Lolita who Inspires Me

As I’m sure you’re all aware, because Lolita fashion is so niche, the best ways to improve and polish your own style are by experimenting and by observing others. However, there’s only so far that you can get with experimenting, as everyone ends up hitting some sort of boundary to their own imagination, and then looking at how others are doing it is the only way to break out of that stage of stagnation. So, even though it’s way past the wardrobe posts season, when you’d normally find posts like this, here’s one Lolita whose style I find incredibly inspiring.

If you’ve ever even glimpsed at my links section here, then you may already be familiar with Sanakanin. She’s one of those Lolita whose posts and outfit shots I genuinely can’t wait for, every new one is another little shot of amazement and inspiration. Even though I adore her style and I think her preferences often overlap with mine, right now I’m mostly going to focus on the things that I’ve learnt so far just by following her Tumblr (but truth be told, a lot of her outfits I’d love to try on myself, they’re just so great and sooo my cup of tea!).

Here I’d like to add that all of the photos here belong to San and in captions I added links to the exact post I took the photo from, which are either from her Tumblr or the wardrobe posts on EGL.

1. Think beyond an item’s label

The most top layer is actually a long blouse!
What I mean by that is using clothing pieces creatively. For example, just because something is a skirt doesn’t mean that this is where the coordinating options stop – how about using it as an underskirt, if you can? This was a big eye opener for me: I know that I can get too focused on what the item is (a JSK, an OP, a blouse etc.) that I ignore how it can be used.


2. Clever layering makes a world of difference

Looks like one dress, but
it's not.
This one goes hand in hand with the previous point, but it doesn’t stop at using skirts as underskirts. Adding any detachable pieces like collars or putting together two pieces of the same colour – things like that create the illusion of many pieces being one, and can often transform a fairly casual looking dress into a unique and even an elaborate look. I love when San posts shots ‘deconstructing’ an outfit, they offer a very unique insight into how good she is at thinking outside the box, but also let you see how the most amazing look is made up of items you’d least expect (Bodyline/offbrand dresses being only the most obvious ones to pick out).

3. There’s a lot more options within offbrand

Random dress --> fabulous Lolita outfit
Up until finding San’s Tumblr I thought that the most loliable offbrand pieces would either be Japanese high street fashion brands (like Axes Femme) or vintage pieces – and that even then they’d be limited to blouses and accessories. She proved me wrong, very wrong. Some of my favourite of her outfits that I’ve seen so far are almost entirely offbrand, and that includes the main pieces! Again, it goes back to thinking outside what something may have been intended to be and to layering pieces to change the look of something – with those two skills mastered you can take almost any piece and do something fabulous with it.

4.  Little alterations can have a great impact

That's what I tried to describe
I sort of instinctively knew this, but because I’m not able to make those alterations, I don’t think in that way until I see someone else do it. The one I spotted most often, especially on San’s Bodyline pieces, was adding that little elastic/string thing which allows you to pull a part of the fabric up and allow for the underskirt to peek more (the photo will explain it better that I will). It’s not a big alteration, I’m fairly sure that it’s also relatively easy to do once you know how and have practiced enough, but it opens up a world of possibilities on how you can wear a piece.

I realise that with her wardrobe having a greater ratio of block colours to prints (and even the prints are usually floral ones) San already has a plethora of amazingly versatile pieces even without applying any of the above tricks. Nonetheless those tricks are very clever indeed and it doesn’t cease to amaze me how many very polished looks she created using what appears like the cheapest pieces (I haven’t seen any strictly Lolita brand items in her wardrobe posts other than Bodyline and some Taobao ones – no AP, Baby, IW, Meta etc.). If I ever get to that level of awesomness and magic of coordinating (and adding very offbrand pieces into my wardrobe) I’ll consider myself a Lolita master. Right now I still have a lot to learn from San-sempai.

Who inspires you within Lolita? Have you ever reached a coordinating block and then seeing someone else’s outfit sent a muse and inspiration your way? I’d love to hear your stories. :D


  1. Yay..inspiration post! <3
    Totally agree about offbrand being more playful. It lets you use more imagination and the outfit is not a ready set. I love it! ^_^

    I don't have a certain inspiration source, in fact everything and everyone kind of inspires me more or less!

    ~ Frillycakes ~

    1. I'm not as confident yet to pick up a dress or a skirt somewhere offbrand and wear it in a Lolita way, but I'm sure it's only a matter of finding the right piece to come my way.

      Oh yeah, definitely everything can be and is inspiring. But sometimes, like in this case, you just find something that inspires you that little bit more. ^^"


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