First up is the Bustle Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape looks lovely. The straps are a decent width and look quite supportive. They are lined really neatly with gold lace on the insides and outsides and also feature a band of solid coloured fabric. They look very detailed and interesting. There is a large double layered waist bow which I feel looks too bulky. The bow also looks quite heavy and seems to droop. I get the impression that the wearer would end up spending time trying to adjust the bows to get both of the bows to sit right. Thankfully, the waist bow is detachable and I think the dress looks so much better without it. The front of the bodice has a panel of shirring which is topped with a ribbon corset. Although the ribbon does help to conceal the shirring a little, I much prefer to have the shirring hidden away on the back. I don't feel it is that attractive to look at. Given that the back of the dress also has a panel of shirring, I really don't think the front shirring is needed and they could have just had the ribbon detail. There are 2 bows at the bases of the straps, which have some really cute details to them. They mix gold braid with more traditional looking elements. I do feel these bows are a bit too big in size though, which is a shame because I really like them. These bows are detachable and I guess if I owned this dress I would detach them. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards plenty. It has a really cute shape. The skirt design is kept simple, so the print is displayed brilliantly. There are 2 small bows, but they are sitting neatly near the top of the border print, so they are not that distracting. I would maybe have preferred the bows on the bottom hem but they don't look too bad where they are. The back of the skirt has a bustle. The tiers of the bustle are well spaced out and I like how the hemlines are lined neatly with gold lace. However, judging by the pictures, the bustle seems to have a lot of volume to it and it sticks outwards quite a lot. I would be concerned about my backside looking too big! The bottom hem is then finished off with a ruffle of crepe de chine fabric, which looks quite smart and matches well with some of the other dress details. There is also a really cute cat brooch that comes with this dress, which has a pretty design that perfectly matches the print.
This is the Button Down OP. The bodice looks well fitted and the shape is quite smart. Judging by the worn photos, the sleeves seem a decent length with a suitable amount of puff to them. The gathered cuffs have a cute shape too and I like how they are finished off with a subtle line of lace, which I think is just the right amount of detail. There is a large waist bow, which has a cute shape. It does look a bit floppy though. I also feel the tassels attached to the waist bow are far too OTT and they look a bit silly used here. Thankfully, the waist bow is detachable and I would detach it if it was me. As the name suggests, this is a button down dress and there is indeed a row of buttons running down the centre of the dress. However, unlike previous Meta dresses in this style, the row of buttons stops before it reaches the border part of the print. And the row of buttons actually blends in quite nicely. I would say this is definitely an improvement on recent Meta dress with this sort of detail. The bodice features a square yoke. At first I thought it was wonky, but I think it is the way Meta have positioned the mannequin in the photo. I can't decide if I like the square shape of the yoke or not. On the one hand it looks quite neat and tidy, but on the other hand I think the shape looks a bit harsh. Even though the edges of the yoke are lined with a ruffle, the strong straight lines of the yoke are still very apparent. The yoke features some neat pleating and ruffles, which have been set out neatly. The buttons used are also very pretty in design. The yoke is topped with a detachable ribbon bow. The bow looks cute, but I think a better quality ribbon could have been used. This dress also comes with the pretty cat brooch, that I really like. The back features a small panel of shirring, which has been neatly topped with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt is generous in volume and it flares outwards plenty. The wearer should be able to create a really pretty shape. The skirt is kept simple in design and so, the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a simple but neat ruffle. This is then topped with 2 bows with a fake flower in the middle of them. The bows look cute and the flower matches the print well. These bows are a bit on the big side, but it isn't that noticeable.
This is the A-Line OP. The bodice is very short and I would be concerned about how this dress would sit on the chest area, not that the dress measurements are that bust friendly to begin with. The arms look a decent length and I love the slight puffiness to them with the gathered cuffs. It looks really cute. The bodice features several lines of lace and some buttons, which are set out really neatly. I am not keen on the chest ribbon though. The ribbon used is pretty, but there is something about it which doesn't seem to suit the dress. I think it might be the soft, floaty transparent ribbon looks out of place with such a bold print. Also, the colour choices for the ribbons seems a bit off. Apparently this dress also comes with the cat brooch. The back offers no shirring, so the sizing is even more limited. The stock photos show that the very high waist skirt seems to have a good amount of length to it. It flares out beautifully, in a way that really suits the bodice. So it is a shame in my opinion, that the waist line isn't a bit lower down. There is plenty of room for petticoat too. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of lace.
Here we have the Tucked Hakama Dress. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted and the shape is really interesting. I think the straps are the perfect width and look very supportive. I really love the use of solid colour and lace for the straps and neckline. It looks really bold and has been done so neatly. The bases of the straps are topped with bows and a fake flower. The bows are adorned with pearl chains and tassels. Maybe it is the style of the dress, but I actually quite like the little extras to the bows. I do wish they were detachable though, as I would quite like to see how the dress would look without them. Also, I think the fake flower used looks a bit cheap. In all fairness though, it is a good match for the flower in the print. I don't know a great deal about Hakama style dresses, but I think the waist details with the massive bow are really cute. I like how it has a traditional look, but still maintains the lolita look as well. I do wish that the bow just had the solid coloured material and not have the printed fabric as well. I feel if it just had the solid coloured fabric for the bow it would have looked a bit tidier. The back is fully shirred, which means plenty of stretch, but it isn't that attractive to look at. The stock photos show that the skirt has a lot of volume. I really love the full, rounded shape of the skirt on this dress. After seeing the photos for the dress listing on the site, I feel this skirt needs a really full petticoat to make sure the print is really well displayed. When a less full petticoat is used (like in the photo above), I don't feel the print is displayed as well. I like the little solid coloured inserts in the skirt. They seem to be spaced out quite nicely. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with some gold braid and a simple ruffle.
And finally, here is the print. This series comes in antique white, bordeaux and black. I think all 3 colours look amazing with the print. The 'bordeaux' looks more like an orange-red to me, and it gives the print a lovely retro feel. I think the black is probably the weakest colour, because the cats don't stand out as much on that version. As for the print itself, it looks really pretty. It has a kitsch, whimsical feel to it. It sort of reminds me of the illustrations you see in some older children's books. The cats are beautifully drawn and I love how they are lounging about in the print. Their movements and positions seem quite realistic. The flowers and bows add to the kitsch look and I love the bold use of colour. At first I didn't like the checkered non-border part of the print, but it is growing on me.
So overall, I found myself liking this series a lot more than I initially thought I would. I can totally see why this series has sold so well. Some of the dress designs are definitely stronger than others though. But what I do like about the dress designs is how there is quite a wide range of styles. The dresses vary in levels of OTT-ness and it has maturer designs and cutesy designs. The print is really pretty too. Would I buy this series? Probably not, because it is not really my style. I do really like it though. My top choice would be the Tucked Hakama dress in either antique white or bordeaux. And I would just like to add a final note- I really love that Meta have done a scarf for this series! I wish they would do scarves more often.