How to Make Bodyline Prints Look Good?


Whilst I am generally quite chill about Bodyline, there is one print that actually grinds my gears and that’s Squirrel Party. It’s not even the print itself – it’s not my cup of tea, but it’s ok. It’s the fact that it’s the one print every newcomer sweet lolita seems to get. This results in it being coorded in basically the same way so many times and it really bores me to death. When starting out in lolita, it’s common for newbies to image search a print to get some inspiration on how to style what they have, so how can they make Squirrel Party look better if hardly anyone is even trying to do something different with it? So to offload some of my feelings, I will attempt to create some coords with this prints that I have personally not seen (or not seen a lot of), whilst giving some general tips on how to make Bodyline prints look better in coords.
NB: as Bodyline’s stock photos are notoriously bad, I have used various other pictures (mostly sales or wardrobe post ones) of this print in various colourways. None of the pictures used in this post belong to me.

Rule no 1: no other Bodyline allowed (except for shoes)

Bodyline’s advantage is how easily accessible it is, both in terms of price and navigating the website. The downside of that is a lot of people are ending up with the same pieces and as lolitas are notorious for not getting enough builder pieces, they end up not having enough to mix and match with. Moreover, Bodyline’s selection of certain items is considerably worse than of others (e.g. just over 120 main pieces, but only 27 kinds of socks or 5 headpieces), so you won’t necessarily be able to get everything. The first rule of improving how a Bodyline print looks in a coord is not using anything else from them. Shoes are the only allowable exception. Majority, if not all, are design replicas of brand ones and they are neutral looking enough that they have little impact on a coord. Though having said this, there are plenty of Chinese brands creating 100% original shoe designs of comparable quality and prices to Bodyline, so the only excuse really is trying to save on shipping – might as well get the shoes, if you’re already buying the dress.

Compare the all Bodyline coord (top) vs the mixed brand one (bottom). Even though they are both simple and pretty basic, the bottom one looks ever so slightly more polished. Partly because the colour balance is better (Bodyline currently lacks in lavender items to match the lavender JSK) and partly because the pieces are higher quality.

Rule no 2: avoid cheap looking accessories

Unfortunately for you, this means almost everything you can buy on the high street. The dress is already only ok looking, so anything low quality will draw attention to the parts where it’s not the same standard as other brands rather than complement its good sides. That means no stuff from Claire’s, Primark, Hot Topic and definitely nothing from children’s section of any mainstream shop. The good thing is that you still don’t have to spend loads to avoid cheap looking accessories. Spend some time browsing various Chinese brands on Taobao or scour Mercari and Fril for the most bargain of second hand brand bits. Having better quality accessories will only enhance the overall look.

The top coord uses hair clips from Claire's. While most newbies will know to put something more than just that for a hair accessory, many will just pin the detachable bow from the JSK as a headbow, which isn't a good option. Meanwhile all you need is a cute beret, which you can get offbrand or from a Chinese brand already decorated at budget price of like $5.

Rule no 3: do not skimp on legwear

While it sort of goes with rule no 2, it warrants being stated explicitly. Plain tights are a godsend in terms of comfort, ease of access and price, yet in the long run they look boring and will not add anything to your coord (although at least they won’t detract from it either). Every coordinate I have ever admired had paid just as much attention to legwear, to balance the elaborate dress better, as it had to jewellery or blouses. Getting some more interesting tights or OTK socks is not a matter of spending loads, but of shopping smart. Again, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available from a variety of brands, many of which are also size inclusive, so there’s no excuse to wear white tights or ankle socks with this dress every single time.

Legwear is one of my favourite aspects of lolita, so it hurts to see people actively skimp on it. These particular socks are from Red Maria on Taobao, come in a variety of colours and literally cost $5. Actually, everything but the dress in this particular bottom coord comes from Chinese brands, so you could have that look for way under $100 (leaving you enough to buy a petticoat and maybe even cover the postage).

Rule no 4: hair and makeup

The original Squirrel Party’s JSK stock photo gives me the worst kind of ‘we’re on trend with the OTT Sweet stuff’. (NB the current stock photo is also cringey with those cat ears, but let’s leave that.) Truth is, making a multi-coloured pastel wig look good with lolita takes a lot of skill and effort, as well as potentially funds since you want something of decent quality. Stick with your own hair or at least a naturally coloured wig and remember to style it in a way that compliments your chosen hair accessory (flat hair with a head-eating bow is hardly ever a good look). Similar thing goes with makeup: you can’t go wrong with a natural look, though you certainly can with crazy and colourful, if you’re not skilled enough at it. And to be honest, if your skin is clear enough and you’re confident in it, you could probably get away with just washing your face and some lip balm. In this case, less is more.

Using stock photos for a change - and these specific ones because it's the same model. This particular pastel wig is pretty shiny and only emphasizes that the dress is only ok in terms of construction and quality. On the other hand, the OP stock photo where the model sports a natural hair colour looks casual and cute, without pretending the dress is better than it actually is in reality. (It might also be because that pastel wig colour makes her face look all washed out without stronger makeup.)

Rule no 5: play with colour

I get that white is an easy colour to coordinate with, since it’s goes with everything. However, we’re talking about a print that everyone has seen and almost everyone wearing it has worn it with white, maaaybe with pink. One of the positive things about the Squirrel Party print is that it’s full of colours, so have a go at trying something more fun! As long as you stick to pastel shades, you should be fine. Yes, sometimes it doesn’t work out, but if you’re going to get an experiment wrong, wouldn’t you rather do it when trying something different with a dress that everyone wears in the same way and so many people own? Your missed attempt might still encourage others to try something new with their Squirrel Party, bringing us one step closer to ending this rut of boring, samey coordinates with this print.

I specifically picked the mint colourway because it's so hard to match. Don't use that as an excuse to stay boring - use bold colours or just colours in general. This print has so many of them, constantly sticking to safe white is boring.

The above is a subjective opinion. If you own Squirrel Party and like it, then wear it however you like. I might find some peace once I find someone who wears it in a way that doesn't feel like the same thing I’ve already seen and that elevates the print, making it look like, well, not Bodyline. Feel free to share your favourite coords with this dress, maybe someone out there has already done the impossible?


  1. Is it a good thing or a bad thing that this has made me actually want to go and buy Squirrel Party now? You make a lot of very good points and i really liked your example coords.

    1. I know (of) a handful of people who have kept this print, even though their tastes and wardrobes have expanded since their beginner days. It is much nicer looking than the stock photos make it out to be and I feel that as someone who already has years of experience of wearing lolita, you'd at least avoid doing those samey basic coordinates. Although I never would've guessed that of all the Bodyline prints, this might be the one to have caught your attention :P

  2. Squirrel party is such iconic print, but most people don't do it justice.
    I do wonder why you didn't use the red colourway of the bodyline headdress with the red jsk. Although it is bit old school and limited, the Headdresses from Bodyline is one of the best quality items on the website.

    1. You're right, it is at this point iconic. Which makes it all the sadder that hardly anyone does it justice and celebrates how nice it is.
      Truth be told, I completely forgot about it. I guess a plainer 'before' coordinate much better shows off the difference better builder pieces can make - and I did say 'rule no 1: no other Bodyline'. But it's mostly because at that point I had forgotten about it and put more attention/effort into the improved coordinates.

  3. I used to own the Squirrel Party jsk in lavender. Was coorded with sax blouse (vintage/thrifted) and otks (Bodyline), white headbow (BTSSB) and shoes (Bodyline) in 2012. Another time with yellow blouse (vintage/thrifted), lavender headbow (Angelic Pretty) and otks (Angelic Pretty), pink shoes (Bodyline) and purse (Sanrio/thrifted) in 2014. The quality of the items and the colors chosen went well together. I think both coords looked pretty good.

    1. That sounds good. Do you have any pictures of those looks?

    2. Yes. Can't seem to share them on here though.

    3. Aw, that's a shame. Are they on your blog? Or on Instagram? I can see if I can dig them out. :)


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