As I have mentioned before, I wear Lolita nearly every day. I don't really consider myself a Lifestyle Lolita, and yet, I live my life in it, I like to consider this an Everyday Lolita. I don't always deck myself out in show-stopping get-the-most-photos-at-a-meetup Lolita though, I've managed to find a nice medium between going all-out and casual Lolita. The best part of being an Everyday Lolita is that there are enough days in a year to experiment with going from one extreme to another and playing with the different Lolita styles.
Finding the time to wear Lolita When people who don't know me in real life learn that I wear Lolita nearly every day, the first question they often ask is "How?! Do you have a job where you can wear Lolita?!" I would actually never in a million years be able to wear Lolita to work, so what do I do? The answer is ridiculously simple and sort of a no-brainer: I change my clothes. I am not going to hang around all day in my work clothes, and it's not very often that I will go straight from work to PJs, so I change into my Lolita clothes when I get home.The Black Cotton Gothic Lolita Dress is my best choice.
It might be a little frivolous, but Lolita is a frivolous fashion. As silly as it sounds it makes me happy to spend the extra few minutes a day to change into something I really enjoy wearing, even if I only plan on wearing it for a handful of hours.
For those of you that can get a little fancier at work, but can't go all-out Lolita, consider wearing a few accessories or even more mature styled Lolita blouses. Even something like carrying a Lolita purse or wearing a piece of jewelery from your favorite brand is enough to make you feel like you're wearing a little bit of Lolita, even when you absolutely cannot.
If you are the kind of person who gets out of work/school and hops straight into a pair of PJs, consider investing in a couple PJs that are more on the Lolita side of things, or even some cute and frilly roomwear.
Some tips for wearing the frills every dayYou can, of course, just go all out every day, but that usually takes a ton of effort, time, and a pretty epic wardrobe, which most of us don't have. Realistically, wearing Lolita everyday usually means you need a few shortcuts and modifications on the "usual" Lolita look. Find what works best for you, for your budget and your schedule. If you have the resources to go all out every day, by all means do so! But if you find that it's too much of a hassle and you want a more wearable Everyday Lolita style, check out some of these tips, which have made it possible for me to wear Lolita nearly everyday for several years now!
You're going to need a lot of foundation pieces- The most important foundation pieces, I think, for wearing Lolita every day is a couple petticoats that just don't deflate, and a ton of different socks or tights. Several pairs of longer bloomers are also pretty handy if you don't want to be washing petticoats every day. I cannot stress how many pairs of socks or tights you're going to need, unless you live somewhere that's just too hot for socks, you're going to need quite a few pairs. If you're like me, you're probably going to need even more than that because you're constantly losing them. Luckily, you don't actually need to have 2 dozen pairs of $30 brand socks, basic offbrand socks are going to be a million times more versatile and so much cheaper. Just start stocking up on OTKs and tights when you find them for a good price in basic colors that go with just about anything in your wardrobe (generally white, off-white, or black) and you'll soon find you have plenty of socks.
Have at least one pair of shoes and one purse that matches just about everything- Having perfectly matching accessories, maybe a bunny purse paired with a bunny print dress and a pair of shoes in the exact same shade of pink as the bunny's heart-shaped spots, is a Lolita's dream, but it's just not practical for wearing everyday. Of course, you can still have these things for meetups or days you just feel like going all-out, but for everyday wear you're probably going to want something you can put on without a whole lot of thinking about and something that's going to match just about anything in your wardrobe. A pair of comfortable style-neutral shoes (if you wear several styles, that is!) and a style-neutral purse that's large enough to fit your everyday items in, in a base color that matches most of your wardrobe are both vital pieces for the Everyday Lolita's wardrobe. For my own wardrobe, my go-to pair of shoes are a pair of black tea party shoes and a black h.NAOTO purse. The shoes are super comfy and I can walk all day in them, and the purse is large enough to fit all my stuff in and matches most of my usual wardrobe.
Cutsews are very useful- I love cutsews! I practically live in h.NAOTO cutsews. They're so much more comfortable and less stuffy than button ups, you can also just toss them in the washer and dryer and not have to worry about them so much. They can be dressed up with accessories and jackets or dressed down by just wearing them plain.
Look for pieces that have detachable parts or are convertible- Pieces with detachable sleeves, removable bust pieces, detachable collars, giant detachable bows, removable skirt ruffles and whatever else can be mixed and matched up a bit are a lifesaver in an Everyday Lolita wardrobe because they mean you can have more looks with less actual pieces.
Don't be afraid to be Lolitaesque- I talked a bit about the idea of Lolitaesque in this post, and mentioned how it has really helped me add a bit of interest to my everyday style. Even Lolita, when worn everyday, can get a little bit boring, so it's nice to be able to wear something that still has the same aesthetic as Lolita, but is more versatile and just plain ol' a little bit different. Consider other fashions that have a lot of Lolita overlap such as Fairy Kei, Aristocrat, Dolly Kei, Mori girl, Victorian Goth, or even Hime-Gyaru that can add a bit of something different to your wardrobe and still mix and match it with Lolita. Or even take a look at some of the "non-standard" Lolita pieces that various brands have put out, such as the various fishtail skirts, full-length dresses, A-line dresses, or casual cutsew dresses for inspiration on how to include some frills to your day-to-day wardrobe without wearing the usual Lolita.
Don't be afraid to leave out some of the basics- If you're going to wear Lolita everyday, you're probably going to have some lazy days where wearing full Lolita just isn't practical. If you don't feel like wearing a button-up blouse with a JSK, don't bother. If it's just too hot for socks, screw 'em. Invest in a few dresses or JSKs that can be slipped on and worn as is. Find a couple good dresses that can double as a lazy day house dress and a "throw a cardigan over it and slip on a pair of cute shoes" out-and-about dress. For inspiration, check out some dresses and coordinates by Otome brands such as Emily Temple Cute.
Learn to deal with standing out in public- Learning to wear Lolita in public is a huge hurdle that some people who want to wear Lolita everyday have to get past, but a very important one. If you plan on wearing Lolita on a daily basis, you're going to have to get used to people's reactions to it. If you want to read a bit more about dealing with wearing Lolita in public, check out this post on just that!
Learn how to wash Lolita clothes at home- Knowing how to take care of Lolita clothes at home is very important if you're going to be wearing them on a regular basis. Check out this post for some tips and tricks when it comes to washing your Lolita.
I've been interested in Lolita for a pretty long time, and it actually took me several years to get to wearing Lolita on a daily basis. It took me quite a while to work up a large and workable wardrobe, and it took me a while to even just work up the nerve to start wearing it from day-to-day. But, this is just me. An Everyday Lolita wardrobe can be made much more compact than mine is, especially if you're dedicated to keeping up on laundry (which I am certainly not) and aren't afraid to step outside of the rules sometimes.
The new year is just a few hours away, and I know that every year, many Lolita's new year's resolution is to wear Lolita more often, and to even wear it everyday. It's not impossible to do so, if you are a bit creative when it comes to making the most out of your wardrobe and if you aren't afraid of a little bit of dedication.
Do you have any Lolita wardrobe specific resolutions for the new year? In 2012 I hope to wear more Classic Lolita and to add more lush antique details to my outfits, a sort of Dolly Kei inspiration to my outfits, and to have less lazy day outfits. Currently, my lazy day outfits typically include an h.NAOTO cutsew and a plain black skirt, which is awesome for a lazy day but not so awesome for... 5 days a week. Back in October I talked about a wardrobe makeover that I'm actually still working on, and getting rid of so many lazy day outfits is something I've been having a bit of difficulty doing. In addition to adding more Classic Lolita to my day-to-day wardrobe, I'd love to finish my wardrobe makeover within the first few months of the new year!