I admit that saving up for the basics takes time, money and even more patience, but it will definitely be worth it. But what exactly should you be saving up for? Well, to answer that question, here is a list of what will make up the very foundation of your Lolita wardrobe in no particular order.
Having a good, quality petticoat or two from the beginning will save you a lot of trouble in the end, trust me. A good petticoat that matches the style you will most often wear is best, bell-shape is perfect for most styles of Lolita and especially Sweet but some Classic dresses would work best with an A-line petticoat. Where to buy a good, quality petticoat that isn't too costly? I myself haven't bought it, personally I've recieved my petticoats from my awesome grandmother, but I've heard nothing but good things about this one in particular, and it doesn't deflate!
A White Blouse with Detachable Sleeves
As I've said before, starting out with a white blouse is definitely best. White blouses go with just about everything and it will save you money in the long run.
And lots of them! You can find a nice pair of plain white or black socks that will coordinate easily just by taking a trip to the mall. If you find some in cute colors that will match things you already own and/or plan to buy, then that's good as well. I'd recommend getting both knee-high socks as well as ankle socks for when the weather changes.
A Simple Hair Accessory
This may not seem like a very important item, but personally I think an outfit looks incomplete without it! There are many things you can choose from, headdresses, bonnets, bows, ect. but whatever you choose, choose it in a color that you are sure to wear often such as white, offwhite, pink or black, to match your wardrobe.
Black or white shoes with no heels, I can't stress this enough. Heels will kill your feet when you walk anywhere and black or white shoes are very easy to coordinate with.
A purse that matches your wardrobe, not just one dress. I say this because it will save you a ton of money in the end, a cute and simple purse that matches most of the items you own will serve you well. I wouldn't choose one too expensive however, it's bound to get a bit beat up from wear ( or at least mine do ).
Something to Keep You Warm
I don't live in a very cold place ( for instance, it's winter and outside it feels like summer right now. ) so a simple cardigan is usually enough to keep me warm. Depending on where you live, you may need a coat or a jacket, ect. so getting one will definitely come in handy.
Waterproof parasols shield you from the sun and protect you from the rain all while keeping you looking adorable!
Jumperskirts or Skirts
I have to mention these of course! Jumperskirts and Skirts are generally better than OPs when just starting out since they can make a lot more coordinates and are usually less expensive. At first you should probably just stick to one main color, pink for example ( It's the main color of my wardrobe, ha ha. ), so that you won't be constantly having to buy new accessories and clothing in a color that matches.
I know I mentioned color a lot in this, but hey, it's pretty important when it comes to a coordinate!