Get the Look: Gothic Lolita

If there’s one word to describe Gothic Lolita, it’s “detailed”. Every piece of clothing is intricately designed, and any given outfit incorporates a profusion of lace, studs, velvet, and ribbons. Veils and gloves are so ornate that you feel instantly transported back to the Victoria era. In Japanese street fashion, most outfits stand out because of colour, but Gothic Lolita—full of black, black and more black—gets creative with details and texture to create dimension. What’s so unique about this style is it’s opposing themes: childlike kawaii and eerie darkness. That being said, we’ve chosen four items that we think are the foundations of a classic Gothic Lolita outfit!


Image courtesy of Violent Delights.


As the name suggests, Gothic Lolita is heavily influenced by all things gothic, including architecture. Prerequisites of a Gothic Lolita co-ord include stained glass windows, tombstones—and crosses! Though this hauntingly beautiful symbol is found on everything from lace veils to high heels, it’s usually worn in the form of a necklace when dressing in the style. Head to Moi-même-Moitié if you’re in the mood for big chunky, jewel-encrusted statement necklaces. Or check out thrift stores, ASOS and even church gift shops for more modest rosary beads.


Image courtesy of Sora News 24.

Platform Heels

Gothic Lolitas are known for their super high heels and some are, without a doubt, the most fancifully themed shoes ever seen! Embellishments? Check! Chunky buckles, pearls, and bat wings. Check! Check! And Check! If you really want to be inventive, why not try violin straps, or small decorative mirrors on the heels. There are also plenty of options for those who want to keep it simple. Gothic Lolitas don’t have to wear platforms! Mary Janes and creepers are welcome as long as you keep it black and chunky.


Image courtesy of Tokyo Fashion.

Patterned Tights

What do you see when you do a quick search of the hashtag #gothiclolita on Instagram? Or maybe the question should be: What don’t you see? That’s right! Not a bare leg in sight! Knee-high stockings are popular, but patterned tights are a quintessential Gothic Lolita item. Much like heels, they can have all sorts of designs on them: moonlit trees, menacing church spires, skeleton bones, and so on. Patterned tights can really help to pin down the theme of your co-ord. For example, adding a pair of skeleton bone tights to a black dress creates an undead theme. But add a pair of deck-of-card tights to the same dress, and you get tea party vibes. Patterned tights can instantly upgrade any outfit from plain and simple to dark and whimsical!


Image courtesy of Sherliza Moé via YouTube.

Black Lipstick

Sure, red lipstick is a classic that adds that lady-like touch, but what’s more gothic than black lipstick? It’s such a striking lip colour, and it makes you look like a totally sexy badass. Invest in a good black lipstick like the NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick in Alien or Marc Jacobs’ Le Marc Crème Lipstick in Blacquer for lasting colour. It might take some time and money to find the right one for you, but when you do you’ll wonder how you ever lived without!


Trying out a new style can be intimidating, especially one as detail-oriented as Gothic Lolita. Don’t worry though! Just get your hands on these four items and you’ll have the building blocks of a great Gothic Lolita co-ord. Don’t forget to tag and use the hashtag #thecommoffline when you share your new look!


Written by Kay.
Featured image courtesy of Chelsea Clarke, photo collage by David Vo.

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