Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bitter vs Sweet

I was going to make this post a few weeks ago, but ended up pushing it off. Then last night an outfit of mine was posted online leading to much debate as to what exactly is bittersweet?

Bittersweet lolita is a relatively new sub-style. Some people claim it is not a style at all and should simply be labeled under sweet, others feel it's different enough to deserve a name of it's own. But honestly, most sub-styles have fairly blurry lines. Is Country or Hime all that different from plain ol' Sweet lolita?
The biggest gripe I've heard is "It's just a black colorway of a sweet print". I can understand this sentiment. To me, in order for an outfit to be bittersweet, there's got to be a little more "bitter" to it than just a black colorway. I would define Bittersweet as having strong contrasts of pastels and black, in relatively equal proportion, occasionally intermixed with gothic themes such as skulls, bats, eyeballs, etc.

To illustrate, here I have two sets I made on Polyvore, involving the same AP print Toy Parade in a black colorway, as well as some example co-ords I've found.


This is what I consider Bittersweet. It's coordinated primarily with black accessories, and there's an extra "punky" touch with some cute Doc Martens. The other two examples also have a darker edge to them than most Sweet lolita- heavier make-up, funky hair, big boots, etc. You can also use a non-black colorway if there's elements in it that let you coordinate it with black (one the reasons I love Fantastic Dolly so much).


The second set is straight-up Sweet lolita. Simply a black colorway with traditionally sweet accessories. The overall feel of the two examples is still Sweet, and lack a "bitter" twist to them.

As I mentioned earlier, I don't think bittersweet even has to include a black colorway. Or a print at all (for a non print example, there this post I made about adding Bittersweet to a Gothic wardrobe last year).
Here are some examples I've worn. Have I mentioned I'm obsessed with Fantastic Dolly?

Basically, if your coord floats somewhere in a candy-coated netherworld between Sweet and Gothic, it might be called Bittersweet.


  1. It's funny how bittersweet always reminds me of candy and liqourice. Good point you've made there, though.

  2. I don't care much about labels. Really like the outfits you showed :)

  3. Hello,that pics from KERA?
    I'm Japanese,incidentally found your blog and happy that you like such Japanese style!

    I have Japanese gothic&lolita clothing online shop!
    hope for you visit:)


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