Thursday, 22 June 2017

Peaches and cream; L173 outfits

I love the colours in this skirt - peaches and cream indeed! And it's floral, so really it ticks all my lolita fashion boxes.

Pieces like this skirt are why I really don't get people who point blank think Bodyline is terrible. Sure, they have done replicas and Mr Yan is pretty shady and their stuff is not on the same level of quality as brand, but still. This skirt is gorgeous, and I wouldn't like it any more if it was brand.

But as I often say - enough rambling, onto the outfits!

First up I really wanted to use one of my new cutsews from The Black Ribbon, and came up with this light and airy summertime outfit. I would wear this with cream ankle socks as well. What's actually kind of ironic is that a day or two after I took these photos, I went shopping with James and finally found a hair flower that is basically a perfect match for he flowers on the skirt; a darker, more orange shade of pink. But this outfit (and the others in this post) still look great with slightly mis-matched flowers!

For the second outfit I wanted to run with a darker colour scheme, and I really like the result. Perhaps different socks would have worked better, but overall I really like this outfit. It's a bit unusual, and definitely nice and casual.

Then in my last outfit I wanted to do something different and also use an item I hadn't yet used - my Innocent World cape. And in the end this outfit may just be my favourite of the lot! Though in all honesty I'd be most likely to wear the first look this one is just so cosy and delightfully mis-matched I can't help but love it.

Do you tend to like to wear lolita in a more well coordinated manner, or do you like it when outfits go a little sideways or normal?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Review #45: Jillian Cutsew from The Black Ribbon

Recently I received two cutsews from American indie brand The Black Ribbon. They first announced their Jillian cutsew before Christmas, and when the preorder opened I finally leaped in and ordered one in each colour; ivory and black.

The reason I really fell for this design is because they are very simple, but still on the lolita spectrum. The chiffon sleeves are cute, and the little bit of lace and the bow make them a bit more than just a t-shirt with contrast fabric sleeves. But at the same time they're still toned down enough that I can wear them in normie or toned down looks. So all in all, a good choice for me and how I tend to wear lolita.

Due to the exchange rate and shipping fee from America, they were really more pricey than I'm happy with for fairly simple items, but I figured that basics are important so I went with it anyway. And I imagine I will get lot of wear out of these, particularly the black one. But enough backstory, onto a few pictures and a proper review.

As far as the fit goes, I ordered the size Large, which has listed measurements of 37-42 inch bust and 30-38 inch waist, and the listing said they would "easily stretch much bigger" than the max. It does go a bit larger comfortably, as it fits me well at bust/waist of 43.5/38. I don't know if it would be comfortable if you were quite a bit larger, but if you're between sizes you can definitely size down on this cutsew.

The materials feel to be of fairly decent, but not outstanding, quality. The knit fabric of the body is a little see through like any thin t-shirt. The lace on the neck is nice and the same pattern on both colours. As you can see in the pictures in the ivory version there is some colour variation between the fabrics, but what I really like is that the lace matches the sleeves in colour so there is consistency across the top.

The rear hem is slightly longer than the front, which I think is a nice touch for a lolita cutsew. It is also shorter than a standard t-shirt which again is perfect for lolita, but does mean that this cannot be worn with anything low waisted. 

The parcel that came to me was nothing exciting - the cutsews were in a plastic bag with the invoice, and that was in a padded satchel. I must admit, I've gotten used to receiving purchases with little extras so selfish me was a little disappointed to not get a note or postcard or something, but that's just my selfish side! The packaging to my opinion was perfectly fine and secure.

Then in regards to their customer service, everything was great. I only got automated Storenvy notifications about my order, which is all I need, but the owner also spontaneously refunded me ten dollars on the shipping as the automated calculator apparently overcharged me. I thought this was a really great thing to do, because I had already paid in full and I understand that "shipping" is not just the postage but also the packaging and time it takes to post, so I'd never compare the stamp price to what I paid (okay, okay, unless I was overcharged by like twenty dollars or more) and think it was bad if the stamp price was lower. So that was definitely an unanticipated bonus.

So all in all these two cutsews are a very welcome addition to my lolita wardrobe. Unfortunately, given that it's winter down under right now I won't really be able to wear them until alter in the year but I'm very glad to have them now nonetheless. Overall the quality and service from The Black Ribbon was fine, and I will certainly buy from them again if they release other items that would perfectly fill wardrobe gaps like these two cutsews did.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Lolita 52: Something that was a gift

Several things in my lolita wardrobe were gifts, actually, or bought with gifted money. In particular James has bought me a lot of things over the years! However, one thing from him really stands out, which is my Lyris Design custom made underbust JSK which was my birthday present in 2014.

I’ve said positive things about this dress many, many times so I’m not going to say it all again but it is one of my favourite pieces, possibly even the favourite. And I really like that one of the keystone pieces of my wardrobe was a gift from my lovely boyfriend ^__^

Another gift that I want to mention, because it was also sweet, are these barrette bows.

Work was quite challenging all last year, and on one of my bad days my housemate/friend/workmate Natalie came home with  bag of assorted goodies for me, which included these bows. They’re a great match for my wardrobe, particularly the pink one as it matches some hard-to-match pieces, and it was just so nice of her to do that for me.

Are there any noteworthy gift pieces in your lolita wardrobe?

Friday, 9 June 2017

A long time coming; Princess Rose outfits

I finally finished properly modifying the straps on Innocent World’s Princess Rose JSK and so now it’s time to share three new outfits featuring it!

A fairly accurate shot of the colour for once, though it is a bit more purple IRL.

You may recall that I turned the too-short straps into a halter, only to remember that I really don’t like halterneck anything! So despite this dress fitting well and being absolutely lovely it just languished unworn in my wardrobe until I finally got around to doing this recently. And I’ll be painfully honest, if it weren’t for the fact that this JSK was next in my outfit post order it would probably have languished for a little longer. But it was time for new flatlays so I knuckled down and did it!

Before I launch into the outfits I wanted to share a little of what I did to the straps, because modifying brand is a dramatic thing. Firstly, I cut the straps off the bodice, because I couldn’t figure out how to remove them without deconstructing the bodice to an extent, then I unpicked the straps. The lace was secured to only one half of the strap, so I removed it from one edge and attached it to an edge on the other, which gave me two equally sized rectangles each with lace on one side (rather than one with lace and one without). For security, I next zig-zag stitched all the raw edges. Then I sewed what was the front and back of each strap together to make two longer straps, and secured these to the front of the bodice, but out to the sides more than they were originally, since the straps were originally folded so mine were twice as wide. Lastly, I sewed a button at the rear end of each strap at the appropriate length. Overall I did a prettyy sturdy job, but certainly not a professional quality alteration. I’m aware that by doing this I’ve basically ruined the resale value (except perhaps to a fellow tallish lolita) but I like this dress, so I don’t care. I’d rather have something I can wear, and maybe only sell for twenty dollars when the time comes, than have something I’m not comfortable wearing that I could sell for a hundred.

So that’s a little explanation of how I modified this JSK. And now that that’s out of the way, onto so outfits using it!

I love this outfit, I think it's toned down and rather elegant. However, I realised after cropping my photos that I basically already did this exact outfit last time I coordinated this dress. Oops! What can I say? Some things are just good, and I would so totally wear this outfit.

This outfit (and the next one) are definitely not repeats though! Despite ivory being an obvious choice for this JSK, and one that I really love, I wanted to try a few different coordination options. So for this coord I ran with lots and lots of wine. It's a pity the body of that cutsew is a different shade to the sleeves, because the sleeves match perfectly! This outfit is actually a good example of how flat lays are quite a different animal to actual worn coordinates because depending on how the necklines sat on a real person there may be too much of the cutsew body on display, which would make it too clashing, in my opinion. But it does make a nice flat lay!

Lastly I wanted to try really sweetening it up, and to be honest I'm not a huge fan. The blouse was, int he end, too pink and so were the flower clips. The socks are a great match though, and I also got to use a headband I made ages ago and only recently incorporated into my lolita collection, so that's nice.

Overall, though I'm chuffed that this dress is now wearable, I feel like these flat lays are a bit all over the place. But that's okay - I find flat lays are a great way to experiment with outfits without having to get dressed up yourself. Of course, there are times when a flat lay won't work well worn, and some outfits that look great one are meh as flat lays, but overall they are something I really get a lot out of doing, even if they don't turn out 100%.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Lolita 52: How strangers react to my clothes, and how I react to their reactions

A lot of my Lolita 52 posts have been rather short lately, and this one even more so because I haven’t really had any reactions from strangers, only from family and friends. Within those people my favourite reaction was a friend of mine telling me I looked like a waifu when I was dressed up for uni one day.

Circa 2014 Roli aka "waifu ^__^.

So there we have I think the briefest post I’ve ever posted on this blog with the exception of hiatus announcements.

Do you have any interesting (preferably positive!) stories to share about your experiences with strangers and lolita?