Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fan Plus Friend Review (And Outift Posts)

I've been at Mount Holyoke for a little two months now and I can safely say that I'm pleasantly overwhelmed by midterms. So, to take my mind off of things, I thought I'd write a nice little review of the clothing I ordered from Fan Plus Friend just after Christmas now that I've been able to wear the items a few times and give a proper opinion on them. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on the order I got from Fan Plus Friend:

I made my order on Boxing Day, December 26th, and was hoping that it would make it to me before I left for Mount Holyoke. Two years ago I ordered clothing from Fan Plus Friend the day after Christmas and it arrived on January 16th, so I was worried that it would be cutting it really close as far as time was concerned. Fortunately for me, I got my order in on January 9th, much sooner than I was anticipating. And I didn't even chose the fastest shipping option! So that's a definite plus. I didn't get a picture of the parcel, but it was a thick plastic-y parcel from UPS which arrived undamaged. All of my clothing items came inside individually wrapped and sealed plastic bags. I love this method of shipping because it means that no matter if the package gets rained on, my clothes are fine. 

Now, onto the items themselves. The first thing I purchased was the Classical Gothic Lolita Bustle Tiered Cotton Skirt in black and white stripes. I already own this skirt in plain black and it's one of my most worn pieces, I just adore it. So, I decided to get another one. The skirt has a fitted waistband and a zipper down the side for closure.

The skirt's shtick is that you can wear it normally or you can tie up the back of the skirt using the provided ribbon channels to create a bustle effect. I never use that function on the skirt I own, so I snipped the excess ribbon that was dangling down behind my knees and don't have to worry about it! The skirt hits just in the middle of my knee caps at my height of 5'7" so it's perfect length for me.

A close up of the fabric

The fabric is nice and soft and the stripes are color fast, which is wonderful. They remind me of Jack Skellington-esque pinstripes (especially from a distance) which is my preferred alternative to traditional Beetlejuice wide stripes. 

The back of the skirt's waist has corset detailing, which is nice, but the cord provided isn't so much. I plan on switching it to a thin cotton ribbon instead, but that's just personal preference.

The inside of the skirt is lined, with the exception of the lower ruffle of the skirt. The material it's lined with is slippery and almost satiny, but nothing to write home about. I could't find any fly-away strings or stitching on it, so though the construction obviously isn't artisan or anything, it works perfectly well for me. 

Now, here the skirt is coordinated:

Skirt: Fan Plus Friend
Shirt: Gesshoku Designs
Lace Shrug: Torrid

The next skirt I ordered is the Dolly Sweet Lolita Tiered Flared Skirt which I own in black and, you guessed it, adore. I decided to go with a bright red fabric as part of my wardrobe overhaul color pallet and I quite like it. The front of the skirt has a single ruffle along the bottom, very similar to the above skirt, but the back of it has five layers of ruffle all down it. 

Front (slightly orange-y by mistake)


The inside is lined with the same kind of satin-y fabric as the above skirt, this time in bright red.

The waistband is elastic and a little hard to stretch out, but the elastic should relax over time (at least it did with the other skirt.) My only complaint is that Fan Plus Friend sewed the tag on the front of the skirt as opposed to the back. Weird! It wasn't this way on the first of this skirt I got, so I guess it must be a mistake. Ah well.

The back of the skirt is at the bottom, the front of the skirt at the top. Weirdo tag.

And here's the skirt coordinated:

Skirt: Fan Plus Friend
Blouse, Belt: Torrid
Cardigan: Thrifted
Bracelets: Various

The next skirt I got was the Elegant Gothic Lolita Frilly Jacquard Cotton Skirt. I've liked the look of this skirt for a while, and like it even more in person. The only real problem, which isn't their fault at all and is just personal preference, is that it is a shorter skirt. It sits about two inches above my knees (as advertised) and I prefer my skirts to be right at my knee. So I wear a black underskirt under it and everything is fine, I just wouldn't wear it on my own this way.

 If you look at the stock photo, the print of the fabric is kind of hard to see, but in person and in my pictures it's easy to see and stands out more. I love it.

The construction is a little odd in that the main body of the skirt is jacquard, then there are a few layers of chiffon-ish ruffles, then there is the lace. The thing is, the chiffon is ruffled more than the lace is, so unless the lace is supported by something it kind of hands vertically which has a weird silhouette. Again, I wear it over an underskirt so the lace is supported and this isn't an issue (and I assume it wouldn't be an issue if you wore a petticoat, but you might want to use a petticoat that has some sort of pretty lace-y edge to it because it will show) but if you were to wear it plain that'd be something to consider.

I was surprised at the lace used in the dress. It's not the highest quality out there, but it's soft and thick and pretty and I wasn't expecting anything that nice. It does appear to be different than the lace in the stock photo though, so they're probably using different lace based on what's available. Just don't expect consistency in that department I suppose. 

The inside, except for the lace, is lined with the same satin-y material as the above skirts. Nothing special. I did find a couple loose threads on this one though.

The waist is tighter than on the other skirts, even though I ordered them in the same size. I'm not sure why, since the fabric doesn't have any more "give" and I'm not stretching the waists on those. It's not a real deal breaker, but kind of a drag when I have to wear an underskirt and get those extra layers of fabric involved. 

Below the button is a little hidden zipper. I've never had troubles with Fan Plus Friend's zippers breaking before (I had that issue with Chicstar and got irritated)  and hope not to in the future.

Here's my outfit for this skirt:

Skirt: Fan Plus Friend
Blouse: Thrifted
Jacket: Camden
Pin: Evil Supply Co.
Belt: Torrid

Lastly, I got the Gothic Lolita Frill 360 Circle Skirt. Guess what? It's another version of something that I already own! Gee, aren't I consistent  This time it's the knee-length version of the ankle-length underskirt from my prom dress. The skirt has three double-layers of ruffles all over it and a tulle lace at the bottom.

The waist is elastic and stays up well, not too tight although stiff like the above skirt. Hopefully it works itself out in time. 

The skirt hits at just above my knees, like the jacquard one, so I wear it with an underskirt. Unfortunately, this one is listed as going down to one's knees (like the first two skirts, which do achieve that length), so it's a disappointment that it isn't quite that long and that they're inconsistent in marking these. I mean, I know I'm considered tall, but still. 

I will leave you to guess what the lining of the skirt is like.

Slippery. Satiny. Black.

The lace at the bottom of the skirt is interesting because, well, it's not lace. It's tulle. Anyway, when I got the ankle-length version of the skirt it had 4-5 inches of an unpleasant, ugly slippery thin raschel lace. There wasn't even an edge to it, it was just a strip of the lace cut from a bolt of it and sewed on the bottom. I can't find the skirt itself, but you can see it in the stock photo for the full dress. I snipped it off before I wore it and was fine, but I'm glad I didn't have to do it with this skirt. Key phrase being "have to". I probably will, but only once I can find a replacement lace. Something like the lace used on the jacquard skirt above. I'll be on the look out.

And the last outfit:

Skirt: Fan Plus Friend
Belt: Torrid
Sweater: Thrifted
Necklaces: Various

If you're going to buy from Fan Plus Friend, I recommend you wait until they have a sale (they had one going on when I bought these skirts, otherwise I wouldn't have.) They always have one around Christmas time and I believe they have them in the summer, maybe at other times as well. Overall, while not flawless, I'm very pleased with my purchases and I think the skirts have served me well thus far and will continue to in the future. Hopefully this signals more progress being made on my wardrobe overhaul. Until next time, guys! And as always, don't forget to send me an e-mail or comment below.