Friday, 30 January 2015

Maiden Clothing Review

Recently I made an order with Maiden Clothing, a place where you can buy secondhand lolita clothing, very much in the same vein as Closet Child. 

As I was browsing the jumperskirts, one dress in particular caught my eye-- Baby's The World's Most Adorable Dog and the World'd Most Delicious Frappe print! I particularly liked the lace details and seeing as the price was really good, I decided to purchase it.

Ordering Process
To buy from Maiden Clothing without a shopping service, you must use the international order form, the process of which is explained in a clear, and helpful fashion on their website. On 7th January, I sent them a filled out the order form. 

After this, I waited for them to get back to me in order to confirm whether or not I had been successful in bagging the item. I received a response on 9th January, stating that I must pay through the payment processor NICOS, and that I have a week to do so. They responded under the handle "Pure Sound", which I believe is their parent company.

Several hours later I received an e-mail with a link to the NICOS platform where I used my card to pay for my dress, the shipping (for me it was 1800 yen, which I thought was incredibly reasonable) and a credit charge of 200 yen.

One thing to bear in mind is that your card company may charge you a small fee for paying in a different currency. I got a £2.50 transaction fee and a £1 purchase fee. Swell.

On 10th January I received an e-mail saying my payment had been accepted and processed, plus I was given a tracking number.

The dress made it into my possession on 20th January, although it made it into the UK several days beforehand and I had to wait for customs to clear it, plus wait for my payment of the import VAT to go through.

The package was made of really strong, thick paper/thin card, and whilst battered a bit, arrived very much intact.
To open the package I simply had to manually tear along a perforated strip. I found this very handy as I hate struggling to get into tough boxes. This also meant there was no chance of me inadvertently damaging the dress with scissors.

The dress was folded and securely sealed in a resealable plastic bag. There was no receipt, notes, or any sort of branding from Maiden Clothing. Straight to the point packaging, indeed!

My dress was described as being in 3/5 condition, and that I should expect some signs of wear and tear. I carefully inspected the dress multiple times and was unable to find anything wrong with it at all! It arrived smelling of fresh drycleaning and appeared to me to be in mint condition!

I love this jumperskirt! I simply cannot stop touching the gorgeous lace! It is so thick and soft! I am very pleased to own this dress due to the fact it suits my often "bittersweet" sensibilities, plus the contrast of black with white lace creates a very old school vibe which I love.

I found ordering from Maiden Clothing to be a straightforward and positive experience. They are quick to respond to e-mail orders, post your order out very fast, and their packaging is great, if rather impersonal. I had no problems whatsoever with the item I received, which was in much better condition than described on their site. I would definitely order from them again!

I hope you found this review helpful! If you have any questions then please feel free to leave a comment! See you next time  

Sunday, 25 January 2015

My Lolita Wardrobe 2015

So... yesterday I finally completed my wardrobe post for egl's January theme!

There are a few bits and pieces missing from it, like matching headbows, detachable bows and a ridiculous assortment of detachable waist ties I practically never wear on any of my dresses or skirts, so forgot to attach for the photos.  

Still... I'm quite pleased with my post this time round, and I have greatly improved on my skills in presenting it, even if I did end up having to use my phone's camera part way through! I spread the photo-taking over two separate sunny days when no-one else was home so I could have complete privacy. I think my family would find my wardrobe archiving bizarre, and I didn't want any interruptions during a process I find soothing and therapeutic. Editing photos, uploading photos, and writing up the post, with Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll as my soundtrack, took up my Saturday evening. Oh the relief I felt when I finally finished! 

So without further ado... here is the link to the post! Just click on the photo and it'll take you right there!

I hope you will enjoy it, and I would love to know if any of you did wardrobe posts, too! Leave links in the comments and I'll check them out!  

Monday, 19 January 2015

24/7 Lolita: Reality or Fantasy?

Sometime recently, someone began a thread on a facebook lolita discussion group about whether or not there was anyone who wore lolita fashion round the clock. Some people claimed they did, but mainly, people were very disbelieving that it was something anyone could do, or would want to do. 

Ribbon Rose Room Wear by Victorian Maiden. How lovely is this!?

I wouldn't be opposed to the idea myself. On my down days, I often feel as though lounging around the house in bland, sagging clothes can make me feel even more miserable than I would if I had something bright and cute to cheer myself up with. For such occasions, it is possible to find really adorable items (usually labelled as "roomwear" online) which are both comfortable and stylish. Perhaps that's something I should look into.

However, self proclaimed lifestyle lolita or not, there are always going to be occasions where you can't wear lolita. When I do land a job (which will most likely be office based), I will have to wear clothing which is "professional". Some people are lucky enough to work in environments where they can wear elegant classic pieces, or incorporate lolita items into their work outfits to create a look that is professional, and yet unmistakeably lolita-influenced. Some people even wear full lolita to their work place! I may not be that lucky, but it's fine-- more money, more brand at the end of the day! You work to earn a living, not to look cute (though if you can do both, you really are living the dream!) I expect 24/7 lolita would be easier for those who are unemployed, students, housewives or in a workplace with aforementioned lax uniform policies.

If we ignore the trouble that workplaces can cause in terms of disrupting this 24/7 lolita vision, then let's think about this in terms of only wearing lolita in one's free time.

Rabbit Apron by Baby, The Stars Shine Bright

In a separate thread, someone else claimed they did absolutely every one of their pass times in lolita, including cycling! I've sometimes thought about making or buying a cute apron I could wear over my lolita clothing for eating anything particularly messy, or when cooking. But somehow, there are still times when I don't even feel like putting on a dress. Do I really need to wear something that may get caught in the food, catch on something, get super messy, make me sweat more than something else etc for the sake of calling myself a 24/7 lolita? At those times, it wouldn't be worth it for me, and I would instead make workarounds. Something about spending the day, for example, in a cute cutsew and bloomers is appealing to me! In this way I would still be wearing something related to lolita, without it being impractical and uncomfortable.

3 Piece Night Set (2003) by Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. 
I must make myself something like this!

So, do I think 24/7 lolita is possible? Definitely. Is it something I can claim to take part in right now? Definitely not! Still, I figured it would be fun to come up with some ideas for a 24/7 lolita lifestyle, aimed at those who want to wear lolita or lolita inspired clothing in casual environments such as at home.

  • Get yourself some cute, comfortable roomwear! This is great for when you won't be leaving the house, and still want to feel dolled up!
  • Pretty nightgowns will make bedtime feel more whimsical! Sweeter lolitas may favour pastel colours and kawaii prints, whereas classic and gothic lolitas may feel more inspired by Victorian inspired gowns.
  • Have some cheaper items set aside for messier, less elegant days! Now is the time to lounge around in bargain brand items and old Bodyline pieces.
  • Bloomers make great pyjama shorts, and are perfect for days at home! You could get a longer pair for going outside and gardening if that's something you're into.
  • Think about dress cuts. Skirts sitting on your waist all day may not allow you to feel relaxed, so opt for jumperskirts with high waisted cuts so there's no pressure on your stomach.
  • Wear cute, lace topped or patterned ankle socks as opposed to plain ones!
  • Have a pair of slippers which suit your lolita style and will complete your "home" coordinate!

How do you feel about the idea of 24/7 lolitas? I'd love to hear what you think about it! Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time!  

Friday, 9 January 2015

Lolita Goals for 2015

I'm a bit late to the party with New Year related posts but here I am at last!
I thought I would go through both my personal hopes and wishes for lolita fashion this year. Let's start!

Metamorphose, 2002.

Get more old school items into my wardrobe.
Sweet lolita remains my favourite substyle, and the style that is the mainstay of my wardrobe. However, I find that I can't quite get to grips with the newer releases, in particular those of Angelic Pretty, which I feel has gone in a whole new direction aesthetics-wise. I prefer my oufits to maintain a feeling of simplicity; I find that even my most fancy coordinates never manage to be ott in any sense of the word! Thus, I've been looking at older releases, non print items, and old school accessories for inspiration for the direction I want to take my style.

Branch out with footwear.
Currently, I just seem to wear those Bodyline tea party style shoes for lolita, but I know there's a lot more out there I could try. It would be nice to vary things up a bit, rather than relying on the same style of shoe over and over again. I am interested in trying rocking horse shoes, but comfort will definitely come first in whatever new shoes I can find this year. I want them to be cute and loliable, but also practical for a whole day out and about somewhere.

Baby's ever-popular heart bag.
Buy a plain black bag!
Somehow I don't have a simple, completely plain black bag to match my lolita coordinates. I own two black bags, both with differing cream designs that can be very hard to coordinate with a lot of my wardrobe and probably weren't the best investment in the long run. I need a plain black bag! I always search but still haven't found one that is a good price and suits my style. I hope to find it this year!

Stop forgetting the wardrobe staples!
I could do with fleshing out my blouse and bolero collection. I am especially low on pink items, due to the fact I've gotten into a lazy habit of coordinating everything with black! I need to stop using dark colours as a crutch and make sure I can coordinate my main pieces in lots of different ways.

Photo by kleinertod
Visit Baby, The Stars Shine Bright in Paris!
I don't know if this is one I'll be able to pull off but I have been meaning to go to Paris for such a long time! I really want to visit Baby. I've never been to a brand shop before, and I feel as though it's a pilgrimage I need to make. I would be silly not to make the most of the closest lolita shop to me!

Make my own "main pieces" of lolita clothing.
During the two and a bit years I was doing my degree I didn't have nearly as much time as I would have liked to get any sewing done. In 2014 I was able to slowly progress from basic small accessories to bloomers. Next, I want to move to skirts and dresses, and make some of the old school pieces I am desperate to get into my wardrobe!

Have a stall at a lolita event.
This is an important one for me. I am passionate about my business and I am hoping that with hard work and determination, I will finally be able to sell my wares at a lolita event. Fingers crossed I can make this dream a reality! *runs off to do more sewing practice*

Did you make any lolita goals or resolutions for 2015? I'd love to hear about them! See you next time