Real Lolita Lifestyle Girls

This video popped up on my dashboard a few days ago, and I was fascinated by it. Not just because I’m a Kawaii TV addict, but because this specific clip is about ‘lifestyle lolitas’, though they call it simply the lifestyles of lolitas. I expected another bout with the typical KERA! and Gothic and Lolita Bible models, like Misako Aoki, AMO and Midori, but mixed in with a few celebrities (Kokusyoku Sumire, Maki and Asuki in the background I think?) were a few ordinary, regular lolitas. At a group interview, Kawaii TV shows glimpses into the worlds of both dark, gothic lolitas and cute, romantic sweet lolitas. I’ve heard many girls say that in Japan, there isn’t really a ‘lifestyle lolita’, that this is more of a western construct within our society, the idea of ‘living’ like a lolita. So I was surprised to see girls that really do live a lolita lifestyle in Japan! (Or maybe it seems so obvious to them that it doesn’t need a separate category? Hard to say.) One of the gothic girls wants to draw and paint; she spends a good deal of her free time at an antique doll museum, taking inspiration from their cold, unblinking faces. A sweet lolita is going to school for fashion design; she has sketchbooks full of her watercolored princessly designs, that she then creates and wears on the streets of Tokyo. It was so fascinating to see that gothic lolita lifestyle girls really exist, without eating Spam at midnight (for those of you who have read the older GLB ‘Day in the Life of a Gothic’, you get my joke.) And these lolitas loved their styles, but they were also serious students with talents and career paths in mind. 2-D characters? I think not.

It seems some girls wear lolita full time, though the majority of them don’t. Having worn lolita exclusively for a while… it is not easy! And I was really pleased to see the hostess note that, the effort and bravery it requires. ‘I admire you,’ she says. Dressing in lolita 24/7 isn’t necessary to be a lifestyle lolita, but it is admirable, as anyone who’s tried it knows. It’s not easy to figure out 365 or so lolita outfits you can easily wear to the dentist, grocery store, and a wedding, let alone building in the extra hour or so to curl your hair and carefully line your eyes.

I’m totally captivated by the little blonde lolita, Hiyoko. She seems shy, with a Baby-the-Stars-Shine-Bright-meets-natural-kei style that I adore, and a kittenish nasal accent I wish I could copy (I’m sure other people find it annoying, but to me it’s like an adorable little animal…) It sounds really cheesy, but this girl is my idea of a perfect lolita. She’s not physically perfect, and she doesn’t have to be. She’s not a model, or even super outgoing. She dresses up every day, wearing her real cute little blonde pigtails, in crocheted cardigans and lacy scalloped aprons. I guess I’m idealizing her, I’m sure she has her flaws like all other human beings, but she’s just charmed me.

My favorite part is when the host asks her, ‘You’re really awesome, for an/not just an eccentric girl!’ and she responds, ‘Am I am eccentric girl?’ It’s natural to her. It’s simply who she is. I think primarily through photoshoots, magazines, the Internet, or media in general, we’ve made the ‘lolita lifestyle’ into such a large, heavy topic or production, something akin to religion or devoting yourself to a cloister. But it’s not that at all – it’s a much more innocent thing, and a personal thing. It comes naturally, but it’s still a little fairytale inside yourself.

So, since it was so enlightening to see other girls and their lolita lifestyles, challenge: described, either in the comments, or with a link to your webpage/article, post, your lolita lifestyle. No embroiderings, no imaginings, just how make your personal lolita lifestyle, you, and the world. Make this your own few paragraphs of documentary; photo-frame a piece of your life. I can’t wait to read all about the stories people create inside themselves ♥


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  • What Mana said really struck me and made me happy. It’s not about the fashion. It’s about you. It makes you really desire to not care what others think what is Lolita and what is not. Also, that there is really no set definition for Lolita.

    • it’s true, lolita can really be what you want it to be. I know we talk about the ‘purity of the fashion’, but fashion is art, and art is however you choose to interpret it. I see the Japanese fashion magazines beginning to blend together a lot of the girly fashions, like mori-girl and lolita, or fairy and lolita, lolita and dolly-kei… And it seems many of the lolita ‘authorities’ like Mana really want to see people following their own ideas and inspirations.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen this before, but never with subtitles~

    Hiyoko is my favorite, too!! She’s so cute, and seems so motivated about being a designer. Hiiko and her mom were very sweet, as well.

    And, while I’m not a gothic lolita, I LOVE MANAMU SO MUCH.

  • I saw this video too and loved it. The “am I an eccentric girl?” really struck me, I relate to that feeling completely. The way I am is natural to me, but to others it can seem eccentric, or so they say. I think we all have our eccentricities, whether we are consciously aware of them or not.

    I am totally taking the challenge, but I need to time to plan, write, and photograph. I instantly felt inspired when I read this post, I’m excited to get working on it!

  • Lulu

    Aw, Hiyoko was wearing Angelic Pretty’s Rose Toliette when they had the clip of her sewing! She looked so cute!

  • Miss Asher

    I especially like where Hiiko says that even with having an inferiority problem with her appearance, she still manages to feel like a doll when she wears Lolita. I think that really speak true for many girls.

  • I admire those who can wear Lolita fashion 24/7. I dream so much of being able to have the ability, guts, and means to do so!

    All the girls look wonderful and have a great attitude. <3


  • It was wonderful to hear your thoughts on this video, which I really enjoyed as well. As a gothic lifestyler, I was inspired by the gothic lolitas they interviewed!
    Also, I really liked your metaphor for how the lifestyle is viewed in the west–like a cloister or something. It helps me make a bit more sense out of people’s tendency to write off lifestylers as shallow and unrealistic. I suppose people do that with goths too (thinking we live in our own weird sort of bubble) but it especially hurts coming from other members of the same subculture/fashion. ^^’

  • Its really wonderful that those girls manage to wear lolita all the time. As an art student, I’ve found that I’ve traded in most of my bustles and petticoats for cargo pants and combat boots. I’d be terrified to get watercolor or ink all over my few but treasured dresses.
    Though dressing in lolita every single day isn’t always possible for me, I try to find ways to add lolita elements to my clothing or accessories whether its by adding a hair bow or carrying around an antique compact filled with porcelain powder. Like Mana mentioned in the video its about doing what makes you happy, even if you aren’t dressed to the nines in AP or Mary Magdalene clothing you can still be a lolita at heart simply because you have a passion for it.

  • I was so happy when I saw this video posted on Tumblr the other day. All of the girls look wonderful, and they all seem like such sweet people.

    I liked how they all came across as very natural; even though they were dressed in lolita, they really felt like ordinary girls. A lot of the lolita documentaries seem to show lolitas at meets, having tea, or doing something else that’s very “structured,” and the result is that the people come across as putting on an act and they feel like they’re just conforming to a cliche. It’s easier for outsiders to see that lolitas are regular people when they’re shown on their own and not at some sort of event. Sitting the girls down for a candid interview and letting them talk about their daily lives and hobbies really lets the viewer see that there’s so much more to them than frilly dresses.

    And I found it interesting that the one girl’s mother was so supportive of her. Actually, in a lot of these types of programs, the parents always seem to be very supportive of their children’s fashion styles o__O I know not all parents are like that, but it’s interesting, since in the west we’re constantly hearing about girls who want to wear the fashion but can’t because their parents don’t like it.

  • Romanticide

    For a moment I thought Mana was going to speak… I feel like a sucker XD
    I think I am in love with this video, for the same reasons as you. Glad to see that they took a care to show that even lifestyle lolitas are persons like any other, who study and work and just live their lives in a way that it pleases them. And I do love that was mentioned that Manamu has more than a decade being a goth-loli given that many people seem to think that you should “leave” lolita after hitting a certain age.
    But only 3 goth-lolis? My, the numbers have really dwindled haven’t they :(

  • This was great. Thanx for sharing.


  • Duplica

    I always thought lolita lifestyle is something personal- also a personal choice with your own rules. nice to see that some agree to my concept XD

  • Thank you so much for sharing this video! It was a great start of the day, and thanks to this I’m inspired to continue working on the projects I’ve put on hold for ages! (dress and trouser sewing). It’s really interesting to see the lives of other lifestyle lolitas so close.. It’s inspiring and it puts me at ease to know that other people also find it so natural to live the life they wish to lead themselves. =)

  • I have a question: if a Lolita is not a lifestyle Lolita, is she less Lolita? (ok, English is not my native language, so I hope somebody can understand me…..).
    I mean… I’m in love with Lolita clothes, I like to read blogs and magazines and books about Lolitas, but I don’t have enought money to buy clothes and accessories, it’s difficult to find something where I live (Ireland) and I’m lazy….so I’ll never be able to wear a petticoat every day! :p

    I’m asking that because since I start to look at the online Lolita community, I feel there’s a “war” between girls who like to dress in Lolita vs. real lifestyle Lolitas.
    Sometime it seems a girl has to say “I like drink tea everyday” only to not be excluded and be a real lifestyle Lolita, when in reality she likes soda and she hates tea!

    If a girl needs to prove something, she doesn’t enjoy the style anymore.

    And Mana-Sama say “I hope it’s your style, your way of life, no matter what anyone tells you”.

    YOUR style
    YOUR way of life

    And a girl style can be drink orange juice all day, and be 100% Lolita.

    Sorry Victoria Suzanne, I hope it’s not as confusing as it seems :)

    • In the larger western community you can definitely feel a rift there, but in my opinion it’s not necessary at all! We all love this fashion and feel a connectedness to it, in some way, and to feel something beyond ‘it’s pretty’ or ‘just because’ is my definition of a lolita philosophy or lifestyle lolita, really. To say oh, I do it because my friends do, or because it makes me seem weird/cool/different is the only thing that really makes girls ‘not lifestyle’, because it’s not a personal thing for them. But lifestyle lolitas don’t have to drink tea or wear lolita all the time – not at all! Lolita is up for YOU to interpret into something meaningful and beautiful for yourself. If you read the lifestyle tag on this blog you’ll really get what I mean – lolita lifestyle isn’t about your food, your job, your clothing (style or whether or not you ‘only’ wear lolita), who your relationships are, your pets, your possessions, or even really your hobbies or other interests. Lifestyle lolita is about using lolita fashion to mean something deeper than just ‘look, I got some expensive girly clothes in Japan!’ – it is about the personal philosophy you get from looking at and I suppose fantasizing/imagining lolita. It’s an internal thing, completely personal. And Mana-sama says no matter what anyone tells you… so ignore any rifts or girls who tell you ‘you can’t’ or ‘aren’t enough’. They don’t matter.

      I hope that clears up some issues!

      • thank you for your answer! You cleared up my issues ^__^

  • I’ve never been a big Moitié fan, but I think I just fell in love with Mana-sama and his supremely elegant bow!
    Is that the Alice Auaa shop with the spooky décor? I want to go there so badly! And I love the idea of an outfit with the theme of a witch. How inspiring!

  • Thank you for sharing! This was a real treat to watch, especially seeing all of those jaw-dropping stores in Japan. They are really over the top and elegant. It feels like stuff like that would have a difficult time existing in America – and I’m from San Francisco! I would love to go to a shop with gorgeous nude statues like that. It’s really fascinating.

  • I had known about lolita for a while before I watched, but it was only the girl drawing in the corner, the girl who wanted to open a dress shop, and most especially what Mana said in the end that made me resolve to become a lolita