I've been a nude model for artists and photographers for several years, so I'm used to displaying myself in a relatively 'non-modest' state.
However, the defining characteristic of Lolita in my eyes isn't so much modesty, but the priority of beauty and elegance over explicitness. The outfits themselves might be modest in terms of what they might hide, but in terms of design they are often extremely luxurious.
I have always enjoyed dressing in a quirky manner, but the 'showing off' of my body has often been as important as the clothes. I feel that Lolita allows you to completely submerse yourself in the actual clothes; you are showing off the fabrics rather than what's underneath them. For me, this concept is strangely emancipating. Maybe showing my body off has started to feel too much like hard work?
With this in mind, I'm curious to know if people feel sexy in Lolita? Obviously, the whole point of the fashion is that it isn't sexy in terms of what is conventionally considered sexy. But I daresay that most people dedicated to the fashion feel much more comfortable in Lolita than they would in a low cut top, hot pants, legs on display etc; and I think that for some, this feeling of comfort and happiness will, in turn, allow the person to feel sexier than if they were wearing 'sexy clothes'.
When I showed my partner my first ever Lolita dress he really liked it, and he has often really liked other dresses of mine that aren't particularly revealing. I actually think this is fairly common; it isn't that he dislikes revealing clothes, he just likes seeing me in nice clothes that suit me, be they revealing or not.
I wonder if people actually feel sexy in the clothes, or have partners/admirers who find the look particularly attractive?