Bonjour mes amis!
For the next series of post I will be referencing to the basics of Lolita.
What I mean by the basics is what makes an outfit Lolita.
The Skirt (on skirts, Jumper-skirts (jsk) and dress (op): The quintessential item that can make or break your Lolita coordinate.
Ideally it should be bell shaped but I have seen a-line, trapezoid and circle skirts (though not as common). Something that will flare out and accomodate a petticoat. If you want to truly put this basic on its head you could also try for a pencil skirt a la Victorian Maiden.
But what ever the shape you choose, take note Lolita prides itself on modesty so this should be at knee or just 2 inches above the knee.
Tops: Blouses and cutsews, they are the thing that goes with the skirt or under the jsk. Though there are many options for tops. Not any old thing will work. Traditional a Peter Pan collar blouse or for a sailor inspired look a sailor collar have been the ideal, but brands come up with many variations.
Here are some other varieties:
The camisole styles offer a summer option:
Then there's the cutsew, a jersey knit top sometimes with cute graphic to boot.
Socks and Tights: This is your most open item, by that I mean you can go along with brand socks ( super cute but very expensive) or even hit up your local boutiques and novelty stores for options. Usually the kept at knee length or over the knee and thigh high.
If you have an issue with knee high socks or want to cover up a too high skirt (for taller lolitas)
Headwear: everything from a head eating bows to cute cake hats and mini top hats.; and the old school headdress too! Remember to hit up accessory departments in your locals stores.
Undergarments: The petticoat has been suggested as the most important part of your wardrobe, it is the base without it you have no silhouette. Don't fall prey to getting a square dancing petticoat they don't have the right shape! Almost all Lolita brands have options:
There is also the option of making your own, I recommend Sugardale's Tutorial!
Bloomers: remember the part where Lolita was all about modesty well, bloomer help to keep your modesty on windy days or when bending forward.
Like the petticoat, bloomer can also be handmade. There are also tons of tutorials online. This one involves recycling.
Shoes: There are many options but at the same time some are clearly un-loliable.
The Mary-jane style shoe is the most basic of Lolita shoes; and is the base of many brand shoes (cute teaparty shoes). Other options the famous and infamous (Naomi Campbell incident) RHS (Rocking Horse Shoes)
Final Note: All these are suggestions, the Basics are open to interpretation; though mind the bell-shaped or flared skirt and petticoat when looking for items, they are the staples of Lolita fashion.
Have fun and happy shopping!
*image credit to owner.