One can easily say that Lolita fashion was first formed and expanded upon by a section of society that, within the greater whole of Japanese society, didn't have to worry too much about the idea of running into used hypodermic needles on the side walk.
Now, the neighborhood I live in isn't "so bad", but the greater city it is incorporated into, I feel, presents some logistical challenges to being an Elegant Lolita. How is one suppose to be frilly and bell-shaped on a public bus with tweekers and odd stains on the seat next to you? The seat next to you, I would add, that your ruffled skirt hem will end up over-flowing onto.
This is, I believe, an issue many alternative fashion people face. While no one likes the thought of wasting money; there is a certain additional emotional loss that occurs when a garment you bought overseas from a brand designer, or a piece you made yourself, becomes ruined through a chance event in public.
So how can we find a middle ground for both self expression and urban adaption? I'm not completely certain; but this is a challenge I now face in becoming a purposeful Lolita. While, as mentioned before, I have been mistaken for one while not actually wearing Lolita pieces; the act of now considering which Lolita pieces to buy has made me stare reality in the face.
If you own a car or have a committed driver (Parents, Spouse, Lover or good friend) there is no transportation reason to alter your look. But if, say, you are a non-driver -and- you use public transport; there is a certain duty to not get in other people's way that needs to be taken into account.