Friday, 26 December 2014

Review #34: Metamorphose Socks

With some of my Christmas money I bought myself three pairs of lovely socks from Metamorphose temps de fille, and this is my review!


First up is two pairs of the Dressy Over The Knee Socks in antique white x bordeux and brown x antique white. I'd been eyeing these off for a while because I felt they were a nice neutral design that would go well with my wardrobe.

Then I got the above pair on bordeux. As soon as the Romantic Kimono series was put up on pre-order I fell in love with these socks, mostly because they feature camellia flowers. Because, random Roli fact, my dad is a plant breeder and there's a camellia variety out there named after me, the Paradise Caroline. So I've always had an immense soft spot for camellias and since you hardly ever see them in fashion items, these were a must get.

This is my flower ^__^

However, since they were on pre-order and the other socks were just in regular stock, I emailed in to ask if they could ship them out together and if so, how I should go about ordering. I got a helpful reply back saying I should place two separate orders but pay shipping for the total of the two orders once, but it turns out you can't do that in their check out. So I emailed back saying that and asking if I could be refunded if I paid double shipping. About a week later I got a reply saying yes, and apologising for the delay. By this point they were actually in stock anyway, so I placed the order as normal but I wanted to recount that because I found the online staff very pleasant and helpful.

I ordered on the 18th of December, received an email on the 23rd saying they had been posted on the 19th and had the package in my hands on the 24th. And now onto the part everyone was waiting for, the actual review.

Socks! Glorious socks! This picture is a tad dark though.

And this one's a bit bright but more accurate, colour-wise.

As you can see. the Romantic Kimono socks are actually a bit longer than the others, but they are all long, soft and stretchy. As for colour the only deviation from the stock pictures is really the brown ones which are noticeably lighter than the stock photo. The other two pairs are very accurate to the stock pictures. The three pairs of socks were in a clear plastic sleeve together and were mailed inside a big white Metamorphose shopping bag. Meta also sent along a brochure for their current Swan Garden special sets, a logo sticker and a spare shopping bag. All in all I am really happy with these socks.

Also, belatedly... Merry Christmas!

Monday, 22 December 2014

A Wardrobe Challenge: The classic and gothic edition

This wardrobe made me realise something that I've suspected for a long time: I don't do gothic very well at all. Gothic lolita, regular western goth, whichever. I'm just not good at it. So this may not be my best ever advice because I'm working with an aesthetic that I don't think I have the best grasp of.

However, with that said, I do think there are a few holes in this wardrobe that need plugging so I think I can still make some helpful suggestions. This is what they showed me they had:

As a side note, the two black jackets aren't exact. The gave me pictures that they said weren't exactly right, and since I wanted higher resolution images to work with I found jackets that were similar myself. After doing that, these are my suggested additions for their wardrobe:

These are the bare minimum pieces I think they need to get the most out of their wardrobe. More legwear and headwear options were an obvious need and to be honest I think they could do with even more than what I'm suggesting. I know the black, vintage style hat isn't a normal lolita piece but I felt it gave a great feel to some of the sample outfits I used it in, so there it is. They definitely need a simpler black blouse, and given that they had several blue pieces I felt that a dusty blue blouse gave them some great versatility. The blue shoes they had didn't really match their blue main pieces, or at least not on my computer, so I added a second pair of ivory shoes.

Also, half-way through making sample outfits I realised I forgot to add wristcuffs to my additions to adhere to my usual "something on the wrists" mantra so if bare wrists scandalise you, imagine them where appropriate. However, I do actually feel like this wardrobe is more pearl bracelet style than lacy cuffs style so I honestly think that nice jewellery would serve this wardrobe better anyway. Regardless, on we go!

A few different but simple coords to kick things off! I wasn't too sure if the print is grey or blue, but if blue another option would be using the dusty blue blouse I recommend they get.

Though these three coords use a lot of the same pieces I feel like they each have very different vibes ranging from quite casual to rather fancy.

These coords feature the first appearance of the vintage cloche hat! The outfit I used it in really has a great feel, I think. A bit casual but very, very smart at the same time. If you're someone who wears lolita regularly, or everyday, I think pieces like that hat would give you styling options that are a bit unconventional which would keep lolita feeling fresh.

Of course, I had to use the matching accessories to this dress! But it goes to show how much of an impact shoe and blouse choice makes, which is why I think shoes are an integral part of wardrobe variety.

I adore all of these outfits! I would wear each of them, that's how pleased I am. And even though they look a bit same-y next to each other, there really is a lot of variety here, and they'd look even better if they were worn with different jewellery.

These outfits feature a lot of similar pairings to the ones before, but are still different enough, I think, to not feel like you're wearing the same outfit. Another pair of OTKs in blue and ivory and an additional blue hair accessory would also help with that, though it's not really necessary.

I tried a couple of different looks for this gorgeous dress, though looking at it again I'm not sure the left outfit would really work. I like showing more casual options but I think that's a little too casual.

Not much to say about these ones, except that I didn't even try to make a casual one because that is not anything close to a casual dress.

With no other emerald green in the wardrobe there's nothing matchy-matchy to put with this OP. However, it works nicely with both black and white for old school looks, I think.

Another old-school OP coorded in simple ways.

This OP is so cute! I still don't tend to like coming up with coords for OPs but this one was a plesaure.

I have this skirt in wine, and I really like it. It's definitely one of the nicer Bodyline pieces, and I'm saying this because otherwise I have nothing of note to say about these coords.

The black colourway was easier to work with than the grey one... I especially love the centre outfit! Maybe I'm just infatuated with that hat...

Given the kind of punk-ish style of this skirt, I thought some more casual looks worked well. Though I will note that with the socks in the right outfit I'm honestly not sure if they're meant to be navy or purple, so I've taken a Schrödinger route and assumed that they're both, in a way, and used them willy-nilly. So please mentally replace them with the plain black pair if they're the wrong colour for an outfit.

Coording this skirt is where I really hit the gothic wall... these outfits are all quite nice, but I feel like I've missed the mark a bit. I can't say how though, so I'm probably just over thinking it.

Not much to say on these outfits except to point out, again, that the hat is awesome.

And lastly... Iron Gate! It looks purple but isn't, and again I repeat my disclaimer about the socks in the first outfit.

So there we have it! Another wardrobe made a bit more cohesive with a few little additions. Like I said at the beginning, what I suggest is definitely a bare minimum, and they'd do even better with even more options, but I hope this can be a bit of a helpful starting point.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Meal Prep #5 and a pre-Christmas blogging update

Wow. I've been a busy little bee lately, and I haven't been able to keep up blogging like I wanted to, and with Christmas coming up I'll probably be a bit sporadic again for a while. But I have some more wardrobe challenges in the works, another $500 wardrobe post, and there'll be some new lolita reviews soon as well!

That's the blogging update part of this post, now onto the meal prep side!

I present to you... a single photo. We didn't really do a proper prep this time around, or at least not to our usual scale and all in one go. James made a delightful pasta which gave us five meals worth of leftovers. A couple of days later I made 9 meals worth of meatloaf muffins, rice and vegetables which is what you see in the picture. I was meaning to make some containers of salad up but just haven't gotten around to it yet so all in all this meal prep was a bit all over the place. But still, even when we don't do as much it's still great to have ready-to-go food, and I'm keen to keep this practise up in 2015.

Monday, 8 December 2014

A Complete Country Lolita Wardrobe for Under $500

It has been a very long time since I've done one of these, and this in particular has been sitting in my blogging folder for at least six months. But I wanted to take a little break from the wardrobe challenges, and some nice recent comments have made me want to re-start this series so I present to you a hypothetical country lolita wardrobe that you could purchase now for under $500, excluding shipping.

As always, this wardrobe does not feature jewellery and accessories or purses. Though jewellery is great, how much you wear is a personal choice and though matching bags are great, most of us have something that will do well enough and besides, I'm trying to do this on a budget! I'm also aiming for a wardrobe which can provide at least seven fairly distinct outfits, one for each day of the week.

Country lolita to me, is more of a theme or styling choice than an actual substyle, and to me this wardrobe toes the line between sweet and classic lolita. I chose to work with a three colour palette to give the wardrobe more depth and variety despite it's limited size.

This wardrobe contains the following items:

1 OP, 1 JSK and 1 Skirt:
One of each of the three main style of main piece, with one being plain and the other patterned in different ways is what I think is the best way to get good variety out of a small wardrobe. Here the Bodyline OP [$47] and JSK [$53] both feature different floral patterns, and the OP even comes with a detachable apron for extra cuteness! The old-school looking skirt [$45] from Anna House is the plain piece, and I think the old-school look works great with the country vibe.
1 Neutral Blouse with Detachable Sleeves:
This ivory Bodyline blouse [$47] comes with a detachable jabot, which really doesn't suit the country theme but it's detachable, so it's okay.
1 Contrasting Blouse or Cutsew:
For the contrasting blouse I went with a lovely chiffon Infanta blouse ["purchased" from Clobbaonline] in brown [$49] which provides both colour and texture difference.
2 Outerwear:
Normally I aim for a more structured piece and a more feminine one, and in this wardrobe the former is the white cardigan [$40] and the latter the pink bolero [$27], both from Bodyline.
2 Headpieces:
The boater hat [$10] from eBay is the quintessential country lolita headwear choice and I think the Bodyline floral headdress [$4] also suits the theme well.
2 Pairs of Shoes:
Ah shoes. How I do love shoes. Both from Bodyline I chose a brown pair and a pink pair [each $40] for variety.
5 Items of Legwear:
I followed my usual legwear "rules". Two tights; one plain [$5] and one patterned [$4], both from eBay. Three socks; ankle length from eBay [$3], with plain OTKs [$13] and patterned knee-highs [$7] both from Bodyline.
1 Petticoat:
I factor in a petticoat at an average price of $50, but haven't included it in the pictures, being underwear and all. You need one though!
Total Cost: $484
With the few dollars left of the $500 budget I'd look into another piece of headwear, probably a pink and white headbow. Or some white ankle socks. Either way ^__^

And now, seven different outfits using the above pieces! I have to say, the recent wardrobe challenge series has really sharpened my coording skills since the last $500 wardrobe I did. It was so easy to come up with seven outfits it almost felt like cheating!

A rather elegant outfit, perfect for a fancy picnic.

And this outfit makes me think of the maid serving tea at said picnic!

This one is a bit elegant, a bit cute.

A cosy outfit for an outdoors walk on a cold day.

Super-floral! I'd nix the apron for this one.

This is a fairly old-school outfit that I'd love to wear!

A very simple, very summery outfit to end on.

So there you have it, a new instalment in the $500 wardrobe series. I'm going to so a hime lolita themed one next, which will be interesting! I'm always up to do one of these if you have a particular style or even colour scheme you'd like me to try out... and I'll try to get it done quicker than this one was!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Brown floral and chiffon outfits

I'm really having fun trying to come up with more coords for my own wardrobe so I decided to have a go with my very first lolita dress, Bodyline's L417 in brown! It's actually a dress I don't wear much because other than matching it with beige, I hadn't figured out good outfits for it. Until now, that is.

And of course, I wanted to start with a gratuitous print shot. This is pretty accurate colour-wise and to be honest the flowers are actually really hard to match; they are warm, but dark.

I actually bought this blouse thinking it would be a match for the chiffon ruffle at the hem, but as you can see, it's not. However, since I do have shoes that match the blouse perfectly I think this outfit manages to work anyway.

After the winter-y last outfit [tights and everything!] I wanted to try a outfit more suited for springtime. The blouse and boots give it a more casual vibe, as does the floral headband other flower clips. Unfortunately, none of my floral bits match the flowers on the dress, but I think it works well enough... though I may have to look into getting some new flowers. You can never have enough floral clips, right?

And I was trying really hard to keep the bows at the bottom in place, I really was...

Lastly, I wanted to pull together a more traditionally lolita outfit. I actually only received the Innocent World blouse pictured here yesterday morning, so that was good timing... it even has rose lace to make it an even more perfect match! The socks aren't a perfect match to the dress, but by bustling up the over-skirt to put more chiffon between the main skirt fabric and the socks I think they match well enough.

I'm still not 100% satisfied with these outfits; like I said, the flowers on the dress are hard to match. I think I'll look into getting some flower accessories that match because as long as one thing matches colour-wise I'm generally happy!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Meal Prep #4

Meal prep time again and today I was lucky because James did nearly everything while I played LOL and bummed on the internet. So I'm not actually sure how long it took, probably about 3 hours today plus a couple of hours last night to roast a leg of lamb. A usual, we made six each of four different meal types.

First out is roast lamb with corn, beans and baby carrots. I also want to say forgive the shoddy pics, it started storming while James was cooking so the ktichen was dark.

Stir fry vegetables over udon noodles.They don't look so appealing in these photos but they taste so good!

Roast potatoes, carrots and mixed broccoli, zucchini and asparagus with lightly fried chicken thigh on top. Normally we bake all the meats but with the amount of vegetables we were roasting in our tiny oven it was better time-wise to fry it this time.

Same assortment of vegetables with roast lamb on top. So much tastiness!

Monday, 1 December 2014

A Wardrobe Challenge: I see myself in this wardrobe

The title is honest; I really did feel a kinship to this person's wardrobe. Why? Because, like me, they have  more shoes than main pieces in their lolita wardrobe. Their ratio of shoes to main pieces is 15:12, mine is 17:14... though that's only counting lolita specific shoes, not the abundant other pairs I have. As a result of that ratio this wardrobe wins the imaginary prize for not requiring any suggestions for shoes. Yay!

Anyway, enough talk of shoes. These are the pieces that they presented me with, along with an ample assortment of bags which, as usual, I haven't included. They did not include headwear or any wristcuffs they may have, though I am assuming they do have some.

And below are my suggested additions. To be honest, some of these aren't 100% necessary. As you can see above, they already have a pretty well balanced wardrobe. But I adore dark green in lolita so when I noticed their green and gold socks I had to add some pieces to compliment them; even though they aren't "necessary" I think they do add a bit more depth, especially because it's an unusual colour choice. The off-white blouse I've added isn't completely needed, but I think having a slightly more elegant longer sleeved blouse gives them more options.Also, I added a short sleeved black blouse in my suggestions but, after having used it in some outfits I realised I didn't actually need it and could have just, with a few alterations to the outfits, used their existing black blouse instead. It does add more versatility, but they would probably be better served spending the money they would spend on the blouse to get some plain black and plain white OTKs instead.

Now onto everyone's favourite part; example outfits!

Starting off with my old nemesis... the OP. As onepieces go this one was  good to work with and I think it's a gorgeous dress. The ivory and brown are more classic leaning combos, while the red and gold is a bit more sweet styled.

The two outfits on the left and centre are fairly well balanced, I think, but the rightmost outfit would need some smaller red accessories to really tie it all together. Though, having said that, the right outfit is my favourite one.

This is the sweetest JSK in Anon's wardrobe, but since the rest of their wardrobe is more classic leaning I came up with outfits that I think span the classic to sweet spectrum as well as you can with a bright pink dress.

To get the picture of this JSK I photoshopped the sleeves off the OP version so excuse the slight weirdness of the image. Despite my normal praises of solid colours, I found the white a bit hard to work with... I guess I just don't like white. But you can see my first usage of the dark green items here!

Not too much to say about these outfits, except to point out that since so many of Anon's main pieces either have brown in the print or match well with brown, I felt that they needed two different pieces of brown headwear, which you can both see in the outfits above. As always, my suggestions are just suggestions for types of items so there's no reason they need two brown headbows; a cute hat or beret in brown from one of them would be great!

Here the outfit on the right definitely needs some smaller chocolate themed accessories to make the tights work thematically, but the other two are good as is.

For some reason the dark brown bows on this JSK ended up really bugging me and in the left outfit, where there is no brown in the accompanying pieces, I felt like they really stuck out. So I'm not sure how distracting the bows would be in that outfit in real life, but at least the other two outfits have enough brown accents for it not to be an issue.

Ah Loyal Rosette, how I wish you had suited me. I got a case of raging jealousy putting these outfits together, but if Anon ever wears my suggested combinations I guess I'll live vicariously through them.

The green returns! Seriously, how Christmasy is the outfit with the green? Though the left outfit is like an Australian Christmas outfit, very light and easy to wear during our burning summers.

I don't have much to say on this set of outfits, except that again in outfit like the right one smaller accessories would really help tie the colour scheme together.

More green! And red, and black... this JSK was so easy to coord.

This JSK was also pretty easy to work with, and cute to boot! I'm not sure if they have the headbow picture on the mannequins neck, but if they do they'll have another good headwear option for extra variety.

In closing, I want to reiterate that some of my suggestions here are more enhancements rather than necessities. I also want to point out that for both this an any wardrobe, some plain legwear options [which I didn't include] are always good ideas whether they be plain OTKS or solid colour tights. And, have made both those points, I'll be off!