Lolitas around the world form comms (or communities), which are listed here.
In 2020, the year of COVID-19 and staying at home, this information may not be especially helpful but someday we will be able to go back outside.
Being in a lolita comm is not required for being a lolita, but going to meetups (or just "meets") is a good excuse to dress up and go out. Meetups can vary in events, from picnics to tea parties, to ice skating to going to shooting ranges. Some meets will require an upfront payment (such as reserving a spot for a restaurant reservation). It is generally good curtesy to ask the meet host about bringing a +1 to these meets to ensure there is enough room for all the lolitas who want to attend the meet. Other meets where there is not a cap on the number of people who can attend are generally easier to bring +1s to, but it is still good to ask the host permission first.
If you are new to lolita and haven't worn it out in public much yet, then an Anime Con is a good place to test the waters. You will be surrounded by cosplayers, so it is unlikely people will ask you 'why are you dressed up?' (thought they may ask what character you are cosplaying, and in that case, just politely tell them it's JFashion/Lolita Fashion/whatever you favorite answer is and move along). Many lolita comms will host Jfashion related panels and/or tea parties at Anime Cons, so this is also a good opportunity to find your local comm. Lolita Tea Parties at Anime Cons can cost $20-$80 USD on top of the ticket to get into an Anime Con, and usually have a dress code that is along the lines of 'No Cosplay, Lolita and JFashion only', but check the specifics of your event.
There have been instances of Lolita Brands hosting tea parties at Anime Cons. Depending on the brand, you will be required to wear a piece from that brand (this is especially the case for Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Moi-meme-Moitie). Again, check the requirements when these events are listed. Even if it is not a requirement, it is good to wear something you own from the brand, especially if the designers are attending the tea party. Wearing replicas are frowned upon in most situations (even if no one says anything to your face about it), but you will not be allowed into a brand tea party if you are wearing ANY replica from that brand (counting design replicas).
There are a few Lolita specific conventions in the US, such as Paradiso and Royal Vegas Retreat (new in late 2020). In the past, there was a Lolita con called Rufflecon, but it shut down. For more information on Lolita events in North America, check the Lolita Events in North America Facebook page. There are also events that happen in Europe, which are listed on the Lolita Events in Europe Facebook page.
Go back to home