Friday, 14 March 2014

The Most Challenging Substyles, And How To Pull Them Off.

I love this week's theme at Lolita Blog Carnival! Let's jump at the most difficult one I can think of because sometimes the only way I can explain even to myself why X = Z is by writing about it. So without further ado -

Asiotus, one of the few people I've seen deliberately putting adult/sexy themes in her outfits and pulling it off.


This style seems to be so hard to pull off properly, and as a lolita style, that I had to search long and hard to find suitable examples of ero done right. Hah, it was hard enough to find some that weren't eye-bleedingly bad! I even found some old pictures of my nuub times when -
- but let's let the year 2006 rest in peace shall we? Suffice to say that the main reason ero-lolita coords fail is, that

people use the style as a label to describe what they're wearing instead of dressing up to the style.

What's the difference? It's that throwing on a miniskirt with some lace on and calling it ero is not the same as deliberately putting together an ero-loli outfit. Besides ero-lolita as a style suffers very much of the same illness as wa-lolita: people only concentrate on the ero/wa aspect and entirely forget that the focus should still be in lolita. All lolita outfits are firstly lolita, secondly substyle. If we think of the cake-comparison (lolita style is like a cake - you can leave out a few things but if you leave out too much you won't have a cake) you could say that a substyle is like the icing and decorations: if you only take the substyle idea "ero" and decide to wear anything and everything as long as it's revealing it's like slapping a heap of icing on an empty plate - it's not a cake no matter how hard it tries to be one.

How to pull it off?

1) The most important rule: remember that the outfit is a lolita outfit and that you're trying to create a lolita look. One of the key points of lolita is modesty, and - haha - you can't forget that even with the style that's supposedly the erotic version of lolita! You may not have to cover as much as with the other styles but you shouldn't get too carried away with the "sexiness"-part; the important aspect is what you show and how much of it. You should be going for suggestive/cute/mature rather than a sex pop, and that can be achieved without getting half-naked.

You don't actually have to wear your clothes much, if any smaller than for other lolita looks since bondage items also feature in the ero-lolita style!

2) The golden rule of avoiding a cheap look in revealing clothing is to only show the top or the bottom. If you're going to be generous with your cleavage, forget the miniskirt. Legs need the attention? Cover the boobs. Simple, works in every style. 

The ever so lovely Ruchkina.

3) Whichever part you're going to show needs to be presented well. If your skirt is just short it'll look like a fashion faux-pas, so add something to make damn sure everyone knows you want to show what's out. Nice socks, sock toppers, garters, shoes, everything to make sure that the attention is not only directed to the right area, but also that the right area looks absolutely stunning.

4) Quality, quality, quality. Ero-lolita is not a style that would excuse you to use cheap looking items, exactly the opposite. The more luxurious the look you make for the style the safer you are! Although you're probably safe enough just as long as it doesn't look like you dived into a Top Hotic clearance sale bucket and came up wearing whatever stuck, which for some reason is the look of almost every ero-lolita coord out there...

5) This is more of my own opinion, but every lolita style should be wearable outside of the house. For that reason I don't consider coords that are basically just underwear as ero-lolita coords. Sure, the ero is there, but where's the lolita? These underwear coords are, however, accepted as a form of ero-lolita in the West so my opinion should be taken as it is, an opinion and not a fact/rule. If you like wearing an underwear coord just go ahead, I won't judge (I love those coords anyway).

This pic takes me back... old school style guide, authentic from the era when old school was fashion du jour! :D Ero is masterfully portrayed here: her skirt's shorter than the others and you can see her suspenders, but in fact her outfit isn't even that revealing.

6) Don't limit yourself to thinking that ero = less clothes. Ero includes, besides the previously mentioned bondage influence, also a much wider range of acceptable materials than your typical lolita look. You could be going for a cotton or velvet, but you could also be considering leather, pvc, netting etc. Many fetish items may look right at home with this style and it's also one of the rare lolita styles that looks natural with a corset worn on top of the clothes.

However, remember the cake. For once the cake is not a lie. All those ideas above are just frosting, get the lolita look done right before you begin to apply them. 

7) Don't limit yourself with styles or colours either, there are lots of things within the ero-acceptable list of things to wear that you can take to other substyles as long as they look natural, and not "the coord's almost flawless but OMG WHY THE DOG COLLAR". 

8) If something looks good in art it may not look good in real life. If a popular artist has an epic stage outfit it may still not look good as a coord. Just because something's in the GL Bible doesn't make it automatically lolita. If you fail don't give excuses, just try again. Especially don't excuse a failed coord by saying it's supposed to be ero-lolita instead.

9) Go wild. You may be able to add the ero items such as corsets to other substyles of lolita if you do it with good taste. Not every coord that claims to be ero is ero, and likewise not every coord that uses adult themes has to be ero - but it's a difficult thing to manage and may take a few tries to get right. If you at some point or another get told to "stop trying to pull off ero, it will never happen" remember the fallacy in that sentence, because if you take it seriously and stop then you're actually being the person who's ensuring ero as a style will never happen. Difficult styles will only ever become successful when someone figures out how they work and others take their example. Sure, maybe you'll never pull off the style. That's always the risk there is. But while trying you may inspire someone else who does manage to pull it off, and that's all that matters if the aim is to "make a style happen".



  1. I'm so glad someone wrote a nice article about Ero Lolita ! As yo usaid, Ero =/= less cloth, but quality, sensuality, mystery. :)

    1. Thank you for the nice comment, I'm glad you liked it! Ero is sadly one of those styles that has an awkward reputation which is a shame because it effectively keeps the more seasoned lolitas from trying it at all. I firmly believe it's do-able though (no puns intended), all it needs is more people with a good sense of style to gt interested in it. :)