Monday, 29 April 2013

Bodyline Order April 2013 Review

It feels like forever since I last reviewed some Bodyline! I wont take you through the whole ordering process, as I have discussed that all before. The only difference this time is I used the trick of converting the prices to yen, which saved me about £15. There was no way I was paying over £100 when I could get it for 80 something pounds instead!

I placed my order on the 1st of April and it arrived exactly 2 weeks later. I used EMS, as I know people have been having issues with the AIR shipping and I really did not want to risk things. The speed of delivery seemed a bit sluggish compared to usual and it didn't help that customs were being slow as well. 

My items were packaged in a plastic shipping bag. There were a few small tears in the plastic, which meant that water could have gotten in if it was exposed to rain. I also think it could have been taped up a bit better just to make it a bit more secure.

My regular readers will know that I have placed many shoe orders with Bodyline in the past and never got one of their elusive shoe boxes...

Well, I finally got one! They do exist! I was really pleased to see my shoes packaged properly and not just carelessly chucked inside the bag with only tissue paper for protection.

Inside the box, the shoes were wrapped in tissue paper and the toes were stuffed too. There was even a bit of card inserted so the shoes moved around less in the box. I was very happy with this.

First up, I ordered shoes 274 in navy. I was a bit nervous about ordering these because I wasn't sure if Bodyline would get the colour right. But they are indeed navy blue. They do have a bit of a greenish tinge in certain lights though. I ordered my usual size and the fit is good. I wore them around the house for a bit and they were fairly easy to walk in. They didn't feel uncomfortable. The soles are quite firm and hopefully will last for a decent amount of time. The shoe design is quite simple, but the bows are very cute. I think they would suit a more classic outfit.

I then got bolero L062 in off-white. I already own this bolero in pink and black, so I knew exactly what to expect. I am comfortable in it and it fits neatly over my dresses. The way it is done up means that the size is a bit adjustable as well. I love the ruffled edges, giving it a prettier finish. The material is soft and feels nice. I have never been that keen on the lace though, but on the off-white version it blends in a bit anyway, so I am not too worried about removing it.

However, after getting some stained socks for Christmas from Bodyline, I was a bit anxious about whether there were be stains on these items too. I did find a mark on the off-white bolero (circled in the picture). Although this mark was tiny, it was very stubborn to get out. In the end, I ended up making a very tiny hole in the bolero where I tried desperately to get it out and was scrubbing so hard. Nothing would budge it. So I am a bit annoyed about it as although it is advisable to wash items before wearing them anyway, I don't expect to find stains like this on my new items. The other bolero I ordered below also had some faint black stains on one arm but thankfully, those came out straight away.

I also ordered bolero L237 in sax blue. The fit of the bolero is good and I think the measurements given are reasonable. The colour is very vibrant and the stock photos are very accurate. The bolero has neck ties and 4 bows on the arms. The material used here is very shiny, but the neck ties are detachable anyway, so I may not use them. 

The quality is exactly what I was expecting. The material and lace feels soft and there are no loose threads anywhere. The ruffles are neat too. This bolero is quite heavily detailed, but I like the design and think it has been executed well. The only thing I would criticise is the arm is a bit small on the line where the 2 bows are near the top. It may not be a good option if you have larger top arms.

I brought wrist cuffs ACC1031 on a whim in off-white. The quality is good for the price they are and definitely match up to similarly priced cuffs. They are a bit on the big side though and I think one line of the lace would have been enough. They do flare out quite widely. The pearls are a cute finishing touch. I would consider getting more cuffs from Bodyline if they extend their colour range in the future, as they are cheap.

So overall, whilst I think this is a positive experience, I think there are a few little wobbles. The packaging could have been done more securely and I think it is dreadful that my off-white bolero had that nasty stain on it. Also, Bodyline's prices are not as competitive as they used to be and popular Taobao stores may be a better option. But overall, the items I ordered were what I was expecting quality-wise. I will still be ordering from Bodyline but maybe not as frequently as I have previously.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Eternal Rose Bouquet by Angelic Pretty

Today I am looking at Eternal Rose Bouquet by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, a head bow, a bonnet and socks.

This is the OP. The bodice material looked a bit loose and baggy in some of the photos, but the shape of the bodice is nice and interesting. I like the use of chiffon here, because it gives the illusion of the OP being a JSK. The chiffon is so soft looking. I love the shape of the sleeves and the way they are gathered. It gives them a puffier appearance, so the chiffon is not just sitting flatly against the wearer's arms. The edges of the sleeves have a lot of layered wide lace but I would say it looks more decorative than OTT, so I think it works well. The waist bow is a good size for the dress and doesn't look too big. It has got a nice shape to it, although it is a little strange that the bows tails are made of shiny ribbon, as it is a bit of a contrast to the rest of the bow. 

The lace used along the chest line is very decorative. I love how detailed it is. The rose buttons used are beautiful and spaced out well. There is also the detachable brooch which is decorated prettily with golden detail and 2 complimenting colours of ribbon. Whilst I think the dress works well without the brooch there, I personally think it looks nicer with the brooch attached. The lace on the chiffon part sits nicely and looks very neat. The ruffled collar suits the style of the dress, although I can imagine it tickles a bit!

The back has not got any shirring, which is a shame. The skirt has a wonderful flared shape to it. It is so full and will hold a lot of petticoat. I think a fuller, more exaggerated skirt looks great with this dress. The skirt has these wonderful chiffon panels layered on top and because of the style of print, the print is still displayed fairly well. The chiffon layers give the skirt a really dreamy princess-like feel. If I were to be picky though, I would have preferred one chiffon panel that ran the whole way around the back, instead of having 2 chiffon panels on either side. The edges of the chiffon are topped with small bows. The bows are a cute shape and size, although they are a bit too shiny for my liking. Normally I would find this use of so many bows a bit OTT, but it works well on this dress. The skirt underneath the chiffon is divided in to tiers. The tiers are spaced out nicely and the joins have been done well, without looking bumpy. The bottom hem is then finished with some simple thin lace.

This is the Mini Sleeve JSK. The bodice is a beautiful shape and reminds me of the styles we are used to seeing from more classic brands. The material is a bit baggy looking though, because there is a lot of shirring, so it maybe is not the best choice if you are smaller in size. The waist bow is a bit on the big side and I think the dress design would have worked fine if there was no waist bow at all. The bow itself is quite basic in shape, but at least it doesn't look droopy.

The bodice has a gathered panel which works very well when teamed with the sleeves. The sleeves are very cute and I would be tempted to treat this dress more like an OP than a JSK, and not wear a blouse underneath. I like the use of lace along the neckline as the lace is quite soft looking. I also like the use of lace around the edge of the gathered panel and down the bodice, as it gives a neat panelled look. This dress has the same detachable brooch and I think the dress looks fine without it. I don't think the small bow underneath the brooch really adds anything to the design and is a bit pointless.

The back is fully shirred, which gives a wider size range but is a bit messy looking. I am not entirely convinced full back shirring is the best option for this particular style of dress. The skirt is a beautiful shape and flares out well. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat too. The print is displayed beautifully. The skirt has two more tiers attached at the bottom. The tiers are a good width. I am unsure I like the way the first tier is attached though, as it looks a bit bumpy. The first tier join is topped with 2 bows. The bows are a pretty shape, although a bit shiny. I think I would like these bows a lot more if there wasn't a waist bow though. The tiers are finished at the bottom with thin lace, which is not too distracting and ends things nicely.

And this is the Dress JSK. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted and an okay shape. The straps are a bit on the thin side and I think they could have been done a tiny bit wider. The straps are decorated beautifully with lace though. I think the lace is very pretty and floaty looking, but if you don't like it then it is detachable. Even with the lace parts detached the straps are still finished nicely with thin lace underneath, so the straps don't look too plain.

The bodice has a ribbon corset detail on the front. The ribbon is spaced out well and it looks very neatly done, although the ribbon is a tiny bit shiny. The edges of the ribbon corset are concealed well with some lace. It gives it a more tidy appearance. The neck line has a line of lace which matches up brilliantly with the strap lace. I think the dress looks best with the strap lace parts attached, as it really ties everything together. The neckline also has the same detachable brooch as the other 2 dresses. I think the dress looks good with the brooch attached and detached. However, I am not a fan of the 2 side bows on the waist line (just visible in the picture). They are quite dull and droopy looking. The shape is very basic as well. They don't even look like bows unless you look at the dress from the side.

The back has a panel of shirring. It is concealed neatly with a ribbon corset. I am not entirely convinced by the skirt shape because where it starts at the waist it looks very flat and a bit awkward. But once you get past the waist area, the skirt flares out well. I would have preferred the skirt to be a bit rounder. The skirt has 2 gathered parts at the front, which looks very pretty. The bows on top are a bit shiny though and I don't think the 2 smaller bows are needed. There is also gathering done on the back of the dress in exactly the same way and I think this is a bit too much. The dress would be fine if the gathering part was just on the front. The bottom is finished off with solid coloured tulle, which I think is pretty and gives the dress a soft and floaty finish.

And here we have the print close-up. This print is available in ivory, pink, mint and lavender. It is very hard to pick a favourite colour because I think all 4 colours are stunning and look amazing with the print. At the moment, the mint version just about takes the lead for me, as the combination of mint and pink is amazing here. As for the print itself, it has been drawn so beautifully! I love the detail on the rose with the use of highlights and shading. It gives the roses a more realistic look to them. They are tied neatly with cute ribbons. The ribbons have nice movement to them and look very floaty; as if they have just been caught in a breeze. I think the way the logo is included in the print could have been done a bit nicer, but apart from that I think this is a stunning print. It has a really lovely classic feel to it, but at the same time it has that sweet AP twist.

I think that this series has a lot of potential and could have wide appeal. It is a very dreamy and romantic series. The colours chosen work really well. Would I buy it? Yes, I probably would. If I had to pick, I would go for the OP in mint (and I don't normally like OPs!). I really like the use of softer, floaty materials used throughout this series and the print is gorgeous too.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Wardrobe Tetris!

I am going through a real wardrobe dilemma at the moment. Due to living in such a small place, there is very limited places where I can store my lolita wardrobe. Unfortunately, the rail in my wardrobe was so stuffed that I could barely pull things out. I sort of had to dive in and keep my fingers crossed I pulled the right items out! But because I am so happy with my wardrobe currently I really don't want to sell anything.

Then it occurred to me... there was an empty space underneath my dresses and above my top shoe shelf.

So I put the shoes on my top shoe shelf in to shoe boxes and put them to one side. It is not ideal, but considering that I am the sort of person who lays their meet outfits out the night before, it isn't too much hassle. I will eventually label my shoe boxes so I know what everything is at a glance. 

With the extra shoe shelf space I put in an extra storage box. I took down all my boleros and cutsews that were on the rail and put them in the box. The tops I put in the box are the sort that either don't crease easily or stuff that I don't wear as much. From time to time I will need to iron my tops before I wear them but I am more than prepared to do this if it means I can fit more in my wardrobe. It may not look it in the picture, but my clothes rail now has a lot more breathing room. I should be able to fit a few more dresses in there yet!

I call this Wardrobe Tetris! I know there is going to come a stage where I will probably need to downsize my wardrobe a little, but by playing around with the space a little bit I was able to prevent this for a bit longer. Maybe by then I will have a better idea of what items I want to keep.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Wiz Me Over the Rainbow by BABY

Today I am looking at Wiz Me Over the Rainbow by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 3 hair accessories, socks, a bag and a special outfit for Usakumya.

This is JSK I. The bodice looks well fitted and is a cute shape. The straps are a good width and suit the dress. They are also lined with pretty lace on the outer edges which stops them looking plain and also goes well with the use of lace elsewhere on the dress. The waist bow is a bit on the big side and the lace on the bows edges emphasise the large size. I am also not keen on the shape, but at least it doesn't look too droopy.

The solid coloured waist ribbon helps to define the waist and looks very pretty. Also, the ribbon used is not shiny, which is a bonus. The matching small bows at the base of both straps are cute too and match the waist perfectly. However, I am not a fan of the removable apron-like panel. Whilst it is a cute idea, I think when teamed with a gingham print like this, it reminds me too much of a picnic cloth. But the buttons used to attach it are quite sweet. The panel is removable and BABY have at least made an effort to make the dress look detailed enough without the panel there. There is a lot of lace hiding beneath that panel. My first thought was that it looked very old-school and perhaps may look a bit 'dated' to some people, but I think it looks cute.

The back has a panel of shirring which is covered neatly with a ribbon corset. The same non-shiny ribbon is used here too. The skirt has a wonderful bell shape to it. It is full looking and flares outwards beautifully. The skirt is kept free of cluttering details and so, the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is finished very neatly with a line of the same ribbon. The line of ribbon also features some small bows which look cute, but are not too distracting. The bottom hem is then finished further with lace. The lace is too wide for my liking and the lace used is also a bit boring looking. 

This is JSK II. The bodice looks like it will fit nicely and the bodice has a cute simple shape to it. I am not a huge fan of the straps on this dress as I don't like the way they are gathered. Also, at their widest part I think the straps are a bit too wide. The edges are lined neatly with thin lace though, which is a nice finishing touch. The waist bow is again a bit too big for my liking, although I prefer the waist bow on this dress over the one on the other dress in this series. Despite being big, it does have a nicer shape and it sits nicely on the dress, without looking too droopy. The lace on the bow edges emphasises the size, although matches the lace used elsewhere.

The bodice has a line of braid surrounded by lace. I am a bit unsure about this detail because it may sit funny on the chest area. Also, I don't think it looks right paired with the neckline. The bodice also has 3 ribbon bows which are very shiny. It is a shame they didn't use the duller ribbon from the other dress. The bows are a bit squished together and could do with either being spaced a bit further apart or using less bows. In fact, I don't think the dress design would suffer too much if those bows were not there at all.

The back is fully shirred, so the shirring is not covered neatly. The shirring does blend in a little bit with the gingham pattern though. The skirt has a cute flared shape to it. The length looks a bit shorter in comparison to the other dress though. This dress will hold a decent amount of petticoat though. The print is displayed very well and the skirt is kept free of cluttering details. The bottom hem is finished off with a very cute looking ruffle. One thing I do dislike about this ruffle though is the way that the material used switches back to the lighter colour at the top of the dress. As you will see in the print close-up, the colour of the gingham changes at the bottom part of the print. I think it would have been better if the ruffle was the same colour as the bottom part of the print.

And here is the print close-up. This print comes in red, pink and sax. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with gingham and I am not too sure I like the use of it in this series. Whilst it is interesting that the colour of the gingham part changes in the print near the bottom, as I mentioned above it looks strange with JSK II's design with the bottom ruffle. However, I do think it works on JSK I quite well.  As for the actual print, I quite like the use of fluffy clouds for the border around the picture as it is very soft looking and matches the lace quite well. The pictures with scenes from the Wizard of Oz are drawn well. I love the use of the yellow brick road! I suppose this is a great alternative to those fed up with Alice in Wonderland. I personally am not that fussed by this series though.

So overall, I wouldn't say I was widely impressed by this series. I think it is a lovely print, but I probably wouldn't go for it myself. If I did, I would probably go for JSK I in blue. Gingham is something that seems to divide opinion in the community as well and I know a few people who wont be happy to see gingham used here! Still, it is nice to see BABY doing a series based on a story we don't see as often as Alice.

Monday, 15 April 2013

We Love Colors Tights Review

Today I will be reviewing my order from We Love Colors, an American tights company who make tights in a wide variety of colours. The prices seem relatively good considering that sometimes it is hard to find tights in a certain colour.

Ordering Process

The site was very easy to browse and the shopping cart was straight forward. There is a colour guide conveniently placed in the left hand menu. It can be hard to get an accurate colour guide when online shopping, but I found WLC's one to be reasonably accurate. I had no troubles placing my order at all.


For international orders WLC offers 3 different shipping options. I opted for the mid priced option which was the cheaper of the 2 FedEx options available. This option did not come with tracking (I am not sure if the most expensive option does or not?) but I have not had problems with FedEx before, so I wasn't too worried. It was a bit annoying not knowing when my order was arriving though! I placed my order on the 1st of April and it was shipped out on the 2nd. The tights arrived on Friday the 5th, so the shipping was super speedy.

My tights were shipped in a sturdy cardboard FedEx envelope. It was well sealed and it was so well done that I actually had trouble opening it. There wasn't much room for the contents to move inside either. The only thing is, the tights inside did not come with any packaging like shrink wrap or plastic covering them.

Something that annoyed me a little was the bits of card around the tights were super sticky and I was scared I was going to damage the tights when I pulled them off. Thankfully, the tights are strong and they were totally fine. From left to right I got lilac, aqua and light pink. Like I said above, the colour guide is quite accurate, although I was hoping the lilac ones would be a tiny bit lighter. The tight quality is really good though. The material is nice and thick and I get the impression they don't ladder easily.

When worn the colour does not fade that much and they remain opaque. The sizing given on the website seems pretty accurate as well.

Just as a little reference, the aqua tights are an okay match for sax blue. I had a hard time choosing between this shade and another blue shade that is very similar. In the end, I went for Aqua as I felt it was a tiny bit lighter. I decided to compare it to my Bodyline strawberry cream skirt and the colour is identical to the tulle bit at the bottom of the skirt and also a fairly good match for the sax blue on the rest of the skirt. So I am very pleased with how these tights turned out!

So overall, I had a very positive experience. I think the tights will last very well and the colours are great. I have not had the chance to wash them yet, so I will have to wait and see how that goes. But I think as long as I follow the care instructions, they will be fine. The shipping and ordering was easy too. So I would recommend We Love Colors.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Sweet Cherry by Metamorphose

It's that time of year again when Meta release another fruit print. This time around it is cherries. The print is called Sweet Cherry. This series includes 5 dresses (one dress is available in 2 lengths), a skirt, socks, a blouse and 4 different hair accessories.

This is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and is an interesting shape. I do wish the sleeves were a bit longer though as they look non-existent. The waist is belted and really adds a cute retro look to the dress. It also nips in the waist beautifully. I would be interested to see how it looked with a red belt though because as it is, you don't really see the belt that much. The lace has been kept thin, which really suits this dress. The buttons are spaced out well but are very dull and plain looking. The collar really adds to the retro look as well and looks really good. It is a nice shape, although I think it would be a bit nicer if it was a bit narrower. Because the collar goes right out to the shoulders it does emphasise them a bit and makes the area look wider. The back has a panel of shirring which is left open and exposed. It blends in very well on the black version but not so sure about the other 2 colours. The skirt has a lovely, full shape to it. It is not as OTT as previous Meta dresses but it still flares outwards a lot. It has a cute rounded shape. The skirt is kept free of clutter and so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with some pretty lace.

This is the Ribbon Pinafore JSK. The bodice is very well fitted and a lovely shape. I really like the heart shaped neckline. The straps are a bit on the thin side, though it does give the dress a relaxed, casual feel which does suit it. I just wish they were a tiny bit thicker. The front has 3 satin bows on the front. The bows are cute and have a nice shape to them, although the ribbon is slightly shiny. The bows are spaced out nicely, but I do think the top one is obscured by the neckline bow and maybe one less satin bow would look better. The neckline bow is a bit big and the shape is simple, but it sits on the dress nicely. However, if you dislike the neckline bow, it is detachable and looks good without it too. The neckline has a thin ruffle which looks very cute and make the edge look less harsh. It also looks good when teamed with the skirt style. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The tiered skirt is very interesting. The tiers have a lot of volume to them and the way they are layered gives the skirt a lot of movement. It looks very frilly and girly and I like it. The border part of the print is used twice and makes the skirt look less plain. The print is definitely displayed better on the lower tier though as it is less gathered. Both tiers are finished off neatly with thin lace.

This is the Pinafore JSK, which comes in 2 lengths (the one in the picture is the mini length). The bodice looks like it fits well but I dislike the shape. The edges are very straight and harsh looking. It makes it look a bit boxy and I don't think it suits the dress. The waist has a small bow which is a nice shape, but blends in a great deal. The 2 lines of lace on the neckline are layered well and looks pretty but again, it ends very harshly with very straight lines. The lace is topped with a small satin ribbon bow which doesn't really add anything to the design. A detachable bow clip with a crochet cherry is included, but I don't think it will add very much. The straps are a bit too thin and plain for my liking. The back has a panel of shirring which has nothing covering it. It looks very open and exposed. The skirt has a pretty bell shape to it and I do like the way the silhouette looks in the photo. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat too. The print is displayed very well because there are no cluttering details on the skirt. The bottom hem is finished neatly with good quality lace. Overall though, I think this dress is very dull. Meta describe this as their more "adult" dress but I don't think that mature has to mean plain.

This is the Tiered Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks like it fits nicely and the shape is okay. Once again, the straps are thin and don't look like they offer a lot of support. Though the straps are lined with lace, so at least they are not as plain looking as some of the other dresses in this series. The bodice has a semicircle of lace which has been done quite neatly. However, I am not really a fan of how it looks and would have preferred it if it wasn't there. Inside the lace there are 3 small satin bows. They are a cute, but simple shape. I think the spacing could have been a bit better and in some photos the bows look like they have been placed on a bit wonky. The back has a panel of shirring which has been kept exposed. I thought the back of this dress looked a bit messier than the others. The skirt shape is a bit too triangular for me. It does have a decent amount of volume though and will hold lots of petticoat. The tier joins have been done well and don't look lumpy, so it doesn't affect the silhouette too much. The tier joins are covered neatly with lace and it is a nice finishing touch. I wouldn't have bothered with the 2 bows on the top tier though as there is enough detail there already. The print is not displayed that well due to all the gathering, which is a shame. The bottom hem is then finished off with pretty lace.

This is the Shirring Pinafore JSK. The bodice is completely shirred, which is great for size flexibility, but gives the bodice an unattractive lumpy appearance. I just don't like the way it looks at all. The waist has a belt made of satin ribbon. It helps to define the waist a bit. Whilst I think it is pretty, at the same time I think it looks a bit cheap. The bodice has small bows, which have lines of lace on either side. The lace is a bit pointless because it just blends in with the shirring anyway. It looks far too fussy. The bows are not much better because they don't really stand out that much. However, the bows are spaced out nicely and do look cute. I just don't think this is the right sort of detail for this dress. On this dress there are 2 sets of thin, plain straps. I would have preferred one set of slightly thicker straps. Just like the front, the back is fully shirred. It looks messy, but I suppose it at least matches the front? I am not a fan though. The skirt shape is a bit more subtle than some of the other dresses. I would have preferred a more traditional lolita shape. I also think it looks a bit bumpy at the bottom and the wearer would have to choose their petticoat carefully. Halfway down the skirt there is a line of lace which looks pretty and adds interest to the skirt. This line of lace is topped with 2 small bows. Again, I don't think they are really needed but I suppose it is a cute finishing touch. The print is displayed quite well. The bottom hem is finished off with a simple ruffle, which looks cute and stops the bottom looking plain.

And here we have the print. As we can see the print comes in mint, cream and black. I always think Meta's colour choices are very interesting for their fruit prints. The black and mint are quite standard choices but I think the cream colour is very interesting as I would have thought white would be a more obvious choice. But I do think that by only having 3 colours may limit its appeal a little bit. Meta have once again gone for a stripy background which is quirky, but we have seen done many times by Meta before. But the print itself is quite cute. The cherries look very juicy and succulent, as if you could reach out and actually touch them. I am also thrilled to see the inclusion of blueberries! The blueberries and raspberries work surprisingly well in the print and it is nice to see Meta using something other than strawberries. The daisies also look cute and are drawn well. The bow is a nice finishing touch and I like the detail on it. The only thing I dislike is the angry looking bee as I think such a cute print deserves a cuter looking bee!

I do think this is quite a pretty series. With a choice of 5 dresses, there is hopefully something to suit every taste. I think I like the OP best (which is quite rare for me) because I am liking the retro feel. I would probably go for the mint colour as it has a fresh feel to it. Would I buy it? Possibly, but not at full retail price. I am a fruit print fan and I do think this print is cute, but I don't think it will be going on my wishlist. I am happy to see some less common themes cropping up in the print though, so as far as fruit prints go, this is probably one of the better ones.

Monday, 8 April 2013

DreamV Rakuten Review

Today I am reviewing my very first DreamV (a.k.a Yumetenbo) order, which I placed through their global Rakuten page.

Ordering Process

Luckily for me, DreamV ship to the UK so I didn't have to fiddle about with shopping services and could order directly from them. Rakuten is pretty straight forward to order from and I found it easy to use. One thing I should mention though is that DreamV uses pictures for their size chart and so Google Translate wont work on them. 

I actually followed the guide on this link- This blog's shopping guide was incredibly helpful and also accurate. I was able to use this blog post to translate the sizing chart and worked out what sizes I needed. The blog link is also helpful for keeping track of what emails you should expect to receive from Rakuten and DreamV. The timings written on the blog post are very accurate.

One of the things I would also mention is that sometimes DreamV wont let you order certain items outside of a particular sales time. I had to delay my order a few days because the blouse I got as part of this order was outside its sale period. During the sales period the price went down, which is a bonus. It kind of amused me that they refused to take my money when I was going to pay the full price!


The order arrived very quickly. The estimated arrival date in an email I got was just one day out and I got it the day after (although this arrival date would have been spot on if I didn't get hit by customs).

My 3 tops were shipped in a very large box which was sealed very carefully with strong tape. The edges were secure and covered well. I do think the box was ridiculously big for just 3 tops and there was a lot of room inside for the contents to move about. Luckily my items were not fragile but I do think it is a bit of a waste to use such a big box. All my items were individually wrapped in plastic. It was all done very neatly.

And now on to my new items! I wanted some basic pink tops and also this pink blouse which I fell in love with.

This is the first top I got which is a basic pink cutsew with a chiffon ribon detail on the back. The material is a bit on the thin side, but looking at the item listing, it does actually point this out. It does mean that you can only wear pale or nude underwear with it though and sometimes you can see the outline of your bra when you are wearing it. The colour is a soft baby pink which is very nice. I have already worn and washed this top and the colour has not faded at all. The design is very basic, but this top was very cheap.

The back has a chiffon bow detail. It is a bit messy looking and you can tell it has been done quickly. The chiffon is soft and you can't feel it when you wear the top. The bow does look a bit better when worn, but it is still a tiny bit wonky. Again, I do feel I got what I paid for.

The ruffle at the bottom is quite basic too but has been done quite neatly.

The second top is a 2-way top that you can wear on or off your shoulders and has a detachable charm detail on the back. I had to order a size bigger for this top because my size was out of stock, but it still fits me quite well and thankfully it is not too baggy. The only real difference I found was with the length and I found I could almost wear this as a dress! My main criticism of this top is the colour. I ordered this top in baby pink as well and I did receive the correct colour. However, this time the colour is more of a peachy orange colour. It is very different when you put it next to my other cutsew above. The fabric seems a tiny bit thicker on this top, which is a bonus. Again, the design is kept basic and this is reflected in the low price.

The back has this detachable charm which you attach to 2 loops on the top. I think this is quite a cute detail, although I kind of wonder how many people would notice this on the back of my neck! I have not had the chance to wear this top out yet so I don't know how secure the charm is, but the necklace style clips do like quite secure.

The top has elastic in it so you can wear it both on the shoulder and off the shoulder. The elastic is quite generous, but when I tried to wear this top off the shoulders I found the sleeves were very slowly creeping back up again. If I was wearing this top for a long period of time I think I wouldn't want to wear it off the shoulders because I would get fed up having to keep pulling the sleeves back down again.

Finally, I got myself yet another chiffon blouse! My chiffon obsession is getting a little unhealthy now... Out of the 3 tops this one is my absolute favourite. The material is so soft and floaty and the lining feels nice against my skin. You can barely feel the weight of the top when you wear it. The soft pink colour is also perfect.

The neck has neck ties which you can't detach but I do like them. The lace and buttons are good for the cheap price. There are no loose threads or anything else that I would normally expect with such a cheap top. Out of all the tops I think this one was also the best value for money. The blouse is very similar to other chiffon blouses I own and was cheaper.

The edges are kept simple with slight ruffles. It is a basic design but has been executed well.

Overall, I am very impressed with DreamV's service. They were quick and although everything was in Japanese, Google Translate and the blog post I linked above made it very simple to order. The items are basic and not always the very best quality, but at such low prices you do get good value for money. DreamV are good for boosting the basics in your wardrobe. If you get hit by your country's customs then it may not work out as cheap, but I still think DreamV is a good option. I would definitely order from DreamV again.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Angelic Pretty Print Double!

So because I am getting overwhelmed by all the stuff being released at the moment, today there is going to be 2 print discussions!

First up is Whip Show Case. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, socks, tights, a head bow and 2 pieces of jewellery.

This is the tiered JSK. The bodice is not that well fitted, but then it isn't intended to be. It has a loose shape that fits the rest of the dress silhouette. I am not a fan of the ribbon belt on this dress. Usually, belted designs make the waist area look smaller, but on this dress it has the opposite effect. The ribbon belt just sits there, not really doing anything. I don't think the thin belt is the best design choice for this particular dress and if you wanted to nip in the waist area you would probably need to use another wider belt. Also, the satin ribbon is incredibly shiny. The straps are a bit thin but wider straps would not suit this style of dress. The neckline is decorated beautifully with lace. It looks very neat and well presented. The small ribbon bow is cute and is a nice, simple finishing touch. The back has not got any shirring in it but the sizing is fairly generous for AP anyway. However, it does limit smaller wearers who only have the waist ties to make the dress smaller and risk looking swamped by the material. I wouldn't say the skirt was the nicest shape but it is fairly cute looking. I get the impression it will look a lot nicer in person. The tier design is pretty and spaced out well. The area where the tiers join is also done well and doesn't affect the overall silhouette too much. The print is displayed fairly well, although looks a bit bunched up at the bottom because of the tier design. The bottom hem is then finished off with very cute ribbon themed lace. AP could have used cake themed lace to match the print but maybe that was a bit too predictable!

This is the Ribbon JSK. The bodice shape is quite bog standard. It looks fairly well fitted, although in a few pictures the material looks a tiny bit baggy in places. The straps on this dress are very thin and could probably do with being a bit wider. They are decorated beautifully with colourful pearls though, which I do like.

I can see what AP was aiming for with the bodice detail but I think it comes off a little messy. The wide white lace running up the middle goes well with the print and sort of mimics the icing theme. The thin white lace running down the sides also looks like piped icing and works well. But I don't like the wide white lace teamed with all those bows. The top bow especially looks messy and could do with being shaped a bit better. It looks sloppy and rushed. The smaller bows are cute and at least a nicer sturdier shape, but get obscured by the white lace underneath. It is like the bows and lace are fighting for attention. I think there are too many bows and they have not been paired together well.

Fortunately, this dress does have a shirring panel. It is also concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. It may not be as large as the other dress but I think it is good to be able to control the dress size to suit the wearer's needs. The skirt is beautiful and full. It flares out nicely and will hold a generous amount of petticoat. The print is displayed beautifully as the skirt is kept free of clutter. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with the same bow themed lace.

And here is the print. It comes in sax blue, yellow, pink and ivory. I think all the colours work very well but my favourite is the ivory. I would have chosen the yellow as my favourite, but the yellow Ribbon JSK has blue bows and I didn't think it looked that good. The print is drawn beautifully. AP excels at drawing cute cakes and this print is no exception. I really love the cake with the sliced strawberries carefully placed on the cake. The icing design is also very cute.

Overall, I do think this is a cute series. I wont be putting it on my wishlist but I wouldn't mind having this series in my wardrobe. I personally think the skirt looks better than both the dresses, but out of the dresses I would pick the Ribbon JSK because of the shirring (although the bows would definitely annoy me). Sadly, it looks like this series is going to be a bit of a slow seller because of a certain other print AP have put out...

The second print I am looking at today is the very popular Day Dream Carnival. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt a sallopette and far too many accessories to list. Put it this way, there seems to be every accessory you could possibly wish for in this series. Hmm... something tells me that AP were expecting this to sell very well! I didn't even see it go up on the website because it sold out that quickly!

This is the OP. The bodice is a pretty shape and appears to fit well. I really love the tulle sleeves as they look so soft and dream-like. They have a really cute puffy appearance and are topped neatly with cute bows. I personally would have liked to have seen the tulle used elsewhere on the dress though. The neck straps help finish the neckline nicely, but are detachable if you don't like that kind of thing.

The use of the gold part of the print around the waist gives the illusion of a belt. It helps nip the waist area in a bit and looks very neat. I like the use of gold lace here too. The waist bow is the right sort of size, not looking too big. This bow has a really firm, solid shape. It doesn't look droopy at all. The criss-crossed ribbon is very pretty. It is spaced out nicely and doesn't look too bunched up. It is a bit on the shiny side though. The use of lace is also very clever. I love how the wider lace on the outer edges sits on the dress.

The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The skirt has a lovely, slightly rounded shape to it. It flares outwards beautifully and will hold a decent amount of petticoat. The print is displayed very well and is not cluttered by too many details. The bottom hem is finished off with adorable pony shaped lace.

 This is the JSK. The bodice is a lovely shape but the material looks a bit baggy in a few places, so may not fit perfectly. The straps are a bit wide and I am unsure I like the way they look. They also look a bit odd from the back because they are brought together at the back by a bow. It is a bit peculiar and I would be tempted to wear a bolero to hide them.

The tulle belt matches the straps well, although it maybe could have looked a bit neater. I do like the way it brings the waist inwards though. I adore the star shaped buttons though as they are very cute. The patch lined with gold lace on the neckline is nice and I like the starry themed chain that dangles from it. The chain sits nicely between the star buttons and doesn't look too cluttered. I like how the bases of the straps are covered with 2 small tulle bows with pearls on them. It really neatens up the area. With so much detail on the bodice, there is a risk of the dress looking too cluttered, but I think AP have gotten away with it here.

The back is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset, making it look very tidy. I love the plump, rounded bell shape the skirt has. It is so full and pretty. The skirt is once again kept free of clutter and so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with more of the cute pony lace.

This is the tulle JSK. The bodice shape is beautiful, although the material does look a bit loose and baggy in a few of the stock pictures. The neckline is pretty too. The straps are maybe a bit on the thin side but suit the style of dress. I possibly would have preferred them to be a tiny bit thicker. The outer edge of the straps is lined beautifully with lace though, which looks so soft and layered well.

The waist is decorated cutely with 2 tulle bows on either side which are topped with pearls. They top the tulle panel on the skirt in a really pretty way and are the right sort of size. The cute gold star buttons feature again, which work so well with the print. The lace used is very pretty. My only slight complaint is the use of ric-rac on either side of the buttons, but thankfully it blends in a fair bit and is not that noticeable. The neckline puts good use to the gold part of the print and is very pretty. I like the shape of the neckline bow. It may be a bit big for some people, but I actually quite like it. I think it sits nicely on the dress too.

The back is fully shirred the whole way across. It has been left very open and exposed, but with a dress like this I would be more than willing to overlook this. The skirt is once again very full and rounded. I really love it. It flares out loads and will hold a decent amount of petticoat. The tulle overlay is stunning and really works well with the print and the overall theme of the series. The tulle is shaped perfectly and importantly does not obscure the border part of the print. So the print is still displayed very well underneath it, although maybe not as well as the other 2 dresses in the series due to the amount of gathering. The bottom hem is then finished off with more of that cute pony lace.

And this is the print. It comes in ivory/pink, sax blue, lavender and black. I totally love everything about it. It's like a pimped up Sugary Carnival. The colours are gorgeous and all the different colour versions work so well. My favourite by far is the lavender, with sax being my second choice. I would quite happily own any of the colours though! The ponies are so beautiful. I love the details. They are all decorated perfectly with ribbons and feathers in their manes. The golden parts add a special touch to it.

 A very popular item from the series has been the tights. And I can totally see why! They are so pretty. I am really happy to see that AP are releasing a lot more printed tights to go with their latest prints. The Whip Show Case tights are also very cute. Here is hoping that AP keeps up and releases even more tights.

Although some people have come out saying they hate this series, it is pretty obvious that this is a series which has a huge fan base. Am I a part of that fan base? Yes I am! I would love to own the tulle JSK in lavender, with my second choice being the almost equally gorgeous sax version. And the tights have been added to my wishlist too. Although I am an AP fan, it has been a while since my excitement levels have hit this level for one of their series. There have been quite a few prints I liked recently, but none that got an instant place on my wishlist like this one. So I have been taken in by the Day Dream Carnival hype. I just hope I am able to find it second hand without making my bank balance having a heart attack!

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