Today I shall be doing yet another Taobao review! I placed this order on the 4th of January and it had all arrived at Taobao Spree by the 16th. The longest waiting time I was given was for the shoes I ordered and they were meant to arrive by the 20th according to their estimate. So I actually got all my items a few days earlier than expected. Ray was as helpful as ever and suggested how much to mark the value of my parcel. Although with the suggested amount it could have been hit by customs, my parcel managed to get through okay with no charges anyway. And in what is quite possibly the quickest parcel I have ever gotten from China, my items arrived on Monday the 19th. I was super impressed by the speed! I wont be able to review some of the items because they are for the Oxfordshire Lolitas Anniversary meet, which hasn't been yet.
As per usual, my items were placed in a large cardboard box and sealed very well with tape. It was very secure. Although there wasn't any room for stuff to move about, I was a little disappointed that the shoes were not at least wrapped in bubble wrap to give them that little bit of extra padding. I am assuming the shoes were sent out to Taobao Spree without suitable padding as well but I don't know for certain. However, none of the items were damaged and a lot of the little accessories I got for the Oxford anniversary meet had been hidden away inside the hat I ordered so they wouldn't get squished.
First up today is this hat from Haruhi Clover and I am so pleased to have found this store, as I have been wanting a navy blue hat like this for ages! The hat is a simple bowler hat with ribbon design. The ribbon going around the base of the hat has been done neatly with no gaps or loose bits. The hat itself is a simple felt hat. The material is of a reasonable quality and holds its shape well.
The ribbon used has a slight sheen to it but otherwise it looks really good. The ends of the ribbon have been sealed so there is no fraying. As you can see in the picture, the ribbon has a few small creases in it from where it was shipped to me, but they should come out. When the hat arrived the ribbon bow was slightly wonky, although after a little bit of tweaking I was able to straighten it out okay. I may add a little stitch or 2, just to make sure it stays in place. The bow is dotted with tiny pearl beads. You can tell the beads are quite cheap, but I think they add a nice little finishing touch to the bow.
I am slightly surprised to see the lace used on the inside of the rim is black instead of navy, but the black does blend in fairly well and isn't as noticeable when worn. The lace quality seems pretty good for the price. The design is nice enough and there was no fraying or anything. The hat does not include any clips on the inside to hold it in place, so I am probably going to have to use pins to hold it in place. I tried the hat on and I found that it fitted quite snugly with my real hair. I definitely don't think the hat will fit on my head if I am wearing a wig, unless it is a very thin wig. I admit the hat design is quite simple and I probably could have made this hat myself. However, for the ease of having it already made for you and to such a good standard, I think Haruhi Clover have done a very good job and I think the price was fairly reasonable.
I also ordered a few small little pieces from this Taobao store for the Oxfordshire meet. I liked some of the stuff so much that I ended up keeping them for myself! I found the quality of the items was quite consistent. The only exception would be the fake flowers used on one of the hair clips, because they used foam flowers and they felt a bit cheap. Overall I was very satisfied with Haruhi Clover and I am tempted to order some more hats from them in the future.
Next up, is this rose and chain clip hair accessory that I got from Fox Cherry along with some other little bits for the Oxford meet. I have ordered from Fox Cherry before and last time, the items I received smelt like cigarette smoke and I had to air them out to get rid of the smell. This time around, none of my items from Fox Cherry had any sort of nasty odour coming from them, so that is definitely an improvement! I brought this hair clip on a whim and whilst it looks navy blue in the photo, up close the main flower has a slight hint of purple to it. This was very unexpected. I think it is subtle enough to pass as navy from a distance but it is still a little bit disappointing. The fake flower used is of a fairly good quality though, with nicely formed petals and no fraying edges. The ribbon used is pretty basic quality, but looks nice enough. The edges are not fraying and the ribbon bow has a nice shape to it.
Here you can see the clips on the back. They felt quite secure when I placed the clip on my head. The way the pearl chain connects to the smaller bow could have been done better though and I did find the pearls got in the way of the clip.
The pearls are otherwise nicely spaced out. I quite like the little rose cross charm on the end too. It has a lovely antique gold colour to it.
The items I got for the Oxford meet were all well made, with the exception of just one bow which was slightly wonky. Overall, I am generally happy with my Fox Cherry items but I feel there are other Taobao stores such as Kira Kira that do these sort of rose accessories a lot better.
I also ordered myself 2 constellation berets from Ciciwork to match the moon embroidery cardigans I got in my November 2014 order. Whilst my Fox Cherry items may have come smelling fine this time, I found the plastic bags that these berets were wrapped in did smell a bit nasty. I have ordered from Ciciwork before and not had any issue with this so I was a bit surprised. What isn't too clear from the listing is that the star charms on these berets cost extra, so that is worth bearing in mind before ordering these. The colours of the berets were as I was expecting. The berets are also thick and warm. They are a decent size for an adult sized head as well.
I was a bit thrown by these random star buttons placed on the inside of the beret rim. They look a bit randomly spaced out and I am a little confused as to why they are there.
The constellations themselves are made from gold lace, which looks quite pretty. I personally think the constellations could have been better shapes and some of the ends don't have a star charm. The end result is still pretty cute though, so I am generally quite happy with these berets. I just need to air them out to get rid of that horrible plastic smell.
I also purchased 2 jumpers from this Taobao store- Jumper Store Link. The jumpers are standard Chinese one-size and I would estimate they fit about a 8-12 UK size. I found them to be very comfortable. They were both long enough in the torso and the arms were also a generous length and did reach the entire way down my arms. The material of both of the jumpers is a bit thin so this is probably more of a Spring time jumper than for the really cold Winter weather. It's a good job I chose some very colourful jumpers! The jumpers also felt very soft and lovely to touch.
The pink jumper has some very beautiful lace along the neckline. It is soft with a pretty pattern and it sits absolutely beautifully. The pearl clusters are a lovely addition as well. I like that they have chosen rose shaped buttons instead of something a bit more plain, as they fit the rest of the cardigan so well. My only complaint is that the pink colour looked slightly washed out in places, but it is only noticeable when you really look up close. Overall, I am really happy with the cardigan. I had initially ordered the off-white but that was out of stock, but I am really happy I opted to replace it with the pink instead.
Some of the pearls are slightly out of place on the purple turtle-neck and I did find at times that the lace stuck out oddly. But aside from that, I do really like what I received. The lace is again very soft and has a pretty design. The lavender colour is very beautiful in person.
The neck area felt soft and comfortable to wear. I love how it is decorated with lace for an added cute touch. I would definitely order this top in other colours.
My only slight complaint is I feel the cuffs and bottom are a little bit plain. I would have loved to have seen a matching line of lace on the cuffs.
Finally, I order this pair of navy blue shoes from here- Shoe Link. I looked at the stock image and thought the shoes looked very narrow and so, I decided to order a size up. The navy colour is perfect and unlike my 'navy' shoes from Bodyline, they don't have a weird green tinge to them! Perfect! The ribbon is a bit cheap looking and shiny but I suppose this is very easy to replace anyway. They at least made an effort to seal the ends of the ribbon so it doesn't fray.
I don't quite understand how the clasp is meant to be done on the shoes. This is how I have been doing them up, although it doesn't really look right. The straps have a few holes to adjust the strap length, but I felt it could have done with more holes.
There were a few little strands of glue when I first got the shoes, which I pulled off. Overall, the materials are okay for the price you pay. The design is generally quite neatly done, but as you can see from the photo it isn't 100% perfect.
Here is a worn photo. I am so glad I ordered a size up because I really needed it. In fact, I could have probably ordered another size up as although the shoes fit me, they are a little bit snug in the toe area. Thankfully, these shoes go up to a size 43. I ordered a 41 which is about a UK 6.5 (I am a 6, sometimes a 5.5 depending on the store). The heels otherwise felt quite comfortable. I wore these shoes for about 5 hours to get an idea of how they feel and they were quite pleasant to wear. I have worn more comfortable shoes, but I don't feel these shoes are going to cause me any issues. The only thing I will mention is that the weather was quite pleasant when I was trying these shoes out, so I don't know how they will handle wet weather yet. But based on my experience so far, the shoes are very pretty looking and I think they are worth it. I am so happy with them that I am considering getting other colours.
So overall, this was quite a pleasant Taobao experience. There are a few tiny little issues here and there but nothing too concerning. I would certainly order from all of these Taobao stores again. I was so impressed with how quickly my items came and the items were generally worth the price I paid for them.