Get the Look: Angelic Pretty's 50s-Style Series


This post may or may not be coming to you on the back of my own bitterness at having to miss out on a release. (Though by now I have somewhat come to terms with not getting Neon Star Diner.) It will follow the same principle as the Get the Look post I did last year, although this time I will show you alternatives from Western companies instead of Chinese ones. Prepare yourself as this post will be both text and picture heavy!

Before we continue: a disclaimer! This post will not be about lolita fashion. I will look specifically at the Milkshake and the Neon Star Diner series (not the JSK or the skirt) precisely because they are not lolita and because their releases caused a lot of stir within the community. As someone who also wears vintage and vintage reproduction fashion, however much I may have liked these Angelic Pretty releases, knowing that for their prices I could've gotten equally good quality, more size accessible pieces and sometimes even more sustainable from vintage reproduction companies has put me off buying them. So for anyone out there who regrets missing out on these items and who is more concerned with having the look rather than the label, keep reading on!

* All Angelic Pretty images are stock photos taken from Lolibrary. All other pictures are stock photos from the websites where the individual items are sold, unless otherwise stated. I do not own any of these. All prices and availability correct at the time of writing (April 23rd).

Milkshake Series


The whole charm of this OP is in its diner uniform look. However, once you take away the apron, you're left with a pretty simple dress with short sleeves and a pointy collar, with said collar and sleeve cuffs made out of a contrasting fabric. It's nothing major and with something simple enough you could just throw an apron over it and achieve the same look.

The closest match I could find comes from Vivien of Holloway in the form of their Tea Day Dress, which retails between £99-149 depending on the pattern of your choice. The solid black and red ones sit in the middle at £120 (approx. $150) and are made out of denim, so you know that this thing will last you well. The model is available in sizes S-XL (60-96cm waist and 81-116cm bust), although the red and black ones are listed as “last chance”, so be quick if you want one. Compared to the OP set's price of around $210, can you really not buy an apron with the savings?

Those open to a slightly different colour scheme if it means saving a bit more should look at the Tallulah dress from British Retro. This particular one also comes in denim, and the skirt is a more defined pencil than the examples above, but still a near enough dupe. Those not dead set on the black, pink or red could certainly throw an apron over this one. This one costs £65 ($80) and comes in sizes 8-18 (waist 66-91cm and bust 81-107cm). That's already more than the one-size-only Milkshake OP ever offered at a max size of 84cm waist and 92cm bust. Collectif's Caterina dress is a slightly cheaper alternative at £55 ($70) and has the added benefit of coming with either a fitted or a flared skirt, as well as a similar size range to the Tallulah dress. So if you would prefer a flared skirt instead, you can have that (and as you'll see when we get to Neon Star Diner, your choices are almost unlimited).

Those looking for a true vintage reproduction could look at the 40's wrap dresses or the 40's Shirt Waister ones from The House of Foxy. This company prides itself on using locally sourced fabrics and true vintage patterns, so the retail prices are considerably higher. Both of these models retail £99 (just over $120) when brand new. Yet not only is that still cheaper than the Milkshake OP at a similar or higher quality, both of those cuts are currently on sale half price. And again, The House of Foxy offers a range of sizes, from 8-18 (waist 65-92cm), taking into account Western proportions of shoulders to waist, which are crucial for one piece dresses.

On the flipside, those preferring to stick to the original colour scheme, but willing to compromise a little here or there will find some very affordable options at Pretty Kitty Fashion, such as this black and white polka dot wiggle dress. At £34.99 (approx. $45) and in sizes UK 8-18 (66-91cm waist and 81-107cm bust) your compromise would be the neckline. This one still sits high enough to be considered a daytime dress and would flatter those with larger busts without exposing too much. Fans of red could consider this Lipstick Pencil Dress from Banned Retro. Coming at £59.99 (approx. $75), the only cut difference between it and the Milkshake OP is the more open neckline, but at the advantage of being able to shop sizes XS-XL (sadly, Banner Retro doesn't show me garment measurements).

Lastly, Banned Retro is also offering one for a bit more, £65.99 (justover $80), that is explicitly called Seaside Diner. Again, it's a flared skirt rather than fitted, but the cut is truly gorgeous and the cotton and elastane blend will provide enough stretch to really mould well to your shape, regardless of where you sit on the XS-XL size range.

Circle skirt

The biggest obstacle is finding a circle skirt with pockets. Given the relative simplicity of construction, you could easily commission one or maybe even whip one out yourself if you have enough fabric, time and skill. Still, finding a circle skirt, whether in plain fabric or with polka dots, is the easiest thing. A circle skirt is a staple of retro fashion, it's the thing that people associate with the 1950's, so every reputable vintage reproduction company will have some to choose from (as well as almost every costume shop and shady website trying to entice you with low prices, so be wary). Red and black are also extremely common colours in retro fashion, both solids and with polka dots, whilst pink is popular enough for you to be able to find something like this. You are not limited to spending the $160-or-so for an Angelic Prety circle skirt when there's an entire fashion movement celebrating this iconic garment!

As it turned out, if you were to dupe the red Milkshake circle skirt, you could get a Dakota skirt from Collectif. It even comes with pockets and a belt, though not in a contrasting fabric and in this case, not in polka dots. However, instead of paying around $150 for a skirt with a max waist of 80cm, you'd only be set back £47.50 (so just under $60) for a skirt that comes in sizes 6-22 (60-91cm waist), made with a Western woman's figure in mind.

Really want the polka dots, but can sacrifice the pockets or the belt? Vivien of Holloway has your back at a slightly higher price of £69 (approx. $86), which is still just a little over half price of the Milkshake circle skirt. It comes in red with polka dots, in solid black and a whole host of other patterns, from tartan to tropical flowers, including some lovely pinks in a lush sateen fabric. All of that in waist sizes 61-96cm.

Those really hung up over that pastel pink might need to get a custom-made one. Unless you're willing to compromise on the pattern, e.g. by adding a cat (Collectif Kitty Cat, £49.50 or approx. $63) or roses (Hell Bunny Rosa Rossa, currently on sale for £24.99 or a little over $30, available in sizes XS-L, which measure 65-80cm waist). Or change it up entirely by going for any other circle skirt design of the hundreds out there! Really, some even have border prints, there's something for anyone.

Pencil skirt

Similarly to the circle skirt, finding one with pockets could be too much of a stretch, so you may have to resort to commissioning or making one. However, finding a pencil skirt in the right colour should be easy-peasy! Although polka dots is a popular pattern, in rockabilly and vintage reproduction fashion it mostly features on circle skirts. Why? I'm not entirely sure. Most likely because polka dots is a 'happy' and 'youthful' pattern which goes well with a floaty circle skirt. On the other hand, pencil skirts are more sexy and mature, so the fabrics are either kept solid colour or the patterns on them reflect that different vibe (things like pinstripes, houndstooth or leopard print). 

Honestly, you can find a solid-coloured pencil skirt pretty much anywhere, especially if you’re after black ones. I had one from Primark that served me well enough considering the £8 or so that I paid for it and it looked almost indistinguishable from ones from the vintage reproduction companies.

For colourful ones, Vivien of Holloway comes to the rescue with a cute pastelpink pencil skirt for £69 ($85) in a gorgeous wool blend that will keep you warm as well as cute. Although splash £10 more (so just under $100) and you could get one with a pocket in red or in black in a slightly stretchier wool and viscose blend. And while this is a lot, it’s still less than the Milkshake's $165. Yes, you'd have to get your own apron, but as I said before, you could buy a nice one with the money you saved somewhere else, maybe even a custom one.

And a bonus - I did find a polka dot pencil skirt, whilst also discovering that the original Milkshake skirt never came in a polka dot pattern. (I was convinced that it did, when in fact it was just the circle one that came in both solid and polka dot fabrics.) So there you have it, vintage reproduction brands deliver you the things you never even knew you could have! Collectif made this very cute black polka dot pencil skirt (though again, sans the pockets), which costs about half the price of their circle skirts at £22.50 ($28). This is a mere fraction of the Milkshake skirt’s original price, one that anyone could afford.


When it comes to blouses, you might not get the exact same combination of fabrics (solid colour body and polka dot collar and cuffs). However, there are plenty of short sleeved collared blouses with contrasting cuffs or that convey that retro feel of a diner waitress’ uniform. So decide how much you are after that particular look and how much you just want to emulate that feel, which will determine where you should look.

One of those is Vivien of Holloway’s Jojo blouse in gingham pink. Yes, it's gingham rather than polka dot, but that cut is almost exactly the same. Sadly, this model mostly comes in satin fabrics, so this option is the only one that could work as a dupe for the Milkshake blouse, nonetheless it's a good one. And considering that it comes in bust sizes 80-106cm, rather than the one size of max 94cm bust, the price of £59 ($75) is not that bad compared to AP's retail price of $127. And if that's still too much, but you don't mind the gingham, you can save by compromising slightly on the cut thanks to Collectif's Sammy blouse, which costs only £30 ($37.50) and comes in black or red gingham, as well as sizes 6-22 (81-127cm bust).

If you're willing to experiment a little again, Hell Bunny has these cute Leo shirts for £28.99 ($36) in sizes XS-4XL (82-124.5cm bust). The contrasting collar and cuffs are in a leopard print, but thanks to the red it's not necessarily that obvious. And whilst cut lower and with shorter sleeves, Banned Retro's Grease blouse is not a bad substitute thanks to that baby pink at £29.99 ($37.50). The size range is smaller than Collectif's Sammy blouse, so you'd have to decide which style you prefer.

As a bit of side trivia, if you're open to a more punk back, then Closet Child had sold a near exact dupe shirt from Alongquins not so long ago. From the front it's an almost exact dupe, which only goes to show how common a pattern this is. Search hard enough and you'll find it beyond vintage reproduction shops. The original Milkshake blouse retailed around $128, so the time you spend searching will be worth the savings.


Sadly, this is the only item that you won't be able to dupe. Why, after all, the design is pretty simple? For one, the way the collar is cut and laid out in an asymmetrical way and with contrasting fabric that matches the cuffs is pretty unique. It sort of wants to mimic a diner uniform, but by leaning into an almost boat neckline it achieves something much more elegant than that. Secondly, cutsews are simply fancy T-shirts, whereas vintage reproduction fashion doesn't deal much with T-shirts. You will have to compromise and either find a polka dot jersey top in a vintagecut or prioritise the neckline by opting for a blouse. However, the Milkshake cutsew was still around $100 brand new, which means plenty of room to save for those willing to make a few compromises.

The closest dupe that I could find was that pink Memento Mori top from Hell Bunny, which is almost sold out since going on sale for £9.99 ($12). However, from the pink to the polka dot boatneck, it is a pretty close match for AP's Milkshake cutsew - and if you were to wear this under a JSK, no-one would even see the print. They also have two similar tops in black: Chloe, which retails £19.99 ($25) and is a closer match, and Anna, where the solid and polka dot parts were inverted. Whilst Anna also went on sale and at £19.99 remains available only in sizes XS and S, Chloe appears still fully in stock and comes in sizes XS-4XL (82-124.5cm bust). And as that's 100% knitted cotton, so it will also mould to your body a little better.

For those willing to compromise a bit more there is the Dolores, Collectif's most recognisable design and one that has had plenty of knock offs. However, given that it's not that expensive at £25 ($31), certainly not more so than a $100 Angelic Pretty cutsew, don't fall for the knock offs and buy the original. At the moment Collectif has it in plain black, red and white on its website, as well as a host of various cute patterns, but you may be able to find other ones either with other stockists/resellers or second hand. The soft cotton and elastane blend will feel just like a T-shirt, offering plenty of comfort and stretching a little for a better fit, even though it still comes in sizes 6-22 (81-127cm bust). There is also an interesting boatneck option that’s not that far from a cutsew: the Cordelia Plain Top, which is a cotton and spandex blend and slightly cheaper at £32.50, available in white or coral red.

Neon Star Diner Series


Now, unlike the Milkshake series, this is a printed release. Set your expectations straight already: you won't be able to find this print from a vintage reproduction company because this is original artwork by Angelic Pretty designers. However, the cut of this OP is a classic in retro fashion. Honestly, every vintage reproduction brand will have at least one flared skirt dress with a collar, cuffed sleeves and a belt (or just add your own), simply look at the ones within your budget. Here I'll showcase the ones with the most unusual prints, since you are guaranteed to find florals and solids anyway.

The closest that I found to the neon aesthetic is this Banned Retro’s Space Vamp dress that I own (it's a past release that I can only find in outlets now). Instead of neon signs you get space madness: cat-stronauts, female astronauts, a glamazon sitting on Jupiter and stars. The sleeves are longer than on the Angelic Pretty dress, although they could be folded to be shorter. Whilst the dress is not lined, the fabric is a nice quality cotton and elastane blend, which is comfortable against the skin and provides a little bit of wiggle room (so you can still go out for a larger meal in this). And it was available at least in sizes XS-XL, which is already more accessible than Neon Diner OP. Price? I paid just short of £45 ($56), a steal compared to just short of $260 if you were to buy from Japan or the €334 at AP Paris!

What if you like the cut, but would prefer a more vibrant print? Plenty of options there. From the pricier ones you have the Kitty dress from Vivien of Holloway, which will set you back by £169 ($210), but comes in 55 different patterns ranging from quite simple to pretty busy, in neutral colours, bold ones or pastels, and waist sizes 60-96cm. For a slightly cheaper option, look at British Retro's Way Out West model, which will only set you back £65 ($80) and comes in a variety of lovely patterns, not just this bold one.

True vintage reproduction lovers should turn to The House of Foxy, who will try to entice you with their 40s Peggy Sue dress in a Postcard pattern. At £99 ($122) it's still much, much cheaper than Neon Star Diner and offers something cute, yet more subdued than Angelic Pretty, with size choices of 8-18 (though currently sold out in all but 8). Finally, the goths amongst us can also join the retro bandwagon. Banned Retro has a shirt dress with a black cat on it that will fit perfectly with your dark side! It's a design I've seen in plenty of vintage fashion reseller shops with a RRP of £59.99 ($75) and Banned's usual XS-XL size range.


What's actually unique about this blouse is that in the world of retro and vintage reproduction fashion this sort of top tends to be an item of menswear. The bowling alley style shirts are extremely common in men's vintage reproduction fashion. Of course, clothing doesn't have gender and if any of the men's sizes would fit your measurements, by all means shop there. Angelic Pretty took an item that is usually worn in masculine styles (and sometimes unisex, like when it's a part of a work uniform) and are selling it not necessarily in a more feminine cut, as that's still pretty neutral, but certainly made to fit feminine proportions better. However, they're still selling it for around $140 or €178, which is a lot for simple shirt.

Vintage reproduction companies don't often make shirts in this style, as many focus on womenswear, so my suggestions would be pretty similar to those listed for the Milkshake blouse. Having said this, I had a quick search on Google Shopping where the 'bowling shirt womens' brought out some cute results such as this one from P & Co in black (£65 or $80) or this MCW.Store one on ASOS Marketplace coming at £32 (approx. $40).

That leaves you with three options to dupe that: get a men's shirt you like and either alter it or wear as is, get a bowling shirt (either vintage or custom made, bowling is still a popular competitive activity and there are companies making these to order) or find whatever pointy collar shirt you can that you like and wear that (with adjustments if necessary or desired). Searching for 'bowling shirt' or 'vintage bowling shirt' on eBay or Etsy will narrow down your results well, although they won't all be specifically made for bowling. Like I said, look for a design you like that has that kind of collar and sleeve cuff in contrasting fabrics to the main body, that's all you really need to get that look down.


From the offset I knew that this was going to be the trickiest item to dupe. Predominantly because this looks like a windbreaker jacket that has been done in short sleeves - this isn't a look that featured in retro fashion at all. Moreover, whilst the rest of this series can be duped with items from vintage reproduction companies, those tend to focus on fashion up to 1970's at the very latest. This jacket is more 1980's in style and the 80's come back into fashion fairly often. As such, you should probably be looking not only into more mainstream vintage shops and sales (which usually have a lot of 80's stock since it's both easy to find in large quantities and still highly shoppable and fashionable), but also at contemporary brands that lean more streetwear, as well as sportswear companies.

The major difference will be that those ones likely won't have the sailor collar that the Angelic Pretty one does. That's a very unique feature of this item (which is quite unique in general). You can easily fake or alter sleeves to be shorter, but adding a sailor collar to an existing windbreaker jacket will take a fair amount of skill. However, with the popularity of windbreakers continuing, you will be spoilt for choice. Hollister makes some on the cheaper-to-mid end ones, around £30-40 ($37-50), which can be even cheaper if found on sale. On your expensive side you have designers like Tommy Hillfinger which will cost around the same as Angelic Pretty unless you find it on sale or second hand. In other words, if you're not too picky, you will find plenty of options, all you need to do is search for a windbreaker, then find one that you like and can afford. And if you're crafty, then you could probably customise it to resemble the AP one more closely.


It goes without saying that none of these substitutes are exactly the same as the Angelic Pretty designs. In my original Get the Look post the coordinates were a lot more similar to each other. However, that was mostly because the dupes were not only from lolita shops, but from Chinese brands, where the understanding of lolita is pretty similar to that in Japan. With the Milkshake and the Neon Diner series we have a Japanese company that focuses on lolita fashion making clothes inspired by Western retro fashion and me providing dupes from Western companies dedicated to vintage reproduction. In other words, where vintage reproduction companies are faithfully recreating past designs, Angelic Pretty is creating something new based on some motifs and features of those clothes. So while for simpler things, like circle skirts, it is possible to find pretty exact dupe, for more original items, like the Neon Diner jacket, it won't. The more of its own spin Angelic Pretty puts on these vintage-inspired clothes, the harder they will be to dupe.

That being said, if you have missed out on either the Milkshake or Neon Star Diner series (or both), then given how easy it is to find workable substitutes for them, it's crucial to ask yourself why you wanted them in the first place. Did those exact pieces, with all of the details that make them unique, capture your heart in its entirety and you want those exact items? Or has Angelic Pretty merely allowed you to appreciate this style and you like the feel of those designs without needing to own these exact ones? With Neon Star Diner being an original print, I can understand that someone could have fallen in love with the original design. Yet with Milkshake series being so simple and, particularly in the case of the skirts, common in vintage and retro fashion, chances are that there already is something like it out there that you'd easily find and that's be more affordable or that'd fit you better.

Furthermore, when envisioning yourself in those Angelic Pretty designs, consider what you want them for. Are you intending to wear these with lolita and/or in lolita ways? That would be hard with the circle skirts and impossible with any of the pencil skirt items. Or do you want these pieces to wear because you like them, whatever style label you might attach to them? Do you wear other fashion styles, retro or otherwise, where you could use these pieces? It is perfectly ok to want something from a lolita brand and not want it for lolita fashion. From rockabilly to fairy-kei, to K-pop inspired streetwear, to whatever the heck you want because it's cute - clothes are whatever you want them to be. What I'm saying is that if you lusted after Milkshake's circle skirt or Neon Star Diner's windbreaker jacket because you think that an Angelic Pretty label must equal that something is 100% unquestionably lolita, then it sounds like you have more research to do on this fashion.

In other words, next time Angelic Pretty releases a series inspired by another fashion style, particularly by Western retro fashions, examine your feelings towards it very closely. Answer yourself why you want them, how you want to wear them, what can you wear them with, and is this a price that you can afford (both in simple financial terms, as well as in the sense of 'value for money', 'how often will I wear this' and 'how easily could I get this from elsewhere'). Once you work that out, you'll know whether you really missed out on a release or if you've actually saved yourself some money that you can put towards buying something that you actually need or want.

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