What Goth Has Taught Me About Lolita. Plus: More Meme!

While it might not be apparent from this blog, it being a Lolita blog, but regular old Goth has always been my first love. It started growing up around movies such as Beetlejuice, The Addams Family, and Edward Scissorhands, and then finally manifested sometime around 8th grade when I got my first pair of black stompy boots and started wearing my younger sisters old witch Halloween costume as a blouse (to be fair, it was a black 1970's era silk dress with billowing sleeves, not an off-the-Walmart-rack kids costume). While I have been something of a poor Goth for the past 4 or so years, having pretty much given up a mostly Goth wardrobe for a strictly Lolita wardrobe, it still holds a special place in my heart. Nowadays, the closest I really get to actually looking like a Goth is Gothic Lolita but I still love to, I guess you could say, "Live the Gothic lifestyle", which is pretty apparent by my questionable tastes in decorating, a predilection towards gloomy music, and a general all-around enjoyment of the spooky and macabre.

The point of all of this is that I came into Lolita no stranger to standing out in a crowd but being part of an alternative subculture. By the time I got my first "Hey little Bo Peep!" shout from a stranger I was already an expert at dealing with "Hey Elvira!" calls. I feel that coming from a Gothic background, if you will, had really made me prepared for anything Lolita could throw at me, from cat calls, to internet drama. Some of these things should be common sense, or are things most Lolitas eventually figure out on their own, but these are all things that Goth taught me before I even donned my first petticoat.
  • Trends aren't to be taken seriously and are best for adding to the ever-growing pot of cool stuff to wear. We Lolitas love our trends, I am not going to lie and say I don't usually love whatever silly new trend comes along, but I feel that all too often, once trends are over with many Lolitas are pretty much done and completely over them. I like to think that we should be able to just keep dipping into the great big well-o'-Lolita-trends without people feeling like they need to suggest ways in which they can update their outfit. While Goth has it's fair share of trends, I feel like they stick around for a much longer time than Lolita trends, and don't start getting labeled as "old school" 3 years down the road.
  • Respect your elders. What gothling doesn't one day long to be an Eldergoth, or look back with admiration to the long ago days of Old School Goth? I feel that within Lolita the opposite often seems like it is the case, younger Lolita's always debate about how old "too old" is for Lolita, and giggle at how ugly things used to look. My feelings on the subject can pretty much be summed up in this Lolita Secret that popped up a few months ago. While you don't have to love what the Lolita fashion looked like in the 90's, and it's up to you to decide when you personally want to stop wearing Lolita, there's no reason to scoff at your own most-favorite-fashion-in-the-whole-wide-world's roots. 
  • Some strangers are going to hate you and think you're ugly, stupid, and worthless just because of the way you dress. It's a sad fact, but it's really just something you're going to have to learn to live with. The best thing about this is that it is a pretty quick and dirty way of separating your real friends from people who are hardly worth your time, and especially not your friendship. 
  • You don't like it when people judge you, so stop judging other people. This goes hand-in-hand with the above lesson. You don't like it when other people make assumptions about the way you dress, so why start making assumptions about other people based on how they dress?
  • To "normal" people, we all look equally silly, so stop squabbling about who looks better than whom. A Vampire Goth and an Ethereal Goth are going to look like pretty much the exact same thing to the average person, so what's the point in pretending like one is better than the other if they're both going to face the same prejudices from outsiders? The same can be said of Sweet Lolitas and Classic Lolitas, or any of the other common Lolita verses. 
  • Clichés are fun, but not something to base your life around. With Goth, sometimes it is fun to get excited about vampires, or to gloom around a cemetery, but it's certainly not mandatory, and if it's just not your thing, there's no reason to pretend it is. The same can be said of Lolita, a fair number of Lolitas feel like if one does not love tea, have manners that would put Emily Post to shame, and are fluent in Japanese, then, why, they are simply not a proper Lolita. Luckily though, these notions that the cliché is not only the norm but the only way are often newbie misconceptions that are frequently shattered by spending a few months in said subculture.
Despite some overlap in the aesthetics and interests, the Gothic subculture is pretty far removed from Lolita(Arguments of "Lolita is just frilly clothes!" vs. "There's more to Goth than just wearing black!" for starters) but I still think they can learn a lot from each other!

I had mistakenly credited one blog for coming up with the 30 day Lolita challenge, but it turns out it was actually posted on The Random Lolita, which is actually a blog I'm quite fond of (and this has nothing to do with the fact she's wearing one of my bonnets in her banner : 3), but I've been out of the blogging loop for the past month so the original post completely slipped past me!

I'm really loving this challenge, not just because it gives me an excuse to use some silly .gifs and super-kawaii lolita blog graphics, because it's a nice mix of personal and typical Lolita questions and it gives a little sneak peak of what the person is like without all their frills.

Day 4 – 10 different kinds of food you like.
Honey Moxie Cola Curry Rose flavored anything Guacamole/avocados Falafel  Sushi Salads French fries Cotton candy


    1. I love this post! I too got into lolita through my initial love of the Goth style (also punk style too) I agree with 100% of what was said here :D

    2. That lolita secret is so good. Wow.

    3. I started loving all things dark and gothic at age 10 and at 12 years old, I started liking all things vintage. And sometimes I would combine the two styles and have some fun with it :) My love for the frills and elegance of Lolita didn't come until I was 14. (I'm 16 now) These are the three different styles that I wear on a regular basis. I don't like one style more that the other, they're all great to me. But goth fashion & music will always have a special place in my heart<3

    4. This is a great post. I'm a goth too and I discovered Lolita through Victorian goth (and the eldergoth/lolita Jillian Venter's Gothic Charm School website and book)
      Feel the stompy boot love! <3

      I was already used to the odd stares when I came to this fashion, the only difference was that the weird comments got funnier (never got called a "Swiss maid" before lolita- even if I have no idea what the hell that is XD )

    5. Totally with you on the eldergoth thing - when I see a 50-year-old lady with purple hair and New Rocks (and sometimes a young'un in tow!), snidely thinking she's 'too old' has never entered my head. Hell, I want to run over and congratulate her!

      And also with the dealing with strangers hating you - debatably, this may be easier for goth than lolita, because the stuff shouted is so boringly cliche you can brace yourself in advance! 'It's not hallowe'en yet!' - *yawn*, heard it all before! But the arsenal of cliched responses seems smaller atm for a lolita, so I've found it takes a minute of nervous wondering when someone shouts to a) figure out what they said and b) wonder what wacky pop culture reference you've never heard of was going on in their head to make that link?! As chaoskitten said...wtf IS a 'swiss maid'?! :D

    6. I rather like this post. I'm a Goth too, so these are all lessons I've learned. It actually feels kind of strange that other people didn't learn them. They're just common knowledge to me now.

      The Ethereal Goth blog post was originally from The Ultimate Goth Guide. I know Amy has been annoyed at Gothic Holiday for reblogging her writings without permission.


      That's the original posting of it.

    7. Thanks for the heads up about the link! I actually just started following Ultimate Goth Guide the other week, but I didn't recognize the post!

    8. This is a great post. I especially love the one about the lolita elders - we need to give them more respect!

    9. Siouxsie Sioux!! <3333 Girl, I like you *u*
      P.S.- I'm a goth deep down xPPP

    10. I got my first pair of stompy boots until college... lucky you :(
      This are really valuable lessons that should aply not only to goth and lolita but to every subculture.

    11. I never gave it that much thought... but you're absolutely right. The elder lolita's really deserve more respect. (Not that I've been disrespectful. Despite of the fact that I'm a new lolita.) 

      Thank you for pointing that out ^^

    12. SIOUXSIE!

      I'm more of a Goth than a Lolita if I'm honest, but honestly I tend to find the Goth Scene far more bitchy that Lolita, and full of people trying to claim they're first generation Goth when they're not to appear cool :/
      People are indeed strange.

    13. I really agree with you.

      Great text ^^

    14. I was quite a emo before I got into Lolita, but my best friend was a goth and we shared a lot of the same things:P

    15. I totally agree with you! I have also noticed that there seems to be really snarky attitudes towards people over 21 who find themselves attracted to alternative subcultures from the younger ones...

      Maybe they're just jealous we can afford all the good clothes hehe :)

    16. You...are SO speaking to my inky, sparkly-black soul right now. Or what's left of it after I stripped it and traded it out for Old Navy T-shirts and jeans. Reading this just reassures me that it's totally ok for me to revisit my roots and stay there if I so choose (my shiny-new blue hair is a great start to this, lol)!

    17. I love this post <3 ^-^ I have been goth for about 2 years now. It's just what feels right to me. I add in lolita rather than changing over my whole wardrobe. Over these couple of years, I have learned these lessons.. at first, it was really embarrassing because I tried SO HARD to stick to the cliches.. I even thought I was a vampire and I wouldn't go near garlic or sunlight >.< (now I just don't go near sunlight because I like how I look pale XD)
      I definitely agree about the "respect your elders" thing D: It is kind of astonishing how young lolitas sometimes talk about their elders.
      Thanks for posting this ^-^ <3

    18. I love goth and Lolita! This is a great post. It's so sad how some people can be fashion snobs, within the Lolita community and outside it. :(

    19. lol, the goths are in their forties and fifties now. I went to a club not long ago and everyone was old, but so am I. :) I don't mean to sound rude, yet I think there are no real true goths anymore, just offshoots of it. The music was WAAAY better back then too... Lolita is a nice alternative though and very aesthetic. It is probably the most attractive Gothic subgroup today.

    20. I just stumbled upon this post so my comment might seem a little late. So much feels for this post though! Like you, I entered the fascinating world of lolita fashion by the back door of my much beloved goth scene :) I agree with you all the way. Coming from an alternative scene certainly prepared me for what was to come. I will even dare to say that I am quite immune to it all to a certain extent. Cat calling, some witty, most lame. Drama, oh the drama is strong with the goth scene too :p The fast lived trends: one significant element that kept me away from the throw away fast consumerism plagued mainstream fashion all these years and made alternative fashion a safe haven for me. Thank you for a most enjoyable read!


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