Monday, 16 January 2012

How to survive lolita as a plus size girl.

Let me start this blog post by saying that I have been wearing lolita fashion for over six years now. In those years a learned a lot.
First thing you need to know is that lolita fashion is not exclusive for those who are lucky enough to fit in the famous lolita brands. It's all about knowing how to dress and were to get clothes that actually do fit you.  Even the most skinny girls have trouble wearing a fashion designed for small Japanese people.
When I started wearing lolita the market was really small. Meta just accepted online ordering and my first dress was a Bodyline replica. Six years later I am able to wear lolita on an every day basis!

What you need to know when you are a plus sized girl and thinking about wearing lolita fashion?

1. Keep in mind that it's a difficult process. People will probably mock you for wanting to dress this way. Even the non plus size girls get insulted wearing lolita on the street. It's just something you have to face. Being different is something some people can't seem to handle, but that's their problem don't let it become yours!

2. Be prepared for the fact that some other girls believe that this fashion isn't made for us plus sizers. And yes they are right. This fashion wasn't made for bigger girls but that doesn't mean we can't make it ours! Unfortunately there is a lot of hate on sites like egl secret and 4 chan. Don't let them get you. The most popular girls get bashed the most. Just be who you want to be.

3. Know your own body! Sounds simple but know your measurements. Your flaws and your good sides. Work with what you have.

4. Realize most brand pieces won't fit you! It sounds harsh but believe me its frustrating lusting over a brand piece when knowing it will never ever fit you!

5. Be ready to invest. To take risks. This is pretty much a hit and miss trail.

Oh yeah dressing lolita sounds like a horror story doesn't it? I am just being honest here. There were times I loved this fashion but also lots of moments I truly hated it. I'm not one of those persons who likes to sugarcoat things.

So you're still set on becoming the prettiest lolita that walked the planet? Good for you, go for it!
Here are some things that might be help full.

fully shirred dress by Metamorphose
* Shirring is your best friend! Full shirring is the best option when you want to buy and wear brand clothes without altering them. Keep in mind that most shirring pieces look best if your bust is under
120 cm/47 inch. The fact that you might fit into something doesn't mean it looks good on you!
Almost every brand has released a shirred piece, some far in the past some more recently. Metamorphose and Baby the stars shine bright are known for recently putting out fully shirred pieces.

White underskirt by fanplusfriend

* If you are tall, invest in a good underskirt! Brand dresses are short cos, like I mentioned before, these dresses aren't made for the Western market. You don't want to walk around knowing that everyone can see your butt even though you are wearing those cute frilled bloomers. I actually have 4 underskirts. Two black skirts, one white and one of white. I had most of them made by a friend of mine, but I've also been lucky enough to stumble upon a underskirt from Emily Temple Cute with an elastic waist.
 I've never seen any other brand underskirts tho
 ( except the ruffled butt once by the classic brands ) and it's kinda useless to invest a lot of money into something that you'll wear under your expensive brand pieces. A simple skirt with a ruffle will do. Just make sure that they are the right length cos walking around with a tiny little dress over a skirt looks kinda weird.

Overknee socks by Innocent World
Overknee socks by Baby the
stars shine bright.
*Buy some solid colored tights. I have a bunch of them. Choose dark colors to make your legs look slimmer. If you are thinking about wearing sweet lolita check uit we love colors for an amazing collection of coloured plus sized tights. Many brands offer matching socks for their printed pieces. Most brand socks will fitt just fine. Even tough some people may advice you to stay away from socks cos they'll make your legs look shorter I would go for overknee socks. Those probably will not go over your knee when you are plus sized but they look so much better then knee socks. If your skirt has the right length then you will only show a little bit of leg.

* One of the basics when you are wearing lolita and want to have that perfect lolita silhouette is a petticoat. It gives that nice poof that makes this fashion so recognizable. But it will also make you look heavier then you are. So to wear a petti or not?

Pannier by Angelic pretty
I personally don't wear my petti's that much. If you have large hips you already have that shape needed for your skirts and dresses. I don't see the need to make me look any bigger then I already am. But that's my opinion. Do whatever feels good for you. Don't use your petti to add some extra length. A petticoat should not to be seen.
The same goes for bloomers, eventhough you can use them for adding some extra length when a piece is too short on you they also add extra volume and will make you look bigger then you are. If you want I little extra poof you can go for a pannier. A pannier isn't as stiff as a petticoat and doesn't give you that poof of doom look.

bolero by Metamorphose
*Invest in some boleros and cardigans! They don't have to be brand. But if you want them to be brand look around for Metamorphose or Innocent World knit onces they stretch quite a bit or Baby the stars shine brights cutsew types. Btssb knits tend to be not as stretchy as Meta's. Angelic Pretty is really hard. Most of their items run really really small.
Bolero by Innocent World
Buy them in solid colors. I like wearing cardigans that match my tights for a nice color scheme. Make sure the length isn't to long. If a cardigan hits your waist it's already on the long side.

I love cardigans for the following reasons:
- If a dress is a bit tight at the bust you can cover it up.
-When you can't or haven't invested in a blouse you just wear a cardigan or a bolero.
-You can dress up by adding items like bows or brooches so with a solid piece you can even go over the top sweet. It's all up to you!

* That brings us back at something I shortly mentioned before. Blouses. I have a love/hate affair with my blouses. A blouse is one of those basics that will make your look complete but it can also make you look bigger then you are.
Shirred blouse by Baby the stars shine bright.
I've got a few brand blouses but to be honest I love my non brand blouses more. Metamorphose has an L range in blouses and Baby the stars shine bright to, eventhough the L section seems to come and go. Maxicimam has a range named lovely with larger sizes.
Btssb releases fully shirred blouses every now and then. They might fit but take good care that they'll fit you well. I had problems with the sleeves being to tight or to short. Make sure the sleeves aren't to puffy making you look broader then you are.
I have most of my blouses made for my size. I used to buy them from fanplusfriend but since they are kinda hit or miss I recently decided to buy them from taobao. However you will need a shopping service to shop there. I will post a blogpost about plus size shopping at Taobao soon.

High collar blouse by Mary Magdalena
Innocent world fur collar.
I've never been so lucky to find the perfect blouse in a mainstream fashion shop. They all have the wrong collar. However you can hide that collar by investing in some (fake) fur collars that you can wear over it. Innocent World has some really nice onces, but most brand seems to carry them these days  and the are not hard to make so if you are on a budget go get a cheap blouse and make it work.
I've given up on cutsews ( brand t-shirts) they simply don't fit and if they do they are too short cos I have boobs of doom pulling the cutsew up. There are a lot of tutorials online on how to make a cutsew out of a regular shirt. Just look it up on google.

* If you are really set on wearing brand find a good seamstress! Brand pieces can be altered for your size by someone who knows what he/she is doing. Keep in mind that re-sale value will go down if you alter brand.

Being a plus sized lolita can be utterly depressing. Try not to get stuck in that but-I-want-it-to-fit-cos-I-love-it-sooooo-much fase. Cheer up by buying the brand stuff that will make your look complete like bags, headbows, necklaces etc.  Keep in mind that you are pretty as long as you feel pretty no matter what others say!
Please feel free to ask me anything. I would love to help! I hope this was useful and I wish you all the best in your lolita adventure!

*A small edit...since some people mentioned it, I will write a post about custom sizing and replica's and such soon! Probably around next week when I have time! Thanks for the amazing reactions! *


  1. I love how positive this post is, I think this is probably the best post I've ever reading on being a Plus Sized Lolita.
    You're a lot less preachy than some of the others, makes me smile :)

  2. Thanks! I tried to be positive but not to positive, if that makes sense. In the end all I can do is tell my story people have to find out what works for them :)

  3. Thanks for this post! I'm going to get a bolero now because my blouses pull some in the bust.
    I'd like to add that some seamstresses are better than brand and worth the money. (Usually a dress will cost as much as a new brand dress, but it's def worth it!) It'll be made to your measurements and probably be unique to you.
    I'd recommend Megan Maude, she's on etsy. I've commissioned 2 things from her and they were both great. I'm saving up for a blouse from her.
    If you are more on the larger or really curvy size, Megan recommends Blasphemina's Closet. She's skilled with working to make larger sizes look awesome with her tailoring. I don't have any of her work, but if an awesome seamstress endorses her that's good enough for me. She doesn't have much lolita on her site, so I guess you'd have to special commission it.
    Ah, I've said too much! Sorry!

    1. You can never say too much! ;) I haven't got any experience with both of them but have seen their work. I'll write a commision replica guide soon and be sure to ad them. Thanks for the info!
      If your blouses pull a little you can also add a little snap button. But as I said in my post I love bolero's cos they are so useful!

  4. Thank you so much Pammie! I always hate to see girls try and give up, I hope your words will inspire others to never give up lolita. <3

    1. That's such a huuuuge compliment! I hope my words will help others to be who they want to be. <3

  5. Thanks for this! I've been wanting to incorporate some loli aspects into my regular wardrobe, and haven't had much to go on so far. I'm looking forward to giving it a try!

    1. Looking forward to your outfits! <3

  6. Wow, Pam... What a great blog! I really love the way you explained all the tips and tricks to get the beautiful look you want.. And I can see it has obviously worked for you, so great to get a peek at the curtain behind the magic show haha! ;)
    I also love how honest you are, because the lolita world isn't always as pretty as it looks due to all of the judging and bitching of others... And also because of the looks you get and stuff... It's just something that comes with wearing this style I guess... And it's nice to see that you don't sugar coat anything, because people should know the truth.

    I noticed that adding the right kind of accessories like nice jewellery, bags, hair accessories etcetera, can really make your look complete so it's cool to see that I'm not the only one using that trick.
    Keep on blogging!

  7. It was really nice to read this post because I´m a plus sized lolita too and it´s so hard to find the right clothes, so I sew my dresses by myself. It´s much easier.
    Oh you have to look on, it´s a nice shopping side and they have nice blouses at the moment, one black with Chiffon!

    1. I love Asos. They have some cute dresses at the moment but I find them on the expensive side...I'm really cheap tho ;)
      Thanks! I wish I could sew! :(

  8. Lovely post. I would like to hear your opinion on replicas because I really *do* like brand and have some prints...yeah, I'm....I'm a prints girl. I can't fit in most skirts with prints I actually do like, and most of the time they're off by quite a bit.
    I don't want to be "evil" for buying replica (which I really kinda don't support overall) but in the situation of plus-size I see it as acceptable, sort of, since it's not possible for people who aren't so thin.
    Thanks again for this post.

  9. Thank you... just thank you... This is a big big big help for me

  10. i thought I was the only one having this problem ! everything is so damn small! however I am a fashion designer so I make everything myself. I use ruffles pleating and elastic everywhere. is anyone from the states? I live in California and I can hardly find stores around here to shop. if anyone knows any email me ! always looking for new stores .

  11. I'm not really plus but I normally have to get bigger dress then the rest of my body can actually properly fit in because I have a very large bust. So what should I do, I really want to wear lolita style clothes but I'm not really sure I would be able to do it

  12. I'm writing on behalf of my daughter who is really into Classic Lolita (and used to wear a lot of BBTSB and AP Sweet Lolita items). Unfortunately, she has a large bust and it's only growing as she matures (now up to a 32H at age 16!). She has a pretty small waist and ribcage, but has large breasts. I religiously take her for a formal bra fitting every 6 months and I buy *really good* bras for her. Thankfully, because of that, most people don't realize how ample her chest is. (Let's not even talk about buying swimsuits... they cost in excess of $200 each for her. ==:O) She is very modest and I think part of the appeal of Lolita is that inherent girliness of the style without the need to be sexy.

    The only brand jsk that she owns that fits her is a lovely BBTSB classic dress that was released this past summer. It is fully shirred in back and consists of a very traditional Lolita style with 3 tiers and a bit of lace trim. It was released in pink and black (She was thrilled to see it featured in the Gothic & Lolita Bible). We bought it at a con where a fellow well-endowed Lolita told me to buy it immediately from the BBTSB booth, as she insisted it would sell out instantly when released online. I did and am SO GRATEFUL for that tip. It fits Kate well, although she needs to practically shove herself into it. I have trained her to be super careful when getting it on/off because I don't want her to damage the zipper.

    Are there any name brands that make styles suitable for a larger bosom that don't create a giant boob loaf effect or conversely, end up shortening the dress so much that it looks like a t-shirt instead of a dress?

    Kate does have some great things that I was able to purchase online and at some conventions. She owns a nice black blouse, skirt, and two underskirts (one white, one black) from Lady Sloth. They took a long time to arrive, but are terrific! They are custom sized in both length and size, which is a double blessing as my daughter is also tall. We've had a lot of luck buying things from the Midwest Lolita Collective. They don't often have much on their website but their Convention booth is awesome. I was able to get her a cardigan, a white blouse and two fantastic skirts that she wears all the time as they look good both with and without petticoats.

    I feel like she has some great accessories, a couple of key pieces, and just one "typical" Lolita dress that she can wear. She is able to do pretty well with that, but it's heartbreaking to see her devour G&L bible, Cutie, Kera, etc and know that she literally can't wear most of the stuff shown in the pages due to her "vast tracts of land." She still loves Sweet Lolita, but it's been impossible for her to find anything in her size and I am leery of purchasing anything online without the opportunity to have her try it on. This has forced her to go much more gothic out of desperation (large boobs are minimized in all black, I hate to agree with her, but it's true).

    Tips are greatly appreciated.

  13. Thank you for this post! I am a true hourglass atm (41-31-41) and have trouble finding clothing because of this. Usually it's the bust measurement that's the problem, as most of the skirt flare is free-size. Nice to know shirring really does work, and it's great to see brands like Metamorphose offer plus size stuff, as well as Bodyline going up to 5L (I range from a M to a 2L, their sizing is weird, lol). I am still a M/L in most American brands, so it feels a bit odd needing multitudes of pluses .. but then again, I'm not exactly short either (few inches from 6' tall !), which is probably quite the rarity in asian countries.