San (sanakanami) wrote in egl,

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[Alternative] headgear: beyond hats and headbows

Lolitas are known to put all sorts of things in their hair. Ribbons, flowers, brooches, antlers, carousel music boxes- you name it, someone has probably done it.

This post is intended as a friendly discussion of such headgear- it doesn't have to be particularly lolita. Images are taken from various sources around the net- as much as possible I will try to credit the source, but my folders are a mess and the filenames don't always indicate where an image comes from. If you own/recognize some of these, please tell me so I can credit properly, thanks!

EDIT: corrected a couple terms and a rogue block of copy-paste
I made this post partly out of curiosity, and partly because I am always on the hunt for alternatives to the full-sized hats and head-eating bows. Reason one being that I have a large head and very thick hair. A wig does not help matters, and most of the time I can't even force hats down over the top of my head.

Reason two is that I primarily wear Classic lolita very heavily influenced by Dolly Kei (or vice-versa, if you want to get technical- since it's mostly vintage offbrand). Headbows tend to look out of place in more antique styled coordinates.

Source: Grimoire Almadel/Tokyo Fashion


Source: Aerynsys -'the Pirate King' coord

One of the classic 'pirate hat' shapes. Though I'm not sure how to coord these outside of nautical-inspired lolita (pirate sweet = ???) these are without question, THE pirate crowning glory. I think only AATP makes these- I can never find hats on Taobao.


Common part of navy and military-inspired coords!


mimielle: Very versatile in wearing styles and trim options but perhaps better restricted to certain clothing styles.


Source: Shiroyuri

Source: SANAKANIN (personal blog)

Bonnets are not really 'alternative' anymore- with the rising popularity of OTT Classic they've become more common.I think bonnets are great because they can fit a large range of head sizes (very important! xD) and their relative plain-ness leaves plenty of room for customization simply by pinning stuff on.


  • customizable, comfy, and fits a variety of head sizes


  • can be floppy (soft bonnets, whatcha gonna do...)

  • is it just me, or... they make your face look a bit.... weird o_o I think it has to do with the added height causing visual distortion

Crowns/ Coronets

Source: SANAKANIN (personal blog) / Michelline Syjuco

For the truly OTT (and rich) princess. Mind, I don't own this coronet. It was part of Michelline Syjuco's new release and she graciously allowed us to try the pieces on. I was justly terrified of tangling and/or destroying such an expensive piece in my wig- but gladly there were no problems.

  • prettyyyyy


  • As crowns and the like are very intricate pieces- good luck, if it gets tangled in your hair.

  • There is always the fact that these are jewelry- on the other hand it is unlikely for someone to attempt to snatch your bonnet off your head.


Source: SANAKANIN (ToxicKitty)

Ah, flowers. Pin them anywhere, and they work. Lately these two-piece rose clips have become my fallback accessory when I can't seem to match anything to my outfit.

Gainsborough hat

Image: Keira Knightley


I haven't the faintest idea where I could find a hat like this within budget constraints, not to mention I'd be scraping it across the roof taking all sorts of public transportation- still. MOTHER OF ALL HATS.


Source: SANAKANIN (here and here)

I have no idea about the proper term for this. *sad* But I have three, and though they are on metal headbands (hateful stuff) I am trying to adjust the band by wrapping them around plastic containers.

These are made of fabric, and take very well to pinning all sorts of junk on to match outfits. Flowers, brooches, and chains (found a use for them! yaay) are all game.

Hennin wiki

Source: Kats-Hats, among others

Hello, pic spam. Clearly someone wanted to go off on a tangent about hennin. I'm sorry.

This is not a complete listing of the styles of hennin(s?), omitting the long cone-shaped hennin because of the possibility of taking someone's eye out- but I think simpler variations of these could actually work with opulent lolita (JetJ comes to mind). The downside is that no one produces these except bespoke commission artists like Kats-Hats. I don't imagine they'll be affordable, exactly. But it might be an interesting challenge for crafty lolis.


Image: Kiyohari (can't find a link, sorry)

For simplicity's sake, I am filing them in the same category as antlers. Neither is locally available here; and so, short of picking up branches and painting them to look like antlers, I can only appreciate them via pictures online.

While most of the headgear on this list are unusual, searching for 'horns' will probably get you the oddest looks from shopkeepers- that or they'll point you towards the plastic light-up devil horns.


Image: Grimoire (feat Heri)

Admittedly this is more of a Dolly-Kei thing. While I am not fond of turbans that cover the whole head (I see you just stepped out of the shower!) worn as a hat I find it kind of nice. Does anyone know of any tutorials that teach you how to wrap ordinary scarves around your head to achieve the look? :D

Top hats (mini)

Image: SANAKANIN (my first attempt at ouji)

Obligatory top hat. Buttcape has written a long and detailed article on what makes mini hats acceptable (and unacceptable); go check it out!

because I don't know what they're called and this post is pushing the limit

Source: Surface Spell (Lady in Black hat)

Source: Cloudberry Lady

Tags: *alice and the pirates, *surface spell, discussion: misc, garment: headwear, request: inspiration
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