I started dressing in lolita when I was around 15. I hit a plateau with my lolita passion at around 16 and I’ve mostly been wearing the dresses that I obsessively required during that year/year and a half that I was really into lolita fashion. I’m not really into lolita at…
My awesome boifurendo took awesome pictures of me *___*
omg just omg So beautiful!
And more of a full shot from Sunday’s meetup!
Blouse: Dear Celine
Accessories: Rococo Soul, Rosarium Obscurum
One of the hardest things about being a larger lolita is knowing where to shop. In a fashion where most major brands only carry one size, and “one size” more often than not does not equal “your size” it can be easy to get discouraged. Don’t fret, though, because while we may not have as many choices as the smaller girls, there are still plenty of options for plus sized lolitas, you just have to know where to shop!
First and foremost, when it comes to shopping for lolita in general, but ESPECIALLY for plus size lolita, it is very important to know your measurements. Knowing you’re a size “XL” or “18” may be useful when it comes to “normal” fashion, but those labels are pretty meaningless in lolita. Bust and Waist are the most important measurements when it comes to lolita fashion. Your bust measurement can be found by measuring the fullest part of your chest (while wearing a bra) and your waist is the smallest part of your torso, right between the ribcage and the belly button. If you’re tall, its useful to know the distance from your waist to your knees, too, so you can make sure to get a skirt of the appropriate length. Learn these measurements in both inches and centimeters!
Once you know your measurements, its time for the fun part- shopping! While its true that most Japanese brands offer only one size, a few of the smaller ones offer clothing for larger girls. Most notably, Maxicimam recently released a plus-size line known as “Lovely Size” (buy them through their Rakuten Global shop or CD Japan). Milky-Ange is another brand which carries larger sizes (and they also do maid dresses, too, if you’re into that sort of thing). They go up to size XL, and unlike what you may be thinking its not a “Japanese XL equals American Medium” type of deal (they’re actually a bit larger than a lot of Western brand’s XL sizing!). Chantilly only offers one size of dress, but most of them are designed to fit and flatter girls of many sizes (buy directly from their webshop or through Harajuku Hearts).
Aside from those, most major Japanese brands try to accommodate customers of all sizes as best as they can. While the majority of dresses may be too small, keep an eye out for fully shirred or fully back shirred items (Tip: don’t like the look of full shirring? A fully shirred bodice can easily be hidden underneath a nice jacket or cardigan for a more elegant look!).
However, for the average plus size lolita, the majority of your purchase are going to be off brand. Bodyline carries several items in sizes 2L and 4L (note that just because the letter size is the same doesn’t mean the measurements are necessarily the same! Pay attention to measurements, I’ve seen size 4L items that would be too small for me and size 2L that would fit me just fine! The sizing is really random). Annahouse is another good option (please note that the prices are in HKD, so unless you’re in Hong Kong they will need to be converted to your local currency). Aside from their standard sizing, items can be “bespoke” in a larger size for an additional $100 HKD (around $13 USD). Most TaoBao stores can also do custom sizing for a small extra fee (though you must order using a shopping service! I prefer TaoBaoSpree, but there are a number of good shopping services out there). An excellent list of TaoBao lolita shops can be found here. I don’t have a comprehensive list of which stores can and can’t provide custom sizing, but if you’re unsure, just ask your shopping service and they’ll be happy to answer any questions for you. Fan Plus Friend is another good shop for larger girls. It is generally recommended that you order directly off the size chart instead of doing custom sized, but I’ve found that if you provide A LOT of measurements (even more than what they ask for! Be very specific!) that I’ve had success. If replicas are what you’re after, take a look at Oo Jia on Facebook (also Dream of lolita and Kidsyoyo, but they’re located in the TaoBao shop list).
Western lolita shops also tend to carry more sizing options. Etsy has a lot of excellent Western (and a few non-Western) Lolita brands. I’ve compiled a list of Etsy stores that sell lolita on my main blog that you should take a look at (not every shop on that list is guaranteed to offer custom/larger sizing, just have a look around and if need be, contact the shop owner). Here are a few non-Etsy based Western shops that offer options for bigger girls:
Gloomth (gothic and lolita)
Retroscope (lolita, Aristo, and Steampunk)
Ergi (standard sizing is quite small, but custom sizing is available!)
And luckily, the lolita community is filled with so many talented seamstresses! If you can’t sew yourself, you can always commission someone to make a garment for you. I love to commission seamstresses because not only can I be sure that my dress will fit me perfectly, but I can have a totally unique dress of my own design, too! A lot of Etsy sellers take commissions, but you can also scour Sew_loli for available seamstresses, as well.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to buy second hand! All the usual places like EGL-Comm-Sales, Yahoo Japan, Closet Child, and other consignment shops are worth checking out, but if you want somewhere specifically geared towards plus sizes, head on over to EGL_Plus!
I hope this has been helpful and informative! And always remember, keep an eye out at “normal” stores for loliable finds, too! You never know what you may find!
I bought two of the same Bodyline skirt, and sewed them together! XD
What a great solution!
life hacks for plus sized lolitas~