It has been a while since my last haul post, mostly because I was waiting for stuff to come in. Whilst my last haul was full of quite practical wardrobe building stuff, this time it was all about splurging on items that I really wanted! I have a new cardigan and 2 new dresses. Although I am selling a couple of pieces to make room for the dresses, so I don't feel that guilty about getting them. I now know my space limitations and I hope to keep more on top of this in the future.
First up is this Innocent World chess cardigan from 2008. I wasn't even wearing lolita in 2008! It is one of those items that was never on my wishlist, but I always admired it. It is a bit nerdy, but I like it! After getting a few pieces this cardigan could go with, I looked more seriously in to getting it, and I happened to find it on the Japanese auctions. I was warned that this cardigan was sadly showing its age and I was told beforehand that this cardigan had a lot of piling. But after deciding to go ahead, I was pleasantly surprised to find the cardigan's piling was nowhere near as bad as stated. It was never going to look brand new after 8 years, but I can see this cardigan has been well-loved and cared for.
The black colour still looks deep and vibrant. The pattern on the cardigan looks very clear as well.
Size-wise, the cardigan generally fitted me, although as you can see in the picture it does not reach the very bottom of my torso. So it is surprising to see that the sleeves comfortably reached my wrists. It fitted me well elsewhere too, although it will be interesting to try out this cardigan with a dress or blouse which has a lot of voluminous details. I am still very satisfied with this cardigan and I think I will be wearing it both with lolita, and outside of lolita.
Next up is this Angelic Pretty Airy Girl cutsew dress, which I got in the sale. I was going to buy this to wear to a family wedding, but I didn't have the money at the time. So luckily it stayed up on the site long enough to get reduced and for me to replenish my funds. I had a hard time deciding between the black and navy! In the end, I went for the black because I felt it would be more versatile. The cutsew dress materials are exactly as you would expect them to be. The cutsew material is thick, comfortable to wear and has a bit of stretch to it. However, with the over-skirt being sewn in to the dress, you do not want to be going over the recommended waist measurement. The bust area is quite stretchy, although I don't really have the bust to try and test it to its furthest limits! I actually found that the material hangs a bit loose on me at the back. There are no waist ties or anything to make the dress smaller, although thankfully the dress still looks okay when I wear it.
I found that there was plenty of room to put a petticoat underneath, and the dress can be worn with or without petticoat. Personally, I prefer the dress with a petticoat. I guess that is the lolita in me! The over-skirt hangs a little below the bottom hemline of the cutsew dress, but I really like how it looks.
I tried the dress on as soon as I got it and yes, I know I need to iron the bow! The bow is a good shape and aside from me needing to iron it a bit, it does sit well on the dress. The ribbon used isn't shiny as well, which is a huge bonus.
Here is what the sleeves look like when worn. For some reason my arm was determined to disappear in to the wall, no matter how many pictures I took. I think they look pretty good. I like the pearls, although I would have maybe liked a few more pearls (only a few more though, otherwise that would be over-doing it).
The over-skirt material is soft and lovely to touch. The ruffle has been done very neatly too, with lots of gathering to create a lovely frilly look.
A close up of the chest area. I really like how the cutsew fabric and the sheer shoulders have been done. The pearl "necklace" thing maybe didn't sit as well as I was hoping. It sometimes gets a little lost in the ruffle, or tucks itself inside the dress. I think the chain needs to be just a little longer. It is detachable though, and it is very easy to detach it. I would be tempted to detach it and add my own necklace.
Here is a picture to show the different dress layers. As you can see, the cutsew dress underneath is a very basic design. It is the over-skirt that really makes this dress. Even though this is a cutsew dress, in all honesty it looks quite 'dressy' in person. It is maybe not as extravagant as your typical lolita dress, but this cutsew dress can really hold its own.
The zip is very well concealed at the back too. I am so satisfied with my purchase and I really wish I could have gotten the navy before it sold out.
Finally... I gave in. I got Milky Swan. I kept trying to tell myself that I didn't want it, but deep down I knew I did! It is so romantic looking floaty. I keep having to stop myself from touching the dress, it is so soft! I will say that this dress can go smaller than the official measurements. Supposedly, I am underneath the minimum waist measurement for this dress, but I still found myself having to loosen the ribbon at the back a little. I had a little look at the dress measurements after trying the dress on, and I am not 100% convinced it can go to the maximum measurements stated. Or maybe it can, but it will just be quite stretched out. It is very difficult for me to comment on, as I am below the maximum measurements. Despite what some people have said about the lavender colour way (I saw somebody say that it reminded them of their grandma's house decor. Well, I guess I will be rocking the grandma look then!) I think the colour looks absolutely gorgeous. I will admit that I came very close to getting the pink though.
The dress arrived with some pretty bad creases on the bow and over-skirt. James and I had to iron this dress so carefully, which was a of an adventure in itself. Let's just say it was a 2-person job, with one of us having to hold the dress in place as the other ironed (For the record, we ironed it with a thick towel on top so it would not get damaged. These materials are lovely, but delicate). It was really fiddly because of the way the bow is sewn in to place. But despite the ironing kerfuffle, I really like the bow and how it sits on the dress. It is properly sewn in to place. I remember commenting on my Milky Swan discussion post that I was unsure about the waistline lace, but it really does do a good job of making the waistline look tidy.
The bodice details generally sit very nicely. The lace is of a good quality as well. If I was being picky, I would say the strap details look a little bit bulky when the dress is worn. The organza sticks out a lot more than I was expecting it to.
And... a close up of the print without the over-skirt obscuring it! I really love the JSK design and I purposely went for it despite knowing the over-skirt wasn't detachable. However, I do feel this gorgeous print deserved at least one picture where it wasn't covered. As you can see, this layer has a few slight wrinkles in it as well, although not as bad as the deep crease I had to iron out of the over-skirt.
It was this part of the print that swayed me in to buying it! I know they are meant to be swans, but they look like ducklings!
The lace on the over-skirt was done very neatly. There was just one very small loose thread on the entire dress, which was on the over-skirt.
This photo is to show the various layers this dress has. There are actually 2 linings underneath the print. I assume the first lining is to give the print fabric a more solid background and the lining underneath that is supposed to be the actual dress lining. Despite all these layers, the dress is very light to wear.
One thing I was not expecting was the pocket. I just assumed that because of the over-skirt, doing a pocket would be too awkward. But there is one! I think this pocket may be part of the reason why the over-skirt is not detachable. The over-skirt is stitched to the skirt at the sides as well.
I also got the matching head bow in anticipation of the dress being a completely different shade of lavender to everything else in my wardrobe. No surprises here- the dress is a much cooler lavender than the rest of the lavenders in my wardrobe! But at least I have the bow. Personally, I think this bow is a bit of a weird shape. It was difficult to get the bow tails to sit on my head in a way I was satisfied with. The lace is pretty though.
I was slightly disappointed with the level of care that has gone to the stitching of the head bow. I am so relieved the dress isn't like this. It just looks a bit carelessly done. Whilst I know nobody is really going to be looking that hard at the back of my head bow, it is still annoying knowing it is there! But despite this little problem with the bow, I am excited to wear the dress. Milky Swan seemingly didn't seem to sell that well, but I love it.
So those are my latest purchases! I hope my descriptions and reviews have been thorough enough. Do let me know if I have missed anything out. I think at the moment, my wardrobe is looking pretty good and my wishlist is starting to dwindle. So the next haul post may not be for a while. Who knows, maybe I will end up buying a lot. At the moment, I really don't have a clue what I want to buy next.