The first one on the list of challenges is " 5 pieces that every Lolita wardrobe should have, regardless of style". And in my own personal opinion; here they are, the five things I swear by for the successful lolita.
1. A supremely fancy dress
This can't be just any dress. This has to be THE dress. The dress that is something a princess could wear to a ball, or alternatively, hold vampire court in. It doesn't have to be huge but it has to be significantly fancier than a normal lolita dress. I'm currently in pursuit of this myself. >~> Baby's new release is beautiful beyond all belief.
2. An Organza petticoat
The magic to these petticoats is that they don't deflate. They're puff is derived from the sheer amount of material instead of the stiffness of the fabric, insuring minimal if any deflation. One supplies everyday poof for ever and two is enough to make any AP girl weep tears of envy. I'm looking for a second one right now.
So many lolitas are in the world today, and for that matter gathering places! There's local communities, the EGL friending meme, the EGL free for all, plenty of forums, Conventions. So many opportunities to meet the other girls who share your hobby and passion. And I think its very important to remember that they do exist. Even if we live on opposite sides of the world, we have something in common. It's a really brilliant and uplifting thing, even if we do fight. It always seems to turn out ok.
4. A pair of cute shoes that don't make your feet bleed tears of fiery death
That pair of heels with the pearls is all fine and dandy at a tea party, but when you're at a picnic, or a mall meet, or some other thing where you are on your feet for more than five minutes, how cute those shoes are don't mean jack shit. Find a pair of nice shoes that DON'T feel like the Spanish inquisition. You'll thank me later. (I have a pair of pink flat oxfords from www.goldenponies.net and I LOVE them)
5. A good camera (or at least a decent one)
Even if you don't post pictures to the internet, you should still record your outfits. One day you're going to want to look back at the years past, progress, changes, etc and if you never recorded anything you are you of luck. You wont be able to remember everything on your own, get a little help with memory making.