacket (with zipper details) and her platform creeper shoes. Her sheer tights add a sense of cute rebellious attitude. I love how the coordinate is edgy but also looks comfortable to wear.
- What is Ero Lolita? This lolita substyle is looks more mature and has a sexy feel to it. “Sexy” does not mean completely throwing away the modest cuts of lolita clothing though. Ero Lolita coordinates should still maintain the lolita silhouette. The skirts can be a shorter length, but it should never be a miniskirt. Dresses used for Ero Lolita may also have lower necklines, or they could even be strapless (bustier-style). Most Ero Lolita coordinates I have seen stick to black for the color scheme and have a gothic feel.
- Good brands to look at? Atelier Pierrot, Antique Beast, Moi Meme Moitie
- Tips for achieving this style: A sexy accessory I would recommend for Ero Lolita is the corset! You could wear an over-bust corset or under-bust corset over your favorite velvet JSK or blouse-and-skirt pairing, and then accessorize with a velvet choker necklace, pretty hair bow, and high heeled shoes. If you don’t have a corset, a waist-cincher or other wide belt style could achieve a similar effect: drawing attention to your waistline, and therefore, your curves.
- Great example of an Ero Lolita coord: Tamie de Rêve has coordinated some beautiful Ero Lolita outfits. She looks sexy yet elegant, and her coord style is still distinctly lolita.
Above, her skirt is shorter than standard lolita length, but it is still not a miniskirt. The skirt still floofs out in an A-line shape as well, so it’s safe to assume that she is wearing a petticoat. Her coordinate incorporates lace, a lush red wig, and dark dramatic makeup.
Here is another one of Tamie’s amazing coodrinates:
Here, she uses sheer stockings and heels to add to the sexiness of the outfit. She also wears a birdcage skirt, a great choice for Ero Lolita!
- What is Guro Lolita? This lolita substyle focuses on the grotesque. Coordinates for this substyle tend to take on a theme: injury, blood, hospital, monster, broken doll, etc. Many Guro Lolita coordinates have a white dress splattered with blood. Many Guro Lolitas also use accessories like fake bandages, eyepatches, and ripped stuffed animals or broken dolls.
- Good brands to look at? I can’t think of any brands that cater to Guro Lolita. Maybe h.Naoto or other brands that have ripped and/or distressed clothing styles may work for the creepy Guro aesthetic. But I think you should use your imagination and keep an open mind! Feel free to look at brands like Metamorphose and Alice and the Pirates. But at the same time, keep your eyes open at indie brand/off brand sources: search through thrift stores for loliable items that you wouldn’t mind bleaching, ripping, or staining with blood… keep an eye on online community sales like EGL-Comm-Sales or Facebook sales groups for people trying to get rid of damaged lolita pieces… and of course, you can look for cute dresses that can be incorporated into the Guro Lolita aesthetic without damaging them. I think that this substyle is about the creativity and the imagination!
- Tips for achieving this style: I have always wanted to try Guro Lolita, but I do not have the heart to bloody-up or rip any of my dresses. If you really want to go for the bloody/ripped-up look, my advice would be to use a dress that is already damaged. That dress you spilled curry on and the stains just won’t come off? You could turn that dress into a wonderful Guro Lolita dress by adding fake blood and coordinating it with matching (blood-stained) accessories. Do you have a skirt that got snagged on something and ripped? You don’t have to try to fix it up; instead, you could use the rip to your advantage and accessorize with ripped tights or OTKs, fake bandages, and a medical eye patch… and you could go for the broken doll look this way. Even though most Guro Lolita coordinates use white dresses, you don’t have to stick to that colorway. You could use dark colors if you wanted to achieve a grotesque monster-like look; maybe you could use a print with a horror or creepy theme, and then do scary-looking makeup to make yourself look more creepy. If you want to actually look like a broken doll, you could try applying makeup in a way that makes your skin look like cracked porcelain. Be sure to seal your makeup when you are done so it does not smudge! Do you have a wig beyond saving? You could always tease the wig fibers and make it even messier to add to a creepy Guro look.
- Great example of a Guro Lolita coord: On DeviantART, sassy strawberry has some lovely photos of her Guro Lolita outfit. She goes for the blood-splattered lolita look, with a white dress and white headdress and red accessories to accent the blood on her clothes. She even has a bandaged-up and bloody teddy bear as a prop!
~Be sure to read other blog posts on this topic for the Lolita Blog Carnival!