How to Be a Sweet Lolita

Lolita fashion is a subculture that began in Japan that is primarily influenced by Victorian children’s clothing as well as fashion from the Rococo period.

Sweet Lolita fashion places its focus on the child-like aspects of Lolita design. It uses colorful prints, lace, and ribbons to emphasize the cuteness in the design.


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    Look for lightly-colored accessories. Items such as purses, head dresses, and socks with designs like flowers, music notes, candy or anything sweet printed on them (knee-highs or over the knee socks).
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    Go for frilly and sweet. You can still wear dark colors, but it should definitely be toned down. Popular colors are mostly pastels: pink, sax blue, white/cream, pale yellow, mint green, & lavender.
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    Explore options for head wear. A Lolita almost always adds decoration to her hair, because it would be a wasted surface if one could not slap a bow on it. The traditional head covering is the headdress, which may come in all shapes and sizes, but is typically rectangular so that it may arch over the head like a headband.
    • The Alice bow is also popular. This is a large bow made to sit on top of the head. Smaller bows, such as on barrettes and elastic bands, may also be used if one wants a less overpowering look. Hair corsages are more common among classic Lolitas, as are vintage-style hats.
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    Try looking for blouses. In general, Lolitas prefer to minimize exposed skin, and so shoulders are, of course, usually covered. Most jumper skirts are made to be worn over a blouse. A typical Lolita blouse buttons in the front and features a collar which is, traditionally, in the rounded Peter Pan style.
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    Wear a bell-shaped skirt. The ideal Lolita silhouette is of the bell shape, whether or not she is wearing a dress or a skirt. This shape is achieved thanks to the petticoats and bloomers beneath the skirt. A skirt which cannot fit enough petticoats underneath to achieve this shape is usually improper for the style. A Lolita skirt should be no shorter than 2" above the knee.
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    Shirts/Dresses shouldn't show any cleavage, or shoulders. If you're wearing a jumper-skirt (Like a lolita dress, but sleeveless), wear a blouse underneath. Lolita fashion aims to be cute and modest and is not supposed to be a sexy style! Your skirt should go 1" above the knee usually.
    • A Lolita dress for £200 will probably be worth it. Brands like Angelic Pretty and Baby The Stars Shine Bright will never let you down. Love them and look after anything you purchase from there. If you want cheaper brands with an effect that almost matches, look at Anna House and Metamorphose. When it comes to blouses, bloomers, and shoes, use Bodyline.
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    Undergarments. An often ignored but vital key to a proper Lolita's attire, bloomers and petticoats should top every new Lolita's shopping list. A proper petticoat is necessary to achieve that bell shape that is so essential to the Lolita silhouette, while bloomers are necessary to retain a young Lolita's modesty.
    • You may be asking yourself, "But why should I need such fancy undergarments if nobody else is going to see them?" Because you are wearing a skirt in the shape of a bell. You may recall that if a real bell swings upwards, much as a bell-shaped skirt may do when a Lolita is moving around, the interior becomes quite visible. For a Lolita with naught but her hot pink Hello Kitty panties underneath, this is unacceptable. Wearing a set of matching bloomers keeps one's thighs--and all else--well protected from the casual eye.
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    Show no legs. Though a Lolita's skirt may scandalously reveal her knees, a Lolita tends not to expose her legs too often, as this would be improper. It is generally good practice to cover one's legs at least up to the knee, which means wearing knee-length socks.
    • Other options include over-knee socks, stockings, and opaque tights. Sheer tights tend to be too "sexy" for Lolita, while ankle socks, especially those topped in lace, remind one too much of unassociated subcultures such as Sissy, and are simply less flattering on people's legs.
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    Footwear. The traditional footwear of choice for Lolitas is the Mary Jane, but similar options are available. A proper Lolita shoe should feature a closed, rounded toe as well as chunky, thick heels or platforms (although flats are also an option).
    • Boots fitting into this criteria are quite common with brands, though care must be taken not to go too edgy in one's boot choice. Another favorite style, owing to the popularity of Vivienne West-wood in Japan, are rocking horse shoes.
    • Socks are very important at the moment. In Lolita it is fashionable to have pretty, high socks. Prints on socks always look cute! Find prints with gingham, cakes/sweets, animals, bows, hearts, musical notes, etc.
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    Try going to a thrift store! They have some things that could be modified with a little extra lace or ribbon that may turn out very nice.
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    Decide on your hair. It must be a style suited to Lolita, such as pigtails or curls. If you think you would like to wear a wig for Lolita, make sure it does not look fake; get a high-quality one from eBay. Also important: make sure you have a fringe, and that it does not go over your eyes.
    • For headbands, try bows, bonnets, headdresses and flowers
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    Have Lolita-style makeup. Facial stickers are adorable, light pink blusher is a must-have! Eyelash extensions, if worn, must not be too long or else they will look bad.
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    Have a toy with you. This is optional. Hello Kitty or other cute stuffed animals are a good way to go.
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    If you have a boyfriend, get them to dress elegantly with you if you can convince them.
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    Remember to be yourself, don't lose your personality in the fashion!
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    Smile in your pictures! Take Purikura pictures with your friends if you can! It's a great, fun activity.
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    Go out in groups with other Sweet Lolitas.


  • If people tease you, just ignore them. If you're feeling particularly charitable, try to explain about the style. Do not get mad or insult them back!
  • Remember that your attitude is also an important part of your style. Lolita fashion emphasizes elegance, modesty, and cuteness, so if you wear it, be polite, friendly and courteous. This is especially important if you plan to attend Lolita meet-ups or conventions.
  • For fabric and lace, do not buy anything shiny! Use cotton and polyester only! Other fabrics are usually cheap, costume-like and scratchy, which ruins the Lolita look.
  • Popular hairstyles are pigtails, curls, or straight hair with blunted bangs.
  • If you're on a budget, try buying from less expensive brands like Bodyline and Anna House. However, cheaper brands can be low quality, so make sure to check the details of the dress as much as you can, looking at the lace, design, and fabric. The best thing to do is save your money until you can afford a brand dress (like Baby, Angelic Pretty, Innocent World, Victorian Maiden, etc.). You can also look for cheap deals or try to bargain at the egl_comm_sales on Live Journal. Or you could try your hand at sewing! The Gothic and Lolita Bible usually includes sewing patterns from designer brands, and the magazine itself is about $20 (you can order it online or through Borders/Barnes and Noble).
  • To get more tips on Lolita fashion, pick up an issue of The Gothic and Lolita Bible, it can be found at Borders for $20 and includes sewing patterns, pictures, interviews, and tutorials!
  • To find high-quality Lolita clothing, try BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT or Angelic Pretty; both have online stores. (Keep in mind, both are very expensive) is less expensive and can have good quality clothing if you shop carefully. Avoid anything with "costume" in the label.


  • Don't use cheap materials; they will tear easily and ruin the look.
  • WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T TRY TO LOOK SEXY! It ruins the look and other Lolitas will look down on you.
  • Lolita can attract unwanted attention from certain people if you go out in public. Follow general safety precautions while going out into public.
  • Do not use cheap lace, it irritates the skin...
  • Some lolitas may look down on you if you don't have all brand clothing, this does not mean you SHOULD have all brand clothing however, as it is very expensive and most lolitas will not look down on you for not having brand. If they do though, then they are probably not the kind of people you want to spend time with in the first place, so don't let it bother you, you are not any less of a lolita for not having brand.
  • Lolita online communities are usually very drama filled! It's best to avoid these communities if you don't want to be involved in drama.

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Categories: Japanese Fashion