I seem to have accidentally deleted my old Ask Miss Caro-chan post! I have reposted it, along with a new form to ask questions through, I'll now be doing the questions via Formspring, or just through the comments on the Ask Miss Caro-chan page. Hopefully, this way, I will get to answer a lot of the quicker questions that don't require a full length post!
Now that that's cleared up, today's Ask Miss Caro-chan is from Sarabelle, who asks
I'm sixteen, and have recently discovered lolita fashion...and have fallen head over heels in love with it! I want to start building a wardrobe, but I don't quite know how to tell my parents, lest they say no. What could I do/say to convince them?Note: This post was written with the help of my friend Cherie, who had to do a lot of convincing to be able to wear Lolita when she first got started!
I have to say, as much as I know you're not going to want to hear it, there is no magic word to get your parents to let you dress in Lolita. My own parents, when I started dressing Lolita all those years ago, where OK with the fact that I had decided I wanted to look like what they thought was a crazy Victorian doll, but strange fashion choices were really not something out of the ordinary for little Caro-chan. Your parents might not be as understanding, but I'm sure you know them more than I do, but are you sure they are not going to allow to wear Lolita? There are a few things you can do to test the waters before you take the plunge into frills.
First, look at Lolita fashions with them. Either find pictures online and show them, or buy one of the various Lolita publications out there and browse through it with them. Leave it on a coffee table where they're sure to find it if you have to! Avoid something like showing them pictures of Lolitas from a manga or anime, as they might think you just want to dress like a character from a cartoon or comic book, they might not understand that some characters in anime and manga wear clothes inspired by real life. See what their reaction to this and let them know that you would love to wear these clothes. If they seem OK with the idea, then you're pretty much good to go. Try to start small though, don't dive head first into towering pink wigs and ultra-rare and expensive dresses.
If you bring up the idea of dressing like the models in these magazines and your parents give you the "I don't mind it, but not on you!" speech then you're probably going to be in for a rockier ride. There's really not much I can tell you that will grantee them to give in and let you wear the frills, but there are a few tips and pointers you can try to get them to hopefully change their minds.
- If your parents pay for your clothes, don't start asking for very expensive pieces. Show them the cheaper side of Lolita first, such as Bodyline. Bodyline prices are very close to mainstream store clothing prices, so it won't be much more than buying "normal" clothes. Do some creative shopping yourself and pick out basics, like blouses, socks, and shoes at local stores. You're parents might not even notice that they are buying you Lolita clothes that way XD Gradually introduce them to the pricier Lolita brands and save asking for expensive pieces for birthdays, Christmas, or other special occasions.
- Dress nicer outside of Lolita. If you typically wear jeans and hoodies your parents might not think you are actually going to wear the fancy new clothes you are asking for. There's nothing parents like less than wasting money, so show them that you can indeed dress up when you're not forced to. Wear a blouse every now and then instead of a tee shirt and, especially if you're not used to it, wear a causal skirt every now and then. Some parents are afraid that their kids are just going to ruin nice clothes, you're obviously not a 6 year old any more, running around with a Popsicle melting down your arm and a tootsie roll stuck in your hair, but sometimes parents will still treat you like that. So prove to them that not only do you enjoy dressing nicely, but that you know how to take care of nicer clothes. Check out this post about wearing elegant clothes outside of the Lolita fashion for more ideas.
- Earn your Lolita clothes. Whether you have a part-time job, an allowance, you sell off some old stuff on ebay, or just obsessively save money from holidays and birthdays, be willing to spend some of your own money on the fashion. If you don't get an allowance, you can always try bargaining with your parents, it's what I did when I was younger since I didn't get an allowance! Agree to do something like keep the lawn mowed for a month, or do all the dishes for 2 weeks straight in return for a Lolita dress (Keep the first tip in mind though, most parents don't think doing the dishes is worth $300). Let your parents know that you are serious about wearing Lolita and you're willing do work for it if you have to!
- Discuss your budget with your parents. If you have a part-time job of your own that pays enough to be able to afford brand, but your parents are against you spending every penny of your paycheck on Lolita, talk to them about budgeting. Instead of just blowing whole paychecks on burando, put some money aside each week until you have enough. Prove that you're mature enough with your money to pay for both necessities and luxuries.
- Find out why they might not let you wear Lolita. Some parents are very picky about what their kids wear and don't like the idea of them dressing "weirdly". There could be a lot of reasons why they don't like the idea, they might worry that you would get picked on, or they could have a misconception about alternative styles. If they flat out say "No, my kid's not going to dress weird!" try to find out why they don't want you to and discuss it with them. Make sure it doesn't turn into a yelling match though, as that might be all the more reason not to let you.
What to do if your parents don't trust the fashion because of the word "Lolita"?It's no secret that "Lolita" has a few different meanings, because of this your parents might instantly get the wrong idea about what you mean when you say you want to start dressing in the Lolita style. First of all, you shouldn't really completely avoid calling it Lolita, as they're bound to figure out that it's called that since it's on many Lolita websites and right in the title of many Lolita magazines. Explain the style to them, let them know that it is a fashion from Japan that is based on wearing modest and feminine clothes. Reading the book yourself might be a good idea, even just so you will have first hand knowledge about just how little it has to do with the fashion. Also, it's a pretty good book and a classic, so you should definitely read it for those reasons as well.
That's about all the advice I could give on the subject, like I said, there's really no sure fire way to allow your parents to dress the way you want. Some parents are just more willing than others.
To my readers, how did your parents react when you first started wearing Lolita? Did you have to do any convincing or did they encourage you to dress however you wanted?