03 December 2017

Taking Back Daily Lolita

I recently joined a new lolita lifestyle group on Facebook called The Secret Garden. I love the concept, a place for lifestylers to share tips, trips, and general lifestyle conversations. Self-labeling myself as a lifestyle lolita, I love having this group to indulge my feminine hobbies that have long been abandoned by the international community at large.

I've written a few lifestyle related posts before, including 101 Lifestyle Lolita Ideas revisitedtelevision and films with a lolita aesthetic and bringing back the old school aesthetic... but never one about what I actually see as being a lifestyle lolita myself.

In its essence: I think being a lifestyler means wearing lolita for occasions more frequent and casual than meetups. Enjoying traditionally feminine hobbies isn't necessary to consider yourself a lifestyle lolita in my opinion, but I think it definitely represents a large portion of the lifestyle lolita population.

How I Personally Define My Own Lolita Lifestyle

Frequency: I wear lolita at least once a week. My best friend and I try to see each other every week, and I often have meetups or other opportunities to dress up with my boyfriend or other friends. We just run errands, work on our laptops at local cafes, and generally hang out.

I'm really lucky to live in an accepting area where people are relatively used to seeing weird people all the time. I definitely get stares, "secret" photos taken of me, and nosy questions when I go out, but I never feel unsafe or like a complete freak when I go about my life dressed in lolita.

I'm also fortunate that my boyfriend is so accepting of lolita - to the point he said he would find it concerning if I stopped dressing like this because it is such a big part of who I am. He doesn't bat an eye when I choose to wear lolita on our dates or when we go for a nice walk. Having an accepting and supportive partner really contributes to my lolita lifestyle. It normalizes it for me and in our relationship, it feels less like a big event or special occasion.

Hobbies: I fall into the category of lolitas who enjoy feeling like a princess or an elegant lady. I enjoy traditionally feminine activities, and wearing lolita for more than meets makes me feel like the world is just a little bit more wonderful.

Embroidery, letter writing, nature strolls, afternoon tea, ballroom dancing, journaling, cooking and baking, sewing, sketching, reading novels, picnicking, attending ballets - these are a lot of the things I consider to be hobbies of mine, and I can partake in them while wearing lolita!

Let's Take Back Daily Lolita

Do you remember the Daily Lolita group? This was the precursor to Closet of Frills, but it was much more geared towards actual daily coordinates. These days, Closet of Frills seems to have evolved due to competition for likes and uniqueness points. Photos have gotten more professional and outfits more OTT. Nearly every photo posted there ends up on CGL to get torn to shreds. I've already written about my feelings for Closet of Frills, so I won't repeat myself.

My point is that we should embrace our fashion roots and celebrate wearing lolita casually again. If you want to wear your frills to study in the library, have lunch in the park, or just to make a fancy dinner on a week night, you should! Lolita is expensive and we should all wear our carefully curated wardrobes as much as we want.

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  1. You may have seen this already, but at this year's Rufflecon one pannelist presented findings on Lolita lifestyle, what it means to people and the percentage of Lolitas who consider themselves to be lifestyle Lolitas, based on a survey she distributed through Facebook. She later posted the PPT from that on her own blog, which is how I found out (the results, I stumbled upon and filled out the survey as soon as I saw it). It was so interesting to see how different people define Lolita lifestyle differently, which is both great (flexibility in making it truly yours) and a little discouraging (how do you know for sure that what you do is Lolita lifestyle and not just part of you and your interests, where do you draw the line). Sometimes I read people's definitions and think "well, by that standard I definitely am a lifestyler" and next moment I counter that with something else. I've been trying to wear my clothes more, either incorporate the pieces into non-Lolita outfits or dress up for things that aren't meetups, and really enjoyed that, even if I wish that in that respect I had a bigger wardrobe to play with. But I'm still on the fence as to whether I am a lifestyle Lolita or not. Maybe I'll figure it out eventually. But in the meantime I find it really inspiring to read how other people view their lifestyle as Lolita and how they feel they embrace that in their day to day lives. I must say, I quite envy you having a friend so close that you could meet weekly just for a drink or lunch, this is something that I definitely would love to have, but people I consider my closest friends who are Lolita are all really far and of the people who are really local to me no-one is a Lolita. But that just sounds and looks so lovely whenever you two post photos on Instagram, whether it is lifestyle Lolita or not. (Sorry for rambling in the comment ^^""")

  2. That was a very pleasant reading, thank you!
    I never thought that I could fit myself into being a "lifestyler", mainly because I believed that it meant wearing only dresses all the time, having Victorian pajamas and listening only to classics like Mozart. I coldn't deprive myself from things like videogames and fantasy literature (which I love), but it's funny to notice that (expect for embroidery) we do share the same hobbies.
    It's a pity that I can't find friends around my town that share these same interests, but nonetheless, I guess I'm going my way into being a "lifestyler"

  3. I just found my way to your blog, and I'm so happy I did. Thank you for this post!
    I haven't worn Lolita in quite a while, maybe because of this. When I got into the fashion Princess Skye was still around and pretty much all the blogs I read were about lifestyle, too. I recently realised that this was what I missed when I went to a meet-up in my new city after a move - the daily Lolita aspect. I'm glad I'm not really alone with that.
    And now please excuse me while I read the rest of your wonderful blog.

  4. I'm gradually starting to think of myself as more of a lifestyler because, in all honesty, I'm so much happier wearing lolita. Even if I'm going to the supermarket, even if it's a trip to the cinema taking that time to wear lolita makes it feel more like time I'm spending as myself, especially with all the days when I'm working and not able to wear clothes I enjoy. I'm very lucky with my community (many of whom consider me a lifestyler!)as we're very active and I do actually live with two other lolitas who love that I wear the fashion so often and who wear it semi-regularly.
    This is such a lovely post and your style is beautiful :)