|Picture from lolitafashion.org|
Understanding the lolita fashion is simple enough. All you really have to understand is the basic silhouette and remember that the key to any lolita fashion is modesty. That means skirts are down to about knee length, knee-high socks are in, blouses are worn with jumperskirts, and you don't show off your cleavage. Knowing those basic guidelines is easy enough, but what about all the different styles? You have classic lolita, sweet lolita, gothic lolita, hime lolita, and more. What's the difference between all of them?
Out of all of the lolita styles, I feel drawn to classic lolita the most, so that is the style I'm going to talk about first.
When people talk about classic lolita, they like to reference it as the "grown up sister of sweet lolita". On one hand, this is an entirely true statement. Classic lolita looks more mature and grown up than sweet lolita. It focuses a fair amount on solid colors and floral prints instead of the bright pastels and sugary sweet candy prints of sweet lolita. Classic lolitas are also more likely to wear tights instead of knee high socks. Brands like Victorian Maiden and Innocent World are also more likely to focus on simpler all over patterns than prints (but they still have their share of classic prints). Gloves and hats also seem to play a part in this style more than the oversized bows and bonnets.
In my opinion, classic lolita is more about looking refined and classy. Imagine being invited to a fancy garden party. All the flowers would be blooming all around you, the guests are decked out in their formal sun dresses and pearls, and even the refreshments are stylized in a manner that says "this is important, this is classy, this is sophisticated". That is what classic lolita is trying to embody.