Lief recently got more stock of their Gardenberries JSKs and as this dress has been hovering on my wishlist for some time, I decided it was time to finally get it. I have never been so grateful for the Lolita Updates group on Facebook, as this is where I found out about it! So here is my experience with my order.
Ordering Process and Communication- After looking on Lief's Facebook page, I copied and pasted the order form in to an email, which was very straight forward. All of the information about the products is available in their Facebook albums, which is not that hard to find. The form was easy to fill in. I got a reply from Lief not long afterwards with the invoice, and I was sent an email with the tracking the following day. So communication was very quick. I do get the impression that if I had some sort of issue, I would have gotten a response quite easily.
Shipping- My package was sent via EMS, as this was the only shipping option. I don't mind paying for EMS anyway, for peace of mind, but maybe more shipping options could have been offered. After being held up in UK customs, my package took just under 2 weeks to arrive. The majority of that time was customs holding it up and nothing to do with Lief.
My dress arrived in a firm cardboard box, which had been sealed really well. I actually had a hard time getting my scissors through all of the tape! There is no way anything was going to get inside that box and damage it.
On the inside, my dress was wrapped in plastic and then wrapped in tissue paper. There was a lot of room in the box and maybe a smaller box could have been used, but a dress isn't exactly fragile, so I was quite content with how my dress was packaged.
To my surprise, I had some Korean snacks hiding in my order! I got some butter waffles and these cream cheese filled cracker things. I haven't tried the waffles yet, but the crackers were quite tasty. I do love getting these little food surprises!
Product Quality- I am really pleased with the quality of my new dress. My only regret is that I ordered a L/XL instead of a S/M. Lief only offered 2 sizes and whilst my measurements were well within the S/M size range, I was a bit concerned about what would happen if my IBS flared up and also about fitting layers underneath it. I also have this annoying habit of thinking I am bigger than I actually am, even though I measured myself several times. I did find the Lief size options a little odd. It sort of feels like there needs to be a size in-between the S/M and the L/XL. In hindsight, I would have fitted the S/M, although thankfully the L/XL is not too massive on me. It does hang off me very slightly though. At least by sizing up I now have the option to get it altered, which is a lot easier than if the S/M dress had been too small.
Here is a photo of the overall dress. It was exactly what I was expecting from the stock photos.
The print is very crisp and the colours are actually a lot bolder than I was expecting. I think the black could have been bolder though. I don't know if it is a trick of the eye, but in some areas the black looks a bit green, although that could just be because there is a lot of green in the print.
The stitching has been done neatly and the lace used is of a good quality. I liked that the ribbon used was very matte as well. The zip is well hidden. I did have a little trouble getting the zip past the waistline, as it got a bit stuck with all the material, but in all fairness I have had this exact same problem with the big Japanese brands. My only complaint is I wish the bodice was solid coloured instead of having that one tiny bit of print peeking out along the seam line.
I thought I would share a photo of the lace along the bottom hem. It has a nice floral theme to it and it seems like quite a suitable choice to match the print.
Here is the shirring at the back. As you can see, it doesn't have any ribbon hiding it. Maybe adding in a ribbon corset is something I could consider to help make the dress a bit smaller? It would be nice to have the shirring at least slightly concealed as well.
Finally, I am pleased to report that the dress has a lining. The material is lovely and soft and feels nice to touch.
So aside from the fact that I really need to conquer my body image issues and trust Lief's sizing guide (which as it turns out, is pretty accurate) this has been an absolutely positive experience. I felt very confident placing my order and with the service provided. The dress is really pretty and the quality is very good. I would definitely recommend Lief to other lolitas.