Here I will outline basic factors that make a lolita outfit, obviously this is just a generalisation and you can vary/substitute/miss out and of these factors, but be wary about changing it too much as it may stop being lolita altogether.
The dress is a very important factor in a lolita outfit (though you could wear a skirt instead,) as I find it’s one of the easiest ways to identify a Lolita. An important factor in making it Lolita is the length, anything too short will not look lolita. It’s fine to have your knees showing, but once it becomes a mini-skirt you lose the modesty you want in a lolita outfit. The A-Line or bell shape of the skirt/dress is very popular in Lolita, if the skirt is straight up and down or too short then you’ll struggle to make it look more lolita than gyaru. The dresses can be highly decorative or more simple depending on what style of lolita you like. For example, a sweet lolita will use patterns, lace and bows, while a classic lolita will often use a single colour with minimal detail to create a more mature and elegant look.
This is also a staple in a lolita wardrobe, worn either with a skirt or under a jumper dress (so your shoulders aren’t on show.) In the case of dresses, it makes the outfit that much more modest which is an important look in Lolita. The often have pretty bows and adornments and a peter pan style collar.
Bloomers are often forgotten, but they are an important part of a lolita outfit. It’s helpful to eliminate any risk of people seeing your underwear, since big poofy skirts have a tendency to lift up if you need to bend over or even in a gust of wind. They also add volume to the skirt. Petticoats are also needed to create the extra volume. You can’t just get a dress or skirt and expect it to remain in the A-Line or Bell shape, the petticoat is what provides the volume and support needed to keep it that shape. (A petticoat is an underskirt, it has lots of layers, a bit like a longer tutu.)
You rarely, if ever, see a lolita without hair accessories. Bows, hats, hairbands, bonnets etc. They make the hair look more decorated and tied in with the outfit.
High socks or tights are used to cover the legs. They also help with the modesty aspect of lolita. Plus they look really cute.
Shoes or boots can be worn. They often have rounded toes and adornments such as bows. Rocking horse shoes are also worn in lolita. They compliment the outfit and look very dolly-ish.
These can be added as a final touch. Jewellery, gloves, parasols, bags, etc. Anything that compliments the outfit goes. Wigs are also very commonplace in lolita, as many of the hairstyles would otherwise be quite damaging and wigs allow for an easy hair style swap. Make-up can also be worn, but it’s often kept light and childlike, to avoid looking too grown up and mature.
*~* Hope you’ve enjoyed my basic guide to a lolita outfit ❤ *~*