It's a weirdly controversial topic I've seen hotly debated on the EGL livejournal community and other such places. Names have been called, wigs pulled, petticoats ripped-- okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. But still the question remains- is it acceptable to travel by air in lolita clothing?
I like to think I'm fairly qualified to offer my thoughts on the subject (as an American traveler anyhow). Since my parents divorced when I was three and moved very, very far away from each other I've been flying on average 5 times a year. Pre 9/11, post 9/11, international, domestic, with family, by myself...you get the idea. I've also been a rather eccentric dresser most of this time.
So is it okay to wear lolita on a plane? From my experience, yes. And here is why.
People dressed like frilly vampire princesses don't blow up planes.The thing about murderers and terrorists is that generally they dress just like everyone else. And despite what you might think of TSA, it seems they know this as well. I have never been pulled over for a "random" check. The few times I have been subjected to additional screening was because I failed to remove enough shiny metal things from my person, or I was wearing a particularly poofy skirt (I'll get back to the poof issue in a minute). It is far more important at the security check that you are organized and prepared. Have your laptop where you can easily remove it, don't wear much metal jewelry, be prepared to take off your shoes. I'm also always very polite and agreeable with the security personnel-- it'll do you a lot more good than a sour attitude, even if you're stressed or running late.
It's space-efficient to wear your bulkiest items.After the shoe-removing policy was instated, there was nothing like the look of horror in the eyes of fellow travelers as I rolled up the the security check wearing 10-buckle boots (little did they know that Demonia boots are equipped with an emergency exit zipper). I wasn't doing this to purposely traumatize anyone, it just saved a ton of room in my suitcase. So in the same way I would wear my biggest stompy-est boots, I also wear my floofiest petticoat. Now this is the only part of lolita that occasionally presents a problem, as security might want to pat you down--it's definitely a risk. But honestly, I don't really mind, literally all that happens is that you step aside and a same sex security person pats down the sides of your skirt. It takes less than 5 minutes and you're on your way again. However, with the increasing use of body-imaging become standard, pat-downs are less common. A full-body scan does not require that you take off half the stuff you usually do, and you don't need a pat-down if you're a little poofy. Simple as that! Most major airports have them now.
And honestly, I just like to look nice when I travel. It's a personal preference, but hey, traveling is stressful enough, if wearing lolita makes you feel better about it, go for it! (I'm traveling to Los Angeles on Friday, if I'm arrested, I'll rescind this statement).