Lolita Fashion can tend to bring out the nitpicker in most of us, and when someone makes a big mistake in their choices in Lolita fashion, it is called Ita. The term Ita is taken from the Japanese word Itai, which literally means 'painful'. The term is meant to mean 'painful to the eyes' as a way of insulting a girls fashion sense (or trying to imply a lackthereof). Things that were Ita back in the day may not be Ita today, and things that are Ita today may not have been Ita before. Also, many girls forget that Ita is a term that should be reserved for things that are indeed 'painful to the eyes' rather than something that seems just a little off.
- Lacemonsters: A Lacemonster is usually a term used to refer to a dress that has way too much lace on it. The situation is made worse if the lace in question contrasts heavily on the fabric it is sewn on. The most common lacemonster dresses are black on white, or white on black. This leads to many new Lolitas thinking that dresses that are black and white in color scheme to be Ita, which I find to be inaccurate. Black and white dresses are an old school icon of the fashion, but lacemonsters, not so much.
- Bad lace: Too much bad lace on a garment tends to make it look cheap, and being that Lolita Fashion is a pricey hobby, no one wants to overpay for something that looks like it's worth less. Discerning bad lace from good lace takes practice, and maybe some trial and error. It pays off in the long run.
- Paying little to no attention to colors: This is more of a basic fashion no-no, not really lolita-specific. If you wouldn't wear clashing colors outside of lolita, you shouldn't wear clashing colors while in lolita.
- Mixing in styles that don't belong: This one can be pretty tricky, because there's a fine line between starting a trend and starting a disaster. Many, if not all of the Lolita Substyles had to start somewhere, and I'm sure that when they arose as new styles, they probably caught alot of flack from the community before being set in stone as a recognized substyle. But that doesn't mean that every style can fit in well.
- Black lipstick: Elegant Gothic Lolita is elegant, but black lipstick is tacky, and rarely suits the wearer's face in any fashion. Instead, the wearer usually ends up looking like they got socked in the face. Black lipstick is out of style in general these days, for goths as well as gothic lolitas.
- Wearing heavy gothic makeup with sweet or classic: Sweet and Classic Lolita focus on a cute and/or fresh look. Classic depends upon a classy mature look more than sweet, and Sweet depends on a cute youthful look more than classic. These aren't the styles where you wear super dark makeup. It is more suited to EGL.
- 'Lolifying' everyday clothing: While this is a very good and creative way to expand your Lolita wardrobe on a budget. However, if this is your first year discovering the fashion, you may be in for alot of mistakes. Common problems with this is poor choice in lace (mentioned above), incorrect choice in dress cut (everyday skirts are almost never full enough to accomodate a petticoat) or lolifying a squaredance dress. Many of these things rarely turn out well.
- Buying dresses too small for your size: This can be especially challenging to the larger-sized Lolita, particularly busty Lolitas, as well as Lolitas who happen to be tall. This is indeed a fashion from Japan, made in Japan, where many of the girls are smaller, and shorter. Generally, most dresses will fit an average girl of average proportions up to an American size 8, however this varies by brand. Many classic brands have longer skirts, good for tall lolitas, however their measurements around the waist and bust tend to be fairly small. Angelic Pretty varies between sort of small, and average, but their skirts tend to be very short, even on their own models! Baby the Stars Shine Bright seems to be the most accomodating, as they have multiple sizings.
- Lack of hair styling: There's nothing more anticlimactic than seeing a pretty girl in a pretty dress and matching accessories and generally good fashion sense who just did nothing with her hair, despite taking the time to dress up. This may not usually translate to outright Ita right away, but it definitely helps to do something with your hair. If you're not very good with styling your own hair, or your hair is too short/thin/etc you can always invest in a good wig, which will generally keep it's style, provided it is taken care of. And although this should go without saying, wash your hair as often as it takes to keep it from being oily.
- Lack of petticoat: This seems to be a fairly obvious one, but it's surprising how many girls jump right into the fashion without ever thinking about a petticoat. The dresses do not keep their charming poof by magic, of course, so a good petticoat is essential. Try to get a good amount of poof, but not too much volume or else your skirt will look like a balloon. Sweet Lolita generally has the most poof, with cupcake-shaped petticoats, whereas classic generally has a more relaxed poof, and more emphasis on A-line petticoats.
There are also some misconceptions about Brand = Instant Lolita and No-Brand = Instant Ita. This simply isn't true. Many non-brand Lolita companies make many splendid dresses for a fraction of the cost of brand. The problem is that many of these companies may also produce lacemonsters or low-quality goods. It is good to read reviews, or ask any of your Lolita friends about a store you have come across that isn't "Glorious Burando" but looks nice anyways. You may be surprised at what you can find, and it will not make you an Ita.