Monday, 23 June 2014

Review #26: Meta Summer Lucky Packs

The day was Monday, June 16th. I was sick and a bit mopey. While bumming on the internet I remembered I wanted to see when the Meta summer LPs were coming out based on previous years, since I'd been planning on getting one, or maybe two if they had blouses instead of last years t-shirts. I opened the LP page from last year and what did my wondering eyes see but the banner announcing this years summer LPs and the Princess Wardrobe special set were coming out that evening. Needless to say, I felt a lot less mopey after that ^__^

Since these packs had blouses, two it was! Ordering the packs was quite simple, just add to cart and pay. I had already made an account on the site so my address etc. was already filled in. I got a confirmation email from Meta, which said the order wasn't confirmed until I received notice from PayPal that my payment had gone through but that email came instantly so no problemo. And on the 19th I got an email saying my order was shipped, complete with tracking number. Yay! Excitement mounting! And I received a box containing both packs Monday 23rd.

Inside the box! 

As I said to James, I rather like Meta's stuff. So between two packs I was fairly sure I'd like at least half. The skirts will definitely fit me, and I should fit any shirred blouse they put out. Before the packs arrived mostly I was just hoping not to get anything too pastel and sweet. I love sweet lolita but feel very uncomfortable in adorable pastels. From the sample pack images it looked like the packs all came with the same blouse in three colour options, and I was hoping for beige and black if the was the case.

Well, despite my optimism I was actually terribly unlucky with my "lucky" packs. Everything was lovely, but not...

I got the same blouse in each pack, the white version.

The blouse is lovely, made of an organza type material. It fit me wonderfully at a bust/waist of 93cm/77cm but the shoulders were a bit too narrow and the collar is not something I like on me. According to Lolibrary it is their 2014 Tuck Blouse, and it has shirring and waist ties. I'm really bummed about the shoulder and the collar, because the bibbed front is glorious, it's the perfect amount of sheer, the sleeves are a great length and it's a fantastic fit. But some thing are apparently no meant to be.

This is the other contents of one pack. The skirt is the pink colourway of their Flower Bottle print and it is gorgeous! But the colour is really unflattering on me, which is sad because I love the print and the style of the skirt. The socks are cute as well, the Scalloped Stripe OTKs in lavender and pink, but I'd never wear them. Accessory wise I got a giant raschel lace hair chip, and a pair of fluffy candy shaped hair ties.

The other pack came with the same socks, though a different colourway, and lace hairclip. However, the skirt is made from the cream colour of the Bubble Bath series minus the border print. It's really cute and the colour is lovely, but it doesn't suit me at all and even if it did it's not my style. I do want to point out that the fabric is lovely, it has a subtle pattern as part of the fabric which adds another layer of detail to the print. The other accessory in this pack is an unusual two-way clip shaped like fluffy angel wings.

I'm keeping one of the giant hairclips and contemplated keeping the black and white socks, but my legs are a bit too thick for them to look nice. So I am only keeping one thing... but my loss is anyone else's gain and I'll be listing all these pieces up for sale soon.

Was it worth it? Kind of. I really enjoyed daydreaming about what I might get but since what I did get was disappointing that was less enjoyable. Also, it was a good way to get my hands on some brand for cheap, even though I'm going to part with it again promptly, and it was nice to check out the fabrics and construction... I can definitely see why people say brand is so much better!

Would I do it again? Yeah ^__^

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Review #25: The Floral Notebook

Recently I discovered the new indie brand The Floral Notebook, run by a girl who makes the loveliest blouses. I hadn't seen a single negative review of her products, so since I had sold of a few older pieces I thought I could get one of her gorgeous blouses guilt free ^__^

On the 6th of April I commented on her page asking about available colours, and she linked me to an image of the available fabrics within a day. I mulled it over for a while and eventually contacted her for the order from on May 9th. Then I was lazy and didn't complete the form until the 23rd, and on the 25th I got a PayPal invoice which I paid promptly. I was told it would take about seven days to make and she'd let me know when it was done. On June 3rd I got a message saying it was done and she's post it that week, and it would take about ten days to get to me in Australia. So I was estimating it would get to me between the 18th and the 20th and lo and behold! It was here on the 18th ^__^

All in all communication was excellent; I always got prompt and helpful replies. However, I never was sent my tracking number but I'm pretty sure if I had cared to ask I would have been given it quickly so I don't really consider that much of a deal. Everything happened in the time frame I was told it would and all in all, customer service wise I'm a very happy camper. Though that's kind of misleading, because quality and fit wise I am also a very happy camper! The fit is perfect, the fabric is quite nice and only a little sheer and the construction is very good. There are a couple of loose threads but it's no big deal. I am really over the moon about this blouse, it's totally perfect for me. For $49US including shipping [which was about $55AU at the time] it's fantastic value.

But. Yes, there are two buts. The first one was obvious the moment I opened the bag - the colour is different to the stock image. It's a lovely, warm wine red, like the sleeve that's in shadow in the stock photo rather than the rest of the blouse. However, it's an absolutely wonderful colour and it actually works better for me than the brighter red I was expecting would have. And I also suppose that given that it's obvious that the stock photo was taken in strong sunlight that the colours may not be accurate. It's a difficult colour to catch on camera, my phone entirely refused to get it right, so I got into photoshop to try and make a colour swatch, which is still not 100% accurate, but is close.

Secondly, there are two slight deviations from the stock image. The buttons are small, round and black unlike the red ones in the stock photo: like with the colour, I don't mind at all but it is different. The other difference was that the neckline ruffled came over the buttons, and in fact had a button hole sewn through it, presumably to keep it in place. I thought this was a bit odd [the buttonhole bit, not the ruffle placement] and have taken a close-up photo to show how it looks. It's not bad, and not even noticeable unless you're really looking at that area, but it's another deviation from the stock image.

All in all I love my blouse. It's gorgeous and it fits me perfectly. However, if I was really expecting exactly what was in the stock image, I would have been disappointed. So if colour and small details like buttons are very important to you [which I imagine they are for most people] please talk to the owner before ordering. From my experience she was lovely and helpful, and so you really shouldn't have any issues ordering exactly what you want from her.

I would heartily recommend The Floral Notebook's blouses and though I'm set for blouses at the moment I fully intend on buying from her again when I need a blouse in a less common colour.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Review #24: ReStyle Gothic Windows Skirt

Lately I've been writing a few blog posts for the Australian retailer Tragic Beautiful [which you can read here] in return for store credit. And recently I used said credit to finally get my hands on ReStyle's Gothic Windows Midi Skirt, which is something I've had my eye on for quite a while.

Tragic Beautiful has a nice, easy-to-use site and for those of us within Australia, really quick shipping. They're always quick to get your items in the post. In my case, I ordered Sunday 15th and it was in the post Monday afternoon. I used regular post [which for Australians is free on orders over $99] and it got to me Wednesday morning. I had to get in in a Large, despite my waist being a better fit for the Medium, as it was the last one in stock. And, wouldn't you know, it turned out to be a perfect fit, so if you're hovering between sizes definitely go one up and if, like me, the only size available is bigger than you think you need go for it anyway.

 Blogger hates me. Sorry for the rotated pictures.

The skirt is really nice. The fabric is thick cotton, and the print is well done and lines up nicely on the seams. There is no elastic in the waist and it does up with a zipper and three hooks-and-eyes. It is about 63cm long, which on me bring it to the bottom of my knees sans petticoat, so it's perfect for taller lolitas or those who like slightly longer skirts. Honestly there's not too much more to say. It's not mindbogglingly amazing but it's a very nice skirt that's sturdily made and that I'm really looking forward to wearing.

Sideways print close up.

Long story short, this skirt is lovely and particularly if you're Australian I can't recommend Tragic Beautiful enough!