Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sweet-Classic Lolita

"Sweet-Classic" is a phrase that I've noticed popping up in the last couple years that describes, exactly as it sounds, a style that's not quite Sweet and not quite Classic. I like to think of it as the modern Lolita's answer to Country Lolita.

Sweet-Classic is one of those "sort of" styles, it's by no means considered "official" so some people disagree that it's even a style in the first place, and will either consider it to be regular Classic Lolita, just in lighter colors and with cuter prints, or regular Sweet Lolita, with a more sophisticated design. But I feel that it's slowly becoming it's own sub-style, and while it may never be an "official" style, I think it definitely does have an aesthetic of it's own.

If you're interested in some coordinates that blur the line between Classic and Sweet Lolita, check out these scans from some various G&LBs! Click for a bigger picture.



Prints seem to be the big defining factor of this style, both custom brand prints and more generic off-the-fabric-bolt prints. Although brand, many of the following dresses are made with relatively generic all-over floral fabric, and can easily be replicated with easy-to-find commercial fabric and offbrand dresses with similar fabrics can be found at places like Bodyline and Taobao. Keep an eye out for pale pastel colors, not necessarily the muted colors of Classic or the bold and multiple colors of Sweet, but simple pale and pretty pastels. While floral prints still abound, often in vertical or horizontal stripes, there are also prints much more reminiscent of Sweet Lolita, such as cute animals and toys. But the difference is that while most Sweet Lolita prints featuring animals and toys are very cartoony, the Sweet-Classic print features much more realistic illustrations, giving the print more of a Victorian story book look.

Innocent World's Sweet-Classic

Innocent World is probably the brand that first popularized this look, back when they started jumping on the cute border print trend that Angelic Pretty started. While AP was out making prints with toys and cuddly bunnies frolicking and having fun, IW followed shortly behind with more sophisticated versions of cute prints. They often came in more muted pastels and featured much more Victorian styled toys and cute animals, if not just florals.

Baby, the Stars Shine Bright's Sweet-Classic
While Baby didn't really help popularize the Sweet-Classic look, they have been making dresses with a similar aesthetic for a long time, and are always a nice choice if you're looking for a piece featuring pretty Classic florals with a Sweet color scheme and a sophisticated, yet cute cut.

Angelic Pretty's Sweet-Classic
While Angelic Pretty has made the occasional classical floral piece ever since the beginning, they have sort of come full circle with a couple recent custom print additions such as Vanilla Chan or Sugar Pansy, both of which are a huge step away from some of their recent prints, as they are much neater and more sophisticated looking. Even though Vanilla Chan features big headed kittens and bows, the fact that the print is much more orderly looking gives it a completely different aesthetic than some of their other recent prints.

Okay, so I think I know what kind of dresses make for a Sweet-Classic dress, but how do I coordinate it?
Well, since it's not really an "official" style, more of a descriptive phrase, it's sometimes a bit hard to pinpoint what makes something Sweet-Classic, but there are a few key points to the outfits that help define the style.
  • Limited color pallet. Many Sweet-Classic prints already have all the colors an outfit can need in them already! The Lolita interested in this tends to choose not to pick out multiple colors from the print to incorporate throughout the outfit and instead lets the dress and the style be the focus of the outfit, not the color scheme.
  • Minimal and "grown-up" accessories. The Sweet-Classic look isn't about wearing as many matching accessories as possible. In fact, many Sweet-Classic looks seem to exclude wearing any jewelry at all, at the most, possibly a ring or a simple necklace.
  • Simply styled hair. Gone from this style are the huge teased pigtails and wigs that are usually seen in Sweet Lolita, instead the Sweet-Classic enthusiast would wear her hair in a very simple, yet elegant, hairstyle. Such as a pair of braids, buns, or loose in a very gentle curl.
  • Heels. Flat and cute shoes, while an option in Sweet-Classic, aren't seen nearly as much as a pair of cute heels, either heeled mary janes, or a pair of Victorian boots. Matching the color of your shoe to the color of your dress is not necessary, a white or cream pair of heels does just fine.
  • Small hair accessories. Since the Sweet-Classic Lolita's hair is styled simply, without massive amounts of volume, hair accessories are kept simple as well. A small Alice bow, a round headdress, or even simply a cute clip or small hair bow is all that is needed for this style.
Of course, I don't believe that Lolitas should worry too much about fitting the perfect label onto themselves or their outfits, and they certainly shouldn't limit themselves or even individual outfits to fitting perfectly within one style. But I do think it is nice to have a tangible name to go with a particular style, especially if you really enjoy it! What do you think of the style? Do you simply consider it to be merely Classic in softer colors, or perhaps just Sweet with flowers? Or, like me, are you enjoying watching what could possibly be a new Lolita sub-style emerge and make it's own place in the world of Lolita?

Before I end this post, I would also like to point out that in the last post of mine, some people seemed to misunderstand what I was saying. I was not necessarily predicting the rise of the Classic Lolita, so much as I was the decline of the Over-the-Top Sweet Lolita. There is more to Lolita than just OTT Sweet & Classic, and Sweet Lolita certainly isn't going anywhere! There were just as many Lolitas in cute, light pastels in this volume as there are in many of the other recent spring volumes of the G&LB, they just seemed to have ditched the clustery unicorn-and-bunnies-baking-glittery-cupcake prints for elegant florals and decided to leave gigantic pastel wigs at home. That is why I made this post, to remind some that Sweet Lolita isn't ever going to go anywhere, and that OTT Sweet Lolita isn't the only kind of Sweet Lolita out there, even though it may have seemed that way for the past few years! I did not mean to imply that Sweet Lolita is, or ever will be, dead and gone, just that it seems to be growing up a bit, at least for a little while!

3 comments:

  1. And some would argue that it's basically just Classic Lolita in lighter colors, which are all things I point out in this post, several times XD I certainly don't think this is some new thing, especially considering that the very first thing I say is that it's a phrase I've noticed being used a few times in the past few years. This post was mainly meant as "look at these cute coordinates" and a response to some previous comments that OTT wasn't the only kind of sweet around, again, as I have already said in this post.

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  2. I really adore this look actually. I was really put off by all that OTT Sweet Lolita that's been floating around, but this is more up my alley.

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  3. I love sweet-classic! I'm planning on wearing it for casual wear and wearing himeloli for special occasions. <3

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