Thursday, 6 July 2017

Taobao Haul June 2017

It's been a while, but today I am showing my latest Taobao Haul. There were some bags which I had to wait for, so it took a little longer to receive this order. But I kept an eye on the order and everything arrived promptly. The bags finally arrived on schedule near the middle of June.

First is this bracelet which I got from here. This is something I actually brought on a whim, as I was ordering earrings from the same store anyway (see the earrings below). Although it is meant to be a bracelet, the ribbon is so long that it could easily be worn as a necklace.

The macarons are made from very lightweight material and are a little bit soft. I think I would have preferred something a bit firmer, but I guess that would have made the bracelet heavier. Given how large the macarons are, weight is important to factor in. The star beads in between are cute, but they are your bog-standard beads. I really like the colours of the whole bracelet. They would fit in really well with a lot of well-known sweet AP prints.

This is how the bracelet looks when worn. I think the macarons could do with being a bit smaller. They look a bit bulky in comparison to my wrist. A thinner ribbon could have been nice too, although I am pleased that the ribbon chosen is not shiny.

There is no fastening, you simply tie the ribbon. This looks a bit messy, although I suppose it does mean that there is a lot of size flexibility. I tied the bracelet as small as possible and found it fitted me okay, but it also meant that there were long dangling bits of ribbon. I think I am going to have to experiment with different ways to tie the ribbon so it looks a bit tidier. But the bracelet was quite cheap anyway, and it meant I had more stuff coming from the same Taobao store, which meant the shipping cost from that store was more worth it.

This necklace came from the same store. It wasn't until after I placed the order that I realised that this might be an Angelic Pretty replica. It looks a lot like the necklace for Cinema Doll. The main difference is that this necklace doesn't have the metal bow charms and the bows on this necklace are bigger. The quality of the pearl chain is very basic. You can tell it is cheap. The necklace is a good length, but there is no metal chain to make the length adjustable. The clasp is simple, but easy to use.

I personally think the bows look a bit too big. They are made of lovely velveteen material though. With a cheap necklace like this, I expected to find flaws (maybe some strands of glue on the back of the bows) but there was none to be found. Overall, this necklace was cheap, but you get what you pay for.

Also from the same store are these cherry earrings which sadly, don't seem to be available anymore. These were my main reason for using this particular Taobao store! I love the design, which reminds me of designs from popular Larme stores.

The cherries are made from clear red beads and also feature a leaf charm. I could see no flaws with the earrings at all. 

They only have cheap plastic backings, which I suppose is to be expected from the price. But they do their job of holding the earrings firmly in place.

Here is a worn photo. The earrings are a good size. Surprisingly for such cheap jewellery, they did not leave a green tinge after being worn for a while. This is fantastic! As these earrings have turned out so well, I have decided I will keep an eye on the store in future. I wasn't overly impressed with the bracelet or the necklace, but these earrings are fantastic. So I would say this store is a bit hit and miss. Also keep an eye out for potential replicas.

Next are these bags from Whale Fall which I had to wait very patiently for the pre-order to close for. Initially you could order certain colours in different materials (I can't remember exactly, but I think the other material was suede) and I went for the cheaper material option. This cheaper material turned out really well though! It has a canvas-like feel to it, which suggests that it may hold up to a light rain shower. I wouldn't want to use it in a really heavy downpour though! It has been quite dry here lately, so I have not had a chance to try out their water resistance. Living in a rainy country, it would not have made much sense for me to go for the suede option anyway. The colours are spot on. I was especially impressed with the size, although I don't think the handles would be strong enough for a exceptionally heavy load. But for everyday essentials it should be fine.

The bow on the front is a little floppy, but I think it looks pretty cute! If I was being nitpicky, then I would say it would have been nice for the material to be less creased. This could have been fixed by putting more care and attention to how the bow has been formed. The pearl and star charm is adorable.

The embroidered logo has been done very neatly. I like that the logo is not too dominant and is just tucked away neatly to one side.

There is a pocket on the back of the bag, which has a WF logo heart charm. I like that they have not just used the cheapest plain heart charm. It shows some effort has gone in to the design.

As you can see, there is lots of room! Although the depth of the bag is not that wide (you can see this in the next photo) the bag can hold a surprising amount of stuff. There are also additional pockets on the inside as well, with one having a zip. This will help to keep your stuff a bit more organised.

The stitching is generally quite neat. There are a few places where I think the ruffles could have been executed better, but overall they have been done well. I am really pleased with how these bags turn out. I don't have any similar bags from Larme brands to compare them to, but I think these Taobao bags are good value for money. I am confident they will hold up fairly well and I can't wait to try them out.

Next we go to a favourite Taobao store of mine and this hat from Haruhi Clover. Amazingly, there was only a tiny bit of warping to the hat brim during shipping. I did notice a few flakes of straw coming off the hat though. I went for the ivory colour (known as 'generate') and was very pleased with the soft, ivory shade of the ribbon. Although the lace is a bit whiter, the colours don't clash too much.

The ribbon used is matte in texture. I like the simple, yet well formed shape of the bow. 

I really love the floral lace used. It has a pretty pattern and it also feels soft to the touch. This is quite good quality for Taobao. Some of the lace did get a bit folded during shipping though, so I am going to have to see if I can find a way to flatten it.

The bow at the back has a pretty key charm. I think the bow could have been tied a little bit better, as the tails look as though they are fighting for space! This bow is detachable and is removed by undoing a simple pin style clip. I am going to leave the bow on, but it is always good to have the option to take it off.

Here is the hat worn. The hat fitted comfortably on my head. There was a fabric band inside the hat to help it fit better. It also means there is a slight barrier between your head and the potentially itchy straw. I still prefer my Haruhi Clover bowler hats, but this straw hat is a really decent offering. I can't wait to try it out. I need to shake up my headwear a bit and try new things!

Also from Haruhi Clover is this double star brooch and chain. The stars are those same puffy stars that you see used a lot in J-fashion accessories. They are cheap, but they have neatly stitched edges and the end result is pretty cute. The chain is a good length and I think the charms are well spaced out. However, I do think it looks a bit messy having a random bit of chain dangling down on one side.

The star charms are really cute! They break up the pearls nicely.

I was very pleased to see that the back had both a clip and a pin. This makes the clip a whole lot more versatile. The listing suggests wearing it as a hair accessory, but it could easily be worn in other ways, such as attached to a dress or blouse as a brooch. I do worry that maybe the clips are a little bit too big for the stars though and that they might show when worn. There was also a few strands of glue which I needed to pick off the backs. You might be able to see one of these strands in the photo, just below the clip on the left hand side of the photo.

Here is a very quick worn photo, just to try it on. This is not how I intend to wear it. I found the clips a bit fiddly to position at first and it took me a few attempts to get it to look right, which resulted in my hair getting messy in the process. With a bit of practice it will hopefully get easier to simply put them on and get it right first time. I am still really glad that I got this accessory though because as I already mentioned, it is very versatile. I think it has a lot of potential.

Also from Haruhi Clover are these shoe clips, which I have previously purchased in white. I wont do a full review of these, as I have previously reviewed the white ones on here. So I will just comment to say that I really like the navy colour. I wont be buying any more colours though because despite the cheap price, I still feel the bows are a bit big and the clips on the back could have been better hidden.

Finally, I got this skirt from here. This purchase was a bit of a gamble, but I got it because... rainbows. If I am being honest, I don't think the skirt looks as pretty in person as it does on the item listing. You can judge for yourself in the worn photo below.

The skirt is made up of purple, peach and sax blue fabric underneath and a peachy tulle overlay. The materials were quite disappointing. Not only is the fabric thin, it looks really cheap. I have seen t-shirts in budget stores with better quality than this. It also wrinkles very easily.

The stitching was surprisingly well done though. The hems and seams were all very neat on the inside. I couldn't spot any obvious flaws anywhere. The waistband was fully elasticated. I was a bit wary of buying a 'one-size' skirt but this skirt really does have a lot of stretch to it. When I tried the skirt on I was able to stretch the waistband out so far that you would be able to fit more than one person my size in to it! The waistband also felt very comfortable and put very little pressure on my stomach.

With the tulle overlay, the stitching down the sides is obviously going to stand out more, but it has been done quite neatly. The bottom hem was left plain though, which is a bit messy and could easily be damaged.

Here is the skirt worn. I am really not sure if I like it or not... I don't think it looks too bad in this photo, but when you see the skirt in person I don't think it looks as good. Also, the material seems to stick out a lot at the waistline, making me appear bigger than I actually am. The skirt was a good length on me though (I am about 5'3'' and a half). I think the skirt looks a lot better on the listing. If the tulle overlay had been white instead, I reckon that could have possibly looked better maybe? Or possibly pink? The skirt reminds me a little of the skirts you get as part of cheap fairy dressing up costumes. There was a fairy related event coming up which I was interested in, so maybe I will wear it there! It looks as though my gamble didn't pay off though. Thankfully my parcel miraculously escaped getting hit by customs fees, saving me roughly £35, so I am not too bitter about this slight disappointment.

So this order has had a couple of hits and a few misses. My favourite items from this order are the cherry earrings, the bags and the straw hat. I can't wait to try out the bags properly. I really hope they are as good as they seem. Ordering the skirt didn't turn out so great but I think it is still wearable. I am not entirely convinced though! Feel free to leave your thoughts on it, or anything else in the order.

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