You might have noticed me using the phrase “ita aesthetic” sometimes on this blog. A blogpost about the ita aesthetic in the 2000s was a long time coming for me, so here it finally is! When I say “nostalgic ita” I mean what was seen as ita when I started in 2007, more or less a span from 2004-2010. After that, people start to buy from experimental brands or started mixing styles and suddenly that was called ita too. Today, many clothes from Taobao are suddenly called ita.
This is not a post about what is ita and policing this, because honestly, I think the term is outdated and condescending, but I wil save that for another time. Today is purely focus on what was considered ita back in the day, how I love this aesthetic and how you can achieve it without shopping at Milanoo.
First question of course is, what do I mean when I say ita? Ita is a less-than-nice term for someone trying to dress in lolita fashion, but doesn’t quite get it right. Ita (痛ロリ) refers to “painful” coordinates that either don’t follow the proper anatomy or are of poor quality.
Basically, a bad fashion sense.
In the early 2000s there were a few things that were considered ita staples, things that were just in bad taste. When I started out in 2007, I got lots of rules and advice from seasoned lolitas to absolutely avoid. Here is a short list of what was considered ita when I started out.
* Black x white
* Lace monster dresses
* Raschel lace
* Mini hats
* Arm warmers + leg warmers
* Wa lolita and ero lolita in general
* Fishnet tights
* Heavy gothic boots (think New Rocks)
Okay, but Josine, aren’t you wearing most of these things these days? Absolutely. I avoided these things like the plague when I started as I was so scared to be seen as painful and bad. However, after so many years in the fashion, I started to realize that many things I loved and I started to incorporate them now that I had experience and a better eye for it.
But back in the 2000s there were already great street snaps of lolitas wearing these things! They didn’t seem to care for the list I got starting out and while I was still scared to try some raschel lace, they were inspiring me🖤 They didn’t look ita or painful at all, just so cool! Here are some examples!
Okay, so this aesthetic is all so nice and even when they wear things that were considered a don’t, they make it look good! How can we wear this nostalgic ita aesthetic but don’t look painful?
First of all, don’t ever buy your lacemonster dresses from Milanoo. Step one of wearing this aesthetic is making sure the garment you are wearing is decent quality. Milanoo will never be that. I mean, look at this:
Okay, but I do like things with lots of raschel lace and want to wear things like those street snaps. Any brand recommendations? Absolutely. Look no further than Marble, a Japanese brand that has been using all the raschel lace for the past 20 years. Other brands include some older Metamorphose and now defunct brand Visible. Here are some examples of some “nostalgic ita” pieces with an actual nice fit and quality:
My advice for wearing these pieces is to keep everything else simple, I personally adore wearing some nostalgic ita pieces with a simple lacy headdress or bonnet and a nice simple sock (but love to sneak in some fishnets too). Just let the piece stand out! Also if you love mini hats like me, style your hair with some pigtails to give a bit more volume and they work perfectly! Everything in my dreaded ita list can work for you and don’t be afraid to experiment a little bit🖤
Here are some of my coords with a nostalgic ita aesthetic and some thoughts I had styling. Disclaimer, this is not me saying I nailed this aesthetic or am perfect at it. I choose to show my own looks because I can tell the thoughts behind it!
Here I am wearing a nostalgic ita coord with my Good Luck set. I also sneaked in some matching red fishnets, because I love them. The most stand out feature of this set are the ruffles of lace, so instead of using many colors or accessories, I decided to put it with some white lace pieces too, like my lace bonnet, lace bunny bag and these ruffly bloomers. I also decided on some simple shoes that would blend in with this coord. I would also absolutely wear this with a tartan mini hat now I think of it. Just keep it in the same theme and let a feature stand out was my general thought, so it all matches and looks cohesive in the end!
With this nostalgic ita look, I wore the Trumpet Sleeve OP showed before and tried again to let the white raschel lace stand out, so again with my bunny and lace bonnet. However, I realised my Marble capelet also had very similar raschel lace so combined that for a bit of whimsy and to bring in another pattern in this very simple black x white coordinate! Still a simple look overall. You could spice this up with fishnets as well, or some more gothic boots or a simple black x white mini hat.. Simple black x white raschel lace looks have many possibilities!
Another option for coords is using some elements from my dreaded list in a coordinate. This coordinate features arm warmers and some stompy gothic boots in an unconventional color. But the rest of it is actually very conventional lolita, okay bare shoulders but otherwise.., without tacky elements (or I think so). So it works to have some “spicy ita” pieces here.
I hope this blogpost has helped you appreciate some nostalgic ita pieces and encouraged to experiment a little🥰🖤And I hope you liked reading my thoughts on it. Until next time!