Solids or Prints: Which Do You Prefer?


People love a dichotomy to debate over. Good or evil, cats or dogs, tea or coffee – you name it. Lolita fashion is by no means free of that, although many of us show that you can blend whatever two opposites you’re into instead of picking just one side (just see how many Lolitas are both into Sweet and Gothic). But here’s the big question: solids or prints?

If you look through my 2018 wardrobe post, you won’t have a hard time figuring out which is my preference. Bright, bold, colourful border prints is what drew me into the fashion and what continues to capture my heart to this day. Out of the 27 main pieces I own, 15 are border prints and another 4 are all-over prints. There’s no hiding my preferences there.

Border prints attract me predominantly because I’m a magpie and you can easily distract me with something sparkly or something bright. A well designed border print catches the eye and entices you to look closer to admire all the detail and find any Easter eggs, if there are any. If you’re fond of anything in particular, like an animal or a fruit, you can show your appreciation for that through a collection of different prints that will showcase various takes on that theme. I think this stems from my beginnings with Sweet Lolita, where border prints are a lot more common, and with the time I had joined Lolita.

Did you know that there are pegasi on this print? I didn't for a
long time of owning it!

Moreover, I find that border prints are easier to coordinate and to create different coordinates with. A border print will usually have one or two secondary colours in addition to the main one, as well as at least one or two secondary themes for you to play with. Let’s take Baby’s Secret AIR MAIL from Sweet Kitty as an example. You have blue and red as the print’s primary colours, but there is also cream and pink that you could use in your coord. And although the print predominantly features cats, you could also have a coord themed around letters, hearts or toys. And those are just the bigger elements in there that are the easiest to pick out. This range of themes and colours immediately opens up several cording possibilities so that you don’t wear the same outfit twice, if you don’t want to.

There are so many things to pick out from this one print!

Now, this isn’t to say that solids aren’t beautiful, eye-catching or versatile – in fact, they can be even more so. However, I personally have a hard time justifying buying a solid piece to myself unless it is a really good bargain (especially when shopping online since I can’t feel the quality of the lace and the fabric – but I can look at print details). And incidentally, solid pieces, especially these days, are often more OTT than prints, which slightly negates their versatility – I can tone down a busy print through styling, but I’d struggle to wear a dress like Baby’s Bless from Michael or a lace princess dress like AP’s Romantic Fleur casually or in a toned down way.

To be honest, I'm surprised I own as many solids as I do! But
each one took weeks of convincing before the purchase was
Long story short, I prefer prints: they’re easier to fall in love with and to me easier to coordinate and justify spending big money on. As much as I’d love to own a couple more solids, since the solids I’d like to have would have to be wearable casually, 9 times out of 10 I will talk myself out of buying one when the price is over ¥5000 – and often even when it’s under.

How about you? Do you prefer prints or solids? Or maybe you don’t have a preference? Do you think your choice has much to do with your preferred substyle? Let me know and don’t forget to read what the other bloggers prefer:


  1. I think I'm somewhere inbetween here. When I started looking at pictures of Lolita longingly solids were still the thing that everyone wore so that's a big influence on me still. As soon as the print shows food, though, I'm utterly lost.
    I think I prefer single print elements and appliques on solids or overall patterned fabrics (like stripes or tartan).

    1. I get that. And all-over patterns is my compromise/middle ground too. I'd struggle to spend £100+ on an Innocent World dress that's very plain in design and made out of only single coloured fabric - but if that same cut came in a nice floral fabric, then I'm all for it!


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