Wardrobe Workshorses


Once your Lolita style has crystalised a little and you’ve worn it a fair few times, you’ll realise that you reach for some pieces more than others. And I’m not even talking here about the main pieces, but that blouse or those socks that you just love. It may be something very comfortable or something very versatile, but just like your petticoat, they are your wardrobe’s workhorse, carrying coord after coord to success. These are mine, in no particular order (excuse the laziness in reusing wardrobe post photos, but those show the items off best).

Totally offbrand blouse from a charity shop
It’s a ¾ sleeve blouse with a tiny bit of ruffling on the neckline and sleeves, some pintucks and lace. Most of the times you don’t even see it tucked under a JSK and yet I’ve used it so many times. It’s very comfortable since it’s meant as a loose fit and as it’s machine washable, I don’t need to worry about anything happening to it. I’ve worn it to Wicked and Whimsy in an off-shoulder look (which it just about managed) and for the Cardigan Meet (which it spent tucked under the cardigan). The light chiffon allows me to both beat the heat and use it for layering without it bulking up awkwardly anywhere. It’s probably the best £2.50 I’ve ever spent and the more I own this blouse for, the more I wish I had actually taken better care of it as it’s starting to look its age (whatever that might actually be).

First left on the top row.
Wicked and Whimsy ring
And speaking of Wicked and Whimsy – the ring I received as a thank-you token for volunteering features in so many of my outfits! It’s not the largest ring and as I don’t always do detail shots, it’s easy to miss that, but pretty much every time I wear red or need red accents, this ring makes an appearance. The design is wonderfully versatile, so it will fit pretty much any theme as long as it matches the colour scheme. Honestly, I wish that there had been more of these rings in other colours. I know that there’s a black version, but black is the one colour I don’t really wear – I wish for a navy blue and maybe a white version too. Though if I had those I’d probably never use any other rings ever.

Sort of second row on the right, behind the giant red bow with
white polka dots.
Bodyline S274 heels
Many people will attest to the fact that Bodyline’s shoes are a fantastic mix of comfortable, durable and affordable. These ones I got mostly by luck, as I needed red shoes for an outfit and thought that I could use these outside of Lolita – they literally paid for themselves twice over in wear since then! This is the one thing I regret most getting discontinued, I would’ve loved to add other colours to my collection too. I’ve worn them to work a few times and have never felt foot fatigue which heels can sometimes cause. And since adding an extra gel insole for an event nothing can beat these. They’re the perfect height, perfect fit and perfect look, cute but versatile enough for both Sweet and Classic Lolita. Please, please, please, Mr Yan, get these back in stock! Or if you’ve seen a Taobao brand still sell these, please, let me know.

Second from the left on the middle row.

Mufish tights in white x red
These tights are so great that I had to get these in another colour. I’m also considering stocking up on these in case these too get discontinued (please, Mana-sama, don’t let that happen). As someone who prefers tights to be too large than right on size, these surprised me with how much stretch they have and how comfortable they are. I fully anticipated them to be your typical Chinese tights, too small for any Western butt that’s not a size 0, so I’m more than pleasantly surprised. And again, they’re amazingly versatile, will work with Sweet and Classic Lolita equally well. If you’re on a lookout for cheap, cute tights that will stretch, I highly recommend these!

Third from the right (right next to their sister in white x blue).

Infanta overblouse
Although I’ve only ever used it as an overblouse, it is a fantastic blouse for more elegant coords. There’s plenty of elastic everywhere – neckline, sleeves, waist/underbust – to make it very comfortable and the chiffon is incredibly soft and breathable, probably the most breathable chiffon of all chiffon blouses that I own. And it’s Infanta, which means it’s machine washable, so absolutely no need to worry if you do wear it on top of your dresses. It probably wouldn’t protect them much, if at all, but it’s still easier to wash this than your brand dress. A ¾ princess sleeve blouse in pink is on my wishlist, but if I’m honest, if this one came in pink, I’d be getting that, it ticks all of my boxes.

Middle one in the top row.
Cutie Creator lace side bow
I first got this one in red – I believe it was one of the first headbows I got from Cutie Creator. Since then every time I’ve worn it I received so many compliments on it, with some people thinking it was from a Japanese brand and some (those less into Lolita fashion) simply admiring its look. If you’ve never bought anything from Cutie Creator, then every single one of their headbows is fantastic quality and well constructed, they don’t dig in or slide, are affordable and come in a wide variety of colours. But this one was doing me such a great service that I got it in two more colours – and I’m starting to think about another one! 

Bottom left corner.

There are a few more pieces that I’ve reached for more than others, such as the AatP Arabesque OTKs or the IW Millefeuille bolero, but frankly they haven’t worked quite as hard as the pieces I listed above. Only the two berets I got for EGL Secret Santa 2016 probably should’ve been listed, but I feel that berets are so easy to use that it’s almost a given that they’d be used a lot.

What’s interesting is that now that this list is complete, every piece of it is either red or white/ivory – or both. Not sure what exactly this says about my wardrobe. Probably that my tricolour wardrobe scheme tends to revolve around red being an accent colour rather than the main one, which is fair. And I do love red a lot, so it probably shouldn’t be surprising that my workhorse pieces are red.

What are your wardrobe workhorses? Is there a piece you simply love using in your coords? Is this something you expected to love or was it a surprise? Let’s give the builder pieces some love!


  1. This is an interesting thing to think about...love that your workhorse pieces are in a limit colour range, it's really telling when you analyse your own style.

    1. It was very interesting to analyse that once I discovered it. While one would expect the white/ivory pieces to be doing a lot of work in a Lolita wardrobe, those red pieces and accents are very telling. I wonder if I had more red/wine main pieces, whether I'd be pairing them with the blue/navy stuff I have...

  2. What an interesting blog topic. I agree that some of the lesser wardrobe pieces don't get the same appreciation that main pieces do. I have a offbrand/vintage pink blouse with white lace trim that I often wear. Along with an offbrand white bead bracelet and gold Bodyline shoes (which are starting to crack). They are versatile and go well with a lot of my sweet style wardrobe :-)

    1. Right? Main pieces are easier to admire, but if I lost/damaged my favourite shoes or blouse that I use with almost everything, I think I'd cry just as much as if I damaged/lost a main piece. Without them, there is no coord (or at least no tried and tested, this will never fail me coords). That vintage blouse sounds beautiful too - vintage finds are amazing when you manage to score them. <3


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