Archives

Review: Horrorball

Hello readers,

I can’t be the only person crazy enough to look for reviews before buying a T-shirt, can I?

Horrorball is a new alternative/occult clothing brand based in the UK specializing in casual wear like T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and sweatshirts. (Also, phone cases, mugs, beach towels, and other miscellaneous accessories.) In general, they give me a bit of a Killstar vibe. Some of their designs are just too aggressive for my tastes, but there are some that I really love. You can get most of their designs on any of their products, too, which is neat.

La Luna

Why am I not a vampire yet?

Ghost Buddy

Just look at that cute little ghost friend. It’s beyond adorable!

I tried and tried to find some reviews on Horrorball, but I couldn’t find any. I decided to risk it and ordered their Ghost Buddy T-shirt in black because I loved it too much to not have it.

Shipping

Shipping is always the least exciting part of ordering anything from overseas. According to Horrorball, “We use USPS for standard deliveries to US. Each package prepared in London and shipped (overnight FedEx) to our fulfilment office in Philadelphia, PA. Usually it takes 4-10 business days.” I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, just on the other side of the state from their fulfillment office, so I assumed that shipping would be quick once my shirt made it state-side.

Shipping for one shirt cost me £5.00 GBP.

I placed my order (in the very early hours, EST) on May 31, 2017.

It was “Accepted at USPS Origin Facility” in Los Angeles, California on June 9, 2017 and shipped out later that same day.

It arrived at my house on June 12, 2017.

All in all, it was eight business days between when I placed my order and when it got to me, which was within the time frame they listed on their site.

They shipped using a poly-mailer that was unexpectedly blue. The poly-mailer held up well to shipping and arrived without any holes, tears, or scrapes.

Inside the poly-mailer, there was my packing slip (a little crumpled) and my T-shirt. I was really surprised and pleased to see that the T-shirt was in a large resealable zipper bag. I’m quite used to merchandise just being thrown into poly-mailers, and it was really nice to see that my little Ghost Buddy was so well protected on its journey.

Also, now I have a large zipper bag.

T-Shirt

So cute! [Also, cat hair already managed to get on the shirt! My cat is a fiend.]

The Ghost Buddy shirt I got is screen-printed on an American Apparel shirt. It’s very soft, and there are no side-seams. The neckband is made of ribbing fabric and lays flat. I’ve had shirts made with American Apparel shirts before, and they’ve all been fantastic and durable.

I love that the ghost doodle looks like it was made using a tablet, from the varying line thickness to the softness of the actual lines.

Soft line quality

The brand name has some intricate lines in the Os, and there the print is really crisp.

The “fuzzy” areas of the logo are my camera not being in focus there. Look at the middle O for the example.

Based on how thin and delicate these pentagram lines are and how small the detail overall is inside the O, I’d say that Horrorball’s screen prints are very good. I wouldn’t hesitate to trust the pictures on their website now, even the ones with teeny details in the print. They also do sublimation prints, but I don’t currently have any experience with those.

I washed the T-shirt in cold water and dried it with “regular” heat in my dryer. I turned the shirt inside out to protect the print during the wash.

The shirt does not appear to have been made with pre-shrunk cotton, as it did shrink in the dryer. (The tag says “Machine dry low,” but my dryer’s settings are high heat, regular heat, and no heat.)

Before going into the wash, the the XL shirt measured:

  • 24 inches across the chest, measured right under the armpits and going across the ghost’s eyes
  • 25 inches across the bottom hem
  • 30.5 inches from the middle of the collar to the hem, measured along the center back of the shirt

After the wash, the XL shirt measured:

  • 23 inches across the chest, measured right under the armpits and going across the ghost’s eyes
  • 24 inches across the bottom hem
  • 29 inches from the middle of the collar to the hem, measured along the center back of the shirt

The shrinking width-wise is not that drastic, but you should still keep that in mind if you’re between sizes or generally on the upper-end of their sizing. I do miss the 1.5 inches of length that the shirt lost, though, because it was very long before and I liked that.

All their shirts are male/unisex sizes. I knew from experience that my size would be an XL, which is good because their sizing chart for shirts is pretty sparse. If you’re familiar with how you fit in US men’s T-shirt sizes, you should be set.

Horrorball has a lovely, spooky aesthetic, but it’s a bit too spooky to me that I wear the largest size available from a T-shirt brand…

Worn Photos

Here are some pictures of me in my XL Ghost Buddy T-shirt. It fits loosely, which is how I like my T-shirts to fit. I plan on adding some DIY embellishments soon.

My current measurements are:

Bust: 44.25 inches (112.5 cm)

Waist: 34 in (86 cm)

Hips: 44.25 inches (112.5 cm)

Height: 5 ft, 3 in (160 cm)

Horrorball Ghost Buddy

It was windy AND humid outside. My bangs gave up.

Ghost Buddy in motion. Nyooooom.

I hope this review is helpful for anyone considering ordering from Horrorball.

I’m very pleased with my shirt. I’m going to place another order with them at some point soon to get a La Luna shirt, and maybe a Love Potion one as well… I’m excited to see where this brand goes in the future. Their Twitter is here: @itshorrorball, and their Instagram is here: @itshorrorball.

Since I think we should all give credit wherever credit is due, I found Horrorball from one of Jake Munro‘s vlogs. Check it out! (Horrorball shows up at 16:18.)

Stay spooky,
Raven

Lifestyle Lessons: Lolita Tabletop Games

Hello, readers,

To me, there’s something inherently and delightfully old-fashioned about sitting down around a table and playing a face-to-face game. What else feels inherently and delightfully old-fashioned? Why, the lolita lifestyle, of course! There are a lot of very cool modern board games and card games that exist, but not all of them really feel that lolita to me. Games about spelunking (The Cave) or kaiju beating one another up (King of Tokyo) might be a lot of fun to play, but I don’t think that they would remind anyone of lolita-ness.

It turns out I’m not the only one who’s thought of lolita-themed board games. There was even a thread on EGL back in 2009 about making a lolita board game, but it was just a fun sort of thought experiment and they weren’t serious about actually making a physical game. However, there are a lot of games that do exist which are appropriately themed. The following is a compilation of six “lolita” games, three of which are proper, published games available for purchase and three of which are lolita-specific redesigned versions of existing games.

* * *

Parade

This is a card game that you can play with 2-6 players.You can go to boardgamegeek.com to download the rules, read reviews, see images, and generally find a lot more information about Parade. This particular version of Parade is Alice in Wonderland-themed. The art on the cards is really beautiful, and I love that they even include the Dodo. I’ve seen people online complain that they feel that the game has nothing to do with Alice, but I really think that the theme fits. It’s fun to see these characters forming a kooky parade to nowhere. There isn’t any in-game text that you need to read, so everyone can play the game without any sort of reading or language/translation difficulties.

Here’s what a 2-player game of Parade looked like close to the end:

P1080330

The bad lighting and the coffee table color are making everything look grossly yellow-orange. This is actually a beautiful game in person.

If you’re interested in getting a feel for this game, you can watch this 20-minute video below. It’s my favorite overview of the game that I’ve seen.

I really like this game. I think it’s easy to understand but harder to learn how to play well. I think this sort of game is normally called “deceptively simple.” It works well as a game with only two or three people. With the ability to seat up to six people, though, I think that this game might be great to bring to smaller meet-ups when everyone could play.

Like with most simple card games, you don’t actually need to buy it to play. If you want to try this game out before/without buying this specific version, it’s possible to stitch together a deck of 66 cards using two different-looking packs of regular cards to create the six suits if you count the Ace as 1, the Jack as 10, and the Queen as 0. There are also some re-themed versions available to print out and play for free. Still, it’s really the Alice in Wonderland theme that makes this game feel lolita-esque to me.

Elevenses

This is a game about setting up tea for 2-4 people. I’ve heard that the game actually drags unpleasantly with four people, though, so I would stick with playing Elevenses with either two or three people. It’s a game that you play with cards, but it feels more like a board game to me because of all the specialized rules about placement and scoring.The game is played in rounds, after which the player(s) with the best tea party earns some sugar cubes, and you play several rounds until one person gets seven sugar cubes total.

The following video is a quick, 7-minute overview of how the game plays. Alternatively, you could look on boardgamegeek for more information.

The art on the box (and the art on the special guest cards that are optional) depicts people from the 1920s. That’s not my favorite aesthetic (and it doesn’t seem very lolita to me), but I do like the art on the regular cards. It’s a small game, but I like how the creators implemented the theme in small details, like calling your hand of cards a “kitchen” and having the grid of face-down cards form your “tablecloth.” Unless you have a very small comm, I don’t really think that this is a game you can just bring to meet-ups willy-nilly because of the small player count. If you have one or two lolita friends that you see outside of meet-ups, though, I think that this would be a very fun little game for you to have.

Piece o’ Cake

In German, this game is called “…aber bitte mit Sahne” (but with whipped cream, please). Oddly enough, those two titles combine to tell you how the game plays and is scored. If you’re interested in seeing how to play, you can watch this very quick video below or check it out on boardgamegeek.com.

I like the idea of using a cake stand with this game to hold the “unmade” cakes, and just to add a bit more dimension to the game. It’s a fairly quick game with a good bit of strategy. My issues with this game are all aesthetic. The cakes look a lot more like pie to me, and I wish that they were thicker so that they actually looked like crazy cakes when assembled. In addition to mostly looking like pie, one of the cakes specifically looks more like pizza to me, especially because the cakes are flat. I know that I’m being petty, but there isn’t much else to talk about with Piece o’ Cake.

Still, it’s a pretty good game about making/collecting and eating cake. That’s delightful! If you’re ever in meetups with 2-5 people, I’m sure that this would be a big hit.

Lolita Uno

This is a game version that I redid. I say that, but I really just spent a couple of days working in Photoshop using pictures from Google Images.

P1080166

This was a fun little project that I did when I had some free time, and I paid to get a custom deck printed. Instead of the four primary colors, I used classic, gothic, sweet, and oldschool lolita as the “suits.”

P1080165

I’m pleased with my project, and I think the game is a lot of fun. Then again, I like regular Uno a lot, too.

It might be “cheating” a little to include this particular game here, since you can’t buy it or print out a free copy for yourself, unlike the other games on this list. You could always just make your own version, though, using whatever pictures you like. Uno is a really easy game to modify with a theme. I think that using pictures of your comm members might be a cool way to personalize this sort of concept if you want to play it at meets. The regular Uno rules say that you can play with 2-10 people, but you can run out of cards at the higher player counts. You might want to smash together two decks to instead play with 7-14 people.

Cards Against Lolitas

Milky Fawn made this custom deck-expansion for Cards Against Humanity. She talks about it briefly on her blog.

Here’s a video of them testing it out, in case you haven’t seen it already. If you don’t like vulgarity, don’t watch this video. Then again, you shouldn’t be playing any version of Cards Against Humanity if you don’t like vulgarity.

A lot of people found that the cards were funnier when they were mixed up with regular Cards Against Humanity cards. I agree, and I was able to get my housemates to enjoy playing a game with some of the less lolita-specific cards, like “showing knees *gasp!*,” “a DIY project gone unforgivably wrong,” and “farting in a petticoat.”

The whole deck expansion (possibly with some additions) is on Cardcast  if you want to just look through the cards or print them out. MC Melody Doll has her own expansion, too. The last big expansion I found was created by the Milwaukee Lolita Society. I couldn’t actually find their deck on Cardcast, but they have all the cards in a list here. I was able to go through all of these collections and write the more mainstream-friendly ones on extra blank cards to add them to our deck that way. If you go through all of the different lists, you’ll find a lot of overlap, but that’s to be expected.

Cards Against Humanity in general can be played with lots of people at once, although it still might not be the best game to play with your lolita community. I think it all depends on the individual people in your comm and what everyone’s sense of humor is like. I really despise a lot of the actual Cards Against Humanity cards and think that they are unfunny mood-killers, but someone else might think that those same cards are the best in the whole game.

Lolitopoly

This is just super cool. Misirlou of the blog Frou Frous made this. She even has a whole section of her blog dedicated to the resources and instructions you’ll need to print out and assemble your very own copy of Lolitopoly. I had a copy of Monopoly that we never played, so I took it over and turned it into my own copy of Lolitopoly. Since I think most people know how to play Monopoly, this little blurb is going to be a review of this particular print-and-play version.

P1080350

The game pieces are so adorable, but they have a bit of trouble standing on their own. I put paperclips on their bases to give them some more weight, but the lolita pawns we were playing with still blew away and fell over when I sneezed during the game. In the printables linked above, there are also some uncolored pieces so you could customize them before or after printing them out.

Here’s what the board looked like halfway through a 2-player game:

P1080340
And here’s what it looked like at the end, when I lost horribly:
P1080343

Since I was able to take over a normal game of Monopoly to make this version, I spray-painted all the original houses and hotels black and pink to match the design of the board. I don’t actually know what the print-and-play equivalents of these buildings are supposed to be. There were some minor snafus I ran into while assembling my copy. Firstly, I had to bump up the saturation of the $50 bills in Photoshop because the printer was making the color for the $20 bills and the unaltered $50 bills look identical. Secondly, the size of the Lolitopoly board was slightly smaller than the Monopoly board I was covering, so I have a number of seams where I fudged the placement, but that’s not too noticeable. My boyfriend did not like that the $1 bills were smaller than the others, but I didn’t care about that. He was also a bit frustrated that the Brand (original = Property) cards did not have the mortgage values on the back. I affixed all my Brand, Chance, and Luck (original = Community Chest) cards to cardstock, so I’ll probably make that alteration soon. I also want to go in with some light watercolor and color the backs of the Luck and Chance cards.

For the most part, Lolitopoly is identical to Monopoly. There were some changes to the regular game rules that made Lolitopoly absolutely brutal, though. You can actually see all the changes in the pictures below:

P1080349

Customs Fees are $200 (the original Luxury Tax is $75), and the Bad Exchange Rate is a flat $200 (but the original Income Tax is either 10% OR $200, which is much more affordable). My boyfriend and I found our $200 payday completely voided several times in the game. The Secondhand Shops (original = Railroads) are only $25 in Lolitopoly, potentially to compensate for the more expensive hazards, but my boyfriend insisted on playing with them costing the original $200, so everything was very expensive in our game. Lastly, look at that ridiculous Chance card. In case the picture is broken when you’re reading this post, it says “Mr. Yan’s New Bride: Should’ve read that contract! Lose $500 during your hasty escape.” I pulled this card, and it was crippling. Thematically, it made an odd kind of sense since I had just pulled a “Pilgrimage to Japan” card, but it was painful.

The theme was very oddly fitting. For about half the game (going around the board, buying Brands, paying Customs Fees and Bad Exchange Rates, and getting a $200 Payday), it really felt like building up a lolita wardrobe and buying more pieces with a part-time salary. (That’s the half of the game that I really loved.) Paying rent after landing on another player’s Brand space and putting houses and hotels on the spaces felt like regular Monopoly, though.

All in all, I think it’s a pretty successful re-theme. Unless you hate Monopoly, I think that this version is worth printing out and playing.

* * *

Well, readers, do any of those games seem fun to you? I tried to pick out games that generally felt lolita-esque. Of course, you could also play several old games like Whist, Cribbage, Old Maid, and Charades, and have a classic 19th-century parlor game night. Additionally, you could add any of the many wonderful gothic or horror-themed board games out there (like Gloom, Mysterium, Letters from Whitechapel, and Fury of Dracula) for a night of gothic lolita gaming. I honestly don’t know what I would recommend for a sweet lolita game night, though. It’s just so far out of my element that I can really only think of playing children’s games like Candyland. (I don’t know that I’d recommend that, though. I love the idea of Candyland, but I’ve never actually had fun playing it.)

Stay playful,

Raven

Review: Bodyline Wigs

Hello, readers,

Today, I’m going to review a pair of Bodyline wigs that I ordered. I got W057 in red (4) and W089 in gold (1), and I decided to try experimenting with colors with some cheap (but good?) wigs. I’ve seen a lot of quick reviews about Bodyline wigs, and every single one says that the wigs are good quality for the price. As a wig novice, I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. I intend to review these wigs in detail to the best of my abilities in the hopes that it helps out some of you who might also be new to wigs.

While wigs are not necessary for lolita, they can be fun and helpful. Plus, I am hoping to be able to wear wigs on a more everyday basis so I can look nice even when my hair is a mess.

Let’s face it, as much as I love my natural hair, it looks like this most of the time:

What can you do?

Also, I was a bit absent-minded when I made my order and forgot to buy extra wig caps from Bodyline. When I took all these photos for this review, I also couldn’t find my own wig cap, so I improvised. If my wigs look like they’re sitting weirdly (I don’t think they do), this might be the reason.

Without further ado, here’s the review.

* * *

Air Mail Shipping and Packaging

For the first time, I was tempted to go with EMS shipping. There’s something about the “instant transformation” effect of wigs that makes me crave faster shipping, but I went with air mail shipping to keep this order under $50. I sent this order through using their old website when they were transitioning, so I don’t know if that affected my shipping time.

I placed my order on Wednesday, July 22, and I got it on August 13. This was actually the quickest Bodyline air mail delivery I’ve ever had.

Wigs

The only experience I’ve had with wigs prior to this order is crappy Halloween wigs and a defective Lockshop wig (whose issues have yet to be sorted out, despite a Facebook chat with customer service that has been going on since February…). For those of you who know more about wigs and the value to expect at certain price ranges, I’m going to include the cost in the little blurbs so you can decide for yourself if Bodyline wigs are indeed good for the price.

Both these wigs shed if I run my hands over them, but I don’t think it’s anything ridiculous. My Lockshop wig shed more than these two wigs, actually. I haven’t handled them enough to figure out if the shedding is just a “new” thing or if it persists.

W057 – red (4)

I’ve always thought that this wig looked lovely on the site. In person, the fibers are meh. They’re really not that soft, but they don’t feel bad against my neck or shoulders. The bangs were the worst part about this wig for me. I would have liked if they were longer for aesthetic reasons, but they came at just the perfect length to stab me in the eyes as I tried to get this wig on and adjust it. The bangs were also cut very sloppily, with long leftover strands and general unevenness. The wig cap sometimes felt too tight, but other times when I put it on it felt like it was just barely the right size. If you know you have a large head or sometimes have issues with wig caps being too small, this one might give you problems.

It’s a shame that this wig isn’t very soft because I really love the colors: a mix of box-dye burgundy and black. The colors do change a lot depending on the lighting, though. When I went outside with this wig, my boyfriend said he thought it turned pink. I don’t know if I agree with that, but it’s certainly different from the almost red-brown color it was in our poorly lit living room.

At the time of buying, 2,499 yen was just a couple cents over $20.

W089 – gold (1)

This wig is delightful. The curls are so bouncy, and they boing with every step and shake of my head. That obviously makes it look less like natural hair, but I love the effect. Also, the wig fibers are really soft. They’re even softer than my Lockshop wig ever was. The wig did come with loose fuzzy hairs, and I have no idea how hard it will be to maintain the lovely curls, but this is my favorite wig of the two I bought. The wig cap is also larger than the W057 one, but I don’t know how to give more specific information about that. The default bangs on this wig are super long, so make sure you’re prepared to cut them if you decide to order it.

(I will show more about the twin tails later on.)

I thought this blended blonde color was lovely. It does change color when going from indoor lighting to outdoor, but I like both the muted blonde and brighter blonde color I’ve seen with this wig.

I only plan on using the main wig base because I dislike twin tails. Still, here is what they look like.

When I bought this wig, 3,499 yen was about $28.

Wigs with Cut Bangs

Well, that’s it for the review.

I don’t really know if either of them look more natural. W057 is a more natural style, but it’s a box-dye red color that I’ve never seen be anyone’s natural hair color. W089 is a lovely color and it’s blended convincingly, but the shape of the curls and the bounciness make it more conspicuous. The only other wig style that caught my attention is the ringlet one, but Bodyline seems to be out of black.

* * *

Readers, do you have any experience with Bodyline wigs? What are your feelings on wigs in lolita/general fashion? Please let me know in the comments below.

Update: If you are interested in reviews of Bodyline’s clothing and accessories, I have done two reviews that you can read here and here.

Stay lovely,

Raven

Review: Bodyline (March 2015)

Hello, readers,

This is a super late review. I made this order in February, and I got it in March. I’ve been swamped since, so I’m only now just getting to post it. Whoops.

Anyway, I decided that I wanted to expand my lolita wardrobe in the beginning part of 2015, but I also needed to make it more versatile. This Bodyline order was about getting basics and accessories. I need more blouses, so I ordered L059 in black because it has detachable sleeves, which are fabulous. I need accessories, so I got a bonnet (HAT192 in blackxoffwhite ), a rectangle headdress (ACC064 in black ), a fascinator (ACC1371 in blue), some hair flowers (ACC1093 in cream ), and wristcuffs (ACC1040 in offwhite). I ordered three more pairs of shoes to help add diversity to my classic coords: SHOES255 in navy, SHOES152 in black, and SHOES272 in beige. I recently acquired an Innocent World skirt in “milk tea” and I wanted to make this color more prominent in my wardrobe, so I got Bodyline’s L380 skirt in cream with this order. Hopefully with two skirts in the same family of colors, I’ll be more inclined to invest in coordinating accessories and thus wear both skirts better and more often. I also really want to be able to do better sailor coords now that the weather is warm, so I got a seifuku from the cosplay section (COSTUME573 in navy – don’t worry, I’ll explain my reasoning for how I planned on using it for lolita). I also threw in some silly sunglasses (SUN206) for fun.

* * *

Air Mail Shipping

Some of you probably know this already, but you should never order anything from overseas near Chinese New Year. I assumed that, since Bodyline ships from Japan, my order would be unaffected. I was wrong. I’ve never had air mail shipping take this long, and I know a lot of others had their Bodyline orders stuck in limbo, too. This time, I actually placed two orders: one on February 4, 2015 and another on February 14, 2015 (I may have gotten caught up in the Valentine’s Day sale.). My orders resulted in four packages. The February 14th package arrived first, on March 11, two of the February 4 packages arrived the next day, on March 12, and my last February 4 arrived much later, on March 27.

However, my packages were treated well, wherever they were kept. None of the packages suffered any damages. One shoe box was slightly squished, but the damage to the box was very minimal, and the shoes were fine.

Damage-free packaging! Whoo!

Damage-free packaging! Whoo!

For a review where I talk in detail about a normal order with air shipping, check out my other Bodyline review.

* * *

Items

Note: I look really sick in some of these pictures! Sorry! I also got a new camera in the middle of writing this post and dyed my hair, so there will be big differences between some of these images.

Accessories

So, the accessories I got fell into a weird category split. If it’s from the lolita section, then it turned out to be made from Bodyline materials using normal Bodyline construction. If I got something from the specific accessories section, then I got things that look and feel very different from the standard Bodyline model. It makes sense, given that Bodyline probably doesn’t design most of its general accessories, but that does make it more of a gamble (in terms of construction) than normal.

HAT192 – blackxoffwhite

Huzzah for bonnets! This is a soft half-bonnet, but it actually holds its shape pretty well on my head. I like the addition of the comb, but I don’t know if it will do a good job keeping this bonnet in place since I haven’t worn it out on a windy day. I think this bonnet’s great, especially for the price. Also, since Bodyline uses the same materials for pretty much everything, this bonnet is a perfect match for my blackxwhite L348 JSK.

Bonnets, like the wristcuffs, are another item group that’s hidden from view on the regular “overseas” website. I like the design of this bonnet much more than the other bunny-eared bonnet Bodyline also sells.

ACC064 – black

I don’t really know what to say about this headdress, other than that I like it a lot. I think it’s a well-executed headdress with a nice, simple design. The high-contrast colorways do look too busy, but I think that the black, white, or pastel colorways would be an excellent addition to any rectangle headdress collection.

ACC1371 – blue

This is very cheap. The “flocking” on the netting is actually bits of folded pipe cleaner. The clip inside the hat is hot glued in two places, but it already came unglued from one of them when I was just looking at it. The fake pearls look like cheap fake pearls, but that’s to be expected. The one thing that did surprise me is that the bow is made of a soft material while the hat base is a fairly standard “cheap costume hat” material that’s hard. The color matching is very impressive.

The other problem I have is that the hat base is flat, but the hat itself is just big enough to need to curvature to fit to your head without a noticeable gap. I wouldn’t get this little hat, even if it does come in nice colors.

ACC1093 – cream

The flowers are silly and floppy, but they get the job done and they look much better when worn. I’m not sure what the inside label is about, though.

ACC1040 – offwhite

These wristcuffs look cute, but they are so itchy! It’s a bit silly when you look at how these were made because they used transparent ladder lace, but the elastic isn’t noticeable when worn (if you can stand to have them on at all). The “offwhite” colors are all different, which annoys me now but may potentially prove useful in coordinating.

These are probably the best-looking wristcuffs that Bodyline sells, but just pass them up. They’re itchy and uncomfortable, and I don’t think they’re worth putting up with if you’re buying them.

SUN206 – black (no longer on website?)

It’s a bit embarrassing why I got these, but I really just wanted a pair of gothy sunglasses. The black ones looked like they might fit the bill, so I added them onto my order.

So, the black roses are grey. It’s also really weird, because they’re made of polymer clay. You can still see fingerprints in some of the rose petals, and then they all have a hole where they were skewered before being attached to the frames. I assumed that the roses and frames would all have been cast from the same material at the same time, so I was very surprised to see this.

IMG_1991

My boyfriend told me that the roses looked like eyebrows, and I wasn’t able to unsee that. I ripped off the center roses and painted the remaining roses and rims with black nail polish.

P1050765

The paint job might not be the best, but I like these sunglasses better now. There’s an actual chance I might wear them if I go out in the sun this summer.

Shoes

SHOES255 (navy) and SHOES152 (black – no longer on website?)


These are the exact same shoe, even if the item numbers are different. I’ve wanted these shoes in black for years, but I always held off because I didn’t think I needed another pair of black shoes. That was true when I had a smaller wardrobe, but my wardrobe has grown a lot, and it’s mostly black, so I needed some more diversity. I only recently saw that this same shoe model came in navy, too. I have been fruitlessly hunting for navy shoes that don’t have a peep toe or some other hideous design feature for so very long that it felt like a sign when I saw this.

The central bow is removable, but the other two are not. The ankle strap is the only one with a hidden snap clasp.

I’ve seen some reviews of Bodyline’s navy shoes saying that there is a weird green-ish tinge to the navy. I think that’s a problem with the shiny “enamel” navy. While these shoes are lighter in real life than in Bodyline’s stock image, I’d still say that this is a navy shoe. I don’t notice any green undertones to it, either. Compared with the seifuku, the shoe color is a little brighter. I think the color of the shadowier parts of the shoes is actually really close to the skirt color, but I don’t know if you can tell that from the picture.

P1050848

The shoes themselves run true to size. I ordered a 225 since that’s what I measured my foot to be, and they fit well. The area right by the toe-box bow did press in a little, but it was more of a pressure than a pain. If you’re not used to having your ankle restricted, then walking in these will be a little weird for a while.

Another very important note about the fit: I tried these on once when my feet were a little bit swollen at the end of a day, and I could barely get these on. The length of my foot fit fine, but I almost could not buckle the ankle strap. When I did manage to buckle it, it was very tight and totally pinching into my leg. Because of the short length of the middle straps and the hidden snap clasp on the ankle strap, punching new holes in the straps isn’t a viable option. If your feet are prone to swelling or if you just have fatter feet, you might have difficulties fitting in these shoes. I haven’t tested them out in winter weather yet, but I can put these on just fine on summer mornings only to feel them get too tight as the day goes by. It’s really a shame that a stupid thing like strap length makes these shoes hard for me to wear, since my foot still fits just fine in the actual shoe and I love how they look.

SHOES272 – beige (no longer on website?)

I love Oxford heels. I already had a pair of these shoes in red in my size (225), and they’re too small. The material of these shoes is soft and pretty flexible compared to their normal shoe pleather that’s hard as rock. So, even though the red 225 shoes are too small, I can still wear them. This time, though, I did order a size up and got these shoes in beige in size 230. They fit a lot better, so I would definitely say that these shoes run small in all colors.

I bought the beige to help me expand my classic wardrobe, so here’s how the shoe color compares to some of my other beige/cream items.

The Bodyline blouse is a super strange color that I think is very orange-y but will not photograph correctly. The lace is actually fairly close to the color of the other clothes, but the fabric is too weird. I’m quite pleased with the color of these shoes. They are really close to being a perfect match for the two skirts.

I don’t really have much else to say about these shoes. I’ve never had issues with the red ones, and I think that they’re a great value. Unlike the other shoes I ordered, this is a fairly standard shoe you can probably find in a local store, but they were really cheap on Bodyline’s website. At the time of publishing this post, though, they’re sold out in every size/color on Bodyline’s website.

Blouse – L059

Huzzah for blouses! My wardrobe is mostly JSKs and skirts, which means that I have a hard time wearing lolita because I don’t have enough blouses. This one has detachable sleeves for maximum versatility.

Note: My camera struggles with black. This blouse is not tinged green; it’s a regular black.

So, I think this blouse is very nice as a whole, but the lace is really bad. Thankfully, it doesn’t touch my skin anywhere except the cuffs and the ends of the short sleeves, which I can deal with. The lace just looks bad, though, which is a shame since the lace is double-layered nicely in a lot of places. Since it’s mainly the vertical lace that looks horrid, this blouse is still fine for wearing under JSKs, and the jabot can help if you’re wearing a skirt.

I got this blouse in size 4L, which has measurements “Length 63cm / Bust 106cm / Waist 92cm / Shoulder length 38cm / Sleeve length 26/48cm.” My measurements are “Bust 114cm / Underbust 85cm / Waist 80cm.” I measured my sleeve length, and it is supposed to be 54cm. My “high hip,” where this blouse sits on me, is about 104cm.

This blouse looks really bad on me with jeans, but I thought that this would be the best way to show off the blouse. The gaping isn’t bad at all for how much my bust exceeds the measurements of this blouse. I must be measuring my sleeve length in a different way than Bodyline does, because the detachable sleeves are too long for me. It’s so hot out right now that I can’t imagine using them anyway. I’ll probably alter them once it starts to be cold again, but that won’t be for a while. Also, though my waist measurement is well under the maximum measurement for the blouse, I would not recommend getting this blouse if you have over an 85cm waist. While it doesn’t feel tight on, it looks it; this blouse is definitely not roomy on me.

IMPORTANT: This blouse bleeds black dye. Maybe I was foolish for wearing it out without washing it first, but I wore this blouse out on a hot day and then found that it stained my skin blue-ish in places. I was terrified that it also stained the lace on my Baby dress, but my dress was perfectly fine. No real damage was done. I would be really careful when washing this blouse for the first time in case it stains some lighter clothes.

Skirt -L380

I’ve always liked the look of this skirt, and I decided to give it a chance in cream now that it won’t be such an anomaly in my wardrobe. Plus, the black colorway was sold out.

Note: My old camera also had a really hard time with this skirt. I used a red background, so all the shadows are tinted green.

The general advice about this skirt that I see people give is to toss the detachable broach thing in the trash because it looks cheap. I thought it was fairly cute, so I just cut off the terrible pearl strand and plan to stick it in my hair.

Anyway, here are the worn pictures. I ordered size 2L, which is lists its measurements as “Length 63cm / Waist 72-82cm.” My own personal measurements at this time are “Underbust 85cm/ Waist 80cm.” Honestly, I was more confident about fitting in the 4L, but that size in the cream colorway has been sold out for ages.

Clearly, you can see that this thing is straining. Actually, the zipper split open as I was getting this skirt on just for these pictures. We were able to get the zipper back in working order, but now I’m super worried about wearing this skirt. I need to lose chub anyway, but I have a feeling I’ll always be a little paranoid about this thing popping open when I’m out and about. I don’t like that the plastic zipper is so close to the edge of all this shirring, and I feel like the zipper issue I had must be a common one.

P1060025

Busted zipper, after I took the skirt off.

I really like this skirt. I think it’s lovely, actually. I really wish that I’d been able to order it in a 4L, though. Maybe then I wouldn’t have to worry about it giving out on me. If you’re looking to buy this skirt, I’d make sure that you’re well under the maximum measurements for whatever size you’re looking to get.

Seifuku – COSTUME573

If the link goes nowhere, try right-clicking and selecting “Open link in new tab.” This is currently hidden on Bodyline’s website, but they still have several sizes and colors in stock, as of publishing.

This was the first time I ordered a costume from Bodyline, and I was really surprised at how nicely everything was packaged. I’m used to lolita items being folded in their red bags, but this costume came on a hanger, wrapped in a garment bag. The skirt also has little loops to hang it with, which is a detail I haven’t found on any other Bodyline clothes, and the skirt pleats were even basted closed to maintain their integrity.

Here’s the seifuku being worn the way it was intended. I got the 4L, which has blouse measurements of “Length 47cm / Bust 110cm / Waist 104 cm / Shoulder length 41 cm / Sleeve length 41 cm” and skirt measurements of “Length 42cm / Waist 80-84cm.” Right now, my measurements are “Bust 114cm / Underbust 85cm / Waist 80cm / Hips 111cm.” We already establish with the blouse above that I can’t measure my sleeve length in a way that makes sense with the figures Bodyline provides. For reference, I’m 5’3″ (1.6m) tall.

I look very fat and frumpy in this costume (as I expected), and the blouse does weird things because there isn’t room for the curvature of my bust (as I also expected). I just look plain silly, which isn’t helped by the fact that this has a zipper in the front. (A really, really bad zipper, too. It’s a struggle to make this thing zip.)

If you want to buy this for cosplay, then make sure you’re okay with the zipper look. Also, buy the next size up if you’re close to the maximum bust measurements of a given size. I know my measurements are right at the maximum for the largest size, but I really think these tops look best if you have some extra room. I personally didn’t buy the 5L because then the blouse would be too long for what I want to use it for.

I didn’t buy this to actually wear it like a seifuku. I actually bought it because it has a silly zipper in the front so that I can use it as a light jacket for sailor lolita coords.

Well, what do you think? I think it has potential. At the very least, I look much better in this thing if it’s unzipped. I’m also going to see if I can work the skirt into my normal wardrobe, because I do love pleated skirts.

* * *

Thanks for sticking with me through this review.

I spent $164.78, which is more than I spent last Bodyline order when I got two dresses, two blouses, a pair of shoes and some wristcuffs ($152.17). (There may have been some yen fluctuations, but I’m too lazy to check.)

I recommend staying out of the sundries section on Bodyline because the quality seems to vary a lot. However, I am surprised that the costume I ordered was as nice as it is; I was expecting it to be awful. I hope all their other costumes are also decent quality.

This will probably be my last big Bodyline haul, at least for a while. Despite buying some brand recently, I’ve still ended up with a closet full of Bodyline, and I think I have most of the basics I need from them. Going forward, I’d really like to incorporate a lot more handmade items and keep an eye on some indie brands.

Update: In addition to another Bodyline clothing review I did (here), I also reviewed a couple of Bodyline wigs here. Please check those posts out if you thought this one was helpful.

Stay nautical,

Raven

Review: Eat Me Ink Me – Alberta Skirt

Hello, readers,

I have a great fondness for architectural motifs, especially in lolita. While wandering around Etsy, I came across the Alberta skirt from Eat Me Ink Me, an indie brand based in Latvia. I really liked the general look, especially how the print fades from being a saturated color at the bottom of the skirt to being very pale up near the waist, like a reverse Rottenburg. (This Innocent World skirt remains a dream item for me.) I enjoyed that the print was based off of art nouveau buildings, too.

Then I saw that the Alberta skirt had a high-waisted option, and that it came in purple. I was immediately in love.

I actually had liked a lot of things I’d seen from Eat Me Ink Me through the years, but nothing really sang for me. Alberta did. Unfortunately, I was only able to find one review of the indie brand, but it was positive, and I liked what I saw in the product photos. After looking through all the photos of the two skirt variations and the matching tote bag, I decided to take a chance and place an order.

* * *

Note: I have played with the colors in all of my photos to try and get the color of the skirt to look accurate. The color in the stock photos is just a little more purple than in real life, but not by much. My camera kept greying the skirt out massively, and I think that the stock photos are still the best reference for the real life colors of the purple colorway.

Communication

I asked a couple of questions just through the Etsy messaging system, and Zeleco was always very prompt in answering me. She was super friendly and accommodating, and she was very positive in all her messages. In talking with her, she also offered to make minor adjustments to the skirt so that it would fit me a bit better whenever she found out any of my measurements, which was very kind. Zeleco took the initiative and messaged me the night before sending out my package and told me that it would ship the next day, assuming the post office was open on Christmas Eve. There was some sort of glitch with etsy, and I never received the automatic tracking number information in my e-mail, but Zeleco provided me with it as soon as I asked her.

The main question I had before purchasing it is whether or not the custom fabric was printed with Spoonflower. (I do not trust the durability of any Spoonflower printed fabric, which makes me wary of ordering from indie brands that might use it.) Zeleco said that the fabric is “made with the help of a local printer and the print is made in sublimation technique on polyester fabric, so it’s there to stay and the colors are not prone to fading and are safe to machine wash on low settings (mostly because of the delicacy or the chiffon details rather than print).” That was a big relief to me, so I wanted to make sure to include that information here for anyone else who is nervous about ordering from lolita indie brands that use their own prints.

Communication: 10/10

Full disclosure: I have not tried washing this skirt in my washing machine, so I do not know how the print will hold up. Zeleco said that it should be safe to wash on a delicate setting (for the chiffon), and I will update this review accordingly when/if I throw this skirt in the washing machine.

Shipping

I placed my order on December 14, 2014.

It shipped on December 24, 2014.

It arrived at my house on January 8, 2015, but I was not home to sign for the package. I picked it up from the post office on January 9, 2015.

All in all, there were a little less than four weeks between the time I placed my order and when I got my skirt. I got it a lot earlier than I assumed I would from the etsy listing, which said that it would be ready to ship in four to six weeks.

When I first saw the outside package, I was a bit disappointed. I’m used to these shipping bags being torn up during the shipping process, but my package was perfectly fine. Upon finding that there was another bag inside, I felt a lot better about the packaging. The extra little goodies were very nice, and I really enjoyed the hand-written note. (I especially liked that the chocolate bar was sandwiched between the inner and outer bags, so that there was no way that any chocolate would get onto the skirt if the chocolate bar had melted during shipping.)

Shipping: 9/10

Materials and Construction

(See “Overall Experience and Worn Photos” below for detail shots of the print.)

Good

  • I love the print.
  • The box pleats are done well.
  • This isn’t something that I can capture on camera, but all of the materials used are very nice.
  • The main printed fabric is very soft and it’s a good thickness.
  • I like the opaque black fabric that is used for the waistband. It is also very soft, but it has a little bit of texture to it that’s a needed contrast with how smooth and soft the other two fabrics are.
  • The chiffon is really nice as well, and all the chiffon edges are finished beautifully.
  • There is a hook-and-eye closure at the top of the skirt, which is just one of those extra finishing touches that make this skirt feel really high quality.
  • All the seams are finished on the inside. (They look funny because the thread is black on white fabric, but the finishes are good.)
  • The print is designed so that one complete panel makes up the front of the skirt and an identical panel makes up the back of the skirt, so there isn’t a risk of the print getting weird at the seams and the back of the skirt is just as pretty as the front of the skirt.
  • The puffy bows are super cute.
  • I like the cording that’s used in this skirt a lot, and I don’t feel that it’s too delicate to have the lacing in the back threaded through it. (The Alberta skirts have such a diverse range of sizes that you shouldn’t have to pull the shirring section in very far, anyway.)
  • Zeleco did indeed make the waistband 1 cm shorter than normal for me. (It turns out that I must have measured myself wrong??? The waistband height is not ideal on me, but she did adjust the skirt to the measurements I gave her, so this isn’t her fault. The extra centimeter she took off definitely made this skirt wearable as-is for me, though. Full points to her, no points for me.)

Neutral

  • The zipper is still a little stiff, and it’s hard to get it past the waist seam, but Zeleco did do the little trick of giving the the invisible zipper more room around the waist seam to make that transition a bit easier. I’m not really sure why the zipper is still a bit stiff. My only guess is that it has difficulty pulling the shirring side in towards the non-shirred side.
  • The two bows on the waistband are attached with thread that is visible on the inside of the waistband. I personally like this, because it just means it would be easier to move these bows to a different spot if I ever wanted to, but it does look unpolished. Being sewn through the two layers of the waistband also makes the bows sturdier, and they won’t try and separate the front layer from the back layer with their weight (thus creating a weirdly saggy waistband), but some smaller stitches would have made the bow attachment seem more intentional and not so late-minute looking. However, this is a tiny detail on the inside of the skirt that no one will ever see.

Could use improvement

  • I really do think that this high-waisted skirt would have benefited enormously from having boning in the front. Especially since the back of the waistband is lower than the front of the waistband, the top of the waistband has no support. This wasn’t really an issue when I wore this skirt without my corset, but I did have the top of the waistband flip down over the top bow when I wore the skirt with my corset underneath. (My corseted waist measurements are still within the correct size measurements of the skirt. I’m assuming that the more drastic change from the underbust to the bottom of my bust was too much in the corset. In theory, if I had given her proper measurements, this wouldn’t be an issue because the skirt would actually end before encroaching on my bust…)
    • Also, with my corset on, the waistband became all wrinkly. Obviously, there is no squish left to my midsection in the corset, so the corseted measurements of my waist and my waist-to-underbust are the absolute measurements. Since I couldn’t adjust the skirt position anymore, and since the waistband of the skirt is unsupported, it buckled like crazy.
    • The skirt fits me just fine without my corset, so that is how I’ll wear it.
  • There is indeed interfacing in the waistband, so the waistband isn’t actually unsupported. It felt like a sewn-in one to me when I was harassing the skirt. If the skirt design just does not admit boning, or if Zeleco doesn’t want to put in boning, then I think that a more heavy-duty interfacing would help address the “unsupported waistband” issue.

Materials: 10/10

Construction: 9/10 (If I had measured myself correctly, I probably wouldn’t have run into any issues with the waistband buckling or trying to fold over when I’m in my corset, so I might not have felt the skirt needed boning. -1 point because I do feel that the interfacing could be more heavy-duty to better deal with the uneven heights of the waistband.)

Overall Experience and Worn Photos

Here are some worn pictures:

I really love this skirt. It has so many elements that I like in lolita (a high waist, architecture motifs, the color purple), and I am not disappointed in the slightest. The fact that I can’t really wear it with my corset on is minor because the skirt still fits well without a corset. I’m happy to see how detailed the print is while still being clearly readable from a distance.

Here are some of my favorite parts of this print:

All in all, I’m very satisfied, and I’m excited to see what Eat Me Ink Me does in the future.

Overall experience: 9.5/10

Stay adventurous,

Raven