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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Common Lolita Pitfalls

I thought I'd make a small guide over common pitfalls for lolitas. It is first and foremost a beginner's guide, but I constantly see more seasoned lolitas make some of these mistakes, so it might be useful for everyone. <3 Now, I do not claim to be a pro (like I've said before), but I am a lolita veteran, having dressed in this fashion since 2002.

I will not go through exactly what lolita is - but for the uninitiated it is a Japanese street fashion. Feel free to google "sweet lolita" or "gothic lolita" and you will get something of an idea what it is.

Without much further ado, here are the common pitfalls in no particular order:

Mistake 1: Make up

A common mistake nowadays is that lolitas use too much make up. The ideal lolita would wear no make up at all, but have a fresh and natural beauty. Make up is easily ruining the sweet, innocent image of the lolita, and should be used sparingly.

This mistake is perhaps even more common among seasoned lolitas.

Reason for mistake: Usually the lolita has been inspired by j-rock and similar, where they wear a lot of make up because they are in the spotlight, where no make up will look plain.

Mistake 2: No petticoat

This is more of a beginner's mistake. A lolita seeks the bell- or cupcake-shape of her dresses and skirts, and as such almost all clothes require a petticoat of some kind. If not a poofy petticoat, then at least some kind of petticoat. If this is forgotten, the prettiness of the dress will be lost much like a withering flower that didn't get enough water.

Reason for mistake: Usually a matter of not knowing what lolita really is, and how the shape is achieved.

Mistake 3: No drawers

The drawers (not bloomers - bloomers are short, much too short for lolita) are an essential part of the lolita outfit. They mustn't be forgotten! Some lolitas wear pantyhose instead, but I feel that this is more of a temporary solution.

Reason for mistake: The same as no petticoat - a lack of knowledge about lolita. Drawers are just about the simplest piece of garment you can sew yourself, as well, so even if you can't afford to buy a pair - sew a pair out of any fabric you have at home (an old sheet for example - sheets are excellen for underwear!).

Mistake 4: Visible drawers

Now, lolita is all about modesty, and showing your underwear really isn't very modest... It's quite okay if the very bottom of the drawers peek a tiny bit - but they shouldn't show too much.

Reason for mistake: Very often the culprit isn't the drawers but the skirt, which is too short for lolita. The solution is not to get shorter drawers but a longer skirt.

Mistake 5: Too short skirt/dress

A rule of thumb with lolita is that all dresses and skirts shouldn't be shorter than 1 inch (2,5 cm) above the knee. (A little longer is perfectly fine!) This is, again, because of modesty. This mistake is so often made by beginners and seasoned lolitas it makes me quite sad.

Reason for mistake: It's usually two different mistakes. One is that you bought a skirt that looked "lolita-ish" and thought it was cute. A lot of skirts and dresses are advertised as lolita but aren't - most often fetisch clothes such as maid outfits. The second reason is people who bought brand without checking the skirt length. Brands from Japan are made for Japanese people, and they are usually much shorter than westerners, which makes the skirts too short for us. One solution to this is to buy a bigger size and get it sewn in, or buy your clothes from one of the manufacturers that custom make dresses to fit you (such as Chess Story). A third choice is to have a decorative skirt beneath it that peeks.

Mistake 6: Too much skin showing

This is a very, very common mistake, especially in summer. Perhaps even more common than too short dresses/skirts. Lolita is modest, and this means that you show very little skin (and absolutely no cleavage at all!). The most common parts that end up showing are legs or arms. It can be difficult to hide in summer, I know, but there are things you can do. A lace bolero, for example, covers up effectively and prettily without making you too hot.

Reason for mistake: Lack of good cardigans, boleros and knee-highs/pantyhose. The reason can also be because you sweat a lot, and don't want to get too hot. Maybe get a dress that is cooler for the summer, there are plenty of cute summer dresses out there.

Mistake 7: Too much decoration

I often see people who claim to be lolita, but are so overdecorated with bracelets and hair accessories that I wonder if they understand that they have crossed over the border between lolita - and decora. There is something called "too much" in lolita, and often people who claim to be sweet lolitas are more often than not decora rather than lolita. The solution is to lay off the decorations a bit, stick with something that completes your outfit in a lovely way instead of pinning as much cute things onto yourself as you can.

Reason for mistake: We all love cute, and I think most of these persons simply get ahead of themselves and want cuteness rather than lolita. It's perfectly fine - it's just not lolita. Lolita is, for example, a simple bow in a colour that matches your dress, and matching earrings and perhaps one bracelet and a ring. No more.

Mistake 8: War of colours

When it comes to lolita, quite a lot of people make the mistake of mixing way, way, way too much colours. Just like any named fashion, lolita has rules, and one of them is to coordinate well. If you simply put on everything you find cute, you're losing the purpose quite a bit.

Reason for mistake: Again, the cutness love is taking over! Please, girls and boys! Calm down!

Mistake 9: Rainbow wigs

This is a difficult one to explain, especially since wigs in bright colours have become so popular in combination with lolita clothes of late, but colourful wigs are a mistake. Yes. They are. They can be as pretty as you please, but again: they are decora, not lolita. Look through any lolita magazine, and all you will see are natural coloured wigs unless you look at concept art or artistic images. This mistake is almost exclusively made my people who claim to be sweet lolitas. Girls and boys: you are wearing decora wigs.

Reason for mistake: Because those wigs are so popular, it is easy to understand why many don't understand that these coloured wigs are not lolita.

Mistake 10: Elitism

A very common, sadly, mistake is to believe that only brand clothing is real lolita. This is a dangerous assumption, because it's wrong. Lolita is a style of fashion, and as such anyone that follows the strict rules of what lolita is can design and sew them. A home made dress is just as much lolita as that Angelic Pretty JSK you have in your closet. Really.

Reason for mistake: Immaturity. Children want to be special and belong to special groups, and they make up these silly, elitistic rules. Some children never outgrow this childish behaviour.

Well, there we are. :) Some common mistakes in lolita! I hope you found it useful. <3

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