Monday, 29 August 2016

Princess Cat by Angelic Pretty

Today I shall be taking a look at Princess Cat by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses, 2 hair accessories, socks and wrist cuffs. There is also a Magic Cat sheer blouse which has a cat ear hood, which I personally think is a really bizarre idea.




First up is the OP. The bodice looks very well fitted and the shape is quite cute. I like that the arms have a good amount of puff to them, but I am not 100% sold on the length and the details. They feature this opening, with a panel of tulle underneath. This is further topped with a bow halfway down, and a further bow and double line of lace at the cuffs. I am just really not feeling this open sleeved design and I don't think it looks that great. Also, the lace looks a bit flat and could go with a bit more lace, gathered a little more. There is a waist bow, which is a decent size and it has a good shape to it as well. I like how it sits on the dress, although I wish a less shiny fabric had been used. The bodice features 2 ruffles, layered on top of each other. I like how the bottom ruffle sits very flat and neatly on the dress. I feel the use of tulle for this ruffle was a good choice. The ruffle on top is much more gathered, creating an interesting frothy look and texture. These 2 ruffles are topped with a line of alternating pearls and velvet bows, finishing with a slightly larger velvet bow on the collar. The bows and pearls are well spaced out, but I think the velvet bows could have done with being just that slight bit smaller. Also, it is interesting how AP have gone with shimmery fabric choices and velvet. It offers quite a contrast. Some will love it and others may hate it. I am a bit undecided about it. There are also some subtle thin lines of gold lace running up the sides of the bodice which help to break up the empty space nicely. As for the collar, I think it is a cute shape but it is maybe a bit too big. In the pictures I feel the collar looks a bit bulky. Whilst I appreciate the pearls are in the print, I think they look a bit too much on the collar. They make the collar look too fussy. I also feel that one ruffle around the edge of the collar would have been enough instead of the double ruffle they have gone with. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. There is a bustle on the back of the skirt, which I absolutely despise. The overall shape of the bustle looks very clunky and I think it needs to be more narrow at the top. I think the tiers are spaced out well, but they don't sit that well on top of each other. Also, the decision to overlay netting on the bustle material makes it look too fussy. The stock photos show that the skirt is generous in volume, with a lovely full bell shape to it. It flares outwards really well. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with some really pretty bow themed lace.




Here we have the Tiered JSK. The bodice seems well fitted and the overall bodice shape is simple, but cute. I really love the very slight heart shape of the neckline. The straps look a decent width and pretty supportive. They have been lined neatly with lace on the outsides, which makes them look a bit less plain. This dress has a velvet belt and waist bow, which nips in the waist beautifully. As there is no switching between shiny and velvety bows, I feel the velvet works a lot better on this dress than it does on the OP. The bodice features 3 velvet bows with some wide lace set around them. There is also 2 lines of the same lace going along the neckline. At first I felt that the bodice was too crowded and I wished that some of the velvet bows were detachable. However, the more I look at the bodice, the more I like it. The velvet bows could do with being a bit smaller, but they have a really cute shape and they sit nicely on the dress. The wide lace on the neckline could have done with tapering off gently at the sides, instead of carrying on underneath the armpits, but it is otherwise reasonably well used. I like the polka dot design on the lace too. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped very neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and it flares outwards plenty. It looks very full and rounded. The skirt is kept relatively simple in design, although as the name suggests this skirt is tiered. I am not so keen on the tier join being over-stitched and I don't think the line of gold lace topping the join looks that good. The print is still displayed fairly well though. The bottom hem is then finished off with the bow themed lace again, but this time it is layered over some tulle ruffles. I think this is a good match for the very lacy and frilly looking neckline.




This is the Peplum JSK. The bodice looks like it is okay fitting and the bodice shape looks alright, but nothing really special. The straps look a decent supportive width without looking too wide for the style of bodice. They are lined very neatly with gold lace, which looks smart. They are also overlaid with tulle, which could have looked nice had it not then carried on down the bodice on one side. There is a band of this tulle overlay along the chest area and also going down the bodice, which is all lined with the gold lace. It is hard to put it in to words, but it just looks wrong. I have a rough idea what sort of look AP were aiming for, but they don't quite pull it off. There is a double bow with a pearl chain between. Both of the bows are a bit too big, but they have a nice, well defined shape to them. However, I think the way the pearl chain hangs between the 2 bows doesn't quite look right. These bows are detachable but given what is underneath, I would definitely be leaving them attached if it was me. The back is fully shirred, so there is plenty of size flexibility, but it also means the shirring is left exposed. Ignoring the over-skirt, the actual skirt itself looks fairly full and it flares outwards enough. It should hold more than enough petticoat underneath. The print is displayed beautifully as well. As for the over-skirt, I think the tulle used for it with the net pattern is a good choice. It has this sort of retro look to it. The bottom of the over-skirt is also finished off neatly, although it needs to be a bit shorter. As for whether I would leave the over-skirt attached or not, I am not really sure. If you are opting for this dress choice, then chances are it is probably because of the over-skirt. The dress looks okay with it removed, but I would probably leave the over-skirt on. At least you can still see the print quite well through it. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with the bow lace.




Finally, here we get an idea of what the print looks like. As you can see, this series comes in lavender, pink, wine and teal green. I am not surprised to see that the teal is sold out for each dress design. It is a really lovely shade of green. I think all 4 colours work really well with the print. Some people have said that the pink looks horrible, but I think that is a bit harsh. It just maybe isn't as pretty as some of the other colours. As for the print itself, I think it is pretty but the furniture could have been spread out a bit more. I also feel there are too many chandeliers in the print. But the furniture itself is well drawn. There are some interesting swirls of gold in the furniture designs. I especially like how one chair has a crown in the design. The cats are suitably fluffy and look very regal in their crowns and top hats. I also like how actual Angelic Pretty design shoes and a bag appear on the sofa as well! The line of bows is a cute way to finish off the bottom of the print. As for the non-border part of the print, it looks pretty but it is maybe a bit too cluttered. I would have been happy to have had just the odd chandelier and the pearls for the background.

Considering Angelic Pretty have upped their stock, it seems that this series is selling quite well, with some things selling out quite fast. I am not that surprised, as this series has a bit of a retro feel to it, which worked well for AP with Cinema Doll and Fantastic Dolly. The colour options are also well thought out and the print is pretty. Let's be honest- cats usually tend to be a big hit anyway. Would I buy this series? No, but only because it is not really my style. Truth be told, I would rather have Cinema Doll. But this series still has a lot of charm to it. My top choice would be the Tiered JSK in lavender, as I still can't make up my mind about the Peplum JSK. Although I wont be getting this print, I am very pleased to see some lovely retro themed accessories from Angelic Pretty at the moment. I think those are worth checking out.


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Chasing Dragonflies

It had felt like ages since I had last seen Shalisa and Sammi (how had it only been a couple of weeks!?) so we felt it was about time we met up again for some fun in Reading. I needed to do some fabric research and it was really useful to have my friends there for some second opinions. It was also an excuse for us to gossip and eat cake!




The weather forecast just would not make up its mind, which resulted in me having to put together a outfit with dark colours at the last minute. I find rain water stains are just the worst thing ever to get out of light coloured clothing. Although after going to all this trouble, it was dry and sunny for almost all the time we were outside. Typical! So the outfit I had planned will have to wait. I made do with this outfit using my Classic Frame Bodyline skirt. At least it meant I finally got to wear my red Haruhi Clover hat, which is the least worn of my HC hat collection. Considering what a fluster I was in, I look surprisingly composed here! I was having a bit of a panic because I thought I had lost my favourite Estee Lauder lipstick (which is a good match for the colours in this skirt) and I was struggling to decide if I liked the outfit better with the black or red clip pinned to my blouse. In the end, I went with the red clip, and my lipstick eventually turned up! I know it sounds silly, but it is not very often I find a lipstick colour which I really love!




We braved a trip to Fabric Land first, which sadly proved to be uninspiring. Shalisa and Sammi did give me some helpful advice on a project I am working on. I am not sure this project is going to amount to anything, but if it does then I would really like to do my best and create something that not only looks cute, but is also sturdy and reliable. At the moment I can't really say much else about what I have planned, but if it is a success then I hope to share it on here. After leaving the shop empty handed, we decided to go to Nandos (Cheeky Nandos! Proper banter!) as it looked quiet inside. Usually if it is quiet, that is a sign that the staff are not going to be too overworked and therefore in theory, the food is better. So many times, I have gone past a Nandos, only for it to be completely packed! But we got lucky this time, and the food was perfect. I went for mango and lime chicken thighs with peri fries. The peri fries reminded me a bit of the spicy chips I usually get in the Mitre. We haven't been to Oxford or the Mitre in such a long time, but sadly there isn't really a great deal to do in the town centre and Reading generally has a better 'vibe'. I feel more comfortable wearing lolita in Reading compared to Oxford, and people generally tend to leave you alone. We did however have one slightly creepy old guy who hovered nearby when we took photos.




None of us were particularly fussed about going shopping, so we went to our new favourite patch of grass by the riverside for photos. We usually spot dragonflies flying about in this area, and it was really fun trying to follow them and get a good picture. This little guy above has been named Gary (I felt they looked like a Gary). Gary was maybe not as colourful as the blue dragonfly we saw flying around (I couldn't get a picture of that one, but Shalisa did) but I think Gary looks like a very cheerful dragonfly. We locked eyes for a little while, and I feel we developed a connection. I would like to think Gary and I are friends now. Sadly we didn't see the beautiful black dragonfly, which has the most gorgeous fluttery wings, who we have seen a few times . One day I shall befriend the goth dragonfly, but I will never forget Gary.




After waiting around for the sun to go in by the roses, we gave up and ended up taking pictures on a slope. Sammi wore some casual chocolate goodness. I feel this outfit sums up Sammi's wardrobe quite well.




Shalisa wore her Bodyline skirt, which is such a pretty shade that almost always photographs purple. I just had to use this photo, as I love Shalisa's cheeky smile here!




I kind of had a bit of a nostalgia moment, and asked the other 2 if they would mind doing an old-school shoe shot. I have really missed doing these! They remind me of the shoe shots you used to get in egl meet up reports. The lolita livejournal community may be dying, but it will always be a part of my heart. We decided against doing the star pose with our hands, as I was the only one wearing any rings anyway.




Afterwards we went to the Outlook (no surprises there) where I was very pleased to see they now stock one of my favourite ciders. I have a thing for passionfruit, and this Rekorderlig cider is oneof the best. My favourite is the passionfruit Old Mout, but that one is not as common, especially in pubs. This cider was so cool and refreshing, especially considering it had gotten surprisingly hot in the sunshine. We definitely got inside at the right time though, as the heavy rain started not long after we got inside. We watched on as the river showed signs that it was about to flood and the ducks took cover. There is something very peaceful about sitting inside and watching the rain. I only wish we could have opened the windows a little, as I love the smell of rain. I would love to find a decent perfume which captures this scent. If you know of any, then please comment and let me know!




I decided to break with tradition and get the Oreo cheesecake instead of the chocolate fudge cake. As you can see, it is very pleasing on the eye. I love how there is an Oreo print on the side of the cake, where it had been cut. It was a really tasty cheesecake but truth be told, it was a bit cloying. When I got to the end I had to leave a bit, as it got a bit too sickly. Still, I did better than Shalisa, who had the most dire looking sundae ever. I didn't even want to photograph it, because it looked too tragic. The moral of the story is, always get the fudge cake in the Outlook. Well, unless you are feeling a bit greedy and want the cheesecake. I don't regret my choice! This really made me wish I was in the Mitre though, as their Eton Mess sundae is exactly what I was craving that day. 

Having had a good catch up, we eventually left and said our goodbyes. It had stopped raining, so I never did get the chance to test my macaron umbrella from my last Taobao order. Although in some ways, that is actually a good thing. I now have a couple of dresses in my wardrobe which I have not had the chance to wear yet, so fingers crossed I will get to wear one of those next time. And luckily, with Shalisa's birthday coming up, I don't have long to wait! I am really looking forward to seeing my friends again soon.


Monday, 22 August 2016

La La La Swing Furry Puppy by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I shall be having a look at La La La Swing Furry Puppy by Baby the Stars Shine Bright (I couldn't help but smile at that name). This series includes 3 dresses (one non-print), a skirt, 3 hair accessories, socks, a blouse, a parka and a cape.




First up is JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted, although the overall shape of the bodice is very square. Maybe a less straight neckline would have been a bit more flattering. The straps seem a suitable width for the style of dress and look supportive enough. They are very neatly lined with lace on both the insides and outsides, which livens them up a bit. This lace is also used along the neckline, which is a good bit of continuity. There is a waist bow, which looks a lovely understated size. I like the shape of the bow too. However, I am really not a fan of the pom poms on this waist bow. I don't think the pom poms have been positioned that well and I also feel that they look a bit out of place. I completely get that Baby were probably thinking the pom poms could be a bit like a fluffy puppy tail (and therefore go well with the print) but I don't think it has been that well executed. The bodice is broken up by some lines of lace, which then meets a circular panel at the chest area. This semi-circle is also topped with lace and lined with tiny pom pom trim. Although the design is quite well set-out, I am not overly fond of the use of the pom pom trim, as the pom poms are very tiny. So unless you are up close, you can't really see that they are mini pom poms. From a distance, I don't think this trim looks that appealing. There is a ribbon bow in the middle of the semi-circle panel, which has a really cute shape to it. I like how well thought-out the shape and design of the bow is, and I especially like the use of matte ribbon. However, I feel that the size of this bow is too big. It is almost as big as the waist bow. So I don't feel the proportions of these 2 bows works together. This ribbon bow is detachable, but I don't think the bodice looks quite right with it detached. I personally would have wanted the waist bow to be the detachable one out of the two bows. The back is fully shirred, which means plenty of size flexibility. It does also mean that the shirring is quite exposed though, so it isn't that attractive to look at. The stock photos show that the skirt has lot of volume and it flares outwards generously. It should hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt is kept very simple in design, with just a thin line of lace near the top of the skirt. I am not really sure what this lace adds to the skirt, but it is well out of the way of the print, so the print is still displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with some reasonably good quality lace.




Here we have JSK II. The bodice seems fairly okay fitting and the shape is simple, but still quite cute. I like that the straps look a suitable width and very supportive. There are lines of lace going along the insides of the straps, which continue all the way down to the waist. I personally am not a fan of the lace chosen. It reminds me a bit too much of granny's doilies. At least this lace looks to be of a fairly good quality though. I am not overly fond of the waist bow shape either. It is the shape of the bow, with the rounded edges, which I don't like. The lace lining this bow only emphasises the shape. It also looks a little bit on the big side. Thankfully, this waist bow is detachable, and I would detach it if it was me. There is then a lacy panel on the chest area, which I don't feel has been gathered and shaped that well. It looks a bit messy in the close-up pictures. Perhaps Baby felt the bow on top would disguise this. Unfortunately, this bow looks very wonky and lop-sided in the stock photos. Here is hoping it is just like this in the stock photos and more effort is put in to shaping this bow evenly on the dresses people buy. I personally feel this bow could have done with being a bit smaller and I feel the shade of the bow chosen for the brown colour way of this dress is a bit too dark. On a more positive note, Baby have at least chosen a non-shiny ribbon to make this bow. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and it flares outwards loads. I am liking the full, rounded shape portrayed in the stock photos and think it looks very promising. 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 good quality, but slightly boring looking, lace.




Finally, this is one bit of the print...




... and another bit. Hopefully this gives a good idea of what the print is like. This series comes in ivory, pink, sax blue and brown. I feel this is quite a good mix of colours. I would have maybe preferred black to brown, but I like that the brown at least offers a darker option. As for the print itself, I think the puppies are very cute looking and well drawn. I love the way they are frolicking and playing the instruments in the print. The musical notes are a good way of filling in the empty gaps. There is also a strip in the print featuring musical scores and instruments (not pictured above) which goes well with the musical theme. However, I am unsure about the flowers in this print. I think they are drawn beautifully, but I don't really see how they fit in with the rest of the print. Flowers do not necessarily have to be a classic lolita only theme, but when paired with the overly cutesy looking puppies, the flowers almost look a bit out of place. Innocent World have proven that sweet and classic can work well as a hybrid, but I don't think Baby have quite pulled it off here. It also feels as though there are maybe too many different themes going on in this print as well.

I imagine this series will probably have its fans, but I can't say I am that amazed by it. Then again, I have never really been that interested in puppy prints anyway! I guess it makes a nice change to have a puppy print from time to time, considering how many cat prints there have been. This series is very reminiscent of Baby's sweet designs from around 2010, especially some of the choices with the dress designs. The dress designs are very cute, although there are small things I would change about both designs. I think it is safe to say I wouldn't buy this series, but if I did my top choice would be JSK II in pink (worn with waist bow detached).

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Taobao Haul August 2016- Picture Heavy

It's time again for me to do a review of my latest Taobao haul. My folder of Taobao wants has gradually gotten a lot smaller! I think that this will be the last time that I use Taobao Ring, and this time I really do mean it. Taobao Ring charge you a base rate of 15 yuan shipping from each Taobao store, regardless of how much they actually paid for shipping to their office, which does add up if you order from lots of shops. I also had an item missing, which I will get in to later.



First up is this wig from Kyouko. I wanted a twin tail wig which looked a bit more subtle in comparison to some of the larger twin tails you see. Twin tails are not really popular in lolita anymore, but I find twin tails suit me better than single pony tails. Apologies for the slightly washed out photo- it has been pretty much constant sunshine in my neck of the woods lately. As far as the colour goes, the listing is fairly accurate. The actual wig is maybe just the slightest bit blonder than it appears in the photos. Interestingly, this wig has turned out to be very close to my own hair colour! The bangs are super long. I found that the base wig fitted my head okay, but it would have been a better fit if it had been a little bit bigger. 




The part looks fairly natural. I found that the clips for the twin tails gripped on quite firmly. Maybe the tops of the twin tails could have done with being a bit fuller and a bit better disguised so that they looked a bit more realistic. 




The fibres feel soft and I would say the softness was on a similar level to my older Lockshop wigs. There were a few straggly fibres and a slight bit of tangling, but I found they brushed out easily enough. The curls on the twin tails looked better with a bit of brushing out as well. The other good thing about the twin tails is that they are the ideal length for styling in to buns, as demonstrated in the product listing. More than anything else, I wanted to give Kyouko and Taobao wigs a go because I hadn't really been happy with the last Lockshop wig I ordered (Mermaid Beachy, which tangles like crazy and the fibres are not well blended) and I wanted to see what else was on offer. I would say that this wig is good quality for the price paid. I got a free wig cap as well.




After getting these constellation clips in gold in my last order, I decided to go ahead and get some in silver in this order. Unfortunately, one of these was missing from my order with no explanation from Taobao Ring. I looked on the listing and at the time, it looks as though the missing design had gone out of stock. However, usually there would have been a note left on my order page to say that it had become unavailable, and this was not done. It is a bit frustrating, because just one clip was missing and it was super cheap, so I don't feel it is worth me complaining to Taobao Ring about. They probably know that I wouldn't kick up a fuss over something that small as well. As I am unlikely to use Ring again, there is not much point them offering to take it off my next order, seeing as there wont be a next order. As for the clips themselves, the 4 that did arrive were as good as expected. They clip very firmly in place and have a very sturdy backing to them. Again, I had a bit of trouble un-doing some of the clips because of the style of clasp. But the clips are otherwise perfect and I am very pleased with them.




Something else I have ordered again, is this Miss Moe Bolero which this time I got in navy blue. Instead of repeating myself, I will just link you to the full review I did of the bolero here. The colour of the navy bolero is a bit darker than it appears in the photos. I had to turn the flash on to get the details to show up properly.




The ruffles were once again done very neatly. I couldn't really find any faults anywhere.




I am glad Miss Moe decided to use black elastic instead of white. You cannot see the elastic at all when the bolero is worn. 




On turning the bolero inside out, the stitching has been done very neatly here as well. I could not find a single fault. There were no loose threads or anything. I love that this chiffon design is light and airy and I hope to get the chance to wear these boleros before Summer ends.




I also ordered some socks and tights from Mu Fish, who are my usual go-to for Taobao leg wear. I have purchased these lacy ankle socks multiple times before. The wine coloured ones are a new addition to their listing, so I decided to give them a go. Weirdly, the quality of the wine ones seems to be a bit different to the standard I have come to expect from getting these socks previously. 




The first thing I noticed was these weird loose threads on the socks, which were quite thick. These appeared on both socks and seemed to be there deliberately. I carefully cut them off, as I think they make the socks look messy.




The fit was the same as usual and they had plenty of stretch. The socks felt soft and pleasant to wear. I think the wine colour looks a little bit brown in person, although you can definitely tell what colour they are supposed to be.




I did notice the socks seemed to be a little bit thin along this seam. You can see my skin slightly where the material is obviously a little bit thinner than the rest of the sock. I have never noticed this with any of my ankle socks from Mu Fish previously.




The lace is of a reasonable quality. It is good enough for a cheap pair of ankle socks like this. I will continue to buy my ankle socks from here, as and when I need them, although I don't think I will be getting the wine ones again.




I also got these constellation tights as well. As you may be able to see, they are completely identical to the navy constellation tights James got me for my birthday, which is interesting because those were supposedly from a different Taobao store (Yidhra). The fit is the same, the mesh is the same and the feel of the tights is the same.




They even have the same Popo Shop logo near the bottom, by the ankles. At least with these tights I feel the colour was a bit more accurate. With the navy ones, they look so dark that they could be mistaken for black. I am curious to see if any more designs appear on both Mu Fish and Yidhra, as they are clearly using the same supplier.




Finally, I got myself this macaron umbrella from here. After taking the umbrella out and undoing the velcro, I accidentally set off the spring-loaded mechanism and got a lovely big bruise on my knee for my trouble. So I can confirm that the sping-loaded action is very powerful! Putting the umbrella up was super quick with just that one press of the button. Getting the umbrella down proved a little bit more tricky. The spring is so powerful that you really do have to forcefully push the umbrella down and make sure it is all the way down. I liked the matching carry bag, although it could do with being a bit bigger. I did the umbrella up as neatly as I could and I was really struggling to get it back in the bag.




Here is the umbrella up. The material is a bit wrinkled, as you can probably see, but not enough to make me not like the fun design. As I mentioned, it has been super sunny lately, so I have not had a chance to test this umbrella in wet weather. The material seems decent enough, like any standard umbrella.




The colours of the macarons are so vibrant and fun. I really love the print.




The frame feels very sturdy and I am very hopeful that it will not turn inside out in strong winds. I am keeping my fingers crossed!




There were a few small marks under some of the deepest pink coloured macarons. It seems some of the dye may have rubbed off a bit, which you may be able to see underneath the macaron in this photo. I have high hopes for this umbrella and hope it does a good job as its intended use. If nothing else, it makes for a very powerful and painful weapon. 




The umbrella store also gave me a free pair of slippers. Usually I love free gifts, but I feel these slippers may have contributed a bit to the hefty shipping fee I had to pay to ship my order to my place. The box I got my order in was massive, and it was completely stuffed. I would hate to have paid extra just for a free gift I didn't really ask for. I don't really use slippers either, so I doubt I am even going to keep them. They are probably going to end up going to a charity shop unless I find somebody who really wants them.

So this was generally quite a positive order, although not everything ran smoothly. It looks as though I am now on the search for a new shopping service, or I may just go back to Taobao Spree and put up with their weird payment system. I was especially pleased with the wig and bolero. I am also excited to see how well the umbrella does with the UK weather, although my poor knee hurt for ages after I accidentally set it off! The socks and constellation clips were okay as well, so I am confident I will get a fair bit of use from everything in this order.


Monday, 15 August 2016

Lovely Forest by Metamorphose

Today I shall be having a look at Lovely Forest by Metamorphose. This series includes 3 dresses (one comes in 2 lengths), 2 skirts (one has the non-border print part only), socks, 2 hair accessories, a floral pin and a floral bracelet.




First up is the Fur JSK. The bodice seems quite well fitted and the shape is quite cute. Underneath the fur collar, the straps look a suitable width. My only complaint is that when you remove the collar, the neckline and straps have no lace or anything, which leaves it looking a bit plain. As for the collar, I think it is well shaped and looks cute. Personally, I preferred the shape of the collar from the samples (you may have seen pictures of Misako Aoki wearing the sample version) but I don't think this new collar shape looks bad at all. Despite the fur fibres looking quite long, the fur still looks fairly neat. The bow attached to the collar is cute too, with a good size and lovely shape. There is a sweet bambi charm dangling from this bow too. I personally would leave the fur collar attached. The bodice features a few lines of lace, some ruffles, and a line of alternating bows and buttons. I think the lace looks to be of a decent quality and the ruffles look very well gathered and sit nicely on the dress. As for the bows, they look really cute and well formed. I think they are a good size and are well spaced out. The buttons also have a lovely floral design to them. To finish, there is also a detachable badge/patch, which features the deer from the print. With all the other details, I don't really know if I would want to wear the patch or not. The back has a panel of shirring, which is topped very neatly with a ribbon corset. There is also a bustle on the back, which is a good width and has some very well spaced out tiers. The tiers sit well on top of each other. Also, the choice of material for the bustle looks quite soft, so hopefully it wont stick outwards too much and create too much volume around the derriere area. The stock photos show that the skirt seems to have a good amount of volume to it and it flares outwards generously. It should hold plenty of petticoat. I really like the rounded look of the skirt in the stock photos. There are some lines of lace on the skirt, but the lace looks very thin and dainty, with a pretty design to it. I feel the lace works quite nicely, and the bows topping the skirt lace are a good size and shape as well. These details are kept nearer the top of the skirt, so the print is still displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of lace layered on top of a ruffle. 




Here we have the Ribbon JSK, which comes in 2 lengths (pictured is the mini-length). The bodice fit looks alright, but it could be better. I really dislike the bodice shape. The straight lines of the square neckline and insides of the straps, look too harsh and also very plain. A slightly rounded neckline could have looked fine. The decision to use a line of floral lace about a centimeter inside the straps is okay, and the lace used has a pretty design. However, as no further lace is used to line inside the straps, it means the harsh lines of the neckline have nothing there to soften them. The waistline and bodice are topped with a line of 4 bows. I think the bows are well spaced out. The top bow on the neckline could possibly do with being a bit smaller, but I like how Meta have folded the bow tails and used ribbon on this bow to make it look a whole lot more interesting. The 2 smaller bows in the middle could have been a tiny bit smaller, and possibly a slightly less shiny ribbon could have been used, but they otherwise look good. The waist bow however, is a real let-down. It is so saggy and sad looking. I think the shape of this bow is too simplistic anyway but the drooping is terrible. The bow is not holding its shape at all and it sits so limply on the dress. Thankfully, this waist bow is detachable! I felt this overwhelming sense of relief when I saw you could detach it! It is suggested in the photos that this dress comes with the bambi brooch as well. The back of the dress is fully shirred, so there should be plenty of size flexibility, but also means that the shirring is very exposed. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards loads. It is generous and full, with a good shape to it. The skirt is also kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of lace. Judging by the pictures, it seems to be that Meta swan themed logo lace they have been using a fair bit lately, but I could be wrong.




This is the High Waist JSK. The bodice seems quite well fitted and the shape is cute. I really like the ruffle going along the neckline, although I wish it slowly tapered off gently at the sides, rather than continuing and going under the arm pit area. The strap width looks reasonable and fairly supportive. I think wider straps wouldn't have worked with the style of bodice, so I am glad Meta didn't make them any wider. They are lined with lace on both the insides and outsides, but I personally think this lace looks a bit messy. It is quite gathered, so the lace looks quite frilly, and I feel it needs to be reined in a little bit. There is a waist bow, which is massive. I definitely think it needs to be smaller, although thanks to its simplistic design, the large size is maybe a little bit more tolerable than it would have been if it had lace and a more complex shape. Considering its size, I think the waist bow holds it shape quite well, with only some minimal signs of drooping. There is a ribbon corset on the front of the bodice. I feel the ribbon looks quite neat, but maybe it could have been spaced out a bit more. The ribbon is at least matte. I really like the use of floral shaped lace to line the sides of the ribbon corset and underneath the neckline ruffle. It makes the bodice look neater and the lace choice is lovely too. The back is fully shirred, so again there is a lot of size flexibility, but it also means the unattractive shirring is not covered by anything. The stock photos show that the skirt is full with plenty of flare. I imagine the skirt will look amazing with the right petticoat. The length of the skirt compensates for the high waistline well too. Once again, the skirt is kept simple in design, and the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of lace layered over a ruffle. This is further topped with some ribbon bows, which are distributed well and look a good size.




Finally, this should hopefully give some idea what the print looks like. I will update the picture if a better one becomes available soon. This series comes in off-white, pink and brown. I think that both the off-white and pink look really pretty, but I am a little unsure about the brown version. It is not that the colours on the brown version don't work, but more that I think it would be very difficult to colour co-ordinate outside of matching items from the series. As for the print itself, I think the deer, squirrel and rabbit are adorable. There seems to be bits of the border print that have a more clustered bunch of animals compared to other bits though. I really love the waterfall part. I especially like how there are butterflies flying around the water. The trees look okay, but could have possibly done with a bit more detailing to them. The flowers are a pretty safe option to fill in the gaps in the print and work really well to create a flowery border at the bottom. I like the chains of flowers in the non-border part of the print as well. They fill in the background well, without looking overdone.

I get the impression that Meta are hoping this series will match the success of their Little Squirrel series, with the use of some very cute critters in the print and the return of a fake fur collar on one of the dresses. It could do fairly well, and there are at least plenty of dress designs to choose from. I can't quite seeing it being a sell-out, but the print is nice enough. Compared to a lot of recent Meta series, I think the dress designs are pretty good. There are still things I would tweak about each dress design, but nothing too drastic. Would I buy this series? No, but this is not really my sort of series anyway. My top choice would be the Fur JSK in off-white. I think that fur collar is very cute.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

So Why Do People Become Itas?

Somebody I know (who shall remain anonymous, unless they decide to speak up!) made quite a bold statement about lolita a few months ago- "With all the information out there, there is not really an excuse to be an ita in 2016".

On some level, I guess I can understand where they are coming from. There is a wealth of information out there and it really is not that difficult to google it. Most of you will be familiar with F Yeah Lolita's article on "How to Avoid Being an Ita" and even though that was written years ago, a lot of the information is still relevant today, especially if you can't quite get your head around the Western community's idea of the lolita "rules". And yet, there are still a lot of people who break these "rules". Some of these rule-breakers manage to get away with it, whilst others end up being mocked on cgl. I think there will always be those people out there who just try to do their own thing, and those who wish to be hand-fed every single little bit of information. Some people just have different tastes. But as time has gone on, I find myself developing a new view on itas and maybe in some cases it is more about a certain state of mind.

I myself had a quite lengthy ita phase. I am not going to sit here and make excuses for myself- I looked terrible and I know it. But I sort of shrug it off now. The truth is that almost every lolita I know has either had an ita phase or at the very least made the odd mistake. As somebody who has experienced a lot of backlash in the past, I can say from my personal experiences that being called an ita doesn't have to detract from the fun you have at meets. A lot of the time, the drama just dies down and most people do forget all about it.

But from time to time, I like to look back at the mistakes I made and try to figure out where I went wrong. The interesting thing is, that I started to notice certain patterns in my behaviour. I came to the realisation that my outfits got better or worse depending on what was going on in my life at that time. Like I said earlier, I am not making excuses, it is more that I am trying to get to the reason as to why people become itas in the first place. So taking a bit from my own personal experiences, I have tried to identify certain types of "ita behaviour" and tried to come up with some ways of how to overcome this, should you wish to improve. I guess you could say this is a bit like how to avoid being an ita, with a more mental focus!



The Dream Dress Ita- You have been eagerly searching through all of the sales and auction pages for ages when all of a sudden, that dress you have ranked as the top priority on your wishlist makes an appearance! Sure, you may not have anything in your wardrobe that matches, and maybe it is going to leave you broke for the rest of the month, but it is your DREAM DRESS!!!! You stalk your postal delivery guy to the point where he is considering getting a restraining order out on you, and then finally the dress is in your hands. Instantly, you find yourself falling in love with this dress. It is every bit as beautiful as you imagined. In fact, you want to wear it it. Right now. So you put together an outfit, only for it to turn our terrible. You have been so focused on this dress, that you have almost become 'blinded' when it comes to the rest of your outfit. Pictured above is the skirt which gave me my very own rose-tinted glasses effect.
Solution- The only way to really overcome this is to make sure you have a ready supply of good basic wardrobe building items. Try and see which colours and themes appear the most in your wardrobe and flesh out your blouse, socks, shoes and accessory collections in complimentary colours. When I was properly expanding my lolita wardrobe, I had a want vs need list. For every item I got from the want side of the list (and really, your dream dresses are a want and not a need, no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise) I had to buy one or two things from the need side, which included the essentials like blouses, or a new petticoat.

The Emotional Ita- Ever find that life is just a bit tough? Going through a bad patch? Had a life-changing tragedy? Well now is really not the best time to be thinking up new outfits or attending meets. When my granddad died, I made the mistake of going to a lolita meet a week later and I really regretted it. Not only did I throw together an outfit at the very last minute because I had been so focused on my grief, but I was an emotional wreck. Making sure I looked presentable was the least of my worries. Even now, I can't look back at the photos from that meet.
Solution- You need to take the time out to properly let yourself get over whatever emotional issue is having an impact on your mental well-being. There will be other lolita meets and if your comm is sensitive and mature, they will respect you for taking time out for yourself and not read anything else in to it. My advice would be to impose an internet ban on yourself for a while as well. Some things stay with you for the rest of your life, but as cliche as it may sound, time really is a great healer.




The "But it's by ____ brand" Ita- The tag says Angelic Pretty, so naturally it must be sweet lolita right? Well, the answer is no actually. A lot of the big Japanese brands, especially ones like AP, take inspiration from other Japanese fashion trends. At the time of writing this, Larme-kei is big news, and Angelic Pretty are about to release Dolly Dot. Whilst Dolly Dot is intended to be lolita, it could easily fit in to the Larme-kei aesthetic. Similarly, in the past, AP have put out a lot of mini skirts. There are some of these AP mini skirts which became popular in the fairy kei scene, and AP were probably intending for these to be worn in a more casual, street fashion kind of way, rather than lolita. Let's take the series Sugar Hearts as an example. Angelic Pretty released an OP and JSK which were clearly designed in a way that was meant to appeal to lolitas. They also released a mini skirt. I own this mini skirt and believe me, that skirt is not long enough or full enough to create the perfect lolita shape which is so vital in lolita fashion. The bad thing is though, that if that skirt had been just the tiniest bit longer, it could maybe just about have passed as a lolita skirt. Because it is so close to being nearly lolita, and with the dresses from the same series fitting lolita fashion, I think this caused a bit of confusion for some people. You could also make the same argument about salopettes. Some people class them as lolita, whereas others will tell you outright that a salopette is not lolita.
Solution- I would just be careful about how you tag your outfits online. It is fine to tag an outfit with the brand, but if you are not sure if something is lolita or not, just don't tag it as such. If you wish to add more tags so it reaches a wider audience, use more generic terms such as "kawaii" or "Japanese fashion". It also may be a good idea to refresh your memory on the basics of a lolita outfit, so you can compare your outfit and see if it meets the "requirements" of your typical lolita outfit.




The Anime Ita- So your primary passion happens to be anime, and then you see one of your favourite characters dressed in this fashion called lolita. Chances are, this character is wearing some incredibly OTT ensemble covered from head to toe in bows and with added sparkly backgrounds. You discover that lolita fashion is actually a real thing, only it doesn't quite match up to the characters that introduced you to it. The trouble is, the 'ideals' of anime lolita are very different to what somebody who is in to lolita fashion, but not anime, sees as the ideal lolita aesthetic. With anime lolitas, you don't really get a feel for how important lolitas value the quality of the materials they are wearing (to be fair, that would make for some very slow-paced anime!). A lot of the time, the focus is just on the cuteness.
Solution- This is one situation where it depends how seriously you are in to lolita fashion. If you are serious about wearing lolita as a fashion outside of anime, I feel it is vital to start from scratch about learning about the fashion and ignore what you think you may have learnt from anime. It is important to remember that anime is a very exaggerated take on reality and a lot of these lolita characters are deliberately designed in an OTT way (and sometimes in a very deliberately sexual way) so that they will appeal more to the audience. That is not to say that all anime/manga lolitas are equal. I personally have always loved Misato from Nana and her old school lolita look!

The Multiple Fandom/Fashion Ita- You love lolita fashion, but maybe you feel that it is only one aspect of your life and that lolita doesn't really fully represent who you are as a person. So maybe you wish to try and do a cross-over with another fashion you are in to, or maybe make an outfit based around your love of Doctor Who/Sherlock/Other fandom. You see somebody do something like 'steampunk lolita' and think "Hmm, I could do that...". The only trouble is that when you add another fashion or fandom on top of lolita, you are adding in another set of fashion's rules or a character's aesthetics. These aesthetics may not always gel together 100% with lolita and as a result, you end up having to make compromises. The problem comes when you compromise too much, and the outfit stops looking lolita altogether.
Solution- Make sure that you make time to fully enjoy each of your hobbies and interests. Look online to see if there are any communities that are about the fandoms/fashions/hobbies you enjoy. If you still feel strongly about combining 2 fashions together, have a look to see if lolita brands have released any series which may appeal to both of your interests. For example, a lot of Angelic Pretty releases have a slight retro feel to them, Meta did a series which had a steampunk influence to it (Wheel of Time) and quite often you will see brands do collaborations. Disney and Japanese lolita brand collaborations are something that come up quite often, for example. You may even be surprised at the influences in some lolita series. Alice and the Pirates just did a Sherlock inspired series. That is the sort of series where you could wear it and then casually bring up the Sherlock theme in conversation, to show that you are a fan of that particular show. If you are in to character cross-overs, maybe instead of trying to mash them with lolita fashion, just ask yourself "how would this character wear lolita" instead. A Sailor Moon inspired outfit could just have a star or sailor theme for example, rather than going all-out with an Usagi wig and an almost cosplay-like outfit.

The Poor Ita- You really want to get in to lolita, but your budget just wont allow it. When you are starting out, it can be very overwhelming thinking of all the different things you are going to need to buy, just to get one complete outfit together. You find yourself trailing budget stores such as Primark for 'loli-able' finds or tell yourself that if you add lace to something, maybe it will look a bit more appropriate for lolita, only to forget about your craft plans after you brought the stuff. And when there is a lolita bargain on offer, you get so excited about it that you snap it out without thinking it through first. Perhaps you have even considered cutting a few corners. Maybe you have a nice lolita dress, but you spent out a bit on it, so you are now considering wearing a basic work blouse you already own anyway. After all, a blouse is mostly going to get hidden by a dress, right?
Solution- Sorry, but the only way to truly get over this is to learn how to budget. You have to scrutinise every single purchase you make. If you see a good deal on a sweet skirt, but you are a gothic lolita, then it isn't really a bargain because you are not likely to actually wear it. When I started out, I struggled with money. I still have piles of £1 Primark loli-able socks that I still haven't worn years later, as I never really thought about if they actually went with any of my dresses. And believe me, all those little £1 purchases do start to add up. There may be other little frivolous purchases you can cut back on to add to your lolita funds You could also consider cutting down how frequently you spend on lolita. For example, if you have about £30 to spend a month on lolita, save it up for a few months and you will find that you have enough money to buy something of a better quality, rather than lots of cheaper and poorer quality pieces. And if you are buying better quality products, there is less chance of them breaking and you needing to buy replacements. Another thing to watch out for is how much people are selling these supposedly good deals for. For example, there may be a lot of Bodyline on Ebay, but sometimes you will find that these products are actually being sold cheaper on Bodyline's site.

The 'Lost' Ita- Gothic? Sweet? Maybe classic? There are so many different sub-styles as well. When I first discovered lolita, I was like a kid entering Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. There are so many dresses to choose from, how do you know what is right for you? Maybe you are one of these people getting in to lolita who just goes aimlessly about and buys pieces which seem like a good idea at the time. The only trouble is, you have found you are now stuck with a classic blouse, a gothic skirt and a sweet Alice bow, and none of it goes together.
Solution- If this sounds like you, then now is not the time to be purchasing anything. Sites like lolibrary.org are your friends (Well, when they are working they are. Be aware that Lolibrary goes down a lot. Be patient.). Empty your schedule and devote a few hours to going through Lolibrary. Whenever you see something that piques your interest, make a note of it. Make a board on Pinterest, reblog Tumblr pictures that you like, look through some Gothic Lolita Bibles and bookmark pages which have stuff you like on. Once you have a good collection of pictures, it is time to look through them and make notes. Is there a certain style that is cropping up more than others? Certain colours? Certain recurring themes? Before you go buying anything, try to imagine yourself buying them. If you had to choose between 2 of the dresses you have picked out, which one do you think would make you feel the happiest? What items from your collection of pictures would go with this dress? And be aware that sometimes your tastes in lolita may just naturally change as time goes on.

Looking through this list, I have noticed a couple of themes seem to be quite frequently appearing. Impulse-buying, over-enthusiasm and mis-information seem to be big factors. These are things that can be overcome. It seems to be a trend with people who get labelled itas that most of them do go on to improve naturally. I think it is something that comes with time, and I suppose time is a key thing to focus on here. Lolita shouldn't really be a race to see who can get the most dresses or a contest to see who can get the most likes and reblogs. Sometimes it is this pressure to make a name for yourself in the lolita community that causes us to make mistakes in the first place. Changes in lifestyle can also be key. It isn't really fair to compare a teenager just out of school for example, with somebody in their late 20's or even older who is more likely to have a stable job, a good income and have maybe gotten married or gone through other big life changes.

I hope that this post doesn't come across as judgemental, as that was really not my intention. It was more that I was curious to explore the mindset of people who have maybe been labelled as itas, and to also reflect on my own past mistakes and why they happened. The subject of this post is a bit sensitive for some and I found this post was incredibly difficult to write! And maybe there are even people out there who happen to not care about their mistakes or just feel confident and comfortable enough to make their own choices. Do you have any further advice that you feel should be added to this post? Or do you have any general comments about the content of this post? Let me know what you think!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Dear Sir ~ Mystery in the Baker Street ~ by Alice and the Pirates

Today I shall be taking a look at Dear Sir ~ Mystery in the Baker Street ~ by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses, a vest, pants, 2 hair accessories, socks, a cape and a blouse.




First up is JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted and I feel the bodice shape is quite mature, although I am not fond of the dropped waist. The straps look a decent with and quite supportive. There is a line of braid on the insides of the straps and neckline, which stops the area looking too plain. I feel that because of the style of print, it is a good idea not to go too frilly, and the braid looks very smart. There is a ribbon belt, with a large bow. Usually, I would be commenting about how it defines the waist, but because this is a dropped waist design and where the belt is located, I feel it doesn't quite work. I don't feel it looks as good to have it positioned where it is, as the skirt is already starting to flare outwards. The bow is slightly shiny, although I approve of the muted colour choices. As for the shape, I think simple was the right way to go, but I dislike the way the bow tails stick out. The bodice features 3 pairs of buttons, with chains between them. I really like the emblem design on the buttons, and the buttons have been spaced out quite well. There is then a modesty panel on the chest area. I like that it stops the scoop neckline from scooping so low, but I feel the details on this panel look a bit cheap. The low back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a fair amount of volume to it and I really love the rounded shape created in the pictures. I still don't like the dropped waist though! The skirt is kept very simple in design, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of ribbon and a thin line of good quality lace. I like that the lace has been kept subtle.




Here we have JSK II. The bodice looks well fitted, but I think the bodice shape is a bit too simple. I also think the straps are slightly too thin and AatP could have gotten away with making them a little bit wider. They are lined really neatly with thin lace though. This lace is very thin, so it adds a nice finishing touch without looking too frilly. I didn't even spot it at first, but this super thin lace is going along the neckline as well. If nothing else, I think the paired down details work with the style of the print. The bodice features a small waist bow and a line of buttons. I like the small size of the bow and I think it adds just a small touch of cuteness. However, it is unfortunate that the line of buttons look wonky in the stock photos. They are all facing different directions as well. I would expect better than this. The back is fully shirred, so there is plenty of size flexibility, but it also means the unattractive shirring is very exposed. The stock photos show that the skirt is full with volume and it flares outwards generously. It should hold more than enough petticoat. The skirt is once again kept simple, so the focus is all on the print, which is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the subtle thin lace again.




This is the OP. The bodice looks a bit loose fitting and I am really hating the curved waistline shape. I think the sleeve shape is a bit basic, but it does suit the overall theme of the dress. The shirt style cuffs at least match the style of the bodice, and I am happy they at least added a bit of lace. As for the bodice, I really don't like the way that the whole bodice is like a basic work shirt. The pleats and bow do not do enough to liven this bodice up for me. They could at least have added some thin lines of lace, just to dress it up a little, without it looking too much. There is a tiny bit of lace lining the join at the waistline, but it is not enough. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is limited. The back looks almost identical to the boring front, just without the bow and pleats. The skirt at least looks a good length and it flares outwards plenty. However, without a properly defined waistline, I feel it looks a bit shapeless. It is not as shapeless as some of those sack style dresses we have seen, but it isn't that much of an improvement. The skirt is at least kept simple in design again, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with some good quality lace.




Finally, here is the print. This series comes in beige, green, tea and black. I feel that all 4 colours look quite dull, but I admit they suit the colours used in the print brilliantly. As for the print itself, I think the bits like the shelves, books and curtains are well drawn, but the positioning  doesn't look right. It is also a bit strange how the curtains fade out. I don't like the inclusion of the newspaper either. The way the fading of the newspaper has been done looks really messy. The background really suits the Sherlock theme though. I suppose the dog looks kind of cute in its little hat and pipe though.

So overall, I think the print looks messy and poorly executed. The dress designs are very mature, although some would say that they don't look very lolita. Would I buy this series? No, I would not. My top choice would be JSK II in beige. I feel that beige looks the least dull of the colours. I think this whole series is quite underwhelming.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Taobao Haul July 2016

Today I am 'reviewing' the Taobao order that I really shouldn't have bothered placing. This order has caused me a great deal of frustration, as I kept adding things to it, only for the items to no longer be available. As a result, I only ended up with a very small order and I have already reviewed a lot of the items before. So this review is more about the different colours I ordered and some new stuff. I apologise for such a small review.




My first item is this Red Maria cuff. In my last order I wanted to order 2 of these, but after payment Red Maria said they only had one in stock. So imagine my annoyance when a few days later, the generation colour came back in stock! So I have finally managed to get the 2nd cuff to complete my pair. For a more detailed review of these cuffs, please refer to my Taobao post here. I am a bit of a Red Maria fan, but I have to admit that the constant stock availability changes can be frustrating. I am just relieved that I finally managed to complete my 'pair' of these cuffs, and I really love the colour. 




After getting this Emomo headdress in white in my last order, I decided to get the lavender and pink ones as well. You can see my full review of this headdress here. The quality of these headdresses is very consistent and my new ones are on the same level as the white one I got previously. So the only thing I can really remark on here is the colour. The purple one is maybe not the exact shade I was expecting, being a bit darker than it appears in the stock photo. As I have a lot of different lavenders in my wardrobe anyway, it is bound to match something I own already anyway. I have tried to make sure the photo gives an accurate idea of the purple colour. As for the pink, it is a bright and vibrant pink. I would say this pink would probably match a lot of the more recent pink Angelic Pretty pieces. It is a very sugary, pastel pink. Despite the light materials, the colour is bold.




All of the remaining items in this order are from this Taobao store here. As I own budgies, I couldn't resist getting this earrings! It is a bit unusual having 3 earrings in a set, and I guess if you just have the one pair of holes this may seem a bit weird. The colours of the earrings are bold and the design is a lot clearer than it appears in my photos.




The backs are just bog-standard cheap metal and plastic tubes. With jewellery this cheap, I was expecting this anyway and I am certainly  not complaining.




After taking loads of pictures, this was the clearest photo I could get of the earrings worn, unfortunately. I swear they look a lot nicer in person. After wearing, there wasn't really any green tinge. This was a bit surprising, given the cheap price. So overall, I am impressed with the earrings.




From the same shop, I got these constellation hair clips, which I absolutely love. They come in 3 designs, in either gold or silver, and also come as necklaces. 




This is what the clip looks like from the back. I did find that it was a little bit difficult to shut the clip. There is basically a small knob that you push the back over, and you have to get the back of the clip just right, or you may find you are unable to push the back in to place. It took me a few attempts to get it right at first. At least this means the clip is unlikely to spring open.




As you can see in this worn photo, a small bit of the back is still visible when the clip is done up. With a bit of hair styling, this should not be difficult to conceal. I found the clip stayed in place okay. It may possibly slide down after a few hours, if you are doing something quite active. For general wear though, I feel this is a decent clip. I wasn't expecting the clip's design to really stand out and just blend in to my hair, but I was pleasantly surprised. A lot of the jewellery from this Taobao store is generic fashion stuff, but some of it has the potential to work with lolita fashion. I would definitely check them out.

So I am happy with every single item I got, but given how small this order turned out to be, I would have been disappointed if it had gone horribly wrong. At least with the cuffs and headdresses I had a good idea of what to expect. The jewellery store has proved to be an interesting find. They seem to change stock fairly frequently, so I would recommend repeat visits to their store. I am mourning the items that could have been, but at least the items I did get were good. Here is hoping I have more luck next time.


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