Lolita Fashion on Taobao (Part 2)

Here’s Part 2 to my guide to Lolita Fashion on Taobao! It’s going to be really simple: a list of lolita fashion shops I own items from. Check out Part 1 for tips for shopping on Taobao and keywords you can use when you’re browsing and searching.

Here are brands I’ve purchased from (please note most of these I didn’t buy from Taobao, since I purchased them secondhand, and for the ones I purchased directly from Taobao, I used a shopping service):

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The tights (and bottom of the dress) I modeled

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This Dear Celine cutsew matches my Angelic Pretty skirt & half-bonnet so well!

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Blouse from Yilia

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JSK and Headbow from Magic Tea Party

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Bonnet from Elpress L

  • FoxCherry – They have really cute accessories! I purchased some wrist cuffs from them recently, and also have a hair clip I got secondhand years ago.
  • Flower Field – I purchased a hoop skirt from them last year.

I think that’s it for Taobao lolita brands I’ve purchased from, although I’m pretty sure some of the accessories I bought secondhand came from Taobao (but when I purchased them, the original owner wasn’t sure of the brand, and without tags, no idea where they came from). I’ve also purchased socks from Secret Shop and shoes from Secret Shop secondhand, but I can’t seem to locate their shop on Taobao anymore.

I was going to add in wig shops here too, but I think I’ll make a different post about wigs and keep it separate from this section.

Do you have a favorite Taobao brand? I’d love to hear about it!

 

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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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LBC: Favorite Taobao Shops & Pieces

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Hi, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve done Lolita Blog Carnival, but I’m back and I hope to participate more often. ❤

This week, the prompt is Favorite Taobao Shops & Pieces. First, I’ll share my Taobao dream dress! I hope I can own this print someday…

Dream Dress

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This is the Jardin de Versailles series from Chess Story. Chess Story is one of my favorite Taobao shops! I love this print in all of the colorways, but my favorite one is definitely in the red colorway. I love the look of the shiny gold on red!

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I love every item in this series, but my favorite is a tie between the OP and the JSK. I can’t decide which one I like better… I hope I can find at least one of them at some point, at a reasonable price. I only want to buy the red colorway, since it’s my favorite one, but if I find the black or the white at a great price, I may purchase it (since I would rather have one from this series if I have the chance, rather than none at all).

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This OP is so elegant and beautiful! I could stare at the photos all day. I really hope I can find this dress someday and add it to my wardrobe… Preferably in the red colorway!

Favorite Piece in my Wardrobe

But now, I should talk about my favorite Taobao piece that I own! And guess what? It’s a JSK from Chess Story!

tumblr_nd5uxhBZrN1sv3vjto4_500This is the Name of Rose JSK! I adore the vertical stripes and the printed red roses on this JSK. The cut is also very flattering! I think this JSK is the one that’s most flattering on me. The length is also perfect! It is comfortable to wear, and it is easy to coordinate.

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There is also a colorway with blue roses, but I prefer this red rose one because red is my favorite color! (I know, I’m biased toward red all the time…) I’ve worn this JSK both in lolita coordinates and as a casual dress (without the petticoat). It’s a really versatile piece!

A Lolita Staple

Besides Taobao lolita dresses, I have to mention another favorite Taobao piece, and this one is a staple: petticoats! My favorite petticoats are from the Taobao brand Classical Puppets. To be honest, before I purchased my first Classical Puppets petticoat, the only petticoats I owned were lame Halloween ones (and I had one square dancing petticoat, but it’s not very full). I own two Classical Puppets petticoat: one A-line and one bell-shaped. The first one I purchased was the A-Line one, and you can read my review for it here! (Wow that review was from over 2 years ago. I didn’t realize I had been blogging for that long.)

These are both photos of the poof produced by the A-Line petticoat:

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As you can see, it gives a really nice shape to the skirts, even to the heavy velvet fabric (top photo).

Do you have a favorite Taobao shop? A favorite Taobao piece? I would love to hear about your favorites!

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

 Geisha Baby

Dreamation Wig Review: Hinata Shouyo

Today I will be reviewing an awesome shop on Storenvy called DreamationDreamation sells a variety of items, including cosplay wigs, cosplay accessories, costumes, and anime merchandise. Dreamation was kind enough to sponsor me a Hinata (Haikyuu!!) wig from the Taobao company Ghostcos. They also gave me the following coupon code for you all to use: “xiaolili” for 7% off.

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I’ve heard about the company Ghostcos before, but I have never tried their wigs. Dreamation’s prices are great, and I think it is convenient to shop through Taobao resellers like Dreamation since buying from Taobao requires a shopping service, and shopping service fees as well as domestic and international shipping costs add up. Onto the review! Here is how the wig was packaged:

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It comes with a tag, a black hairnet, and a plastic bag for storage. The wig arrived inside-out, which is great, because I always store my wigs like this. The wig fibers are slightly rough, which makes it an easy-to-style wig.

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Look at how fluffy this wig looks, straight out from the bag! I haven’t even cut off the tag yet in these photos. The above photos were taken with a mix of indoor lighting and outdoor lighting (I had my indoor lights on, but the windows were also open). With flash, the color is a bright vibrant orange, and quite shiny. But without flash, the orange is still vibrant and pretty, but without the artificial-looking shine. The layers are already cut into the wig, so all I had to do was trim the bangs and trim some side parts to fit my face better. Overall, I think this wig came pre-styled!

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The above photos were taken with my indoor lights off, but my windows open. So the above photos are purely lit by sunlight. With flash, the wig is shiny (as most wigs are with flash, and sometimes, real hair looks shiny with flash as well, or at least my real hair is). Without flash, and with simple sunlight, the orange looks muted but still orange. I’m very pleased with this wig’s color! And the fluffiness and pre-cut layers were a pleasant surprise, since I usually have to cut layers into my wigs myself.

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The netting on the inside of the wig is well-constructed. The wig itself is fairly thin, but as you can see above, the wefts are placed close together. There are no gaping holes in the wig, so I don’t think there will be any problems with real hair showing through. In addition, the wig was comfortable to wear. This wig has an adjustable circumference!

Now… let’s see what this wig looks like on me! I trimmed the wig a bit and also styled it with my fingers and some hairspray.

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It was easy to cut and style, and the fit of the wig was very comfortable. I wore this wig to a cosplay dance, and yes, I danced around in this wig without a problem. In fact, I even ran laps, did sit-ups, and stretched in this wig. (Some Haikyuu!! cosplayers and I decided to be stupid jocks and exercise during the dance, so yes, we had a workout. While wearing wigs.)

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Even though this wig is not super thick, as you can see, it looks perfect when worn! My real hair doesn’t show through. That black thing you see on the right side is not my real hair… In case you were wondering, it is a black feather I clipped to the wig! I decided to wear black crow wings for Hinata. ^_^

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Please check out Dreamation! If you are interested in this wig for yourself, here is the link again: Hinata (Haikyuu!!) wig. Use the coupon code “xiaolili” for 7% off your purchase! If you have any questions, please let me know. ❤

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A Coordinate for California

Wow, it has been a month since my last post… Sorry about the brief hiatus! I thought I was going to participate in Lolita Blog Carnival this month, but time flew by and suddenly June is almost over.

But now that it is almost July… I have something to share! In a few days, I will be going to the airport… and flying to the West Coast for the first time! I am so excited. I will be attending Anime Expo in California, and staying in CA for a week with my friend Terry. I’ve never been to California before, so I’m looking forward to it!

I have to pack light, but I will be bringing some lolita clothes (and of course, my petticoat). I also will bring some gyaru stuff with me. I really want to get into the gyaru style as well!

On Day 3 (Saturday) of Anime Expo, I plan to wear a sweet lolita coordinate. I decided to plan out my coord beforehand so I wouldn’t have to struggle to coordinate an outfit in a jet-lagged state.

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The coordinate is mostly pink and red! The cutsew is from Angelic Pretty and the skirt is from Bodyline (but it’s a replica of Angelic Pretty’s Fruits Parlor).

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The headband and the necklace are made by Sweet Mildred, and the fuzzy star and the small bow are both offbrand. The wristcuffs are from Classical Puppets on Taobao, and they were a present from my friend Terry. Of course, I have to bring these wristcuffs with me! The socks are offbrand and the shoes are from Bodyline (with my orthotics inside ❤ luckily, they fit!).

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I may pack some cute rings with me to wear too! We’ll see… I also plan to use a wig for this coordinate, probably my short milk tea wig from Gothic Lolita Wigs.

I can’t wait to wear this coord at AnimeExpo! (And hopefully, I’ll wear J-fashion throughout the week after the con!)

 

Classical Puppets Petticoat Review coming soon!

I’ll write up a review as soon as I have time.

This is the Classical Puppets petticoat I purchased: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=3401713800

It’s an A-Line super fluffy petticoat. I was afraid that it was squished during shipping because it came wrapped up in such a small package, but it definitely floofed up immediately after removing it from the package. (Floofed should be a word, by the way… but it’s not. Oh, well. I’ll use the word “floofed” anyways. xD)

I don’t have time to write up a in-depth review yet because I have only worn the petticoat with one coord so far (the Chocolate Bar meet coord)… and also, I have two long essays I need to write for Monday. So I’m rather bogged down with work. 

And I’m also sick with a cold. 😦 I’ve been sick since Sunday, so it has been about a week. I really hope I’ll feel better soon. I might dress up in Lolita fashion tomorrow to cheer myself up (if I’m feeling up to it). Maybe a casual coord?

Now… BACK TO ESSAY-WRITING.

Taobao Experience

I just received my Taobao package!

I’ll be posting reviews of the items soon. Maybe I’ll even post a video of me opening the package? >w<

In any case, I used Taobaospree as the shopping service to order from Taobao. I did a lot of research on various shopping services and Taobao stores before placing my order. The agent who worked with me spoke fluent English and was very helpful. She answered my questions clearly and promptly. At first, communication seemed slow, but it was because of the time difference. I started checking my email around 11 pm to 1 am, and usually I would receive responses around that time. (Night time here is day time over in China, I presume.) Taobaospree was a great shopping service, and I will definitely use it again if I ever make another Taobao purchase. If anyone is curious, the shipping I used was EMS. I had no problems with it – no issues, it didn’t take too long, no customs fees. I know some people use DHL, but I’ve never used DHL before. This was my  first overseas purchase, so I’m in no way, shape, or form an experienced shopper, however, I thought maybe someone will find this useful.

My Taobao shopping experience was pleasant. Although also difficult because there are so many wonderful items on Taobao that I wanted to purchase.

My Taobao shopping process:

  1. I browsed through Lolita Taobao shops. Here’s a list that I found really useful: http://egl.livejournal.com/15204857.html
    (Also, feel free to check out these Lolita items from Taobao; I posted items that I found cool/cute/nice but not all of them are still in stock: http://xiaorawr.tumblr.com/tagged/taobao%20wishlist)
  2. I emailed myself a list of products I liked. I narrowed it down to things I thought were great deals (cheap, but seem to be good quality). I added a staple (a Classical Puppets petticoat). Then I decided to browse cosplay-related items to see if I could find some deals (since I’m a cosplayer too) and decided to purchase two sets of false eyelashes (they’re so much cheaper on Taobao than in the US!) and a few wigs (also so much cheaper than wigs from the US!).
  3. I researched the companies that these products came from. I read reviews, both specific product reviews and general company reviews.
  4. I narrowed down the list further.
  5. I emailed my order form (an Excel spreadsheet) to Taobaospree.
  6. I received a response. (Sadly, some items were out of stock by this point. But the agent gave me recommendations and I looked into them.)
  7. I confirmed the order. Taobaospree accepts payment through Paypal, which makes things a lot easier. 🙂
  8. And today, I received the package! 😀

To be honest, I’d love to order from Taobao again… but I don’t think I will any time soon because I currently can’t afford it. Maybe in 2 years? (I love how cheap items are on Taobao, but the international shipping fees are REALLY expensive… I still think my order was worth it though. But I won’t be making another overseas order anytime soon)

I hope someone will find this helpful! Feel free to ask me any questions.