This is a question I am frequently asked, and it can be answered by saying "Frilly dresses, lace, elegance, tea parties, sewing, being part of a community..." and the list goes on. However, we often forget that Lolita is, or should be, largely about being happy.
Many people love wearing the fashion, but are unhappy for many reasons. Among them are lack of money for brand, sizing, feeling alone, being bothered for wearing it, or even some self-induced worried and stresses like reading secrets or being involved in online drama. I want to cover these topics, and I will start with the first on the list.
I just want to note that this isn't a post about how to expand your wardrobe, but how to be happy with the wardrobe you have. I plan to do a separate post for beginner Lolitas soon, however.
How To Be A Happy, Low-Income Lolita
Many people feel very self-conscious about the clothes they own, either because they're not brand, or that they don't own many pieces. This is especially true this month with the wardrobe posts on EGL.
It can be intimidating for a beginner Lolita, or someone who doesn't have a great deal of money for clothes, to see wardrobes stocked up with countless pieces from more expensive brands such as Juliette et Justine, Moi-Meme-Moitie, and rare Angelic Pretty prints. Keep in mind that many of these people have been collecting brand for many years, and if loli_secrets is anything to go by, some will go to great lengths to acquire the dresses they want. Lolita isn't all about having six nuns going blind embroidering delicate flowers on your clothes!
If you sew your own clothes, and feel unhappy about only owning handmade items, don't! Handmade clothing can be truly beautiful, and you can make it to your own size. When you make your own clothes, your wardrobe becomes much more personal, and that's nothing to be unhappy about! The same goes for pieces from Bodyline, the high street, and charity shops. So what if it's not €200? If it only set you back €17, but it looks nice, then it's not something you should be ashamed of! Brand doesn't equal good taste. Someone could be dressed head-to-toe in offbrand and look much nicer than someone in brand.
Also, don't think that everyone who owns a good few brand pieces are elitists. Many of them also own some Bodyline, selfmade and thrifted items.
Life Is Real, And That's Okay.
Life is very real, and it's not reasonable to constantly spend money on dresses. If you have bills to pay and food to buy, and decide to buy one or two €20 dresses instead of one costing €300, you're not being un-Lolita, you're being sensible and responsible, and you've got your priorities right, and that's something to be very proud of!
You should never take out loans to buy Lolita, because that simply gets you in debt, which can cause stress and unhappiness. In the words of William Shakespeare: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be."
All in all, this is the general idea behind this post.
Happiness is often overlooked in favour of money and various possessions, material items which may make us feel happy in the short term, but which only fuel a need for more. As Lolitas, fond of expensive dresses, many of us are guilty of this, but this does not mean that we are all superficially happy. We simply shouldn't base our level of happiness within Lolita on how much brand we own, or how expensive our clothes are.