Saying this makes me feel like a bad Lolita, but it’s the truth: I’m not a fan of cotton blouses.
Part of this is simply because they don’t fit properly. I’m busty and it’s rare for me to find a cotton blouse that doesn’t pull at the bust or gap unattractively at the waist. The fabric just isn’t forgiving.
That unforgiving nature is also part of why I don’t like cotton blouses in particular: it’s heavy and rarely feels any less than constrictive to me. I like to be able to move in my clothing, and while cotton skirts give me plenty of space, cotton blouses just don’t allow me to do that in the way I want to.
Of course, I have to wear something on my top half, so I’ve found a few alternatives that work well for me.
Sleeveless Blouses for Layering
The cotton blouses I do buy tend to be sleeveless. This allows me extra mobility, makes the blouses very easy to layer with boleros and cardigans, and still gives me the opportunity to have the crisp look of cotton. Most of my sleeveless blouses feature a bow of some sort, but collared blouses work well, too.
Chiffon, Lace, and Silk Blouses
I might not like cotton in most settings, but I love chiffon! Chiffon removes all the issues I have with cotton blouses: it breathes, it’s lightweight, and it isn’t stiff. Lace blouses and sometimes silk blouses hold the same sort of place in my heart as alternatives to heavy cotton blouses.
The one disadvantage to these types of blouses is that they often need to be dry cleaned, and that can get expensive. Because of this, I am very careful about the blouses that I buy. I rarely buy blouses that are not machine washable, and those that I do are usually perfect in design and at a reasonable price.
I love cutsews. I love that, when designed well, they can be elegant when needed but they can swing more casual for everyday wear.
Several years back, Victorian-esque tops were fashionable. Most of them had lace yokes, high necklines, and textured fabrics. Needless to say, I stocked up while I could and am still working through that collection. It’s also a blessing that these tops are still available secondhand today.
When I say “turtlenecks,” I do not mean regular cotton turtlenecks. I’m talking about the embellished ones. Some turtlenecks are decorated with ruffles. My favorite options are either full lace turtlenecks or turtlenecks with lace accents. They swing far toward the casual side of things, but the details are what push them over to Loli-able.
What about you? What are your favorite blouse alternatives for Lolita, or in general?