Thursday, 2 March 2017

February 2017 Haul

Despite telling myself I was going to spend less in 2017, I am today presenting my latest buys from Japan (and there will be a Taobao review soon too...). I ordered from Swimmer and Angelic Pretty, and also got a pair of AP socks on auction.

First up is my Swimmer order. I wasn't actually intending to place this entire order but I accidentally discovered a replica of the bags on Taobao and saw that the original was from Swimmer. I decided to take a chance and look on Swimmer's site to see if they were still available. To my surprise, they were still available. So as I was having a hard time deciding between 2 colours, I ended up getting 2 colours and a pair of socks that I thought looked cute. I added the AP stuff afterwards.

You probably wont be surprised to see that it is a moon design! Considering the price, I thought the bags were worth it. You can tell by the feel of the material that it is not top quality, and I will be super careful to take care of these bags to make them last longer, but Swimmer's prices are pretty cheap. In fact, they were only a tiny bit more than the Taobao replica. So it was definitely worth double checking Swimmer still had them! I don't think they will hold up that well in heavy rain, but they should be able to withstand a reasonable amount of bad weather. Some of the metal rings holding the beads looked slightly open, meaning the pearls were at risk of falling off. I was able to take a pair of pliers to them though to close the gaps. The scallops were well shaped.

I was very pleased to see that my bags had at least some cardboard to help protect the bag in transit. I forgot to photograph it, but the metal parts underneath the card were further covered in a bit of protective plastic, just to keep them a bit more safe. The bag was stuffed as well to hold its shape.

There is a small pocket on the back of the bag, but I don't think I will use it because it feels a bit tight and there isn't much room to put anything other than a couple of tissues or hair pins in there. As you can hopefully see in this picture, the stitching on the bag is really neatly done.

After lifting the flap, I found there was another popper in place to help the bag keep its shape. I thought this was a nice touch.

The bag was actually a lot bigger than I was expected. It seems really roomy inside and there is an additional pocket on the inside as well. The bag is lined well. I am also happy to report that this bag did not have that distinct smell that a lot of cheaply made bags seem to have!

I got the bag in black as well as off-white. I didn't want to risk either colour selling out before I made a decision, so in the end I got both! Both colours are really lovely, although I think I like the black one slightly more. The straps were easy to clip on and are adjustable, so you can change the length.

As I was ordering from Swimmer anyway, I added this pair of constellation ankle socks to my order. The label had some washing instructions on them. Even though I can't read Japanese, the symbols were pretty straight-forward and easy to understand. 

The socks were a bit darker in colour than they appeared on the site. They almost look black, although in person you can tell that they are dark blue. The constellation pattern was crisp and very clear to make out.

The socks felt very soft and were a decent thickness. They fitted my wide feet comfortably. I think some lace around the ankles could have looked cute, but as they are, they are a lovely pair of casual socks.

I also ordered these British Crown socks in wine from Angelic Pretty. Japonica very kindly included the shopping bag that AP give with each of their purchases. I really wanted to get these socks in ivory and possibly black as well, but I left it too late to get those colours. But I am still really impressed with the wine colour, which is quite vibrant and bold. 

The pattern is very crisp. I absolutely love these socks, even though I complained a bit about the upside down crowns when I discussed this series on this blog.

The one part of the design I am not so keen on is the bows on the ankles. It is a cute idea, but the bows have not been well formed. The shape of the bow looks a bit rushed. Also, unless you are wearing low backed shoes this bow is not going to be on view anyway. 

I have noticed with more recent AP socks that they seem to be a bit thinner and shorter than they used to be a few years ago. They are still reasonably thick, but when I tried on the other pair of AP socks I got (see below) I couldn't help but notice that these newer release socks are very obviously thinner in comparison. As you can see, these socks do reach over my knees, but only just. There is no way I could stretch them further. I am still impressed with the quality, but they don't quite match up to the quality of my older AP socks.

I thought I would include a photo of the ankle bow. I don't think they look much better when worn. I am actually tempted to take the bows off.

Finally, I got this pair of AP Holy Night Story socks on auction. The socks were like new and I could tell they had barely been worn. I really love the bold colours. In case it is not obvious- I love royal and emblem themed legwear!

The design is super clear. Even from a distance it is easy to make out the sock design right away.

These socks are a couple of years old, which is why it is interesting to try these on after trying on my British Crown socks, which only came out about a month ago. As you can see, these socks are a bit longer and ended a couple of inches above my knees. I can also confirm that the material is thicker, and therefore warmer than the newer release socks. Despite both pairs of AP socks being of a good standard, I do think it is a shame that their quality has appeared to take a bit of a dip in more recent times. I have noticed it with my other newer AP socks as well. I suppose because I tried these 2 pairs of socks in such a short space of time, the difference in quality was a bit more noticeable. But despite this, I still think the newer AP socks are worth it. Angelic Pretty do some really lovely sock designs and come up with interesting patterns, so it would be a shame if the quality were to deteriorate any further.

So that concludes my impromptu spending spree. I am really glad that I discovered those bags and then made sure to check if Swimmer still had them. Overall I am really pleased with all of my new purchases. Despite a bit of negativity in this post towards the more recent AP socks, it has not put me off buying from Angelic Pretty at all. I also feel the Swimmer items were good value for the price paid. I have made a mental note to check their site more frequently from now on. I am looking forward to pairing my new items with my royal and cosmic themed outfits in the future!

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