Oh. My TaoBao order came in today. I was really not expecting that, since it shipped on Tuesday and they said it would take 5-10 days. Here are my reviews. Unfortunately, I can't find my camera, so all images are cell phone shots. There's a lot of text, so:
I ordered through TaoBaoBuying. I have no complaints. Popeye was very prompt with everything. The items were packed in a box, and that box was wrapped in that yellow tape that keeps out moisture, but is annoying as fuck to remove. That tape was thick. It took me ages to find the flap in the box to cut through.
First item: these boots from Kiss Shoes.
Exactly what I expected. They fit properly, they look the same as in the store's shots. There's a bit of extra glue around the sole, but I was expecting some imperfection because they're dirt cheap. Since I bought them for cosplay, I don't really care. I'll probably wear them casually after the con. They don't have zippers. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I hate pulling boots on (I always angle my foot the wrong way on my first try and get stuck), but I also hate how zippers look lumpy. I guess aesthetics trump practicality in this case, so I'll be happy they don't have zippers.
Next is this wig from Fantasy Sheep.
I'm not crazy about it. I've heard a lot of good things about FS, but this definitely is not my favourite wig. It's not even in my top three. The fibres are a mix of soft and coarse. They're also a mix of black and brown, which is better than being a solid colour. This wig is darker than the images led me to believe. Granted, it's not a lot darker, but it's pretty much the same as my natural hair colour. I wanted this wig for when I wanted to look a bit different, so that's a bit of a problem. I also think it's almost too thick. FFS, the bangs were tangled. Normally that doesn't happen.
I also don't like how one side is curlier than the other. I have worse wigs, but I also have better wigs. I don't know if I'll order again from FS. Between them and Epic Cosplay, I'd go with EC. Even their wig care instructions ("Do not put the wig in chaos") are second rate. My Miku wig (from a former eBay seller) had amazing Engrish instructions, including valuable advice such as: "just the right amount the vegetable", "absolutely not to twist the milk" and, of course, "use to fuck the towel"
I also got two pairs of false lashes from FS.
They're false lashes, I can't really say anything about them until I actually wear them. I got one pair for my Miku cosplay (because they balance out my giant circle lenses and make my face look more artificial) and one for my FeMC cosplay (because she's a fashionable Japanese teenage girl--she must wear false lashes). I was amused that they're in SD card cases, though.
Finally there's the Fantasic Dolly JSK replica from Dream of Lolita.
NOTE: the pictures are of the JSK straight out of the package, which is why it's so wrinkled* and covered in thread. Since it's my first (and so far, only) lolita item I'm taking pictures of it on my dressform instead of wearing it. Also because I can't put it on by myself. The zipper sticks both immediately above and immediately below the waist ties, and it's at an awkward angle so I can't zip it myself. I even had trouble zipping it on the dressform. :/ All the zipper above the waist is pinned shut. The petti's not a proper loli one, it's one that I used for an old cosplay, which is why it has a bit of a bustle going on. Other than that, I really don't have anything to say that wasn't mentioned in others' reviews.
The waist ties are one-sided. I couldn't tie a bow without the lining on the opposite side showing, so I have that weird tail thing going on. The black printing is misaligned in some parts, but it's only noticeable from close up. One thing that made me happy was the lace on the bodice. I was expecting something horrible and itchy that I'd need to remove/replace immediately. It's actually soft. Not OMG BEST LACE EVAR soft, but decently soft. I don't think I'll remove it. The ribbon on the lacing is pretty ugly, though. I'll probably buy some grosgrain to replace it next time I go fabric shopping.
The shoulder straps are also a bit short, but that's probably just an issue for me since I have manly shoulders. I'll most likely be replacing the zipper, ribbon and straps.
*My grandmother is in the middle of reupholstering EVERYTHING and making matching accessories (the sofas, chairs, pillows, curtains, tablecloths), so I'm not willing to move all her mess to get to the iron. She does this once every two years when she gets bored and has a ton of tacky fabric. This is also why the sewing room is a mess.
Side note: I bought a toy gun today to use as a base for my evoker. I can barely wrap my hand around it--either kids these days have huge hands, or someone in the planning stages wasn't paying attention.