Crimson Reflections

Because sometimes the world is too complex for black and white
Lolita Fashion History

Mini-Twitter Poll: What Got You Into Lolita Fashion?

At the end of January there was some debate / discussion on the impact of various different forms of media and how it impacted people getting into lolita fashion.

Generally, the “common knowledge” answer has typically been that a majority come to lolita via anime or other Japanese pop culture, but at the same time, a lot of people deny that explanation because they are embarrassed to admit they were really into anime at some point in their younger life, or that they might be into something that has a strong tie to western anime fandom, or because they want to make the difference between “lolita” and “cosplay” seem more defined.

Because of this, sometimes alternate explanations that people put forward can take off, even if there isn’t really a lot of evidence behind them.

So just for fun, I ran a twitter poll, and I put a few of the common theories / answers in (sadly twitter limits us to 4 answers)

There were also 65 comments, which outline a few other options, which include things like other fashion interests (Vivienne Westwood, other Jfashion), BJD, Japanese street fashion magazines (CUTiE / Kera / FRUITS), interest in historical fashion, and a couple people who actually did get it from a friend.

And multiple people upset that I combined Anime and Japanese music.

To be fair, I did have them separate, but I ran out of poll options so I combined them as the concept of getting into lolita through another aspect of Japanese pop culture. But the poll options also had to be short. Sorry.

Anyways, I just thought it was kind of interesting to quantify to some degree how many people did get into lolita via Japanese pop culture versus other common sources, even if there is a little bit of confirmation bias at play here.

I would note that while I did cross post to my FB, I’m not very active on twitter and I was more active on twitter back when I was more active on gaia / dress up doll forums so that also may have skewed the response.

It’s not exactly good research science at all, but, it’s mildly interesting. I think if I were to do a more formal survey on it, I’d like to ask what year people first got interested in lolita as well.

Mainly I’m just curious: How did you get into lolita fashion?

I’d love to hear people’s story in the comments, or even in a blog post of your own!

4 comments on “Mini-Twitter Poll: What Got You Into Lolita Fashion?

  1. We had this debate on r/Lolita a while ago, too!
    Personally, I knew lolita existed because of anime, but I really got hooked on it when I chose it for my school project about subcultures! I learned the basic things back then, and about a year later, I came back to look at the pretty dresses and fell down the rabbit hole 🙂 (Revisiting the presentation now that I know a lot more, the Milanoo pics make me cringe! 🙂 )
    Though I was also interested in vintage fashion before, so that may have played a role.

  2. I got into lolita from watching anime and seeing a lot of outfits being called “gothic lolita.” They weren’t actually gothic lolita, but gothic and frilly and I liked them and looked into cosplaying them. That lead me to lolita fashion websites/blogs/youtubers (this was around 2011/2012 when I was in high school) explaining what the fashion really was and the rules/guidelines. I remember actually getting angry that wearing disney princess costume dresses wouldn’t be considered lolita lol. I didn’t really have much money of my own or even a debit card to buy from online/overseas, I didn’t want to ask my parents to buy it for me, and fashion trends were very much not loliable at the time so I just daydreamed about it for years and wore whatever frilly/almost lolita looking thing I could get.

  3. I got into lolita thanks to Milanoo ?. I was looking up a dress for conference dinner I would like, and dived way too deep into google. A picture of wine dress from Mary Magdalene catched my eye, and I went to the shop the image was from. It was Milanooo … I looked around and noticed a lot of the dresses contain word ‘lolita’, entered it to google, and was hooked 🙂 I also found the info Milanoo is a scam site so I did not end up buying from them.

  4. Hm, if I were to force my answer to one of these four Twitter poll answers, then broadly understood Japanese pop culture would probably be the closest one. But as we know, few things in life are truly that simple. If I condensed my story, it’d basically go like this: start a degree in Japanese, meet a lolita in the year above me on my course, go to Japan, stumble upon a Bodyline shop, buy a dress (for non-lolita reasons), get hooked and repeat the ‘buy a dress’ step. But I wouldn’t have started on a Japanese degree without being interestedi n the culture first, and that came way more from pop culture than other bits, and I’m not sure if I would’ve bought anything from Bodyline without a prior interest in rockabilly and picking a dress that matched that vibe as my first one. Maybe I would’ve? It’s too late for “what ifs”, it happened now 😛

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