Probably the most well-known Japanese modern style nowadays, this term doesn’t refer to a specific trend but to a mixture of them that share common traits in the construction of the outfit and emphasize the elegance, cuteness and modesty of the wearer. This last point is paramount to understand that this fashion style has nothing to do with the Western concept of the word Lolita, related to a sexually precocious young girl and the attraction to her presented in Vladimir Nabokov’s novel.
If that’s the case, what creates a Lolita outfit?
As a very broad style, lolita fashion has a lot of variety within itself. Yet, to adhere to the lolita aesthetics, an outfit of any lolita style should include some fundamental elements that confer it the above mentioned traits.
Dresses or the combination of skirts with blouses or cutsews — dress shirts made of jersey; are usually the focus of attention on a lolita. Panniers are what help the first two to achieve the ideal shape, which depends upon your style of choice.
Bloomers and socks — normally over the knee or knee-high ones, protect respectively the wearer’s lower body and legs from prying eyes, and at the same time provide more elegance to the wearer.
To complete the basic look of a lolita, you can wear either shoes with thick heels or platforms — Mary Janes are the most popular option; but you can also use boots that adapt to the rest of your outfit.
There are other elements that, while not essential, help to achieve a more consistent appearance: headware, such as ribbons or hats; bags, jewelry and other accessories — for instance, umbrellas or parasols; can grant you a touch of uniqueness.
Consequently, it’s important to be especially careful to choose any that will complement the image you want to project; use your imagination! This also holds true for sweaters, jackets or any other outwear intended to guard you from the weather.
Many of the styles included in lolita fashion started — and still start, as customizations or combinations of unrelated clothes and garments. They became popular due to being featured on fashion magazines or used by famous singers that adopted them as their usual attires on stage. Now, their impact has even surpassed Japan’s borders, as Westerners have taken it as their own.
Main examples of Lolita different styles
Inside the Lolita Fashion section on our top menu you will find a list of the most popular styles of lolita fashion nowadays, which we tried to order by popularity and interest from our visitors, and which have their own individual articles.
This way you’ll be able to take a quick look at their variety and to decide what you like, maybe what you relate to. More specific posts on many topics will be waiting, including a deeper look at the culture and where to buy great clothing, which we hope you can enjoy and comment if you wish so!
If you are already a part of this wonderful subculture, feel free to discover our points of view here in Clothing From Japan and of course tell us about yours, again in our comments or however you like!