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If you happen to be a fan of anime (a Japanese form of animation), then you probably know all about Lolita fashion. Just in case you’re not a fan yet and you don’t know its history though, here’s a brief rundown of the very popular trend.
If you were to walk down the streets of Japan, you’d likely see many women, of all ages, in baby doll-type dresses; each would represent a different kind of theme. At first, you'd probably think it had something to do with the history of cosplay. However, this kind of look earned the name “Lolita” because Lolita is a slang term for sexually-advanced Japanese pre-teens, hinting that the trend, as well as the story, is not exactly romantic. While we’re not sure how many people actually know that little tidbit of trivia, these days, Lolita is a huge international fashion trend.
Now that we’ve broken down a cliff note-version of what Lolita fashion is, here are 11 different forms of Lolita fashion that are all the rage when it comes to current fashion trends.
Before everyone got into Lolita fashions, it was mostly Japanese schoolgirls who were wearing them. The kind of Lolita style that was their favorite, hands down, was the Sweet Lolita. It’s still a fan favorite even now.
What makes a Sweet Lolita stand out from the other Lolitas? It’s so childlike that “sweet” is probably the first adjective that comes to mind whenever someone sees this look. Typically, it has tons of pastels, ruffles, bows, and girly prints. Also, this kind of Lolita likes to wear wigs with lots of ringlet curls and ribbons too.
Another “form” of the Sweet Lolita is the Bittersweet Lolita, although it’s a term that was coined in the West. What makes it different from the traditional Sweet Lolita? Just one thing: incorporating the color black while wearing Lolita clothes.
What’s a Punk Lolita? It’s actually a subset of the overall Lolita demographic; one that’s inspired by British punk styles, only rather than merely incorporating chains, studs, safety pins, and deconstruction into the look, Punk Lolita is also about ruffled skirts and feminine blouses.
Not to say that the Punk Lolita is as “girlie” as say, the Sweet Lolita is. You might find a pair of tight pants or leggings underneath their bell-shaped skirt, and you’d probably be hard-pressed to see them rocking any outfit that’s pastel-colored. Plus, as far as cosmetics and accessories go, they tend to lean on the side of creepy rather than cutesy (like maybe a skull or black make-up).
Make no mistake about it, if you happen to see a Punk Lolita walking by, you’ll know it! (Just like with every other kind of Lolita.)
Initially, you might think that a Country Lolita is someone who’s a fan of country music, but that’s not exactly the origin of its name. This kind of Lolita is a lover of styles that are customarily inspired by the countryside or Victorian farms.
If the Country Lolita look had parents, they would be Classic Lolita (which we’ll get into in just a bit) and Sweet Lolita. However, these Lolita dresses feature accessories that are signature country. It’s not uncommon to see pigtails with ribbons, wicker purses, ankle socks with lace, and maybe even a straw hat or two.
The dresses lean towards the minimal side, but the prints are oftentimes floral and uber-feminine in light hues. Oh, and you’ll probably see more blousy tops for this look too. Perfect for a sunny day outdoors.
If you’re someone who likes all things Gothic, like the Lolita aesthetic, and want to appear more mature, this might be the kind of style you’d prefer.
An Aristocrat Lolita are the kind of Lolitas who would’ve been featured in a period film (if Lolitas existed back then). That’s because of the long skirts, plain black or white attire (although sometimes you might see an accent of color), and very old-school type of accessories.
Unlike some of the younger Lolita looks, you will not see a lot of ruffles and lace with them; striking features are preferred. When it comes to all of the different forms of Lolita fashion, this is one that even your grandmother could get into—if she could be convinced to get into this sort of thing!
Now that you’ve seen some of the Japanese Lolita looks, it’s a bit difficult to imagine a “toned-down version,” isn’t it? This is where the Casual Lolita comes in. It’s the kind of fashion style that if you couldn’t imagine going a day without, and you needed to go to a job that has a semi-strict dress code, you just might be able to pull this off.
Casual Lolitas prefer petticoats over the huge poofy skirts, and, as far as accessories go, they tend to prefer to wear as little of them as possible. They might put on a hat or put on some opaque tights. The colors they prefer? Usually neutrals or black and white patterns.
It’s a “conservative” kind of Lolita fashion. Still a Lolita one nonetheless.
Every girl has some princess in her. The Hime Lolita is an offshoot of the Lolita fashion that celebrates this fact.
The inspiration of Hime Lolita fashion is Hime Gyaru fashion; a look that also focuses on cultivating a regal look. As far as the outfits themselves, the skirts are usually shorter than usual Lolita ones, but it’s the accessories that really make this particular theme standout. That’s because you’re typically going to see tiaras, pearl jewelry, elbow-length gloves, and very high heels (knee-highs or thigh-highs optional).
The blouses lean on the verge of being almost gaudy, and the hair is either really long or in an updo. This look also takes cosmetics up a notch with the help of false eyelashes and elaborate nail décor, too; perfectly combining with these 10 Japanese makeup brands everyone should know about.
It’s one of those different forms of Lolita fashion that you definitely won’t forget should you ever happen to see a woman wearing it. We promise you that!
There’s something odd, yet cool, about this particular Lolita style. It’s called Kodona Lolita, although it has another name that it goes by too: BoyStyle. Basically, it’s the “boy version” of the Lolita look.
Technically, it doesn’t fall into Lolita category. Think of it as being more like a stepsister or second cousin of the look. Because it incorporates so many Lolita touches however, many people assume that it is a part of the Lolita family.
Who likes to wear this look the most? It kind of depends on who you ask. Men and women alike are HUGE FANS of it, and out of all the Lolita looks, this is one we don’t see fading out any time soon. There is an odd sophistication to it that makes it workable for so many—regardless of age or gender.
This model’s skirt looks a bit like a French maid, doesn’t it? We picked this picture on purpose because guess what “Ero” in Ero Lolita stands for? It’s all about outfits that have touches of eroticism in them; it’s about adding a few hints of sexiness while wearing Lolita styles.
As you can see from this outfit, Ero Lolitas aren’t always looking to show more skin. It’s more about getting creative as far as accessories go. An Ero Lolita may decide to wear a garter with her outfit, or maybe some leather or bondage items. It’s also not uncommon to see a corset, bustier, or some old-school bloomers to finish off the look.
Out of all of the different forms of Lolita fashion, this one is considered one of the most difficult to pull off, but the most confident and biggest fans of Lolita fashion have. No regrets.
If your closet is filled with black clothes, a Kuro-style Lolita gown will fit right in. That’s actually what Kuro means—“black” in Japanese. The look consists of wearing nothing but black from head-to-toe.
At a first glance, you might think there’s not much of a difference between Kuro and another popular look, Elegant Gothic Lolita. On one hand, Elegant Gothic Lolita is technically a sub-style of the Lolita trend. Plus, women who prefer to wear Elegant Gothic Lolita don’t necessarily choose black, just darker hues (you can distinguish a Pirate Lolita by the black they prefer to wear, too).
On the other hand, as far as Kuro goes, it’s the exact opposite of Shiro Lolitas. What are those? Those are women who, rather than wearing all black, they opt to wear all white. If you were to Google Kuro or Shiro fashions, oftentimes you’d see two models, one wearing each hue. In the Lolita fashion world, it’s called “twinning.”
Although women of all ages are into Lolita fashion, the Classic Lolita is the one that most teens would probably take a pass on. That’s because it’s another one that has more of the “mature” look, as far as Lolita styles go.
The Classic Lolita is less about being a “cutie pie” and more about looking as elegant as possible. In fact, some Classic Lolita styles are so toned-down that they can pass for party dresses more than an obvious Lolita look.
As far as color schemes go, these dresses are more of a muted set of hues or even jewel tones. Sometimes you might see floral prints or solid colors that have more of a neutral look to them. Also, the length of the skirts is typically more modest; an A-line instead of the traditional bell-shapes.
Women who want to ease into the Lolita scene should probably try this style first.
We all know people who are doing the absolute most when it comes to their fashion choices. Well, if they are into Lolita fashion, they would probably fall into this particular theme.
OTT stands for Over-The-Top. It’s when a Lolita fan figures out a way to combine as many Lolita brands as possible into one outfit from the dress to the accessories to even the height of the hair.
While you could be an OTT Lolita no matter what particular look you’d prefer—Gothic, Country, etc.—the most popular look is an OTT Sweet Lolita. Usually it features huge wigs, pastel colors, and dresses that are a tad bit shorter than the length of standard Lolita looks.
As if Lolita fashion wasn’t eye-catching enough, OTT Lolitas taken things to the next level and beyond!