The Infamous Hot Topic Dress


It's been a long time since the EGL Livejournal community was active. Since the move to Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram, I feel that some parts of the western lolita community history are lost. Newer lolitas won't know about some of the major events that have happened in the past, so I'll be doing a series of posts just on these kinds of things specifically.

First up - that Hot Topic dress. Yes, that one. Older lolitas will immediately know what I mean.

Way back in the early 2000s, lolita was not very accessible to the international community. Many Japanese brand shops did not ship overseas and there weren't any stores on Taobao selling lolita. People used shopping services to buy from brand, tried to find loliable things in western stores, risked their money buying from Chinese shops on eBay, or bought clothes from western indie lolita brands like In The Starlight.

Then... Hot Topic started selling an actual lolita dress!

I managed to find the Hot Topic page for it via the Wayback Machine.

There are also more pictures of the dress through sales listings for it here and here.

It appears to have been a mashup of some of Baby's designs. Like the Lace Frill JSK mixed with Millefeuille JSK.

I'm using the newer release stock photos because they are much larger.

Because Hot Topic was so accessible, many people bought this dress and talked about it endlessly. People got sick of hearing about it and seeing it so poorly coordinated just because it seemed like everyone owned one. There were also other loliable dresses released at this time, but none as iconic as this.

It's difficult to figure out when the first post was made about this dress, but I found a post talking about the dress here. The links to the supposed previous post about it are dead and I can't pull it up in the Wayback Machine either. However, this is enough to narrow this dress down to it being released in 2005.

I never owned it myself, but I kind of want to so I can have a little piece of lolita history.

What To Buy When Starting Lolita


There are varying opinions on what one might purchase first when new to lolita. For me, I think it should be this one thing.

A secondhand (Japanese) brand name lolita JSK

(This is Angelic Pretty's Lyrical Party aka Lyrical Bunny set. The JSK and matching headbow usually show up for under $100 together.)

Now, one might protest at this kind of opinion. But here is why I think it should be this specifically:

1. Brand Name

Choosing a brand name lolita item means that one can expect a certain level of quality. That's not to dismiss indie brands as being lesser or anything like that. What I mean is that because it's brand name, it is more likely that other people have the same piece and can attest to its quality and fit. 

The current state of things is that plus size lolitas are often told to look for indie brands to satisfy their sizing concerns. Depending on the dress cut, it's actually very possible to fit into Japanese brand name lolita dresses. It's easier to look for photos of people wearing the dress, so it's easier to get a better judgement of fit concerns.

It also helps that it's much easier to sell a brand name dress than an indie brand dress off Taobao or a Bodyline dress if there are regrets about purchasing it.

2. Price

Price is a major concern. But if looking very carefully, the cost of secondhand brand items is closer to the cost of a brand new indie brand dress. With the countless options out there for lolita now, secondhand brand has gotten so cheap that it's basically accessible to anyone with a decent grasp of their finances. A secondhand Angelic Pretty dress under $100 shipped is not impossible.

Also if you know where to look and don't mind old, not very popular brand pieces, a $50 brand dress is still within the realm of possibility.

A lot of young girls get into this fashion, but don't know how to dress themselves in general. This is their first foray into dressing well and having a fashion sense. Being used to fast, cheap fashion gives off the wrong idea that clothes should be cheap.

Lolita is a specialized luxury fashion and while it can be done cheaply, it has to be done very carefully once someone has had a good grasp of the fashion already. Starting with a brand name piece known for quality is a safer bet for those new to the fashion.

And I'll reiterate again - it's easier to resell than an indie brand or Bodyline dress! With such a saturated market now, things can sit unsold for months because there are so many different, better options out there.

3. Basics

And why a JSK? Why not a petticoat, or a wig, or a skirt? 

The JSK is one of the most versatile lolita pieces. The way someone styles it with other pieces can drastically change how an outfit looks. It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

In comparison to a skirt, the JSK is easier to wear. A skirt will need at least a blouse or cutsew top. The standard is that a JSK needs a blouse, but this isn't actually necessary. A bolero or cardigan can be worn on top of it instead. And with a JSK, blouse options can be more varied since part of it hides under the JSK. Cropped blouses are popular nowadays and those certainly cannot be worn over a skirt by itself. They are also a cheaper option compared to traditional blouses.

Contrary to the what pictures might show these days - a wig is NOT REQUIRED for this fashion. Wigs can help make outfits more cohesive if someone doesn't have the right hair type to achieve a certain hairstyle. But they are also worn as a lazy option instead of actually styling one's own hair. This is why I don't think it should be the first purchased item, because it's literally not required!

While foundations like a petticoat are necessary in the fashion, getting an actual lolita dress as the very first purchase also helps bring more joy. The feeling of finally getting that first lolita dress is one that cannot be replicated.

Once the dress is bought, it's easier to accept that getting the other pieces are necessary in order to coordinate it properly.

Choose carefully, and your first lolita piece will be one you cherish always.

Wunderwelt Review


This isn't the first time I've ordered from Wunderwelt, but I hope a more recent review will be helpful.

Wunderwelt is a second hand lolita shop. I don't believe they have physical stores like Closet Child. Their stock varies a lot. They sometimes have really sought after pieces and sometimes really old school stuff. The prices are a bit on the expensive side and they tend to note their items as being in worse condition, but their website is much easier to navigate and they update more frequently.

The Many Styles of Casual Lolita


Recently, there's been some debate over this one question - what is casual lolita?

Some will argue that it consists of using more cutsews and salopettes, while someone else might say it's more about wearing comfortable lolita clothes with toned down prints. To that, I answer - it's both. Sort of.

Lolita is a fashion style where you can dress appropriately for pretty much almost every occasion. People tend to focus on the motifs used when considering this, but it's important to remember how casual or dressy the coordinate is too.

I've identified what I think are the varying categories of how casual lolita can be. Please keep in mind this is just an opinion.

All images taken off various parts of the internet. If I'm using one of your pictures and you don't want it here, please let me know!

Casual Lolita


Sorry for the poor name choice. With this kind of casual lolita, the most common identifiers are the heavy usage of cutsews, salopettes, mini skirts, parkas (aka lolita hoodies, idk why they are called parkas in this fashion), and sneakers.The look is a bit on the younger side and is usually worn in a sweet style, looking very close to fairy kei at times. Accessories can often be generic cute bows and jewelry found in common stores or from kawaii indie brands. I consider it like the lolita equivalent of a tshirt and jeans outfit.

Daily Lolita

I consider this a form of casual lolita worn by daily wearers of the fashion. It's lolita, but with a much more relaxed feel that looks like otome. It's basically what you get when incorporating lolita specific items into daily wear. There's minimalized poof, simpler prints, and more emphasis on fabric quality and materials. Shoes are more simple but stylish and practical. Parkas are replaced with cardigans and berets are more common. A lot of normal offbrand items from mainstream fashion shops are frequently used. I find this endearing as it embodies the feel that lolita is a lifestyle. It can be worn when running errands and even to work.

Standard Lolita

The cookie cutter definition of lolita. Everything you're told that makes up a lolita outfit is used here. Petticoat? Check. Blouse? Check. OP or JSK? Check. Just tick off all the checkmarks. I'm not sure how to describe it other than this. It's more difficult to wear everyday, but that doesn't stop people from trying.

OTT Lolita

Over the top lolita worn for special occasions. This takes standard lolita, which can seem boring to those already in the fashion, and goes crazy with trying to create the best outfit possible. Wigs are almost required. The dresses worn are more expensive and detailed. Skirts are hardly ever seen. JSKs and blouses or OPs are preferred. Sometimes props like wands, peignoirs, veils, and wings are used too. This style is used for tea parties, meetups, fashion shows, conventions, and maybe even weddings (as the bride hopefully). People outside the fashion will 100% look at this and call it a costume. Wearing this everyday would be like wearing a fancy prom dress to do grocery shopping.

Of course, there will definitely be some overlap between all of these. Lolita is bound by an aesthetic, not necessarily any rules. If it makes you happy, wear it!

Cotton Candy Feet Review


I know at least one anonymous person out there wants to know more about Cotton Candy Feet's quality. I decided to order a pair to wear with my Magic Princess OP. Glitter shoes for a glitter dress, right?

These are the Shiny Unicorn Queen shoes. They were $65 USD and I paid for DHL shipping to Canada, so the total came out to $102 USD. The currency conversion to CAD really hurt.

I tried using some promo codes too, but they were all expired.