I was one of those weird lolita appreciators who got into the fashion mainly for the accessories first. I loved the shoes, jewelry, and bags that went with the aesthetic, and fell head over heels in love with Victorian Maiden's gorgeous lacy, decadent, parasols long before I found a dream dress to lust over. It was this one in particular:
It's a shame I couldn't find a photo of the underside of it--that was just as gorgeous as the top! It had lace stretched across the inside so you had a beautiful view from any angle. Of course, these guys sell for around 200-300 dollars, so it was way out of my price range, but a girl could dream!
So I'll be a bit biased when I say that I do think they're vital. It's so hot walking around with all the layers in lolita, and portable shade is never a bad thing--especially when you're trying to combat heat fatigue. But I also have a much more practical reason for considering them vital. This particular Victorian Maiden parasol isn't waterproof, but the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright one that I own and is now a staple in my closet is!
Given where I live, (where it's both extremely hot and wet), parasols are totally vital for me. Not only are they gorgeous additions to any coordinate, they can keep you cool and dry! I definitely recommend not using a brand parasol in higher winds though, they tend to break very easily. ;___; I've already had that experience once with a handle bending almost at a 90 degree angle! Sometimes you can find some really pretty umbrellas that are durable as well (Victoria's Secret had some really cute ones a few years back) that are probably a good alternative to some really bad weather.
Check out my other Lolita 52 Challenge topics!