In no way is this post meant to ever imply that “real lolitas” do not play basketball, rugby, or whatever other sport, or that you are in some way less of a lolita if you do roller derby, rock climbing, or whatever other sport. This is just a fun post where I talk about sports or physical activities that are lolita-appropriate, i.e., those that can easily be done in lolita (specialty shoes notwithstanding).
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Sometimes, you want to dress up in lolita and have a day full of adventures. However, I’ve found that I think of lolita as limiting. The sorts of things I want to do while I happen to be wearing lolita are not necessarily the sorts of things I would want to do if I were not wearing lolita (like painting, for example). I’ve also found that my concern for my clothes and does nothing to discourage my sedentary lifestyle.
So, for those of you who would like something (anything!) to do when you’re all frilled up, here are some physical activities that you can do while wearing lolita. Some of these would also be fun activities for meet ups.
These, being meant to be done outdoors, are all heavily dependent on the weather, and they’re probably best done in summer and early fall (if you live around the 40th parallel or a temperate zone).
If croquet is too impractical for you, mini-golf or putt putt is another option. Still, for those of you that can get a croquet set, this is the most picturesque lolita sport to do. (Alice in Wonderland, anyone?) It can get very competitive, but you don’t need to break a sweat while playing. If you have a yard, you can set a game up there, but if you don’t have a yard, or if you’re trying to play croquet as part of a meet, try going to a local park and setting up your match there. The rules are fairly simple, and you can find out how to play online. Croquet would also be a great game to add some variety to a picnic or to a lazy day of lounging. If the ground is dry and firm, you should be able to wear whatever shoes you’d like, too.
This is something I’ve always seen as being super Romantic and nostalgic, and it has the added “lifestyle lolita” benefit of being crafty. You could always buy your own kite or borrow someone else’s, but kites are very easy to make. There are all sorts of templates and instructions on the internet to help you make your own, and then the benefit is that you can customize them. If your local community has a kite-flying meet up, part of the meet could be everyone crafting their own kite before setting out to fly them. That way, all the kites could be decorated to match everyone’s coordinates! Of course, you could always match your kite to your coord as a solo lolita as well. Regardless, you’re probably going to have to find a park or a large city square in order to fly your kite, though, as most yards are too close to trees, power lines, or other buildings and are thus not conducive to kite flying. Since you only need to run a little bit to get the kite going and most leisurely kite flying is spent standing around with your kite in the air, you can feel pretty confident in wearing whatever shoes you’re comfortable standing in.
Now, I personally am not really a fan of this game, but other people seem to have fun playing this, and it’s certainly something you could easily play while in lolita. I’ve seen people set up games in their backyard with just a clothesline set up instead of a full net, so that’s always an option if you want to set up your own game. I think that this one would be another great thing to play at a meet, with lolitas on both sides of the net. Because of how much jumping and landing is involved, I would think twice before wearing most lolita shoes while playing, but flat shoes like tea parties or low-heeled boots should be fine. Don’t put yourself at risk for twisting an ankle! Keep in mind that every time you jump up to hit the birdie, your petticoat and skirt will inflate and puff out on the way down, so make sure you wear some bloomers if you’re planning on playing badminton!
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I had a hard time trying to figure out what to call this category, so I settled on “Indoor/Outdoor” because these are activities that can be done inside, even if they need special facilities.
Unlike all the summer sports elsewhere on this list, ice skating is meant for winter. The most picturesque way to ice skate is to do it outdoors, but outdoor rinks are pretty rare (at least in my experience) and skating over frozen ponds is often very dangerous (also, that ice tends to be really bumpy). I’m lucky, and I currently live in a city that has a seasonal outdoor rink downtown in which they set up a massive Christmas tree, but going to an indoor ice skating is also a lot of fun. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to skating rinks, in which case I’m sorry. Still, for those of you who can ice skate, I think it’s a great way to spend a day. If you’ve never gone ice skating, though, here are a few warnings: even indoor rinks are really cold, and you will probably end up bruised by the end of everything. I always get bruises from the skates around my shins and calves, but you’ll probably bruise if you fall, too. A side effect of the cold means that you probably won’t feel these until the next morning. Unless you’ve been ice skating before and are confident in your abilities, I also wouldn’t wear your very best and most expensive dress. It isn’t like people skating by will skate over your dress and cut it to shreds, but you will most likely fall at some point, especially if you’re new at skating, and I wouldn’t want my best dress subjected to that. Have I made ice skating sound dangerous and terrible? I really hope not, because it is so much fun and it’s very easy to do in lolita. The extra layers of lolita even help keep you warmer than just a pair of jeans would. It doesn’t matter what shoes you wear since you will replace them with ice skates.
Giant Outdoor Chess… or just Chess
Okay, so this is a bit of an oddball. Chess is a sport, but it’s not very active and I’m clearly stretching here. Still, I love chess and I wish I were better at it. Plus, playing giant outdoor chess is a nice alternative outdoor thing you can still do even if you’re tired or not feeling your best. If you or a friend/family member like bigger DIY projects, then you could totally make your own set of pieces (even standing floor signs with pictures of the pieces painted on would work) and use extra floor tiles to make your own board on your lawn (or at a park). Otherwise, there are some outdoor sets that you might be able to find. A local outdoor shopping center near me has one, so you might be surprised where they could be. Of course, my favorite variation of giant outdoor chess is where you you have people playing as some of the pieces. Imagine how perfect it would be if you had enough people at a meet playing this where you could have lolitas in shiro and the lighter color ways of sweet and classic playing on the white side and have lolitas in kuro, gothic, and the darker color ways of classic and sweet on the black side.
One variation of this suggestion is to just go to a park with chess tables and play a regular-sized game outdoors. This is probably a lot easier to manage than the giant version. Also, probably the easiest variation to actually do is to just play regular-sized chess indoors, but that seems almost dull by comparison.
I think bowling is a lot of fun to do, even if you’re very bad at it. (I should know, I was on the bowling team at my high school and I was terrible.) The rental shoes are always hideous, but other than that, bowling is pretty lolita-friendly. For one, there’s a lot of sitting time so you don’t need to be physically fit to play for a long time. Secondly, there isn’t a lot of movement when you do actually bowl, so wearing lolita won’t get in the way. If you’re planning to go bowling in lolita with some non-lolita friends, or if your comm is having a bowling meet, I wouldn’t have fake nails, gloves or rings on. You can take off rings and gloves, yes, but I’ve seen too many people break their fake nails off while bowling. You should also be careful if you have very long nails, but most people should be fine. If you’re worried about alley grease, which does sometimes get on the balls, just bring an old kitchen towel and wipe off your ball before bringing it close to your clothes. (Bowling balls just need a quick wipe, so you shouldn’t have to worry about seeming too fussy in front of non-lolita friends.) Make sure you wear bloomers, though! Your legs and butt are liable to get into some weird positions while bowling, and there will definitely be panty-flashes if you don’t have bloomers.
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This is a fairly specific category, but these dances have the advantage that they are designed to be performed while wearing a dress or costume. Obviously, lolita doesn’t fit the general aesthetic of the tango and lolita is not a ballet stage costume, but these dance styles can still be done for fun in lolita without the clothes getting in the way.
You’ll need special shoes! You’ll also need a fair amount of physical strength and flexibility, but you can’t just instantly acquire those. While the other dance forms I talk about have basic steps that can be learned in a few minutes and you can start dancing almost immediately, ballet takes a lot of dedication. If you are not already a ballerina, then you probably don’t have serious aspirations to be a professional ballet dancer and you can approach ballet with a more relaxed outlook. Still, ballet is absolutely gorgeous, and it does not require a partner the way the dances below do. If you’re looking to learn a new skill and want to take lessons, consider taking ballet. Alternatively, if you’re looking for motivation to (continue to) go to the gym and work on strength, learning ballet might be a great way to give your training a more concrete focus.
While you don’t need special shoes precisely, trying to do anything involving footwork and balance in Rocking Horse Shoes is probably a bad idea for both you and your partner. Some lolita-appropriate shoes will work just fine, but others are too intense. Just use common sense, and you should be fine. Modern ballroom dances include tango, waltz, foxtrot, swing, Latin dances, and polka. I’m in a ballroom dance class this semester, and I can tell you that the basic steps to all these dances are fairly easy to pick up. Of course, I’m learning American style ballroom dance, so I can’t say how easy it is to pick up international style. Ballroom dance requires you to have a partner, someone to lead and someone to follow, so this probably rules out most comms from having ballroom dance meets. Assuming you have a partner who is also willing to learn these dances, ballroom dance is a super fun thing to do while wearing lolita.
Just like with ballroom dance, just exercise common sense in regards to shoes. Also, I don’t really think that you’ll need to worry about period-specific shoes if you are in a full lolita coord. This might be a bit harder than the other dance styles to learn because not a lot of people still dance things like the cotillion and the minuet, but there are resources on the internet that you can use to learn. These sorts of dances were done by women wearing clothing that was much more impractical than lolita, so wearing lolita shouldn’t pose a problem for you if you would like to do the sorts of historical dances you would see in a movie adaptation of Jane Austen.
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What do you think of my list? Do any of you like to do some phsyical actictity while in lolita? Are there some pastimes I missed that you think should be on this list? Let me know in the comments below!