A plain colored dress is going to fit into more styles than a printed dress is. You can buy
one plain colored black dress and make it sweet, classic, or even gothic, depending on the detailsin the dress itself, as well as the other items you put with it. Whereas, if you get a printed dress, you might be able to make it fit into two styles at the most. So if you're interested in a lot of different types of lolita, you can just grab yourself a simple, plain color dress, and go to town trying to coordinate it differently each time. I love this black OP on the left, I found it on Poupee Girl and have no idea where the person got it! But, as you can imagine, it would work in a lot of different coordinates!
2. Detail Love
Really, in today's lolita, it's all about the prints. No matter what style you like best, there are prints geared towards you. I'm just as big a fan of prints as the next gal, but for dresses with good old fashioned sewn-in details, prints just can't beat non-printed dresses. There are more fabric options in non-printed dresses, and while the printed ones do have lace and perhaps a few sewn elements, they are relatively plain compared to some plain dresses. Take this one on the right. It has a scalloped hem, two layers of ruffles (creating an underskirt effect), cap sleeves with ruffled edges, a detailed bodice with bows, and a faint border detail with bows around the top of the scalloping. If you tried to put all that with a printed dress, you wouldn't see the print!
This dress on the left was made in 2002. However, if I hadn't told you that, would you have known? Maybe not. Whereas print motifs come in and out of style, solids definitely don't. This dress on the left has been made and re-made and re-released by BABY almost every year since the company first released this dress. It's their signature Karami dress.
4. Work for (almost) every style
You can change up the style of a solid colored dress simply by changing up the accessories and other items you wear in your coordinate. Again, using the Karami dress on the left, you can make this a very classic coordinate by using a simple blouse with soft and simple accessories. Or you could go sweeter, using a puffed sleeves blouse with a big peter pan collar and plenty of bows! It's lots of fun to try and make up completely new coordinates just by changing the other pieces used in the outfit!
5. Can be cheaper
This is a very short and, I find quite obvious, point to make. Printed fabric costs more to have made, due to the complexity of the manufacturing process, and the cost of the materials to make it (pigments and stuff). Whereas, solid fabric is simply dyed one color and it's ready to go. So dresses made with solid fabric don't cost as much to make. For example: this is a solid color Alice and the Pirates jumper that costs a little less than 23,000¥ ($287 US). And this is the dress right next to it, Melty Mermaid Princess. The printed dress costs 26,040¥ ($325 US), about 3,000¥ more!
6. Often come in more size options
This one goes a bit with the one above. You can make dresses for larger sizes with solid fabric more cheaply than it would cost to make them with printed fabric. An indie brand can make solid dresses in any size, but may not have access to the Japanese printed fabrics that the Japanese brands use. Dresses with a larger size option often have shirring, which does not always look okay with printed fabric. This absolutely does not mean that because you require a larger sized
dress that you can't wear a print. Angelic Pretty makes JSKs and OPs that fit over 100cm busts, as does BABY.
7. Come in every cut available
So you know how people look different and have different body shapes? Well, that means that there are different cuts to dresses too! And it seems that solid dresses come in all of different cuts of dresses. So if you're looking for a drop waist dress, chances are, you can find a solid color one a lot easier than a printed one. Some cuts are more flattering than others on certain body types,
8. Easy to coordinate
With solid dresses, it's quite easy make a balanced coordinate. You don't have to worry about pulling out colors from a print or anything. So you can take any color that looks nice with the dress color and make that your secondary color in the coordinate. You aren't limited by the color pallet of the print! For example, you can take a solid pink dress, and pair it with any color blouse for vastly different results. You can make very interesting coordinates this way~
9. Don't usually have to be bought on reserve
What is "reserve"? Many Japanese companies put their newest printed dresses up on a "reservation" page before they are completed so that they can take pre-orders for the dress. Often, popular dresses sell out on reservation before ever reaching the store. However, moresolid dresses don't go up on the reserve page, and they make it to the store without selling out. And since solid dresses are not up for reserve, they usually end up staying in-store longer. So you have a better chance of getting a dress released a few months ago if it's not a print.
10. Higher availability!
All of the awesome reasons above make solid dresses more available than printed ones! So don't limit your wardrobe to prints only, try out some solid pieces too~ It's so fun to try and make new coordinates out of things you already have in your wardrobe, and it helps you to think a little more creatively about the lolita fashion in your life!