Lolita fashion, perhaps more than any other alternative fashion, is an exacting, meticulous beast. There have been multiple rulebooks, magazines, blogs, and videos devoted to how to style a coordinate. Rules or guidelines cover how long dresses should be, what shoes are appropriate, what kinds of accessories are required, even what hair styles suit the style best. I believe in these rules. They taught me how to wear lolita. And with that respectful nod to the Rules, I can confidently say: it doesn’t matter if your lavenders don’t match.
“Jenna,” you might say, “Be reasonable. You can’t just tell people that color matching doesn’t matter. This fashion has standards to uphold!”
Hypothetical internet armchair critic, I agree. This fashion has a specific silhouette, it has attention to detail, and dozens of other specific features that make it unique and wonderful. But lolitas have better things to worry about than wonder if the blouse they ordered is ivory or eggshell.
First, not even Japanese brands care as much as we do about color matching. Angelic Pretty is perhaps the most notorious, but all brands are guilty of offering accessories that don’t match their prints, or even headbows that don’t match dresses (to say nothing of the colors from different prints, even if they are all supposed to be the same color). If you can’t wear a full set from AP and be guaranteed to match, then what hope do the rest of us mere mortals have for finding the same shade of sax shoes to go with our JSKs?
Additionally, it’s pretty difficult for the average person to pick out colors that match precisely, especially if that matching has to occur on a computer screen. It’s relatively easy, therefore, to take two items that might not match perfectly and place them far away from each other so that no one will notice that your headbow is a slightly different shade of navy than your socks (I do this all the time).
Furthermore, since lolita places such a big focus on accessories, it’s very easy to blend non matching colors together using multiple shades in accessories and garments. Generally, if you only have two shades of the same color, you’ll look like you got dressed in the dark. However, if you add more shades, your color palette expands to look intentional. I did this here for a Valentine’s Day coordinate. My dress, shoes, hairpiece, and brooch are all different reds. Rather than look messy, it looks like I was trying to evoke a red palette.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, lolita is and always has been a street fashion. It is meant to adorn the bodies of those people brave enough to wear it. That means that the fabric, the prints, and the colors will be in motion. They will be in shadow and in bright sunlight. They will be washed, they will be stained, and yes, sometimes they won’t match. That’s part of the beauty of this hobby. Our prized possessions aren’t just pieces of art that hang on a wall. They are lovingly constructed garments that are meant to go out into the world and be worn.
So the next time you look at your wardrobe and find those burgundy shoes that you really thought were wine, I hope put them next to your red dresses and find a sense of balance and peace. They don’t match. But its okay.
By day, Jenna is a legal professional living in Los Angeles, California. By night (and weekends), she is a frill wearing monster who loves Innocent World and lolita indie brands. When she isn’t taking mirror selfies of her coordinates, she enjoys reading comic books, playing board games, and snuggling with her pup, Lily. You can see her mirror selfies on her instagram @lovelylaceandlies and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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