Please Note: This popular Japanese street style has nothing to do with the book, “Lolita.”
I recently visited my amazing friend, Laura, in Portland for a really fun Lolita meet up! I met Laura on Instagram and immediately fell in love with her style. She wears adorable, pastel dresses and, like me, loves kawaii things. We’ve been chatting back and forth for a while and I randomly suggested that I go visit her and, if it was okay, try out the Lolita style. I’ve been interested in this specific Japanese street fashion and was interested to see it in person and test it out. As you might know, I love all things cute. Lolita style seemed right up my alley. Laura said she’d love to style me and from there we scheduled a date for our meet up.
Now, what is Lolita? According to Lolitafashion.org, “Lolita is a Japanese street fashion inspired primarily by the clothing and general aesthetics of the Rococo and Victorian periods. This fashion movement started in Japan in the 1980’s and has evolved greatly since.” Lolita communities have popped-up all over the world. These communities are inclusive, welcoming spaces for all that love the Lolita style. It’s pretty cool.
The day arrived for our first meet and I was a mixture of excited and nervous. I mean, what if she didn’t like me? And worse, what if her clothes didn’t fit? So much pressure! Luckily Fletch joined me on the adventure to help with photos/video and his presence definitely made me feel more comfortable so I could be my outgoing self.
Laura already had an outfit picked out for me upon arrival so I changed into my cute, lolita look and then we began taking photos. Something I learned very quickly is that being a Lolita involves lots of photos, which I love! It was fun posing with these adorable ladies and figuring out different looks. I kind of ended up just doing my usual poses but oh well. haha!
After getting dressed and taking a few photos in Laura’s apartment we met up with a few other Lolitas to take more photos and do a little shopping. I had a lot of fun walking around with these ladies. We stopped into shops that looked appealing, grabbed bubble tea, ate cupcakes and sushi (not at the same time) and just enjoyed each other’s company. I don’t really have an opportunity to do that so it was really nice.
So here is what I learned from the experience. First off, I loved dressing in the Lolita style. I already love being cute and feminine and this style is a essentially a heightened version of my daily look. I think what really sold me though was how wonderful the other Lolitas are. I mean seriously, they welcomed me, a newb trying it out for the first time, into their group without hesitation and were super-nice, sweet, kind, and all around lovely. They made me feel like a member of their crew and that made me feel so special.
Something I was a little surprised about was the amount of attention the group received walking around. We had people stopping us to take photos, men hollering from their cars, and lots of comments said about us while walking around. The attention wasn’t all bad necessarily just something I guess I’m not totally used to. As I said, Fletch was along for the journey and wrote down a few things that people said.
“Are you all in a group or something?”
A little girl said, “I like your costumes.”
“What’s the occasion?”
“You all look like cupcakes.”
“Look at all the Barbies right there.”
Lastly, a man honked his horn and when we looked he shouted, “Awooga! Ow! Ow! Woo!” It was kind of animalistic.
My final thought? I give this two thumbs up! If you are interested in trying out Lolita I definitely recommend you finding a local community and chatting with its members. It was a really rewarding experience and if you want to try it out I would say go for it! The only downside is that the dresses are pricey (around $250 for one) so keep that in mind. Again, use those awesome community members to learn more and figure out if you want to try it. I think it is definitely worth the effort.
P.s. I made a video to go along with the post! Check it out on my YouTube channel or below!