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Dolly Kei is a Japanese fashion style that was influenced by European clothing and antique dolls; later versions of the style integrate elements from fashion seen in fairy tales, Romani culture, and outfits worn by peasants in the Middle Ages. While Grimoire, a shop, was influential in the creation of Dolly Kei, the fashion itself is not very brand focused.

It is important to note that the term "Dolly Kei" is only used in reference to this particular fashion outside of Japan while locals use it to describe a doll-like aesthetic in general.


An outfit must have a vintage look to be considered Dolly Kei. It is also characterized by a dark appearance, layering, lace, embroidery, animal fur (usually faux), as well as large accessories based around creepy fairytales. Some argue that large accessories are the most important part of this style, specifically lace chokers or even skulls. The fabrics in the outfits are usually heavy and in deep dark jewel-tones or black with a battered, worn, distressed appearance.

Dolly Kei outfits do not have to look cohesive. Clashing of patterns, colors, and accessories is encouraged.

Hairstyles tend to be natural and simple, with wavy hair and braids being common. Hair colors tend to be dark natural colors, including black, brown, and dark red.


While Dolly Kei is mainly based on visuals, there are some activities that are common amongst people that wear Dolly Kei, that are also based upon old-fashioned things and are expressed in Dolly Kei outfits, including:[1]

  • Antique shopping
  • Collecting animal bones
  • Taxidermy
  • Thrifting


External links to help get a better understanding of this aesthetic.



Pinterest Boards[]



  1. "The Bygone J-Fashions: Dolly Kei" (December 31, 2019)