Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Taobao Haul #8: Huge Haul!

I've been slowly building up my Taobao cart in preparation for con season, so this is the first of two orders that I'll be reviewing. Don't forget: I'm an affiliate with Spreenow, so you can use my link to place your own Taobao order!

Oooh, shiny, XP
I ordered *a bunch* of stuff, so please bear with me while I go through each item! This was a pretty large haul, and everything came from new (to me) shops!

Small Ball Diary Wig

My new wigs!
Ok, so I'll just preface my entire review on my wigs by saying: THESE WIGS WERE $1!!!!!

Now that that's out of the way, haha; I honestly didn't care how these wigs looked because if they were better than straw, I already got my money's worth and then some. And thankfully, they are! Yaaayyyyy!

Wig #1 Stock Photo.
The wigs are a little on the thin side, but they are oh so soft and they look really good. I'm pretty sure they even sent me the wrong wig because neither of my wigs look like this picture, but again -- it was $1, so I'm happy, XP They at least got the color, right??

The wig that I got!
I ordered two wigs from this shop, just to give it a try. Supposedly, these are clearance Priscilla wigs, but I'm not sure I believe that. Still, it's hard to have high expectations when you pay $1 for anything.

Stock photo, I do not own!
Now that I know this shop has $1 wigs that look pretty natural, I'm probably going to buy as many as I can, in as many different colors as possible. They don't shed terribly either, which is a plus. Did I mention these are $1?!?! XP

Wig #2!
The second wig looks much more like the picture. I tried to cut the bangs, but I have to admit, I'm really not a fan of them. I love the rest of the wig though, so I'll make due. 

You can check out the inventory of cheap wigs here. 8/8 from me, will buy moar cheap wigs ASAP.

Lucky Star Lolita Dress

Stock photo, I do not own!
I keep trying to make these crop blouses a thing for me, and I really just need to stop, :( They're just so hit or miss on me that I'm just going to give up on buying them.

First of all, this blouse looked awful on me, and the sleeves were extremely short. Also, it didn't look anything like the picture. It was about $10, and there were loose threads everywhere. All and all, this blouse was just a mediocre quality and a poor fit. 0/8, I won't ever buy anything from this shop again. I sold this blouse right after trying it on so I didn't have a chance to get a picture.

Sweet Berries

Stock photo, I do not own!
I bought this veil, thinking I'd need it for something, and the more I think on it... the more I realize I didn't need it at all, haha. Anyway, I like this veil for what it is, but I have a feeling that the comb is going to drive me crazy.

So pretty~!
Still, it's pretty and it's not itchy. The lace is a bit stiff, but definitely not terrible either. I'm going to have to play around with the comb thing to make sure it'll stay on my head. I see a lot of hairpins in my future, X_X

I give Sweet Berries a 4/8. Not OMG gorgeous, but I know I'll like it a lot more once I pair it with a coord. You can take a look at other Sweet Berries accessories at their storefront.

Rose of Sharon

Stock photo, I do not own!
This choker is freaking gorgeous, y'all. I took it out of the bag and just stared at it for a minute because I wasn't expecting it to be so dang pretty. It fits like a dream and I appreciate the larger clasp at the back because it helps a lot with my long nails.

The choker.
I will absolutely order from Rose of Sharon again! 8 out of 8, I'm so pleased with my new choker! You can check out all the beautiful items from Rose of Sharon with this link!

Six Days Lolita Original Shoes Store

Stock photo, I do not own!
I'm so excited to finally own my dream Lolita shoes! I've been eyeballing these Lolita shoes for a long while, mostly because I couldn't decide if I would really use these interchangeable shoes. After sitting on my hands for a while, I just went ahead and bought them! I can't wait to wear these!

My lovely new shoes!
The shoes come with a million and one bows in the box. They can be used to turn the shoes into an all-white pair or a white x gold pair. I really love the gold accents and the peaarrrrllllllsssss, OMG! I'm so in love, but I know I'll have to keep a close eye on all these shoe clips, X_X

Shoe clips!
There are two sets of shoe clips for the front of the shoes, two sets for the back, and then an additional two sets for either side of the shoes. They also come with white ribbons that can be threaded inside the shoe and around the ankle.

My new shoes!
On top of all of that, the ankle straps are *also* removable. These shoes come with lots of options! I ordered a size 38 (US size 8) and these lovely heels run pretty narrow, so if you buy them, definitely go a size up. I definitely could have purchased these in size 39 to give myself a bit of room, but they fit and they look soooooooooo cute. 8 out of 8 again! We have a winner!!

In regards to the shop, I really like this Lolita store because they actually design their own Lolita shoes. While they also sell some shoe design replicas, you can view their shoe sketches and ideas in the shop! Check out all the unique Lolita shoes from Six Days here.

22:00 PM

Stock photo, I do not own!
The only part of this shop's name that would translate in Google was 22:00 PM, so please keep in mind that I'm just abbreviating the name. Honestly, this shop has absolutely GORGEOUS headpieces. I was drooling as I went through their entire catalog of items. While this beret in particular took about a full month to make, I honestly feel like it was worth it. It looks *so good*.

Looks exactly like the picture!
My one and only complaint about this shop is the amount of time it took to make this one item. I don't understand how or why it took them over a month to make a beret, and all their other items are much more complicated. However, since the item looks exactly like the picture, and it's a great quality, I won't fuss too much. I would probably order from them again if I need a more complex headpiece. I'll give then a 7 out of 8 this go round, with a strong suggestion to see their page.

Take a look at 22:00 PM's storefront for yourself with this link.

Ruby Rabbit

Stock photo, I do not own!
Ruby Rabbit is a pretty popular Taobao brand, but this is actually the first time I've ordered from them. Their tights have a similar quality and feel to Yidhara's tights so I honestly wasn't worried. I will say though: I expected pure white tights with a gold print, and these are decidedly cream tights.

Ruby Rabbit tights.
These tights fit very well and are awesomely stretchy! They're super soft and comfy too! I'm not sure I would recommend them to anyone taller than about 5'4" though. I would definitely purchase tights from Ruby Rabbit again! 8 out of 8! We're on a roll on this haul.

You can find more items from Ruby Rabbit here.

Murong Li Che Handmade Lace Jewelry

Stock photo, I do not own!
When I place a huge order from Taobao, I try to anticipate the type of coords I can put together with each item I'm buying. My new rule is that every item I purchase has to work with *at least* three coords. Fortunately for me, small accessories like these are really great for adding last minute, little touches. I bought these little rose clips in two colors, blue and white.

Rose clips.
My plan is to use these as hair or hat accessories, but I might get inventive and use them as shoe clips too! These were super affordable too, so all and all, absolutely perfect for what I needed. Another 8 out of 8 for this review!

You'll have to excuse the translated name, as I don't know what any of it actually means. Still, you can view the shop's entire catalog of jewelry and accessories with this link.

Butterfly House

Stock photo, I do not own!
This was pretty and *so* cheap, so I couldn't not buy it, haha. I bought this with Butterfly Cemetery entirely in mind, but I could probably wear this with my black OPs too, and create a black x blue coord that will set my blue loving heart aflutter.

My new headpiece!
I have a bit of a concern that this shade of blue is different from that of my blue rose clips, but I'm sure I can figure something out. The roses are really pretty in person as well. The ribbons are a bit weird to me, especially because they look so shiny in pictures, but hopefully I can make it work. There wasn't any awkward hot glue strings, or weird bits, so I can appreciate Butterfly House's work. I'll give them a 6 out of 8 this time, because I'd definitely be willing to order more items from them.

See Butterfly House's shop by clicking right here!

That's it for this haul. Wow, I wasn't expecting to order that much! Thankfully, after the next order, that'll be all I get from Taobao until next year, unless I just see something that I absolutely can't live without.

I also ordered a dress from Lolita Wardrobe, and since I bought most of these items to coord with that dress, I'll be putting together a review on that ASAP. It's a dress that's been out for a while, but it's still new to me, so I might as well review it! 

What awesome new goodies have you purchased recently? Was there anything you loved or hated? Tell me all about it in the comment section below!

Until next time, <3

Stay beautiful, stay true,
~J

Monday, March 5, 2018

Candylens.com + Ebay Chiffon Crop Blouse Review

I've been buying a lot of stuff lately, which means I have a bunch of reviews to write over the next month! YAY for content!

Last month, I realized every pair of circle lenses I owned had expired, so I had to throw them all out. I've had some bad times with wearing old/bad contacts, and since I quite like being able to see out of both my eyes, I did a group order with my friends to get some new ones!

This GO-round (haha, get it?), we decided to try Candylens.com because they were having a BOGO sale for Chinese New Year.

CandyLens FB banner, I do not own.
The deal was buy one, get one free on all Geo Medical lenses so obviously that's what we all ordered. We spent close to $93 all together, with each of us ordering 2 pairs per person, for a total of 6 pairs. Shipping was about $25 (about $8.30 per person), but it was freakishly fast. We ordered on Saturday, Feb. 24th and by Wednesday, Feb. 28th, our order had arrived!

Our order!
I love the pretty boxes that the lenses were shipped in -- they look so nice! Unfortunately, one of our prescription pairs came with a mix-matched prescription, so I had to contact to customer service. However, they were extremely quick to rectify the issue. Currently, a matching lens is being shipped via FedEx to replace the incorrect prescription.

For this order, I grabbed a pair of blue lenses and a pair of green ones! I wanted lenses that were a bit more universal so I tried to find pairs that would match the majority of my coords. Usually, when I buy lenses, I go for really vibrant colors, but my blue pair ended up being a lot more toned down.

My new lenses!
Geo Angel Blue

Geo Angel Blue stock photo, I do not own.
So these lenses weren't as vivid as I expected. They're great lenses for enhancing your eye shape, but if you're looking for color you won't really find it. I did my best to get pictures both indoors and outside for my review, but it was so overcast that I feel like a little sunlight would have helped the color show up a bit more.

Geo Angel Blue lenses, worn outdoors.
I always have trouble putting my contacts in my right eye, so like clockwork, I struggled to get my lens in my eye. It's not anyone's fault but mine, so I can't blame the lenses for that. The lenses looked a bit more blue indoors, but again, I imagine that had something to do with the fact that the sun was covered for most of the day.

Geo Angel Blue lenses, indoors.
Despite me having eyes dryer than the Sahara, these lenses wore pretty well throughout the day. I didn't want to use any re-wetting drops to see how long I could wear them, and I lasted from about 10 am until about 2 pm, when I switched to my other pair. 

If you like these lenses, treat yo'self and grab your own pair with this link!

Princess Mimi Apple Green Lenses

Princess Mimi Apple Green lens stock photo, I do not own.

Friendly word of advice: wearing two different pairs of contacts in the same day is a horrible, terrible, awful idea lmao. I don't know why I do these things to myself, haha. I now understand exactly how Kennie J.D. (K-Beauty vlogger) felt during her circle lens video. If you haven't seen it, you can check it out here!

I fully admit that I didn't wear these lenses for anywhere near as long as the other pair. Mostly, I just wanted to check out the color and see how it looked together with a coord. These lenses were a pleasant surprise because I didn't expect the green to show up the way that it did! Out of the two pairs I ordered, I really thought this pair would be more subtle, and I learned quickly that I thought wrong.

I love these lenses!
I actually like these more than the blue pair! Go figure! I like that the color shows up so well, even without lots of sunlight. By the time I was done taking coord pictures, I was ready to throw away my eyeballs, so unfortunately I didn't get any indoor shots of these. Soooooo, have another selfie?

Selfie with my lenses!
Compared to the blue pair, I know I can wear these more often with Lolita and Cosplay, while reserving the other pair for everyday looks and other fashion styles. If you like these Princess Mimi Apple Green lenses as much as I do, you can buy them here

I'm pretty happy with my purchase and my experience with Candylens.com! I'm especially happy that they were so quick to reply to my customer service e-mail and send us out another lens completely free after they made a mistake. I would buy from them again, so they get a 7 out of 8 from me! Great job, Candylens! Check out their entire catalog of lenses and accessories with this link.

Chiffon Crop Blouse

Chiffon Crop Blouse stock photo, I do not own!
Everyone that knows me, knows I have been struggling so much with the new crop blouse trend. I'm not sure if it's the way I'm built in the bust, or if my arms are too short, or what, but I have bought at least 4 different crop blouses, and so far, I've only like two of them. For some reason, the collars of these blouses tend to bunch up really oddly and it just looks so awful, X_X

I saw this blouse while searching for some some Lolita shoes on Ebay, and give that it was only $27, I figured I'd give it a shot. At best, I'd love it, and at worst, I'd hate it and have to sell it, like I've done with those other crop blouses. 

My new blouse!
Well, as fate would have it, I. LOVE. THIS. BLOUSE. I want one in every color! It's so comfortable and it fits so well. And the shipping was crazy fast! I ordered my blouse on Monday, Feb. 26th, and the package arrived by Friday, March 2nd.

Collar and neck-tie details
While I won't say that this blouse is "brand quality", it's certainly on par with many of the other cropped blouses out there. My favorite part about it is the sleeves, though I was a little disappointed to find that they aren't tied with actual drawstrings. Boooooo, T_T

The sleeves.
For a cropped blouse, it's a good length and best of all, it looks awesome underneath my JSK! I grabbed some stuff and put together a quick coord to test it all out. I really want this blouse in black and navy blue now, *___*

Test coord ft. my new blouse!
I was really surprised that I found something is awesome on Ebay! I give this blouse and this shop a 7.5 out of 8! I'm docking half a point because of the fake drawstrings, -_- Ain't nobody got time for false advertisements!

You can grab this blouse from Ebay shop design_planet here. Make sure that you're ordering from the listing that has a faster estimated shipping time, otherwise, it could take several weeks.

That's all for my purchases this week! Have you ordered anything new recently? Talk to me about it in the comment box below!

I have more stuff ordered, and a convention in two weeks, so expect some more posts coming your way! Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time, <3

Stay beautiful, stay true,
~J

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Second-Hand Lolita Sales: Buying and Selling Used Lolita

If you take a look at my wardrobe posts and reviews over the years, you'll see that I've bought and sold a lot of items. When I lost my job a few years ago, secondhand sales actually helped me pay my bills, and I was able to start over from a clean slate. Nowadays, I continue to buy and sell pieces because besides having a shopping problem (lol), I'm constantly evaluating my items to create a more cohesive wardrobe.

I've mentioned before that my personal style and tastes are all over the place. When I first joined the fashion, I was notorious for impulse shopping and buying everything that caught my eye. After a while, I realized that I had a lot of one-hit wonders, and not enough pieces that could be worn interchangeably. Thankfully, the Lolita community has a really great secondhand system in place, that allows Lolitas to basically start from square one as many times as we like.

I buy and sell a lot of secondhand Lolita because it's more cost-effective and it also helps the community thrive. While I find that the Western market is a bit more costly than the Japanese secondhand market, both are great tools for any Lolita that wants some new pieces without breaking the bank.

Western Sites
Lolita sales in English banner image, I do not own!
While there are a large number of secondhand sites for the "Western" market (i.e. USA, Canada, and most of Europe), the most popular places are Lolita Sales in English on Facebook and Lacemarket.

LSE is a FB group that's monitored by several Lolitas around the globe. The page is filled to the brim with secondhand sales, and is extremely useful for Lolitas that are just starting out. The group is easily accessible and with FB's new search functions, it's a lot easier to use than it used to be. 

I personally do 90% of my secondhand sales on FB. Usually, I don't even have to post my items anywhere else because FB sales are so quick and easy. However, if I don't sell something on FB, the next place I go to is Lacemarket.

Lacemarket!

LM is basically EBay for Lolita Fashion. It's an entire website dedicated to Lolita sales, which makes it unique and niche. LM is great because every transaction can earn the buyer (or seller) feedback, which then makes it easier to buy and sell items elsewhere. A lot of users will crosspost their listings between LSE and LM to increase their views.

My biggest complaint with LM, however, is compatibility. After the most recent update, LM stopped working on my Mac, so I can't view or post any listings. In order to work around that, I also tried creating a listing via mobile, but since the app doesn't allow buyers to upload a previously used picture, I still had to move over to a PC in order to post my items on the site. These are just a few qualms I have with the page, but ultimately, I'm too lazy, and FB just feels a lot easier and quicker.

There are other sites that you can visit for secondhand Lolita including Ebay, as well as a handful of other FB sales pages. I'm sure I'm missing a few shops, but those are the ones that come to mind.

Japanese Sites

Wunderwelt Landing Page!
The go-to place for low priced secondhand Lolita is the Japanese sites. Almost every Japanese secondhand site I've seen has had lower prices than all of the Western sites. I'm not sure why that is, but it's definitely cheaper.

The biggest con to ordering from the Japanese secondhand sites is that some require a shopping service, and nearly all of them require a translation app to help you navigate the site. However, a lot of Japanese sites have started allowing International buyers, which is fantastic for those of us that don't live in Japan or speak Japanese.

Some of my favorite Japanese secondhand sites are:
A few other popular sites that I don't have personal experience with, but have heard positive reviews of are:
Most of these sites are fairly easy to use, though the final two (and Yahoo Auctions Japan) will require a shopping service. Searching for items on these sites is a bit more difficult as well.

Buying Secondhand
A secondhand JSK from Wunderwelt.

Personally, I recommend selling secondhand items within your local region, and buying outside of it. 

Here in the States, many pieces sell at an inflated price compared to what you would pay if you were buying that item from a Japanese site. So, you're more likely to make more money selling your old items "locally" (within your market). 

Another thing to keep in mind is: international shipping is expensive as hell for people in the West. About a month ago, I had to send a dress back to a Taobao shop in China, and USPS charged me $54 to ship a 1 lb. 8-oz. package. Imagine paying that every time you sold anything! X_X

Things are a little different when you're buying an item from Asia, though. Shipping is usually a flat rate of about $25 - $35 for tracked EMS, which takes 5-7 days. It seems pricey, but when you're paying $70 for a JSK, it hurts a lot less.

I would say that if you're in the Americas, you may also want to avoid purchasing any items from Europe, simply because shipping between our two continents is a nightmare, but that's up to your discretion. I know some people have paid the price and been very pleased, but I personally don't feel like it's worth it. I might change my mind if I find out my ultimate dream dress is in Europe though, XP

I have a process for buying secondhand pieces, and while I don't think it's fail-proof or perfect method, by any means, I feel like this is the best way to get a good price.

1. Research

Firstly, always, always, always, always (did I mention always?) research the piece. As much as you want to hit that "Buy" button, you could be shooting yourself and your wallet in the foot by buying the first dress you see without any background information. Part of the reason why the secondhand market is so lucrative is because Lolitas know the retail value of our pieces. By not knowing the cost of an item, you may not be getting the best deal on it. 

Another benefit of knowing the value of your items is that while most secondhand shops won't price match, other Lolitas *will*, so it's good to know the value of what you're buying and the reasonable asking price.

If I see a dress that I really want, the first thing I do is look it up. It seems like a lot of effort, but usually I just Google the name of the dress and check it out all the information available on Lolibrary. From there, I can use the piece's retail value to determine a good asking price (for selling) or a bartering price (for buying).

For an example, we'll use a dress I own, Angelic Pretty's French Cafe OP in blue.

French Cafe Stock Photo!
Lolibrary is filled to the brim with all sorts of Lolita information. Even if the data isn't always correct, it's usually a great place to start. If you can find the original shop listing for the dress, that's even better, but a lot of shops archive that info after a while.

Let's take a look at Lolibrary's page for French Cafe.

Lolibrary info for French Cafe.
So from this page, we can determine that French Cafe retailed at a value of 24,990 Yen at release, which is about $232. That means if I'm buying French Cafe secondhand, I should only be paying that much if the dress is being resold as brand new, with tags still attached. Anything more than that means I'm paying more than the dress retailed, which really should only apply to special cases.

A special case would be an extremely rare piece that is either really hard to find or something really coveted within the community. One such piece is Moi-même-Moitié's Iron Gate. I've seen that dress sell for upwards of $800, O_O

2. Shop Around

Now that we know how much our dress costs brand new, we can look at listings for it. I personally look through all the Japanese sites first, since the prices tend to be lower there. Then, I'll move over to the Western sites. 

I actually bought French Cafe from Lolita Sales in English about two years ago. I looked all over the Japanese market, but due to the age and "rarity" of the print, I could never find the dress in the color-way I wanted. Thankfully, I found a listing that included the full set, so I got the OP, socks, the headband, and free shipping all for the price I paid. While I did pay over retail value for the dress, the added value of the socks and headbow made my purchase more than worth it.

Lisiting for French Cafe on Y!Auctions Japan

Sometimes shopping around is the best way to get a great deal, because, for example, if you see a local person selling a dress at a little under retail value, but on Lacemarket, all the other sellers are selling it for much less, you can sometimes haggle with your fellow Lolita and get them to lower the price. Fair warning that some people won't appreciate you attempting to haggle or "price match" what you've found online, but my motto is "The worst thing they can say is no".

3. Rewards Programs

Another thing to keep in mind is that many of the Japanese secondhand sites have rewards programs that will score you some discounts on future purchases. One of my favorite rewards programs is through Wunderwelt, which earns buyers 1 point per dollar. Every site has something a little different so it's important to read over the rules and regulations. If I see a piece for a slightly higher price on a site that offers rewards, I'm definitely more likely to buy it.

4. Be Cautious 

Pay close attention to listings and always look for proof photos. Be careful of sellers who have a lot of negative or neutral feedback, and if you are willing to take that risk and buy items anyway, always read over why a person received negative feedback.

Also, and I will type this in bold always leave negative feedback for bad transactions. I know many people don't want to rock the boat or be "that" customer, but if you had a genuinely bad experience, it's important to warn others so that there are no other victims. 

Now, if someone said they'd ship in 4 days and it took 5, you don't have to report them, but for grievous things such as rips, tears, foul smells, stains, or general dishonesty, that's worth noting and reporting. Let's make sure our sales community is a safe and responsible space. 

Selling Secondhand
My FB sales album!
When selling secondhand Lolita, there are a few common sense rules, and a few minor marketing things that will help make your secondhand sales go smoothly.

1. Always Have Feedback

The first thing to make sure you have without a doubt is feedback. Now, depending on the sales page, the requirements may vary, but some FB groups will even take EBay or Amazon feedback as proof that you're not some shady, backdoor salesperson.

Also, make sure that your feedback is positive. If you do receive negative or neutral feedback, talk with your buyer to see if you can resolve the problems together. If a person is extremely belligerent, you may have to get the group mods involved, but those are rare cases.

2. Be Accurate

Always list the problems that your items have. Scuffs, stains, tears, ripped seams, or any other issues are all to be noted in your sales post. Is your JSK missing the waist ties? The buyer needs to know these things before they are compelled to buy your piece. Plain wear and tear happens when an item is worn often, so the condition of a dress you've worn 10 times, will most likely be slightly more used than a dress you've only tried on. Also, remember that trying on a dress still counts as wearing it, even if you put it on and took it right back off. An item is no longer new if you've worn it on your body, so it's best to just be honest about it. 

3. WASH YOUR ITEMS BEFORE YOU SELL THEM!!

I'm putting this in all caps because I have seen many people try to skip this step! I have no idea why someone wouldn't wash a dress before they sold it to another person, but when I bought French Cafe, the seller didn't wash the dress and it was horrible. To add, since all of my items were shipping together, everything smelled bad from the box that it was shipped in. I ended up having to wash French Cafe four times on arrival just to get the stench out and ultimately, ended up getting a discount for my trouble.

Washer stock photo, I do not own!
Don't be that person; wash your used goods before sending it to the buyer. Wipe your shoes down. Spray everything with Febreeze and give them time to air out. A lot of people tend to get "nose-blind" to scents in their own homes, so be kind to your buyers and give them a fresh, clean-scented item. They'll be so thankful to you.

4. Be Realistic

In our earlier example, we discovered that French Cafe's retail value is about $230. Given that the information on the dress is readily available, if I decide to sell it for $450, I most likely wouldn't be able to sell it to anyone. Even if I priced the full set at that much, it probably wouldn't sell because while French Cafe is a more rare piece than Angelic Pretty's Holy Lantern, it's not *that* coveted within the community. This is yet another example of why research is so important -- a piece that may seem rare to you, may not be rare to the Lolita community at large. 

That's why we need to be realistic with our secondhand sales: it's unreasonable to ask others to pay $450 for a dress that retailed at $230, especially when I've worn that dress multiple times. To add, I'm the second owner, which means someone else wore it a handful of times before me. If I account for wear and tear on a dress that's been worn about ten times between its two previous owners, there's no reason for me to charge the full retail value of $230 to another buyer.

Of course, some people will ignore this step completely, and price items at whatever value they want, and that's totally okay -- ultimately, these items belong to them until it is sold. However, keep in mind, that while other people can't dictate the price of another person's sales, they can decline to buy that item. If the buyer doesn't see your prices as reasonable, then they simply won't buy it and you'll either have to discount the item, or hold on to it.

Whoooooa, I wasn't expecting this to be as long as it turned out to be! I hope I gave you some helpful tips on buying and selling secondhand Lolita fashion. I find that secondhand Lolita is extremely useful for finding wishlist items and padding out a wardrobe. In this age of social media and global exchange, it's now more easier than ever to actually find used pieces for a great price.

Have you purchased any secondhand pieces before? How was your experience? Tell me all about it in the comment section below!

I have a bunch of orders coming in the next couple of weeks, including some circle lenses, so I'm super excited to get back to writing more reviews! Stay tuned, my lovely readers!

Stay beautiful, stay true,
~J

Monday, January 29, 2018

LBC: Create a Coord Based On A Friend

Heyyyyyyyyy y'all~! It's ya girl, J! Lol, is that a cool catch phrase? I always watch YouTubers start their videos with an awesome catchphrase, but that's a little hard to do while writing, XP

Anyway, I'm back with a super feel good post after my last, somewhat "heavy" post. This time, the Lolita Blog Carnival voted that we create a coord based on a friend and since I didn't want to cry about my best friend for the entirety of this post, I decided to create a coord based on BOTH of my BFFs.

What are we even doing here?
I probably have a million pictures of these two floating around on this blog, because they're always by my side. We became friends because of Lolita, but now we're all so woven into each other's lives that our Moms have become friends through the three of us. These girls are my strength, my weakness, my heart, and my shield. I really don't know what I would do without them, so when the idea came up to create a coord based on a friend, I choose the two of them, as people that are so important in my life, both in Lolita and out of it.

Brittany

A-Kon 2016
I love Britt and I hate her, lmao. We fight all the time, and she's constantly throwing shade, so I'm always just asking myself why I'm even friends with her, haha. She's an only child, so I always feel like Lorelai and I are the siblings she never had. She's our resident Country Lolita, but she's also the "sister that always borrows your clothes". She jokingly tells me that she has two Lolita closets: her's and mine.

Accidentally wig twinning!
Britt is almost always my twinning partner, so we own a lot of the same things. One time, we accidentally wore our twinning wig to the same meet without telling each other, haha! She's also my "shoe twin" because we wear the same shoe size. It makes planning coords a lot easier because we can just borrow each other's shoes. She shares my love of Meta and Angelic Pretty, so we have a lot of common likes within Lolita.

Britt's amazing and hella focused; my girl is a freaking engineer! I brag on her all the time because Britt is a real life example of what happens when you follow your dreams and work hard towards your aspirations. I'm blessed to know her, <3

Lorelai

ILD 2017
Lorelai is my best friend and I love her so much. I was the one that gave her the nickname "Lorelai" because she once complained to me that no one ever gave her unique nicknames.

She's our resident "Goth Bae" and wears exclusively Gothic Lolita. I love her take on the fashion because it's extremely representative of her as a person. She's so creative and sensitive, and it makes me want to protect her from the entire world. MUST. PROTECT. GOTH. BAE.

New Year's Meet 2018
Lorelai and I grew in the fashion at about the same pace because she came to that fateful June meetup with me that changed the fate of our comm. She's definitely part of the reason why I got more involved in our local Lolita community. She was *also* the person that suggested I become a mod, so I owe a lot to her. She's a person that I know I can call for whatever reason, whenever. She fights battles with and for me. She works really hard at everything she does too! 

I love that Lorelai loves and appreciate Indie brands and "unpopular" companies. I've discovered many hidden gems because of her, and she truly respects quality and craftsmanship. 

Between Lorelai and Britt, I get a lot of advice and feedback on my Lolita life and my daily life. They both put up with me when I'm stressed or emotional, and I always feel bad for making them deal with "J's Pre-Con Meltdowns" where I freak out over every little thing leading up to a meet-up or event, lmao. I've had my life threatened by both of them AT LEAST four times for getting pouty over nonsensical stuff like the way my beret sat on my head, haha.

So now you can see that out of all the people around me, these two were the best candidates for creating a coord based on a friend! Hopefully after this post, my two friends can understand how I constantly draw inspiration from them, <3 

My Coord

My coord, 1/27
I won't lie and say something like "Oh, I choose my coord for this deep and meaningful reason" because that's definitely not true. However, each piece of my coord has something to do with my friends, so lemme break it down for y'all.

Coord Breakdown:

Beret - EBay (lol)

Britt and I are huge fans of berets. I personally hate the way bonnets look on me, and as pictured in that "Ussie" up above, we both look good in them. I added in the extra bow in front to add a little extra, and also -- it was given to me for free during one of our many Taobao group orders. Since Britt always orders with me, I thought it'd be a cute little tribute.

Wig - Cucumber Family

This wig was definitely one of those "meltdown" wigs, haha. I'm notorious for window shopping on Taobao when I'm bored. When I saw the listing for the wig, I sent to my friends "OMG, I HAVE TO HAVE THIS". Both of them agreed it was cute, but when it came time to choose the color, I went back and forth over which color to get. Finally, someone said: "Just buy it!" and so I did, lol.

OP - Grove Deer Moon of Eternal Day

Due to our different opinions on Lolita fashion, very rarely do my friends and I all like the same dress. We always jokingly say that the world will end the day we all agree on the same dress, XP

This OP was the first dress that all of three of us wanted. We were planning to put together our first tripling coord with it, but Lorelai's chosen colorway sold out instantly, so Britt and I ended up twinning in it together. I love this dress because it's extremely versatile and comfy; I want it in a million colorways, *__*

Our twinning coord!
Tights - Walmart

During International Lolita Day, our entire group traveled from Dallas to Austin for the Statewide meet-up. Lorelai was looking for some tights and a few other items, so we ran over to a Walmart near the ILD venue. We stumbled upon an entire rack of Clearance tights and I ended up buying 3 new pairs (whoops).

Shoes - Indigo Rd. 

I discovered "3-strap" shoes because Lorelai wears them a lot, and they always looks so great and sophisticated on her. Hilariously enough, Britt is not a fan of 3-strap shoes, but Lorelai and I love them. I found these shoes on Ebay after Lorelai linked me to a few pairs of the shoes that she currently owns.

Even though I feel like we all have decidedly different Lolita styles, my dearest friends influence my coording choices a lot. I almost never wear a coord without asking them for their input on something, even if it's as trivial as "Where should I place my hairbow?"

I find that having friends in the fashion can truly make or break your experience as a Lolita. I definitely wouldn't enjoy being a Lolita as much, if I didn't have these two by my side. We've made so many memories together and learned so much through our experiences as Lolitas. 

I also love to see how our coords reflect our personalities. Lorelai's coords are very otherworldly and always Gothic, whereas Britt tends to go for a more Country look with sprinkles of Classic and Sweet. My closet is all over the place, but I wear Sweet more often than either of them. Altogether, we're an interesting bunch and even when we bicker over stupid stuff, or laugh over silly stuff, I love these two ladies very much. 

Thanks for reading my fluffy post and checking out my blog today! Do you have any amazing stories or memories with friends you've made in the fashion? Tell me all about it in the comment box below!

As always, my amazing readers: stay beautiful, stay true.

~J