Dolly Style: Can It Compete With My Love Of Lolita?

I usually don't go for other Jfashions outside of Lolita. None of them seem as thrilling to me as the frills of Lolita, but recently I have been seeing more and more of a fashion referred to as Dolly Style (or sometimes Antique Doll Style). What first caught my eye about this style is, well, it looks a bit like Lolita. Specifically some very old school Gothic Lolita coordinates. It's less about wearing brand, or having a specific look, and more about a decadent and antique aesthetic. It actually looks a bit like the style of goth that I wore before I got into Lolita, and it has a lot of elements that I loved that never seemed to mesh too well with Lolita, such as the eastern European aesthetic. They also use a lot of accessories that I love, such as large crucifixes, and tassels (a love I picked up from the band Rasputina, as Melora has on occasion worn huge curtain tassels as accessories).

As the style is much less defined as Lolita is, as well as being very new, it's difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes something Dolly Style. It's a little bit Lolita, a little bit Mori, and a little bit Gothic. The skirt length ranges from full length to very hip mini skirts. The inspiration seems to be drawn from medieval dresses, eastern European, and Victorian styles. The colors range from the pale, dusty pastels of Mori Girl, to the deep jewel tones of Gothic. The style can also be as layered or as simple as you chose, some girls wearing, what looks like, every dress they own, others wearing simple dresses with a few accessories. Patterns, textures, and accessories seem to be a big part of the look. With ruffles, bold jewelery lace, fur, tears, and tatters being the focal points of outfits. In short, the style, as it's name implies, encourages you to look like a forgotten antique doll.


In contrast to the sometimes brand centric Lolita attitude, Dolly Style encourages you to wear vintage, if not outright antique clothes. In Japan two used clothing shops, Cult Party and Grimoire are a Dolly Girl's wonderland. In the US, we obviously don't have those 2 particular shops, but a very wide variety of vintage clothing stores, thrift shops, consignment stores, Goodwills, and antique stores are found in abundance. Especially here in New England! I swear there are 3 vintage clothing stores, a Goodwill, and about 10 antique stores within 10 minutes of me. And while your local Goodwill might not be as glamorous a place as Grimoire, with some clever hunting you are likely to find the same kinds of clothes.


Like many fashions, I think it would be easy to incorporate this romantic antique doll look into a Lolita coordinate. Worry less about matching colors and shades perfectly and more about wearing as many interesting pieces as you can! I think that if you start with a base of a boldly printed Classical JSK you can really put something together that definitely looks like it is inspired by the Dolly Style. Because I can't get enough of virtual coordinates, here's my try at merging Dolly Style with Lolita.
I have so many clothes in my wardrobe, many of them are vintage romantic pieces like the ones that are often seen in this style. I think I'm going to have to try this out in real life. It's going to be fun digging out some old clothes I haven't worn in ages and finally getting some new use out of them!

Images from Fruits, Alice Deco, Tokyofashion.com, Drop, and Style Arena.
Check out the links for more photos, and a bit more info on this emerging fashion. And yes, LaCarmina recently did a post about the same fashion, using some of the same photos I am, but I did not just repost what she wrote (obviously), there is simply only a handful of places about this fashion online at the moment. So we don't exactly have a goldmine of images to sort from.

28 comments:

  1. wow I really love this :D Thanks for sharing and providing so many examples, and even more excuses to go thrifting!

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  2. OH I love this I think I may repost some of these pictures (with a linkback) because this I kind of the style I like. Maybe I will compine Lolita and Dolly????

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  3. *_* I love this style now!

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  4. The last 2 girls stood together before the break both look stunning :O) I adore this style and didn't know it had a name, adore vintage clothes and would love to dive into those shops in your pictures! ;O)

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  5. Gorgeous, reminds me a lot of pink house/Gedix style and (like you said), mori girl. I kind of dress more like this than lolita daily.

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  6. Such a lovely style and great inspiration. ^.^
    And it looks a bit like my everyday-wear, at least the more simpler coordinates. :D

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  7. It's funny, I just discovered this style on Tokyo New Tribe a couple weeks ago... totally fell in love. It's so weird that you should mention the giant tassels... I was considering adding a huge tassel belt to my wardrobe a couple days ago at Jo-ann, before I even saw the Dolly style outside of New Tribe!! *o* It's like, we're all on the same wavelength or something.

    Honestly, I think this style might lure away a couple long-time lolitas, including myself. I'm sooo tired of ultra-sweet.... it'll be nice to look like a princess, but without all the rules!!

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  8. ahh it reminds me of mori girl too

    love it ^^

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  9. Oh My Gosh. This is the style I've been waiting for! I love antique stores and thrifting. I'm definitely going to try this. I'd love to see more examples!

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  10. Wow, that's a really great style! I've been looking for something like this for so long and I think it would be great in combination with lolita... Hm. Got to check my wardrobe. There's something coming up.
    Thank you for sharing this inspiration with us!

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  11. To me, dolly style kinda looked like mori. Actually almost identical. hehe. I guess this is a bit more fem, but other than that they're twins! lol I sitll like the style though, but I'm just saying...

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  12. This is such a beautiful style. Definitely softer and gentler then the lolita I enjoy. Makes me really want to go antique store shopping. I want to do some research and write about this style (linking back to you for turning me onto it). I just really love it! So whimsical!

    Odd side note: In the link to cult party, the hanger shaped like a cat is actually hanging in my closet! My aunt gave it to me when I was little. I have a tomcat like a cowboy of the same style. Just kind cool

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  13. I can see their differences XD Mori is much more pale and monotoned and it uses a lot of nature themed accessories. Dolly style is much more colorful and uses a bit more eclectic accessories.

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  14. Do you really?! that's so cool, those hangers are really cute ^^ Let me know when you make a post about it! I am very interested in hearing what other people have to say about the style.

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  15. Me too! Like I said, I love the Easter European and sometimes almost tribal feel to these outfits, which is something I've always loved but could never work into a Lolita outfit successfully.
    XD You're welcome! I'm definitely inspired to do a bit of a wardrobe remix after learning about the style

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  16. Nice! I was actually thinking about this this week and trying to put words on it...
    You succeeded perfectly! Thanks!

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  17. I really love this style, even If I doubt we can call it like that yet. It hasn't an own shape or very specific elements, but you can reconize Dolly when you see it. It isn't Vintage, Lolita or Mori, but a very great mix of those three including esoteric and religious icons, and more Medieval and North-Europe -traditional clothes- inspiration.
    I wrote an article about it in my blog, but unfortunately it's in spanish...Anyway, I think we have a very similar, if not the same, idea about the style, so... :)

    Great blog, kisses!

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  18. Yay, I fixed the link, thanks for pointing it out :o)

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  19. wonderful posting! i liked this style as well when i saw it the first time. it seems moe for daily_life, which is good!

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  20. hm, I think you're right. I do really like this style, but since it's so...well unknown, at the moment, I don't know how I could really get into it. :/ I might try shopping at mori-style online shops and brands, but go for the more colorful and cute styles. Really nice post, by the way! (forgot to mention that.) :)

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  21. Oh, I do like this style. I actually imagine most of my (future, as I haven't worked up the courage/money yet to go out and buy/wear lolita) lolita outfits as a sort of cross between lolita and this style...although now I know its an actual style! How cool

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  22. Ooh! I adore Dolly Style. I love that antique look it has.

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  23. Ah so they refer to this as Dolly style. I often referred to it as part of morigirl, be cause it has those aesthetics as well, but I can also see it as a style in of itself. But no matter the name, I'm really in love with this style right now myself, and its very easy to do lolita, morigirl, and dolly style all at once using the same pieces, which makes me very happy xD

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  24. Tadah ^__^ Posted about it http://fairycakes-candyfloss.blogspot.com/
    I ramble but goodness I do like the style.

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  25. Very inspiring. I like lolita, but i'm not a brand girl, I love thrifting and i like to break some rules, so this style suits me really well. Thanks for posting.

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  26. D: I recently found out about this style and I'm so in love! ;o;
    It's so great because I finally find a use for my love of vintage clothes! X3 Also, it's way easier on the wallet. XD
    It's really enchanting :3
    Thanks for all this info! :D

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  27. You're welcome ^^ Ever since this post (well, a little before it!) I have been trying to add a bit more of the dolly style to my own wardrobe by reusing old pieces I never really wear any more, but I just ended up buying and wanting new pieces that would fit the style XD Not quite what I had intended.

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  28. I thought Lolita style was also about looking like a doll o-o

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