Thursday, 27 February 2014

BTSSB Chiffon Princess Blouse Review- Positive

Today I am doing another blouse review! This time I am reviewing the Chiffon Princess blouse I brought from the Baby the Stars Shine Bright website. This was my first time ordering from the Baby website and with all the horror stories out there, I was feeling a bit anxious! But actually, things turned out much better than expected.

Ordering Process

I had to use the shopping cart system to place my order. I didn't want to make any mistakes, so I looked up online guides. Unfortunately, the guide I found had broken images so in the end I had to use the guide available on Baby's website. The ordering instructions can be found on Baby's overseas page on their site (look for overseas on the left menu). I actually found the instructions reasonably easy to follow with just the odd bit that I was unsure of (like not knowing how to enter my phone number in the 3 boxes given). In the end I figured out how to do it and ticked all the parts that Baby instruct overseas buyers to click. I placed my order and got an email back straight away to say my order had been accepted. Then I had to wait for the email with the shipping cost and payment details, which came very quickly. Annoyingly, this email went to my spam instead of my inbox, so I didn't it spot until a day later (lesson learnt- always check your spam!). I paid and replied to the email to inform them I had done so, and then the following day I got an email with my tracking number. Baby seems to reply to emails very quickly and the staff seemed very friendly.


My order was shipped via EMS, so I was confident my parcel would arrive safely and quickly. The order was shipped out on the 7th of February and I had a letter through from customs on the 15th to say it was at my local depot, awaiting customs charges. So it didn't take very long to arrive at my local depot at all. Unfortunately, things were held up slightly because Parcelforce's payment system went down and we were unable to pay the customs charge right away. But once we had rung the local depot and got through to an actual person, I was able to pay the fee and the blouse was delivered promptly on Tuesday the 18th.

My blouse was shipped in a sturdy looking box. It was taped up so well that I initially had trouble getting in to it! So I was very satisfied with the packaging. There was a bit of room for my blouse to move about inside, but part of that extra room was stuffed with a Baby shopping bag, and the contents stayed in place.

My blouse was wrapped in tissue paper, and inside that it was wrapped up in plastic. I was also given a hanger as well, which was a nice touch. When I have ordered from other places like AP, the items haven't come with hangers.

And here we have the blouse laid out on my bed. The chiffon material is so soft and feels really nice against my skin. The materials appear to be of a very good quality. This is definitely the nicest chiffon blouse I own.

The sleeves have a suitable amount of flare to them and are finished off beautifully with the lace. The stitching is neat and I couldn't find a single loose thread anywhere. The only small niggle I have with this blouse is that the ribbon bows feel very paper-like and cheap. I was expecting them to be a bit softer.

The neckline is decorated beautifully. The neck straps really help to keep the blouse in place.

The buttons are a bit simple, but I am not too bothered about that.

The back part is shirred and offers a bit of size flexibility. I found the fit of the blouse to be good and the website's measurements seem reasonably accurate. The bodice length is maybe a tiny bit short, but not obviously so. Due to the slight sheerness of the blouse, I intend to wear this blouse under JSKs anyway, so I am really not bothered by how the shirring looks because it will be hidden anyway. But I don't think the shirring looks too bad on this blouse anyway.

I tried to take a photo showing how the sleeves flare out, but none of my photos really seem to do it justice. The sleeves are much more beautiful in person. I love the way they drape. It has a very romantic, soft appearance.

So overall, this was a very good experience. Once I had placed my order, I found myself wondering why I got so worked up about potentially being put on the infamous Baby blacklist! It was a lot easier than I was anticipating and the process seemed quite quick (and would have been even quicker if it wasn't for Parcelforce). As for the blouse, it is everything I had hoped for. It is gorgeous and I can't wait to wear it. I would definitely order from Baby again and I reckon that next time I will be able to order with a lot more confidence.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Candy Shower by Metamorphose

Today I am looking at Candy Shower by Metamorphose. This series includes 3 dresses, socks and 3 hair accessories. It is quite a small series, but maybe Meta are planning to release a few more bits later on.

This is the A-Line OP. Due to the style of dress, there isn't really a defined bodice. The shoulder area seems a bit "hunched". This is probably because of the collar shape. I just feel it could have been done a bit better. The collar is a cute idea, but I think it needs to be narrower. I am also not a fan of the use of rick-rack on the collar. I rarely like the use of rick-rack and I think it just looks quite cheap on this dress. The bow in the middle of the collar is cute and the bow is a pretty shape, although the ribbon used is very shiny. I also think it is confusing having a panel placed underneath the collar. It looks like one of those modesty panels you sometimes see to cover your bra. I don't think I would have bothered with the panel. I do like the buttons on the panel though, as they look like gum balls. It is a shame they couldn't have been used in a different way on the dress. The dress sleeves look a bit slouchy. I think it would look better if they were a bit shorter and more puffy, just so they have more shape to them. The back is quite plain with no shirring. The overall dress shape is quite cute, although a smaller wearer might look a bit swamped by all that fabric. It is definitely the sort of dress that will probably only suit certain people. It is definitely not your typical lolita shape! There is a line of that shiny ribbon just above where the tiers start. This ribbon is topped with bows, which are a suitable size, although again I find the ribbon too shiny. But at least the ribbon hides the tier join. The tiers are spaced out nicely and are layered well. Because of the all-over print, the print is not really obscured by all of the details. The bottom hem is kept plain, although I think this particular dress looks better without anything there.

This is the Scalloped Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is interesting. The straps are a good width and look very supportive. However, the straps and neckline are topped with a scalloped collar. I am not a fan of the collar because the scallops look uneven. I appreciate the collar is scalloped to match the scallops elsewhere, but I think it looks odd. The collar is also lined with shiny ribbon and small bow. Overall, I find the collar a bit cheap looking. Thankfully, it is detachable and that is probably what I would do. When you detach the collar you are left with a simple neckline with a bit of lace in the middle. There is also a waist bow on this dress. It is fairly big, although it blends in to the dress quite a lot, so you don't really notice it. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and flares out brilliantly. It has a lovely cupcake shape to it. The print is displayed very well. The main fabric is finished with a scalloped edge. Thankfully, the scallops here are a bit neater than the ones on the collar. I like how the scalloped edge is evened out with the layers of tulle underneath. Although, I don't like the use of red tulle with the blue version of this dress as it is quite a clashing combination. I also think the dress would have been fine with just the top tier of tulle. The bottom layer of tulle looks a bit less solid, drapes strangely and just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the dress.

This is the Flap Pocket Pinafore JSK. Well, it is supposed to be a dress, but to me it looks more like a high-waist skirt. The bodice is not an appealing shape in my opinion. The top hemline looks very wonky and I would have liked a more defined waist. The straps are a good width, but for some reason it just reminds me of a clown costume. I am not a fan of the buckles used on the straps. I don't think the buckles are placed very well and the straps could maybe have been fine without them at all. There is thin lace running along the top hemline and then down the front of the dress. The lace is not the best looking lace. I also think the white lace running down the front in this way gives the illusion that the dress is actually inside out! It just looks very out of place and the lace was a poor choice. The back has a panel of shirring running the whole way across. It has been left open and exposed, but the back is almost non-existent anyway, so you barely notice the shirring. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and flares out a decent amount. I don't think the skirt's overall shape is that appealing though. The bottom of the skirt has 2 tiers. The tiers are spaced out nicely and are layered well. I like how gathered the tiers are too. The bottom hem is then kept plain.

And finally, we have the print close-up. This print is available in blue, white and red. I really like the blue colour, but I was really put off by the colour combinations used on the dress designs. So I am a bit disappointed about that. The red is a bit better. The only colour I would probably wear would be the white, but it looks a bit dull compared to the other 2 bold colours. I do appreciate that the colours will be seen as too garish for some though. As for the actual print, I think it is very cute. I like the retro look of the sweets. The gum ball machines are drawn well. It is also nice how Meta have subtly included their bear and rabbit mascots in the print.

I have to be honest, I think the dress designs really let the print down. I could imagine the print looking really good with a retro looking design and maybe a mini skirt design like the ones Angelic Pretty puts out. But the dress designs Meta have chosen look cheap and I am not fond of the details. Would I buy this series? No, I wouldn't. If I absolutely had to though, I would pick the scalloped JSK in white, and then detach the collar. I am really disappointed. All the recent talk about this series looking like something a clown would wear doesn't exactly help either.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Floral Notebook My Beloved Empress Blouse Review- Positive

Last month I placed an order with a small Vietnamese brand called The Floral Notebook. Today I am finally getting around to reviewing it! To order from The Floral Notebook, you will need to search their name on Facebook- 

Ordering Process and Communication

The ordering details are under the 'notes' section of their Facebook page. Essentially, all you need to do is send them a message saying you want to place an order and request an order form. The order form is very straight-forward and I had no troubles filling it in. The blouses are custom sized and so the order form has a lot of different measurements that are required. It may look like a lot of measurements, but they are useful for getting a better fitting blouse. I sent my order form back on the 6th of January and the blouse was completed on the 16th. I think 10 days is a very quick amount of time, considering the blouse is custom sized. My messages were always responded to promptly and I was kept up to date with the process. 


I got my tracking number on the 22nd and the blouse arrived on the 29th. I don't have much experience with ordering from Vietnam, but I don't think 7 days is that long. I did however have issues using the VN Post tracking, because it stopped working once the parcel left Vietnam and Royal Mail had issues tracking the parcel once it got to the UK.

My blouse was wrapped in sturdy paper packaging, which seemed suitable for the contents. It was taped up well and even finished with string. The blouse inside didn't have any room to move about, so it was packaged very well.

Inside the outer packaging, my blouse was wrapped well in plastic. 

This is the blouse I ordered. It is the My Beloved Empress blouse in ivory. Overall I paid $52 for the blouse, which I think is very cheap for a custom sized blouse of this style. The chiffon material is lovely. It is not as soft as a few of my other chiffon blouses, but it still feels very silky. The colour is a pretty shade.

I mainly got this blouse for the princess style sleeves. I think they have the right level of flare for my personal tastes. The chiffon is layered beautifully and the hem lines are very neat. There is a good amount of stretch in the gathered elasticated parts. The bow detail adds a touch of cute to the design.

Apologies for the picture quality here! This photo shows how the sleeves look when I hold my arm up. As far as the custom sizing goes, the only issue I had was the sleeves were a bit too long. This may have been due to me not knowing how far down to measure though, so it was probably my fault! But when worn, I don't think the sleeves look too bad and the elastic parts mean I can push the sleeves up a bit. Apart from this very small issue, I was very impressed with the blouse sizing. It feels good to have a blouse that fits my wide shoulders comfortably. 

The stitching is generally very neat. You can see the odd messy bit of thread at the corners, but overall I am happy with the quality. It looks good on the outside, which is the most important thing.

I adore the ruffled neckline. It has been done beautifully. It is gathered well and the chiffon is layered brilliantly. The gold buttons are a bit simple. Maybe some rose shaped gold buttons would look good here?

So overall, I think this blouse was well worth the $52 price tag. The design is beautiful. The sleeve length could have been better, but as I said, this may have been my fault. The brand owner is very friendly and communicates very well. I would definitely order from The Floral Notebook again and would highly recommend this brand to all of my friends. Please do check them out, as they have lots of wonderful blouse designs. I look forward to seeing how this brand progresses in the future.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Girlie Stuff by Metamorphose

Today I am looking at a recent series from Metamorphose. It is called Girlie Stuff and includes 3 dresses (one comes in mini and medium length), 2 skirts (again, one skirt comes in 2 lengths), pants, a vest, a bustier, 2 blouses, 3 hair accessories and socks. Meta have also released a few pieces of jewellery that would compliment this series very well.

This is the Chiffon Drape Pinafore Dress. The bodice looks fairly well fitted. The shape is a bit odd though. I like the chiffon sleeves a lot but think they could have been a bit fuller. The waist area is topped with a chiffon overlay which sits beautifully on top of the skirt. The overlay is a bit on the small side and I think Meta could have gotten away with making it a bit bigger, without concealing the print too much. I do like how the overlay part has a ruffled edge though, as it gives it a very frothy feminine look. The bodice is broken up in to panels beautifully with gold braid. I am not a fan of the chiffon "bow" detail on the front though. I would have rather have had proper bows instead of chiffon shaped to mimic bows. Or even better, I wouldn't have bothered with the "bows" at all, because I think the dress would look great without them there at all. I also despise the chiffon bib and the weird neck parts. It just all looks a bit odd to me. I wouldn't bother with the neck parts of all, and thankfully they are detachable. As for the chiffon bib, I think it would look a lot better without the random line of pearls in the middle. The harsh white pearls really stand out and they just look messy. But when you detach the chiffon bib and neck parts I think the dress looks a great deal better. My only gripe would be that I think the scoop neckline is a bit too big and could do with a tiny bit more solid material at the sides. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been left open with nothing covering it. Hopefully the print pattern will help to disguise it a little bit. I just feel it would be better to have a ribbon corset over it to give the wearer more size control. As the stock photos show, the skirt is very full with a lot of volume. The shape is very OTT and very rounded. The skirt is kept clutter free, with just a simple line of gold braid above the print. However, due to how much the material is gathered, I feel the print is not displayed as well as it could have been. The bottom hem is finished off with the lovely chiffon ruffle, which matches up well with the rest of the dress.

This is the Collared Pinafore JSK. The bodice is well fitted and the bodice shape is pretty. The waist has a subtle belted detail to it. Although it is very simple, I quite like it. The chiffon collar is beautiful. The design is neat and finished well with the gold braid and the ruffled hem. The collar seems to sit well on the dress too. The chiffon continues down the bodice, around a group of buttons too, which helps to liven up what could have been a very simple looking dress. As for the buttons, they are positioned nicely and spread out evenly. The gold floral button design is pretty and compliments the dress. The collar part is detachable but I think the dress looks a bit too plain with it removed. The back is fully shirred, so it is again not covered by a ribbon corset. I was a little disappointed to see the back material starts lower down the back and would have liked a fuller back, but this is just a minor complaint. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and flares out well. It has a pretty bell shape to it. As far as the skirt shapes go, I think this dress is the best from this series. The skirt is kept simple and the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with glittery fringe. I am personally not a fan of this fringe, but I think I could put up with it because I like the rest of this dress design.

This is the Bustle Pinafore JSK. This dress is available in 2 lengths and the dress in this picture is the medium length. The bodice looks a good fit and the shape is simple but looks fine. However, I am a little put off by the strange details on the neckline with the random thin strips crossing over. I suppose it is a bit original at least! The straps look a bit thin, although I like how they are decorated with layered tulle. The waist on the dress has a small tulle overlay. The shape is pretty and it looks like it has been done neatly. I am a bit undecided on the glittery tulle though. Whenever I see sparkly tulle like this it makes me think of those little girl princess dresses. The bodice front is quite simple, but the buttons help to stop is looking too plain. The buttons are a pretty design and are positioned well. 

The back has a generous shirring panel, although once again it doesn't have a ribbon corset over it to keep things neat. But what really confuses me about the back is the random bustle. The shape and position of the bustle seem peculiar. It also looks like it has a lot of volume to it, which may not suit somebody who has a larger backside. And the waist ties on top just add to that volume as well. When you remove the waist ties, there is still a small, thin pair of waist ties to help adjust the size. But despite this other option, I am still not a fan of the bustle. Thankfully it is detachable.

The skirt has plenty of volume and flares out well. The medium length version is a pretty bell shape. I think I prefer the mini length, as the rounder shape looks a bit more appealing to me. Apart from the bustle, the skirt is reasonably simple. The print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with 2 layered tulle ruffles, which match up with the straps quite well.

And here we can see the print. This series is available in black, red and blue. I am a bit unsure how I feel the colours used for this series. I am not personally a fan of the brown teamed with the red. The black is okay, but seems a bit dull. The blue however, is quite vibrant and really works with the gold. As for the print itself, I think everything looks beautiful teamed together. I know there was a bit of drama about Meta supposedly copying the shoe in the print from a movie poster and Meta would not be the first brand to do this. Either way, I think the items in the print are pretty with lots of detail. I really like the rose bouquet and the present with the heavily detailed ribbon. The gold parts of the print really 'pop' and adds a touch of luxury. I love the background of the print too.

I think this series is definitely an improvement on Meta's recent releases. I don't think this series is going to be a really huge hit, but it is definitely a move in the right direction. However, some parts of the dress designs are still a bit questionable. Would I buy this series? Possibly, but it wont be going on my wishlist. I would choose the Collared JSK in blue. But after not loving a single Meta print in 2013, I am hopeful that I will find something to love again in 2014 if Meta continue in this direction.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Happy Valentines Day For Tomorrow!

Although I think every single day of the year should be a celebration of love, I still enjoy Valentine's Day. In celebration of this day, I have picked a few love inspired items that I really like right now. Unfortunately, some of these items are out of stock. Although with a bit of digging I am hopeful of being able to locate them.

1. Nail Rock Love Hearts Nail Wraps 2. Heart Macaron Ring (other colours available) 3. Cute Can kill Love Necklace 4. Chocomint Hug Me Star Ring 5. Milk Metallic Pink Heart Bag 6. Cute Can Kill Sweetheart Lollipop necklace 7. DreamV Love Heart Cardigan

As you can probably see, I tend to favour sweet, pastel themes when it comes to love themed items. However, I do believe that gothic and classic outfits can be very romantic as well. Maybe in the future I could do Valentines inspiration for these styles too or maybe even put a few outfit ideas together.

Whether you choose to celebrate Valentine's Day or not, I hope everybody has a lovely day tomorrow!

Monday, 10 February 2014

BABY/AatP Print Discussion Double!

Apologies for the lateness of today's post. I was having problems with Blogger.

Today I have another print discussion double post, in order to keep up. So scroll further down to see what I think of the latest Alice and the Pirates series. First up, I will be looking at a new Baby the Stars Shine Bright series.

So first up is Strawberry Days by BABY. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 2 blouses, 2 hair accessories, a necklace, shoes, a bolero, socks and tights.

This is JSK I. The bodice looks a little loose and baggy in places. I also can't stand the bodice shape. I think it looks a little strange. Maybe the neckline could have been heart shaped to look a little cuter. The straps are a good width for the dress. I don't think wider straps would suit the style of dress. The outer edge of the straps is lined with lace, however I really hate how some of the colour ways have black lace. For some reason, I think it looks a bit cheap and tacky. I also hate the use of lace on the waist bow too. The bow itself is a good size, but the shape is a bit droopy. It appears to sag on the dress. The neckline has really wide lace. The lace is of a good quality, but I think it is a bit wide. Although sometimes contrasting patterns can work, I don't think the stripy ribbon on the neckline works when teamed with the polka dots in the print. The stripy ribbon also appears to be randomly gathered. The neckline is finished off with a thin line of pleats. Overall, I think the details don't work together. The back has a panel of shirring which is covered by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is reasonably full, with plenty of volume. The bell shape is very pretty. The skirt is kept quite simple, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with some good quality lace.

This is JSK II. The bodice is a bit of an odd shape again. I think the neckline could do with being just the slightest bit lower. I also don't understand why the neckline is scalloped. Scalloping doesn't feature anywhere else on the dress and I don't think it really fits any themes on the dress. The scallops have been done well, but I find it a little random. The neckline is also decorated with cute heart lace. The straps are a good width and the outer edge is lined with subtle thin lace, which stops them looking too plain. The bases of the straps are topped with bows. The bows are a cute shape and look very perky, although I think they could do with being a bit smaller. The waist bow is an okay size but the shape is a bit strange. I think the tail parts of the bow are a bit big. Although I am still not a fan of the lace colour used, I think it looks better on this dress because the lace is thinner. The waist bow is nicely decorated with this thin lace. Again, I find the use of stripy ribbon looks a bit out of place. I also think the placement of the stripy ribbon is a little odd. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed by a ribbon corset. The skirt flares out really well and it is very full. The skirt on this dress is also kept simple so the print is again displayed well. The bottom hem is then finished off with 2 layers of tulle, which gives the bottom a very fluffy, soft finish.

And here we have part of the print close up. This series is available in ivory, pink (white dots), pink (black dots), mint and brown. I am really not feeling the use of black and I don't think I like the use of brown much better. So for me, that just leaves the pink with white dots as the only option out of 5 possible colours. As for the print itself, the strawberries and cherries are drawn fairly well, but there is nothing that makes this print really stand out. It is yet another strawberry print to me. I suppose the idea of combining cherries with the strawberries is a good idea. I think the candies in the print are cute, but they don't really add much to the design. I can't stand the polka dot pattern. I am not anti-polka dots, I just don't feel they work here. Whilst the ribbon is drawn well, I can't help but feel the vertical ribbon parts of the print look oddly placed when you see them on the dresses.

So in summary, I can't say I am particularly amazed by this series. You sort of have to accept that the big brands are going to put out a few strawberry prints each year, but I don't think this particular series is a great one. Neither the dress designs nor the print appeal to me. I wouldn't buy this series, personally. If I absolutely had to go for something, I would go for JSK II in pink with white dots. But I am really not impressed.

And next up I am looking at Flim-Flam Musical Band's Holiday by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, a vest, shorts, 2 hair accessories and 2 pairs of socks.

This is the OP. The bodice looks well fitted and is an interesting shape. The shoulder area looks a bit wide but that may be the collar making it appear wider. The sleeves are quite straight, but puffy sleeves wouldn't really suit this dress anyway. The solid coloured cuffs match up perfectly with the bodice details and suit the military theme of the dress. I like how the cuffs have braid and buttons because they stop the cuffs looking too plain. The ruffle on the cuffs makes them a bit more dressy too. The front of the bodice has a matching solid coloured panel. The panel is decorated with gold buttons and chains. The buttons are positioned very well and the design doesn't look too bulky. The buttons also have a pretty design on them, so they don't look too simple. I do like the collar design, but think maybe it could be positioned a bit better, possibly inwards a bit. The collar design matches up perfectly with the cuffs. I really like the use of braid and the ruffle along the edge. The neckline also has a bow. The bow is a bit big, but I think it works with the dress design. I like the way the bow sits on the dress, and the way the gold trim falls downwards. It is quite cleverly positioned. The musical not charm in the middle is cute, but I wouldn't have bothered with the small chain hiding behind the bow. The back doesn't have any shirring, so the back is quite plain aside from the back of the collar. The stock photos show the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume. However, the photos give the illusion that the skirt is a bit short in length. Maybe that is because of the way the waist area has been done, giving the impression it is shorter. The skirt has a nice subtle bell shape to it. The skirt is kept quite simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of braid and a simple ruffle.

This is the JSK. The bodice looks quite well fitted. The bodice shape is a bit simple though. The straps are on the thin side and look a bit flimsy, but wider straps would not suit this dress. I do wish they had been lined with some thin lace though, to stop them looking so plain. The waist ribbon is a good size for the dress. The shape is relatively simple and it sits well on the dress. However, the ribbon used for the bow is very shiny. The neckline has a line of the same ribbon with a simple ruffle underneath. The base of the straps have bows with a chain attached between the 2 bows. Again, the bow material is a bit too shiny and I don't really like the way they are placed on the dress. I like the idea of using a chain, but I dislike the way the end dangles down on one side. I would definitely want to alter that if I had this dress because it looks unintentionally uneven. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed very well by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a decent amount of volume and can flare out very well. It looks a decent length and has a pretty bell shape to it. The skirt is kept simple again, so the print is displayed well. The bottom features a line of that shiny ribbon and then a simple ruffle.

And here we have part of the print close up. This print is available in red, green, brown and black. The colour choices are perfect for an AatP print and I think all 4 colours work very well. I think my favourite colour is the green though. It is a little bit different. As for the print, it is certainly a bit different and I find it interesting. All the characters playing the instruments have been drawn with a lot of attention to detail. I keep finding new things I hadn't noticed before. The edge of the border part of the print are done well with roses, swirls and tassels. I also really like the bold diamond background topped with musical scores, flags and other items. This is a print which is very rich in detail.

So I think this is an interesting series. I do really like the design, although I am a bit undecided on whether it is really my style or not. It has a very bold look. Would I buy it? Probably not, but that doesn't mean I dislike it. If I did go for this series, I would choose the JSK in green. I love the OP design but it is not really something I would wear. I don't think it is going to be a massive hit, but it is nice enough.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Taobao Order Review January 2014

Today I am finally getting around to reviewing my Taobao order from last month. I put in a small order. I will show the things I can (some items are going towards the Ox Loli Anniversary meet!).


I decided to re-use Taobao Spree to place this order, as I had found them reasonably easy to use last time. I seem to recall that last time they had a video on their front page showing how to order, but there didn't appear to be one this time around. Luckily, I found the instructions on their website fairly easy to follow. The only real mistake I made was filling in the wrong form. Their order form has 2 different pages to fill in, depending on whether you want the order insured or not. Luckily I spotted my error and copy and pasted my details on to the other part of the form. I think Taobao Spree could make this a bit easier to spot, but apart from that I was really at ease placing my order.

I ordered from 2 Taobao stores. One of the stores already had the item in stock. I also ordered from Red Maria- which had about a 7 day waiting time for them to make their stuff. I think I counted that Red Maria actually took a few days longer. The order was placed on the 3rd of January and it arrived at Taobao Spree around the 19th.


This time around I was assigned an agent called Cici. Cici was always very quick to reply to me. Despite not working at weekends, she even responded to me on a Sunday at one point, just to put my mind at ease. Whenever there was a new update, Cici would contact me the following day. I think I lucked out a bit too, because some of Taobao Spree's agents went on holiday on the 15th and Cici stayed on a bit later than that.


I received my tracking number on the 22nd and was able to track it via Parcelforce straight away. I decided to use EMS because their service is fast and reliable. My package arrived on the 27th.

My order was packed very securely in a box, which was covered in lots of tape. The box was just a tiny bit bashed in one corner when it got to me, but I was not too concerned.

Inside my order was protected with air bubble style packaging. Every part of my order was wrapped in plastic as well. The box was packed very well and the items did not have much room to move about and get bashed.

And now, on to my new stuff!

First up, I ordered both of these rings from Red Maria. The rings were cheap and I thought the design was pretty. I love the rose design. The pearls have been placed on the rings with no obvious glue marks anywhere. The base of the rings is actually lace. The lace is soft and makes for an interesting base to the rings. The rings are on an adjustable ring base. The metal bases used looks a bit cheap. I am just hoping these rings wont stain my fingers green. We will have to wait and see! Overall though, I think the rings were definitely worth the cheap price.

I also ordered this beret from Red Maria. In fact, this was my main reason for placing an order! I really loved the design when I saw the photo and it did not disappoint in person. The colour is quite accurate to the product listing. The beret size is good, although probably not suitable if being used with a very thick wig or hair style that has a lot of volume. When I tried the beret on I found I was able to position the beret well and the detail was positioned nicely.

And here is a close-up of some of that beret detail. The ribbon roses have been made so neatly. The ribbon for the bows is tidy with no fraying edges. The lace underneath is pretty and helps to tie the whole design together. I like the little swan too!

And a view of the back. It is pretty much a standard beret from this view. The material is very soft and feels warm.

I also ordered a feather hair accessory from a bridal Taobao store, but I don't seem to have the link saved any more, so I can't remember the store name.

I ordered this on a whim because it was cheap and I thought it might make an interesting hair accessory. There are a few things I would have done differently. For example, the feathers are a bit too long and therefore they meet and cross in the middle. I might attempt to trim the feathers a bit to see if I can get a better shape. The gem stones look quite cheap and I will probably cover them with something else. But I do like how the metal band is lined with ribbon on the outside so it matches the colour of the feathers. I don't think it would look so good if it was plain metal. As I said, I was taking a gamble ordering it and I only got it because it was cheap, so I didn't lose out too much money-wise. I will definitely try to fix it before giving up on it altogether.

I also got given a free gift! I believe this was in the Red Maria bag, so I assume it was from them. As far as free gifts go, it is okay. It is not really my colour though, so I guess I will be adding it to the prizes for that upcoming Ox Loli meet.

So it looks like I got very lucky with the Taobao Spree agent I was assigned. I would definitely be happy to deal with Cici again. Taobao Spree's service was brilliant and I would recommend their shopping service. The only negative thing I would say is that they could give more warning on their facebook page about when they go on holiday. They announced their holiday after I had placed my order, and before Cici told me she was leaving later, I was worried my order would have to arrive before the 15th. They were not coming back until Feb the 10th, so I could have potentially been waiting a very long time if I had been given a different agent. The Red Maria items were of a decent quality and worth the low prices I paid. I know I will be getting a lot of wear out of that beret. They have some very pretty items in their Taobao store and I recommend going and having a look. I wasn't amazed by the bridal hair accessory but I am just relieved I didn't spend out too much. Overall, I would say this has been quite a positive experience. Hopefully in the future I will gain further confidence when it comes to ordering from Taobao.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Romantic Rose Letter by Angelic Pretty

Today I am looking at Romantic Rose Letter by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, 3 hair accessories, 2 pairs of socks, tights and a necklace.

This is the OP. The bodice is a good shape, although the material looks slightly loose in places. The sleeves are an interesting shape. They flare outwards a lot and it is very OTT, but the style really seems to suit the overall style of the dress. The flared part of the sleeves is topped with layered lace. The lace is pretty and is layered well. The sleeves are finished with a pretty bow, which is a nice finishing touch. The waist bow is a bit too big for my liking and I would have liked it be smaller. The bow shape and style is quite simple, which is quite a contrast to the OTT style of the rest of the dress. I don't think I would have bothered with the waist bow at all. 

The bodice is covered with lots of frilly lace all over the place. It looks a bit messy in my opinion. I appreciate this is an OTT style dress, but I think less of this lace would be an improvement. Also, the lace seems to be going in all sorts of different ways with no real sense of direction. Something else I dislike is the different materials used for the bows. The waist bow and choker are made of crepe de chine, but the 3 bodice bows are made of shiny ribbon. The difference in texture and shine is quite obvious to me. I think it would have been better to have all the bows made out of the same material, preferably the crepe de chine because that is less shiny. The ribbon bows are an okay size but I would have liked them slightly smaller. Although in some photos the bows appear to be positioned well, in other photos I think the middle ribbon bow could do with being placed slightly higher so they are more evenly spaced. The choker matches up very well with the dress, although I have never been a fan of them. It looks very stiff and uncomfortable. You can wear the dress without the choker though, so I would probably do that and just use the neck ties.

The back has a wide panel of shirring which is concealed by a ribbon corset. The ribbon is quite thin and doesn't hide very much, but at least the sizing on this dress is quite flexible. The stock photos show the skirt is very full and rounded, with lots of volume. There is the potential to get a very OTT shape to match the OTT dress details. The skirt has a lacy overlay, which attaches at the waist and can be removed. I think the overlay is beautiful. It is soft looking and doesn't distract attention too much away from the border print. The lacy material is floral themed, although it is a shame it wasn't rose themed to go with the print. The back of the skirt has a lacy bustle. The tiers are spaced out well and layered beautifully. The skirt is tiered, with the join concealed beautifully with tulle. The tulle is topped with bows which are pretty, but I don't think are really needed. The bottom hem is then finished off with beautiful lace.

This is the JSK. The bodice is an interesting shape. It looks well fitted, but there is some baggy material in a few of the photos. The straps are a bit thin and flimsy looking, but it suits the style of dress. The straps are decorated with gathered lace, which matches the main colour of the dress. It looks very fluffy and feminine. The neckline also has detachable white lace, and I think this part is beautiful. I love the way the white lace sits on the shoulders and it is also layered well. The white lace is finished with a simple bow in the middle. Although it is detachable, I think the dress looks a lot prettier with it attached. The waist bow is a bit on the big side and I think could do with being a tiny bit smaller. The bow design is simple, but works well with the dress. It sits well on the dress. The bodice has a criss-crossed ribbon design. The ribbon is spaced out well and doesn't look too bunched up. The bodice is finished with good quality lace, which helps to keep things neat. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt flares out beautifully and has plenty of volume. It has a lovely full bell shape to it. The skirt is fairly simple, so the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same pretty rose themed lace.

This is the Tiered JSK. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted. The bodice shape is quite simple though. The straps are a reasonable width. They are lined well with pretty lace on both the inside and the outside, which stops them looking too plain. I am not really a fan of the scoop neckline. It is the perfect excuse to show off a blouse with a detailed chest, but the neckline may sit awkwardly on some wearers. The waist bow is a bit too big and I would like it to be smaller. The shape of the bow is good though, and the thin lace makes the edges more interesting. It sits well on the dress too. The bodice is decorated with subtle lace. This is probably the best dress for those who are not a fan of OTT. The bodice also has some gold rose shaped buttons down the middle. The buttons are pretty and are spaced out well. However, I think maybe I would have chosen another colour, as there is no gold anywhere else on the dress, so it stands out a fair bit. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The skirt has loads of volume. It flares out well and has a lovely full bell shape. The two tiers of the skirt are joined well and it doesn't upset the silhouette too much. The skirt is otherwise kept simple, so the print is displayed reasonably well. The bottom hem is then finished off with the same pretty rose themed lace.

And here we can see the print close up. As the picture shows, this series is available in pink,sax blue, mint and lavender. All 4 colours look amazing with the print. I like the combination of pastel colours combined with the roses. The roses in the print are drawn beautifully, with plenty of highlights and shadowing, giving them plenty of depth. The letters are placed well among the roses. I especially like the envelope with the arrow. The lacy and floral background is very classy looking. The background is beautiful, but your eyes are still drawn to the border, which I think works well.

I really love the barrette that is part of this series. To be honest, it does remind me of similar hair accessories I have seen on Taobao, but this AP attempt is very pretty. I like how the ribbon and roses are placed and the pearl chain adds a further touch of interest. I would be tempted to use this hair accessory in other ways, like as a corsage for example.

So overall, I am highly impressed with this series. The OP is maybe a bit too OTT for my personal tastes but I still think all 3 dresses are pretty. Would I buy from this series? Yes I would. I like this slightly more mature looking AP, which still sticks to their sweet roots. The print is gorgeous. I would go for the regular JSK in lavender, although I think I would settle for any of the colours. A very strong release!

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