Eccentric, Quirky & Dazzling – Harajuku Lolita fashion encompasses it all. This subculture came into existence during the 1980s and as the decades have passed, it has slowly taken over the world.

People often associate Lolita with the famous novel or the movie. However, before we touch on its history, it’s crucial to note that  Lolita fashion isn’t related to the sexual connotations that are linked to Vladimir Nabokov’s novel. The term in Japanese culture is denoted to femininity, elegance and it’s a modest aesthetic which makes it so appealing.

Cuteness Is The Revolution

Emerging as a type of street fashion in Japan, Lolita emphasizes on being cute, yet classy. This style is youthful and elegant with a doll-like aesthetic.

These fits take inspiration from Victorian and Rococo styles while evolving as it incorporates today’s street fashion in it. For some this is more than a mere fashion style, it’s a lifestyle. They participate in a lot of Lolita-like activities such as meeting and having ‘high tea’ with fellow Lolita pals. They look like they’re straight out of a child’s imagination – princesses having a tea party in the modern era.

Understanding Lolita Fashion

Ready to handle an overload of cuteness? Let’s take a deep dive into the Lolita Fashion culture.

The exact origins of Lolita fashion remain unclear however it is often said that it all started in the underground and avant-garde scene in Tokyo & Osaka, Japan. By the 1970s, Japanese clothing lines slowly adapted this fashion trend. It had started gaining a little popularity but it was actually in 1990 when Lolita Fashion gained massive popularity and now Harajuku is the home for this fashion trend. All thanks to rock bands who started to adapt to fashion which caused this style to spread all over the globe.

The Harajuku Lolita Fashion can be segregated into several types:

Gothic Lolita

An interesting mix of Gothic and Lolita fashion. It has been added as a category due to the use of darker clothes with gothic designs and details, topped off with dark make-up to complete the entire look.

Sweet Lolita

The inspiration of Sweet Lolita can be traced back to Rococo style. Adorable shades of pastel and accessories like ribbon, lace, bows, hearts, and candies help in curating a vibe that is both sweet and child-like.

Classic Lolita

This is a style that is more mature in comparison to the others. It is neither as dark as the Gothic Style nor as light as the Sweet Lolita aesthetic.

Punk Lolita

Punk Lolita is edgy! It is a unique take on the classic punk style. The looks are curated by incorporating safety pins, chains, screenprints, plaids, and boyish hairstyles.

Wa Lolita or Qi Lolita

This segment was curated to keep the traditional Japanese style alive. It is a dynamic combination of Lolita fashion merged uniquely with classic Japanese clothing.

Ouji Lolita and Dandy Lolita

The Lolita style may look very feminine and girly however the Ouji and Dandy Lolita challenges that stereotype as it’s curated for men. This style is heavily inspired by the Victorian era.

How to get the Lolita Look & Lolita Dress?

The main aim of the Lolita look is to give the wearer an innocent and youthful persona, or when paired with dark gothic pieces, it embraces the darker subculture. Whether you want to cosplay or experiment with this unique style, we’ve curated a guide on how you can embrace this fashion style.

1.   Flares, frills, and a lot of fluff!

Doll-like cute dresses, puffy skirts, and blouses are must-haves. Your choice of color can depend on which style you intend to follow. Gothic Lolita may go for black colored skirts meanwhile sweet lolita may go for adorable shades of pastel to suit her look. Typically the hem of the skirt ends under the knee, but it can also be knee-length. The skirts give a bell-shaped, A-line appearance and can be decorated with lace, ruffles, bows, or any other idea of your choice.

Jumper skirts are another popular item, usually worn above the blouse. Puffy short sleeves in Lolita dresses are also very trendy.

2.   Petticoats

A multilayered fluffy skirt is worn under a skirt or dress, and  is the foundation of the Lolita style. These petticoats give a necessary volume and extra fullness to the skirts. This base skirt is layered under a skirt in a color that complements the outfit thus, giving the outfit the needed shape.

3.   Blouses

Since Lolita fashion is inspired by the Victorian era and Alice in Wonderland vibes, blouses play a very important role in enhancing its whole look and feel. From high necklines to long sleeves, it adds a nice touch of elegance and finesse to your outfit.

As fashion has evolved over the years, stylists have started experimenting with a lot of things. Formal shirts with a feminine vibe can also be styled like tops.

4.   Outerwear

Lolita fashion often uses capes, boleros and jackets that are styled as outerwear by people, as well as puffy sleeves or the ones that gather at the wrist. Fashion experts enjoy adding their own touch to these by trimming and adding lace, which acts as the perfect dash of cuteness.

5.   Hair Accessories

Nothing acts as the perfect addition to a Lolita outfit like an adorable headpiece. Hair bows styled with headbands and combs, lacy bonnets, frills and beadworks are very popular among Lolita fashionistas. Some try wigs, bangs, and other hairstyles which make their outfit cute and elegant.

6.   Shoes

The most common footwear that Lolita’s love has to be a pair of black and white Mary Janes. Other than that, Ballerina shoes are also used to add to keep your look feminine and adorable. Knee-high socks, stockings that match your outfit in a variety of styles have also gained popularity over the years. People love to pair them with adorable bows and rainbows as decorations.

7.   Other touches

Fashion enthusiasts love pairing these outfits with earmuffs, bags, and purses that make them look like they’re a doll. They add little hints of cuteness with their cute lockets, trinkets and charm accessories.

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