Thursday, 29 August 2013

Take a Theme- Mermaids

Today's Take a Theme is mermaids! If you didn't see my first Take a Theme post on birds it is available here-

Potential sub themes for mermaids- pearls, shells, billowing hair, sea creatures, treasure chests

Brand prints of note- Twinkle Mermaid, Aqua Princess and Mermaid Symphony (Angelic Pretty), Melty Mermaid Princess and Mermaid Jewellery Box (Alice and the Pirates), Emily Temple Cute Mermaid Print

I decided to mainly focus on jewellery this time with items from Etsy and Taobao. I think that despite the MUA nail kit being inspired by constellations, the colours of the beads for Pisces and the general look of the finished nails could fit in with a mermaid theme too. Sadly, the Topshop bag is no longer available but with a bit of searching you could probably find something similar or hope that it comes up for auction!

Monday, 26 August 2013

My Mate Kumya's Trick Or Treat by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I am looking at a recent BABY reservation called My Mate Kumya's Trick or Treat. I suppose Halloween is not too far off! This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a cape, 2 blouses, socks and a generous number of hair accessories.

This is the Judy JSK. The bodice looks reasonably well-fitted and is an interesting shape. The straps are a good width for the dress and look very supportive. The waist bow is a good size and suits the dress. It looks quite perky and sits well on the dress. The bow edges are lined with pretty lace which matches up well with the lace used on the rest of the bodice.

I absolutely love the use of lace on the bodice. It has been done so neatly and sits well. The star themed lace is so cute and matches up brilliantly with the print. The star lace around the neckline especially seems to stand out. All the lace seems to be of a good quality as well. The front has a ribbon corset and the ribbon is spaced out well and looks very tidy. The edges of the ribbon corset are concealed neatly by the lace too. I love the star brooch attached to one side. I think it is really cute and matches well with the bodice. But if you don't like it then it is detachable.

The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed very neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt flares out well. The silhouette is nicely rounded too. The skirt is kept clutter free and so the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with more cute star themed lace.

This is the Sophy JSK. The bodice looks like it may not be as well fitted. In a few of the photos the material looks a bit loose. I also think the bodice shape is not as good as the lines look a bit too straight. The straps are a decent width. I am unsure I like the scalloped edge, although it does tie in well with the scallop shapes on the bodice and also in the actual print. The scallops on the straps are at least a good shape and look decently constructed. I really dislike the waist bow on this dress. The overall shape of it is so peculiar and it is also a bit too big. It also looks like it could potentially be a bit floppy and droop a bit. Thankfully, it is detachable.

I wouldn't normally like scallops like this on the bodice but the lace really helps to tone them down, so they look a bit more subtle. The scallops are a good shape and nicely spaced out too. The wide lace looks to be of a good quality but in my opinion it isn't as interesting as the lace used on the other dress. The 3 bows along the neckline are cute, although I think I would have preferred to just have the middle bow by itself. I like the use of gold on the bows as it gives them a classier appearance. The dangling star on the middle bow is cute too and works well with the overall theme. 

The back has a panel of shirring which is also concealed by a ribbon corset. It is done neatly. The stock photos show the skirt can flare out well. The skirt has a nice bell shape to it, although I think I prefer the other JSK. The skirt is kept fairly simple and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of star printed tulle, which gives a nice soft finish.

And here we have part of the print close-up. This print is available in pink/lavender, red, brown and navy. For me, navy is by far the stand-out colour for this series. The colours on the navy version compliment each other well and the print stands out against the darker background really well. Whilst I like the pink/lavender version as well, I think the print blends in a bit when it doesn't have a deep background colour. The red is fairly nice but I am not keen on the brown version at all, as the colour combination does not appeal to me at all. So once again, Usakumya and friends are the main print feature. The familiar characters are drawn very well and look very cute. I especially like Usakumya and it's cute heart shaped wand. But I think my favourite part of the print is the random ghost mice (well, they look like mice...) floating about! I think they look totally adorable and I would like to see more of them! The clouds, moons and stars just add to the cuteness too. The houses look very cartoonish but I think that just works well with this very sweet print. It is nice to see BABY bringing out a Halloween print for sweet lolitas, as usually the focus is usually on the more gothic prints at this time of year.

I am a huge fan of the star shaped barrette that is part of this series. It matches so well with this series but I can think of other prints it could easily work with (BABY's Twinkle Constellation print comes to mind right away). The star shape and ribbon bow is cute but the BABY logo charm adds a touch of class. I love the little dangling star charm as well. Even if I brought nothing else from this series, I think I would really like to get this barrette!

So overall, I think this series is very adorable. I don't think it will be going on my wishlist but that doesn't mean I don't like it. The print is so cute and I love the matching accessories. If I was going to buy from this series I would go for the Judy JSK in navy. I think the design of the Judy JSK is much stronger and looks better overall. I really hope to get the star barrette at some point. I think this series deserves to do quite well.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Sick :(

Sorry everybody, but I just can't do a proper post today. Without going in to too much detail, I haven't been well for the last 2 weeks. Although I am still able to go about my daily business I feel so drained and I could do with resting up a bit. Hopefully this is just a temporary blip and I will be back on Monday with a proper post!

But in the hopes of cheering myself up, I have been browsing the latest Bodyline stuff and I present to you the picture which almost made me spit my drink all over my laptop-

Funny or creepy? Maybe a bit of both? Thank you Mr Yan, for distracting me from my illness woes!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Magical Painting by Crown Label (Metamorphose)

Today I am looking at Magical Painting by Metamorphose. This series includes 3 dresses, 2 skirts (different lengths), a cutsew, 2 hair accessories and socks.

This is the A-Line Pinafore JSK. I am not keen on the bodice shape because I think it is a bit too square and 'boxy' looking. I appreciate that the dress is meant to be A-Line but after seeing the worn pictures on the model I do wish the waist was a bit more nipped in. The waist makes the model's waist look bigger than it actually is and it is not the most flattering of dresses. However, with the waist ties done up tight I suppose the shape may appear a bit better. The straps are a suitable width. They are a bit plain looking but I do like the use of tiny bows at the base, as they are a nice finishing touch. The bow on the neckline is a bit too big for my liking. It does sit nicely on the dress though. The bow is decorated neatly with lace and ribbon, which adds a bit of interest to it, but the overall shape is a bit simple. It is detachable if you dislike it. The dress has 2 lines of lace which run down the bodice and continue down the skirt which I like as they flow quite nicely. The back has a panel of shirring but it is not concealed in any way. It looks very basic and untidy. I am not too keen on the skirt shape. It starts off fine but I dislike the gathered tier. There is a bit too much gathering for my liking and it obscures the print a bit. The tier join is topped with a line of interesting looking lace with ribbon threaded through it. It matches well with the neckline bow. However, I think the lace here is a bit on the wide side and I would have preferred something less bulky looking. The bottom hem is then finished off with some good quality but boring looking lace.

This is the Scalloped Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and an interesting shape. The waist bow is a good size for the dress and it sits nicely on the dress. It doesn't droop much. The overall shape of the bow is again a bit simple but doesn't look too bad and suits the dress.

I am unsure I like the use of solid colour up the bodice though. I appreciate that the circular shape matches up with the scalloped bottom but I am not personally a fan. I do however, think the teddy bear shaped buttons are very cute! The band of solid colour at the top matches up well with the use of solid colour elsewhere. There is another bow on the neckline. I think this one is a bit on the big side. A smaller bow tucked neatly to the side would maybe look better. This bow is very similar to the waist bow in shape and style. Both bows are detachable if you dislike them. I would probably detach the neckline bow but leave the waist bow on. The straps are a good width and I like the ruffled appearance as it makes them a bit more interesting. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt shape is very rounded and looks great with a decent petticoat. I love how rounded it looks. The skirt is kept free of too much clutter and so the print is displayed beautifully. The scalloped edge has been done quite neatly. The individual scallops are a bit wide but overall I think it has been done well. The bottom is then finished off with a wide ruffle underneath. I think the ruffle is really cute and softens the scalloped bottom brilliantly. It also matches well with the ruffled straps.

This is the Shirring Pinafore JSK. As expected for something fully shirred, the bodice looks a bit lumpy looking. I appreciate some need more size flexibility but it also doesn't look very attractive. This dress has 2 sets of thin straps. I would have preferred just one set of thin straps as I don't really see the point of 2 sets of straps like this. They are also a bit plain looking, and a very thin ruffle could maybe soften the edges, whilst also matching the bottom hem ruffle. The waist bow is a bit too big and too simple in design. It also looks like it may droop a little bit and doesn't sit as well on the dress. It is thankfully detachable though.

I am also not too fond of the ruffle going up the centre of the bodice. With all the gathering from the shirring it seems a bit strange to have a completely straight bit in the middle and then a ruffle going vertically against the horizontal shirring. In summery I think it is messy looking. The bows and buttons on top sit awkwardly on top as well. They look wonky and too fussy. I do like the idea behind the teddy themed rosette. The teddy head shape works well as a rosette and it is very cute. I do think the rosette looks slightly too plain though. Maybe the teddy could have had some facial features to liven it up a bit? As the dress is fully shirred, the back has shirring the whole way across too and again, it looks messy.

The stock photos show that with the right petticoat you can achieve a very sweet, cupcake shape with this dress. The shape is very rounded and cute looking. If anything, it is maybe slightly too rounded, but it gives a nice exaggerated shape. However, I am not keen on the line of lace topped with small bows just a little bit down the skirt. I find it a bit too distracting and makes the silhouette a little less smooth. The dress would look fine without this line here. But apart from that, the print is displayed well and not too cluttered. The bottom hem is finished with a simple ruffle, which gives the edge a cute finish.

And here we have the print close-up. This print is available in camel, black and pink. I think the pink and black look fine. The camel colour though, clashes a bit with some of the colours that feature in the border print and doesn't seem as well thought-out. As for the print, the teddy bears and rabbits are very cute. They do have that typical Meta look to them. The art items surrounding the bears fit in nicely. The chalk letter background fits in well with the print. However, I think for me personally the print is a bit too 'young' and childlike. I would probably want something a bit more maturer. 

Overall, I am not too amazed by this series. It is cute, but at the same time there have been many similarly themed Meta prints just like this one. Nothing really makes this a stand-out series to me. I wouldn't buy from it myself. But if I were to buy a dress I would go for the Scalloped Pinafore JSK in black, as I think this dress is the strongest design. I am hoping for better things from Meta soon.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


I don't know whether it is because I am suffering post-holiday blues or simply because I have not been to a meet in a while, but recently I have been having a real creative slump. With Frock On! coming up this is not exactly the best time to feel like this. I have the foundations of my outfit for the day sorted and I am working on something else too (which I am sworn to secrecy about!) but it just feels like it is lacking that 'spark' that takes it from an okay outfit to an amazing outfit. I see friends posting their outfit progress online and whilst I am happy for them, at the same time I am a little jealous that they have come up with something so incredible!

I keep pulling my outfit out of my wardrobe and just staring at it... What is missing? Why can't I get over this hurdle? No matter how much I add or take away it never looks quite right.

But I am trying not to be too disheartened. For starters, this is not the first time I have gone through this phase and I have gone on to make outfits that I am happy with. Also, I feel that I may not be alone in thinking this way. I have come up with an action plan now, so hopefully I will be able to get back my creativity the next time it decides to go missing.

Always keep a notebook nearby- I always find my wildest and most creative ideas come at the most random of times. So now I always make sure that when I have an idea, no matter how good or bad, I write it down so I can look back at it later. That way I can flick through it when I don't know what to wear and hopefully pull an idea out of it.

Look up the dress you want to wear and see what others have come up with- I am not suggesting that you should copy what other people have done but sometimes seeing how somebody else has co-ordinated a piece can help spark your own creativity. I once did this and found a photo which led to me saying "That is an interesting idea, but what if you did this instead?" and then I went and made my own outfit with my own tweaks so it was different enough to not be a copy.

Do a dress brainstorm- Take a main piece out of your wardrobe. Now try to write down all of the possible colours that would match it and don't be afraid to try new colour combinations. If the item has a print, list down all the items and themes that appear in the print. Can you think of any possible sub-themes that would compliment it?

Scrapbook anything you find that may be of use- I am always cutting things out of magazines and putting them in my dedicated lolita folder. Alternatively, try using Tumblr or Pinterest.

Make an unofficial matching accessory- One of the most recent pictures I saved for my special lolita inspiration folder was of this co-ordinate done with the Bodyline Alice Print. This print didn't have a matching bow so the person wearing it had made her own mini top hat with colours that matched the skirt. By doing this, she was able to balance out the colours in her outfit better and the hat was so good, it looked like it should have been an official item. I also love the idea of re-creating parts of prints and making your own accessories.

Try not to be too hard on yourself- Sometimes the best thing to do during an uninspired period is go for a walk, clear your head or do something else to take your mind off things. The more you try to force your creativity, the more stressed out you will get. Take a break, and come back to it later.

Well, hopefully I will find my creativity for Frock On! but if I look a bit plain then you will know why. It's just one of those things. I am not going to beat myself up about it. I will just have to come back with an amazing outfit when my creative spark is in full flow!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Welcome to the Sweet Hexenhaus by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I will be taking a look at a recent release from BABY. This series is called Welcome the the Sweet HexenHaus. It includes 3 dresses (2 printed, which I will be focusing on), a skirt, a chocolate themed blouse, 5 different hair accessories, a cardigan, a bag, 2 pairs of socks, a pass case and a few pieces of jewellery.

This is the Ribbon JSK. The bodice looks fairly well fitted and a decent shape. The straps are a decent width, I would maybe prefer it if they were a tiny bit narrower. The straps are lined neatly with thin lace, which gives a softer finish. The waist area looks a bit plain but considering the amount of bows on the bodice already, it is probably best this way. The lace gives a smart panelled effect to the bodice. The lace looks like your average BABY offering, although there is some cute heart shaped lace thrown in there too, so it doesn't look too plain. The 3 bows on the bodice are a good shape and size. They are spaced quite well and don't look too crowded, although maybe the solid coloured ribbon bows could be a tiny bit smaller. They look cute and overall I don't think they look too OTT. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed by a ribbon corset. The ribbon has been done very neatly. The skirt shape is lovely. It flares out very well and has a great bell shape to it. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat too. The skirt is kept free of clutter and so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished with a line of ribbon, which is slightly shiny but doesn't look too bad, and then a line of good quality lace. 

This is the Pearl JSK. The bodice shape is a bit basic and the material looks a bit baggy in the stock photos. So it may not be the best fit. The straps are a good width for the dress. I like the use of stripy ribbon too as it is a nice contrast. The striped waist area is nice too because despite the horizontal stripes, it still nips the waist area in well. I really dislike the waist bow though and I am glad it is detachable, as I think the dress looks a whole lot better without it. The waist bow is very big and looks very droopy. It hangs very sadly on the dress. The bow design is also very simple, despite the use of lace. Overall, it just looks sloppy. But when it is detached the dress looks a whole lot better. When detached the dress has a more mature and elegant look to it in comparison to the other JSK. I really like the use of bows on the bodice. The 3 stripy bows are a good size and shape. I especially like how the one on the right of the picture has slightly longer tails too so it has a bit of variety. They are also positioned well and don't look too crowded. The pearl chain is a nice finishing touch, although I wish that one end wasn't dangling down the dress like it is and could have maybe be done a bit better. The nice looking lace along the neckline is neat and tidy and sits well. The back has a panel of shirring which is very neatly concealed by a ribbon corset. The skirt is very full and plump. I like how rounded it is, although I maybe prefer the skirt shape on the other JSK more. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat though. Despite the sloppy waist bow, the print is not obscured in any way by cluttering details and so it is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with good quality lace.

And here we have part of the print close-up. This print is available in ivory, pink, mint and brown. These are all standard chocolate print colours and all 4 colours do work well. I think I like the pink version slightly less than the other 3 though. I think the print itself is pretty cute. I especially like the trees made of gingerbread. In fact, all the trees look good enough to eat! I love how instead of fruit, they are decorated with sweets. The boy and girl are drawn well too. Although I find the rabbits cute, at the same time I think they look slightly derpy looking. The borders made up of chocolate lace are an interesting idea and are drawn very well. I like the chocolate brick background too. Overall, this is a very cute print.

I am not a huge fan of the jewellery from this series. It feels very flat and cartoonish. I think something a bit more realistic and solid looking would be better. I usually quite like BABY's jewellery but this jewellery appears a bit lower in quality to usual.

Usually Angelic Pretty rule when it comes to chocolate themed items but I still think this is a good effort from BABY. The print is sweet enough and is interesting. I am very torn about the dresses though. I like the bodice of the Pearl JSK but I like the skirt on the Ribbon JSK. I suppose I slightly prefer the Pearl JSK because I like the more mature appearance, although it is not without its faults. I think ivory is the best colour. Personally, the jewellery is not to my tastes though. But overall, I have a good feeling about this series.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

A Small Bodyline Birthday Haul!

I am back from my holiday! Posting should be back to normal now.

So before my holiday, I had my birthday! I got lots of lovely things, including 2 new Bodyline items. So I thought I would share my new Bodyline items with you all.

I finally have skirt L514! I have blogged about this skirt previously because I think the print is very beautiful. The fabric is of the usual Bodyline standard and there is no inner lining. The skirt design is quite simple but I mainly wanted it for the print anyway. 

I was a little bit surprised by the sizing on this skirt. I decided to ask for the 2L size despite being under the minimum measurement (mainly because I like to be comfortable). But I was surprised to find that I needed to loosen the ribbon corset to get it to fit! So I definitely think the skirt can go smaller than the website suggests. After loosening the ribbon, the skirt fit fine and felt comfortable. However, I would be wary of getting this skirt if you are near the maximum measurement. I am so glad I got the 2L now as I worry the M size wouldn't be comfortable. I think over time the skirt will become a bit more slack and the website measurements may be slightly more accurate.

As for the print, it is beautiful! I think it has a nice sweet/classic hybrid feel to it and could easily be worn with both styles. The print is quite crisp and not blurry. I was a little surprised by the colour of the lavender ribbon in the print though. It is a bit darker than I was expecting so I am having to rethink which lavender items to pair with it.

The lace on the bottom hem is not the prettiest I have seen but I don't think it is that bad. At least it has been attached neatly.

I was also given blouse L373 in off-white. I already own this blouse in lavender. Like a lot of Bodyline blouses, the material is thin and can sometimes feel a bit paper-like. But out of all of Bodyline's blouses, I think L373 is one of the better options. It is still a little bit see-through though so I will only be wearing nude coloured bras with it!

I like the rose shaped buttons a lot. The pleats are done neatly and the stitching is tidy. I have not found any loose threads anywhere yet. Not pictured is the neck tie that comes with the blouse.

Again, the lace could have been better but I don't think it looks too bad. I think the sleeves could have been done a bit prettier but I appreciate how flexible they are size-wise.

So those are the latest additions to my wardrobe! I look forward to making an outfit with the skirt (once I have figured out that tricky purple shade!). The blouse- although very limiting bra-wise- is a nice wardrobe staple and I am pleased with this addition to my blouse collection. I think the quality is good for the price. I am so grateful that my husband got me these wonderful presents!

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