It's time for another Taobao review! I needed a bolero for a wedding anyway, so I decided to stock up on some new accessories whilst I was at it. Despite indicating that I was going back to using Taobao Spree, I did end up using Taobao Ring again. My thinking was that there wasn't really much that could go wrong with the packaging and what I was ordering. I was considering trying Buynosaur, but after hearing some negative stories I have decided against using them. Taobao Ring actually did quite a good job with this order and Monica was very helpful when one of my items was taking longer than expected.
And today's mystery packaging is... a load of foam and a few sheets of newspaper! To be fair, it was packaged quite securely and this packaging is an improvement over the random nappy bag I got with one of my previous orders. Most of my accessories were put inside the bag I ordered. The only slight issue was that one of the corners of the bag got slightly bent, but thankfully that seems to have sorted itself out with no long-term damage.
First up today is this bag from Loris. Loris has not always had the best of reputations in the lolita community. Am I the only one who recalls the infamous EGL post where they posted a video of them placing a brick in their bag and swinging it about in response to their negative reviews? This Loris bag seemed to be exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to risk it, seeing as it was a fair price. I can confirm that I am really happy with the finish on this bag. It is a really nice shade of gold and I can't find any faults with it. After giving this bag a thorough examination, I can't see this bag breaking unless you seriously overload it. I wouldn't say the quality is on the same level as the Japanese brands, but it isn't a great deal different.
Here is the slight mis-shaping caused by the packing that I mentioned above. I have thankfully managed to un-dent the bag and luckily it was just this one corner.
The charm on the zip pull is a star shape and pretty similar to those you see used by Angelic Pretty.
I don't know if you can see it that clearly, but there was one small loose thread. The stitching was otherwise very neatly done and I couldn't spot any other flaws.
Size-wise, it is similar to many lolita bags. It is big enough to hold the essentials and possibly a few small bits as well. There is a zip pocket inside as well, which is useful. The only thing I would say (and the same thing happened the last time I got a bag from Taobao, but a different store) is that there was a slight smell inside the bag. The smell wasn't as strong this time (last time it smelt like fish that was a day or so past its best and it actually made me gag) but I am still going to have to give this bag a proper airing and de-odourising before I can properly use it. Despite this setback, the bag is actually better than I was expecting. Once I get the smell out, I expect I will be using this bag a lot. So I wouldn't say Loris was completely perfect, but from this experience I would say I was pleased with what I got.
Next we have these Rain House earrings. Taobao Ring warned me that the boleros I got may take 14 days, but surprisingly it was these earrings that held up the order. One thing Ring did tell me though, was that the gold pair may have defects to them, although I am yet to find anything wrong with them. I liked that the earrings came in a proper box and each pair of earrings came in a small bag so that they didn't get tangled up. You can even see that I got given a free pair of neon pink star shaped earrings, but they are not really my colour!
The earrings have a really pretty design to them. I love the dangling charms and the moon has a cute design. The only thing I would change about them, is I would have liked the moon on the other earring to face the other way, so that both moons face the same direction when worn (hope that makes sense!). I will admit that after a few hours of wear, my ear did go slightly green. I suppose you have to expect that with cheap jewellery though and at least there are ways to prevent the green from coming back. I would consider ordering from Rain House again, but I will be keeping in mind that they took their time. After looking at how simple the earring design was, I was amazed that they held up my order for well over a week.
I also got another of these cuffs from Red Maria. After last time where my 'vanilla' cuffs turned out to be more of a mushroom grey colour, I decided to get a pair of 'generation' cuffs. Well, I say a pair, but halfway through my order Red Maria decided they only had one available. Taobao Ring made a note on my order, but didn't email me to let me know, so I only found out when I logged in to check my order progress. Weirdly, I looked at the item page just now and generation is available again. Maybe I will try and order another cuff, so I have a pair. I usually like Red Maria, but this situation with the cuff has been frustrating. On a more positive note, the generation colour is a lovely ivory, slightly yellow shade. If I am able to get another cuff I think they will make a nice pair of wrist cuffs. I appreciate these are meant to be bracelets, not wrist cuffs, but I think wearing just the one cuff looks weird.
Next up is this ring from Cutie Creator. My initial reaction was "holy f**k, that ring is massive" and I wondered how on earth I hadn't noticed the large size when I ordered it. I don't think this photo really captures just how massive it is.
Then I tried the ring on, and I realised just how heavy the ring is too. In fact, I can't see me realistically wearing this ring for long periods of time. Something else which is not that obvious in the item photo is the strange use of lace on the base. The shape and design of the lace does not really fit in with the strawberry and cream theme. It reminds me a bit of butterfly wings. Aside from being way too big and heavy, the strawberry looks really nice. The whipped cream at the base is very basic though. It is the same stuff you find in some deco-den kits. It feels soft to touch and I am amazed it is supporting the strawberry at all.
The base of the ring has a nice design to it and I like that the size is adjustable too. Sadly, I think I wont be buying from Cutie Creator for a while. I have not been that impressed with anything I have gotten from them recently, and this massive ring just confirms my fears.
My quest for the perfect sheer gloves lead me to Haruhi Clover. When I initially opened the packet, I was pleased. The material used feels so soft. The bows are massive though. They need to be about half their size and I do worry the bows are going to get in the way when I wear them. I am pleased that Haruhi Clover did seal the ends of the ribbons though, and the bows do have a cute, well formed shape.
I then started to notice a few problems with the gloves. My first concern is the wrist elastic. It is so thin and you have to be really careful putting the gloves on, or it will snap. Elastic this thin and flimsy is not acceptable. I am just glad that the gloves were not that expensive. I have had some really good quality items from Haruhi Clover in the past, so this is disappointing.
I then came across another problem. No effort has been made to create a neat hem and the rough edge has just been left as it is. As this is on the inside of the wrist, it wont really be visible when worn, but it is still a worry.
Once I managed to ease the gloves on without snapping the elastic, the sizing was okay. The fingers were a bit long on me, but I seem to have short fingers. I still think the wrist details look a bit bulky.
Here you can see more bits where there is extra material and nothing has been done about it. It isn't that noticeable when worn, unless you are really looking for it. I will still order from Haruhi Clover, but I think it is safe to say that I wont be buying their gloves again. It is a shame, because with a little bit more care and attention they could have been okay gloves.
Next is this headdress from Emomo. I saw this and thought it looked like a new twist on the old-school rectangle headdress design. The materials feel lovely and soft. The only issue I could find is that the lines of pearls could do with being a bit more flexible, as with this style of headdress you need them to be flexible so that they sit right when worn.
The bows are nicely formed with a cute shape. I also think the gathering for the ruffles has been done well. After feeling along the edges, I can see some effort has been made to seal the ends of the ribbons.
There are also clips to help hold the headdress in place. I especially appreciate that ribbon has been used on the ends of the clip. The clip still has a good grip, but the ribbon here helps to prevent damage to hair when worn and it also looks a bit neater. The stitching on the underside was also done quite neatly.
Here is a worn photo. The ribbon is a really good length, although I actually found the clips were so good that I didn't really need the ribbon to help secure the headdress. It does make for a lovely decoration though. There is one ruffle which was determined not to sit the way I wanted it to, but I think this may be me being very nit-picky. Overall, I am impressed and I think I will be ordering another colour next time I place a Taobao order.
I got this choker from Sakuya Lolita. The lace used is of a good quality with a pretty design. The ribbon threaded through the lace only has a slight sheen to it.
The star charms are cute and the pearl chains are well spaced out. I think the design has been quite well thought out and executed.
There is a bit of room for size flexibility as well. The star charm finishes off this little chain nicely.
Unlike the Cutie Creator chokers I have, this choker was actually a decent length for my neck. The CC ones were too long in length and as a result, the details didn't sit right. I will say though, that when I initially tried to put the choker on, the clasp broke off. So I had to get the pliers out to close this little gap in one of the metal loops to stop the clasp from falling off. Once that was sorted, I was able to put the choker on and I barely needed the lengthening chain. I really like how the choker looks when worn. Everything hangs where it is supposed to. Sadly, it looks like this choker has been shelved, so I wont be able to get the same choker in black! It is worth keeping an eye on the Taobao store though.
Finally, I got these chiffon boleros from Miss Moe. After my experience with their gloves in my last order, I was a bit wary about ordering these. Miss Moe are not known for having the best of quality. I wouldn't say these boleros are the best of quality, but they were definitely better than I was expecting. The material used feels soft to touch.
The ruffles have been gathered okay. There are places where it could have been done better, but generally they look okay.
I was a bit disappointed with the elastic on the sleeves. At least it isn't as thin as the elastic on the Haruhi Clover gloves! It is still pretty thin though, so you have to take care when taking the bolero on and off. After turning the boleros inside out, the stitching was of a satisfactory level. There were a couple of loose threads, but nothing dramatic.
Apologies for the 'normie' clothes, it had been a long day. Google Translate was able to translate the sizing chart okay. The sizing seems to be pretty accurate and I found my boleros fit me very well. In fact, I can say with confidence that my boleros look just like they do in the worn photos on the item listing.
A little bonus photo of the back. You can probably see that the material does wrinkle slightly, but nothing too bad. A bit of steam should get those wrinkles right out. These boleros have actually proven to be quite a nice surprise. I still wouldn't recommend Miss Moe if you are after good quality, but I do think you get a fair deal considering the cheap prices. There is not really much to complain about here.
Considering I only placed this order for the boleros, I seem to have had some pleasant surprises with this order. The ring from Cutie Creator is the only thing I am very disappointed with. The gloves from Haruhi Clover could have been better as well, but at least they are wearable. I think my favourite part of this order has to be the Emomo headdress. I ordered it on a whim, and it turned out really great. I am happy that this has generally been a positive order.