All lolitas started with that one item that eventually either expanded their wardrobe and influenced their future lolita style, or they threw away and grew in terms of the style they wanted to follow. Either way, any lolita who isn't a closet lolita would need to buy their first few items - or even make them, if you'd prefer! Here is a short hand-guide for the new lolita who is unsure of what to buy first.
Where do I buy things? Edit
You are able to buy lolita items anywhere, but you are very more likely to buy real lolita items at either an offbrand store or a brand store and these tend to be in Japan and have expensive shipping. Another option is to join a local lolita comm both online and IRL. Lolitas love to help and in every group there will always be at least one loli who is able to sew. And they may even give you items for free! But not every community has many people, and there may not even be a lolita group near you (or perhaps you prefer to stay alone for now, or maybe you don't want to go to a meet-up for the first time, but a later article will go over this topic)! So an inexpensive and rather all-round offbrand site for many styles (they do Wa Lolita, Sweet Lolita Gothic Lolita and many other sub-fashions) is Body Line. Fanplusfriend Garden is also a good site, but is very expensive for an offbrand site, especially when compared to Bodyline. If you're on a budget, LolitaFashion.com has a Lolita on a Budget page with plenty of good resources. The link takes you directly to that page.
What should I buy first? Edit
The very first thing should be the staples. Some staples are Bloomers, Petticoats, skirts and a Blouse. However, it is rather advisable to get a good, bell-shaped petticoat first, as these will serve you the most and will always be in your outfits and coords. The second thing would be a blouse, as when you buy your first dress, you will need a blouse unless you are a country Lolita. After you get a blouse, you should get a skirt or dress! Ensure that they are the same style you would like to follow for the next month, or at least the next year. When you have a now-growing lolita wardrobe of a petti, blouse and a dress/skirt, you need socks in a matching colour as the rest of the outfit, and shoes. It would be wise to get white Mary Jane shoes, as they are very versitile, unless you are goshikku rorita or Kuro Lolita, then get black. Depending on the style you wish to follow, you may vary the colours mentioned here. Now, if you think you have enough to do a very basic outfit, then get a head-dress or bonnet. Be wary, however, large trapezium headdresses are no longer very popular. Get one of the smaller ones. Also, bonnets are not as popular as they were in 2006, so stray away from them.
Do you have a full outfit? Edit
If you have the above, then you are ready to go to the next step. Go back to the main page and go to step 2.
-VanillaDarkheart May 26, 2012