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What Makes Something 'Ita', in your Opinion? 
10th-Nov-2012 09:24 pm
rose
I'm recently starting out with Lolita (I made my second Bodyline (all I can afford, sadly) order a few days ago, and when it arrives, I'll be all set!), and I'm really nervous about putting together bad coords. Can anyone give me any tips? I know to look out for bad lace, etc, but what in your mind ruins a coord?
:)
Comments 
11th-Nov-2012 03:28 am (UTC)
Sometimes I've noticed it can be as simple as trying to hard! When I first started out I was so worried i wasn't "loli enough" so I just kept adding more things to my outfits like random bows that didn't match/ weren't necessary etc. and when i was done it just was cluttered and overdone. m recommendation is when you start out, keep your coordinates simple until you get a real good grasp on it :) good luck!
11th-Nov-2012 03:30 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, I admit I'm really bad at accessories, so hopefully I won't have that problem) I'm trying to get better at doing hair, too, so it's not just hot and doing this slight wave thing my hair does. :)
11th-Nov-2012 03:31 am (UTC)
A lack of aesthetic balance. There is a particular balance within the details - not too lacey, not to frilly, not too ribbon-y (three of the biggest signs of ita, in my opinion). Lace-monsters are called so due to (often times, poor-quality) lace overload and is an eyesore. It not only applies to material, but colours and structure as well.

It helps to know what looks good on your body and how it will fit - just because you fit into the measurements does not mean it will look appealing. For example, I can't wear anything with shirring in the front due to the fact I am incredibly busty (though, not overweight) and 9 times out of 10, I stretch the shirring out in the bust entirely. It winds up looking almost desperate attempt to fit into brand. It, in my opinion, is much better to look good in offbrand than barely fit in brand.

It takes a bit of trial and error to find what looks good and what doesn't, and how to coordinate pieces together well. I sometimes stumble on this. But once you find something you like and feel comfortable with, I think you will be content.
11th-Nov-2012 03:36 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, even if something isn't over the top, or it's just a daily coord that I put together with the pieces I currently have (some from little boutiques - gems! - I found back in Australia, some from lolita stores), I worry that if I DO happen to see someone who knows lolita they are going to think I failed completely.
I am trying to find a balance between too low key (so much that it isn't real lolita), and too OTT - really, I'm just hoping to find a balance, and hopefully when my new stuff arrives, I'll be good! :)
11th-Nov-2012 03:51 am (UTC)
Shelby's video helped me a lot in terms of how to divide up my outfit and using asymmetrical aspects to bring balance throughout the coord. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsMNZk67AVo&feature=plcp
I think a lot of people are very scared about looking like a beginner... but this is a part of learning, and everyone started out a beginner and not looking their best, so don't be scared, because it is going to happen, but that's how you become better and train your eye, I think.
11th-Nov-2012 03:54 am (UTC)
That's a really helpful video! Thanks! :)
11th-Nov-2012 03:55 am (UTC)
'Ita' versus just a bad coordinate is pretty different for me.

imo 'ita' is a tragic outfit that's extremely attention-grabbing and shouty (brand or not!) paired with an equally awful attitude (usually leaning on the side of weeaboo). Lots of over-compensating to mask whatever other deficiency there may be, and getting defensive and special snowflakey about it.

A coordinate turning sour in general can happen to anyone, newbie or not. You can have bad coordinates by simply being really boring or underdressed or not having washed up lol. Clashing makeup, lank hair, 'hey this blouse/skirt colour combo actually looks pretty rank in daylight oh nooo', etc.
11th-Nov-2012 03:59 am (UTC)
OP, "ita" is a shortening of the Japanese word "itai," meaning "painful." Ita is synonymous with bad (or "sour") coordination but is often used to refer to "noob" coordinations or more costumey pieces. However, it can be used to refer to anything that looks bad. Ita has nothing to do with attitude and everything to do with appearance.
11th-Nov-2012 04:29 am (UTC)
I am pretty aware of its original definition from Japan, but IMO it's evolved into something contextually a little different in the Western lolita community, mostly because the word's been severely overused.

idk maybe for me it's because I stopped caring unless it was a superbly tragic outfit that gets to comedic levels of badness (and to achieve that in this day and age takes a certain determination!); I feel 'ita' gets flapped around too much in Western lolita communities for outfits that aren't even painfully bad, just lame.
11th-Nov-2012 04:40 am (UTC)
Honestly, after talking to some itas with sour attitudes I walk away and think "ouch" to myself, so I agree with that definition just as an individual perception.
11th-Nov-2012 08:40 am (UTC)
I agree with this. Most bad coordinates genuinely don't fall into "ita" territory and I would be extremely reluctant to call a well-meaning newbie to the fashion ita- because I genuinely wouldn't consider her painful to look at, just in need of a little assistance!
11th-Nov-2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
I agree with this, as well as the idea that 'ita' get's tossed around way to much. I've seen plenty of girls pictures being labeled ita and all I saw was a girl who just needed a little help.
11th-Nov-2012 05:09 am (UTC)
A) not wearing a petticoat and
B) having greasy or unkempt hair.

I know those things seem super simple, but a lot of people seem to forget about them (even I thought it was okay to not wear a petti when I started out. It looked dreadful). Having the right silhouette and being clean are absolutely essential. It also helps to wear makeup, because cameras will catch flaws that can't be seen in regular light.
12th-Nov-2012 02:41 am (UTC)
This this this this!

I hate it when people forget to take care of themselves, not strictly in lolita. Clean hair and clean skin is a must, if you want anyone to take you seriously, whether you're dressed up or not.
11th-Nov-2012 05:40 am (UTC)
I have to agree with the posters above. Usually bad coords, imo, are those that have too much of something. I would really encourage you to not mix prints. Many lolitas think that because the colors match, or mostly match, that it will still work but often times that's not the case. If you wish to retain a balance, then pairing solids with prints would be a good route to go.

Definitely wear a petti, and if you don't want to do anything with your hair, at least wash it and blow dry upside down to give volume. If you are usually very busy, invest in a nice wig. Wear makeup too, if you are able (I know some people are allergic to it). It makes no sense to me to put on a gorgeous dress but not make yourself up. That's like going to prom without makeup or a hair style...same idea. There are so many tutorials for hair/makeup in youtube that are quick, I love watching them, and you can learn a thing or two that you can easily incorporate into your coords.

I definitely agree with buying items that best match your body type/shape. It will take some time to find out what works best, but when you put on a dress, if you think it doesn't fit quite right, then it probably doesn't.

Either way, best of luck :)

EDIT: I wanted to add, you may have seen it somewhere, but bodyline is not ita. BL is a brand, some people don't like it, and maybe some of their pieces are ita, but don't think that you will automatically be labeled "ita" because you're wearing bodyline. Hope it arrives to you soon!

Edited at 2012-11-11 05:41 am (UTC)
11th-Nov-2012 07:47 am (UTC)
1. Not wear bloomers
2. Unstyled hair (uncombed)
3. To much black and white lace.
4. To much color matching(4 or more colors in a coord) It makes it chaotic.
5. To much or bad make up

And DEFINITELY MOST of all, adding Anime thing with Lolita coords. Thats a bit Ita for me.
example: Anime fur ears/tail/gloves with classic lolita. Or adding Anime merchandise in a lolita coord.

11th-Nov-2012 08:18 am (UTC)
I wouldn't agree on not wearing bloomers... From what I've heard many lolitas don't care about them much. And usually you can't check if one wears bloomers or not :P
11th-Nov-2012 08:23 am (UTC)
Well, ok if you wear tights then no problem. but if you wear OTK or ankle socks. Then I really recommend to wear bloomers.
No one wants to see your underwear when you bent over or the wind flips your skirt.

Edited at 2012-11-11 08:23 am (UTC)
12th-Nov-2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
And no one sees my underwear... I just care about it.
11th-Nov-2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
yeah agreed. While I wouldn't go without them (because I've always been paranoid about wearing skirts anyway), a lot of lolitas do and it's not like you'd know unless they brought it up. I mean our skirts go to our knees and we have petticoats underneath, it's not like bloomers show.
I'm living in Texas right now and I would neeeeever fault anyone for not wanting to add an unnecessary layer under their clothes in the extreme heat we have in summer.
12th-Nov-2012 03:40 am (UTC)
Novela Takemoto actually said it is the bloomers, and not the petticoat, that makes the shape of the skirt. And I've noticed this since then. A skirt with a petticoat and no bloomers looks much different than a skirt with just a petticoat. Check it out in the mirror. It's pretty surprising.
12th-Nov-2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
Och, I didn't know that ^^ I might try it out then :)
11th-Nov-2012 09:16 am (UTC)
For me, an ita coordinate is a coordinate that tries to be lolita, but fails. Fails really bad. It's when you try to make a coordinate with a random goth dress that was labeled "lolita" in the store, just because it has some lace. It usually has a dropped waistline and the skirt is too short. It can be paired with legwarmers (that hideous kind that it just fabric and covered in lace) and armwarmers. No proper shoes, maybe a pair of flats or sneakers. No blouse.
Yeah, something like that. Doesn't have to be all elements, and not exactly like that. But the thing that really makes it ita for me is when it's trying to be lolita and fails in this way. I don't consider anything ita just because I don't like the outfit. If it's an outfit that has grapsed all the element, then it's a lolita outfit. It can be a better or worse lolita outfit, but for me it's still a lolita outfit and does not deserve to be called ita.
11th-Nov-2012 01:16 pm (UTC)
Definitely NOT wearing a petticoat is super ita in my opinion. It ruins a skirt COMPLETELY if it just hangs there, looking miserable. Ah I can't believe how many people think that's a good idea :c

But yeah, everything is pretty much said and for people like us, all there remain is to make coord after coord after coord until we maybe know what the hell we're doing :D
11th-Nov-2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
Personally, I feel an ita is simply someone who doesn't know what they're doing and could do with some guidance. You know my dear there is a mentoring group on Facebook that are completely dedicated to answering any question you have. They're right there to walk you through all the right choices. http://www.facebook.com/groups/lolitafashionmentoring/
11th-Nov-2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know! I'll definitely look into that! Thanks!
11th-Nov-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
It's perfectly alright not to know, we all have to start somewhere. :3
You know the Christmas season is actually a very popular season for girls wanting to become a Lolita so you're certainly not alone. ^u^
11th-Nov-2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I've spent about this last year collecting Lolita clothes so I will be "ready" to start wearing them. :)
11th-Nov-2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
What would make something Ita to me is something clashy an generally not fitting the Lolita aesthetic when you have the cord as a whole. No petti coat, I'll fitting clothes, and bad quality products like a ridiculously shinny blue wig. Quality is also key. When looking for lace look for key points like sturdyness, if it stretches (stretchyness leads to fraying), or if it feels a bit scratchy or uncomfortable on the skin. A garment with poor construction is awfull too along with cheap fabrics that tend to stretch or fray.

Hope this helps.
11th-Nov-2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
Everyone has such good advice! :) Thank you!
11th-Nov-2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
i rarely use the term "ita" but to me
-wearing cosplay wigs (shiny, pink, anime-con stuff) i find it so unnecessary.
-improper shoes (loli-able shoes are ok but regular flats, converses...)

can i further the discussion? where's the borderline between ita and old school lolita?
i absolutely adore old school lolita and i understand where some lolitas are coming from but it seems those who are getting into the fashion nowadays seem to attribute headdresses, black & white coords as ita.
ex. would you call this ita or old school?
11th-Nov-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
I think it isn't too hard to draw a line between Old-school and Ita, because Ita outfits mainly use low quality clothes, which often also don't fit right and have the wrong Lolita silouhette (too short or too long, too deep dekoltee...) and they look too bold (they aren't really detailed). And the make up is usually too much or non-existent.

I think your picture has high quality clothing and looks detailed! I think it is in no way Ita ^_^ I think white x black is just not very popular anymore in this extremes like in your picture, but it doesn't make an outfit Ita!

Edited at 2012-11-11 06:52 pm (UTC)
11th-Nov-2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
That is old-school not ita. The difference is the quality of the lace. If it were made with cheap lace, it would be ita. Because BxW was so popular, a lot of companies started making cheap imitations of it, which is how it came be associated with being ita. Newbies are told to avoid BxW because they don't usually have the skill to tell good lace from cheap lace, and they often want to buy cheaper dresses. Cheap lace doesn't stand out as much if it is the same color as the rest of the dress. I think that is why some people have the mistaken impression that dresses like the one in your picture are ita.
11th-Nov-2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
I would say this is old school. but it's certainly not the old school lolita that is popular now, You would get a lot of strange looks from Lolitas, not just "normal" people, because we're so used to "Covered in lace=BAD".
11th-Nov-2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
As a fan of old-school and a collector of old-school pieces (I actually own the bonnet in your photo in a different color XD), I think there is a very firm line between "old-school" and ita even though newbies to the fashion get things confused. Old school favors non-print dresses made of nice material with lots of high-quality lace, black-and-white outfits, more extreme lengths (lots of old school is either below-the-knee or mid-thigh) that still have bell-shaped skirts, and "cute" platform shoes (e.g. mary janes with a round toe and chunky heel). In contrast, "ita" dresses tend to be made of poor material and use lots of low-quality lace to cover up their bad fabric, highly contrasting color schemes that make the low quality of the materials readily evident, extreme lengths that don't have the fullness required for the fashion, and stripper-style platform shoes. I think there is a fine line in some cases (Meta, for instance, still uses platforms that are more "sexy" than "cute" in their ads, though their outfits still read "old-school" instead of "ita"), but for the most part it's pretty easy to differentiate. People who say that all raschel lace and all maxipad headdresses are ita simply haven't done their homework- yes, those things can be ita when they're low-quality or badly made, but there's nothing inherently wrong with them c:
12th-Nov-2012 03:55 am (UTC)
I think the black and white cords are something that more experienced loli's can try. I am pretty new, but I am getting the hang of the quality thing, so I can spot when something is costumy, or if its actully a proper lolita dress. The one I haven't grasped yet is how to tell a good wa loli outfit. I think some of them are awesome, but I have no idea how to pull them off, and I've heard it can be hard for a newbie to get it right. I deffantly think I am living the wa loli in the too hard pile till a have practiced more common cords :)

As to the ita thing, I think it can get a bit overwhelming trying to focus on all the things that you could do wrong. Try focusing on getting the basics right. Good petticoat, correct skirt length, covered shoulders and boobs :) nice hair, with some sort of headress or bow, possibly a coordinating necklace, suitable tights and shoes. And dont be worried if you dont get everything right straight away. I've just started out, and am having some much trouble trying to do something with my hair. Its really long with no fringe or bang, and I dont know what to do with it, but I will get there! just do some research on the tonne of lolita blogs out there, and this forum, youtube, brand clothing pictures, etc and have a go :D
12th-Nov-2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
If you are worried, just keep it simple. Blouse, skirt/jsk, socks, shoes, simple headbow, petti, and bloomers for modesty.
Do look for the best quality you can afford. Some Lolita items have no lace or ruffles at all.

Black and white coords use to be a standard thing. Now for some reason only "experienced" Lolitas should try them. WAH!
If you like that look go for it. White blouse, black skirt, white or black socks/tights, black shoes and hairbow!! How much
simplier could an outfit be? Likewise, substitute blue, pink, yellow, lilac, mint or whatever colors you like.

This isn't rocket science, just a fashion choice. Check the Handbook for general thoughts on the styles. It really is helpful.
Best wishes for a lovely Lolita life!!
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