25 November 2014

Negative Review: Phantom and the Maiden Grief Onepiece

Today, I have a lengthy review of the Grief OP from the indie brand The Phantom and The Maiden. I haven't updated in a while because I don't really dress up any more, but this post was way too long to put up on my Tumblr, so here it is!

This is going to be a long review thanks to my painfully difficult experience dealing with this company. It's very heavy on photos and caps because I don't want you to have to rely just on my opinions when the experience speaks for itself. Caps have been edited only to remove my personal identifying details (e.g. I removed the caps including my PP address and have edited my name out). Photos have been lightly adjusted to compensate for the poor lighting in my apartment.

If you want a quick rundown, though, here's a general summary of my experience. I ordered two custom-sized dresses for myself and a friend. We have drastically different measurements and requested very different sizing.

Timeliness of Order: 10/10
They stated it would take 4-6 weeks to make the dress, and shipping would take an additional two weeks. I received the dress almost exactly eight weeks after I placed my order (ordered 9/26 and received 11/20).

Customer Service: 2/10
They insulted me, refused to fix my numerous issues, and made numerous passive-aggressive posts to their Facebook about my issues. I was very polite in all my messages and tried to keep my requests very simple and reasonable. I only give them two points because they always responded to my messages within 24 hours, and because the designer was kind enough to ultimately offer a resolution.

Item Quality: 4/10 
The materials are low-quality and don't match the stock photos. The inner seams are wonky so the left shoulder of one of the dresses sticks straight up. The measurements are inaccurate.

Overall Score: 3/10 

20 June 2013

Let Me Be Good to You

Sorry I've been so behind- life has just been insane these days! This is from last month, when I went to a local bar called the Red Rabbit. I wanted to catch up with some of my best friends. We've all recently started working full-time, so now it's a little harder to get together and really catch up! It was nice to sit down and chat over drinks.

I went for a slightly more casual look for the evening with sneakers and a minidress. It's been extremely humid here lately and while I love heat, I get so uncomfortable in humid weather!

Sadly, I was taking these photos at night, so you can't really see all the details of my outfit. I'm wearing a lace minidress that I snagged at a local boutique in Tucson, a fringed vest that my mother gave me as a gift, a muchacha cat pochette, and my Jeffrey Campbell cat sneakers.

This dress is kind of a bizarre length- too long to be a top but too short to be a dress. It was too hot to wear it as a tunic, so I solved this issue by layering it over a jersey pencil skirt from H&M.

I'm looking forward to wearing lighter colors as we shift into summer, but it looks like I still can't kick my habit of wearing everything with black!

07 May 2013

I've Got No Strings

On Friday, I went to see my friends' band Goldener play again. I wanted to keep it light since summer is coming up- things tend to go straight from winter to summer here.

Picking an outfit was tough- though it was 90 degrees when I chose my outfit in the afternoon, I had to keep myself a bit covered since the nights are still a little chilly. I brought along a jacket since I wasn't really sure what the temperature would be, but it wound up being unnecessary in the end.

Here, I'm wearing a vintage Rampage skirt and Dolce Vita flats with black tights and a white blouse with a black peter pan collar. This color combination has really grown on me lately- I've bought at least two tops with the same neckline and color combo!

I kind of wanted to make the top the focal point of my outfit, so I tried to stick it with plainer, darker pieces on the bottom- though I couldn't resist adding a baby pink belt to the skirt. I haven't worn this one in a while because it's too long, but I found a great article on Fashionrolla about tying your too-long belts. I did a cool figure-eight knot (that I, of course, didn't think to photograph) and I look forward to trying a couple of more in the future!

As for hair, I went for a double-fishtail braided style that I was really happy with. It apparently looks like it took a long time to do, too, which I found hilarious considering it only took me about ten minutes to do my hair (and it took five of those to french-braid my bangs). I love styles like this, too- though center parts aren't very flattering on me, I love wearing pigtails and ponytails to emphasize my split dye job. The right side is black and the left side is auburn. I need to redye it but I can't settle on a color (or colors) right now, and I kind of like how it looks, anyways.

The collar has a cute stud detail, and I paired it with a bird necklace that was a gift from my grandmother. There's another little detail hiding on the collar, too, though...

One of the studs on the collar popped off, so I had to replace it in a bit of a pinch! I used an earring shaped like Figaro from Pinocchio, and I'm pretty happy with the end result. I have a bunch of star gems that I mean to replace the stud with when I have a chance, though.

29 April 2013

Let's Work

I had a job interview last week, so I tried to keep it super simple and professional. I honestly loathe dressing like this, even though I know it's the most appropriate thing to do. I need to start investing in some cute, slightly quirky business clothes- I'm thinking something along the lines of Anthropologie or Jane Marple's more understated pieces. I also badly need a pair of slacks and a pencil skirt, but I have never found a version of either that fits so I'm not getting my hopes up.

I've actually had this dress since I was 12 or 13, but it's held up nicely. I've also managed to keep it nice since I wear it about once every other year. Here, I've paired it with the Nine West pumps I've been wearing lately, some plain black tights, and my watch (which was a gift from a friend).

I do find this dress impossibly boring and I think the length is frankly a bit unflattering, but there is one fantastic thing about it- it has pockets! I carry a relatively small wallet and I tend to travel pretty light, so it's nice to be able to just slip the necessities in my pockets and go.

Since it was an interview, I had to keep my hair and clothes simple, but I did put a little extra effort into my makeup and I felt like it looked nice without being too heavy. The one downside is that I can't really use anything but the lightest foundation so my skin wasn't perfect, but I was really happy with my eye makeup and the overall look I achieved. Now, to start putting on more than just mascara on a daily basis, hahaha...

25 April 2013

The Sweets

My style has been described as "aggressively cute." At first, I thought that was kind of an unusual way to describe it: I primarily wear sweet and classic lolita, and I very rarely (if ever) wear styles like punk and gothic lolita, that mix the sweetness of lolita with harder accents and motifs.

But then I realized: a style like lolita is inherently aggressive and in-your-face. It's cute, but not in a biddable, socially acceptable way. Styles like lolita are cuteness taken to an unnatural extreme, in a visually arresting way that few people have ever seen before. They draw attention, they're unique, and while they give off an air of sweetness, they're still socially unacceptable in virtually every context. And in that way, an apparently innocuous style becomes just as aggressive as something harsh like punk or goth fashion.

While I still love wearing this sort of forceful, over-the-top sweet style on a regular basis, now that I'm older and in search of something that remotely resembles a real job, I'm working to craft more toned-down looks that still reflect my aesthetic. It's a struggle to wear something that doesn't fall to either extreme- too cute, or too boring- but I feel like I'm slowly getting it.

This outfit erred a little bit on the side of "too boring," I think, but it's a good start for the direction I'm looking to take my style in. Here, I paired it with black patterned tights, a pair of Nine West heels, and an Our Lady of Guadeloupe pendant.

It had the added bonus of being insanely comfortable: the dress is a light chiffon and features an easy elastic waist.

I also paired it with a necklace I borrowed from my grandmother- I've kept it for so long that, when she spotted me wearing it the other day, she complimented me on it and remarked that she was glad I was wearing one of her gifts. Oops!

I don't often wear jewelry, and I loathe trying to buy it. I suffer from a horrible allergy to most metals so it's really difficult to find pieces within my "broke college graduate" price range that I can actually wear without breaking out in hives. As a result, all but two of my staple pieces have been gifts from my grandmother, or have been, erm, borrowed from her. I guess I can't really deny it when people say I am a bit like an old lady!

This dress was definitely the focal point of the outfit, though. I picked it up on a shopping trip to beef up my "normie" wardrobe along with the shirtdress from this entry. I've taken two such trips over the past few months, and ended up with three tops, three dresses, and two new pairs of shoes (the pair that's not pictured in the below collage is on my feet in the above photos!). Being a lolita is rough for another reason: the fashion takes up so much money and effort that it's hard to remember to take the time out to buy normal clothes. I have to actively remind myself to do it, and as some of my favorite normal pieces are starting to fall apart from 5+ years of wear, I figured I should go all-out and do a large (for me!) update.

Top center dress and shoes are from Macy's, and the rest is from a variety of small local boutiques
It's not a full closet, but it's a good start and a good way to update my closet with a few current trends for spring. I've kept on lolita trends but I'm very, very behind on normal ones.