Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL for short) is a type of OtherKin. Specifically VampireKin.
Somewhat of a cross over between Gothic Lolita, Elegant Aristocrat, and Steampunk, The Elegant Gothic Lolita is one of the earliest Lolita movements. Started in the 1970s, long before the addition of crinoline mini skirts, doll face make up, dolly eyes, or chunky shoes, the EGL has a distinctive look that stands out as markedly different from any other type of Lolita. EGL is often described as "the mature women's Lolita" as most of the women who wear it are in their 40s or older. The reason older women are seen wearing it however, is because most of them started wearing it as teens in the 1980s and are still wearing it once they got older.
The primary difference between Elegant Gothic Lolita and just plain Gothic Lolita (sometimes called Sweet Gothic Lolita) and the Elegant Aristocrat is the OtherKin element. While EGLs live every day of their lives as though they were vampires, Gothic Lolitas are just Lolitas wearing Gothic fashion and Elegant Aristocrats are just Goths who focus on the Victorian fashion period. An Elegant Aristocrat and a Gothic Lolita does not consider herself to be a type of OtherKin while the EGL does identify as a type of OtherKin, specifically VampireKin.
While EGL wears ashen, white, vampire looking make-up, the Gothic Lolita wears sweet, rosy cheeked baby doll make up.
Gothic Lolita looks cute and innocent, Elegant Aristocrat looks wealthy and important, EGL looks creepy, dead, and has a somewhat erotic BDSM fetish feel to it.
Hairstyles are very different as well. Gothic Lolitas have big sausage curls, often in blond or pastels like pink or mint. EGLs often have dread locks or cyberpunk yarn hair, and a wild disheveled look. Elegant Aristocrats tend to go for a Gibson Girl or similar historically accurate style.
Gothic Lolita wears big chunky shoes to make them look like a toddler. EGLs wear sexy fetish shoes. Elegant Aristocrats aim for historical accuracy in their show styles.
Also, the Sweet Gothic Lolita wears the super short Shirley Temple crinoline skirts that are typically associated with Lolitas, while the EGL is usually wearing ankle or floor length dresses.
Likewise the Elegant Aristocrat will aim more for historical accuracy, while the EGL may have a more fantastical, cartoony, or even a CosPlay look to her outfits.
It's easier to show you the difference between the three very similar styles, so here are some of each side by side, so you can see the difference:
To make things even more confusing to the newbie, there are several other similar fashion types...
For example the Pastel Gothic Lolita is identical to the Gothic Lolita, except instead of black, she wears whit. Frequently you will see them in pairs with one dressed in black and one dressed in white. While the one dressed in black is emulating a vampire, the one dressed in white is emulating a ghost.
Cyber Goth, takes the EGL and gives it a futuristic, techno, sci-fi cyber punk feel too it. These nearly always include bright neon colours, huge dreads, fuzzy legwarmers,
Steam Goth, is a combination of EGL and SteamPunk, and often is in shades of brown and rust. This one incorporates 1940s style pilot gear, especially googles, and often includes eliments of the American Wild West. This one is often done by men more then women.
While the EGLs are dressing in Vampire fashion and the Pastel Goths are dressing in Ghost fashions, there is also the Guru Lolita, who dresses in Zombie fashions, usually as an undead nurse, spattered in blood.
An additional sub-set are the "Good Little Witches".
There is also a style which dress as Wraiths (undead brides who died on their wedding night)
My favorite one is Pastel Fairy Gothic Lolita, which is the one I've done almost the longest and is the one I currently do. It is another of the OtherKin Lolitas and features Fae Realm Kin Folk, such as Faeries, Elves, Unicorns, Mermaids, etc. It's predominantly pinks, whites, and bright pastels.
My 2nd favorite one, and the one I started out with, way back when I was just 12 years old, is Decora Gothic Lolita. Basically take the Jem cartoon, toss it into Lolita, cover everything with buttons, beads, embroidery, and glitter, and that's Decora. I still do Decoa currently.
The other one I currently do is Mori Kei, which is a hippie inspired, bohemian wood nymph style, of loose flowing, long dresses of shades of green, brown, or orange. Worn by all ages from young toddlers to senior women in their 80's. This is the simplest style and has no wigs, no petticoats, and is made of lots of unmatched layers.
So as you can see, there are a lot of different Gothic Lolita styles. And that's only a few of the many sub-styles. There are many, many, many more. But the focus of this page is the Elegant Gothic Lolita, so we'll save the others for another page.
The EGL wardrobe is made up of mostly black or grey, sometimes with a touch of purple or red accents. Shirts tend to be longer and straighter then what is typically seen in other Lolita styles. Bustle skirts and mermaid skirts, corsets, ruffles, and top hats are standard.
The most common type of shoe worn in EGL is the winkle picker, followed by button down spats.
BDSM fetish items such as patent leather, vinyl, extreme high heels, masks, chains, hand cuffs, spikes, and whips may sometimes be seen used in some EGL outfits.
Makeup is mostly black on a white foundation. Nail art is usually black, silver, dark purple, or blood red.
Hair is usually long and either black, grey, silver, or white. If coloured it is usually dark purple, navy blue, blood red, or dusty lilac.
Accessories include Victorian mourning jewelry (black cameos, and large amethyst stones), black chockers made of velvet and lace.
The most common type of purse, bag, totebag, or backpack to carry is one shaped like a coffin, to let people know you are a vampire and can not ever be far away from your grave dirst, so thus carry your grave dirt with you in a mini coffin, to allow yourself to travel farther distances from your grave.
The original intention was to look like an Edwardian vampire, so fake fangs and fake blood are often included in the mix as well. Also as vampires can not go out in daylight, dark glasses and umbrellas are often worn when outside.
I began wearing EGL style in the late 1980s and throughout most of the 1990s. It's not a style I wear often anymore, due to the fact that a bomb blew up my house on October 18, 2006 and most of my EGL wardrobe was destroyed in the fire. EGL is a rather expensive wardrobe to build and I've never had enough spare income since 2006 to rebuild the wardrobe the bomber destroyed.
Elegant Aristocrat, Gothic Lolita, Guru Lolita, Pirate Lolita, and SteamPunk Lolita all branched out of and broke away from EGL in the 1980s and 1990s.
EGL is worn by both men and women and is one of the few Lolita movements where you see nearly as many men as women wearing it.
A lot of people look at fashion movements like Elegant Gothic Lolita and Mori Kei Lolita or Fairy Lolita and ask: Where's the frilly short skirts? It ain't Lolita without the frilly short shirts!
No. Actually, the term Lolita has nothing to do with the type of skirt, but rather is a term that comes from the Porn industry. Yes, I did say Porn industry. The word Lolita come from very controversial child pornography erotica book titled Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The book is about a man having a mid-life crisis and feeling old and no longer able to have sex with women because they make him feel old. He becomes a predator going after progressively younger women, until he discovers the little 12 year old girl next door, named Lolita, who he becomes obsessed with. He takes over the girl's life, in her minds being the daddy she never had, but in his mind he's training her to be the ultimate sex slave. To prevent her from becoming a teenager, and therefor causing him to lose sexual interest in her, he forces her to wear baby cloths and pretend to be a 3 year old as he has reached the point of he can only get sexual satisfaction from children 3 and 4 years old.
The book is incredibly disturbing on many levels and shows the dual sides of a relationship with older men and children, the innocence of the child not knowing what the man is doing to her and the extremes the man will go to to hide his pedophile nature from those around him.
While the book is a horrific work of blatant child pornography and glorifies (and yes promotes child porn, with the author attempting to show it is okay to have sex with children because the child is too innocent to know what sex is and is therefore still a virgin no matter how many times you fuck her), in spite of the book's horrific nature and intent, it is hailed as one of the top 100 classics in literature and is required reading in most High schools across America.
As a result of this book, it became a trend in the 1930s/1940s, for men t make their wives dress up like Shirley Temple. Soldiers stationed in Japan during World War II, made a habit of bringing with them, Shirley Temple dresses and having the Geishas (prostitutes - yes, a Geisha is a prostitute) wear them.
After the war, in the 1950s and 1960s, Geshias kept these dresses and continued wearing them for American men who bought their services.
By the 1970s, it became common practice for most prostitutes to stand on the street corners, dressed in super elaborate versions of the Shirley Temple dress.
By the 1980s, teen girls, wanting to look like hot sexy prostitutes, took to wearing the same fashions.
By the 1990s, Shirley Temple dresses had evolved into the wild baby doll dresses you see today.
Interestingly, when teen girls started wearing "Lolita" fashion as an every day trend, prostitutes went back to wearing their more traditional white face and kimono, and by the 1980s, Lolita was no longer code for "hooker".
When people ask, why was the 3 year old film star Shirley Temple seen by men as a sex object... to find the answer you have to go to her very first, now banned and not available on any DVD anywhere, Porn flicks. Yes, at 3 years old Shirley Temple was the most sought after porn star on silent films.
Though made illegal in 1987, "Baby Porn" porn films that literally stared baby girls in sex scenes with adult men, was the top selling type of porn of all time, and that is what Shirley Temple started out as, before she went on to the more family friendly movies she is known for today.
Had Temple's parents been doing today what they did back in the 1920s, they would have gone to prison. However, in the 1920s child porn was seen nt only as normal, but was considered good for the men who watched it, as it kept them from raping their own daughters, which was not illegal in the 1920s but was frowned upon.
Keeping in mind that the book Lolita was written in this time period. Keep in mind also that the legal age of consent as not increased to the age of 10 until 1957. Yes, in America, before 1957, age of sexual consent was 8 years old. Age of consent was not increased from 10 to 18, until 1987, the same year that the laws were made banning porn stars under the age of 18.
In the end, the word "Lolita" means "too make one look younger then they are" and has nothing to do with the type of shirt worn.
Shirley Temple skirts are the most common skirt worn in the Lolita fashion movement, simply because it makes a women in her 40s look like a 10 year old.
Elegant Gothic Lolita and Mort Kei Lolita, stand out for their lack of the Shirley Temple skirt. Both are called "the mature women's Lolita" because they are often worn by seniors, women as old as their 80s wear these fashions, but while wearing them are often mistaken by strangers as being only in their 20s and 30s.
Interestingly many Americans look at the Lolita girls and assume they are looking at children. Here, let's look at some Classic Shirley Temple style Lolita girls:
How old do you think those girls are?
Most of them are in their 30s, some are in their 40s.
These are not children. They are not teenagers. They are not young adults. These are business women, business women as in doctors and lawyers, who when not at work, walk up and down the streets of Japan, posing for photos for tourists.
It takes a lot of hours, putting on a lot of make-up to transform a women in her 30's into a 10 year old, but that is exactly what these women do.
For many the goal is not to look young, but rather to look like a living doll. Many of these women are a type of OtherKin known as DollKin.
I'm also going to point out here, that not all of the Sweet Lolitas are girls either. I know at least 2 of the ones I included are men.
When men do Doll-Face Sweet Lolita it's called Sissification. It is a type of transvestite and is in fact the type of transvestite that Quaraun is.
Remember, Lolita means "dressing younger then your age", not "wearing poufy short skirts". These women, all in their 60s to 80s, are Lolitas: (This is Mori Kei Lolita and as you can see, men wear it too)
So, remember, you are never too old to be a Lolita, men can be Lolitas too, and Lolita DOES NOT require big poufy mini skirts, because Lolita means "wearing clothes to look younger then you are".
But back to our topic...
One thing to keep in mind is that Gothic does not mean "black", and in fact the real Goths rarely wore black.
There are 2 Gothic periods, one will have you wearing Greek togas and Roman chariot leather. That's the original Gothic Period, which was in late Medieval times.
The other is the Gothic Revival Period, also known as The Edwardian Period, when King Edward was on the throne. There was an additional Gothic Revival Era in France known as the Josephine Era, when Napoleon was on the throne.
Interestingly when most people today set out to create a "Gothic" ensamble, they usually look to Victorian fashions and not Edwardian fashions.
One must consider why it was these periods were considered "Gothic Revival" and why it is that the Victorian Era was NOT Gothic. Gothic Revival meant a return to simpler things. For women it meant tossing aside the corset and wearing loose straight dresses inspired by Greek togas. It meant lots of straight lines and no curves.
Keep in mind that the Gothic Revival gave way to Suffragette and Art Nueve, resulting in Flappers in the 1920s.
When EGL: Elegant Gothic Lolita movement first started in the 1970s, the goal was to look Goth, in other words to dress like Edwardian women's liberators and 1920's Flappers. It meant casting off your bras, freeing you body as well as your soul of the confining restraints of girdles, bras, and corsets.
It is interesting to watch the evolution of Goth fashion over time. In the 1970s Goth fashion had no corsets, no women wore bras, dresses were made of pastel pinks and yellows and were loose fitting.
In the 1980s the Punk movement adopted elements of the Goth movement, resulting in the easily identifiable, black clad Emo Goths which rose up in the 1990s and are what most people think of when they hear the word "Goth".
While Emo Goths wear black and lace up in tight corsets, most Goths are not Emo and do not wear either black or corsets.
The defining nature that makes a Goth a Goth, is their attempts to bring back Gothic fashion to the mainstream.
What one must now ask themselves, what exactly did the Goths wear? To find the answer we must go to the Gothic Period and actually look at the Gothic cloths, worn by the controversial "loose women" of the Gothic period who tossed their corsets aside and fought for the right to vote...
And here they are:
And did you know the fashions in the first 2 columns walked side by side, both from the same period? Most people don't realize that and assume there were many years between the two styles.
Now I must ask... how in the hell did Gothic go from meaning, wearing corset-less clothes resembling white Greek togas, to wearing skin tight black corsets, I don't know. But it did.
<----This is an actual Gothic woman from the actual Gothic Period... The original Goths were women who fought for the right to NOT wear corsets and to show their ankles, and they did it in light airy pastels.
This is today's version of bringing back Gothic fashion
Women (and men) wearing corsets tighter then ever and doing it in black?------>
Can you see the similarities?
Neither can I.
I think, Goth has come to mean "rebellious" and in current fashion, women do not wear corsets, thus a women who DOES wear a corset is seen as rebellious now. The same goes for the color. Dark colours used to be the norm and the rebellious young girls of the Gothic era wore scandalous pinks and yellows. Now pastels are the norm and wearing black is scandalous.
In any case. Gothic means "emulating the Gothic Revival Period" in other words: standing up for your rights, wearing cloths that do not fit the current norm, and not taking shit from no one, and does not mean "wear black", and as such, you can wear whatever colour you want and still be Goth.
All of the images below this point are affiliate links that take you to the page where the product is sold. I've tried to include as many items from Amazon as possible, as they are the site most people are familiar with buying from. There are also links to other sites as well.
If you want to make an EGL outfit like any of the ones shown above, know that most of them, started out with simple easy to find components (skirts, blouses, etc) and then did a lot of hand sewing, hand beading, hand embroidering, altering, cutting pieces out, adding pieces to them, added lace trim, etc. Very few EGL outfits are bought "as is" and the ones that are, cost several thousands of dollars to buy/order/have made.
I will include a section of common items used to embellish clothen items to convert them into the elaborate creations seen in the photos above.
The super elaborate components like horns, feather head dresses, etc, are usually one of a king items made by the person wearing the outfit and are rarely things you can find available for sale.
Also, it is not uncommon to run into "Goth Snobs". They are rare, but they exist. If you run into a Goth or Lolita or other fashion subculture person, who picks on you or belittles you about your outfit being "not Goth enoth" or "too cyber punk to be Loli" or whatever else they can think of to complain about: just ignore them and go right on doing your personal wardrobe the way you feel comfortable.
Never feel you have to fit in 100% with any one style. If you want to wear pink Decora bow filled hair with your Guro Nurse Lolita and toss on some Fairy wings besides, you go right ahead. Remember, every one of these sub-groups within the sub groups of the Lolita and Gothic fashions community, was started by someone who strayed from the "norm" and added their own personal touches to their style.
Remember: The most important thing about your wardrobe is that no matter what you wear, you have fun wearing it.
I will be periodicity adding new items to this page as I come across more, so expect to see it get much bigger over time.