Lolita fashion is a subculture that arose in Japan around the 1980s and has taken the world by storm-a storm of cuteness that is. Though the name bears a similarity with Vladimir Nabokov's titular character, the fashion trend has no ties to the connotations of the novel. With roots in a baby doll aesthetic, the style is heavily influenced by Victorian, Edwardian, and Rococ elements and puts an emphasis on the ideal of cuteness as well as elegance and modesty. The three main substyles of Lolita fashion can be categorized as classic, sweet, and gothic, each with its unique elements. Many other substyles also exist such as oriental, shiro, kuro, and sailor. Lolita subculture has garnered a wide following in Japan, as well as the Western world in the early 21st century, but has shifted to a more mainstream trend in recent years. 

Lolita is seen as a rebellion against tradition Japanese norms and gender roles within a stifling society. By wearing clothing from childhood, the subculture can be seen as an escape from adulthood and the burdens and expectations that come with it. Furthermore, it evokes the eternal beauty of youth and innocence while creating an escape to a fantasy world where an identity that may not be acceptable in normal life can arise without oppression. Of course, many who wear the style simply do so because they enjoy the aesthetic and the confidence it lends them. Aspects may also be included in cosplay or to create an alternate identity.

The most distinctive feature of Lolita fashion is its voluminous skirts, formed by wearing crinoline or petticoats beneath the clothes and often paired with long or short sleeved blouses. Jumper skirts and one-piece dresses with elements of the style are also often incorporated into outfits. For further effect, many wearers of Lolita fashion may add wigs, bows, and bonnets in conjunction with knee and ankle socks or tights. Both flats and high heels are valid options for shoes. Some may even wear Victorian-era drawers beneath their petticoats.

The subculture has become an influential force of its own right, and Lolita elements can appear in many fashion trends and styles. Preppy style costumes are no exception. Another fashion subculture, this time arising from the old private predatory schools in the Northeastern United States, preppy fashion has its roots in the Ivy League style of dress. It reflects the feeling of exclusiveness among well-educated, high-income families at the time and draws influence from the leisure activities of the upper class, many of which draw from old English influences such as crew rowing, polo, sailing, golf, hunting, and rugby. While sportswear component is an undeniably important aspect of the subculture, women's preppy style lends itself more toward tailored skirt suits, cotton blouses, and refined jewelry. Preppy style comes with an air of sophistication similar to a classic style of dress with bolder pops of color and many Lolita elements combined with the preppy style can create gorgeous outfits.

Though it lacks the distinctive skirt and blouse, the brown pinstripe suit takes inspiration from the vintage feel of Lolita clothing and harkens back to old elite school clothing. The hat worn by the woman bears relation to the bonnets in Lolita fashion while the oversized blazer creates the illusion of delicacy and child-like cuteness emphasized by the trend.
The blue Alice in Wonderland dress has the unique voluminous skirt of Lolita clothes, as well as the button up style in the front reminiscent of a blouse. Its ruffled collar and sewn-on brooch recall elements of Victorian era clothing, which also show up in major aspects of Lolita fashion. The golden embellishments add a vintage feel and the ruffled skirt hem combined with slightly puffed up sleeves add an innocent air that relate to the aesthetic of cuteness. The models emphasize the Lolita elements in this costume by pairing the dress with white socks and Mary Janes that lend a school-girl feel to the outfit and style their hair with bangs and pigtails.
The gothic velvet long-sleeved dress has a half-skirt style to reveal the ruffled petticoat in the back. Lace patterns along the collar and ruffled skirt hem tie the dress to the Victorian-era elements that influenced Lolita fashion. Furthermore, an oversized bow evokes the style of many childhood dresses wear little girls would tie their sashes behind their backs. It adds an adorable, innocent feel similar to aesthetic of Lolita fashion. Additionally, the lacy head piece is reminiscent of vintage maids while the hand gloves worn by the models add to the old-fashioned air of the outfit. Crosses on the collar give a nod to the strict religious nature of the Victorian era the dress draws inspiration from and add a cute detail to the vintage dress. Paired with wigs, ankle socks, and kitten heels, the dress's Lolita elements come roaring to life.
A two-layer ruffled skirt paired with criss-crossing ribbons and bows on the Christmas strawberry dress make for highly visible signs of Lolita influence on the clothes. Rather than Victorian, this dress lends itself more toward the Rococo elements that influenced Lolita fashion while the beige and deep red checkered patterns give the outfit a medieval peasant-like feel. However, the puffy sleeves and ribbon detailing seem to point to aspects of hime Lolita where elements of royal fashion are applied to a Lolita silhouette. The large hair bow and flats add cuteness to the outfit-further compounded the pigtail braids and bangs of the model-and emphasize the Lolita aesthetic in the dress.
The corduroy sling dress has, once again, the distinctive voluminous skirt of Lolita fashion, padded out with crinoline. The influence of the hime substyle stands out in the lace and ruffle detailing on the bodice and hem of the dress while a front bow creates the childhood aesthetic. Criss-crossing ribbons down the side of the dress and subtle pleats in the skirt create the princess-like air emphasized in hime Lolita fashion. Lace trimming and ruffles on the hem also add to the innocent, cute aesthetic while the models' ruffled blouses and poncho-capes highlight the dress's Lolita influence.
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