Sunday, 25 May 2014

melikestea petticoat review - positive - with direct comparison to Classical Puppets bell-shape.

EDIT to add: This petti deflated quite quickly over the course of a couple of months to give light poof only, probably because there are only 2 layers. I have added extra information and an updated rating at the end of my post

Since moving countries and not having space for petticoats in my luggage, I decided I wanted to buy from melikestea again after the relative success of my first order which was reviewed exactly a year ago. Those petticoats held up fantastically to being stuffed unceremoniously in a drawer and being worn under fairly heavy dresses for 6 months (at the approximate rate of once a week) however I sold them before moving, and can safely say they were nowhere near deflating when sold.

Unfortunately, since my first order, Tai has stopped taking commissions and is only making a certain number of petticoats per month, updating her stock on the first Saturday of the month. I ordered from the April stock update, purchasing Petticoat #10 in white (PT10) at the standard price of 40R$ (Brazilian reals). Combined with shipping to the United Kingdom, the total came to $36.73 USD. I was a bit apprehensive about this petticoat as the "poof rating" is 1 star whereas the previous petticoats I purchased were 3 stars. However, it looked as if it would give a nice medium bell shape, at least to start with - but because it isn't as gathered and tiered as, say, the Poof Monster, it could deflate relatively fast.
Stock photo of PT10 - melikestea
I filled in the form somewhere around the 12th of April (I think) and was replied to and invoiced on the 15th, which I paid the same day. My petticoat was shipped on the 22nd due to Easter holidays. The parcel arrived at my housing block on the 28th of April but due to being on holiday I didn't get to open it myself until the 6th of May.
Standard paper + plastic bag.
I was sent some free hairties as a gift for ordering and reviewing previously, which was nice. Tai did put up an actual photo of the white petticoat on her stock page, and the petti is accurate to the pictures.
Scandalously, my navel is showing.

The short version:

Actually ordering: 10/10 - Wait until the stock updates, then fill out the form.

Manufacture/shipping time: 10/10 - There was a larger delay than expected for shipping, but holy shit it arrived fast! Tai does state it's 3 business days from time of payment, and this was the case

Packaging: 7/10 - I think unless you have destructive postal officers and crazy customs people that the packaging is entirely fine - a waterproof, decent plastic bag + paper outer. I seem to recall the plastic bag being thicker last time though.

Accuracy to stock photos: 10/10 - absolutely identical.

This petticoat, being a stock item, has a waist size of 60-90cm. Unstretched, the waistband is 60cm; fully stretched over 110cm. The elastic used seems to be the same - very stretchy but not super tight, but thankfully Tai has also added a drawstring feature so that the waist can be tightened and properly fit the measurements given. I do think it would ride down if this were not the case, based on previous experience.

The length is accurate to the measurements given, at 44cm (advertised as 45cm +/- 1cm) and Tai's construction is as good as ever with zero loose threads. I note that the lining seam was pressed flat this time as opposed to being a french seam - either way, the construction fits the purpose of the garment.

The short version:

Fit - 10/10. Not a custom order, appears to be appropriate for the measurements given.

Pattern/Construction/etc. - 10/10

So actually, the only reason people look at petticoat reviews is for the pictures of poof, right? I bought this petti to wear under my plainer dresses and a millefleurs skirt that I think looks better with slightly less poof, and then also acquired a Classical Puppets petti second hand. No pictures because everyone knows Classical Puppets, right?

I reviewed this petti under multiple dresses basically to compare its performance in different conditions with what appears to be everyone's "gold standard", the Classical Puppets petti. To be quite honest I think that Classical Puppets is overrated, mine definitely deflated within the year (too much velvet...) and is more a medium poof, not true giant megapoof. I was layering it by the time I'd owned it for 9 months. 

The melikestea petticoat definitely does deflate over the course of being worn normally (sitting on the tube, at the theatre) and will get very scratchy on the legs because the lining is slightly shorter than the petti - definitely one to wear tights or long bloomers with!

Dress: IW Gretia JSK - lightweight sateen-like fabric, lined.
Performance: Classical Puppets (middle) is clearly poofier and more bell-shaped than the melikestea petti

From left to right: No petti, Classical Puppets Bell Shaped, Melikestea PT10

Skirt: Millefleurs - medium weight velvet, with a velvet ruffle on the hem, unlined.
Performance: Similar amount of poof, although again the CP is more bell-shaped
From left to right: No petti, Classical Puppets Bell Shaped, Melikestea PT10

Dress + Coat: Atelier Pierrot Playing Cards / Chess Velveteen JSK + Atelier Boz Roland - medium weight velveteen with heavy cotton lace on the hem, lining with cotton lace on the hem, medium weight, lined velveteen jacket.
Performance: The melikestea petti seems more poofy and gives an identical shape to the CP petti.
From left to right: No petti, Classical Puppets Bell Shaped, Melikestea PT10

The short version:

Poof: 7/10 - I will see how it holds up over time, but for the price it's very competitive in the bell-shaped market. It deflates more quickly when being worn than the previously owned ones, but then shaking it out fluffs it up again nicely. 

Price/value for money: 9/10. I can't really comment for certain as I'm not sure how poofy this petticoat will stay, but for now it performs just as well as, if not better than, the comparatively more expensive Classical Puppets petti under the sort of outfits I tend to wear. 

Overall: 9/10 - I will have to see how this petti holds up over time, but it is a good, inexpensive petticoat with a bit of bell shape to it, and performs reasonably under heavy garments in comparison with Classical Puppets.

Also - if Tai ever wanted to do a giant Frankenstein monster petticoat combining this one and either PT07 or the Cotton Candy petticoat for like, 7 layers of ultimate bellshaped poof, I would be so ready for it. With layers of velvet and a heavy wool coat on.

I owned this petticoat for around 2 months before noticing that it was deflating to the point it was difficult to fluff it up and get the same amount of poof from it again. This definitely became a layering petticoat over time, and gave only light poof.

Therefore I have changed my overall ratings as below.

Poof: 5/10 - Starts off quite poofy and can be shaken out to refluff, but is definitely a light-poof petti over time. 

Price/value for money: 7/10. With shipping I would probably prefer to buy locally for a light-poof petti, there are any number of places that do quite unpoofy petticoats and have cheaper prices. This is not to say that Tai's work is inferior in any way, but that the market for lower-poof petticoats is quite saturated and as a consequence there are cheaper alternatives that will function just as well.

Overall: 7/10 - It deflates over time, but it is a well-constructed, inexpensive petticoat with a bit of bell shape to it, and will initially give you reasonable perfomance in comparison with Classical Puppets. However due to cheaper petticoats that will give you the same sort of performance this wouldn't necessarily be my top choice.