I myself, like the guidelines. Why? Because it means that the lolita community is proud to be lolita!
So many other subcultures arent, and therefore have unspoken guidelines, which still exist, they are just rarely, if ever, said, and I figure this is because they aren’t proud of their subculture, or part of it is denying that they are the style that they are.
For example (just an example, I’m not trying to criticise anyone inparticular or make fun of anyone), lets say, ‘emos’. Of coarse, when someone asks if they are emo, or mentions that they are, they are often quick to deny it. They also have fashion guidelines e.g. side fringe, skinny jeans, piercings etc. But these arent spoken, but stull expected.
Lolitas will proudly say they are lolita and into the lolita fashion, and we arent scared to mention the guidelines of our fashion. Besides, ever fashion/subculture/whatever has guidelines, spoken or not. Since ours are spoken, I think it is a good sign, and it means we are proud to be a part of the lolita community. This is part of the reason why I love lolita so much. :)
That isn't to say you shouldn't mix it up and be creative. Mix and match whatever you like, other subcultures do it all the time, as well as lolita, but still, they have unspoken guidelines where as we do. Everyone likes to put their own little twist on any fashion, including lolita. Having guidelines just makes it easier for everyone, especially when you wanna know which guideline you wanna twist! After all, they are guidelines, not rules. :)
And even if thewy were rules, rules are meant to be broken ;D