What is Lolita?

Lolitas in Germany
Lolita is the name of a popular street fashion style that emerged from Japan during the 1970s-80's. In Europe the style became popular around 2005 and since then, the fashion trend is growing to a global community.

It is supposedly an alternative way to express yourself, as with any fashion style - be it the latest designers fashion from Elle, the uniform you wear at work, the middle-class suburbian pink polo shirt or just wanting to look like Rihanna or Kurt Cobain...

It's just clothes, simply put.
So what are these Lolita garments?

Lolita is based upon 18th and 19th period, often children's, clothes. Mostly inspiration is taken from the European Victorian-, Edwardian- and Rococo-eras.
Victorian 1889
Victorian (1864)
Edwardian 1902
Edwardian-Victorian transition :)
Lolita fashion is not history re-enactment, though.
It is a completely new fashion-style that brings in all the fun elements of the 21st century.

The Lolita dresses are beautiful, knee-length and adorned with frills and bows.
The key to the fashion is modesty and elegance.

 Today's fashion is often about being "sexy" - where Lolita's oppose to that and instead try to focus on being "cute", or "Kawaii" as the Japanese word is for it.

Contemporary "sexy" fashion
Focus is on kawaii...
This cute vs. sexy is a debate for many. Because of the widespread misconception that all women always wants to be "sexy" to attract men, many believe that Lolitas try to make cute sexy or even worse, attract paedophiles.

This is a really sad view of the fashion style, but fortunately is says more about the person with the opinion then the Lolita her/himself. (Yes, Lolitas can be men to :)

Unfortunately the name of the style may be confused with the name of the novel about a paedophile man attracted to a very young premature girl. Sorry to let you down all nasty ol' men, but the novel has nothing to do with the style!

-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•* >^..^< -»(¯`v´¯)-» *•-:¦:-•:*'''''*:•-

Lolitas do not dress Lolita-style to please someone else.
Lolitas dress in Lolita fashion 'cause it is fun! :D
And beautiful!
And it makes us feel good :)

-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•* >^..^< -»(¯`v´¯)-» *•-:¦:-•:*'''''*:•-

It's not all about sex, you know guys ... ;)

Ok, so now off to the fun parts of Lolita fashion!

There are some "guidelines" - they're not rules written in stone, but most Lolita´s obey to them (otherwise you probably end up with something that's not Lolita-fashion, maybe pretty - but not Lolita...)

1) Cover up. Modesty and Elegance requires decent long underwear, petticoats, high-collar blouses, long sleeves, opaque stockings, shoes with closed toes etc. If it's hot outside, some of these rules may be tampered with ;).

2) Try to acheive the X bodyshape. Fluffy skirt, puffy sleeve arms.
Babdydoll shapes are fine, as long as they fit in with the rest of the guidelines.

3) Add lace and bows! Even in the evil substyles of Lolita, bows and frills are often necessities.

4) Wear your hair beautifully - or wear a wig! :) Wear a hat or a headdress or a big bow...

5) Accessories! Umbrellas, pagodas, parasols, bags, fluffy stuffies, dolls, more bows, and so forth!

Northern Star has a quick and simple "New to Lolita guide"
The Lolita hand-book is a useful source of more extensive information!
Or this excellent post about how to make or break Lolita by FYeahLolita.

Lolita is also a subculture.
Many Lolita's get together for so called meet-ups where they often hang out, drink some tea, discuss brands, hobby-crafting or favourite Japanese topics such as Anime, Manga or the latest video games... (I've noticed that a lot of Lolita's are gamers as well ;). 

About Lolita-styles

Traditionally, Lolita is considered to have three styles:
Sweet, Classic and Goth.

There are a few sub-styles such as Country (substyle hybrid to Sweet and Classic), Punk and Ero (Both substyles to Goth).

From this, various "themes" have sprung out: like Steam punk-styled or Military-styled Lolita coords. And crossovers from other J-fashion styles: Sweet + Decora = OTT Lolita, Sweet + Hime = Princess-style Lolita etc.

This is an extensive site for browsing the styles!

<3 Hope you feel you know more about Lolita now! <3


My more in-depth Beginner-guides for Lolitas':
A Beginners' beginner guide to Lolita
The confusing Lolita "guidelines" and rules - or are they fundamentals? and a little about Mean Lolitas :)
Can you be a Lolita even though you don't wear brand?
How to advance from Lolita Newbie to Lolita Apprentice

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