Sugar and spice, but not necessarily nice.


August album feature and theme, go!!

So, those who actually watched through the videos in the last post, you know what this is about. I'm basically making a format for me to be more active in this blog by featuring an album of choice for the month and a theme to make coordinate ideas over, as well as a monthly big post, illustrated as usual, and a vlog post. Any events will be reported on, as well, mainly meet-ups and/or cons I go to, as well as personal outings that could inspire a meet. I'm also going to do a seasonal wishlist of what's going on with brands and possibly a monthly off brand look out, though this month won't have it as I think I really ought to do that at the start of the month and it's already the 11th.

Anyhow, with the albums, I'm going to now change up the playlist on the side to feature songs from that album, as well as some other songs to go with the theme, so have a listen! I'm making it a mixed playlist still, because 1) I find it more interesting that way and 2) you can go buy/download it yourself.

So, the album this month is No Doubt's Return of Saturn. This album is big for me, 'cause it's the first new album I bought in 2000, and the end of the '90s was a big deal for me; I had just become a teenager and the real figuring out of what I was and wanted to do started. Return of Saturn was fitting 'cause it kinda themed around the feel of figuring out everything as life changes, more than the big break up focus of Tragic Kingdom. Also, it was the last album of No Doubt's that I like over all (Rock Steady didn't quite do it for me). Overall, it just has this awesome appeal of being melancholy but also bright, poppy and girlish.

The playlist for the month in full is:
  • Ellie Goulding - Under the Sheets (Baby Monster Remix)
  • No Doubt - Suspension Without Suspense
  • No Doubt - Six Feet Under
  • Xaphoon Jones - the Jackson Pit (it's a mashup of Jackson 5's Want you back and Passion Pit's Sleepyhead)
  • No Doubt - Magic's in the Makeup (Acoustic)
  • M-flo and Chemistry - Now or Never (Astrosexy Mix)
  • No Doubt - Bathwater
  • No Doubt - Artifical Sweetener
  • Kouda Kumi - Twinkle (English Version)
  • Goldfrapp - Ooh La La

So, here's a coordinate based on the album art:

Yeah, those were the days of bright pink-haired Gwen. Like the playlist, this is the sweetest/poppiest thing I've coordinated for lolita. I desperately covet Dream Sky in navy and it's the first thing I thought of when I decided to make Saturn the featured album. I pulled out the deeper pink and lavender from the print and threw in a bit of sporty/skater punk influences with the rest of the coordination.

Outfit rundown-
  • Hoodie, skirt, sneakers and the blue bow clip are all Angelic Pretty
  • Purple long sleeve shirt is Dreamv
  • Shirts on the side are Uniqlo x Disney and one from the Uniqlo x Milk collection
  • Socks are from Sock Dreams (alternately, I like these more)
  • Other hair clip and star bracelet are from MintyMix
  • Nails from Sephora by O-P-I
  • Lip color is Stilla's lip color in Intriguing (they don't sell the liquid kind anymore, though)
  • Bag is from Journey (You can find many like it from Fydelity, and the speakers are real)
  • Wig is from that Taobao shop I got my birthday wigs from

As for the over all theme for the month, I've settled on space-based sci-fi and fandom with lolita. Largely because I'm watching Doctor Who and not getting down from my Otakon high still. So, nerdy lolitas: this is for you.



Now that that's done, here are the lengthy reviews and more of my rambling.

First, Forever21 stuff, my relevant opinions regarding replicas and such, and then unpacking. All this was this, mind, just upon observing and a first time trying on in the pics added later. I haven't worn the Taobao wigs out yet, nor tested them for heat, which they are supposed to be resistant to.

And here are the wigs worn:

The first wig is from Wigs & Plus in Manhattan. Some of the wigs they sell there are available on 123Wigs, but I can't find the one I have there. Their Miko wig is pretty similar, though, even though it's not synthetic. Over all, I give it a 5 out of 5. It got a lot of compliments during the con and several people thought I actually cut my hair again.

The second and third I still have yet to really wear out, partially due to the weather, but the first one is growing more on me each time I try it on. I still have to play around with the second one and my eyebrow issue, but from just their look and quality, they both get a 4.8 from me.

On to the clothes!

Unsurprisingly, I can't find either of my Forever21 purchases, as they were from mid July. This means I can't give any links and I'm also extra stuck with the dress, since I seem to have lost the receipt. I'm going to quickly cover them anyhow.

This thing doesn't fit me so well. Largely, it's my fault as I have a bad habit of not trying on things when I shop frequently on the store and I'm certain I want the item. I only try on things at Forever21 when I'm nervous that they won't flatter me in general. Let this be a lesson to me.

It's not horrible though, and considering the cost, this with the belt isn't the worst purchase to make with what will be my last F21 buy for an unforeseeable time. Plus, the belt makes it a world better. It can only improve with a cardigan or similar garment to cover the fact that the arm hole is a bit big on me. Worse comes to worse, I'll trade it with a friend or something.

On to the Infanta!

Now, I'm not going to show the petticoat without a skirt, 'cause that really tells you nothing about what it's supposed to do. It's this petticoat in black and more or less looks as it does on the website.

Pardon the messy mirror, too.

In hindsight, I probably should have also gotten a pic of the skirt without the petti, but you'll see a good poof/no-poof comparison when I go over the dress. Here, it's with the shorter, old Bodyline skirt I mentioned in the video that I still like, and while I did pull it up higher just a bit, it doesn't show. I also tried it a little longer, and while I didn't take a picture, the lace isn't so bad with a bit of peak. It's higher quality than the Bodyline lace, too. It gives just the right amount of poof, too, since I like a little cupcake shape, but not too much. Depending on where I put it on my waist and other pettis, it does quite a lot and doesn't die easily in the day, even after I've squashed it in a duffel bag, as Otakon has proven. I give it a 5 out of 5.

And here is the dress. It's very, very comfortable and fits well on my body. I was nervous about the fit, since I have a bigger bust and I actually went slightly smaller in that department to deal with my waist measurement properly, but the material has a bit of stretch, so everything fit fine. My only issues with it –and you can't clearly see it here– is firstly that the brooch needs an extra pin or two to position it well. There's not enough structural support in the bow to really get the ends to really just sit on the dress, and I have no clue how they got it to do so on the model and dressform for the site unless they did pin it elsewhere.

The second issue, if you can see it here, is that the lining is a little transparent. I'm wearing a hot pink tank underneath and you can see the color peek through. Not a huge issue if you wear a black camisole or want a tiny hint of a different color top coming through, but still something to be aware of. It's an extra minor thing that I'm kind of neutral on, but they have two single chain, chains of thread as belt loops on the side. They're a little flimsy feeling, but easily dealt with if you just don't like them and not that noticeable if you just leave them be.

It wears great with out a petticoat for a work situation, though. Here it is again, poof-less and with a cardigan and my F21 belt.

Overall I give it a 4.5 out of 5.

For a shipping service, I used TaobaoSpree. Most issues had were more on my end with the fact that I was working with their spread sheet order form when I don't have Excel (I work on a Mac and Numbers wanted to be a pain with formatting). Communication was pretty clear and prompt and I got everything within two weeks of having it confirmed that my order went through with the Taobao shops, which was way faster than I was expecting. Their service fees are also is pretty reasonable, so I really was pleased over all and recommend them for anyone wanting to try Taobao for the first time.

That's all for now. I'm looking over stuff from Otakon and will be posting on that and the theme/album gig next week.

Also, changing that play list on the side now. Bye-bye, old playlist. I'll miss you!