Lolita fashion, for all its limitations, has a dizzying variety of styles and themes. While I believe that rules are meant as ‘guidelines’ more than actual rules, there is a reason why we have the saying, ‘you need to walk before you can run’ – and there are some things I wish I had been told, as a beginner.
These are actually 6 items, by the way…
You really need a petticoat
‘But I have natural poof!’
‘But this skirt is already poofy!’
No and no. You do need the poof. Everybody needs the poof. You need to welcome the poof into your life, embrace it, and walk carefully around desks, glassware, and small children…
… wait, I lost my train of thought.
But the petticoat is a crucial part of modern lolita style. While there are old-school releases that are more casual and meant to be worn with minimal or deflated poof, you absolutely need the support from all that fluff to help spread out the gathers on a true lolita skirt. All the details and decorations will be lost if the skirt is not spread out.
How often you wear lolita, and your preferred styles, will determine which type of petticoat to buy. But it is an absolute must.
Criticism is not bad
Everybody starts somewhere, and it is almost inevitable that you will be making some missteps along the way.
Sometimes it takes an outsider’s perspective to spot things that could have been better: but don’t take it personally!
Constructive criticism helps you improve your overall look. It may come off harsh at times, but you can pick up several tips on how to fix your problem areas.
Mini hats are more difficult to wear than full sized hats
This is a fact. The smaller the hat, the more difficult it is to wear, because of all the styling and fluffing you need to do to balance out this teeny brick on your head.
Also, halloween costume hats will always look like… well, costumes.
A dress does not a coordinate make
Lolita fashion is focused on coordination. So a single dress or main piece, in itself, is not a coordinate. You need the rest of the puzzle pieces: a blouse or top, legwear, matching shoes, headgear, jewelry- everything!
Whenever you purchase a main piece, you need to consider if you have all the pieces necessary to create a good coordinate. If you just put it together with perfectly ordinary pieces from your ‘normal’ wardrobe, it won’t look quite right.
That’s not to say you can’t use pieces you already own, but it does mean that you need to have a keen eye for spotting small details that will make an item usable for lolita. Just because it has lace and bows on it, doesn’t mean it will do- the cut and fit are important.
Ero – not for beginners
Ero is one of the more difficult styles of lolita, because it involves a different set of rules! A shorter hem or going blouse-less with an ordinary coordinate does not automatically guarantee it works as ‘ero’. The coordinate should have a ‘mature’ look, but still very conservative compared to typical club wear.
Ero also sometimes uses materials like pleather and pvc, which don’t appear in the other styles.
Wa – HARD MODE ACTIVATED
Wa is hard. It is possibly the most difficult style to wear, aside from cyber lolita (which is practically mythical) There are a hundred different things that can go wrong when you are mashing two basically incompatible styles together: the hair accessories, makeup, obi, legwear, and shoes. Sometimes even if everything is of excellent manufacture, it doesn’t work out because kitsuke has its own rules. In fact, wearing the exact same pieces with different undergarments can change the look entirely!
Check out what these other lolitas had to say on this week’s LBC topic!