What makes something lolita?

There are a ton of sources out there on what lolita actually is and what you're supposed to wear, but I fear half of them are innacurate and the other half are very biased....but what do you expect? Everyone puts their own twist on a fashion subculture.

First and foremost, the major identifying trait in lolita fashion is the silhouette. You always want to have a knee-length skirt that has a bell or "cupcake" shape to it. This is acheived if you have a circle skirt or any full skirt paired with a petticoat underneath it.

The second trait is lack of skin showing. That's right, in most cases, you will never see bare shoulders or bare legs in lolita and you will certainly never see cleavage. The goal of lolita is to be cute and modest.

Being modest generally entails a blouse or shirt that buttons up to the neck and has sleeves, whether they be short and ruffled or long sleeves. But just any old blouse doesn't make it lolita.

A pointed collar usually doesn't look so cute and soft. But a peter pan collar, which is a rounded collar, works really well in lolita fashion. Does it have some lace detailing on it? What about the rest of the shirt? If the answer is yes, this blouse could probably work. But don't buy a shirt loaded up with lace and think it's lolita....

Which brings me to my next point. Lace.

A lot of lolitas can be pretty anal about the quality of their lace and for good reason. Cheap and scratchy lace doesn't look good on anything, lolita or not, and it certainly isn't comfortable to wear. Cheap lace is what you find on lolita costumes, and you don't want to look like you're wearing a half-assed costume.

So opt for clothing that has a small amount of a good quality lace and you're good to go!

Ok, so we've covered skirts and blouses and lace....let's move on. In addition to those garments, you can also invest in:

A jumperskirt (JSK)


A "onepiece" dress

Both of these items can be worn with a blouse underneath, but the onepiece can easily go without as it also has sleeves. And for those lolitas who live in very warm climates, I will excuse a jumperskirt sans blouse.

Now that we have your lolita base, we need to add some accessories. These could be headdresses, mini top hats, large bows on a headband or clip, cute rings, necklaces, purses, knee-high socks, cute tights and more.

For knee-high socks, you'll generally find that they look more "lolita" if they have some lace trim on them. But cute designs on the socks will work too, especially in sweet coordinates.

There are quite a few different types of lolita out there and I'd have to go into a full summary on all of them to tell you what accessories fit best with what type -but this post has gotten long enough already, so I bid you adieu for now.


  1. thanks for the tips-i love the lolita look!


  2. I love the last dress...it's so pretty! I've never heard of lolita before, but it sounds really unique and sweet.

  3. Second dress looks stunning fashionable and.. soo cute! (: