So, it seems as of late that the rules of Lolita are a really popular subject and so, I’m gonna jump on the tea-party bandwagon. For those of you who don’t want to read the whole thing, I will include a TL;DR at the bottom.
In general, the so called rules of Lolita can only be loosely defined. A lot of new ladies assume that there are strict rules to follow; “Petticoats are required“, “knee-length or higher socks and stockings need to be worn“, “You can’t act like a normal person–” or whatever they misconstrue these rules as.
In reality, these rules are more of an etiquette guideline rather than a code of ethics. They help you get the general idea of how to behave and how to build your wardrobe but this should not turn into a strict adherence of “Lolita law”. If you don’t wanna drink tea, order coffee. Not all Lolita enjoy tea. In fact, many do not. Sweets and cakes aren’t the dietary staple of Lolita, while many of us enjoy it, it’s fattening and tiresome to just eat sweets. I know a lot of us enjoy a good crisp salad over cake any day.
So how does someone become obsessed with rules?
To answer that, many new-comers are obsessed with non-conformist conformity. The assumption that we all dress alike, look alike, and behave alike is stuck in their minds. The “handbooks” and “guidebooks” set out to help Lolita are turned into The 10 Commandments for some girls. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to follow the rules by the book, but so many of these rule-abiders look down their noses at Lolita who express themselves beyond these rules. Anyways, these are just there to help you build your Lolita silhouette. Lolita comes in so many different shapes, sizes, colors, races, ages and so on. It’s hard to pin it down to just a few set things.
Genres such as Sweet, Goth, Ero, Punk, Steam, Guro, etc are just main-frame foundations for you to build with! They give you a general idea, and from there you can run with it. Like, for sweet, generally you see cupcake-puff dresses with loads of cute accessories. But you don’t have to bulk up those little hair goodies. A brightly patterned dress, cute purse and some matching shoes pass you along just fine. If the co-ord is bright and fun, it can pass as sweet. You don’t have to look like you rolled around in a bakery all day katamari-ing sweets into your hair and clothing.
How do I break away from this or help others break away?
The first step in breaking away is to realize that you’re not actually breaking any rules. There are a few standards for quality, and style types but anything beyond that isn’t a rule! If you think a cake on your head will go with your Sweet Carnival print, then go ahead and do it. Venture out with your outfits; go above and beyond “the norm” of Lolita. Maintain your Lolita silhouette but, always remember that Lolita is about creativity and expressive freedom. Use this to your advantage when coordinating your outfits. That cherry red skirt will most def. go with that cotton candy pink muffler and shoes. Mix and match!, people!
If you feel like you’re not “lady-like” enough, that’s fine. So long as you’re not doing rude things such as yelling at random people during meet-ups or in general, it shouldn’t matter if you are a little louder than the other girls. You’re still a part of their group, and therefore, still Lolita in everyone else’s eyes. If you’re not, you may want to seek a more accepting and mature group to meet-up with.
In all, rules are meant to be broken and followed. We cannot judge one another for being exploratory or being ourselves. That’s what makes Lolita so unique; we’ve moved away from traditional, and totally monochrome fashion for self-expression of many different things. (Like those who strive for beauty through more modesty, OTT cuteness can still be serious and professional, Jeans and shirts just aren’t for me, etc!) For whatever reason you wear Lolita, follow the guidelines, but you don’t have to follow the rules. Be yourself, and who you think Lolita allows you to represent. The Lolita-police do not exist and those who insist they are probably should reconsider themselves.
You have that Princess Code on your site though!!
Yes, I do. I thought it was a fun meme and so I posted what I thought princesses and Lolita should do. This doesn’t make it a rule! It’s just things I like to see. Mostly, if you notice, it’s just about minding your manners. People these days tend to be ill-mannered to the point of not even saying thank you for having a door held open for them. The “code” I have written should apply to all people, not just Lolita, if you ask me. Because to me, manners are extremely important. We developed them for a reason, so we aught to use them.
tl;dr : Essentially, Lolita is too unique to have strict rules. Guidelines are what these should be taken as. General etiquette and mannerisms should be followed, but don’t be a prim little princess if that’s just not who you are. Be Y O U R S E L F.