Different Types of Japanese Lolita Fashion

What is the style of dress popularized by Japanese youth? What is Lolita fashion? Is Lolita fashion suppose to be sexy? How do I dress like a Japanese Lolita? What is goth Lolita? What is the classic Lolita? What is the name for the fashions worn by

Although Lolita fashion is now seen almost world wide it is still best associated with Japan and the female Japanese youth. It likely originated in the late 1970's as an offshoot of punk rebellion where it was embraced whole heartedly in the Japanese fashion districts, specifically in the Kansai district and later the Harajuku area of Tokyo.

Lolita fashion is sometimes referred to as Harajuku fashion, however Harajuku fashion includes a few other types of dress including cos-play.

Lolita fashion is reminiscent of the Rococo or Victorian periods.

As girls often blend styles, and the styles do change it is hard to define one from the other. It should be noted that while Lolita is mostly worn by women, there are clothes for the male counter parts. In general Lolita is not viewed as a sexual fashion, rather it is more for the general attention of others and to look “cute”, or rather like a Victorian style doll.

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Components of Lolita Fashion for Females

There are 6 classic components, not all are required for the complete look, they include:

  • Head wear – bow or Victorian style hat
  • Blouse – usually long sleeved, optional on hot days
  • Dress or Skirt – larger at the bottom, being no shorter than 2 inches (5 cm) above the knee
  • Bloomers – or petticoat, to “poof” out the skirt
  • Socks – knee high, above the knee, or stockings
  • Shoes – often closed toe shoes, either flats or wedges, boots may be worn, Mary Jane style shoes are most common, stiletto heels would never be worn.

Most Popular Lolita Styles

Classic Lolita

Classic Lolita is not as extreme as the other forms, it is very Victorian except that the skirts are short, usually knee length. The waist tends to be quite high. Shoes tend to be more practical than other Lolita footwear, and the style is more mature and elegant rather than “cute”. The silhouette is tight on top with a larger skirt on bottom, it could be described as “bell shape”.

Sweet Lolita - pictured above

Sweet Lolita tends to be one of the more popular styles, it is considered to be very “cute” with the wearers dressing to appear very much like cute Victorian dolls. Colors are pastels, with pink being quite common. Bows in the hair are common, purses are often very childlike, in the shape of fruits, pink puppies, and so forth. Socks are usually knee high, with cute shoes, often flat. It is also often called SweetLoli.

Gothic Lolita

Gothic Lolita is usually a darker form of Classic Lolita. Gothic Lolita clothing is black which may be accented with purple, red,or white, while still maintaining the Lolita silhouette. Accessories are true to goth culture, that of silver jewelry featuring skulls and crosses. It may also be referred to as GothLoli.

Punk Lolita

Punk Lolita fashion is another spin on the classic Lolita, with the fabrics often being torn in punk style, plaids are usually also incorporated. Accessories would be safety pins stuck through the fabric and the hair on the punk Lolita would be less “cute” and more punk.

Other Information on Lolita Fashion

Please note the above are only the most popular Lolita fashion trends there are many other sub-genres of this form of dress.

Many Lolita's come out on Sunday to the Harajuku area to show off their clothing.

Hair is often dyed a lighter color, or wigs are worn, with the hair styled very much like a Victorian doll; lots of ringlets and bows, or pony tails.

The Lolita lifestyle, for those that go beyond the fashion, is one of femininity, with the girls baking, sewing, and so forth, while surrounding themselves with things of beauty.

It must be stressed that Lolita fashion is not about sex appeal.


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Peter Bilton
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Posted on Apr 14, 2012
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Posted on Apr 14, 2012