Welcome to the Dollhouse: Living the Life Lolita

For anyone who hasn’t heard of “Lolita” style, you might be surprised to find just how interesting it can get. The term Lolita refers to a sweetly, child-like style aesthetic that’s cute, innocent, and very tea party. The only strange thing? Those who wear it are commonly teenager and up. As in, not children.

Traditional Lolita has found a home in Japan, with variations on the style constantly evolving, including a darker but still chaste version called “Gothic Lolita” that in many forms brings to mind the works of Tim Burton. This darker trend has also spurred many a fashion accessory and novelty line, including the popular Melancholy Kitties range of gothic dolls.

Common to both branches are all things decidedly feminine, including lace, bows and ribbons, ruffles, powder boxes, and florals. In true Lolita styling, an almost creepy childish vibe also emerges through the use of bonnets, parasols, bloomers, knee socks, and accessories made from stuffed toys. The primary color palettes are white and shades of pink, with those who favor gothic choosing black or midnight blue instead.

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Other evolutions of Lolita have also occurred, particularly in the United States and Britain. These newer asides favor a more grown up approach, trading teddy bears and ruffled tops for feminine kitsch and satirically girly jewelry and graphics.

This less involved, more easygoing approach is fast becoming a favorite in both the U.S. and Asia, as more traditional dress and hair styling can take literally hours to achieve. Plus, the less child-like version affords the ability for adult women to sneak in a little hint of sexiness, like Asian celebrity and model Angela Yang, a.k.a. Angelbaby, whose girly styling has drawn a major following.

Updated Lolita jewelry often still includes bows, candy, florals, and lace, but in a less over the top proportion and more polished color schemes. Perfect for any girl who wants to be edgy and feminine, but isn’t necessarily a fan of pigtails.