Can I Wear Lolita On Halloween?

(Hey! Pssst! This a pretty old post – we’ve written a more modern rebuttal! Make sure you check out the new article, too!)

Lolita and Halloween – do they go together? Are you thinking about dressing up as a lolita for Halloween this year? Is wearing lolita on Halloween a big fashion don’t?

As lolitas, one of the most common catcalls we’ll get is – “Hey, it’s not Halloween!” Most people on the street equate lolita with some kind of crazy costume, or like we’ve seen too many Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga music videos. It gets particularly rough around this time of year – people assume we just haven’t seen a calendar and are three weeks too early or too late. Yes, dear strangers, because I clearly don’t know what day it is.

The short answer: No, you can’t wear lolita on Halloween.

The long answer: Yes, you can wear lolita on Halloween. You just can’t wear everyday lolita fashion as a costume. 

So, what constitutes as a huge lolita – and fashion – Halloween don’t? Be warned… if you have young children or pets, it’s time to put them to bed, it’s gonna get pretty scary around here…

Don’t Wear Lolita As A Costume… If You’re Not A Lolita

If you’re not usually a lolita but looking to dress up in the clothes for one day as a ‘costume’, don’t wear lolita for Halloween. Especially don’t wear anything sold at a Halloween store marked ‘lolita’ for Halloween. See those unfortunate souls in this photo? They’re wearing “Harajuku lolita gothic geisha” costumes, or something. Don’t let this happen to you! Why? Lolita is a fashion style, not a costume, and one hard to get right. Whatever costume pieces you can throw together to make a ‘lolita costume’ aren’t going to look so hot.

Recently on Tumblr there’s been a lot of discussion about racist Halloween costumes. Let me be the first one to say: dressing as a faux lolita for Halloween is not racist. Some girls on Tumblr think lolitas are being oppressed with trashy imitation lolita or “Harajuku Girl” costumes. Lolitas are a fashion subculture not accepted by the mainstream, but we’re hardly oppressed by systematic racism like cheap “geisha” or “random Indian” costumes. Is it going to look tacky if you pick out a would-be lolita Halloween costume at your local big box? Yes. Is it oppressing us ladies who don the frills for the rest of the year? No.

Now, that all being said, what if you do like one of those costumes labeled lolita? If you want to wear it, go right ahead. There is no real fashion police (well, except for the Petticoat Police ;) and you’re not going to get arrested if you decide that’s the look you want. Just know that other lolitas could be turned off by your outfit – but hey, girl, if you want to rock it, rock it with confidence.

witch/trick necklaces from StarlightDecoDream | everything else pictured, Angelic Pretty

If You Already Have a Lolita Wardrobe…

It’s easy to pull together a simple ‘themed’ coordinate to make a cute costume out of your typical lolita clothes. Check out my previous articles, 50 Easy Halloween Costumes for Lolitas and 50 More Easy Halloween Costumes for Lolitas, for 100 from-my-lolita-closet costume ideas. In the past, the themed coordinates I’ve pulled together for Halloween have been a bunny rabbit, Red Riding Hood, a unicorn, and a pre-ballgown Cinderella, all wearing my own clothes. If you still want more, here’s a group of themed lolita coordinates on Polyvore, where girls have designed lolita outfits to dress as Kirby, Mario, and two pretty pink and lavender witch coordinates.

If you’re not feeling a costume but just want to be in the spooky spirit, your other option is to go creepy-cute or just Halloween themed.  ‘Creepy cute’ is the new favorite theme of lolitas who adore lolita and a fair amount of gore and spook, like pastel bone hands for hairclips and giant eyeballs on ribbons. Check the ‘creepy cute’ tag on Tumblr for inspiration. You can also check out my article last year on Spooky Cute!

Crazy Spork Am I | Ellejay of Sherry & Cookies

If You Want To DIY…

You have a great chance to make an adorable Halloween-themed lolita coordinate or dress if you possess wicked sewing skills. Shown above, Crazy Spork Am I shows off her amazing handmade witchy lolita coordinate. On the right is my friend Ellejay wearing a dress made by Ayu, which is made out of cemetary Halloween material.

An easy Halloween DIY is to decorate a mini-witch hat that can easily be found at Halloween stores. I bought this one on sale for only $5 last year after Halloween, then tore off the original bow to add my own with lace and crystals for a good-witch look. Pair it with your favorite black dress to turn your ordinary coordinate into a cute Halloween witch style. I’m also loving this candy-corn jewelry tutorial!

What do you plan on wearing this Halloween? Have you got a themed coordinate decided, or are you just feeling that Halloween vibe in general? I’m hoping to go to a club in New York City themed as a Gothic ball, but I’m not sure whether to be cute or elegant!

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  • I would like to go out as a ‘dead’ looking pirate lolita in my new AatP JSK with a treasure box bag and fakeblood, dripping from my eyes. 

  • I would like to go out as a ‘dead’ looking pirate lolita in my new AatP JSK with a treasure box bag and fakeblood, dripping from my eyes. 

  • If I have to dress up this year, like I rambled about in my last post, I’m just going to be a creepy doll because I’m feeling really lazy.

    Love that candy corn tutorial! I actually just made a bunch of clay candy corn, but I had painted it instead! Now I sort of want to try that method so I can make easier charms! I sort of want a candy corn charm bracelet. 

  • Cat

    I’m definately in Halloween spirit as every year. It jut so turns out that evey year I’m short on cash but still manage to pull off an auwsome themed outfit. Last years was a cute witch. I looked cute as well as damn creepy :-D
    This year I’m going for a money harvesty theme. I’m planning to go as a pumpkin. But seeing cash is short again I may need to reconsider my ideas. Plus I have to organize a meet too^^

  • lavendermintrose

    great advice! I might have to look back at your costume ideas posts~ I was going to just use my Legend of Korra cosplay from the summer, but I’m not sure I want to, so maybe I’ll find another idea!

  • If I’m able to even dress up, I was gonna try and get a ‘kawaii grunge/pastel goth’ outfit. (If someone made an actual name for this yet, please let me know. Getting tired of seeing people making a stink of a description). I was going to do it gal style, try to mod my Mintymix split wig and make it huge in a sujimori style, and then try and get the cute printed stockings (thank you god, for having them in my size) and try and get an oversized shirt or hoodie somewhere and get batclips and what have you.

  • Aaahh I love your halloween posts! So many awesome ideas! 

  • I have to admit that for a long while now, I had decided that I want to be a Lolita for Halloween. I don’t dress up in Lolita, but I had always admired the aesthetics of what makes up a Lolita, and wanted to basically see what I would look like if I were to dress up in Lolita for a day. I disagree with not dressing up in everyday Lolita for Halloween. I feel that it can work, but only if research is done and proper work is put in to ensure that the Lolita outfit is as genuine as possible, from the looks (venice lace vs raschel lace) down to the material (cotton vs satin).

    Judging by the costumes pictures that you had provided, I feel that the reason why dressing up in Lolita for Halloween might not be such a good idea is generally due to the “bad” materials and overall unpleasant and incorrect aesthetics. Also, (trying not to generalize) most people tend to not put effort or much thought into a costume that will be worn for only once a year, let alone Lolita.      

    • I think if you only want to lolita once to try it out, you definitely should to see what it’s like! But I still don’t think Halloween is the best time to do it; it reinforces the idea to other people that lolita is a costume. Even if your lolita outfit was perfect, the people around you would get the wrong impression about the fashion. And then if you decided you did like lolita, it would confuse other people if you started wearing it on other times besides Halloween!

  • I’m writing a post about alternative fashion and Halloween for my blog. I hope you don’t mind if I link to you.