What is Lolita?
Lolita is a very hard style to define, but in my opinion what really defines it is it's childlike innocence and old-fashioned elegance. It's distinctive style is most obviously from the Victorian and Rococo eras, but you will see a lot of influence from the Edwardian period and even some 40s and 50s American clothing styles - any time period in which fashion was elegant and beautiful. The bell-shaped skirt provides the typical silhouette, but it is neither what makes something lolita nor is it required of all lolitas. There is no one item of clothing or a color or trim that embodies all that is lolita - it is a unique aesthetic that's hard to perfect. To some there's a lifestyle attached - not only wearing the clothes as often as possible but also taking part in lolita activities and following a certain code of etiquette - but to others it is merely a clothing style. Lolita can be an escape from the mundane, or an attempt to return to a more innocent time in life. It's something a little bit different to everyone, but what lolitas have in common is a shared desire to wear really awesome clothes.
There are several different types of lolita, gothic lolita, sweet lolita, punk lolita, etc.
I'm more drawn to sweet lolita.
Some of the major DONTs in Lolita that I know are
1) using fabrics like satin.
2) BAD LACE. i.e. Raschel
3) cat ears. THAT IS NOT LOLITA.
4) DON'T GET ANYTHING FROM MILANOO
5) HOT TOPIC IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA. IT IS CHEAP AND ITA LOOKING. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT
6) MAXI PAD HEADDRESSES USUALLY DON'T WORK ANYMORE
7) Don't buy on ebay unless you're experienced. ALWAYS look at reviews on egl and such.
Stay away from lace monster dresses. There is a thing called too much lace.
Some Lolita DOs:
1) ACCESSORIZE. Just don't go overboard.
2) Bodyline is the a great place to get lolita stuff from.
3) Qutieland has quite an assortment of brands and replicas. They get positive reviews and I would recommend them.
4) Taobao is good (same brands as on Qutieland, sometimes cheaper even), but you will have to use a shopping service such as this.
5) Themed coords are adorable. Such as Doctor Who lolita, Harry Potter lolita, circus lolita, etc.
6) Do something cute with your hair! Elegant curls, braids, etc. If you have short hair, maybe wear a cute hat, or a appropriately sized bow! (Big bows with short hair look slightly odd). You can even use a bunch of cute hair clips if you're doing OTT Sweet!
If you have anymore, feel free to add on.
Also, wigs are another topic. Two tone wigs are cute, soft curls, and etc., work for sweet lolita on other types.
Simple things like that can keep you from being called an ita, which is, well, a BAD lolita.
Some BAD examples of Lolita (ita basically):
some GOOD examples of Lolita:
I will add more to this post as anyone else gives me some Lolita tips or I come up with more.
If you have any pictures or yourself in Lolita, feel free to post. Also if you have any questions about whether something is either ita or lolita, you can ask here as well.