dinsdag 30 januari 2018

Age and Lolita Fashion

In the last months, multiple articles have been published about age / aging in lolita fashion. Recently my fellow Dutch lolita friend Liv wrote an article for the KERA website and in November there was an interesting article by Lucy at Wunderwelt Libre telling about that things are changing at the moment when it comes to fashion (or other subcultures) and a link to a Rufflechat discussion about a show with Misako Aoki (who is now 35) and was possibly 'mocked' about her age. I think this is a fascinating subject, of course also because I'm an older lolita (and still wear sweet), so let's talk about this!
Wearing lolita fashion until you die? That was Momoko's thought (screenshot from Kamikaze Girls)

A short while ago my colleagues and I were talking about aging in general, because somehow it gets harder sometimes to guess peoples (physical) age. We get kids later in life (if at all), and we stay younger (in mind or lifestyle) just a little bit longer I think, at least that counts for most of us. It is harder to find a serious stable job and maybe it's also because we have the freedom to choose what we actually like to do instead of doing what someone said we are supposed to do, like it used to be in older days. There is not a 'normal' time anymore to 'settle down' , it's not even normal to 'settle down' (you know, with partner, buy a house etc) I guess. So yeah, people are adjusting and more flexible.

The other side of the coin however is that that amount of freedom creates a lot of room, or maybe emptiness, that we somehow want to fill in our lives. Just like any other hobby it's just a form of spending your time. That is also because: we have that time. Lot of us don't have to take care of our family that much or don't have to work double jobs to earn enough money or are active in church or whatever. So you search something else to fill your time with.
And when we get a bit older it might be hard to find new friends so search for other hobbies, other communities. For active lolita's it's interesting to ask yourself: what would you be or do without lolita fashion?

When it comes to Lolita Fashion, we all know it's not a cheap fashion and although cheaper Taobao brands are getting more accessible, the main brands are still popular and selling new dresses for about 200-300 Euro (and this is without shopping service and import costs). For a teen this is a lot of money and I think lots of parents might find it a bit much to spend on a piece of clothing, but it still happens. I knew about teen lolitas that just bought a dress only once per year or two years because of this and that's totally understandable. Then again, nowadays young people have a lot of money to spend because the living circumstances (of parents) are getting better.
I'd like to wear more
Otome / casual lolita
but I usually just
don't have the time in
the morning to prepare.
And because of the shift in modern freedom and not settling down early, I think we have more people in their twenties, getting their first job and spending money on the fashion because they don't have a lot of other expenses and can choose to spend (part of) it freely. So that might influence the age shift.

The look of the fashion changed too, the modern-day classic-sweet approach really also suits 'older' ages. Colors are a bit toned down, there aren't bows everywhere etc. That said.. that is more of a generic look on what would suit people their age, and I for one am not a fan of that kind of thinking like that. I think that lolita fashion also already stands for wearing something alternative that just makes you happy, so why not just wear whatever you like in despite of your age?

I don't see myself
stop loving cute stuff
anytime soon
Don't get me wrong, I don't wear full lolita fashion to my work as a (applied university) teacher because that's both not practical and probably I wouldn't be taken serious anymore, but I do sometimes wear more toned-down versions (Otome-like) if I feel like it and have the time. And in my own time, I just wear whatever, whenever I like it. Because it makes ME happy.

I think that is the most important lesson actually, that you shouldn't let other
people (or your own thoughts about other peoples thoughts) stand in between you and whatever makes you happy. And I guess that not everyone is that bold in their choices, but even outside of fashion it is very important. Don't let mental made-up rules dictate what you do with your life (well okay maybe except for things stated in the law), there are always people who will have a different opinion than you, and that's fine (who cares?), but this is your life so get the most out of it that will make you happy, not anyone else!

Where do you see yourself some years in the future? Will it matter what you will wear or will it matter if what you do makes you happy? I wonder how other people think about this, let me know!

3 opmerkingen:

  1. I totally agree that you should just do what make you happy (provided it doesn't hurt anyone, of course)! I'm 27, which isn't "old" but is getting there, and I have no intention of giving up lolita any time soon because it brings me so much joy.

    1. Ah glad you think the same, you shouldn't give up on something that makes you happy in life :) hope you have many happy lolita years to come ^^ !

  2. The first part of your article is quite surprising to read as a French person since, on contrary, younger generations are the most exposed to insecurity and instability here.

    Still, I completely agree with your conclusion! I've always been kind of a devious person anyways, so I'll keep wearing what makes me happy as long as I can!

    I'm only 20 (soon to be 21) but I already hear the clock ticking as I get closer to the end of my academic cursus (well, I still got 3 years but time passes so fast!) ><