On Being Lolita: Come Back, Headdress!

On Being Lolita: Come Back, Headdress!

A pink and white headdress from Angelic Pretty–I’ve always thought the styrofoam head they used to model hair accessories was a bit creepy, but I suppose it could be worse!

When I first started wearing lolita fashion, the headdress was on its way out. Issues of the Gothic & Lolita Bible steadily featured more and more hairbows. That trend continued until now, when I look at Angelic Pretty‘s “headdress, katyusha, bonnet” page…there are no headdresses! (No bonnets, either, but those have always been released less-frequently.) There are two headdresses on the BABY, the Stars Shine Bright website…but they’re both sold out in all colors (except for the Rosaline Ribbon Headdress in red–too bad it wouldn’t match most of my wardrobe). At least Innocent World still has one–the Olivia Headdress.

Another headdress from Angelic Pretty, circa 2006.

This makes me feel nostalgic for the headdress. One of the reasons they became less popular in the English-speaking internet-based lolita community was due to the association with beginners and “bad lace.” In the early 2000s it was much harder to order anything from Japan because most brands didn’t ship overseas and shopping services weren’t common. The headdress was a first sewing project for many lolita-hopefuls~ This was usually made with whatever could be found from Mom or Grandma’s sewing basket and a spool of $1 lace from the craft store. Some girls created masterpieces, while other headdresses looked a far cry from the elegance of those atop models’ heads in the Gothic & Lolita Bible.

Regardless of the results, these headdresses were cherished and often-worn possessions. In fact, some of the earliest coordinations I had seen online relied solely on the headdress to classify the outfit as “gothic lolita.” I tried to make one, myself, but my inability to sew resulted in many disasters and ultimately nothing wearable. At the time it didn’t bother me too much because I preferred the hairbow. As the subsets of lolita style began to change, Angelic Pretty advertisements becoming more and more bright and eclectic while black and white “gothic lolita” faded in popularity, the headdress gave way to the hairbow.

Now I find myself missing the headdress. Although they were often worn with less-than-stellar outfits, nicely-made headdresses are very beautiful. A headdress was one of my first shopping service purchases–with pearls dangling from side bows and delicate lace edging the rounded rectangular shape. I don’t wear it often (it only matches one dress), but when I choose a hair accessory I’m reminded how pretty it is~ ♥

Personally, I still love hairbows, but I am fond of headdresses as well. The headdress is a very substantial accessory, and I find that it reminds me somewhat of a very tiny bonnet or a very wide hairband. When I first started wearing lolita fashion I avoided headdresses because my hairstyle didn’t have bangs, and headdresses tend to look odd if they are right up against your hairline. Now that I’ve changed my hairstyle, I want to wear more headdresses–but they’re not all that easy to find! I like that wearing one almost feels as though I have some kind of hat on, and it also tends to help keep my hairstyle in place.

I wish the headdress could have a revival. There is a design for every subset of lolita–narrow, sparsely decorated headdresses for classic; dark, luxurious fabrics with crucifix charms for gothic; brightly-coloured bejeweled and accessorized for deco-inspired sweet; and so forth! I’d be so happy to see a new ad in the Gothic & Lolita Bible with the models elaborate hairstyles dressed with a headdress~ ♥ I wonder if my daydream will come true; I’m never sure what will come next for the fashion.