23 Mar 2018

Dissect and Review Your Oldest and Newest Piece Based on Actual Age

There are several reasons why Lolita fashion pieces last a long time, the most important of which are quality of materials used and the good care most Lolitas take of their clothes. It’s natural that when you spend a lot of money on something, you’re more likely to want it to stay in a good condition for as long as possible. So it’s interesting when people look at some of the pieces that have been released the most years ago and see how they have held up all that time, then compare it to something they’ve only just received new. Oldschool Lolitas have a real field day with this since their pieces are often old enough to vote and drink.

To make this easier for myself, I will only look at main pieces in this week’s prompt – I know that I have smaller pieces like jewellery or socks that are likely older, but it’s a lot of hassle to figure out their exact age. Besides, it’s not fair to compare the condition of socks, for example, which would’ve been worn a lot more than a dress. One day, when Lolibrary brings back the account and wardrobe features, I might do a follow up for other kinds of pieces. For now, let’s review the oldest and newest main pieces from my collection!




Oldest

I tried to establish which one is older, but it was harder than I thought. In the end I have a tie between Baby’s Sugar Bouquet Shirring Princess JSK and Meta’s Shirring Tiered Ribbon JSK, both of which were released in 2007. I purchased both from Wunderwelt and they were marked as condition C and B respectively – but Shirring Princess arrived BNWT (with the tiniest stain) and the Meta one was in a very good condition, I couldn’t find the faults that Wunderwelt did. They were both worn three times by me and they still look exactly the same as when I received them (minus the stain on Shirring Princess).

 

These dresses are very reminiscent of the time they were released. Now we would class both of them as Oldschool Lolita and although one features a custom all-over print, they both rely on structural details rather than prints to make them attractive. The Meta JSK features an absolutely vast tiered skirt – it is literally impossible to max out – the nice kind of raschel lace, fully-functioning buttons and a few ribbons to tie at the front for extra tightness and extra cuteness. On the other hand, Shirring Princess is simple at the front, with a bustle back, two sets of straps (think and halterneck) and two bows, of which only one is detachable.

In all honesty, there are no negative words that I could say about these dresses. Not only are they comfortable and flattering, but for 11 year old pieces they look as if they were new. It’s obvious that previous owners took good care of them, but I also feel that a lot of this is down to good quality materials and construction. The cotton is sturdy and withstands general wear really well, as well as is easy to keep clean. It would take some brutally severe beating to do any irreparable damage to them. As they are, they’re strong and will stay in the fabulous condition they’re in now for at least a few more years to come.

Newest

Identifying the newest one was a much easier task, since I remember when I bought things. And the ‘youngest’ piece in my collection is Miss Tea's Delicate Life from a Chinese brand called King Eleven. It was released in the latter half of 2017 or rather – that’s when it went on preorder. I didn’t receive mine until January 2018, but that’s due to the slow shipping option I picked.



I feel a little uneasy about comparing pieces from two well established Japanese brands with a relatively new brand (King Eleven has had a shop on Taobao for 8 years). And it’s not even to do with the fact that one’s Japanese and one’s Chinese. It’s more to do with the age, so still related to the review. My oldest pieces are both from 2007, when cotton was still the most commonly used fabric, but the King Eleven dress is from 2017 and now thinner polyester fabrics are the most commonly used. Even the nicest polyester or poly-blend is still not as good a quality or as durable as cotton, at least in my opinion, since it’s more prone to snagging, less breathable and generally more delicate. I may be wrong here, but that’s certainly the case of most chiffon pieces.

This one is somewhere in between, it’s a slightly thicker fabric, although still isn’t particularly breathable. However, the cut of this one is a lot more flattering on my figure and looks great even with low poof. The print is adorable and really crisp, no blurred lines or mistakes as far as I could tell. On the other hand, as is common with prints, all of the detail is in the print and there are next to no structural details, no ruffles, no pintucks, no fancy lace. I think this is something more typical of Chinese brands, or at least of this one, as Japanese brands will include pretty detail in border print designs too, which elevate the overall piece to something truly stunning (and I guess is another reason why I feel like comparing the Japanese pieces with this one from a Chinese brand isn’t an equal comparison).

Unlike my two oldest pieces, this is a lot less timeless. This style of prints will eventually become telling of the era in which it was created. And while we do broadly classify the first two dresses as Oldschool now, it’s extremely hard to accurately pinpoint the exact year of release without looking those details up – whereas as something that sticks out more, prints are a little easier to remember release years give or take one. So as much as I like the King Eleven JSK now, I think that in five years’ time it will feel dated and more like fast fashion item, whereas Shirring Princess, even as an Oldschool piece, will still feel classy and timeless. I hope this wasn’t too convoluted a way of explaining things.

Overall, the dress is well made and the print is really pretty, although in terms of quality and detail it doesn’t feel as nice as my oldest dresses, primarily because of the brand that produced it and all the focus being on the print. Had I been comparing oldest and newest pieces from a Japanese brand, I feel like the differences would’ve been slightly subtler, which could make for a more interesting read. Better still, it’d be amazing to compare oldest and newest piece I own from the same brand and see how that brand evolved and changed over the years. But that’s something for another day (if it ever comes to be).


Have you ever compared your oldest and newest pieces based on their actual age? How old is the oldest piece you own? Any baby Lolitas who are into Oldschool and possess dresses older than them out there? That would be fun!

Don’t forget to check out the reviews from other bloggers too!



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