Back to the topic of wa-lolita - today I wanted to talk about how not all that looks wa-lolita actually is wa-lolita.
Wa-lolita as a style is akin to wearing a yukata, which it resembles the most in both looks and formality. However, not every outfit that has yukata sleeves and a short, poofy hem can be worn as wa-lolita. If the lolita part in it is lacking then it may not even be meant for the style, after all there are plenty of f.ex. gyaru styles that also like to play with the yukata form. This also means that you cannot take your coordinating influence from magazines or sales pages unless you're sure they're actually trying to go for lolita.
Example one, not lolita. Everything about these coords screams gyaru from the short length of hem to the hairstyles to the shoes to the make-up to the... well you're getting it. Both coords are cute and the yukata influence is obvious, but LOLITA they're not.
Could you use them for lolita? Probably, but not as they are. You'd have to wear another skirt underneath for length, add tights or socks, wear shoes that fit the lolita style better, remove lots of accessories because such overdecorating looks off in every non-OTT lolita style (but not necessarily in f.ex. hime gyaru) and so on and so on. When looking at an item that looks like it could be wa-lolita always try to look at it from the lolita side. Would that work in classic? Gothic? Could I match that with sweet without auto-itaing myself?
Another example, this time complete with RHS-type shoes and knee socks to further confuse you. It looks cute as a coord but the lolita is weak in this one. The biggest non-lolita hint is, as nearly always, the length of hem. If it's not long enough then it may be meant to be worn as a quirky type of a yukata instead of wa-lolita. Btw if you want to see some fun examples of how a yukata can be altered, look here! The owls have my heart...
Could this one be lolified? Maybe - add a skirt, better socks, do the hair as in lolita and it probably would not harm to add an obi in a simple block colour to balance out the busy print.
What about this one then, one of the newest in the Bodyline yukata section (in my personal opinion it's the best of their yukatas)? I'd say it could go many ways, especially since the hem is stated to be 45cm long which is a typical length for lolita (most of my skirts range from 40cm to 55cm)(40cm is a tad too short for me though).
I've yet to see them post a coord featuring this item so I'm not sure how they're thinking of it, but as it's such a wonderfully simple looking coord in every colourway I'd say wearing it as lolita would not be difficult at all. Just keep in mind the rules of lolita and don't think that just because it's wa-lolita you could somehow gain the loliness automatically, because wearing even the prettiest, most accurate wa-lolita coord can fail if just thrown on as is. I know what I'm talking about - I've done the mistake myself and I have a bit too many photos to remind me to never do it again... -.-