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I received a message the other day from a lovely girl named Lynsie that was asking about Wa-lolita and how to pull it off without being ita. Wa Lolita is one of those often-ignored themed lolitas because of how awkward it is to pull off, so I thought I’d do a bit of a post about it.

Wa-Lolita from Gosurori 11

Here’s just some general things to avoid when making/buying wa-lolita, some of these are specific to this style, and some are just general but are problems I’ve seen with it most often:

  • Avoid shiny fabrics. This seems pretty straight-forward, but I’ve seen more wa-lolita done in shiny brocades than I’d like to admit.
  • Be careful about print choices. Asian prints with things like flowers or more lolita-themed things like candy are totally fine. Try and avoid more culturally awkward things like dragons or samurai or sumo. Just because it’s Japanese-themed doesn’t mean it works. Also avoid any sort of Japanese calligraphy or lettering, especially if you don’t know what it means. If possible, go for Japanese import fabrics or even authentic kimono fabric if you’ve got the money.
  • Obis that work. Either the fake kind used with Yukata, or actual tied obis please! No belts, random strips of cloth, or sad slouchy obis :C
  • Cross your kimono properly. Wear the left side over the right. The opposite is only used for the deceased.
  • Make sure the rest of your outfit is lolita-worthy. You can use things like kanzashi for hair or a more traditional bag, but most of the time it looks best if you go with more traditional lolita pieces for the rest of the outfit because the dress itself is so themed.
  • Don’t forget accessories and hair! Most of these are standardly lolita, wa-lolita looks really nice with classical curls or updos. I would maybe avoid the big OTT sweet wigs that have gotten so popular, they might look a bit much with wa-lolita. Don’t neglect jewelry too! Bracelets and necklaces wouldn’t show up very well, but rings and earrings to match would look lovely :D
  • No crazy makeup! Standard toned-down makeup is perfectly fine, or something a little darker if the styling is more on the gothic side. Avoid geisha-inspired makeup at all costs.

One of Bodyline’s Wa-Lolita sets.

Places to buy wa-lolita! This is a little tricky, not many places make wa-lolita, and a lot of the places that do don’t make it well.

  • Bodyline is one of the best options. Although, I say “best” in a “super hit-or-miss but has some selection anyway” sort of way haha. The set up above is my favorite of theirs at the moment, simple, elegant and cute. Bodyline loves to do weird things with obis, slashes at the shoulders, short skirts, and even aprons, so just pay attention when you’re buying wa-lolita from them.
  • h.Naoto have put out several kimono-style dresses in quite a few of their lines, some of which falls under wa-lolita. They’re pretty hard to find though.
  • Fan Plus Friend has some of the prettiest wa-lolita outfits I’ve ever seen. And also some of the tackiest. Just steer clear of anything with shiny brocade or short skirts, the rest is all pretty lovely.
  • Metamorphose don’t make typical wa-lolita, but they have released some really lovely traditional lolita dresses made out of kimono fabric. It’s a bit of a different take, and it’s easier to wear as a normal dress rather than a special occasion sort of thing.
Wa-Aristocrat from Gosurori 10
As a related note, wa-aristocrat also exists on occasion! I think it’s one of the coolest styles, long victorian or gothic styled skirts with kimono style tops make my heart flutter!
I hope that was helpful! Wa-lolita can definitely be done, it just takes an eye for detail and careful choices. I think it’s a really cute style, personally, and I’d like to see it more often!