Monday, November 2, 2009

How To Avoid Being An Ita

Oh the dreaded Ita! It's what every new Lolita fears she will be branded. If you are unsure of what the term means, Ita is a less-than-nice term for someone trying to dress Lolita but doesn't quite get it right. The common Ita mistakes are usually made by beginners who simply don't know better and often fall for buying a barely costume quality dress simply because whoever was selling it was claiming it was Lolita, but it is indeed possible to continue being an Ita for years.


Just because it's in the G&LBs doesn't mean it... doesn't make me want to throw up a little XD

Before I get on with this list of Dos and Don'ts, I would just like to say you can wear whatever the hell it is you want. If you love stuff that would normally be considered Ita, go for it. Rock the hell out of it if you want! Just don't call it Lolita and you'll be alright. But if the world of Ita doesn't interest you, and you want to stay away from it, there are a few guidelines to follow that will help you steer clear of the Ita label.

Don't wear anything made of costume satin or stretch velvet- Satin and stretch velvet are cheap costume staples, and they're pretty much guaranteed to make anything made out them look like, well, a cheap costume. On occasion, Lolita brands will put out a satin piece, but the satin that high quality pieces are made with is miles above the cheap costume satin that cheap Ita dresses are so often made with.

Stay away from cheap black and white dresses- Black dresses with white lace have become the Ita trademark. If you're a beginner and totally clueless it's best to stay away from this combo altogether because if the lace is even a little bit cheap and stiff, it's going to stand out like crazy on a black dress. If you must wear black and white, wear an all white blouse with an all black JSK or skirt. Mixing separate solids is much more foolproof than cross-mixing laces and fabrics. Or, buy from a trusted Lolita shop, that is to say brand or a talented seamstress, somewhere where you'll know that the lace isn't going to end up being 2 inches of stiff raschel lace. A black and white dress, in and of itself, is not necessarily ita, but a cheap and poorly made black dress with too much cheap lace and a poor design can be. Check out this post about the color scheme is you're still confused.


Stay away from other "Gothic" color combos- I'm mostly talking about black and red and black and purple. While there are people out there that successfully mix these two colors, many "beginner" Lolita dresses that would look okay in all black like to mix in another Gothic color. Some newbies seem to think that these are more "Gothic" color schemes because they're commonly found in Western Goth outfits, but they rarely work for Lolita and are, more often than not, sold by low-quality costume shops. If you're looking to get into Gothic Lolita, check out this post.

Avoid dresses with too much lace- Cheap lace is where most Itas fail. Simply because if a dress is cheap, it's most likely because it's cutting corners with the lace, since the average Lolita dress requires yards and yards of lace. So try to avoid any "beginner" dresses you might buy that have lace on them. If you are buying your first dress from a cheaper place, such as a questionable Taobao shop, Fan+Friend, or Bodyline, look for a dress that has no lace at all. Small ruffles instead of lace is a safe way to add frills to a dress. If you want to know more about the difference between "good" and "bad" lace in the world of Lolita, check out this post on the subject.


These are both being sold online as "Lolita" outfits.
Don't try to make a Lolita outfit out of clothes you have laying around- You see your first Lolita picture, and instantly you are in love! Oh God, how you want to look that way RIGHT NOW! So you run to your closet and look for your fanciest skirt and nicest blouse. Voilà! This sort of looks like that doesn't it? No, it actually doesn't. Very few "normal" clothes look Lolita, blouses and accessories can usually be found in a closet, but it is the skirt that is going to kill the look. Nearly every skirt I've seen in a good Lolita coordinate was made specifically to be Lolita. If you try to find Lolita clothes in your pre-existing closet, you're just going to end up like you're going to church or a fancy dinner. Which, of course, isn't a bad thing, but it's definitely not Lolita.

Avoid traditional Ita accessories- There are a few accessories that are associated with Itas, these include arm warmers, overly ruffly headdresses, awkwardly placed mini top hats, lace fans, and leg warmers. These are typically regarded as Ita-esque because they are usually made with really cheap materials or don't match the Lolita aesthetic at all (I'm looking at you legwarmers! Who was it that decided that the bottom half of bell bottoms would look cute with fancy dresses?).


Unless you are a Jrocker, and it's the 90's, and you're on a stage preforming, don't do it.
Go easy with the makeup- Yeah, I know the word "Gothic" is right in the name, but that's no reason to cover your face with eyeliner Death swirls. Stay away from scene makeup and anything you saw on a Jrocker as well. And don't think that just because Lolita can be described as "doll like" you have an excuse to paint your face white, make tiny fake kissy lips and apply perfectly round pink spots of blush to your cheeks, you shouldn't be taking makeup inspiration from your grandmother's porcelain doll collection.


If an anime character wore it, it's probably not Lolita.
Keep your anime out of your Lolita- Lolita is not cosplay. This means that you shouldn't be wearing a character costume and calling it Lolita. Avoid other things that are typically featured in anime as well, including cat ears and tails, bell collars, neon wigs, and extremely exaggerated details such as huge areas of corset lacing or extra wide gravity-defying ruffles.


Despite what the bag that this Halloween costume came in says, it's not actually Lolita.
Keep your love of Japan out of your Lolita- Just because Lolita comes from the magical land of Japan doesn't mean you have to insert as many Japanese elements into a coordinate as you can. No paper umbrellas, no Japanese style brocades, no geisha makeup, and you know what, if you're a newbie to Lolita I'm going to say no Wa-loli. Wa-loli is sub-style of Lolita that involves kimono inspired dresses, this is a rather difficult style to pull off without looking like you're obviously in costume. So please, don't make your first Lolita dress a Wa-loli one.

Skirts should be the proper length and shape- It's true that there are a variety of slightly different Lolita lengths and silhouettes, but "frumpy", "skanky" and "tube" are not included. In the most classic Lolita silhouette the bodice or blouse should be form fitting, and the skirt should begin to flare out at the natural waist. Skirts should fall at the knees or just above them. Barely-butt-covering mini skirts and shapeless sack dresses are not part of the Lolita aesthetic.

Don't immediately try to be "unique"- You really can't mix the style up successfully until you get the basics down and you know what you're doing. Keep it simple at first. Don't try to add too many colors or details, and don't try to do anything wacky at first. I'm not trying to suppress your unique urge to be your own special snowflake self. It's just common sense, you can't run before you can crawl, and you can't coordinate an interesting and successful outfit until you learn to wear a petticoat and can resist the sweet siren call of cat ears.


Don't try to sexy it up- If you want to wear Lolita because you're looking for a new and sexy (in an erotic pole dancer sort of way) style to wear, you don't know the first thing about the fashion, and maybe Lolita isn't for you. To avoid being labeled an Ita, don't show off your boobs (I'm not going to say "no cleavage, ever!" because sometimes that just can't be helped), keep your upper thighs and butt covered, the belly should never show, and don't start sucking seductively on lollypops.

Don't forget the basics- The thing that is often overlooked most by Itas is the petticoat. Even if you have a relatively okay outfit deciding to go petticoatless is going to make the whole outfit look so much worse. Also often overlooked by Itas is leg wear. Knee highs, over the knees, tights, whatever, just don't forget to wear something on your legs. You really can't make a Lolita outfit with a dress alone.

It's really not hard to avoid being an Ita, the main reason why anyone at all ends up an Ita is simply they didn't know better. Girls just discovering Lolita simply see a cheap, easy to get a hold of dress labeled as "Lolita", so they just accept it, and then buy it. And it's not as easy as breaking just one of these rules to be labeled an Ita, as you can see from the pictures, most of these dresses are breaking several if not all of the rules.

If you find yourself loving something that other people call Ita, try not to worry about it so much, like I said in the beginning, there's nothing wrong with liking something that's simply not Lolita, just remember that just because you do like Lolita, doesn't mean that you have to force the label on everything with lace on it.

195 comments:

  1. Very informative, so when I make my next doll that just happens to look a bit gothy or Lolita-ish I should really tag it ITA and not Lolita! Just kidding, I think you may be preaching into the wind as our throw away society has no interest in getting things right, just getting it right now

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  2. Omg, there is so much fail in this post it is painful. I am glad you made this post, it should totally be featured on egl. Maybe that way we can help the new lolitas. We were all new once and I think that if everyone was required to read this post before they put up pictures of themselves on the internet then daily_lolita and egl would be a better place!

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  3. I WILL NEVER STOP LOVING BLACKxWHITE! ^_^; Also "It's really not hard to avoid being an Ita" as long as you follow these 13-ish steps? That's a lot of info for a new lolita to take in, so I'd say it is hard to avoid being an ita when you start out unless you lurk for a long time.

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    1. Gosh, girl! It is easy! And DO follow the steps! XD It's pretty easy if you're very careful, and only buy from places that you know are lolita, until you know the style better.
      Also, black and white is an ita staple. Try getting into it once you've gotten more coords done, and you have more knowledge for how to rock the look. This is advice from a fellow beginner lolita, so don't think I'm trying to make fun of you or anything. Just be careful, and do what the post says!

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  4. Yve- XD You don't have to do that. I always wonder how you'll respond to my posts! I know I might be preaching to the wind to some people, but no one can say I didn't try!

    Caitlin- I know that if someone told me "Don't dooo that!" the first time I learned about Lolita I would have saved myself some very embarrassing photos.

    Himemiya- I like black and white too! I guess when you put it that way "13-ish easy steps" it does seem very complicated. But all it really comes down to is "Don't let your boobs hang out in a cheaply made dress while wearing cat ears" But that would have hardly made an interesting post!

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  5. Nice post, I've had a hard time explaining it politely, I'm too shy I suppose.

    I do watch a lot of anime but you'd probably never catch me at a convention. I'm very picky about Lolita and I rarely see it in anime, there may be a couple exceptions but it would remain cosplay or just a costume.

    I never thought much about the B/W combination but I do remember seeing a lot of it in the first volumes of GLB, even BTSSB had a velvet B/W JSK and more to match, even there it's seems very beginnerish. It can be done properly but will end up lacking for me, especially when there is too much Goth inspiration. Quality fabric are super important! ^ ^

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  6. I guess I needed this post before I start to make my own lolita clothes. I will use it as a guideline to some extent as far as the no cleavage,no cat ears,yes petticoat.. but I mostly will do whatever I want & forget about 'ita labels'. And yes, I will very much call it 'lolita' lol. anyway I do enjoy reading your posts.

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  7. I think that wether you are Lolita are not, what you are conveying, is that we should all try to look the best we can. The reason the people above don't look the very best they could (they would probably admit that too) is that they have used bargain basement fabric and trims. There's a reason fancy dress costumes are made from these fabrics!

    Sorry for interloping on your scene, it's just interesting to a keen observer! :o)

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  8. I ordered a JSK from a brand website a while back, but after paying, I translated the "material". It said "Cotton Satin Material". I nearly had a conniption. But when it got here, it was just very smooth, thick cotton. So not all "satin" is crappy shiny stuff. Also, I think CORSET LACING ON SLEEVES is Ita-esque. Whether Baby did it or not.

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  9. Thanks for all the Lolita tips. The thought that keeps running through my mind is that there is a part of me that loves Lolita fashion because it is so non-conformist. I think we all enjoy being individuals and getting noticed for that. But, conversely, we fear not getting Lolita just right. How's that for conforming? But, speaking for myself, I am in constant fear of a fashion faux pas.

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  10. Such a wonderful post! If only beginners actually would read this and do a little more research before they decide on wearing lolita. And I agree, quality definetely is important! This rule goes with any outfit, really. Even if the piece's design is fabulous, if the fabric isn't good, why would you ever wear it? It absolutely ruins the outfit, and it's not very comfortable. I'm sure Itas would make this mistake by browsing cosplay items on ebay and practically just choosing whatever has the most ruffles and lace and is the cheapest. And yes, black and white definetely is Ita-ish! I really love this color combo, but it's just so hard to pull it off in lolita, that I don't wear it much. :/

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  11. @ anon - that might be cotton sateen? It's more like cotton with a slight sheen.

    I really like the bit about just putting on whatever you can find in your wardrobe.
    I did this in the beginning and it felt great (though I didn't call it lolita or post photos of myself).
    I think it's one of the first 'stages' a lot of people go through on the way to full lolitahood.

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  12. Emichuu- I've gone to my share of conventions, they're fun for me! I agree that "real" Lolita is rarely ever seen in anime, but there is an abundance of girl ruffles that is often thought of as Lolita.

    Noel'sLife.me- You're more than welcome to call anything you create whatever you want! I think it's pretty cool that you're planning on sewing your own Lolita clothes!

    Yve- Yes this is the main reason! The clothes are just the base of any Lolita, and if the base is an ill fitting cheapy made dress... well, you get the idea!

    Anon- As said above me,as said above me it might not have been satin. All satin =/= bad. There are lots of lovely satins out there that brands use, but these "good satins" are almost guaranteed to never be found in the cheap dresses newbie Lolitas so often buy.

    loliandrea- Yeah XD Lolita is kind of a double edged sword like that. On one hand it's about dressing outside of the norm, on the other there are probably more "rules" in Lolita than there are in mainstream fashion!

    Jane- Agreed! Many acceptable designs are completely ruined by being made out of horrible materials! Ebay cosplay pieces are certainly a big reason why so many Itas dress so bady. I am also a fan of black and white, I actually like it for it's old school connotations, but as you said, it's very hard to pull off! You really need a dress made out of awesome material to make a black and white combo work.

    Ra- It is indeed one of the first steps and one of the best, you can wear something nice, inexpensive, and pretty, without any effort. It's a great first step, and when I was going through that stage it felt great, but I knew better than to call it Lolita.

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  13. I don't get the "stay away from B/W" argument. IMO it is much easier to put together a really basic/classic B/W combo than a fully colour coordinated one, especially with the OTT deco look a la Angelic Pretty being so popular ATM. Now that's a "wacky" look! One can wear brand from head to toe and still look like cosplay if one is not careful.

    Also, with the exception of Marble/Visible, most gothic brands seem to rarely make black dresses with white lace (more often it is black dresses with black or white blouses). That's a combo I have most often seen used by sweet and classic brands, e.g. Baby and Innocent World, and they are still doing it. So it is not a trend from "before lolita as a fashion was fully formed" and not necessarily a gothic influence either.

    IMO the root cause of ita is cheap fabric and cheap lace and that looks bad in ANY colour combo, not just in B/W. As the fine examples you posted above show vividly!

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  14. @Anon- The main reason to stay away from B/W if you are a beginner is because it's simply associated with doing it wrong. Even if it is an all brand outfit, many Lolita's are going to do a double take, it just has an Ita Aura too it. The other reason, like I said, is that if the white lace is not top-of-the-line a black background on which to show it off is going to make it all the more obvious. I have a couple pieces that are made with less than amazing lace, but because the lace is the same color as the dress it instead of yelling "HEY LOOK! I'm cheap lace!" it instead adds texture to the skirt. And besides, your options are NOT B/W and ott AP. B/W is the easiest to get ahold of, but it's even EASIER if you make sure it is a W/W and B/B combo, not something black with white lace decorations.

    I am aware that most Gothic brands tend to make pieces of all one color or the other (I don't really get this part here? Most Itas don't exactly go out and buy Boz or Mille Fleurs). While other brands are indeed still pumping out B/W dresses it simply isn't as popular or prevalent as it once was. Look through some of the first GLBs, there was certainly more b/w presented in brand photoshoots and ads, for sale in general, and on people in the street snaps. And even ignoring the GLBs altogether, the Lolita scene in the west, before it was still finding it's place as not only a sub-culture but even simply a fashion, black and white was pretty much all anyone did. Just because something is still around now, doesn't mean it wasn't back then.

    That is very true that cheap fabrics are still going to be cheap no matter what, but black and white is the most prevalent color scheme sold and labeled as "Lolita", so if you are a Lolita newbie it's easiest to just avoid the color scheme altogether.

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  15. *your options are not just limited to B/W or OTT AP.

    oops I should have read that over.

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  16. D: I wore a mini-hat on halloween. I guess the Ita tendencies aren't out of my blood yet. ;_; But I was dressed up as a wind-up doll, so it wasn't strictly lolita, and I wore pigtails on my hair...

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  17. I think it's okay to try to be unique at first, but only if you are only drawing out the designs. It would be a watse to make it, having it look like crap, and wasting your time and fabric on something you will later on (and as well as others) think will look horrible. And I see nothing wrong with black and white and gothic colors, thats why it's "gotic" lolita. Sweet is pastel colors so what is gothic lolita gonna do without and and white or red and black? Or even dark purple? Some of this stuff contradicts itself..

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    1. Western gothic colors like blue, purple, and red are best left as accents and not as main colors with black lace. Google 'Surface Spell' and browse their color schemes. There's a way to do it right without looking like garbage.

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  18. Anon #1- Halloween is usually an okay time to wear something like mini top hats. You're still technically in costume, so you really won't be as harshy judged.

    Anon #2- I am going to have to admit, I have no idea what you are talking about in regards to making a unique outfit. If you are talking about sewing your own clothes, then it's best to just stick to the basics if you've never made or worn any Lolita clothes before. If you are talking about something else (why would you make something that is going to look horrible? I agree that it's a waste to make something ugly.) then you're going to have to clarify it, because I'm confused.

    I've said it before, there is nothing wrong with Black and White, but for all the reasons I have said, several times, beginners should stay away from it if they are not ready to go all out and buy a brand dress. Gothic colors, as I have shown them in the example (black fabric, red, purple, etc. lace or ruffles) is pretty much never seen in good Lolita outfits. An occasinal Punk Lolita will use them in moderation. Purple and red certainly don't make it "gothic" Lolita, and the idea that it does is where bad Ita coordinates come from. Gothic Lolita is "gothic" because of it's style, the cut, the design, how it's accessorized, NOT because of colors. Most Gothic Lolita clothes are, in fact, all black.

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  19. Mini top hats are only for Halloween? VM, IW, Moitie, Baby - lots of brands make lovely mini hats that don't look ita at all.

    I also don't understand this sentence in your article: "it is mostly because they were all trends that happened in lolita's early days before lolita, as a fashion, was fully formed. It was still mingled with goth, Jrock, anime and general wacky fashion in the early days". What style of lolita are you referring to?

    Of course "lolita" today looks a bit different than 10 years ago, but it hasn't been a linear development, it hasn't affected all lolita styles equally and some things haven't changed much at all.

    For gothic lolita the gothic influence never stopped because this style is gothic-influenced by definition. It is true that classic and sweet lolita are no longer influenced by gothic, but it is not true that lolita fashion was more wacky in the past and is now all tasteful and understated. Just look at the pink wigs and multi-coloured, polka-dotted polyester tulle at AP, pirate style at Baby/AatP or the growing influence of himegyaru. Lolita isn't any less wacky now, we just have different wacky trends than we had 10 years ago. Baby, BPN and H.Naoto collaborate regularly with Jrock bands, so the Jrock influence is still there also. Black/white continues to be popular among sweet and especially classic brands and in another article in this blog you wrote that platform shoes are dying out, but if you go to Marui or pretty much any brand shop except AP or IW you can still see rows upon rows of platform shoes.

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  20. Anon- This article really wasn't about brand items. It was about things that newbie Lolitas do to get branded Ita. If all newbies went out and bought brand, this wouldn'y really be a problem.

    Sorry if that sentence was kind of wonky, but I am not refering to a specific Lolita style, but Lolita in general in the west and how people wore/percieved it.

    I'm not saying it shouldn't look different 10 years later or that all the different styles evolved exactly the same.

    I didn't mean to imply that the fashion was wackier way back when, I am well aware of the OTT styles that are popular now. I'm not even sure where you're getting the idea that I think Lolita isn't just as weird now as it was then?

    And again, yes I know black and white is still popluar and still made. I'm not saying it's not STILL popular, but back in Lolita's early days (the early 2000's, when the style started to gain popularity in the west), in the west black and white was, not only the most common, but practically the only color scheme found in Lolita.

    About platform shoes: It doesn't matter if brands are still putting out platform shoes. In the west (do you see a theme here? I'm a western Lolita, not a Japanese Lolita or a Brand marketer, so when I'm talking about Lolita I'm talking about it from a westerner's point of view) platform shoes are not as popluar as they once were.

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  21. I'd like to disagree about the rectangular hairpieces... They can look *very* nice, as long as they're well-made.

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  22. Yep, I'm pretty sure it was cotton sateen. (^_^)

    And as a (very late) rebuttal to everyone saying "it's okay to be individual to begin with" and "I like lolita because it's DIFFERENT"... Enough of the Special Snowflake Syndrome! We all look different, as lolitas.

    What have you got against your sisters, that you must distance yourself from them SO MUCH? Wearing this stuff is strange enough to the general public, and there's only so far you can venture into Individual Territory before you look a hot mess. Fashion's just LIKE that.

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  23. I think the arguments in the comments section show why we should just leave this kind of thing alone... the whole do's and don't's business... however, it was a good effort to put some nice tips out there for beginners so I applaud you for that even if I don't agree on all of it. It's a very nice thought, to want to help your fellow Lolis look their best! <3

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  24. i love how you start off all diplomatic and polite in the intro and then proceed to hack, rip and tear at "itas" by the time you hit the halfway mark.

    geez purists are annoying. especially when they tell people what they can and can't wear/do/listen to.

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  25. Well done. I agree with pretty much everything you said in this post.
    But there's always going to be those contrary folk, who will be offended. Try not to take it to heart. Every Lolita who tries to guide the newcomers is subjected to it. I didn't read all the comments, but I'm sure you've gotten a few like that. All the unfounded outrage that someone else presumes to tell them how to dress or what's considered Lolita. That would be low self-esteem talking. When you're a beginner, you just have to suck it up and admit that you could well be a bit of an Ita Lita. And that there are girls who know more about it than you and could help you.
    But I did notice one comment in particular, by Bunnymonster. She said that that's why we just shouldn't talk about the do's and dont's of Lolita. But that's not true. Avoiding conflict is no basis for not spreading knowledge. If they don't wanna hear it, that's fine. But the information should be available to those who are willing to accept it.
    So if anyone gets all fussy about you being a "Loli purist" or an elitist, you just shrug it off. You're doing a fine job and you have excellent taste and give excellent advice. This is the best Lolita Dont's list I've come across. Thanks for sharing, sweetheart.
    ~Dolly

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  26. Thanks! I try not to listen to much to people who are insisting I am a purist or elitist or some kind, because oh man do I know I am not XD

    I wish that there was a more comprehensive list of dos and don'ts when I first got into Lolita, so that's what this is. I mean still, there are really only lists of Dos when Don'ts, I think, are sometimes even more helpful.

    Thanks for the comment ^^

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  27. LOL, I've worn both striped socks, platform boots, and a mini top hat in one gothic/punk coordinate and everyone loved it, so I think you can get away with things that might normally seem "ita" as long as you know how to coordinate it all properly.

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  28. Calling dressing up in short skirts & shirts "ho goth" doesn't sound very polite to me. Otherwise this was a very, very good post. It might help many lolitas-to-be to dress and cordinate their outfits with a far better outcome! I am hardly the one to speak, since I don't even own any lolita clothing and wear my pair of striped leggings with pride, but these pictures were awful. Cheap lace is horrible.

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  29. This was a great post! I am gonna link it to my friends who are new to loli and don't get the whole ita thing! xD

    And I've been to Japan twice now, lived there for a whole summer, and it kind of depends where you are, regarding the lolis. The ones I saw in LaForet were dressed to the nines, and all their stuff was either brand or high quality handmade stuff....the few I saw floating around Sapporo (by few I mean like literally 3 lolitas on the street the ENTIRE time I lived there) were more "loosey goosey" with it....the shopkeepers had a tendency to mix a ton of different brands/styles together and yeah, IIRC they did incorporate non loli stuff into their wardrobes too but generally they looked mostly very loli esp the Baby and Meta workers. Not so much Kera Shop, and of course Super Lovers was mostly all punk, but they definitely wore some non punk stuff too. xD

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  30. The article is well done for unexperienced lolitas. I think the ones who are not so happy with the article aren't realizing that an experienced lolita can take the majority of the things on this list and make it work, but they make it work because they understand how to. Beginners are way more likely to make mistakes.

    I am a strong Wa-lolita, and I completely agree that beginners should not wear Wa-lolita. It's not because they shouldn't try the style, but the likelihood of not wearing it correctly and looking like a costume is so much more likely.

    Of course, wear what you want. But don't call it Wa-lolita or lolita if you don't follow it's guidelines. I still don't understand why that concept is so hard to accept, you know? "I can wear what I want!" Of course you can! Wear what you want! Just don't call it what it isn't. I wouldn't wear jeans and a t-shirt and call it a prom dress attire, haha.

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  31. This site is awesome. I'm a brand new lolita so thank you for the tips. Luckily, i've researched very well.

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  32. This was great! I personally lurked and looked at loli fashion for quite some time before ever attempting it myself, and even then my first few attempts at loli-inspired clothing were... Um... Worse than ita, to say the least. XD But I've gotten much better at coordinating and now I hate cheap lace even on my non-loli clothes.
    Anyway... I kind of wanted to add that bad lace in any contrasting color to the fabric looks kind of bad, not just black and white. I'm actually working on a bxw skirt right now with absolutely beautiful white cluny lace haha.

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  33. I think basically, what is important, is good STYLE and TASTE. Those in KERA coordinate wonderfully and have the attitude (in the looks) to pull it off. Because even though the things look 'random', they are obviously picked with taste!

    It's different from someone new to the fashion, who has to start from the basics first, before they find their own style/niche which will allow them to experiment with great results. ^^

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  34. Thank you very much! I'll have this on hand when I buy my first outfit! :3
    so exciting!

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  35. xXAmi_Cresander_VoltXxApril 30, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Hello, I would like to inform you that to me lolita is not a steryotype and shouldn't have rules. It is about the victorian era,and strictly based on that. And If I have to follow all these 'rules' I would much rather be Ita. I do agree with the 'avoid costume look alike wear' point but I don't see why cat ears, square head dresses, and lots of lace (Okay maybe not like in the first picture, as that was quite horrible. Pardon my french.) are not something that lolitas may indulge in. I myself, base the clothing I make off of the guro comic, Bizenghast. You might do well to read it. Thank you and pardon any comments taken personally.
    Blessed Be and have a good tomorrow,
    Ami

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    Replies
    1. I'm new to Lolita and while I haven't done any the things listed here, I found this post was very helpful and sensible. As I usually dress in Victorian clothing-- an era ENTIRELY BASED ON RULES both in life and ESPECIALLY STRICT in fashion, your post, from that stand point, makes absolutely no sense. I think you need to do real research instead of just reading comics about the era.

      If you want to be ita and wear cat ears, go for it. If you expect everyone to base their fashion sense and history off of a comic, don't hold your breath.

      Delete
    2. 1.) Reading comprehension. Learn it, motherfucker.
      2.) Fashion has guidelines. You'd never throw on a pastel shirt and khaki pants and call it Western Gothic, would you?

      Delete
    3. Holy god you guys are so fricking mean for no reason!
      Ami said her OPINION so yeah, i think what she meant is that you're free to choose what you want to wear. Sending hate is pointless and nonsense!! it is ok to follow fashion rules and its ok to not follow them!! It is NOT ok to be mean to someone like you guys are being right now!
      blessed be ami ^_^

      Delete
    4. "You'd never throw on a pastel shirt and khaki pants and call it Western Gothic, would you?"
      lol who cares? r u going to arrest ppl if they do that? stop being such a bitch, its just fashion omfg

      Delete
    5. All these butthurt itas...

      Delete
  36. I LOLed.

    Anyway while I do admire the outfits in that comic (Bizenghast) I don't think I'd wear most of them as lolita. Just not practical...especially that one "bone" dress. It looks cool, but I doubt I'd wear that for a stroll in the park, lolz.

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  37. Hi! Thank you for the comment but I really don't see how "not a stereotype" = no rules. Lolita is not strictly based on the Victorian era. You are wrong about that :(

    I think that there are lots of good reasons why people who are new to Lolita should avoid cat ears, square head dresses, and lots of cheap lace. I actually wrote a whole post on it! Hint: it's this one, but I'll do a quick run down. Cat ears: Cheap convention souvenir that should not be worn outside of conventions, for any reason. Square headdresses: Because they are rarely flattering on anyone, are often handmade by beginners out of very cheap, unmatching material, and thus tend to have an stigma attatched to them that is generally associated with beginners who do it wrong. Square headdresses are the airbrushed XXL dragon t-shirts of Lolita, avoid them unless you know you can pull it off and look good, but you most likely wont be able to. Lots of lace: Don't think I meant any lace, like I said in that section of this post I meant cheap lace (like in that dress at top), lots of cheap lace on a dress is bad because it looks ugly, and cheap.

    Yes, I have read Bizenghast, I picked up the first couple volumes because I enjoyed the artists work before she started working on the comic. Soon after that I gave them away because I didn't care for the story (too monster of the week, not enough plot) and looking at her Deviantart page was free. While I love the art from Bizenghast, and the clothing designs were really neat, I don't think there was any actual Lolita in it, just a lot of frilly fantasy wear. It would be fun to dress up in some of her costumes for a con or something, but not for everyday wear, and certainly not for Lolita.

    Be an Ita if you want and if you think it is easier, I'm certainly not trying to stop anyone. This post was meant for people who wanted to avoid that but wasn't sure what it meant to be one.

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  38. Thanks a lot for posting this, it is great to read these sort of guidelines!
    Ah, I really cringe when I see satin!
    The other day my friends rented a Victorian costume for a party.The best of them had a great shape, the sleeves were perfect(though stained), but it was made of orange satin...Oh god, I cracked up laughing the moment I saw it.And it had green ribbons.It looked like a pumpkin.

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  39. Thanks, you were a real inspiration to me. I accidentally was about to buy a headress that was $20, but i didn't know that it would scream italoli....If it is bad to wear headresses, would it be better to wear bows?

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  40. It just seems so hard to dress like lolita, it isn't even funny.

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  41. Also, I had a link that showed beautiful headresses, but they were rectangular in shape, so would it be bad to wear?

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  42. It's not necessarily bad to wear square headdresses, it's just that they can be tricky to make them look right. If they are too short, or too ruffly, or too wide they will look awkward, and if you're not familiar with the fashion you're probably not going to know that, so it's honestly just best to stay away from them. Bows, or even very thin headdresses without a ruffle are pretty much always more flattering. And, as silly as it sounds, ruffly square headdresses just aren't really in fashion any more, they are like the Loli equivalent of pleated, acid washed jeans XD

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  43. Not necessarily, it depends on how flattering the headdress would look and how well it is made. Like I said in a comment before yours, square headdresses just don't always look flattering, especially if you are unfamiliar with the style, and they are simply out of fashion at the moment.

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  44. Thank you so much! I am thinking of going with the bow idea, since it never grows old (lol). Thank you so much for this guide, I'm finally starting to understand, even if at least a little, the difference between real and fake loli.

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  45. She's being diplomatic, you just have to be open and admit that itas are pretty hilarious and *gasp* LEARN TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF!

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  46. I agree with all of this, except for the statement "- If you like Lolita because it's sexy, you don't know the first thing about the fashion. "

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this, purely because the reason I find lolita sexy is BECAUSE it's so modest. Leaves a lot more to the imagination. And no, I'm not a two-month newbie who omfg noes evarything, modesty, to me, is sexy. Wouldn't help that I also already had a thing for traditional victorian/Edwardian and Rococo clothing, so this would be a final step.

    Although I'm only really talking about Classic. I doubt many people find OTT sweet to be sexy.

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  47. Looking through this, I was relieved to see I made no lolita mistakes! that is probably because I researched it alot before delving in :)

    The only thing I'd say is that the Lolita style doesn't come from Japan, Japan just adapted it and kept using it. Lolita is from France/England, when that look was more widely worn. Sure Japan added alot to it, but in reality, Lolita is from England.

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  48. XD I do agree with you there, that Lolita can indeed be sexy because of what it leaves to the imagination, but mostly I was referring to the girls that think Lolita is some kind of sexy gothic school girl look. I meant "sexy" in a generic lingerie shop/Spike TV sort of way.

    Oh gosh I hope a lot of people don't find OTT sweet to be erotic.

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  49. Research is always a good thing to do! Especially before sinking your money into something like Lolita, mistakes are often expensive mistakes!

    I'm confused about your comment about Lolita coming from France and England though. Care to elaborate?

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  50. This post has some helpful tips and its tone is pretty nonjudgmental, but its errors are the grammarian's equivalent of the choke pear.

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  51. Wow, I was so very nearly an Ita on the satin front *gasp*. I didn't have the foresight to see how dreadful it would look! Luckily I didn't have the willpower to finish said satin garment and it is sitting in the reject pile. :D [side note: it was also being made to wear at a convention... how very Ita-tastic *cringes*]

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  52. I'm quite new to Lolita, so this really helped! There are things here that I never would of thought of, thanks!

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  53. You are correct in all ways dear, in this post. I agree with you. But one question however, Baby released a blackxwhite rectangular headdress so would that be ita? Bodyline released a cheaper one very similar to Baby's so if I paired it with my black JSK,white blouse, white knee high socks and black mary janes and a white parasol from Baby, would I be a ita? Just wondering because I am in love with that headdress.

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  54. I was thinking of doing my first lolita at a con nxt year. im glad i read this. i was going to do alot of things that go on the "ita" side! u.u

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  55. I have to disagree with the part of lolita =/= sexy. Do you know there's a subcategory called "ero-lolita"? and it's officially accepted as a lolita sub-category. also, many thing sin Bible are out of fashion, because as with any fashion, it changes year to year.

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  56. If you dislike corset lacing on sleeves, event hough baby did it, then you're falling into the "to each their own" definition of Ita. What beginners should understand is that there's basics, once they have mastered the bell shaped skirt, how to use a petticoat and all that jazz, then they can start adding more detail. because if one seasoned Lolita doesn't like one thing and because of that calls it Ita, then beginners will have a really hard time knowing and understanding what is Lolita and what is Ita.

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  57. I think they might have been asking what kind of color combos are even left for gothic if you take out blackxred, blackxpurple, and blackxwhite. The point seems to be that as far as blackxwhite is concerned it has to be made of really nice materials. As for the other two colors, I think there can be coordinates using them, so long as it's not one of those blindingly bright reds or purples like in the pictures. Also, red or purple lace probably isn't a good idea...just looks kinda off :S

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  58. ...I'd like to see some of those photos...

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  59. this helped me a lot. im such a noob to the fashion, i only discovered it like 2 months ago and the thing i hate the most is looking terrible and im HOPING i dont look terrible in the dress i bought -bites lip-

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  60. CherryblossomreflectionOctober 5, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    hey i know someone in the pic that you posted..D:

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  61. This is an amazing post. I want to get some lolita stuff soon and sometimes it can be a bit confusing... So this is very helpful for starting out.

    Question time: What term would you use for outfits, if it has main lolita pieces (shirt, jsk, skirt) but has different stuff for the rest? Would it be "lolita inspired"?

    Just curious, because I like gothic lolita clothes but most of the rest (accessories, shoes & etc) aren't really my thing. And is there anyone else who mixes styles and aren't straight off lolita?

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  62. I'm glad that this has been written, I think that anyone new to the fashion can benefit from this :). I've been lurking/ researching the fashion for about 3 years and am embarrassed to say that I didn't know what an ita was until I joined one of the online communities XD I honestly just thought the two were separate since ita tends to look very different from lolita fashion itself, maybe this is why I was confused at first. Thanks for clearing it up.

    I never understood the black and white colour combination, I personally always found the combination (along with red and purple) to be very harsh contrasts. Off whites tend to look better as they don't clash as harshly (but this is my own personal taste...I just don't like white).


    Thank you for writing this article anyway, I hope that it helps many people interested in the fashion to blossom into lovely lolitas :)

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  63. This article is genius, I searched for a source of 'don't does' for lolita during my beginner time and found like nothing.
    It'll be sure a help for every newbie lolita <3

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  64. This is a nice article. I kinda think the two girls who tried to make lolita out of their normal clothes look kinda cute, though. Not loli, but cute.

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  65. most of this is wrong. many lolis wear black and white and they also have mini top hats

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  66. acid wash was in last year. your so obsessed with lolita your forgetting to research mainstreem fashion from your own back yard. Also, would a true lolita ever use the word "fuck"? Thats the thing that bothers me most about this site. It also seems kinda weird lolitas would be against eachother. Women....

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  67. Teehee this post always make me laugh a bit and cheers me up instantly :) Good work!

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  68. Haha, you fail completely~ :) They're just trying to help people not dress silly, and do the fashion right. If I go out trying to do a certain style, then I want to make sure I'm doing it correctly. They're not saying they can't wear horribly matched and made clothes, but it wont look nice, and it's not really Lolita.
    Things are generally fine if you follow the rules to them. After you learn the rules, and get a good eye for what works and doesn't, then you can start adding things that would generally look horrible-- as long as you add them in the right place~ :)

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  69. Eliana a.k.a AriettaNovember 30, 2010 at 5:13 AM

    Hey thanks for the advice and everything , i really learn a LOT!~ ^ ^

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  70. most of this post is wrong. no wonder why people don't like this blog.

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  71. your wrong. lolita is a european word but the fashion is from japan

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  72. Why, because you say so?
    Were you the one who created Lolita?
    Are you saying it's okay to wear cheap materials, skanky to short skirts, fugly over the top makeup and call it Lolita fashion? The same Lolita fashion that is defined as "MODEST and ELEGANT?"

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  73. I really liked this site until I saw a picture of myself on this page. *sadface*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Disclaimer: I am not a wearer of the lolita fashion nor a member of any lolita communities... I am merely a person who is interested in *people* and the counter cultures they enjoy.
      I tried to post this before but it sort of got lost, I think...
      Are you really one of the girls in this post? If so, I am sorry. This is supposed to be an educational post, but the author was rather thoughtless to use pics with real human beings. I see she was trying to be humorous with some of the remarks but a lot of it seemed like mean rules-lawyering to me. I guess maybe professional models wouldn't care if the fashion they are paid to wear is laughed at, but not all of these photos are pro and unless the author is dead, has amnesia, or her life has been so chaotic she hasn't had time to think about the internet... well, there is no excuse to leave images on the internet for FOUR YEARS, literally pointing and laughing at young women. If, after all this time, you still care then perhaps you could have blogspot remove your image from this article? If you don't care then good on you, Elindrantyh.
      -Chelle

      Delete
  74. In my personal opinion asians can pull off Lolita fashion far better than white girls, and there is a very good reason for this...
    You have pointed out a few tips on what to avoid (particularily satin, because it's the number one material used in making Halloween costumes) and they are helpful, but I feel that the errors girls are making go beyond buying cheap clothes or over-the-top accesories. If you want to take on a specific style than you need more than knowledge of just that style; you need to be knowledgable in fashion and how it relates to you as an individual. Many of the girls photographed above are not wearing clothes that compliment their figures, or skin colour. It begs the question had some of those pieces been worn by the right body type, would they look better? Some, I have no doubt, would just look plain awful regardless lol, but I believe a few could be manageable. If anyone is going to be buying a piece of Lolita clothing it is important to understand the construction of the garment and how it will fit your body type.

    Hour glasses can wear almost anything, girls with bigger backsides need to keep the bold colours up top, and ladies with wide shoulders can pull off the big full skirts. Look up tips on how to dress your body type and you can apply what you've learned to your next purchase. It can make a world of difference; you can shed pounds, create the illusion of a smaller waistline, or emphasize your assets. I can't stress this enough; if you're a bigger girl...buy your size, don't deny your size. Too many plus size girls get awkward about their fit and buy the wrong one; you don't want clothing that you'll be popping out of, it's not flattering, so measure twice, order once. You also want to look up your "season." To know your season (often referred to as a makeup season) is an invaluable piece of knowledge; it will help you choose colours that suit your complexion. It can be used for makeup, hair, and clothing. I'm a very pale girl of English descent and all through my high school days I wore garish shades of seafoam green, and thick dark eyeliner with hot pinks....I was a corpse-like version of Cindy Lauper. I know much better now... I feel this is why asians tend to look better in Lolita clothing, their skin is easier to work with. I will say I hate it when they wear contacts and bleach their hair...so they definitely don't do everything right; but this can explain why you may have ordered the super-cute pink cupcake dress because it looked so damn cute on the girl in the picture, only to have it look like pastey ass when you try it on.

    Getting back to the blog though, I'd like to touch on a few things in your entry; I for one disagree with the black and white lace combination. I feel some girls might be able to actually pull this off provided it is made of quality material. What I despise is the "maid" look....to me that's Cosplay, not Lolita. I also disagree with your opinion on cat ears; I feel yes if you were to wear a headband with cat ears then that's Cosplay, but if it's sewn on decoratively to a hooded sweatshirt or peacoat it's quite charming (I knew a young girl from one of my classes who I'd just gush over who wore a bunny hoodie, it suited her perfectly). I also disagree that Lolita is not sexy, it can be, but as you've touched on in the comments it's not to be whored up like kinky bedroom rpg. There are quite a few variations of Lolita style and I don't feel the opinions you've expressed can be applied to all of them. I would've like to see you touch base on each, or delve more into the difference between cosplay and Lolita fashion. Overall you have made a good attempt to steer girls clear being branded Ita.

    -HK

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  75. D'aww :( Which girl were you?

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  76. well im a beginner and this has helped alot and i agree also with everything here the only problem i have is i dont have a peticoat but i have a under skirt and my skirt also flares out is that exceptable even if i follow all the other rules and have proper outfit and shoes and stuff or am i still a ita cause i dont have a peticoat i hope not :(

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  77. People can wear what they want and call it what they want. I like the fact that this site is giving some pointers on how to make it look nicer. But other than that from everything I see written here in combination states basically that everything that I see lolita's were is ita, and only people who are experienced can where lolita. People are so afraid of them getting it wrong that almost everything is wrong. owo The people who like the fashion truly will learn, and for those who don't it's usually just a phase for them that they grow out of.

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  78. I have short hair, does that mean that I can't be lolita? (I really don't want to grow it out)

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    Replies
    1. I think short hair can be adorable in lolita! Mine is a short curly bob, with bangs, and I just wear slightly smaller hair bows to balance it out. If you have a pixie cut you could always use these really cute tiny hair bow clips, or a small bow on a basic hair band. It would be really cute! You could also fluff your hair up so its tousled, and look adorable in a newsboy cap. You could easily get some cute hats in most stores. Dont worry about looking boyish in a hat, either, since it would be nice contrast against your frills.

      Delete
  79. Don't worry Hefty :) Having short hair won't hinder your ability as a lolita. Many lolitas purchase wigs regardless of whether they have short or long hair. You could have no hair at all and still be able to dress as a lolita <3

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  80. I agree with you i live in Hiroshima and im from UK and Japanese lolita fashion looks way different then any other country.
    I noticed japanese lolita add more different colores and also Deco items my japanese friends wear baby pink with black and white and cats ear scarf and they looked amazing.

    All i see readin this site is peoples pictures being slagged for trying its so painful to read this.

    I also think another lolita dont is slagging and putting other lolita`s down even there first time enough said.

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  81. you're just butthurt bc a pic of you is up there too.

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  82. I think it's hilarious that you've chosen to drop the original photos and whatever negative feedback you've received on this article. You know deleting it will never change the fact that people disagree with you, and that you chose to present your opinion in an unfair and rude way.

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  83. @ Feb 5 Anon- I think it's hilarious you think I've deleted any negative feedback on this article. As you can plainly see there is a bunch of it in the comments above you, still there for everyone to see how other people disagree with me.

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  84. Ah I guess I was just confused about your first comment.

    In the case of doing one or two of these things and making a successful outfit out of it is something completely different. Even in this post I do say that you typically need to wear all of these to be labeled an Ita, not simply wear black and white or a mini hat. And in regards to brands selling such items, in this post I try to stress quality, or rather the lack of, in Ita outfits, cheap lace, cheap satin, cheap stretch velvet, etc. Obviously major Lolita brand pieces aren't going to be making black and white dresses out of cheap black satin with scratchy white raschel lace on it, and thus, are obviously the exception.

    This post was mainly aimed at the beginner who isn't going to be spending a couple hundred dollars on a brand dress anyways, but instead will most likely going to be trying to make their own first outfit, or put together one for a cheaper price.

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  85. Hi! Thank you for the comment but I really don't see how "not a stereotype" = no rules. Lolita is not strictly based on the Victorian era. You are wrong about that :(

    I think that there are lots of good reasons why people who are new to Lolita should avoid cat ears, square head dresses, and lots of cheap lace. I actually wrote a whole post on it! Hint: it's this one, but I'll do a quick run down. Cat ears: Cheap convention souvenir that should not be worn outside of conventions, for any reason. Square headdresses: Because they are rarely flattering on anyone, are often handmade by beginners out of very cheap, unmatching material, and thus tend to have an stigma attatched to them that is generally associated with beginners who do it wrong. Square headdresses are the airbrushed XXL dragon t-shirts of Lolita, avoid them unless you know you can pull it off and look good, but you most likely wont be able to. Lots of lace: Don't think I meant any lace, like I said in that section of this post I meant cheap lace (like in that dress at top), lots of cheap lace on a dress is bad because it looks ugly, and cheap.

    Yes, I have read Bizenghast, I picked up the first couple volumes because I enjoyed the artists work before she started working on the comic. Soon after that I gave them away because I didn't care for the story (too monster of the week, not enough plot) and looking at her Deviantart page was free. While I love the art from Bizenghast, and the clothing designs were really neat, I don't think there was any actual Lolita in it, just a lot of frilly fantasy wear. It would be fun to dress up in some of her costumes for a con or something, but not for everyday wear, and certainly not for Lolita.

    Be an Ita if you want and if you think it is easier, I'm certainly not trying to stop anyone. This post was meant for people who wanted to avoid that but wasn't sure what it meant to be one.

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  86. In that case, Lala, either most of the lolitas you are seeing are itas, or you need your eyesight checking.

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  87. God damn some people get butthurt.
    This post saved me from even thinking about buying ita clothing! And it is SOOO helpful for newbies - it's more about successfully starting lolita without wasting money on ita items, than ~omg you can't do this and that~

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  88. yes, i am aware you are blogging from the american stand point, and i knew that when i commented. but my previous comment was for the readers. i just wanted to inform beginners, how lolis do it here, if they were interested in the japanese way (involving "ita" accessories/color schemes). my post wasnt directed at you the author. sorry if it wasnt detailed correctly. i never said u didnt know what ita meant either, that was to inform those who dont know japanese.


    adults here, mainly in their 20's, dress up too, its not just teens. i have seen it often in osaka city (where i live). when i said they dont have fashion rules, i meant as my husband (a native) put it, japanese arent so "sticky" (strict) about following fashion rules/guidelines, as we do in america. for instance those seen in the maglet "fruits". they are more care free about what they wear together. thats what i meant in regards to the japanese loli. she will put on non-loli items and items which you have categorized as ita, but she isnt an "ita" herself. for instance wearing rectangle head dress (saw some in metamorphose recently), mini hats (which are gettng more popular here), deco jewlery, some wear motorcylce jackets and boots with a sweet loli dress, others still wear black dresses with white lace (i saw some in angelic pretty the other day). however, when they mix and match or wear "ita" items, they do it in a way thats very unique (and slightly non traditional) but still very lolita.
    *once again, im just informing beginners how the lolis do it here if they are interested. im not trying to ramble about japan or piss you off*

    maybe my response doesnt make sense, sorry



    have a good day, and keep on blogging!

    ps~japanese lolis might be from the moon, as are bunnies, which they say~

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  89. Thanks! I try not to listen to much to people who are insisting I am a purist or elitist or some kind, because oh man do I know I am not XD

    I wish that there was a more comprehensive list of dos and don'ts when I first got into Lolita, so that's what this is. I mean still, there are really only lists of Dos when Don'ts, I think, are sometimes even more helpful.

    Thanks for the comment ^^

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  90. american loli in japan 小林 良子February 6, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    ita basically means ouch! (hurts to look at) coming from いたい itai (ooww!) .
    for the record, japanese girls do loli a little bit differently here in japan. check out kera, deco alice for examples. they are more loosey goosey when it comes to certain things, ie. black and white, rectangle head dress, casual loli mixes, mini hats (which are, by the way, worn by non lolis over here too). i just wanna tell the beginners, that if you want to do it the japanese way, most girls here are more free with this type of fashion, except the really strict ones, but usually its the male designers who are very strict. i found when going to the loli shops, many of the girls who worked at them, paired non loli items with every day wear ( turtle neck under a dress, or non expensive high heels). just a tid bit to consider. also, deco loli is becoming huge now, so thats a new trend in ama-loli world. loli is still a sub-cultural here in japan, thats why the prices are so high. so honestly, if you wear an off-brand piece, like body-line (which a lot of lolis here do) no one will really notice, becuz there arent many lolis around to stare and judge. they are so free with fashion here, there are no fashion rules in japan,(thus what some call "wacky" japanese fashion).





    agree or disagree, i dont give a damn really.
    this is coming from someone who actually lives on the island, so this is just what i see in my travels around the city. as radiohead stated "i might be wrong"

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  91. I ordered a JSK from a brand website a while back, but after paying, I translated the "material". It said "Cotton Satin Material". I nearly had a conniption. But when it got here, it was just very smooth, thick cotton. So not all "satin" is crappy shiny stuff. Also, I think CORSET LACING ON SLEEVES is Ita-esque. Whether Baby did it or not.

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  92. fucking elitists. you sicken me. people will do what they want, you can't control them or look down on them because theyre not as omfgl33tl0lit4 f0llo3 4ll d4 r00l3s 0r u 4N ITA!!!~~1!@!$~. Ugh. Ffs.

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  93. The article is well done for unexperienced lolitas. I think the ones who are not so happy with the article aren't realizing that an experienced lolita can take the majority of the things on this list and make it work, but they make it work because they understand how to. Beginners are way more likely to make mistakes.

    I am a strong Wa-lolita, and I completely agree that beginners should not wear Wa-lolita. It's not because they shouldn't try the style, but the likelihood of not wearing it correctly and looking like a costume is so much more likely.

    Of course, wear what you want. But don't call it Wa-lolita or lolita if you don't follow it's guidelines. I still don't understand why that concept is so hard to accept, you know? "I can wear what I want!" Of course you can! Wear what you want! Just don't call it what it isn't. I wouldn't wear jeans and a t-shirt and call it a prom dress attire, haha.

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  94. Well done. I agree with pretty much everything you said in this post.
    But there's always going to be those contrary folk, who will be offended. Try not to take it to heart. Every Lolita who tries to guide the newcomers is subjected to it. I didn't read all the comments, but I'm sure you've gotten a few like that. All the unfounded outrage that someone else presumes to tell them how to dress or what's considered Lolita. That would be low self-esteem talking. When you're a beginner, you just have to suck it up and admit that you could well be a bit of an Ita Lita. And that there are girls who know more about it than you and could help you.
    But I did notice one comment in particular, by Bunnymonster. She said that that's why we just shouldn't talk about the do's and dont's of Lolita. But that's not true. Avoiding conflict is no basis for not spreading knowledge. If they don't wanna hear it, that's fine. But the information should be available to those who are willing to accept it.
    So if anyone gets all fussy about you being a "Loli purist" or an elitist, you just shrug it off. You're doing a fine job and you have excellent taste and give excellent advice. This is the best Lolita Dont's list I've come across. Thanks for sharing, sweetheart.
    ~Dolly

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  95. It just seems so hard to dress like lolita, it isn't even funny.

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  96. CherryblossomreflectionFebruary 6, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    hey i know someone in the pic that you posted..D:

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  97. I think basically, what is important, is good STYLE and TASTE. Those in KERA coordinate wonderfully and have the attitude (in the looks) to pull it off. Because even though the things look 'random', they are obviously picked with taste!

    It's different from someone new to the fashion, who has to start from the basics first, before they find their own style/niche which will allow them to experiment with great results. ^^

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  98. xXAmi_Cresander_VoltXxFebruary 6, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Hello, I would like to inform you that to me lolita is not a steryotype and shouldn't have rules. It is about the victorian era,and strictly based on that. And If I have to follow all these 'rules' I would much rather be Ita. I do agree with the 'avoid costume look alike wear' point but I don't see why cat ears, square head dresses, and lots of lace (Okay maybe not like in the first picture, as that was quite horrible. Pardon my french.) are not something that lolitas may indulge in. I myself, base the clothing I make off of the guro comic, Bizenghast. You might do well to read it. Thank you and pardon any comments taken personally.
    Blessed Be and have a good tomorrow,
    Ami

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  99. Very informative, so when I make my next doll that just happens to look a bit gothy or Lolita-ish I should really tag it ITA and not Lolita! Just kidding, I think you may be preaching into the wind as our throw away society has no interest in getting things right, just getting it right now

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  100. I have to disagree with the part of lolita =/= sexy. Do you know there's a subcategory called "ero-lolita"? and it's officially accepted as a lolita sub-category. also, many thing sin Bible are out of fashion, because as with any fashion, it changes year to year.

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  101. Calling dressing up in short skirts & shirts "ho goth" doesn't sound very polite to me. Otherwise this was a very, very good post. It might help many lolitas-to-be to dress and cordinate their outfits with a far better outcome! I am hardly the one to speak, since I don't even own any lolita clothing and wear my pair of striped leggings with pride, but these pictures were awful. Cheap lace is horrible.

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  102. i love how you start off all diplomatic and polite in the intro and then proceed to hack, rip and tear at "itas" by the time you hit the halfway mark.

    geez purists are annoying. especially when they tell people what they can and can't wear/do/listen to.

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  103. I agree with all of this, except for the statement "- If you like Lolita because it's sexy, you don't know the first thing about the fashion. "

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this, purely because the reason I find lolita sexy is BECAUSE it's so modest. Leaves a lot more to the imagination. And no, I'm not a two-month newbie who omfg noes evarything, modesty, to me, is sexy. Wouldn't help that I also already had a thing for traditional victorian/Edwardian and Rococo clothing, so this would be a final step.

    Although I'm only really talking about Classic. I doubt many people find OTT sweet to be sexy.

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  104. LOVE the post. I really hate how people try to wear normal clothes or some anime cosplay and call it lolita. NO its not lolita <_< they should check this post out and learn something.

    it's offensive to us who really do try hard when it comes to the coordinating the perfect lolita outfit.Really glad someone pointed it out! :D

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  105. Dude, lolita is a fashion. Being lolita does'n mean you have to be polite and act like princess. And fuck is just a word, get over it.

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  106. Some of these are rules, others are more "Avoid this untill youre experienced enough to do it right":)

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  107. I have a rather urgent question.
    See that picture, under "Wa-lolita", the one with the leg warmers? I understand that the leg warmers are considered as non-lolita, but just the dress itself, is it "Wa-lolita?"

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  108. I wouldn't say they're an absolute no-no, but I think they're more difficult to pull off than people realize. Thanks to continued association with cosplay lolita, mini top hats have become one of those things that are really difficult to include in your coord without making it look that much more like a costume. That isn't to say they have to be completely avoided, but it might be better for beginners to steer clear of them. TBH, normal-sized hats look better in most coords.

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  109. I wish there was sources as comprehensive as this (and other sites) online when I first started.  

    I've been an "Ita," and I feel it's something that almost every newbie loli goes through.  It's part of the growing pains, but if you've got a supportive friend (or local loli com) that's willing to back you, then you'll do fine. It's only been in the past 3 years that I've begun to put coords together successfully, and I can only attribute that to having more sewing knowledge, discretionary funds, and better understanding of lolita and all it's subsets.  (I felt that I finally made it when I was asked to step-in on a lolita panel last year because I'm the only loli the panelists knew that could talk about the subsets outside of Sweet/Classic--specifically EGA which is my fav. subset.)

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  110. A mini top hat would work great with a kodona-based outfit, or something more EGA.  But I would avoid doing it with something "sweet"-based which is what most beginner loli's tend to emulate.  (It can be done with straight gothic, but it's more challenging.)

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  111. I'd recommend looking into casual lolita/decora.  Sneakers *could* be pulled off, but it'd require some finesse.  Or you could just get a nice pair of mary jane's and there'd be no conflict?

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  112. It's the quality of the dress that matters.  A brand dress will have high quality, but you still have to be careful.  Basically stay away from the types of dresses she's shown in the article.

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  113. Thanks it helped me a lot, I'm trying to pull together a Lolita outfit and just trying to make it work. You are right, you shouldn't  just pick things that are label as Lolita, I take a serious look into everything I buy, may have made a mistake on one of mines because there was some part of the material that was different from the rest of the dress, and now kinda ashamed with it. But my fault for not checking that out, well I'm a starter. I got other stuff I'm doubting about. But seriously you can see what is lolita and what is not with your own eyes.

    This post is really helpful and good examples, really, ew. Cuz some people just don't understand it.

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  114. Its pretty sad, but my first lolita outfit was totally a hot mess. No petticoat, military/sailor style costume crap, and I was at a con. But I've since invested in ACUTAL lolita clothing, and a petticoat XD.

    I actually love anime and things from Japan, but now I only associate Lolita with Japan because that's where I buy it from, there's no anime refrences in my Lolita!

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  115. This is an interesting and (I would say) useful article. I have absolutely no experience with this sort of fashion AT ALL, but well since I love clothing and especially love the lolita look, I wouldn't want to offend anyone by saying that personally, I can't get over the legwarmers. Somehow I just love them and I think I'm going to use them with my own look when i start sewing better. I also realize it doesn't matter (to me) what brand or style you wear is, if you love a look that is not exactly considered lolita then who cares because you love it and you can wear it if you choose. ^_^ Just wanted to post my opinion! <3

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  116. This saying you need to wear something on your legs made me think of this question:  What if someone had a sort of simple lolita dress, not a cheap tacky one but one that was simple enough to not have to be considered lolita but still was. What if someone wore a dress like that with out tights and with vans instead traditional more formal lolita shoes? Basicly someone wearing a more simple lolita dress as a sundress with canvas tennis shoes? Would that be frowned upon or offencive to a traditional lolita who wears it all the time?

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    Replies
    1. That particular combination would not be Lolita, so unless you claim that it is, theres no reason anyone should question what you are wearing. In Fairy Kei style, lolita dresses and skirts are often combined with sneakers, an baggy pastel shirts... but as you can see a style stops being one thing, and turns into another when you experiment ^^; It's like alchemy.

      Delete
  117. I just started to love lolita fashion and still doing some research, I have a question o:
    you said
    "Black dresses with white lace have become the Ita trademark."

    but I looove gosurori. And everytime I checked on KERA or GLB, I saw so many decent gosurori dress (black dresses with white lace).  Now I wonder xD
    since I love black dress with (simple) white lace. lulz...Will I be an Ita if I wear black maxicimam dress with white lace on it? o:

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  118. I'm a Lolita and i confess i wear top hats, i really love them. I don't wear them all the time though and i did use to place them awkwardly at first. But i have learned better; it takes an awesome Lolita outfit to make it work. :D

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  119. I'm looking at you legwarmers! XD I found this article both useful, and entertaining. 
    @Hithere It says only to avoid CHEAP black and white dresses, as the cheap lace will stand out more, and that this is not a very suitable choice for a BEGINNER, who probably can't tell the difference. Also, it only mentions AWKWARDLY PLACED mini top hats, not that they should be altogether avoided.

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  120. I feel bad saying this... but I love Lolita and have never worn it- yet I used to mentally put together outfits in my mind (starting 3 years ago). Looking back, the outfits I mentally create have come a long way. I could have really used an in depth article like this when I started liking it!

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  121. beguilingBrillianceJune 21, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    When I first started looking at lolita (last year) I made the mistake of thinking of purchasing a black and white maid costume.


    Good thing I waited 'til now!

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  122. Very informative article! People who don't agree with it don't have to follow it. Although, I don't understand why you would WANT to dress tacky.

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  123. I don't get all the hate comments. Most of the comments on this articles are people who didn't read it properly or have complete misconceptions.

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  124. hi, im making a lolita pink dress, is it lolita if it has lacy arm strapes, instead of sleeces bc i dnt no how to make slleeves just strapes.

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  125. Actually I think I remember a baby cutsew that had the words "flying fuck" on it, though it could have been another brand... It's just a word. Pretty much all the lolitas I know cuss just like normal people.

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  126. i think its amusing how, as soon as i learned about the lolita fashion, i pretty much knew all of these rules. i thought they were just natural to know. i guess not...

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  127. One Thing I am confused about though is .. What if in the anime the character's outfit IS in fact meant to be lolita like for example in this manga called Kamikaze Girls.. The character Momoko is a Lolita Girl and falls in love with the clothes and praises the fact that only brand name Lolita outfits are REAL Lolita. She gets that in order to be a Lolita girl you have to know fashion well, opera, classical music, must study well, and overall be a well mannered polite young lady. She knows the ideals and this book does a good job supporting the fashion. Also in Black Butler the character Ciel Phantomhive. His style is 18th century Victorian and I think that is close to Lolita? Is it not? I like this post I think you made a right point about too many people making mistakes about Gothic Lolita fashion but the anime section bugged me a little bit.

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  128. Lolita is a lifestyle fashion, a subculture. If you want to be a true Lolita fan.. then practicing the part is very much recommended it helps you stand out in a good way. But if you must be the same like everyone body else then thats fine too.    

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  129. The truth is that rules like this will never be the answer.

    There will always be girls who will wear frilly costume, and girls who wear expensive brand, and girls who wear poofy dresses and big bows. What will not change is that some girls can wear costume and look beautiful, and some girls can wear brand and never look right.

    Lolita is not what you wear, it is how you wear it.

    If there is no Lolita in your heart, no dress will change that.

    If Lolita is in your heart, no dress can take it away.

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  130. While I'm not really in to lolita fashion or the subculture or whatever I did buy a couple pieces in a Lolita shop while I was in Japan. I learned of the term Ita just today while discussing lolita on a forum which led me to this blog. I am totally an Ita but I guess that is ok since I wasn't trying to be lolita per say I just liked the clothes. XD

    But I really liked this post, very informative. And now I know not to call my outfits lolita just because I bought them at a lolita shop. XD

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  131. My mother is a seamstress, and when I finally decided to buy my first Lolita outfit I got my items from fan+friend, and when I showed the pictures to her she said they looked cheap. I thought so too but a friend recommended it to me, so I bought them anyway.

    I was so surprised when I got the actual Items! They were 100 times better then the pictures, real quality. So was my mother, she inspected the cloths and there was so much detail to them. Even my under cloths had lace and frill details and were very well made she said.

    There are very few shops that make large sizes and FFP is one of the places that can do costume sizes to your measurements.

    Yes They do sell some shiny fabric cloths but most all of there items can be edited for a non shiny cotton when you do costume color and/or size.

    I wonder if this writer has ever actually bought something from them,I on the other hand have seen there work first hand and am so glad. They are still an up and coming site, but are reliable, flexible and mid-priced site with Detailed work to back it up!

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    Replies
    1. The writer as in me xD? Yes I have actually owned many pieces from F+F over the years. I never said they were a bad place, just to avoid buying pieces with a lot of lace from them.

      They're also hardly an "up and coming" shop, as they have been very well established within the Lolita community since around 2006.

      Delete
  132. ...thats only a few years, hardly a rock mass of a place.

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  133. Um... This post made me wonder how I can dress better in lolita fashion. This post also made me realize that there are different ways to view the lolita fashion.

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  134. I found this post really helpful, and wished I had this advice when I first tried lolita for my hen-do and my first comic con because....well my co-eds weren't the best. I wore cat ears and everything.

    Now I'm establishing what style i really like and am running with it. However, the most important thing for me is to do is to just enjoy doing it and not to feel so much pressure to be perfect. Once I do this then it would fall into place :3

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  135. OMGGGGG
    I swear that ever so called self-proclaim people who call themselves 'lolitas' should definitely read this
    VERY informative
    I agree with you all the way, people these days are changing Lolita fashion to some cheap knock off lace & frill outfit
    it somewhat ticks me off so badly. Even if I told them what Lolita actually is they'd often just slide it not once but TWICE. They're practically killing lolita fashion > <

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  136. There's so many people (who are probably ita themselves) here defending how to LOOK BAD.... when this article was MEANT not to diss you but to help you... Seriously, its a specific fashion with a specific look and rules. Talking about how you can wear it however you want to be original or have your own twist on it doesn't make something that looks bad look good. If your going to turn it into something else, why not create your own substyle and call it something else?

    I'm not saying don't be "unique" but Lolita is something that's very hard to pull off in general, and if you go and decide to experiment with no knowladge well....You can't blame others for calling you on it

    There's tons of substyles in lolita, or lolita inspired looks, but the people had the GOOD SENSE to make it a subcategory or a different style in general. A good example Punk lolita where you can wear ugg boots and motorcycle jackets, or Deco Lolita, where the focus is accesories. Oh and HIME GYARU.... which has a lot of lolita-esque elements but its a different style alltogether

    So if you want to wear LOLITA without doing any of the things required of the style... well then.... it's just either not lolita or a style derived/ inspired on it.

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  137. im confused >.< this just told me i cant wear anything beacuse its not lolita?

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  138. Of course not don't be silly XP , Like others mentioned, you can wear whatever you want or like, I'm just pointing out that if you mix things into Lolita that aren't traditionally part of that style, then you'll most likely wind up creating something else. Therefore shouldn't claim it's Lolita if it does not at least follow SOME of the basic elements of the style.

    If you take a person in cybergoth fashion and decide to remove the dreadfalls, goggles, latex and neon colors... it isn’t cybergoth anymore is it? There are tons of subculture and alternative fashion styles that also have defining elements and that's why the styles have their own name, it's not just something that applies to Lolita.
    Many readers got up in arms because they believed that they were being insulted instead of given advice, which is what the article was clearly for... If I was trying to dress in a "specific style" that I have no experience in, I'd appreciate it if someone told me I was making certain mistakes, just like when I was a teenager and didn't know how to fix my hair, I thanked the person who taught me how, not got angry at them.
    But of course no one here made any claims that you shouldn’t wear what you like, it was a specific post towards the essence of a specific style, which people still have trouble grasping.

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  139. I don't agree with the anime one. Who cares if you wear anime(or TV-show)-inspired lolita? A lot of them look very nice, and some beat most other lolita! Although most of my lolita is normal, with a JSK, a blouse, and knee-high stockings, I'm making a TARDIS-inspired lolita to wear to my next convention. It's going to be breaking a lot of the "norm" for lolita. But this isn't my first lolita. So I know what to do, and what not to do. For first time lolita, don't worry! Pick something out you like (that has some of the basic elements of lolita), wear a petticoat and stockings and have fun. :) My first lolita was a nice JSK that my friend--that is a mature lolita--pointed out to me, and a blouse. With stockings and a petticoat of course! Don't forget those.

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  140. Very, very informative. I've been researching (yes, researching) about the style and looking through numerous websites, and this post was the most helpful! I'm thinking about getting into the fashion in the future, when I earn enough to afford a few dresses. Thank you so much!

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  141. This is pretty interesting. I just disagree with your statement :Keep your love of Japan out of your Lolita. That style called Wa Lolita. This is one of most lolita styles. So how can it be, that when you dress like a WA LOLITA, you're not lolita?

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  142. I just bought my first JSK (my first item to start off my wardrobe) and i believe i followed these guidelines pretty well. Im really excited to get more but at the same time it seems overwhelming at times, all the new terms and rules etc.

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  143. This is really helpful to the new lolitas I think, thank you. I will admit my first two lolita dresses were very ita...(a to short wa-loli and a bad material pink dress) But I realized about a week after I got those two that I was doing it wrong. So now I buy better and my wardrobe is getting bigger~ :)

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  144. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  145. Sorrybut i don't agree with you.. Ok, you have to be carefull with what you wear, but its ritten nowhere that "You will not be a lolita if you use this". I think a lolita can use black and white, warmers, a lot of laces and be a lolita. Its ridiculous to make rules for them. Lolita is not just the clothes, is the thinking, the crafts, the atitude, and most important, the passion.
    Dont misunderstanding me, its just my opinion. I love your blog ^^

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  146. so I just wanted to ask. You may have already made a blog post on this but I can't seem to find one. But where is the best place to buy lolita clothing at? In particular skirts and what would you recommend for a beginner. Thank you so much!! Have a great day!

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  147. It's rather refreshing to see someone blogging about how to avoid being ita without insulting everyone.

    I haven't yet bought a dress, but these guidelines are fantastic, and now I can see exactly what to steer clear of.

    Thank you so much!

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  148. Wow this is so helpful. I'm planning to buy my first outfit soon but I don't want to be labelled as an ita. Now I know what to stay clear of, thankyou~~! Btw, were are the best places to buy lolita online?

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  149. ok. what i don't really get is why a black and white lolita dress is automatically "ita". I really like black and white together. I think if the dress looks like a lolita dress and is labeled as such and is bought froma decent lolita dress maker, not somewhere like milanoo, it should be considered lolita. Judging people by the color of clothes they wear its ridiculous.

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  150. I need some help, oh mightly Caro-chan and fellow frill lovers. I have a friend who is a total trainwreck Weeaboo (foaming at the mouth Otaku) who wants to get into lolita (because it comes from Japan). I am trying to help her ease into it, but she just wants nothing but every ita item every made in the depths of Ita Hell, with a pokemon hat on top of greasy hair. I gave her my very first gothic coord, but I can't get her to wear tights, or long socks, petticoat, or even bloomers. She just runs around with just a skirt, and a top. Nothing underneath, so the floofy skirt just clings like ... eww. She piles on anime junk, and has started to hotglue, yes friends... hotglue, white cheap lace to everything and screaming that is KAWAIII-DESSUUU. It looks like a anime convention and the bowels of ita hell had a bukkake all over her. Yet, sadly... the poor thing is really really trying her hardest to look like what she thinks a lolita is. If she was just veiwing it as cosplay, maybe I could just leave it alone, but.. the poor thing really wants to be a Gothic Lolita, yet wants to be the sterotype "special snowflake" too. Maybe this is just a phase.

    Dear, dear fellow lolitas... How can I convert a Weeaboo Ita into a proper Lolita?? Now, before some people get angry, I do want to explain that a real friend would never let a friend walk around looking like a hot mess. Ever. Maybe I should try dressing her up in one of my proper coords??


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    Replies
    1. Im a otaku too :P
      Maybe you can take her home with you and gonna make-over her?
      Then she will maybe realize that she was wearing Ita the whole time?

      Delete
  151. Yo .. Thanks for these tips!
    Im just a beginner lolita fan. I don't have any lolita yet ( only self made armband & necklaces).
    Question ~ This is lolita right? http://www.hellocosplay.com/sweet-lolita-gothic-punk-jumper-skirt-gorgeous-ruffle-dress-p-5108.html or is this Ita? o.O

    x

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  152. You can be as pretty as you please but if you look down on people like so many 'Lolita' look down on 'Ita' you'll always be ugly.

    My friend who is a bit of a rainbow Ita just loves going to conventions and giving out sweets to people. You know who gave her the worst response? The 'all rules and no play' Lolita girls who worked really hard to point out she wasn't with them and that she'd be unwelcome at their tea party.

    No matter how 'correct' their dresses were they were still ugly.

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  153. Hello, I'm a beginner/ newbie lolita and I was wondering if corduroy/suedette is an appropriate material for a skirt or if it is Ita.
    The details are down here on the company website
    http://www.fanplusfriend.com/servlet/the-201/%22Bookish-Beauty%22-Classic-Lolita-cln-Steel/Detail

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  154. Although there were parts of your post that I agreed with (like using cheap quality fabric), there were also a number of parts I disagreed with.

    Personally, as someone who studies fashion design and loves different styles, I think you were being a bit too restrictive with the too many 'do-nots'. For example, under the posts where you say to not use accessories like leg-warmers and arm-warmers, believe under the right conditions with punk-lolita, it could go quite well with it. The same where you say to avoid dress with many laces/frills since I believe a lot of hime-lolita clothes look good with them.

    I think fashion is always changing and moving, and lolita fashion is no exception. Who knows, maybe one day one of these 'do-nots' might actually show up on a piece from a brand-name lolita store. Would that still make it 'ita-style' or would that suddenly an acceptable 'do' ?

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    Replies
    1. super late response but I'm pretty sure Caro wrote this with a starting lolita in mind. If you're just starting out, it's way better to start out with a couple 'don'ts' until you find out how to make them work, than to write down 'don't ever do this UNLESS it's on this or this outfit, paired with these details, which makes it a whole new sub style."

      Delete
  155. I think I will just never call my lacey girly outfits "Lolita " and be done with it. if I want to make a 1/4 kimono, 1/4 poufy skirt, 1/4 lace and 1/4 cutesy style dress then I'll just call it something else....like "girly"...no wonder girls get so self-conscious about themselves, even when your doing something you love people harshly judge you...I don't have loads of money to spend on wonderfully pretty "genuine" Lolita clothing but I want the same effect....im going to invent the "girly style". Rules...where shyt that makes your feel cute or pretty...period...I wonder how many smiling faces would join and actually feel accepted...

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  156. I have only made one mistake: my first lolita dress is a Wa Loli. And I am making it myself, so...
    But a Wa lolita dress is stil a lolita dress and i haven't made any other mistakes (so far), so I think I can proudly cal it a lolita dress, right?

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  157. i cosplay miku with a selfmade (and self designed) lolita dress, can i then still cal it lolita?

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  158. It started pretty nice, but the more i red the more i was confused about what lolita IS, but not what it ISNT. You should have put an explanetion in each paragraph what IS lolita also.
    And about myself- I really like lolita but i dont dress like that because its very expencive and not popular in mine country. Even thought I do dress like casual lolita sometimes from clothes i found especeally for that. You should have written about lolita types a little more.

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  159. The comments here are making me sad :(

    Also, I own a black-and-white dress and I thoroughly agree that it's easy to make them look awful. Bad lace really will stand out on them. My dress, an Innocent World, has really /really/ nice lace but even minor imperfections in it are noticeable because of the high contrast. On the other hand, I have a dress from Bodyline that has... average to sub-par lace, but since it is a color close to the color of the dress and isn't uncomfortable or scratchy it doesn't really stand out.

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  160. "I WILL NEVER STOP LOVING BLACKxWHITE! ^_^; Also "It's really not hard to avoid being an Ita" as long as you follow these 13-ish steps? That's a lot of info for a new lolita to take in, so I'd say it is hard to avoid being an ita when you start out unless you lurk for a long time."

    Gosh, girl! It is easy! And DO follow the steps! XD It's pretty easy if you're very careful, and only buy from places that you know are lolita, until you know the style better.
    Also, black and white is an ita staple. Try getting into it once you've gotten more coords done, and you have more knowledge for how to rock the look.

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  161. I would say on the Wa-lolita front that my first lolita was a (homemade) Wa-lolita and it went over pretty well. It's easier to make it look less like a costume if you stick with cotton prints as opposed to brocade or "cheap" fabrics. I'm really fond of some bodyline wa-lolita dresses where they reused a couple of their regular lolita boarder print fabric (L300 and L347). The biggest problem I've seen in Wa-lolita is having the wrong sleeves, which make it look kinda like a kimono Halloween costume.
    If you wanna judge if I was successful you can find my dress among a mountain of words here: [link]

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  162. Thank you so much! I've only just started with Lolita and I'm completely lost! I don't know anyone who does it, so I've been using the internet. Also, I was wondering if you need to have a collar on your blouses because my mom just bought me this ruffly blouse with no collar, just a ruffle that goes up my neck. Is it suitible enough to wear, or do I need to make it a collar?
    Thanks again!

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  163. You had my until you mentioned black and white. That is the best color combination.

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    1. Then you must have not even finished reading the rest of the part about black and white, because in no way am I condemning the color combo, but suggesting you avoid cheap looking black and white dresses.

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    2. Did you skip where she talked about how to make black/white look good or...?

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  164. I'm only just exploring Lolita and haven't started wearing it (still deciding how much I want to dedicate to the style because I want to do it right!) but I don't understand why people this this article is elitist or difficult to understand. I really liked it personally.

    Ok, so maybe I'm biased because I'm studying costume for performance and I'm a seamstress/costumier but everything said here makes perfect sense. I have a very good understanding of fabric because of my occupation but even someone who knows nothing about fabric can tell the difference between a cheap polyester costume satin and a good quality silk satin or cotton sateen.

    I think the trick is just to not be so frightened by the rules, I know it's overwhelming but it's like learning anything new, it all starts to become easy over time. So long story short: thanks, I found this immensely helpful! :D

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  165. I have a question. If you were to add "anime" features to a lolita outfit, wouldn't it then become Cosplay Lolita?

    (Forgive me I'm a newbie to this and trying to correctly recognize the subcategories ;u; )

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  166. Hi, I'm completely new to Lolita and I found this beautiful dress online, could you tell me if it's Ita or the lace isn't good or something? Or is it ok to buy? Please? I'm not all that rich so I want to do this right. http://www.tidecosplay.com/purple-blue-cotton-classic-lolita-dress_p410.html

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    1. Hm... that website seems like a scam website to me. I don't know if I would trust it...

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  167. @Uchicha Riddle: It's hard to tell the quality of lace from that picture (the big lace section on the skirt looks very questionable), but there's a TON of it, which means that it's going to be really obvious if the lace turns out to be bad. If you want a relatively inexpensive hime OP, maybe try Chess Story's La Robe de Cinderella (http://www.qutieland.com/product.php?id=1419). You can probably find it less expensive elsewhere, but I linked to Qutieland because they're very easy to use and ordering taobao stuff can be daunting.

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  168. I do get this, I do, but I myself am still just gonna get what it is I like, even if it is considered an "Ita" look. My reasoning? I'm not a Lolita, but I love the style and like to wear it now and then. What I feel like wearing changes daily. One day I'll look like I just came out of a GWAR concert, the next I'll look like an innocent little preteen who likes skirts and pink. It all depends on my mood. I kind of planned on making my first Lolita-style dress (mainly because it'd be so much cheaper to buy a pattern, some nice fabric, and whatever little things I'd need to decorate it to my liking), or if I can't do that, then just buy something I like and modify the hell out of it until I want to marry it. (Not literally. You get what I mean, right?) But that's just me, and trust me I respect what you said in this article. I'm just a rebellious little shit who will do what she wants anyway. Though I'm definitely keeping a few of these tips in mind...

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  169. Here's My take on it........Who cares? If people like what they wear, why should anyone judge them for not being a 'real lolita'. If You don't like people judging Your Lolita style, why would You judge other poeple for not 'getting it right'. It's a fashion, it's just clothes, it's just self expression, it's not a religion for goodness sake. Stop taking the clothes You wear so seriously. It's about having fun and feeling great about Yourself and how cool You look. Cosplay looks cool too. Mix it up and be Yourself. You won't burn in Lolita hell if You do. :P

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  170. Dear lolis=^_^= I need your help!>_< so i planned to experiment a little bit and create this more gangster lolita but keep everything the same a part from the accessories basically instead of cute stockings i wanted to use gun tattoo tights and add a gold dollar chain would i still be considered ita? oh and i wasnt planning on adding any of the donts i have been into lolita for long enough to know that most of the dresses you find on milanoo ebay or mylittlebox arent actually lolita>w<yehet;) Thank you!

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  171. Can someone help me? I love lolita, and I've been looking online at it for about a year now, but I have only bought one thing... I'm broke, and my parents don't let me buy it because they think it's weird and that I would look like an idiot in public. The only way I could get my hands on something that was considered lolita was for halloween. I wanted to be a bunny, so I found an adorable bunny ear blouse on taobao! (I hope bunny blouses aren't considered "Ita." I see it a lot on lolitas who don't seem very "Ita"-ish... I'm pretty sure I understand the whole Ita thing, but just and case...) Unfortunately, my parents wouldn't let me get anything else, so I just wore the bunny blouse on Halloween with jeans and sneakers. :( It makes me feel a little discouraged; I'm afraid of what people would think of me... I would love to get to buy lolita stuff and wear it all of the time, but even my parents seem like they would be embarrassed! I even talked to my boyfriend, who said that he thinks it's cute, but it will seem like I'm desperately trying to get attention, which I'm not. I just really like the style... But my clothing style already does stand out a bit. I tend to wear things with bright colors and knee socks. (Or bright colored knee socks! XD) People sometimes look at me strangely. I even one time was laughed at... But wearing lolita would stand out so much more than what I already wear, so I'm really nervous... Help?

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    1. I personally have found that it's just a matter of pure self-confidence. You simply have to flat out decide that you will look how you want to look. If anyone comments rudely, simply remind them politely that they don't have to look at you if they don't like it. Your image is not vital to their well-being. It can be very difficult at first, but once you get into this super healthy mindset, it's a lot easier to maintain. I wish you all the best luck with your future fashion endeavors, and I hope I've helped to encourage you to be your own person. Sayonara (pardon my romaji)! :)

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  172. Great post! :3 I heard of the term ita a little bit in one video, and was firstly pretty confused :D
    I actually like some of the "lolita fails", but I´m not a lolita and never was, so no lolita rules for me, hehe :D
    I sometimes try to wear something with a little lolita-touch, puffy skirts (but shorter than actuall loli skirts), blouses and so, but it´s always just inspired by the style, so I never call it lolita, mostly just lolita-inspired :)

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  173. Awesome post! ^_^ I've been curious about Lolita fashion for some time now, and I don't want to get overly ambitious with coordinates right away. I don't think I'd be THAT ambitious though, so I think I'll be just fine haha! Thank you for writing about this, even though it was years ago!

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  174. Well, you know what they say! You can't spell lolita without ita, and lolita without ita is just LOL.

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