Lolita Fashion on Taobao (Part 1)

Hey everyone! One of my friends recently got into lolita fashion and wanted a guide to affordable lolita items. I still have my MBOK guide up, I wrote up my first experience with Taobao, and I wrote a post for a Lolita Blog Carnival prompt about Favorite Taobao Shops & Pieces, but I never created a guide to great places to get lolita items on Taobao.

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So, what is Taobao?

Taobao is like a Chinese eBay or Amazon. There are tons of different stores and sellers!

Since the pricing is all in Chinese Renminbi (also known as Chinese Yuan), you’ll need to check conversion rates to see how much it’ll cost in your own currency. Definitely keep in mind shipping fees and shopping service fees, if you choose to use a shopping service. I heard there’s a way you can purchase from Taobao directly now and have them forward packages to you, but I’m still most comfortable with a shopping service since they can help answer my questions about products and give me peace of mind.

In my own experience, I’ve purchased clothes (lolita as well as non-lolita), shoes, wigs, false lashes, cosplays, and accessories from Taobao. I’ve also purchased a bag from Taobao too (my beloved Japanese-style school bag that was my go-to convention bag for over a year)!

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Wig from Taobao (fashion wig I used for my Sara Crispino [Yuri on Ice] cosplay)

Taobao is a lot of fun to browse, but can get overwhelming. I’ve definitely spent way too much time browsing Taobao… For example, being on Taobao and looking at all the things I want to add to my wishlist, and then I glance at the clock and wonder how the heck it is already past 2am?!

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Wig from Taobao (photo by theamazingknight)

Another thing that took a lot of time to figure out is… navigating! I speak Teochew/Chao Zhou, but not Mandarin (and I never learned how to read or write Chinese; I only know how to read numbers and a few characters). It was really difficult at first and I literally put things through Google Translate. Of course, Google Translate only works so far (like how it translates “product” as “baby” since the character for “precious item” is also “baby,” and products are listed as such). And Google Translate does not work on text within images. Most of the time, sizing is displayed in an image, so here are some sizing-related translations to help (Chinese (simplified) is on the left, and English is on the right):

  • 尺码 — sizing
  • 高 — height
  • 胸 — bust/chest
  • 腰 — waist
  • 臀 — hips
  • 长 — length
  • 宽 — width
  • 围 — circumference
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Skirt from SurfaceSpell

Something else that confused me when I first browsed Taobao was the number of “deposit” or “reservation” items there were. I didn’t realize this meant they weren’t currently in stock. 定金 (deposit) and 预约 and 预定 (reservation) mean you have to pay a deposit to be able to eventually get the item. From my understanding, you need to purchase the item from the reservation page before you’ll be able to purchase the item on the 尾款 (post-reservation, I guess? the actual item) page. I’ve never purchased something from Taobao that was a reservation since I was always paranoid about not paying the shopping service in time for the post-reservation item page. If anyone has experience with reservation items on Taobao, let me know! I’m curious to hear what the actual process is like. I remember once I tried to buy an item from the 尾款 page and my shopping service said I can’t since I didn’t participate in the reservation.

Here are some useful terms you can use while searching for clothing and accessory items relevant to lolita fashion on Taobao:

  • Dress (OP): 连衣裙
  • JSK: 無袖洋裝
  • Salopette: 背心裙 or 背带裙
  • Skirt:  裙 or 裙子 or 半身裙
  • Blouse: 衬衫 or 女衬衫
  • Petticoat: 襯裙
  • Bloomers:安全裤 or 南瓜裤 or 燈籠褲 or 灯笼裤
  • Cardigan: 小外套
  • Bolero: 短外套
  • Capelet/short cloak: 短斗篷
  • Lolita shoes:  洋装鞋
  • Round headdress: 丸 型发饰
  • Bonnet: 系带帽子
  • Gothic headdress (usually with veils!): 哥特头饰
  • Flower crown: 花环 头饰
  • Beret: 贝雷帽
  • Straw hat:  草帽
  • Lace socks: 复古蕾丝短袜
  • Lace gloves: 蕾丝手套
  • Wrist cuffs: 蕾丝手镯
  • Parasol: 洋傘

When I search, I also add in “lolita” sometimes to see what shows up.

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Cutsew from Dear Celine

Here are some style terms that were fun to use for Taobao searches too:

  • Gothic: 哥特
  • Victorian: 維多利亞
  • Rococo: 洛可可
  • Country: 田园
  • Punk: 朋克
  • Steampunk: 蒸汽朋克
  • Retro/Vintage: 复古
  • Sailor:  水手服
  • Floral: 碎花
  • Oil painting style (those classical painting prints!): 油画风
  • Lace: 蕾丝
  • Tartan/Plaid: 苏格兰格子
  • Cross/Crucifix: 十字架 粉

If anyone wants stuff added to this list, just let me know! I’m happy to update this. Over the years, everything I learned about Taobao were from a trial and error through Google Translate and Chinese dictionaries, lurking on LiveJournal, reading blogs, and browsing Taobao-related things on Tumblr. I did pop over to CGL on 4Chan for a bit to see if I could learn about Taobao but 4Chan really scares me and the posting format confuses me so I spent barely any time on there.

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One of my fave purchases from Taobao: a JSK from Chess Story!

I will definitely write another guide after this one, so stay tuned! My next one will be simple: a list of my favorite Taobao shops that are relevant to lolita. I’ll note if I’ve purchased from them before, or not yet. Stay tuned!

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Born Pretty Store: Creepy & Cute

Hi everyone! I am excited to share my second review for Born Pretty Store with you all. You may remember my first review post for their Cat Ear Headband and Chain Hair Comb. You can use the 10% off coupon code “WUT10″ if you make a purchase from Born Pretty Store! unnamed This time around, I’m going to review a new batch of items:

All the sponsored products arrived in a padded mailer. The customs declaration said “Electronic,” which is not true at all, but the package arrived safely nevertheless.

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Here are photos showing how each product was wrapped:

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Three of the items were plastic-wrapped, but the Skeleton Hand Hair Barrette and the Pearl Headband were not. I do not have any complaints about these items. I was happy to receive them all! They’re a cool mix of creepy & cute items.

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For my Luo Tianyi gyaru-inspired closet cosplay, I used the pearl headband. It’s a super cute touch to the outfit~!

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I also used this headband for the above outfit. This headband goes great with this wig from PennyDreads! This headband is a comfortable and versatile piece.

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For my PennyDreads review, I also wore the red skeleton hair clip from Born Pretty Store! This clip is definitely the perfect creepy-cute touch to the outfit. It goes so well with this wig, and also with my real hair.

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Here, you can see the cute faux pearl bracelet. It’s stretchy, so it’s really easy to put on and take off. No need for clasps! The gold-tone bow charm is a lovely addition.

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Isn’t it so cute? I think this bracelet would be lovely for a gyaru or lolita coordinate. I definitely hope to wear it with some coords in the future!

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Now, check out the rings Born Pretty Store sent me!

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These are awesome punky rings that will go well with a plethora of outfits. The angel wing ring is a good size – large enough to be noticeable, but not too large. It’s comfy to wear and fits well on my ring finger. The other ring is the claw ring, and I love how it looks like an actual claw holding onto my finger.

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And here’s a photo of the rings’ underside:

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They’re both adjustable, so I’m sure these rings can fit on your fingers too.

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So what do you think of these rings? Do you have a favorite? I can’t pick a favorite to be honest… I love both of these rings equally! They’re both silver-tone, so I can wear them together and they match! They also fit together due to a bird theme… Wings/feathers, plus talons!

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All of these items are under $3, by the way! Yes, I said under $3. They’re so cheap, so feel free to splurge on a bunch of accessories from Born Pretty Store~!

You should check out Born Pretty Store‘s Jewelry & Accessories department. If anything interests you, feel free to use the coupon code “WUT10″ to get 10% off. There’s also a 50% off stationery sale until August 20. Happy Shopping~!

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Note: All portrait and cosplay photography in this post is by Studio du Petit Oiseau. 

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Hard Candy House: First Batch (2)

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Here’s Part 2 of my review for Hard Candy House! If you want to read Part 1 (about the Good Girl collection), check it out here. Now, let’s look at items from the Cherry Tart collection.

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This is the adorable bracelet that they sent me! I love the chunky chain style of the bracelet, and the large charms are too cute. The fuzzy heart is my favorite charm! Everything on this bracelet goes together so nicely.

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The clasp is really easy to use, and I was pleased with the fit. It was not too big for my wrists, which is an issue I’ve encountered before with bracelets. The construction is sturdy and there was no fraying on the ribbon.

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The choker necklace is equally adorable! I love the bit of lace trim along the edges. The dangling cherry charm is the perfect touch!

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The clasp is adjustable, so this choker will fit a variety of sizes. It’s comfortable to wear since the fabric is soft.

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Below, you will see adorable cherry earrings that match the other accessories I got from the Cherry Tart collection. Unfortunately, I have sensitive ears, so I can’t wear these earrings. However, I’m happy that Hard Candy House chose to use fish hook style earrings for this design since I find fish hook earrings to be the most comfortable to wear! If you like these earrings and don’t have sensitive ears, you should definitely try them.

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When I first received the package from Hard Candy House, I filmed a video featuring some of their items:

In conclusion, I love both the items from the Cherry Tart collection and the items from the Good Girl collection that Hard Candy House sent me. If I had to choose a collection I prefer, I would choose the Cherry Tart collection (because red x black is my favorite color combo!). Which collection do you prefer?
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If you want to buy something from Hard Candy House, be sure to use the 15% off coupon code “XIAO150603” ~! They also take commissions, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you want a custom-made item.

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If you like these accessories, check out these other items from the Cherry Tart collection:

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Use the coupon code “XIAO150603” to get 15% off at Hard Candy House!

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Review: Mashmallow Octopus Necklace

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Happy New Year, everyone! How is your 2015 going so far? I’m really sick right now, so I’m glad I took these photos before I got sick… In any case, I can still blog in my sickly condition, which is nice. I hope I feel better soon… (I think I just have a bad cold, but it might be something worse.)

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I got an octopus necklace from Mashmallow, and I absolutely love it! I decided to review this product for all of you since I already have some photos.

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Here is what I saw on my doorstep when the package came in:

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Here is how the necklace was packaged:

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There were no damages to this item, so I was very pleased with the product and product packaging! Instructions and warnings were included in the box. Keep this necklace away from extreme temperatures!

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The octopus pendant is a bright neon pink, and the octopus even has cute little black eyes. It’s a very well-crafted pendant, and the black cord is also high-quality!

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Isn’t the octopus adorable? I want to name her, but I haven’t thought of a name yet. Feel free to suggest names~!

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I wore this necklace with a mostly-black outfit. I love the stunning bright color~! It truly stands out against my black top. Both the pendant and the black cord are sturdy. The clasp is easy to use as well! The length of the necklace is perfect, and I plan to wear it with my casual outfits since it’s so easy to wear.

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Seriously, check out Mashmallow for all your adorable octopus needs!

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Blippo: Kawaii Items!

Blippo is a webstore full of super cute items! They sell adorable purses, kawaii accessories, cute Japanese stationery, candy, plushies, magazines, and more! Blippo sent me a mystery package to review, and the items inside the package were all pleasant surprises.

The package arrived in a sturdy cardboard box:

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Look at that cute kitty and heart that Blippo drew! ❤ The package never got stuck in customs, yay!

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The package had plenty of fillers inside to cushion and protect their products. Blippo sent me the following items:

1) Jewel Checkered Seal Phone Sticker

2) Kawaii Animals Ceramic Mug

3) Strawberry Hairpins

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These are all new, unused items. The ceramic mug was wrapped in bubble wrap within its original box, so there were no damages at all. The mug I got was a cute piglet one!

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I love how the ears are on the inside of the mug. It’s very unique and adorable, and of course, useful! Here are some more views of this kawaii mug:

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Here is a closer-up photo for the strawberry hairpins:

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The quality of all these items are great. I can’t wait to wear the cute Strawberry Hairpins and use the Mug for my tea on campus. You can see what the hairpins look like with flash and without flash in the comparison photo below:

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To use the Jewel Checkered Seal Phone Sticker, you just cut the sheet into sections that you want to use. Clean the surface you want to place the stickers on, let the surface dry, and then you can stick the jewels on! Here is what I did with the sheet of stickers:

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I kept most of the sticker sheet intact for the large chunk on the back of my phone case, and as for the sections I cut off, I placed two small squares on my phone and other small bits on my iPod case. The stickers also come in different colors (Clear, Blue, Pink, and Purple) on Blippo‘s website! They even have a huge Decoden section if you want to look for supplies to make cute decoden phone cases and other crafts.

I also have an upcoming surprise for you all… But I can’t tell you what it is yet. Maybe it will be revealed in my next blog post…? We’ll see! For now, please check out Blippo; they have so many cute things to offer!

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LBC: What’s Next On Your Lolita Wishlist?

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What’s next on my Lolita wishlist…? Well, this is a rather difficult question! My variety of interest is not just descriptive of the general plane; I also have a variety of Lolita styles that I am interested in. From sweet to gothic, I love them all! I have a list of Lolita dream dresses, but to be honest, I do not know if I will ever be able to claim them as my own. My dream dresses are “dream” dresses because they seem out-of-reach (and yes, I sometimes dream or day-dream about them). They seem unattainable due to their rarity or due to how expensive they are. (Sometimes, I find them for sale, but the sellers raise the prices… a lot. More than I can afford. And even if I could afford them, I would feel guilty paying that much money for one dress.)

In any case, I am not focusing my attention on one dream dress as my next target on my Lolita wishlist. I have a Lolita wishlist, but my dream dresses are not the only items on it. I also have what I call my “realistic” wishes: things that I want and can afford, and so, I add them to my wishlist. Some of these are not specific items, but desires for a type of item. Here are some examples of what I mean: a black loliable vest, a princess-sleeved blouse, a dress with a forest theme, a dress with a trump theme, a simple long-sleeved OP. As you can see, these items do not designate a brand, so I can fulfill my wishes for these items as long as I find something that fits the description, and  that discovered item also fits my budget and my tastes! So if I like the item, it’s a good deal, and it’s possible for me to purchase it, then I can check that thing off my list!

Now back to the Lolita Blog Carnival question: What’s Next On Your Lolita Wishlist? The next target on my lolita wish list is a trump-themed skirt. That has at least partial shirring (and that will hopefully fit me comfortably).

I have my eyes set on the Angelic Pretty Royal Cards skirt:

I spotted this skirt recently on Mbok, and so, I could not resist placing a bid on it. If I do not win the auction, I will still look for it. My favorite color way for AP’s Royal Cards Skirt is black, picture above. If I see a similar trump-themed skirt, even if it is not exactly the same, I will still be open to bidding on it or purchasing it (if it is within my budget). I just love the trump motif so much~! (And also, I really want a nice trump-themed skirt to wear with my trump-themed socks from the Metamorphose lucky pack!)

What is on your Lolita wishlist? Is there anything you are dying to purchase?

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~Be sure to read other blog posts on this topic for the Lolita Blog Carnival! 

Toothless Tigers, Lolita Glamour, Buttcape, Northern StarA Little Bit of This… a Little Bit of That, Sweet and Simple, Mcduff’s Auditorium, Sidhe Banshee, Fire ExtinguisherArmure de Rose, Alpine Heidi

The Wonderful World of MBOK

You can find some great deals on Mbok! Mbok is a Japanese online auction site that has a wide variety of items. There are lots of great J-Fashion (including lolita!) items there: you can find dresses, shirts, skirts, pants, jewelry, hair accessories, bags, novelties, and more. If you are not a resident of Japan, you need to use a shopping service to bid on Mbok items. The shopping service I used is Japonica, but there are other shopping services out there.

Searching for specific items on Mbok can be time-consuming, since you have to scroll through different pages, but it is pretty easy to find good deals on brand (and offbrand) items.

I would recommend using the Google Translate extension if you have the Google Chrome web browser. If you do not have Chrome, copying and pasting the Mbok URL into Google Translate works too. Google Translate is not perfect, but it works well enough to help with Mbok navigation.

Check out Mbok’s Alternative/Punk section for lots of lolita items! This is where you will find Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, h.NAOTO, Emily Temple Cute, Jane Marple, and more. This section houses lolita, gothic, punk, and other alternative styles.

You can also search for items from a specific brand on Mbok by looking at the brand category. Here are some great links to lolita brand items on Mbok:

Innocent World

Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Angelic Pretty

Metamorphose

Putumayo

Here are links to some great brands that may carry loliable items on Mbok:

Axes Femme – This brand has great cutsews and cute blouses! There are some nice skirts, JSKs, and OPs too (but not all items will accommodate a petticoat). An Axes Femme item was one of my first Mbok purchases!

Liz Lisa – This is a popular Gyaru brand that has some loliable blouses, cardigans, and cutsews.

Tralala – I’m not too familiar with Tralala, but it is one of Liz Lisa’s sister brands. You may be able to find loliable stuff here too!

Jesus Diamante – I’m not too familiar with this brand either, but it’s a popular Hime Gyaru brand and I’ve seen lots of cute loliable coats from them! They also have really cute parkas/sweatshirts.

If you are interested in Gyaru fashion, check out the whole Mbok 109/GAL section. I have not extensively explored this section yet, but there are tons of brands and lots of cute and cool clothes!

If you want to use Mbok’s search feature, here are a few terms you can try:

ロリータ or ロリィタ-  Lolita

姫  –  Princess (Hime)

ワンピース – One Piece (OP)

福袋 – Lucky Pack (Fukubukuro)

Find many more helpful search terms from this EGL post by Kyomu.

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know! I am not an expert, but I can try my best to answer your questions. I hope someone finds this post helpful!

Have fun browsing and shopping~!