Monday, May 16, 2011

Dear Celine Taobao Review

So a while back some of you may recall I promised a dear celine taobao review! Well here it is, the parcel arrived friday last week but i was busy over the weekend so here goes!
To give you a brief timeline

* I palced the order with TaobaoSpree on 28th March
* It was confirmed, paid for and placed by April 1st
* I was told it would be a month making time plus shipping time
* I emailed TaobaoSpree April 28th to ask how my order was and told it was not yet finished in making time but would be soon and they'd hurry up the process.
* May 2nd I was told it was ready for shipping however I did not pay until May 5th and was told it would ship that day and was given a tracking number.
*They did not ship until May 6th haha, bit of confusion with this as my agent had said it was sent but the post said it had been sent a day later so I was confused about what do it would arrive.
* May 13th Package arrived safe and sound.

TaobaoSpree were a wonder to be involved with and I plan to place a second order with them soon! 5/5 in all departments, onto the items I purchased!

I also got a set of bloomers but I can't find them on the site at the moment to link to or get stock images from. All colours are exact match to dear celine's pictures and any discolouration is due to my part. There were a few loose threads around all the buttons but I removed them on locating each thread. Handy scissors are handy. All garments were ordered in standard small size and required ironing after unpackaging. No spare buttons were included for any item. As I understand all garments are supposedly machine washable on a delicate or handwash cylce, WIN!

lace detailbrooch detail
The first dress was a more classic cut/style to what I'm used to but it was so gorgeous I just had to try it out. There's no shirring in the back but it fits like a glove, the entire garment is lined and all the bows are detachable with a good quality lace used. The brooche's ribbon doesn't hang as low as the advertised one but yo win some, you lose some. I'm wearing one petti here but it has room for two, wouldn't suggest it though. The dress is more peach coloured but on adding the darker hued embellishments it does become the muted pink advertised, tricky colour theory stuff! The back has corset lacing to make up for a lack of waist ties.
I was really worried after ordering it because a day later I saw a post asking what this could be coordinated with as it's such a dark pink. Immediantly I fretted my moniter settings were off and that it wouldn't look good blah blah blah.  It's the same pink as any recent AP colourway and I love it too pieces. I was saying I wanted something in a gingham print and this showed up, super happy! The squares on the pink one aren't as large as the ones on the lavendar but I'm ok with this. All the bows are detachable and the string of pearls detaches from the ribbon, lots of accessorising potential. Needs two pettis underneath to get a good shape though. Back shirring and corset lacing up the back make it a perfect fit, very comfortable to flounce around in, fully lined.

Long pink shirt, light material, suggest for summer climates. Very roomy, somewhat deflated wristlace, overall a nice fit. The only problem I had with this garment was that after 12hours wear the lace on the cuffs started to make my wrists itch. I'm not sure if it was the lace or maybe a bug bite but I'll edit later to let you know. No shirring but laces up in the back, could use an extra button down the bottom but that's a personal prefrence. All the materials felt fine and soft to the touch, I had no reason to suspect it would itch in the first place, which is why I suspect an insect bite.

shirt (unworn)details

Derp face is blurry so star! This shirt si so ruffly! I wish I'd gotten some picture of the back because it has these amazing ruffles beneath the lacing. It feels very soft and delacite. It is a little transparent, oh my! Wasn't expecting that, see I'd wear it under a dress or, if alone with a skirt, a singlet beneath. The bowtie can be taken out and is made of the same material as the rest of the shirt. It was the softest and probably least well insulated of the blouses I recieved, lots of airflow for summer days.

This shirt is NOT see through, solid, opaque material. My only mistake was thinking the lace along the top and the bow were a similar shade to the buttons. While the buttons are more angelic pretty pink the bow and collar lace is more pastel baby the stars shine bright reminiscent. Soft lace, the bow can be removed and pinned elsewhere. Aside from that there's not much to say on the shirt. construction is well made and sturdy, t could double as a summer only blouse as well as one of those warmer winter days as it's a sturdier material than either of the prior shirts.

 Floomers! Finally got me a pair. Shockinly thick, they're lined and made ot of...polarfleece? Something really wooly and warm and heat storing! Good fit, the elastic feels thin though so I won't put money on long lasting wear and use without some possible fixer ups. Not sure if I could handle wearing them in the warmer months and would prefer something with less poof, they're pretty fluffy....

Anyways! that's the end of the review, it was a good haul and overall Dear Celine get a 5/5 in quality; both materials and workmanship. As I said up front, there were a few loose threads but as I was sewing at the time of package arrival I just snipped them off and it was perfect. The buttons on everything were sewn on really well compared to a few other outfits I've recieved which surprised me. I highly suggest both Dear Celine and TaobaoSpree if you're shopping for a quality, stunning but more affordable lolita closet!

All items were packed together but wrapped in individual plastic bags.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Image by Lolita-Shards

Today I went out in lolita, just for kicks, however unlike every other time I have I went out alone, solo, by myself, without the intent of meeting or hanging out with anyone else. This might not be such a big deal but as a novice lolita I thought it worth a mention. It didn't take a lot of confidence or boosting myself up, I just looked at my wardrobe and thought 'today I want to be lolita in the same way sometimes I think 'today is a goth day' or 'today I will appear to be a serious student.' I'm really not the most confident girl in the world so doing so was a bit surprising for me, I've only ever worn lolita to meetups or when I know I will be hanging out with friends who already get that I'm into the fashion.

I guess what held me back was the fearof judgement, a topic we actually debated in class believe it on not the friday past. People ask a lot how you're treated when all trussed up and granted, I've only gotten mostly positive reviews from outsiders, it seemed like a whole new ball game going alone.

Anyways it turned out that there was a cosplay meet going on today, By the way how are cosplayers everywhere else? They're a pretty obnoxious bunch here o.o I mean at one point that had a giant crowd surrounding a huge group who were just posing and goofing off while I slinked around the edges trying not to get confused as 'part of the costume group' Haha, although people told me I was in costume anyways. I really can't be bothered to correct people when they say i'm in costume, it probably looks that way to them and it takes too long to explain to a stranger who doesn't really care.

A few ke$ha wannabes told me i 'had a nice outfit' in snarky tones, a guy called me a princess and offered me a free ride in the rickshaw across the centre of town, some drunk girls called me adorable, a lot of kids stared and another girl asked if she could touch my dress. There were a few snickers and one guy said 'yeah i was going to wear that too' which made me laugh. There really is a lot of varied reactions to the fashion and i found out alone or in a group or really don't care! As a shy person this was actually a pretty big step so, to all the other lone lolitas out there in tiny towns or huge cities; JUST TRY IT! Even if it's just walking to the corner shop or grabbing some textbooks from a local library. It does in fact build confidence.

The only problem I had was well...I tend to stare out the ground. However I do this in normal outfits and not just over the top outlandish clothing so it's more a personal failing than a 'i'm in lolita. nobody look a me!' mentality.

Doing it has really inspired me to try and do a 7day lolita challenge, it'd be a good chance to try out all possible looks as well as have some fun dressing up for week! That does remind me though....When dressing lolita regulalry do you guys and girls always go all out? I mean, primped and curled hair from 2 hours work, eyelashes, lenses and deco nails ( if practical )? I was thinking of doing it today but I just ended up working out a coord with my glasses instead of conacts and falsies, it just seemd a waste when i was going out alone for only 3 hours. often should I update this blog? At the moment I have several articles I could write but I'm unsure if it should be a weekly thing or if I should try doing one a day.Opinions?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wardrobe building 101

Whatever your fashion, personality or view of showing yours off to the world in the end your wardrobe is the first, and sometimes the only, Lolita thing you'll see during your day. There's been an abundance of posts about wardrobes before, especially since only a few months ago EGL had an actual wardrobe theme. It's a good topic, a chance to brag and a chance to fully realise how much time, effort and money goes into this fashion. Sometimes I sit there in awe over all the brand you can find in a single closet, other times I fume that anyone could actually afford to have all that brand in one closet!

The point is, as a newbie Lolita you have to ask yourself the question. Where do I start and how could I ever amass that much?

This guide assumes you've at least got a grasp on lolita, otherwise how did you find yourself here? I'm not going to tell you THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT with an iron fist, lolita is however you want it to be be think of this as a vague 'you are here' on the map to the road to 'that dream wardrobe' you've been dreaming of.

Right currently, including items that are mid transit as we speak I have...

3 OPs, 4 JSKs, 3 blouses, 1x bloomers, shoes, petticoat, bonnet,skirt and wrist cuffs, 4 pairs of socks, 2 headbows, 2 bags, four wigs and a small handful of accessories like brooches and such. I think that's everything. Essentially that's a pretty small wardrobe in comparison to some, but also a large one compared to others, I'll let you judge! Obviously that doesn't spring up over night and I don't get thousands of dollars to spend in a single sitting so how does it all get there?

Let's start at the very beginning...

The first advice I'll give to a newbie lolita is buy a brand OP first. That sounds bad at first, but honestly just do it. Then you can 1. fawn over it 2. have at least one brand item and 3. Will get what people mean when they say 'brand quality'. It also means when you go to your first meet, and you're going to worry if you're gonna be the ita in bodyline, you won't feel as out of place. True fact bro. I don't suggest getting that dream $400 dress or the latest $300 print right off the bat but go looking! The sales comm has some lovely dresses you can find under $200 AND there's always yahoo japan or japonica market where you can find awesome deals. Just keep in mind to ask for shipping first because that can bring what appears to be a $150 dress to $200 dress including shipping. You can also always of course choose to do a layaway payment with a seller if you can find one. Now also, because you haven't bought a jsk, you can get away without wearing a blouse underneath.

So you've got the dress awesome, just nothing to wear it with. Yes you will have to resist the temptation to just go bodyline it up or run to the nearest department store but as a western lolita waiting is a big part of the fashion, it is indeed a virtue you should adopt.

Invest in a good Petti. i can't stress this enough, of course if you prefer a look without the petti, but yeah...I like cupcake poof. If you're unsure about a petticoat's endurance use the SEARCH function or just take my advice and BUY A DEAR CELINE FLUFFY PETTICOAT. Haha total plug but I love my petticoat from them. It comes in 4 different colors and NEVER dies. I'm buying a 2nd pink one though because i'm just one of those super fluffy people, one is honestly good enough and for $50 you can't go wrong.

These items pretty much make up the majority of you lolita outfit. Wow yep, two items.

Shoes and socks are the next big thing. Now socks, socks are cheap and easy, nobody looks down on a Secretshop shoe and sock replica match and both, including shipping won't break the bank.

Finally, and now we're getting into the truly offbrand, a nice pair of lace gloves, or you can get a loving relative to make you some wristcuffs, you've got some lolita hand wear. Roses are a staple no matter what substyle of lolita you're in so go invest the $30 you'd otherwise spend on headbows into some clips, pins and brooches you can display in your hair ( which is what I did for the lolita meet haha! ). Most towns have a place you can buy cheap hair accessories in a rainbow of colours so you can mix and match to compliment a print or makeup for a gorgeous look.

Wigs and bags are the only other optional thing you might wonder about. While it might be nice to have a brand bag they are...not practical. If you're planning a big day out invest in a pink or black bag/tote with some loli-esque details such as a bow or frill, you'd be surprised what some good bag shops will selll; especially what's on sale from the previous season. They also usually have them organised by colour so it's even easier!

Wigs...wigs, and I will be honest with you, all my wigs, apart from that one GLW and fantasy sheep wig, have come from ebay and all were under $50 including postage. I can honestly say they are all of a good quality and were exactly what I was looking for. The only downside was shipping times but hey, if you're lazy like me and dislikes hours of hair styling just buy one for $15, I'll be doing a post on ebay wig shopping soon so that will give you a better understanding hopefully.

And that concludes your first lolita outfit! Essentially it could all be bought in a single birthday haul, you may find you already own a few of these items, or maybe 1-2months saving for that op depending on your funds. I understand as a student it's also much harder but as I only got into lolita after a job at 15 I'm afraid I can't help much there!

but wait you say, this post says WARDROBE building! and so it does! That was just an idea of where to start now onto building the wardrobe~ Yes it's a very long post!


Now that you have an outfit it's a case of buying the smaller things first, but being carefll to make sure that they can match others. At first, try not to buy things that match only the main colour ( unless your next few purchases will be in a similar hue like mine were haha! ) Match a lavender print with a lavender hairbow or necklace, now when you buy an actual lavender jsk you can have something for both outfits. Start with getting small things, a new pair of shoes that differ to the feel of your other pair, say...elegant heels instead of platforms or teaparties.

Keep your eye out for cheap things in shops that could be loliable accessories ( a shop near me sold candy hairclips that were supercute all in awesome colours for $2 a pack! ) suddenly you'll have a large loli accessory collection! Start now by looking at Taoboa for jsk, op and all those other good things. While not 'precious burando' they plump up your wardrobe and give you good alternatives, not to mention you can feel free to wear these pieces out and about without thinking 'omigawd don't ruin the $300 dress!' which means you'll want to wear them out more and build up your confidence!

Set yourself little lolita purchase goals. Depending on your budget of course, a whole new outfit a month might seem outrageous but a new pair of socks for $10? A cheap brand blouse for $60? They add up and if you go little by little you'll suddenly find you have a lot.

So, when does the dream dress come in? Honestly this is a guideline, don't just buy taoboa or bodyline until you think 'now I have enough for my wardrobe to look awesome' if you want to save for the newest print instead of three bodyline jsk or offbrand blouses please do! You'll feel as pretty as ever and have something you love, you might get new years money, christmas money, graduation gifts etc. and these are all good times to think 'hey I might just get the next Moite release'

I hope this post may have helped someone a little! In the end most wardrobe building comes down to funds and time. It's taken me almost a year to amass what I have and for others, they seem to have whizzed through most of their chosen brand's selection in that same time! It's about budgeting and deciding what it is you really need Vs. What you want. Yes that dress is ONLY $150 but your last dress purchase of $200 still hasn't been worn because guess what, you've nothing to match it! Having a bunch of jsk and only jsk looks nice, but if you go out in it with nothing to match you still won't look your best. I'd rather see a beautiful bodyline lolita with thought and effort put into her coordinate than a girl wearing her knee high gym socks and 'sunday best shoes', in an off shade that only kinda matches, hoping that a brand dress alone can make her look beautiful.