On Being Lolita: Why Not Every Day?

On Being Lolita: Why Not Every Day?

Whenever someone asks me if I “dress like that” every day, I wish I could say, “♥★♥★♥YES!♥★♥★♥” (Even better if a shower of sparkles could emanate from me in a halo~)

Unfortunately, that’s not the case, no matter how many stars I implore. I used to tell myself that it’s because I can’t afford to wear lolita fashion on a daily basis–I can’t afford to buy enough garments to outfit me for more than a few days, and I can’t afford the time and cost launder them properly. I would tell myself that I’d worry too much about ruining my nicest clothes–I can’t wear it every day for practicality. I used to say that I didn’t have time to get dressed up on a daily basis–I can’t wear lolita fashion every day because it would take too long. I’d insist that wearing lolita constantly would be tiring–I can’t put forth the effort. I’d think of all these excuses and convince myself that there was something about me that meant prevented me from doing what I wanted to do.

Sometimes, you have to make a choice–do I wear what I want or do I wear what is accepted/appropriate/expected? As much as it would be fun to always wear what I want, I make many clothing decisions based on the wants of other people. My job doesn’t have a strict dress code, but all the same I can’t wear a formal lolita coordination in my style. My clients and coworkers have expectations about what is to be worn at work–and even if I could explain to them what the fashion is and what it means to me, it would add another layer of connotations and impressions of me. I want those who interact with me to remember me for my work ethic and disposition–not for being “the weird girl.”

Similarly, I don’t wear lolita to class. I’m studying at business school, hoping to enter a field that is very conservative and traditional. I certainly wouldn’t be hired if I wore lolita fashion to a job interview, and because of this I don’t wear lolita fashion to class on a regular basis. Sometimes I just can’t help myself–especially if I’m taking a class that is an elective as opposed to required for my specialization–but usually I try to dress like my classmates. My professors and any special guests that might come to the class are all potential business contacts; I want their impressions of me to be free of biases due to my clothing habits.

Some people would consider my actions to be cowardly, conformist, or weak–and for the most part, I agree. After all, it takes quite a bit of courage to be true to yourself even when outside forces are against you. However, it is hard to make and act upon a decision to restrain or unfurl yourself, regardless of the final choice. If I wore lolita fashion constantly, I know that it would close doors to different choices in my life. I make a choice to limit my self-expression to avoid limiting my opportunities, but I’d much rather have both than one or the other; I want to be a constantly complete “me.”

However, I can’t guarantee that I will want to wear lolita fashion forever. I won’t make decisions based only on that aspect if I have to endure the future consequences after things have changed. With this constantly in mind, it’s a bit confusing to maintain a balance in my life of enjoying the things I want to do and working at the things I have to do. (If only they were one and the same!)

I greatly admire those who wear lolita fashion (or any alternative fashion!) on a daily basis. Putting your frilliest foot forward isn’t simple. Some people will fawn over your expression; others will chide or exclude you. It takes a lot of courage to overcome hurdles and withstand biases that would be otherwise nonexistent if only you’d change your clothes!

Sometimes I consider revising my goals, so that I could wear lolita fashion every day. If I aimed for a different career, applied for a new job, and transferred to another school, it would remove some of the restrictions on my clothing choices. Would that really be the right thing to do? Not for me. If I must compromise, it will be on my clothing, not my future–that is how my priorities are arranged. Despite this decision, I still worry that at some point that wearing lolita fashion will have a negative impact on my career… but not enough to stop wearing it.

Almost everything in life is best when there is a balance. This is how mine is working out, at least for now. I can’t even imagine what will happen ten years from now!