Favorite Lolita Shoe Shops

Most people are already familiar with the fact that the major Japanese brands make shoes. I own shoes from Innocent World, Metamorphose and Angelic Pretty and while I do really like them, they aren’t the most comfortable or durable shoes out there and they do cost a pretty penny. So, here are some of my favorite places that sell lolita or loliable shoes that either stand up to a little bit more wear and tear, or are at a much better price point.

Empty Wardrobe (webshop) (weibo)

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Empty Wardrobe is a Chinese brand, their weibo account was started in December of 2015 and their taobao shop was opened in November of 2015. So they are relatively new, as far as brands go. I really like their shoes because they use a lot of interesting / whimsical elements like charms, butterfly wing heel molds and leather punches in the shapes of butterfly wings. This makes their designs stand out a lot compared to many of the other designs on the market. The prices are good as well. The shoes above are only 240 Yuan, which is about $38 USD. They are very generous with bows and accessories with the shoes, as well. Sizing seems to range between 34 and 41, with some things cutting off at 39 or 40 (Chinese sizes).

Cotton Candy Feet (Webshop) (Facebook)

cottoncandyfeet

Cotton Candy Feet is a brand from Brazil, which appears to have started in 2015. They offer really cool finishes like holographic and glitter, and a pretty wide array of sizes: from EU 34 to 44 (that’s roughly a range of 22cm to 27cm). They offer a number of lovely, well balanced designs, and a lot of colors. Prices range from $54 – $94 USD. I don’t personally own any of their shoes (but I’ve been eyeing them up!), but my girlfriend does. A couple years ago, they were offering to make smaller or larger sizes if they had enough people who wanted a certain size, so she ordered a bunch of colors in her (very small) size. For durability, she really likes PU ones with the embedded glitter. While the glittery ones like the ones pictured above get a lot of attention, the material is a bit more delicate and can crack with wear. Cotton Candy feet also makes bags and wallets!

Dream V (Webshop) (Rakuten) (Facebook) (Brands and other sales platforms…)

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Dream V is a Japanese brand established as a toy and household goods shop in May 1998. In July 2005 they branched out into clothing, and now they focus on clothing, offering a handful of house brands. They sell trendy, cute clothing aimed at Japanese teens and young adults. Because they are sort of trend-chasing, they only sometimes have lolita or loliable shoes, but they do usually have a few pairs. Think sort of like a Japanese Street Fashion focused version of Forever 21. Their sizing is pretty limited; many shoes only come in 23cm-24.5cm, which is pretty standard for Japanese companies. However, pricing can be really affordable. Shoes range between 1490 yen (about $14 USD) on the lower end for something like a pair of basic ballet flats, and 7990 yen (about $75 USD) on the high end for a pair of platforms that are clear on the bottom and full of silk flowers. Most of their lolita shoes are in the $20-$40 range. They also sell a lot of really great add-ons like poofball shoe clips, and straps to make any pair of (black) heels into mary-janes. Their shoes are seasonal and sell out, so if you see something you like, don’t wait too long!

To Alice (Webshop) / (Japanese WebShop) (Twitter)

toalice

To Alice is a Chinese brand that has been operating on taobao since January, 2011. They periodically release shoes, but don’t really keep them in stock on taobao. When they do release shoes, they are typically a decent price, and cute, so it’s worth keeping an eye out. If you see something you like, order right away, because it won’t stick around. Sizing is limited.

F.i.n.t. (Webshop) (Website)

fint

F.i.n.t. is a Japanese otome shop with a number of house brands. Established in May 1, 1984 as Mellow, they later changed their name to Free International Corporation, or F.i.n.t., in September 1996.  Because their style is primarily vintage / otome, their shoes tend to be pretty simple and classic. They do occasionally toss in an off-the-wall color option like teal or mustard, so if you need a weird color to match a classic piece, they are a good place to check out. Sizing is limited; they only offer standard Japanese S/M/L. Prices range between 6,000 yen and 9,500 yen (~$56 – $90 USD). However, because they are a normal retail shop with normal retail seasons, they frequently have end of season clearance sales. They also have an outlet section which often has good sales!

Melissa (webshop) (website)

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My favorite shoes are a collaboration between Vivienne Westwood (inventor of the rocking horse shoe) and Melissa. Melissa is a brand located in Brazil that makes shoes out of a special ecco-friendly plastic material that smells like bubblegum. The shoes are very durable and while they still aren’t cheap, the collaboration pieces are a bit more affordable than buying straight from Vivienne Westwood’s normal shoe collections.

American Duchess (webshop)

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American Duchess is an american shoe brand that makes 16th – 20th century historical shoes, including shoes that are Victorian inspired for wear with lolita. The designers / owners originally ran a historical costuming blog, but branched out into making shoes in 2010.  American Duchess uses high quality materials like satin and calf leather. Sizing ranges from US lady’s 6 – 11. Prices range from about $120 USD to $199 USD. While the prices are a bit higher than many of the other brands above (with the exception of some of the Melissa shoes), the higher material quality, and the attention to historical detail makes them absolutely worth the money. The Colette Boots (pictured above) are striking for a classic or gothic look! I don’t own any of their shoes yet personally, but I know quite a few people who do

What is your favorite place to buy shoes to wear with lolita?

A Raine-y Wardrobe ~ 2014 Edition

Last year I shared my wardrobe and my library.
This year, I’m going the more traditional route and just sharing my wardrobe.

Alice and the Pirates Briar Rabbit’s Paysage JSK II and
Juliette et Justine Le Cadre du Lapin JSK
Alice and the Pirates Wicked Queen’s Poison Cellar JSK II and
Innocent World Flower Garden JSK
Angelic Pretty Wonder Queen Soldier JSK x 2 Excentrique Original Print “Crown and Lion Motif” JSK and
Alice and the Pirates Elizabeth Bride of the Death JSK II
wardrope_002
Angelic Pretty Day Dream Carnival Tiered JSK with
Day Dream Carnival Echarpe and
Angelic Pretty Day Dream Carnival Twilight Set(oops, I forgot to put the chiffon puff back on the lavender JSK)
Angelic Pretty Candy Sprinkle JSK
Leif My Tart JSK (International Re-release) and
Angelic Pretty Sugar Fairy Cake Halterneck JSK
Angelic Pretty Star Night Theater Bare Top JSK and
Angelic Pretty Star Night Theater OP
Alice and the Pirates Masquerade Theater JSK and
Infanta Powers and Thrones JSK
Innocent World Charles Crown OP and
Surface Spell Judgement Day Long OP
Innocent World Grazia Crown and
Alice and the Pirates Chandelier Flocky
Innocent World Sukeā? Rococo JSK and
Angelic Pretty Ball JSK (I believe this is a later re-release of the Ball JSK, as it’s not made of velveteen like the 2004 version)
Innocent World Rabbit Letter JSK and
Innocent World Luna Stripe JSK
Innocent World Royal Crown Embroidery OP and
Innocent World Rocaille Playing Cards JSK
Innocent World Ribbon Crown and
Meta LP JSK
Haenuli Sleeping Beauty OP and
Innocent World Crown Embroidery JSK
Haenuli Sleeping Beauty Special Edition OP and
Innocent World Stripe Jacquard Bustle JSK
Innocent World Round Collar Ribbon OP and
Alice and the Pirates 2012 Lucky Pack JSK
Angelic Pretty Cherry Print JSK and
Angelic Pretty Shoulder Ribbon JSK
Angelic Pretty Toy March JSK and
Innocent World Strawberry Fields JSK
Innocent World Emblem Embroidery JSK and
Innocent World Chess Print JSK (From Special Set)
Innocent World Roman Trump OP and
Innocent World Beatrice JSK
Angelic Pretty Fruits Parlor JSK and
Angelic Pretty Miracle Candy JSK
Angelic Pretty Dream Magic JSK and
Angelic Pretty Chest Ribbon Strawberry Floral JSK
Angelic Pretty French Doll Low Waist JSK and
Maxicimam Strawberry Lace Ribbon JSK
Metamorphose Balloon Popping JSK and
Angelic Pretty Dressing Up Jabot JSK
Angelic Pretty Candy Pop JSK and
Baby The Stars Shine Bright Strawberry Cherry Ruffle JSK
(the red Angelic Pretty JSK is missing it’s middle button. If anyone has a spare they would be willing to part with, I’m looking for one. I got fabric to make a new button, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, even though I said the same thing last year.)
         Lief Sacred Night JSK and
Innocent World Antique Book JSK
Innocent World Flora JSK and
the Snowfield JSK
Innocent World Crown Embroidery and
A lovely floral JSK from Miscy.There is a lovely chiffon underskirt that goes with this Miscy JSK, and a velveteen sash. This photo does it no justice.
Innocent World Royal Library Ribbon JSK and
Innocent World Chocolate Fountain JSK
Putumayo Stripe 2WAY Halter JSK
Angelic Pretty Dressy Eternal JSK Putumayo Crown Check Ruffle Jsk
Angelic Pretty Dream Fantasy Pina Sweet Chiffon Ruffle OP
Chantilly Phantom Merry Go Round Skirt from
Harajuku Hearts Special Set
Angelic Pretty skirt from Fancy Bustier and Skirt Set
Angelic Pretty Sleeping Princess Skirt Angelic Pretty Sleeping Princess Skirt
Innocent World Atropos Skirt Juno Skirt (Re-release)
Innocent World Chandelier Skirt (front) Innocent World Chandelier Skirt (back)
Metamorphose Horse Print Skirt Baby the Stars Shine Bright Dripping Lace Rococo Accessories Skirt
Bodyline g1265 Candy Skirt Bodyline g1265 Candy Skirt
Angelic Pretty Rockabilly Dot Skirt Putumayo Cat Note Round Skirt
Angelic Pretty Dot Angel Pony Applique Skirt Angelic Pretty ???
Angelic Pretty Sweet Ribbon Strawberry Skirt Meta Candy House Skirt
Angelic Pretty Strawberry Picking Skirt Angelic Pretty Gingham Triple Tiered Skirt
Angelic Pretty Pastel à la Mode Skirt Angelic Pretty Star Night Theater Skirt
Baby the Stars Shine Bright Clockwork Teaparty Skirt Jane Marple Chandelier Print
Meta Lucky Pack Skirt
(This is really weird in that is has white lace, and cafe au lait ribbons. I’ve been debating about just dying the lace or selling it because I don’t wear it much)
Taobao (R-series, I think)
Bodyline (This is one of the first pieces I ever bought. I knew that I liked bright colors, but I hadn’t really solidified what bright colors worked well for lolita yet, and I’m really not sure why it’s a classic/old school cut and a deco-sweet color/pattern…) Bodyline
Putumayo Autumn Garden Scalloped SK Ma MAXICIMAM Punk Lolita Mini Skirt
(it has a tail that buttons onto the tag that I never use XD)
Angelic Pretty Dream Doll Skirt Angelic Pretty Day Dream Carnival SK
Excentrique Angelic Pretty Bustier from Fancy Bustier and Skirt Set
Innocent World bolero in wine Same bolero in bown I also have a cream one which I missed
Angelic Pretty Tote and Parka Putumayo Cutsews
Angelic Pretty Angelic Pretty
Angelic Pretty Angelic Pretty
Angelic Pretty Angelic Pretty
Putumayo Cutsew and
Angelic Pretty Cardigan
Innocent World bolero and
Angelic Pretty Cutsew
Angelic Pretty and Bodyline (dyed pink by my girlfriend. I have another copy of the same blouse that is dyed a light teal as well) Innocent World
Innocent World Innocent World
Bodyline and Taobao Meta
Innocent World Innocent World
Innocent World Musette Bustier, Innocent World Blouse Angelic Pretty Lucky Pack Coat
Metamorphose Vest
(anyone know anything about this? like when this came out?)
Angelic Pretty Cutsew
Angelic Pretty Toy Drops Cutsew Op and Angelic Pretty Blouse
Offbrand Cardigan and Jacket Infanta
Innocent World (sorry this is out of order) Floral corsages I made to pin to my Pina Sweet OP, Baby the Stars Shine Bright tiara, floral comb from taobao and some pins to go with Elizabeth bride of death.
Angelic Pretty, Innocent World, Innocent World, Angelic Pretty, Angelic Pretty, Angelic Pretty, Meta, Angelic Pretty, Modcloth Star Tights, Offbrand tights Back row Angelic Pretty, front row Grimoire, Grimoire and Spica
Innocent World, Innocent World, Angelic Pretty, Innocent World
Innocent World, Alice and the Pirates, Angelic Pretty, Innocent World
Angelic Pretty
Alice and the pirates, Innocent World, Chantilly, Putumayo,
Innocent World, Angelic Pretty, Angelic Pretty, Offbrand
Victorian Maiden
Back center Boom Design, Front Baroque Antaina shoe bows ( there is another pair of lavender and one of the sax ones has a missing match…)
Angelic Pretty and Alice and the Pirates tights, Innocent World socks.
Innocent World, Alice and the Pirates Alice and the Pirates
Offbrand (Craft Store), Baby the Stars Shine Bright Offbrand (taobao), Offbrand (modcloth)
Alice and the pirates, Innocent World Angelic Pretty, Bodyline, Innocent World
Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Shirley Temple Angelic Pretty, Angelic Pretty
Baby the Stars Shine Bright Innocent World
Angelic Pretty Putumayo, Offbrand
Sweet Mildred antique book headpieces
Each of these features an actual miniature antique book.
Sweet Mildred Headpieces. The left and right were convention purchases, the center one was commissioned to match Innocent World’s beatrice.
Sweet Mildred Headpieces.
The left was commissioned to match the Pina Sweet OP above.
The center is from her etsy.
The right was commissioned to match Angelic Pretty’s black dressy eternal JSK.
Now Voyager Animal hair clips
Angelic Pretty Angelic Pretty
Angelic Pretty Back row is Angelic Pretty, front is Innocent World
Angelic Pretty Back most bow is from Sweet Mildred, others are Angelic Pretty
Angelic Pretty, Alice and the pirates, Leif Back are Baby the stars shine bright, front is Angelic Pretty
Angelic Pretty Angelic Pretty
Angelic Pretty, Innocent World and Sweet Mildred Innocent World
Offbrand (teal), Innocent World, Innocent World, Innocent World(Nicholas Fruit), Heart E (plaid), Innocent World, Offbrand
Offbrand (top), Innocent World, Innocent World, Alice and the Pirates, Alice and the Pirates, Haenuli
Putumayp (stripes) with offbrand pin,
Innocent World Canotier and comb
Angelic Pretty Combs, Haenuli Headbow,
Taobao headband (brown) and offbrand (clair’s) lace headband
Detachable bows from Innocent World, Innocent World Crown hair tie (I have two)
3 Paris kids barrettes (far left, bottom 3), offbrand.
two innocent world Jabots and a pin on bow from Sweet Mildred.
Bodyline headbow, 6%DokiDoki (Dark Pink & Blue) & Chocomint Angelic Pretty Barrettes and Canotier
Innocent World My derpy pirate had that I decorated. I have an Angelic Pretty ribbon badge that I pin on in the center
Some of my flower collection some of my bow collection
Fake pearls from Paris Kids, Innocent World & Offbrand Metal Necklaces, brooches, bracelets, hair tie and shoe clips (Paris kids, chocomint, Temple St. Claire, Etsy, Bodyline, Offbrand)
AatP wrist cuffs, Innocent world pearl chokers, Moss Marchen Apple Necklace and Ring, Belladonna anchor necklace, putumayo waist chain. Angelic Pretty crown necklace, Innocent world heart ring, and angel wing ring, Angelic Pretty navy and yellow star rings, putumayo butterfly oval rights, angelic pretty crown chocolate ring, moss badger bunny necklace and puppy ring. Innocent world velvet bow, downton abby gold scallop necklace… Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Pink x red wrist cuffs are belladonna, others are Angelic Pretty book necklace was made by milkteamilk, biscut pin and gold bow by sweet mildred. Ribbon Groupie barette is from Misako’s brand. Alice and the pirates eye patch. Assored Angelic Pretty, Indie and chocomint makes up the rest. Chocomint, 6% dokidoki, indie and Angelic Pretty
I found more bows! Also Indie/handmade, Chocomint & Offbrand. Meta, baby, chocomint & offbrand
Chocomint bows & Bracelets. Yellow & Bubble ones are 6%DokiDoki Gold Star bangles are offbrand, ones with music clefs & Stars are chocomint, all else is Angelic Pretty
Angelic pretty & Chocomint Chocomint, Angelic Pretty & Meta
Sorry for the bad photos, I totally forgot both of these things. Handmade clockwork crown. Handmade carousel headdress (sooorry, I need to take a better photo, this was from when I was making it)
Offbrand Offbrand
Offbrand (Union Bay), Vivienne Westwood x Melissa Offbrand
Bodyline, Offbrand Bodyline
offbrand Offbrand
Vivienne Westwood x Melissa, Angelic Pretty Vivienne Westwood x Melissa

While I think I captured all my dresses and skirts this year aside from a couple under skirts and a couple Cornet skirts which need to be repaired and one taobao dress, I only did about a third of my blouses and half of my socks, and I know I’m missing a bunch of accessories. I have a bad habit of leaving accessories in my purse or tote after an event and I didn’t check all of my bags. I also missed all my parasols.

Sorry not everything is named; if you want to know more about anything, just ask.

In the mail:

Innocent World Shaw and Shoes, F.i.n.t. Skirts (not strickly lolita, but I think they are cute.), and bodyline heels in brown and wine.

Thank you for looking!

Getting the Right Japanese Shoe Size

One thing that a lot of lolita have mentioned time and again as being hard to figure out is shoe sizing. Fortunately, once you get an idea for your Japanese shoe size, you actually are usually pretty set. Where people run into trouble most often is in trying to use conversion charts, and getting confused because they vary.

Angelic Pretty Shoes

Lesson number one: never use conversion charts from US sizes to other country’s sizes. They aren’t a 1-to-1 match; US shoes are not physically the same size as Japanese sizes, for example. So while there might be a chart that says a US 8 is this… it’s really that a US 8 is between two Japanese sizes, but it’s closer to one than the other, so they picked that. Now, two people who wear a US size 8 actually have slightly differently sized feet. So, the shoe a chart suggests might fit one, but not the other. Then, sometimes, people will ask if a shoe runs true to size online, and get some people saying they run large or small, because people are going by converted measurements in different sizes! Sounds like a total nightmare right?

Thankfully, Japanese shoes are some of the most logically sized shoes in the world (excepting when they do SS/S/M/L/LL). It’s litterally based on the size of your foot. No math required, no conversions… just a sheet of paper, a ruler with CM, a pencil and your foot.

  1. Lay a sheet of paper bigger than your foot flat on a hard floor.
  2. Take off your shoes so you are just in your socks (wear the type of socks you plan on wearing with the shoes).
  3. Place your foot on the paper.
  4. Stand straight and have someone trace around your foot. If you are alone, try to bend at the waist as you trace around your foot (bending the knee flexes your calf muscles and changes how your foot sits on the paper).
  5. Draw a rectangle around your foot like so:
    foot
  6. Measure the long-side of the rectangle in CM and write down the measurement.
  7. Repeat 1-6 for your other foot.
  8. Take the number for your larger foot. and round up to the nearest half CM. If it is exactly a cm size, or less than 0.15cm from a size, you may want to go up a size if you are nervous of your shoes being too small.

That’s it. That’s your Japanese shoe size. As long as the shoes aren’t totally miss-marked (which means the inside would measure differently than the size on the label) then they should fit.

If the shoes are listed in SS/S/M/L/LL, check around the site for a size chart. Most companies list the CM sizes of each of their letter sizes.

When ordering from Taobao, if your shopping service insists on a Chinese size, then you usually can get away with a chart, but some shopping services and lolita specific Taobao brands list shoes in Japanese sizes for convenience.

The only time I’ve ever had trouble with lolita shoes not fitting using this method was when I ordered the wrong size by mistake, and that includes buying shoes from Bodyline, who’s shoes people notoriously worry about the sizing of.

bodyline shoes

And, just in case you are thinking of cutting corners… do not measure the bottom of your foot with a tape measure or ruler directly, that doesn’t work. Also, do not skip drawing the box and just measure the length of the tracing, you will get the wrong size. Nor should you measure on an angle inside the box. Don’t try to measure the inside of a pair of shoes either, as that will give you the diagonal measurement from heel to toe most of the time, which is wrong. Nor should you trace the outside of a shoe, as it is bigger than the inside (common sense on this one, I realize, but people have claimed to have tried all these things before, so I figure it was worth noting).