Technikitty’s Top 10 Styles: 9

With the holidays over I can now go back to talking about my top 10 favorite substyles! This post will be focusing on another J-fashion, Dolly Kei, so let us start with the nitty-gritty:

Origin: Japan

Colour Scheme: Deep tones

Inspiration: Fairy tales, old dolls, antiques & the Victorian era

Popular Clothing Items: Faux fur stoles and shawls, lacy dresses either mid or long length, vintage inspired jewelry pieces

What: Like Dark Mori, Dolly Kei is a fashion subset invited on the streets of Japan. Unlike Dark Mori, Dolly Kei is rarely seen in its entirety outside of Japan. In Europe and North America, most Dolly Kei followers only use some aspects of the fashion and rarely look as elaborate as their Japanese counterparts – so much so that I would almost say that Dolly Kei has a different appearance depending on where you live.

Dolly Kei fluttered onto the J-fashion scene when clothing artist Hitomi opened her store ‘Grimoire‘ in 2008, after previously creating the first dolly line in 2007. The line was based on her prior research into the history of fashion and costume, particularly those from Celtic and Russian fairy tales, and her love of antique items.

Some of the main style aspects of Dolly Kei include:

  • Thrifted and antique clothing mixed with common stores
  • No rules in regards to hemlines
  • A fondness for old floral patterns, antiques and faux furs
  • A mixture of Lolita and Mori girl elements
  • Mixing prints
  • Many handmaid accessories


Accessories are HUGE in the Dolly Kei fashion style and can come in many different styles, lengths, and amount. Many Dolly Kei wearers seem to have a preference for clocks, crosses, keys, roses, and many other very Victorian motifs. These same images can be seen in their clothing patterns and even hair accessories.

Looking through my own  wardrobe, I do own quite a jewelry pieces that would fit into a Dolly Kei wardrobe as I have a small obsession with vintage jewelry and accessories.

What I Like: Unlike Dark Mori which has a very loose and flowy style, Dolly Kei is much more figure friendly due to the lack of set rules associated with the style.

Much like Dark Mori I actually love the ideas behind Dolly Kei. I am a huge fan of historical clothing and fairy tales, and I believe that is what pulled me towards this fashion in the first place.

What I do not like: Ironically enough, researching into this style has shown me that my own major concern with the style is not as associated with western Dolly Kei as it is with the Japanese original. My concern was originally with the over-styling I saw being done by a lot of the Japanese wearers. So in short: I liked the idea but not the original execution.


A more westernized Dolly Kei outfit: roseunspindle

I am also not a huge fan of mixing print, this is simple because I am terrible at visually matching patterns together. I can never figure out what looks good together and what does not.

Final Note: Now that I have actually done more research into this style I am finding myself more fond of it and I may have to create some polyvore sets to see how I could incorporate Dolly Kei into my style more.


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