Wednesday, 10 September 2014

♥ Lolita Fashion: A Beginner's Guide - Part One ♥

My local lolita comm has gained quite a number of new members recently and it's became very apparent that quite a lot of these girls are very new to the fashion and have a lot to learn. I tried to search for an easy to understand guide that explained everything in the fashion but it was almost impossible to find anything. I decided that I would make a guide for them with information from various guides and sources, combined with my personal knowledge.

This guide is not too long considering all the information it contains, but I still must post it in a segmented format for easy reading. This portion of the guide includes the absolute basics on understanding lolita fashion: defining what lolita is, what makes a lolita outfit and an explanation on substyles.

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What Is Lolita Fashion?


[ Source: TGGC ]

Lolita is a street fashion originally from Japan, but now spread worldwide. Lolita fashion has it’s own unique subculture based on the style. The clothing is mainly inspired by Victorian and Rococo fashion, but also takes inspiration and ideas from other styles and eras.

This fashion movement started in Japan in the 1980’s and has evolved greatly since. Lolita is a fashion heavily influenced by it's rules or "guidelines" of the fashion. These 'rules' however are more meant to show what makes an outfit 'Lolita' rather than limit the wearer. Lolita fashion is not about looking sexy, but is instead about being elegant and cute.



Recommended Videos:

Lace & Petticoats - A Documentary 
Sugarcoated - A Documentary
Lolita Fashion True or False- Facts, Tips & Misconceptions About Lolita


Recommended Reading:
What Makes A Lolita Outfit “Lolita”?






Lolita fashion is known for it’s very complicated outfits. Since there is so much work and different items put together into these outfits, lolitas call them “coordinates” or “coords” since they spend time ‘coordinating’ their items.


Each outfit must have, at the very least:
  • Petticoat - The most important piece! Every outfit requires one.
  • Hair Accessory - Hats or hairbows are common and easy to wear.
  • Dress [JSK/OP] or Skirt - The main focus piece of the outfit.
  • Blouse/Cutsew - You should always wear a blouse, but there are some exceptions. Try to wear a blouse with every outfit until you’re more experienced with lolita fashion. Blouses can’t be standard-style work shirts, they must be “lolita style”.
  • Socks or Tights - OTKs, Knee Highs and ankle socks are very popular.
  • Shoes - Must be lolita style shoes! Converse and crocs need not apply
  • Hair & Makeup - It doesn't have to be complex, but basic makeup/hair styling is required.
Other items you can add to an outfit include:
  • Wigs - Not every outfit needs one. When using wigs, make sure your wig suits the style. For beginners wear natural hair colours with classic, natural or pastel colours with sweet, and natural or bright colours with gothic.
  • Jewelry - Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings, etc 
  • Bags - Purses, handbags and sometimes backpacks
  • Boleros & Cardigans - Good for an extra layer of warmth, as well as a nice layering effect
  • Jacket/Outerwear - Lolita styled outerwear for colder months
  • Gloves, Scarves, Wristcuffs and more 
There are two very important aspects to a proper lolita outfit: The outfit must have the right shape/silhouette and the outfit must have all the main pieces required. You can learn more about the shape and basic requirements of a lolita outfit here at Lolitafashion.org.


Recommended Videos: 

 Recommended Reading: 

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Substyles of Lolita Fashion


[ Source: Hellolace ]


Lolita is a fashion of many different substyles. A substyle is still lolita fashion, just worn in a different way. The big lolita substyles are Classic, Gothic and Sweet(Ama/Kote). The other styles fall underneath those three.

Other substyles include:

  • Themed Substyles - Sailor, Country, Hime, Pirate, Military, etc 
  • Colour Based Substyles - Shiro, Kuro, Sax, etc 
  • Over The Top / OTT - An extravagant way to wear lolita, with a large amount of accessories and pieces. Sweet is the most common, but can also be gothic and classic. OTT Classic Lolita is also sometimes known as Art-Lolita in Japan.
  • Old School/Traditional - Lolita fashion from before 2008. It can still be worn today.
  • There are other substyles like Casual, Ero, Qi, Wa, Guro, Deco & Punk, but those are recommended for more experienced lolitas. They can be very difficult to be understood worn by those new to lolita.
  • Lolita also has two sister styles: Aristocrat and Boystyle, also known as Ouji or Kodona. 

In order to wear lolita you don’t have to ‘stick’ to one substyle. You can wear as many different substyles as you’d like, but it’s easier to start with one style and work from there.

Recommended Videos: 
Types of Lolita (humor)

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If you're interested in reading more, please continue onto part two of the guide.
If you have any questions or would like advice, please comment below!
Thank you for reading!

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