5 Underrated Dresses


There are plenty of lolita dresses that seemingly everyone wants. Not saying that they aren’t worth the hype, just that it gets repetitive and it’s sad that they overshadow some other amazing designs so much. So let’s celebrate the underdogs today! These are five dresses that I believe to be underrated by the wider lolita community and why.

Let’s go in reverse order.

5. Bodyline pieces

To be honest, underrating/underappreciating Bodyline is a bit of a thing in the lolita community. Yes, they aren’t helping themselves with poor stock photos and the creepy owner stigma – which is why, after all these years, there are still newcomers to the fashion asking if Bodyline is legit. Despite all the googleable evidence. Yes, not everything produced by Bodyline is naff, there are some genuinely lovely pieces to be had from them. Not necessarily of the same quality as Angelic Pretty or even cheaper Chinese brands like maybe Infanta, but decent enough to not make you cringe. My very first two lolita pieces, which are both Bodyline, have survived with me until this day because they are lovely – and I’m often asked where red polka dot one is from due to non-printed pieces being harder to identify their provenance. Not wanting to support a shady dude or preferring to shop elsewhere are perfectly valid reasons to avoid Bodyline (which I’ve been doing myself, even for things like shoes which we universally agree are decent). But the thing remains that many of Bodyline’s pieces are underrated by the wider community.

This is still one of my favourite Bodyline pieces and my favourite coord with it. I like this JSK enough to want to alter it so
that I would wear it more often!

4. Halterneck JSKs

I’m not going to lie – halterneck JSKs are tricky to pull off well in lolita. It takes a solid understanding of the fashion rules and of cuts to make them work well. I know because as I started with two halternecks, attracted to the 1950’s-esque look, I made some mistakes back in the day. Not all blouse cuts will work with this neckline and there are only so many styles and/or themes that work with a halter cut in the first place, making it limiting for both the wearer and the designer. I don’t remember the last time seeing a new release in a strict halterneck cut, though I have seen a few faux halters (collars shaped to look like halters, but hiding regular shoulder straps) or some detachable halter straps (though also less and less so). It is a bit of a shame, since that cut is extremely flattering on hourglass shaped people and those with larger chests (though technically you can convert JSKs with adjustable straps into halters). It’s also a great cut for warmer months as the halter neckline will make it easier to wear the piece as a sundress (or blouse-less lolita, if you balance the rest well).

Halternecks can be tricky to coordinate, but once you find the right blouse cut, it should be a lot easier!

3. Fully shirred dresses

Full body shirring tends to be a more old school look nowadays. Adding plenty of elastic across the torso is an easy way to make a dress into a one size fits all piece. However, as lolita fashion became less frumpy and more sleek, the bulkier look of a fully shirred bodice put many people off. While I agree that it doesn’t necessarily solve all size/fit issues and that, just like any cut, it looks better on some people than on others, I feel that fully shirred dresses are massively underrated by the community. Until I tried one on, I hadn’t known such comfort of wear! I also adore how this sort of cut will mould to your figure, stretching and tightening in the right places. For me this tends to avoid any bulky looking areas around my belly, which is what I’m most keen on hiding, and allows me to enjoy looking cute. They’re also the best pieces to wear when going for a food-centred meet – as others suffer in their tight waistbands, you can stay smug and have that extra dumpling or another slice of cake without feeling tight. They’re just great!

My firs ever fully shirred dress was an absolute game changer for me!

2. Anything non-printed

This is something that I used to be guilty of. When you’ve joined the fashion once prints were already the default, it’s hard to appreciate non-printed pieces without seeing them in person. Many fabrics or details don’t photograph well under harsh lights and fast fashion has certainly skewed our perception of “is it worth this much”. Truth is though, non-printed dresses are not only versatile, but can be incredibly detailed and stunning, just as much as colourful prints can. I guess this is more of a style divide, since prints dominate sweet lolita, while non-prints are more common amongst classic and gothic lolitas, which nonetheless doesn’t mean that non-printed sweet lolita designs aren’t as gorgeous as their classic or gothic counterparts.

The structural details in non-printed pieces can be incredible. Also, I need to wear this skirt again soon, it's been too long!

1. Anything Meta

Although people covet Meta’s Wa-lolita dresses, overall I feel that Meta is really underrated as a brand. I myself have had to mature a little bit to really appreciate them, but once I did I felt so stupid for not realising how awesome they are sooner. Their designs are really lovely and incredibly well made. The size inclusivity (plenty of shirring on the cast majority of cuts) allows more people to wear lolita and/or be comfortable doing so, while the plethora of detachable parts makes their dresses highly versatile. I’ve noticed that quite a lot of people in this fashion start off thinking that Meta is a tad garish (they have had some mad designs in the past, which stick out against AP or BtSSB), only to then see the light and realise how genius this brand really is. And especially as these days Meta is a lot more tame than they used to be in the past, having passed the madness baton to the various Chinese brands, it only makes it easier to wear. If you haven’t yet joined the Temple of Meta, then what are you doing with your life?

Will you look at this happy coincidence - the last three pictures in this post are all Meta! (And all fully shirred.)

If this list seems very vague to you, then I apologise. No specific piece I could think of that I had personal experience of was a dress and I didn’t want to stray too far away from the prompt. Despite seeming easy, this was quite a challenging topic. Hope that you’ve enjoyed my take on it nonetheless. Make sure to read the entries from other bloggers participating in this week’s Lolita Blog Carnival and let me know what dresses you think are underrated in our community and why!


  1. That's a great post!
    About meta, I used to like one or another print, but after ten years I am liking more and more their designs. I even desire to someday own a leopard print from them!

    And your blue full shirred dress is awesome!

    1. I remember when I started getting serious about lolita and would check Closet Child and other second hand sellers' websites and Meta would stick out like a sore thumb (them and Emily Temple Cute). That was around 2013-2014-ish, so what was out there from them was a bit more, well, out there, but I was also far more interested in cutesy AP and BtSSB. I didn't pay much attention to them until their Wonder Carousel series in 2015, which wa perfectly in line with my interests at the time (massively into circus prints) and that I thought "hang on a moment, not everything they do is a clusterfuck of randomness". So while I personally wouldn't go as far as wanting their leopart print (or even crazier - the camouflage one xD), I look at them a lot more favourably now. They were always that little bit ahead of everyone else and like with all true artists, don't get appreciated until later.
      And thank you! That dress is probably the most comfortable one I own, but it's a nightmare to iron xD


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