(music: Malice Mizer - Le Ciel)
At least some people seem to be interested in this topic, so I'm explaining the different styles with pictures. A photograph tells more than some confused words.
So, the most common:
One of my favourite styles that can be recognized by dark colours, not necessarily "gothic" in a - how can you day it? - dark-minded way. This style plays often with contrasts. For example black and white, black and violet, burgundy and black details. Here are some outfits:
|Typical black x white Gothic Lolita look by one of my favourite Lolita-Lookbookers Zeruda (source)|
|another look, this time by Hello Batty (also on LB)|
|Dark blue Lolita-Outfit, by Arthael|
Think of a pink cupcake. Think of cute little dolls and huge bow. Think pink, pale blue and cream or white. Think of fabric with pattern full of fruits and sweets. Think Ama, think sweet, think Angelic Pretty (THE sweet lolita brand, google it, if you want a sugar-shock). As you may think by my description... not my favourite style. At least not when over the top. But the Sweet or Ama Lolita look can also look good, you don't have to look like an Angelic Pretty clone.
|See? That's what I'm meaning with creepy Angelic Pretty clones. (source: http://daily-lolita.livejournal.com/5114043.html#cutid1)|
|Something even I'd wear but yet very typical Ama. (source: Mari on LB)|
|another very cute combination by Zeruda.|
...is a look that's hard to get. Honestly, some girls try it and look strange. You really need to have a feeling for the Lolita appeal to still look Lolita enough and not too punk or goth. It's mostly about tartans, the infamous black x red combination, a little destruction and dirt but everything still doll-like and with a petticoat. Enjoy. I really like this look.
|She had the best Punk-Lolita outfits in my opinion. Yep. She rocks. (also via LB)|
|Another awesome look by her.|
The style I like most because it looks more mature and has a slight vintage-appeal. As I mentioned in my last post. The colours aren't too bold, the shape more a-line than bell-shaped, no big bows but lace and a few frills, but not as heavily as a Sweet Lolita. I think it is a Lolita look you can wear normally everyday.
|lovely Zeruda again.|
|The LB-queen of classic and tasteful ama imo.|
|I wonder how many wigs she has...|
A more "normal" version that is also wearable in school or at college, without getting stared at too much. In general, please understand: Every style of Lolita has nothing to do with Cosplay or anything. It's a normal style of dressing. It's just different. Most or at least many Lolitas wear every kind of style on a regular basis, maybe not daily (tho' many do so!), but when they are in the mood for dressing up. Like many other girls like putting on a nice vintage dress when they're in a dolling-up mood. They are not only wearing these clothes for photoshoots or meet-ups. Like I am wearing my Lolita clothes sometimes in the middle of the week the whole day without a reason, just because I'm in the mood to look doll-like. Eeeehm, back to topic. It is still required for Casual Lolitas to have a bell- or a-shaped skirt-part, but it is combined with simple blouses, everything is less frilly, less patterned, less complicated.
|All three outfits beautifully worn by Zeruda.|
Sooooo... now to the sub-genres. Which are more interpretations of different themes in a lolita-esque way, but they all are somehow related to the "main" styles.
As the name says. Flowers, prints, strawhats and baskets, everything which reminds someone of the countryside. This look is mostly achieved with accessory. I guess most Country Lolitas do the style in a more sweet way, but it also matches well with a Classic style.
|Another outfit by Arthael|
|Weeeell, not definitely Country, but add a straw-basket and it is. Plus: The apron is just to cute! Awww <3|
Wow, simple to explain this time! It's simply an all black/all white Lolita Outfit. The colour makes the style in this case.
|Zeruda in a Shiro-Lolita outfit|
|totally awesome Kuro-Outfit by Yuki|
A mixture between traditional Japanese/Chinese clothing and Lolita fashion.
|again by Doll Delight|
Sailor-Lolita and Pirate-Lolita
Yeeees, I'm rushing it. There are so many different topics on Lolita styles how people are creative enough to invent some. But these two are quite established. The names speak again for themselves. The keypieces to the Sailor Style are black and white or blue and white combinations, with these typical collars and hats and stripes, everything plain, without patterned fabric. Pirate Lolitas often wear tricorns, eye-patches, corsets, everything looks very 19th century.
|very cute Sailor-double (via crunchyroll.com)|
|Pirate outfit by Itaqueen|
|Lovely corset by Terttu|
Now we're coming to one of my favourite substyles. Which doesn't mean I'm a perverted lesbian ^^. Another term that is completely misunderstood because the word "erotic" is involved. It's eroticism in a Victorian way. Which means: Still modest for nowadays standard. It's mostly what people back then wore as underwear. Petticoats, suspenders, bloomers, corsets, lots of lace. Another alternative is to wear typical lolita shaped clothing (means: modest!) out of material known from the fetish-scene. Leather, PVC, maybe chokers... There's much space for creativity in this style. It is ought to be sexy, but in a subtle way. I should start wearing more of this stuff in private...
Well, to show what I mean, some GOOD examples:
|What I'm gonna wear if I should ever marry... -- Just jokin'.|
|//Fangirl-Moment: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, it's Helena Bonham Carter!!!// -- Okay. Back 2 normal. These cage skirts are quite typical for the style.|
There has been many discussions going on whether Hime Lolita is an own "style" or not. I'm listing it here, 'cause you find it quite often - at least in Japan - that Gyaru-Himes mix their style up with Lolita elements and the other way round. So, it is an even more expensive version of Lolita. Crowns, beehives, tiaras, lower necklines, a mix between a fairytale-princess and lolita.
|the typical brocade or velvet (via tumblr)|
|a very stereotype Hime Look, as it is more something like Ama with pearls and tiaras.|
Guro means Gore in this case. Yep, Gore-Lolita. Sounds strange, but looks freakin' good. A kind of broken doll-style. I - as a deeply disturbed person - love it. And it's perfect for Helloween! Honestly, not a style for every day.
|the "nice" version|
|the bloody one (http://macaron.mintroses.com/)|
Now to some lolita styles that are... well, inspired by other styles. But match surprisingly well.
Love love love! Ah, I'd kill for a good steampunk loli outfit. It's just so much work. Well, the keycolours are brown-tones and rusty reds I guess. Keypieces are goggles, corsets again, tophats, monocles, gear-wheels, everything mechanical...
|Adorable and perfect. (source)|
|the accessory must have been such an amount of work... (via tumblr)|
The name explains it. Another style I like. Very wearable.
|Another thing on my "To-Buy"-List: A military cap like this!|
Weeell, and there's also stuff like a mix between Decora and Lolita. It's basically Sweet Lolita with even more colourful wigs and tons of hairclips. I haven't seen this outside Harajuku. Not often at least. So I'm sparing you another Sweet Lolita sub-thing.
But there are more styles that are associated with Lolita. For example...
Which is quite similar to the black romantic Gothic style. The terms EGA (Elegant Gothic Aristocrat) and EGL (Elegant Gothic Lolita) were originally created by Mana, former band leader of Malice Mizer (see music box at the top ^_-) and designer (Moi-Même-Moitié). He's got a voice in lolita-fashion... Insider joke. Sorry. However he had a great influence on Lolita fashion, especially the darker side. He formed these tags to describe his own brand, but the term Aristocrat could also be used for any kind of Gothic fashion inspired by the 19th century. Corsets for women (Madame is a term also used for the feminine version of the style) in combination with long skirts, often with ruffles and bustles, frocks, cylinders and round old-fashioned glasses and pocket-watches for men, everything in dark colours of course.
|Shiro-version of an Aristocrat outfit. via tumblr|
|but hell yes, you can also combine it with these boots...|
|Doll D. again. Ah, I love her clothes. Most of 'em.|
This could be considered as the male version of Lolita clothing. Kodona is more something like the Western term, in Japan they're using Ouji, which means "prince". Again, very Victorian/19th/early 20th century-inspired. Keypieces here are suspenders, trousers in capri-length, bowlers, vests, longer socks to cover the leg, everything very boyish. Of course there are also real boys wearing this style, but here in Europe... hm, I've just seen some girls. Ouji isn't my style, I just like the look of it, but according to my curvy body-type I should stay away from boyish looks. Though I've got vests. Hm... ^^
You may see how hard it is to get the difference between Aristocrat and Ouji. I've read an explanation that appeared smart to me. Aristocrat is the more mature version. Like Classic for the general Lolita. And Ouji more playful and young, more boy than men, as seen on the keypiece of the shorter trousers.
I guess that may be a good overview. Google yourself though the web for more information, if I don't have an answer. Oh and by the way, I'm so inspired for some new (filthy) outfits now... Too bad I'm in exam phase. Geez, I'd sew my machine out of order. In March when I'm on vacation. Really, searching and scrolling through galleries and tumblrs gave me some great ideas. I'm already have a corset-plan for the party tomorrow... ^_^ It's gettin' dark, guys.
Have a great weekend!