Saturday, October 23, 2021

Lara's Doll Dress Review

Earlier this year, there was an old school style dress by a Chinese brand that got a lot of attention. It is the Lara’s Doll series by Little Bear Lolita. This brand is well known for making a lot of cotton old school style dresses.

After several months of production and a couple more for shipping, I finally got the dress! So I am here to do a little review for you with a lot of pictures.

When I first took this dress out of the box, I was super impressed with just how beautiful it looked. It is very heavy and made out of 100% cotton. It is a much thicker cotton compared to some of my cotton AP or Baby items.

The ribbon and lace are extremely nice and don’t feel cheap at all. A lot of Chinese brands have trouble selecting the right type of lace for old school style dresses, but this one is perfect. The ribbon is a nice quality and feels just right for this style of dress.

The sleeves are detachable and are attached using three buttons. This is one fewer button than I am used to with detachable sleeves, but it still holds it in place well.

I didn’t notice this until much later on, but flipping the collar up reveals that the ladder lace… doesn’t go all the way up. This is extremely weird but at the same time, the collar will always be laid flat so it shouldn’t be visible. It goes up past the lace on the collar, so it doesn’t show through the lace either.

To get into this dress, there is an invisible zipper on the left side. It’s extremely hard to tell where it is at first glance since it lines up with the lace around the waist so neatly.

I don’t mind invisible zippers personally, but they are harder to zip up for a lot of people out there. It will be especially tricky near the waist.

Onto the back now~

The back has a bustle which I guess I forgot was a thing with this dress.

This is the button and loop at the top of the back of the dress. You are supposed to unbutton it to put it on so your head fits through the hole, then button it back up when worn. 

It may be hard to tell, but there are pintucks along the bottom of the skirt that go all the way around, except for the bustle.

The fabric for the bustle appears to be a single layer of cotton with a serged edge. Weirdly though, it is attached to a white layer instead of a black one. It may not be noticeable in normal wear, but if the bustle gets messed up, it will show.

The actual lining is also white. The fabric that the bustle is attached to is a separate panel of white fabric. A lot of dresses these days have polyester lining, but this one is actually cotton!

The waist ties are attached by buttons that have a faint ribbon print on them? I guess all the buttons on this dress have the ribbon print on it. The actual waist ties themselves are made of the same cotton as the dress, but since they are double sided, it makes them feel extremely thick and harder to tie a neat bow with.

As for the sizing and fit, it is extremely comfortable and will likely become one of my regular daily dresses. I ordered the XL size (100cm bust) to fit my bust and it does really well. In fact, the waist hits where it is supposed to. Since it was supposed to be made bigger overall, the shoulders are a little too wide for me, but I should have expected this. The dress is a bit short since it was designed with the idea to wear matching peeking bloomers underneath, but it looks fine as a regular dress. It hits me just above the knee with a petticoat on.

I also bought the matching bonnet! So I guess I will tell you now that the black on the bonnet is a slightly different shade than the dress. I’m not sure why. It is not noticeable at all when worn.

There are two clips on the inside of the bonnet to help it stay in place. It feels sturdier than just having combs sewn in, but it does hurt my hair and take longer to put on this way if I want to use them. The ribbon to tie off the bonnet is sturdy enough that I might not need the clips.

A really nice detail is that there is wire inside along the edge of the bonnet to help with the shape. It’s tempting to expand it out all the way but I find it looks best when it’s scrunched up a bit to the proper size for my own head. There is some kind of interfacing so it also sticks up like it should instead of flopping over. A lot of half bonnets are generally soft and have no structure to them so this is very nice to have.

The pink bows lining the inside of the bonnet appear to be sewn on last. I can see that the knots for them are shown on the outer side of the bonnet. Since it’s black thread on a black bonnet, you can’t see them that well, but that kind of bothered me since it’s a weird thing to cheap out on.

Overall, the dress and bonnet are gorgeous and well worth it. I am a little disappointed that there was so much care and attention to certain details, but they cheaped out on other parts. However, this doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the dress at all and I am super happy that I ordered it.

I would definitely be willing to buy from Little Bear Lolita again!
You can check them out here:

Bonus! It also came with a few freebies - a postcard, clear file, and keychain. I am putting this at the end since it isn’t as important. I am also unsure if you will still get these when buying leftover stock. I did the preorder.

The clear file has different illustrations on the front and back, showing all the different colorways for this dress.

The keychain is small, but I absolutely adore it! It only comes in this colorway (the most popular one). The brand really didn’t have to do this, but it made me even more excited for the dress. I will keep it and cherish it forever.

That’s all for now. Please let us know if you’d like to see more dress reviews like this!


Friday, October 1, 2021

Welcome to Wigs in Lolita Fashion - Q&F Version

Welcome to Wigs in Lolita Fashion! Today I’ll be talking about why to wear (or not wear!) wigs, some differences between different types and price points of wigs, and offer some suggestions about where you can buy them.

So let’s start with why wigs? Wigs have been worn in lolita fashion for a long time - the old-school style sausage curl ringlets were much easier to achieve with a wig compared to bleaching and styling one’s own hair, and brands have even produced their own wigs (or done wig collaborations). Perhaps you have very short hair, but would like to try out a longer style? Wigs! Maybe you have the opposite problem - long hair, but you are going for a more masculine or ouji style? Wigs! You have a giant OTT dress and need more volume up top to balance it? Wigs! Your hair is dyed green, but you really want an all pastel-pink coordinate? Wigs! Bad hair day and can’t be bothered? Wigs! You get the picture. :D


What wigs are not: REQUIRED! You never have to wear a wig to wear lolita fashion, no matter what your hair (or lack thereof) looks like. To balance your coordinate, you may need a larger headpiece if you don’t have large hair, but you never have to wear a wig. Short hair, thin hair, natural hair, curly hair - everything can and does look great in lolita. 


What wigs are: FUN! I love being able to have waist-length twin-tails, or white-blond hair without frying my own, or electric purple without making a mess in my bathroom. I enjoy the challenge of picking the right hair to match my coordinate, and seeing how my look can change just by switching from curls to straight or from a “natural” color like brown to a fantasy color like lavender.


When you’re looking for a wig, there are a few things to take into consideration. One is your substyle(s). Typically, classic lolitas will be best-served with softer and more “natural” hair colors like golden blonde, warm browns and chestnuts, or dark brown-blacks. A very dramatic look might be achieved with a deep red or very pale white-blonde. Curls/ringlets are common, as are updos and gentle waves.


Gothic lolitas typically wear blacks, reds, and white-blondes, but you can also go for more saturated jewel tones like deep purples, greens, and blues as well as unusual fantasy colors like silver. Straight hair is common in gothic, but Mana’s iconic blue wig means you can always go that direction as well.

Sweet lolitas can definitely pick from light browns and blondes like the classic lolitas, but a whole range of pastel options exist as well! Pink, lavender, and sax are all common, and wavy hair, curls, and twin-tails tend to dominate sweet wig options.

Another consideration is the quality of your wig. Here you can see wigs at three different price points. 

On the left is a cosplay wig from Amazon that cost $15. (I purchased it for you, dear readers, so you don’t have to! I refuse to link it because it’s hot garbage, sorry.) In the middle is Catherine’s Tea Time from Dreamholic/dcoucou, that cost $57. And finally, Dakota from, which cost $136 (although you should note that runs 30% off sales every major US holiday, so I’ve never paid full price for one of their wigs). Here is the interior view of the three:

The Amazon wig is a mess. 

It’s thin - you can see right through it, meaning that your own hair will be visible beneath it. It’s shiny, so it will always look cheap and will look like a costume rather than part of your coordinate. And the wig cap is small - it won’t hold any of your hair well, and has no combs so it will slip off easily. Please do not buy this wig, or any other cheap cosplay wigs. You get what you pay for.

The Dreamholic wig is much better! 

It’s a little shiny, and the rooted hair “swirl” at the top is not entirely natural. However, the cap is roomy and comfortable, the hair fibers are thick and well-shaped, and there are combs at the top to help the wig stay in place on your head. I love Dreamholic, and have six of their wigs! primarily markets to people who want wigs that look like “real” hair, rather than for costumes. This is clear when you look at the Dakota. 

The rooting looks natural, the fibers are matte, and the lace front makes the hair at the perimeter of the face appear natural as well. It’s thick, but the light wig cap construction means you won’t overheat as much as in other wigs!

Whenever possible, you should avoid ultra-cheap cosplay/party store wigs unless you’re going to be destroying them as part of a photoshoot. J They will be uncomfortable and will make you look like you’re wearing a costume instead of a luxurious and cute fashion. They may also have strange styling that won’t fit the lolita aesthetic.

So where can you go for good wigs for lolita?

On Taobao, Monkeep and Dalao Home are popular choices. I also have bought from Sinwavy. I personally don’t care for Alice Garden, as I have found them to look more like cosplay wigs, and to not match the colors shown in the images. However some people do like them!

Looking at Japanese sites Prisila and Wig Shop Maple are commonly shopped by lolitas. Even brands like Angelic Pretty sometimes do wig collaborations!

Dreamholic has an international and US storefront so you don’t even have to use Taobao. MintyMix  makes ultra-popular rainbow wigs that have a larger than normal wig cap to accommodate larger heads or more voluminous hair underneath. is a particularly good choice for classic lolitas, but has hundreds of options for many different looks! People often sell wigs on Lace Market – typically because they didn’t like the color when they received it – so you can sometimes find deals there!

If you want to wear a wig with your lolita coord, I hope this has given you some ideas about where to shop and what to look for when you’re doing so! Let us know if you want to see more wig guides - there’s always more to learn! 

Stay spicy,

You can read more of Chai's writing at 昔のSewing