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Robes

It’s hot. So damned hot. When the Gulf Coast summers are so humid and stifling hot, I rarely wear any of my nice lingerie. I’ve reached the point where I’m just going to buy a bag of Hanes/Fruit of the Loom/whatever is sold in a sack and call it a day until October/November. (Come to think of it, I’m actually wearing Hanes boxer briefs that I bought 5… 7… years ago. :P) ANYWAY.

When you live in Texas and are being choked by humidity at 6:00AM, you look for very lightweight, comfortable, drapey items. Lately, I’ve been living in these lightweight robes that I purchased from ForBride on Etsy.

Funny enough, someone I met in real life actually sent me a link to this store! When I was getting ready for work in the gym basement at my office (my preferred place to shower although I work out at the YMCA), this friendly, gorgeous girl asked if she could share the vanity with me and complimented me on my shoes. She had on the prettiest robe, and I told her how much I loved it and asked her where she got it. She said she received it from her friend as a bridesmaid gift, but I could easily find something like it on Etsy. I got her business card, dropped her an email, and she sent me a link to a similar robe. :)

(c) ForBride - item image stock photo.

(c) ForBride – item image stock photo.

Apparently these are “typical” bridesmaids gifts, which explains how they can be easily found on Etsy! I ended up purchasing this floral robe in mint and in blue floral plate (lol), both in size large. I paid $19.99 for each robe and $12 for shipping.

Now, I really don’t know if the shop owner’s story is true, but assuming that it is, I’m always willing to support small independent businesses, even more so if they’re owned & operated by WoC. Some people refuse to buy made in China, but I find that general rhetoric ignorant and off-putting; I’m Chinese and talent/opportunities/internet livelihoods are not limited solely to the West. Furthermore, not everyone in China is a big evil faceless factory.

I did email the seller with a question, and she responded back in a few hours. It took a week before my order went into EMS stream. I received my order 10 days after it shipped. All in all, I am very satisfied with the customer service.

The gown has an inside tie, and it has belt loops to hold the belt. The seams are neatly serged, and the hem (and sleeve edge) is double folded, sewn with a straight stitch, ~3mm; not the best but good enough. I think the floral pattern is pretty! (I ADORE the blue pattern as well, but I only had time to snap the mint one.)

Closeup of the floral pattern in the mint color.

Closeup of the floral pattern in the mint color.

The robes were advertised as being 100% cotton, but I actually don’t believe that is the case. The robes are made of a tightly woven fabric that is super silky to touch and incredibly drapey. Methinks it’s rayon. For some, this may be a huge dealbreaker, but I’m honestly not even mad. These gowns are super airy and super floaty but still provide coverage without being see through (did I mention how damned hot it was here??), but please be aware: I would only recommend laundering these in a mesh bag on the delicates/handwash cycle.

I wear my robes at home or at the gym. It feels like such a lovely treat especially when I peel off my sweaty gym clothes and gather my toiletries before I hit the showers. Since I do use my robes predominantly at the gym, the fact that they’re so lightweight without being transparent is such a huge plus. I love my robes, and they’re undeniably in my top 5 favorite, most useful garments that I’ve ever purchased.

ForBride Mint Robe (Worn)
And really, I just can’t say no to a pretty robe!

All items in this post were purchased by me; ForBride did not ask for a review, nor do they even know who I am. :P No affiliate links were used.

Have you ever encountered something so decadent and over the top that your heart just burst into a million pieces of confetti?

GOOD! I’m glad that we’re on the same page. :)

For the longest time, I had been a fan of Catherine D’Lish’s work. From her Swarovski crusted costumes to her over-the-top fans, I am just enamored by all of the beautiful things she has created. Her Instagram has been a joy to follow; after all, who can resist the siren song of her signature dressing gowns? If you take a look at her comments, you can see just how excited and enthralled people are by them!

If you’re looking for the pinnacle of decadence and glamour, look no further than Boudoir by D’Lish! No one else makes garments like these, and trust me, I’ve looked everywhere. Everrrrrywheeeeeere. These gowns are special; you can bet that these will never be mass-produced by any manufacturer due to cost and labor. Depending on the style, nothing is spared in regards to the yardage or the embellishments used that makes these gowns so breathtaking.

Take for example, this peachy confection. How can you say no?

Peach Dressing Gown

(c) Catherine D’Lish.

Peach Dressing Gown (back)

(c) Catherine D’Lish.

All of this brings me to something that I feel is worth addressing: the price. Catherine’s voluminous, ruffly creations (the “deluxe” model, so to speak) are typically priced at $399. Most people – but not you, savvy reader! – automatically assume that anything outside their price range is “overpriced.” While the lingerie market has its share of lingerie that is truly overpriced, these gowns are not. The materials used are high-quality: Catherine uses English net or a nylon chiffon for that beautiful drape, silky heavyweight Swiss Satin ribbon for waist ties or decoration, and/or extravagant, expensive trims for that dramatic statement. And of course, you can’t forget about labor! A majority of the price can be attributed to the labor of producing this type of garment.

Catherine has offered gowns at a lower price point that come in at a budget-friendly, reasonable $249. Personally speaking, these gowns are a bit more practical – less fabric, less trims – and more suited to my own aesthetic. That being said, I honestly cannot reiterate how awesome this is! As many of you know, Catherine is highly-regarded for all of her efforts and contributions to burlesque costuming, and the fact that her work is still relatively accessible to the average person is pretty amazing, even if it requires a bit of saving.

Dusty Rose Ostrich (front)

(c) Catherine D’Lish.

Dusty Rose Ostrich (back)

(c) Catherine D’Lish.

Prior to my no-buy, I purchased the aforementioned Dusty Rose Ostrich Gown for $249, exclusive of shipping and insurance. Since I have very broad shoulders, I try to look for garments that don’t make me look like an inverted triangle. I felt that some of the other gowns would be too overwhelming on my smallish frame or make doing some basic household chores a bit difficult ;), so this one seemed perfect. The ostrich ply wasn’t too top-heavy, and it looked like it’d give me the silhouette that I was looking for.

Gathered fabric that comprises the shoulder of the gown.

Gathered fabric that comprises the shoulder of the gown.

In regards to construction, this gown is nicely made. Although the edges are unfinished which is by no means a detriment (I actually prefer them unfinished on on this material; a traditional or rolled hem/bias binding/anything of that sort would be unnecessarily bulky or distracting), Catherine uses french seams to finish her seams. The seams on the body, as well as the seams in the sleeve, are encased in themselves. This is by far one of my favorite seam finishes ever, one that I vastly prefer in most applications, to an overlocked finish. It gives a tidy, neat finish to the garment.

French seams encasing the sleeve seams.

French seams encasing the sleeve seams.

Prior to my purchase, I had contacted Catherine via her web form questions. I was shocked to receive a response from her – not an employee (!?) – almost immediately. From there, we had a really lovely chat. I always get a bit nervous emailing anyone who is well-known, but Catherine is just so warm and unbelievably kind, even to big nobodies like me. The customer service she provided was almost an experience in and of itself. Yes, I know how borderline ridiculous that sounds, but it really felt like I was actually making this purchase in-person with her despite being thousand of miles away. It’s kind of hard to explain, but there was this je ne sais quoi about the entire transaction that just left such a positive, strong impression on me.

You, too, can be a siren of the silver screen!

You, too, can be a siren of the silver screen!

To say that I look forward to my next purchase with Catherine is an understatement. I honestly can’t wait to get another one of her gowns! I’m starting a new training program tomorrow, and at the end of 6 weeks, if I stick with it, I will reward myself with another D’Lish delight. :D

All items in this post were purchased by me. Catherine D’Lish did not ask for a review. No affiliate links were used.

Lately, I’ve been feeling burned out by life. Since my office move, things have felt off. I feel like I’m constantly at war with working/being a responsible adult/being healthy/volunteering/doing chores/writing/trying not to rip my hair out after reading the same old shit on the internet. I’m tired and just over it. I try not to go into terribly boring/personal things on this blog because that stuff is boring. I don’t ever want to post things that aren’t me/bad content just to generate page views. I honestly hope to write a bit more – probably once spring chores are done before the summer comes, scorching everything in sight. I want to say again how much I appreciate my readers, and all the feedback I receive, even if my posts seem to pop up sporadically. :)

This “review” has been on the backburner for awhile. I bought the Dollhouse Bettie French Quarter Cocoon Robe during Black Friday:

(c) Dollhouse Bettie French Quarter Cocoon Robe

(c) Dollhouse Bettie French Quarter Cocoon Robe

An exquisite, airy piece, it’s a glorious tribute to the designs of Paul Poiret, the “King of Fashion.” The robe is well-made, and the seams within the garment are neatly sewn together with no exposed raw edges. The robe itself is comprised of a lovely nylon lace material, and it drapes beautifully on the body. Unfortunately, my raggedy-ass cuticles are prone to snagging on everything, so I’d personally recommend handling this robe with care. If you don’t wash lotion off as soon as you put it on, this may be a non-issue. ;)

I’m 5’4″, so you can see how long this robe is on me (keep in mind that I’m wearing 4-5″ heels, eeeep):

This is how I look on my days off when I'm not eliminating bad guys on secret missions. ;)

This is how I look on my days off when I’m not eliminating bad guys on secret missions. ;)

To be honest, it’s probably one of the most impractical things I own, but I don’t view that as a negative. Why? This robe evokes some pretty strong emotions when worn. Simply put, I feel like such a badass, like I’m the queen of my own kingdom or the best trained secret agent in the world.

I really am respecting what Dollhouse Bettie is doing now. After building themselves up as a reputable company, they’ve launched their own brand of lingerie that – IMO – surpasses most of the 3rd party lingerie they stock in terms of silhouette and design. Moreover, they’re making lingerie that makes women feel amazing about themselves (well, at least this one and my fellow lingerie blogger, Avigayil). And for an extra does of awesome, Dollhouse Bettie lingerie is proudly made in the Bay Area in the USA. *waves flag*

Dear Cocoon Robe, you are my new armor!

No affiliate links were used in this post. I purchased all items in this post. Dollhouse Bettie did not ask for a review.

Welp. Daylight Savings Time + move from work have owned me. Coupled with this atypical Southern winter weather that goes from 80 to below freezing in a few days (don’t forget that our boiling summers make up for these winters), all I want to do is lay in bed cocooned in warm blankets while watching Netflix. My house just feels painfully cold, and given my proclivity towards low heating bills, the last thing I want to do is take pictures of lingerie especially while wearing it. Thankfully, we had a brief warm-ish spell last weekend, and I was able to snap some pictures of my newest acquisition…

I’ve always wanted a full-length silk robe, but it always seemed out of my budget. I had thought about making my own robe, but the amount of labor, skill, and cost was enough to prevent me from doing so, too. While browsing around online, I came across Lena, this gorgeous Olivia von Halle robe. Believe it or not, the price was right – affordable compared to what it’d cost me in labor and materials. Without much hesitation, I snapped her up!

(c) Olivia von Halle, Lena Robe.

(c) Olivia von Halle, Lena Robe.

As much as I love the appearance of this garment, I couldn’t figure out why Olivia von Halle was prohibitively expensive. After poking around her website, I realized that her brand was most definitely high-end, favored by hoity-toity fashion magazines, with her clientele including celebrities. Oooh. Fancy~

To be honest, I had expected Olive von Halle’s line to be made in Europe, but my robe was made in China. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t a bad thing! Items made in China are not inherently of inferior/poor quality. Quick story: when I worked in the shop of that multiple CFDA winner, all of their knits were produced in China. I had inquired about this, and apparently, the knits produced in China were superior to the knits produced by other countries. As such, this designer chose to have his knits exclusively manufactured in China. You can see where this is going… ;) This robe is beautifully made and with equally beautiful finishes. It is comprised of 100% heavyweight luxurious satin silk and is also lined! LINED. (Woooooo!!!) By the way, the stock photo is actually incorrect. True to item description, this robe is snow white.

Sizing for the brand is limited. The size charts are all sorts of weird to me (based on dress size up to a US10 and height…), which made me extremely nervous that this wouldn’t fit me. I purchased a size 2 (S/M) as advised by their chart. I have very broad shoulders and usually have to size up in garments made of woven fabrics. Happily, this fit me quite well, and the length – thanks to the odd size chart – is perfect!

Olivia von Halle - Lena Robe, worn.

Additional notes – I will be honest: the retail price of this robe is completely outside my typical budget. If it weren’t for the fact that I managed to find this during the end of the season, I could never convince myself to purchase it, considering how it costs more than my monthly housing expenses. I am completely in love with this robe, and it’s probably the nicest thing I own! I am glad that this purchase worked out for me! :D

Also…
Doesn’t this robe seem a bit… familiar?? ;)

(c) Everlast.

(c) Everlast.

Fine by me since I took some beginning boxing a few years ago anyway. ;)

Lena robe purchased by me. Olivia von Halle did not ask for a review.

Living in the South near the Gulf makes for sweltering, humid, scorching summers. Heat index + temps over 100, humidity around the 90s, and mosquitoes? :( Over it.

Thankfully, what we get in exchange for brutal summers are relatively mild – if not damp – winters and a gorgeous 2 week spring (1 month if we’re lucky!).

I’m ready for autumn. I’m ready for a huge reduction in my power bill, and I’m looking forward to being outdoors and putting my plants into the ground. October is still a crap shoot for us, but I’m hoping for some cooler weather and a crisp breeze.

Until then, I can at least pretend. :)

Ell and Cee Elsie Kimono (Mulberry) - worn 1

Meet Elsie, the perfect introduction to Autumn. Doesn’t she photograph beautifully?
Ell and Cee Elsie Kimono (Mulberry) - front

I purchased this during Ell and Cee‘s last sale. I absolutely loved the kimonos from this collection – two lengths (Margot was full-length), pretty embroidered beadwork, and a variety of color points (emerald, mulberry, and black).

Backside:
Ell and Cee Elsie Kimono (Mulberry) - back

I bought Elsie, a silk chiffon blend, in a Small. It’s generously cut and easily accommodated my broad shoulders without a problem. The ties along the shoulder are adjustable. I like them cinched up to the top and tied off in a bow. The kimono came with a belt, but let’s be honest: there is no way in hell I can get it around my waist, so it perpetually lives in its white box. I’m okay with that because the tacked pleats frame the waist:

Ell and Cee Elsie Kimono (Mulberry) - pleats

My favorite part of this piece? The beaded embroidery. As previously evidenced, I’m a sucker for sparkles, and when it’s incorporated into my absolute most favorite craft, I’m 100% all in. The beads are a mix of glass and plastic.
Ell and Cee Elsie Kimono (Mulberry) - beading

While this specific kimono may not be available, the primary purpose behind sharing this piece is to show just how lovely Ell and Cee’s lingerie is, and if you have any hesitation, don’t! There’s just so much elegance in this brand. I truly get the impression that Laura has put so much thought and care into her lingerie, and it’s reflected in the cuts and styles, all the way down to the fabric choices and embellishments.

Ell and Cee is manufactured in the UK with the beadwork coming from artisans in India. Moreover, most of the garments are hand-finished in-house. When lingerie is priced at a premium, as a customer and consumer, I want to see these considerations (fair wages/conditions + couture finishes) and am willing to pay for them. While I have purchased from companies that have their garments made in China, I won’t lie that I still feel a bit iffy seeing a “made in China” tag sewn into a pair of “designer” lingerie.

Since Elsie is no longer available, I really appreciate how many components from previous seasons find their way reworked into a new piece. Love the beaded starburst? There’s a tasteful playsuit that echoes this motif.

Ell and Cee had tweeted about a sample sale* coming up soon. If you aren’t in the UK but you’re interested in something that may have caught your eye, let Ell and Cee know; Laura hooked me up with the sample emerald version of this kimono and a pretty slip after I tweeted her about not being able to attend since I’m across the pond. Seriously: how cool is that?!

*Please note that sample pieces aren’t in minty brand new condition – they are samples that have been photographed and worn by models and may show some wear. Recorded delivery with 2-3 day service to the US cost me £9.95.

I guess the only thing that I love about the summer is cheerful daylight shining through the windows. :)

Ell and Cee Elsie Kimono (Mulberry) - worn 2

By the way, the lipstick is handmade by my pal Melissa from Morgana’s Crypt. The color is “Flirtatious Flapper.” She offers all sorts of outrageous colors and in vegan formulas. :)

All items in this post, including the lipstick, were purchased by me.

I remember the first time I saw this robe: the cascading black silk, the heart-shaped cut-out, the understated sex appeal.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (front)

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (back)

It was love at first sight! After obsessing over this piece for a few weeks, I pulled the trigger. I ordered a size medium through Bella Bella Boutique. I received notifications as my order processed, and within a couple of weeks + shipping from India, the kimono was delivered into my hands.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (sleeve)

La Lilouche is a “designer handmade luxury & bridal lingerie” brand. Liya Amar is the lady behind the label. My robe was still made to order – cut and sewn by Liya herself! You can tell by the construction and stitching that this lingerie isn’t mass produced or finished with so-called serged perfection. I like seeing all the human touches that go into handmade goods: the care, the attention, and the couture finishes.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (shoulder seam detail) Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (back seam)  

The kimono is lightly interfaced at the collar, and a thin, grosgrain tie ribbon is sewn inside.

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (bias tape)  Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (front ties)

It’s hard not to feel super glamorous while wearing this.  The cut is very comfortable and equally flattering! I prefer wearing this during autumn through early spring since the silk is a bit too warm for the humid South. I love the black version, but since I purchased this, Liya has released a powder blue version, Livia, for those who love the color as well as brides to be. :)

Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (worn; front) Lalilouche Sophia Kimono (worn; back)

Liya is currently offering 30% off her Etsy shop during her summer sale, which ends 24 August. Now is a perfect time to snag up some pretties. :)

All items in this post were purchased by me.