"5 pieces that every Lolita wardrobe should have, regardless of style"
1. Two good petticoats - one bell-shaped, one A-line
I'm a firm believer of layering petticoats rather than depending on just one. With one super poofy petticoat, you only ever have that one shape with the petticoat. On the other hand, with two types of petticoats, you can either wear only one petticoat for a more casual outfit or layer both for added poof.
Layering one over the other also helps with achieving different shapes, though a friend kindly pointed out (and I strongly agree!) that once it reaches the point of needing layered petticoats, the shape doesn't seem to matter much!
2. A decent underskirt
This underskirt should probably match most of your wardrobe. In my case, I have a few (ivory, black, bordeaux, etc etc). This underskirt will come in handy for making short dresses of any style look longer. I also like using them to tie together my outfits, like in the photo above, even if the dress or skirt in question isn't actually too short.
However, my most common use for underskirts is as a final layer over my petticoats under my dresses (like in the first photo!). The ruffle does not have to show at the bottom, because the underskirt is essentially there as a "silhouette shaper" - that is to say, the underskirt smoothes over any bumps in your petticoat and gives your dress a smoother, neater silhouette.
3. Flower corsages
I'm a great fan of flower corsages of any sort! I like single flowers, small bouquets, an entire bush.... And I love them as hairclips, brooches, pins, head dresses - anything! But the best ones are corsages that can double as a brooch or as a hairclip. I find alligator clips the best, because they're more secure in hair. I love them in all colours - add them into any outfit and they immediately add an air of opulence!
4. A basic pearl necklace
Pearls have always been my favourite gem. Even my everyday jewellery are simple pearl drop earrings and a lone pearl pendant. There's something about the weight of pearls around my neck or on my ear that's very comforting, and they complement my skintone so well.
As with the flowers, I find that adding pearls to any outfit adds a touch of elegance! They don't have to be white or ivory pearls either. I find black pearls have an incredibly lustrous sheen when worn with solid black gothic outfits, and my favourite gray pearls give pink lolita outfits a more sophisticated feel to them.
Of course, if you're planning on getting glass pearls, rather than real ones, I'd recommend ivory pearls, because they look more natural :) If you are purchasing real pearls, please be sure to choose your colour carefully! The best pearls I have change their colour everytime I put them on with a different outfit, and the right shade of ivory can really make your skin glow, even without any make-up!
I'd actually rank this first, but a proper silhouette is so much more important to lolita, and I feel roses are a more practical accessory for most lolita styles, as pearls can sometimes make an outfit look rather OTT.
5. Comfortable matches-everything lacy tights
No photo for this one, because I can't find a decent photo of tights in my photo album :/
I love wearing tights in lolita because they make my legs look longer and my outfit more mature and elegant. As you can probably tell from the roses and pearls entries, I rather like opulence and luxury. Lace is just another aspect of lavishness that I enjoy looking at :) Besides, don't "roses, pearls and lace" go so well together?
(Er - I'll be honest and admit that part of the reason why I love tights is that socks never stay in their proper place for me! ^^;)