Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Year In Review 2016

TWO POSTS IN ONE MONTH?!?! OH MAH GOSH, Y'ALL LOOK AT ME!! A wonderful member of my comm posted a yearly questionnaire and since I had some time, I decided to make a post about it. It'll be interesting to compare my responses from last year to this year.

1. Favorite look of 2016


I couldn't decide on one look vs. the other, so I choose three! I wore the first coord (Meta's Blooming Garden) at A-Kon 2016, the second coord (Fanplusfriend JSK) in March and the right coord (King's Key JSK) in October. I love how my style has changed from what it was just a year ago. I'm proud of these looks.



2. Least favorite look of 2016


This was actually a hard question. I had two coords that I felt pretty meh about, but this coord in particular was probably the worst I've made since my "ita" days. I believe it was a combination of poor make-up choices/too much white. 

I was super disappointed in this coord.
I was actually happy with the skirt + blouse combo, but another wig and better make-up are definitely needed to fix this. I'd change the shoes too. Things like this keep me humble though!


3. Favorite purchase
MoMo Victorian shoes, stock photo! I do not own!
These shoes are my favorite purchase of 2016. I'm not quite sure when I got them, buuuttttt I'm pretty sure it was at the beginning of the year. They're quite comfortable and pretty versatile. I've worn them at least five times since I bought them.


4. Least favorite purchase

Stock photo, I do not own!
My least favorite purchase was this Berry Mori dress in sax. I was so in love with the pictures, but I hated how it looked on me. I also hated the fact that the sax dress and the mint dress looked basically the same, -__-

I wore it once and sold it immediately afterwards.

5. An item you wished you purchase but didn’t.


Magical Etoile JSK in Sax
This dress has been on auction FOR MONTHS. Seriously, I think the first time I saw it was in March and the crazy thing is that it's STILL on auction, last I checked. I just haven't had any spare cash to get it, honestly. Hopefully, I can grab it next month!



6. Trends you liked and didn’t like from 2016

The use of more star and constellation motifs was my favorite trend of 2016. 


I don't like the new trend of wearing underskirts with everything. In my opinion, the only people that should wear underskirts are the people that actually need them. I see so many girls that are my height (5'2") trying to work them into literally every coord they own. It makes us short folks look even more stubby.


7. Favorite release of 2016


Antique Chocolaterie, I do not own!
Normally, I don't really care about new releases from Angelic Pretty, but Antique Chocolaterie makes me weak in the knees. I want to buy this dress in the navy colorway because I NEED DIS.


8. What were your fashion goals of 2016? Did you achieve them?

My fashion goal for 2016 was to get more wigs and hats. Check and check, y'all! I've completed my goals!

~New Year 2017 questions

9. Predict the new trends for 2017

I see the return of toned down Sweet and a lot more Wa and Qi-Lolita prints. I also think we'll have an emergence of more Indie/Taobao brands.


10. 2017 releases you are excited for


Stock Photo, I do not own!

Once again, I've got to give this to Angelic Pretty. Wonder Fortune is like a hybrid dress of Wonder Queen and Wonder Story AND I NEED IT ON MY BODY RITE NAO. Lawwwdd, this dress is freaking beautiful and it comes in sax. *heavy breathing*

11. Fashion goals for 2017

I want 2017 to be the year of dream/wishlist dress. Even though these purchases will be a lot more expensive (and painful for my wallet), I want to start buying the prints that I've really kept an eye on over the past four years. With this in mind, I can start saving up for these major purchases, which in turn will cause me to buy a lot less at once time. I'm doing pretty well accessory wise and once I get a few more blouses, I'll be fine on that category as well.

What are your goals and plans for 2017?? Tell me all about them in the comments below!


Stay beautiful, stay true.


~J

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Night Parade (Hyakki) skirt Review

My updating habits are absolutely terrible. Every time I think "Oh! I should totally make a blog post about this," I don't and then the window of relevance slams shut. Maybe I just need to pick one day of every month to update... I'm not sure, but I want to work something out.

I reserved a skirt a lonnnnnggg time ago (we're talking early March or so) and I finally got it in. For those that follow me on Facebook, I dropped a preview of this skirt a while back. I really wanted to finally showcase more in-depth photos of the skirt. The print is called Night Parade of One Hundred Demons (or Hyakki) and was made by the Taobao shop, Excalibur Lolita. I just read on Lolibrary that the skirt is actually made from bamboo fabric! That's totally cool. 

Check out the detailed skirt information here.

Stock photo, I do not own!
I got the skirt in the navy colorway, size L-XL. It fits like a dream and looks great with a petticoat. I can't wait to put together a Japanese inspired coord featuring cherry blossoms or a yokai coord, featuring one of the demons in the print.

The print reminds me of a night at a Japanese festival. It also reminds me of the anime Nura: Rise of the Yokai. If you've never heard of that anime/manga, here's a Wiki page that explains a bit about it. I have yet to read the manga, but the show was on Netflix.

Anywho~! On to the review!

My packaged skirt!
Upon opening the package, I was mostly in awe at how well the print stood out against the rich navy fabric. The package came with my skirt, a detachable bow, ribbon ties for the corset lacing at the back of the skirt, as well as a tiny bag to hold... The ribbon? I'm actually not sure.

           Close up of the bag + corset lacing/ribbon.
Waistband of the skirt.
As I said before, the waistband of the skirt has room for corset lacing. I'm not sure if I'd actually want to lace it up, but we'll see. Let's take a look at more pictures. This print is really vivid and gorgeous! 

A handful of the 100 demons.

OMG, so cuttee!

2 spooky 4 me.

An umbrella demon???
Helllloooo nurse, <3
So lovely!
If you take a look at the stock photo, you'll see the use of white lace. Once the piece was released, however, all the lace was changed to a matching color. Customers weren't told about this decision until AFTER the initial deposit was due for the reservation and I won't say it didn't leave a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Honestly, I was a worried the new lace choice would look awful. Looking at it now, though, I think they made a good decision. The matching lace makes the overall piece look more cohesive. Plus, they used good lace! It's not that tacky, scratchy crap.

Matching lace.
My biggest issue with this skirt is the detachable bow. I have no idea what to use it for because it's ugly as heck and pretty useless. I guess I could use the bow instead of lacing the back, but fareal, yall, this thing looks bad.

Extra bow.
Those ruffles are the thing that gets me the most. I'm just going to put it in a dark corner of my closet now...

Overall, I'm pleased with this piece. I'm a bit concerned that I'll be stuck in a particular niche while trying to coord it, but I can't say I mind the challenge. I'm trying to figure out where and when I'll wear it, so it'll be a while before I can wear it out anywhere.

My skirt!
I give this skirt and this shop a 5 out of 8. I think it's extremely ambitious to make a skirt out of bamboo fabric, but that ugly bow has go to go. I plan to keep an eye out for more releases from Excalibur before I form my full opinion on them. Unlike Das Lied der Elfen or Grove Deer, Excalibur didn't leave much of an impression on me.

Are there any Taobao shops out that there you're head over heels in love with? Sound off in the comment box below!

Stay beautiful, stay true.

~J

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Das Lied Der Elfen: Kingdom of Heaven (King's Key) JSK, Yidhra, and a (Negative) Loli-Loli Paradise Review

Lately, I've been on this Taobao reservation kick. My, how dangerous this is for my wallet!

Taobao reserves are an interesting animal. Basically, the buyer finds a shopping service that is willing to accept reservations for new and upcoming items from a Taobao shop. From there, the SS orders the item, the buyer makes all the payments required (usually two) and the waiting game begins.

For this dress in particular, I had to wait somewhere along the lines of three months. I ordered my JSK in about March and I got it after A-Kon (or something like that).

It was sooooo worth the wait.

Before I pick apart my JSK, I want to first bring a bit of attention to the SS that I used to order this dress: Loli-Loli Paradise.

DO NOT ORDER FROM LOLI-LOLI PARADISE.

I put that in all caps so that you can understand the seriousness of what I'm saying. Don't order from them (her?); just don't even bother. While I personally don't think she's a bad person, I think the owner of that shop is going through some life changes and as a result, is seriously neglecting her customers. I was lucky that this item was sent to me prior to her going on hiatus, but it's been such a hassle to get in contact with her for the other items that I had on reserve. At this point in time, nearly all of her reserves are in a limbo that's lasted for longer than two months.

*Instead*, I highly recommend Spreenow for all your reservation needs. In fact~! I'm now an affiliate for Spreenow! Use this link to place an order from this awesome company.

Das Lied Der Elfen

Stock Photo; I do not own!
I ordered the King's Key JSK in Navy! Goodness gracious, this precious bby belongs in my closet. I love this dress so much; y'all don't even know. I got the dress in a size M-L and it has full back shirring, yasssss!!

Kingdom of Heaven JSK
The first thing I noticed upon opening my package was that the dress came sealed in it's very own dress-sized ziplock bag! How cool is that?? It was perfectly sealed and protected when it arrived and I was extremely thankful for that. I can only imagine the damage a wet package would have done to this dress.

Close-up of the seal

Out of the ziplock!
The first thing that caught my eye was the vivid, shimmery color of this gorgeous dress. I love the way it was printed and the fabric is so nice! Have some more pics!


Close-up of the print
Lace and detailing
Look at those gold threads!
My first and only complaint about this dress are the detachable bows. Why are they yellow?? Your guess is as good as mine. I kinda stared at them for a bit, but maybe they'll look better once they're actually worn with the dress. I'm not sure.

Weird yellow bows
The first thing I did was hang my dress up to get a better look at the length and the material. Woooooooooowwww. That's really all I can say. So pretty. Much frills.

Hubba-hubba~
I flipped it around to take a look at the back. The shirring is super stretchy and it definitely fits my 102 cm bust! HOORAY!

The back shirring!

I'm using the heck out of the zoom on my camera for these next couple of shots. The interior of the dress feels nice, and the straps are adjustable with buttons. I didn't have to adjust them at all when I tried the dress on, but it's a good feature. I will say that at 5'2" this dress is a respectable length on me with a petticoat. I don't know if I would recommend this dress for anyone taller than about 5'5" without an underskirt.

Close-up of the back

Button holes on the straps

This brand has pleased me immensely! 8/8 for Das Lied Der Elfen! I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for any of their other releases because goodness, I am impressed. You can take a look at their Taobao page here.

Yidhra

Stock photo, I do not own!

This review will be pretty brief since I didn't take many pictures for these tights. But HOLY CRAP, Yidhra is amazinnnnnggggg!! Their tights are so soft and smooth and amazing and beautiful. 10/10, would definitely buy from again.

I bought these tights mostly to wear with this dress. I ALSO bought these babies because for some reason they really remind me of the Astrologian class that I play in FFXIV. Seriously, look.

I do not own this picture, but I play this class!

Lolita + FFXIV = WIN. So basically, I had to have these. But enough about my reasons for buying things, let's see the tights!

My tights!

Though the gold looks a little on the orange side, on my legs the colors lighten a bit due to the stretching of the tights. These fit really well and are super comfy, so that's a plus. They're on the thicker side.

And speaking of thicker! Yidhra has this cool chart where they will tell you both the size range and the thickness for the tights that you're ordering. Check this out.

Thickness and sizing chart, I do not own!

The information provided shows that the tights are 120 Denier so that means they are in a mid-range of thickness (according to the chart), and can be worn in both the summer, spring, and the fall. They aren't so thick that they'll keep me warm in the winter, but since I live in Texas, that's a non-issue, XP

8/8 for Yidhra! Visit their shop and take a look at all the unique designs!

Have you reserved any items lately, or are you playing a reservation waiting game like I am? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay beautiful, stay true, <3

~J

Thursday, May 26, 2016

SpreeNow + Yoybuy Review: Mola Mola, Nyanmi Dolls, MuFish, Sosic Shop, and Cucumber Family

Happy May, y'all! It's almost time for A-Kon 27 and I'm totally not ready. Since I'm on staff with the J-Fashion Track this year, I've learned so much more about the convention scene. Being in charge of my own con is constantly an eye-opening experience, but I never would have imagined I'd be working for a convention this size. Still, I'm thankful for the chance and I plan to make A-Kon staff proud! But in making them proud, I gotta look goooooddd, y'all. I can't just show up in front of the guests with jacked up coords!

Since I needed stuff for A-Kon, I did another Taobao GO! It seems like I do these things a lot, haha. I think it's because I have a shopping problem, XP

This time, I decided to expand my horizons and try a new shopping service! I'm experimenting with SpreeNow for several reasons, but mostly because Yoybuy doesn't do Taobao reservations. Taobao shops have been stepping up their game lately, and wrecking havoc on my wallet with all these reserves. Usually, the deposit price is ridiculously affordable too -- they can run anywhere between $5 and $25. After the deposit has been paid, the buyer then pays the remaining balance on the due date. Most sellers will not let you cancel the order.

The only downside to a reservation is the wait time. Typically, reserve items take months to complete. For example, my first reservation was made back in March and I still haven't made the second payment or even heard an ETA from the SS OR the shop. There's no telling when it will be done at this point. The other items I've reserved are going to take just as long, unfortunately.

So, SpreeNow. I won't go into extreme detail on the ordering process, but it's actually super easy and user-friendly. So far the only issue I have with them is the payment system. Prices are shown on the website in Chinese Yuan, but when I pay for my items with Paypal, SpreeNow converts the balance due to Hongkong Dollars AND THEN the items can be paid for in US Dollars.

My concern with this method is the amount of fees involved with each conversion. There's a Paypal fee for even using Paypal as a payment method, plus a conversion fee from USD to HKD. The silver lining in all this is that SpreeNow converts the Yuan price to HKD pretty well. Still, it's a bit nerve-wracking to see all those different currencies floating around and it makes me wonder if the prices are accurate.

I will, however, commend SpreeNow on their shipping! SpreeNow offers about four different shipping methods for small orders, or more if you order something heavier. For my first SpreeNow purchase, I ordered a pair of tights and shipped them using SingaporePost.

I was afraid to try SingaporePost to ship my items because whoooaaa the Internet doesn't care for SingaporePost. Since it was SO MUCH cheaper and I had time to spare, I just said, "Screw it!" and went for it.

If you need items in a hurry, I do not recommend using SingaporePost. If you are the type to worry about packages or need constant tracking updates, I do not recommend SingaporePost. But, if you have time to spare and you're not super afraid to lose anything, then SingaporePost is cheap and fast enough to get your stuff to you in about two weeks or less.

The tights I ordered come from a shop called Mola Mola! They're super cute and comfy~

Mola Mola

Stock Photo, I do not own!
I wanted these tights to wear with my coord for the Lolita Tea Party at A-Kon. I also plan on pairing them with Star Night Theater and a few other dresses that I own. They stretch well and they are sooo soft and smooth.

At 5'2", I'm pretty average height for Taobao tights but I got thick thighs (LOL) and they make the print stretch but not so much that it looks bad. I love the way the tights were printed as well; I'm not worried about the design peeling off or anything. *See UPDATE BELOW*

Most of Mola Mola's tights come in one size fits all. I've noticed that tights with a higher denier (thickness) usually fit me so I'm guessing those types (IE 80D VS 120D) are more stretchy. I don't know if that's actually true or just a blogger theory though so please don't bank on that, haha.

My tights!

 I love the tights and I love Mola Mola. They don't have a very large selection, but you can check out their stuff here. Most of their tights are on reserve so you'll have to find an SS that accepts reservations.

*UPDATE 9/14/16* - I had such a positive review for these tights but they're absolutely wrecked. The tights are super delicate and the shoes I wore scratched up the fabric so much that the pattern completely rubbed off around the ankle. I'm actually not sure I can recommend Mola Mola until they find a better method of printing their tights. I'll have to drop my review down to a 3/8, because while these tights are pretty, they're pretty much wrecked after a single wear.

Yoybuy

I'm a firm believer in the old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Though it's a bit of hassle to use two different shopping services, Yoybuy has always treated me well, so I plan to keep using them for most of my Taobao orders. If I completely switch over to SpreeNow, it'll be because of reservations and cheaper shipping.


Hunan, Hubei, Xiaoxiao

Stock photo, I do not own!
I wish I could say Google Translate was helpful while looking for this shop, but as you can see by the translated shop name, it absolutely wasn't, >_>

I happened to see these shoes on Facebook one day and I HAD TO HAVE THEM! I was able to find them by doing a reverse image search of the shoes. These cost me about $25 with domestic shipping and SS fees. I ordered them in a size 38. For reference, I wear a US size 7.5.

I ordered the shoes in white because I'm really rough on my shoes and my other pair of white RHSes separated at the sole. The first thing I noticed when I took these shoes out of the box are the comfort soles on the inside. Once I tried them on, I could already feel the difference. They fit perfectly and are pretty comfortable! The platform doesn't feel heavy at all.

Look at this terrible box!
The shoe box was all bent up and looked pretty bad in my massive Taobao box, but my shoes look fine! I would have liked them to have a bow on the front somewhere, but it's still cute.

Dat sexy side profile
Shop with the super long name, you get a 6 out of 8~! Gimme an extra bow for my shoes, and maybe I'll bump you up to a 7, XP

If you'd like to take a look at more shoes from this Taobao shop, click this link.

Cucumber Family

I ordered two wigs from Cucumber Family. I've purchased wigs from them before so I won't go into crazy detail about them BUT LET ME TELL YALL ABOUT THESE WIGS! *Flails* 

Wig stock photo, I do not own!
I took these babies out of the bags and Fell. In. Love. They're so pretty! They're so soft! I'll try to stop fangirling, but I can't make any promises.

Ta da~

It's really rare that I can find a blonde wig that I actually like. This wig comes in three colors -- I got it in flax. I love the shorter style and I think it'll be really great for the summer time. The other wig I ordered from Cucumber Family is this long, Gothic style wig. It's like this off-black, purple, brown combination that is freakin' beautiful. I'm so happy I bought this wig.

Stock photo, I do not own!
Truth be told, I want these wigs in every color they offer. I know I don't *need* them in every color, but itttttt'sssss sooooo prettttyyyyy~

Look at it!

I have such short arms! I need a selfie stick OTL
The purple sheen of the wig is hard to capture with my terrible point and shoot, but I love the wig nonetheless. It's super soft. My only concern will be keeping the wig free of tangles, but I can't wait to wear this wig with my coords! 8 out of 8~! I need MOAR!

To check out the other awesome wigs from Cucumber Family, click here!

Nyanmi Dolls

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this shop. It's not even a quality issue though -- it's the photography. The stock photos are great and the items match the stock photos, but... well, I need you guys to be honest with me...

Don't these socks look white?! They look white to you too, don't they??

Stock photo, I do not own!

But my socks are GRAY. They are really, definitely gray; I thought these socks were white and nope! Wrong color, >_>

I can't tell if that stock photo was playing tricks on my brain or if I was just projecting my strong desire for white socks onto the picture. But seriously, I thought I would be getting white socks.

I put them side by side with my WHITE gloves for comparison.

GRAY socks, GRAYYY! 
Regardless, the socks feel nice on my feet and they are made from a good material. I just can't get over that color! I think it will still match with my coord, but GRAY. Uggghhhhh.

I recently reserved a pair of tights from Nyanmi Dolls, so they'll get a second chance with those. Here's hoping they don't suck~! For now, this shop gets a 5 out of 8 from me. The socks are lovely and they fit, but I can't get over that gray/white mix up.

Visit Nyanmi Dolls website, with this link.

Mu-Fish

Stock photo, I do not own

These tights don't fit and I needed them for an A-Kon coord. Looks like they're getting thrown in the swap pile! -__-
I won't even bother reviewing them or taking a picture because I review Mu-Fish all the time and I'm annoyed my tights don't fit, bleh.

Sosic Shop

Stock photo, I do not own!
Sosic shop is my favorite Taobao shoe store for a reason! I won't review them since I've talked about them before. Instead, have some photos~

So pretty~

Super cute!

Alice Girls Hand Square

Alice Girls Hand Square (ROFFFFLLLLL, that name!) is a one crown Taobao shop with an array of hats, accessories, and headwear. I bought this hat to wear with an A-Kon coord, and I can say I was pleasantly surprised by how elegant the piece looks.

Stock photo, I do not own!
The construction is solid and the flowers aren't falling off! Hoorayyy! I especially liked the way the shop shipped the hat to me. It was wrapped in bubble wrap and then placed inside a plastic bag to keep the flowers from being crushed during shipment.



The hat (fascinator?) also came with a white ribbon. I haven't quiiiiiitteee figured out the logistics of the ribbon + hat, but I managed to get the thing clipped to my head properly. 

Realistically, Alice Girls Hand Square dosen't have many items that I would order besides this hat. That's not to say that they aren't a shop I wouldn't order from again, but more so that I don't imagine I'll see something else that I'd want from this shop.

Check out this shop's storefront.

I have a lot of stuff to review and write about, so I'll try to get to work on that soon. I recently found a K-Beauty supplier online, so I definitely want to talk about that store and everything I ordered from them.

But seriously yall, those freaking socks look white in the picture! Have you ever had a color mix-up or made a mistake while ordering from Taobao? Let me know in the comment box below!

Until then, kiddos!

Stay beautiful, stay true,

~J