birmingham rag market: little italy & stockings shop

Today I'm going to write about some places in Birmingham, some "hidden treasures" of some cool clothing and accessories that you can find in Birmingham, UK. Please let me know if you find this kind of thing interesting as I'm hoping to do a series of these of online and offline guides of where to find fantastic things.

First of all, as it's coming up to Halloween (I love spooky things!), a lot of my friends are posting about doing "guro lolita" to celebrate October, the Halloween month, so I thought some of these buys may be interesting! Of course there's lovely stuff for every day. I'm not sure of the name of this stall, but as well as socks, tights and stockings it sells bags and leggings too.

The shop lies in the middle of Birmingham Rag Market.
White tights with blood splatters, tattoo tights, snake skeleton tights.

More tattoo tights and also crossbone tights and batty bat tights!

Tattoo tights again - a delicately drawn little black cat,
this would make a subtle interesting addition to an outfit!

2 spoopy "It's a Mystery" ghostie tights, here you can see prices!
They also had tights with veins and arteries
(not pictured here), the kind sold on RTBU for £10+
Here you can see the prices are £3.99-£4.99 with some even 3 for £10!

More tattoo tights (look at this gorgeous patterns!) and for you
Alice in Wonderland fans, or just you card sharks, over knee thick stockings
with card suits print and a little bow with an ace on the top! Cute.

Secondly, and most excitingly to me, a lovely lady named Norma has opened her dream shop in Birmingham Rag Market, the name of the shop is Little Italy. I unfortunately forgot to take photographs there, but I hope to go back and take more. Damien bought a gorgeous jacket for an aristocratic style from Little Italy, and I think soon he'll post about it on his blog.

Norma is a lovely friendly lady and Little Italy has just opened, so while stock is a little limited (some things had already sold out yesterday, the first day of being open!), I'm sure soon they'll have lots more stock and lots more variety soon. Little Italy's clothes are, obviously, all made in Italy to the highest quality and Norma herself spends time doing quality control checking how well the items are sewn which is amazing dedication, much more attention to detail is spent there than in high street shops!

Some of the places Little Italy's clothes are sourced from are the same companies that produce clothes for All Saints - but without the large price tag attached. The styles Little Italy stocks varies and can be combined in all different ways, it's all about the layering! Excitingly, it's all soft neutrals, blacks to greys to greens and browns and would be absolutely perfect for a gypsy, boho look or for fans of Japanese fashion, this is your place to shop for dolly kei or mori kei fashion as there are so many deconstructed items in soft flowing materials with unusual trims or neck lines - some with gorgeous faux fur edging.Some of the boleros, shrugs and cardigans would be perfect for aristocratic or lolita looks too, it is all very versatile.

I've been asked to be a personal shopper to a close friend and I cannot wait to take her there and dress her up like a little mori-kei forest girl! Definitely going back to take photographs so I can share it with you!

review: sheinside cat sweatshirt

Just to post about an amazing sweater I recently ordered from Sheinside. Don't let the name fool you - as any good alternative guy knows, the most fashionable places are womens shops. We're stuck with slogan t-shirts and straight leg jeans. So on with the review! I ordered this item on 02/09/2012 and received it on 12/09/2012, amazingly fast shipping. I was still waiting on some zips I ordered from the UK in this time, so I was shocked (in a good way) how fast the shipping was.

less than £15 delivered!

I really liked the way this was packaged, it came neatly folded in a reusable zip lock bag with the shop name "Sheinside" printed on it, inside the standard plastic packaging wrap. We recycle/reuse all packaging here, so this is all useful. You can see Ifrit helping me unwrap this as he is a nosy little face. Another great thing about the postage is I got a tracking number and was told how to log in and track my item, which again, with free shipping is pretty nifty.

The quality of the item is brilliant for the price, think how much Primark sweaters are nowdays! You can see it in my lookbook above. I'd say for disposable fashion this is great. The colour is vibrant, the fabric is really soft, if you are reading this debating buying this jumper I would say go for it. Especially if you haven't bought from Sheinside before - new members get 15% off making it even cheaper!

I already have my eye on my next purchases from there...!

Postage: ❤❤❤❤❤
Service: ❤❤❤❤❤
Price: ❤❤❤❤❤
Quality: ❤❤❤❤❤
Overall: ❤❤❤❤❤
5/5 highly recommended
will order again! 

clubbing ootd dump #one

I think like a lot of people, when clubbing/going out for an occasion, I tend to wear a lot more extravagant things than day to day. I don't really like to be "attention grabby", but I do like to be OTT, so for me, the only "safe" time to dress up like the nutter I am is when lots of other people are dressed up too!

I really enjoy wearing theme outfits with friends, all dressing up on a similar theme or kind of making the outfit around a character of sorts, even if it's purely invented at the time. I guess I just find it a fun break from the norm, and why not.

We (Damien, Finlay and I) went out (aiming to go to Eddie's) as er... shironuri kigurumi. It works well as a phrase, right? We didn't really have all the stuff to do shironuri but it was a fun first try. I think wearing the kigurumi made it even more funny. I wore my Nyanpire kigurumi D got me a couple of Christmases ago (I think the second time I've worn it cos I'm so scared of ruining it...!)

I stole a couple of these photographs from Finlay's blog.
As you can see, getting ready with kittens makes it 10x more difficult...!

A week later, Finlay told us a trad-goth night was on at Eddie's for the first time so we thought LET'S TRY IT. D is a big fan of trad-goth vs newer goth and I have no clue so I backcombed an old wig, wore lots of block and was drunk enough to try putting "Adam and the Ants"-esque tribal markings on my face haha. Unfortunately too drunk to draw in straight lines. D doing the hula? I like how serious faced I am at trying to take the photo.

Unfortunately not many people were having a dance (apart from this bloke that I called a pirate and he got well annoyed about it cos apparently it meant I didn't know good music. I wasn't the one dressed as a pirate though!) so the following text exchange happened while some people who I will not name were having a secret para-para session:

I text this photo of the packed dance floor to D and got this reply

Apparently White Zombie and Tammtien Talkathon Rammstein were playing upstairs!

That Saturday night I was still drunk from Friday (I am such a lightweight, it's great) and decided to dress up as I have no idea... a prince of gay perhaps?

I hate how my astigmatism really shows up and gives me derp eyes in lenses haha!

Outfit Rundown
Horns: Grand-Young @ Taobao
Wig: Grand-Young @ Taobao
Necklace/headpiece: Primark
Collar tips: eBay
Shirt: Primark
Faux fur scarf: H&M (pinned to waistcoat)
Waistcoat: Primark
Trousers: ??? From D
Boots: Second hand

It is fun to try and create extravagant outfits from many little bits and pieces! Have you ever surprised yourself with an outfit combination that worked better than expected? Thanks for looking!

ootd dump #one

Hello! Sorry for the inactivity, been having lots of tests done at the doctors and finally got referred to a specialist clinic! So here, lazily, is some of my favourite outfits from the past month or so. Pictures make a good update, right?

tee: boy london x long clothing
jeans: h&m
socks: topman
trainers: asos

tee: taobao
harem pants: taobao
hitops: asos

denim jacket: secondhand/self-customised
hoodie: topman
t-shirt: h&m
jeans: h&m
hitops: asos

denim jacket: secondhand/self-customised
raglan: disturbia
trousers: taobao
boots: off a market stall

sandals: primark (in the sale!)
fag: not mine

Also if anyone knows any male bloggers more posting about style, I'd be interested to follow! I'm already following a few guys but I think a couple deleted their blogs, perhaps.

Thanks for looking!

review: wig care products shampoo + conditioner

Finally, I post! I have a lot of reviews I want to do as I feel they would be of help, er, but here's an easy one to get started. I've been looking for good wig care products for a while for costume wigs, most I have used I would not recommend (other than the one amazing spray from zephyr wigs japan which was a free gift), so finally I'm glad to find something to recommend.

Recently we went to City Hair & Beauty, one of my favourite wig shops here in Birmingham - the benefits of living in a big city! - looking for wigs to use for upcoming costumes/to get an idea of how colours looked irl. We actually found two perfect wigs at really good prices, so I recommend visiting there.
I picked up fibre care (from the brand hairaisers) shampoo & conditioner for synthetic wigs/fibre hairpieces for £2.99 each. I think this is a good price as online it appears to retail for around £7.00 each. The shampoo and conditioner just smells clean and fresh, not too strong or overpowering and not too (my main worry) floral. 

The wig I decided to work on: My 2-D wig used for DoYaThing and Plastic Beach. I was unhappy with this wig from a styling point of view as I was recommended a new, cheaper styling product. After reading many good reviews I tried it against my better judgement and urgh, did not hold at all well and made the wig look sticky and greasy. I wanted to wash that out straight away, and any residue of costume make-up! As you can see, these products worked perfectly. No remains of make-up, no gross cloggy leftover product, and the wig is left soft and shiny and smells fresh and clean!


review: secretsales diesel fresh & brights briefs

Something about me is I love socks and pants. Not in an overly attached freaky sock sniffer monkeyslut weird kid kind of way, but in a "aren't socks BRILLIANT!" kind of way. Getting socks for Christmas is one of the best presents I could ever have. But what's better than just socks and pants? Designer socks and pants. Yes bruv. So I'd like to introduce you to a website where you can get more than just designer socks and pants at high street prices.

This isn't a sponsored review, but if you click the link above it's my referral link, so if you do happen to sign up and find something you like and buy it, I'd get £10 off my next order, so I'd appreciate it if you used that. 

The reason they can offer things and such a reduced cost is explained in their FAQ here:
"To offer you the very best deals we work directly with our suppliers and only order your purchases once a sale closes. This means that it takes a little longer to receive your order, but we are confident our prices are well worth the wait."
I think that's the only "strings attached" to the order, the wait for the postage. Sometimes it takes a couple of days like any normal webshop postage, sometimes it takes longer. Now that's explained, onwards to my purchases!
Instead of £19.00 each, through secretsales each pair was down to £6 (proof). Even on eBay single briefs are going for £13+, so you can see this is a fantastic deal. Postage is £4.95, so if you spread that over the cost of each item, each item is £7.23 - so you are still saving over £11 for it to be delivered directly to you.

Within a few days my order arrived - as many pairs I could snatch up that were still left in a "S". They came in the boxes as you would see in store, packaged perfectly. I still have the boxes as I feel it's a waste to just chuck them out, still not sure what I even intend to do with them...
And finally the pants themselves! I enjoy the colour chart with the pants. Gives me a bit of a "collect em all" feeling. All in all, I can't really give it a star rating but just that I wanted to write about it to recommend it if you haven't yet heard of it.

I shall continue the hunt for more bargains, so I'll just leave you with the referral link once again cos you know. Ten quid and all. Sign up today!

iphone app review: battle cats

edit: Just to say I've reached 10/10 invites on Battle Cats so please use someone else's invite code so you can both benefit from it!

Something I've been obsessed with lately is Battle Cats, as you may have noticed from the fact I can't shut up about it on every social media platform I'm on. And I go on about it to pretty much everyone I meet. If you know me in person and don't have Battle Cats yet, you either don't have a way to play it or you are very strong willed.

Battle Cats by Ponos is a "capture the castle" game, I believe that is the term, but it is really just mental fun. And free! Did I mention it is free before? It is free. (PS. free)

Battle Cats
[here on iTunes]
↓don't forget to add me↓
[ mp1dh ]

The more levels you play the more bizarre cats you can unlock. Above you can see the basic starting cat, aptly named "Cat". You also collect "treasure" on each level, and by treasure it ranges from "inferior mango" to "best quality sponge cake". Wow, treasure!

Above is my favourite cat, "Gross Cat". Each level you beat grants you XP to level up your cats, your cat laser and all kinds of things. Unfortunately I soon levelled up and lost him (her?) to his evolution.

Beautiful Legs-Cat. Why Gross Cat, why. You were so beautiful with your long dangly legs. Now you have those beautiful legs instead. I am saddened.

This is the "Cat Base" screen where you can upgrade your cats, equip which cats you want to battle with, look upon your amazing treasures and look up your opponents in the dictionary for what good that does you. Yes, the bottom picture is the dictionary. Yes it is no help. It all adds to the bizarre fun of the game, however.

Going back to the main screen, you can invite friends and input (you can only input ONE) a friend code to receive gifts. If anyone inputs your code they get 10,000xp, and you get a gift. Once you get 10/10 guests you will get Moneko, er, which as you can see I haven't. So if you want to play and add me, I could tell you how great Moneko is. Hint hint.

You know. Just in case you forgot my code. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the cat battle!

Snowy weekend


I took these photographs on my phone on the weekend of the 12th - a couple of weeks ago. I think we had approximately three inches of snow and Birmingham ground to a halt. These photographs were taken at the Edgbaston Reservoir which is a beautiful place. If you ever have the time to visit I recommend it.

review: taobao order direct from grand young

Recently, I've been wanting to get back into being more confident and experimental with fashion, as well as with cosplay, so I was reading up on good Taobao sellers. I found a lot of recommendations for the shop "Grand Young". As on their shop they state they are happy to deal directly with overseas customers through PayPal if you e-mail them, this swayed me into trying them out. This is my first time writing this kind of review so any suggestions would be welcomed.

I ordered on the 11/01/13 and chose "normal airmail", not EMS or DHL and cost approximately £13. The parcel arrived on the 23/01/13 to the UK (even though we were having so-called severe weather conditions and some days postal deliveries were cancelled) it arrived within 10 working days. The items were packaged in individual sealed plastic wrappers, the wigs with nets and padding inside, and the whole thing was boxed with a waterproof layer of packaging over the top. Absolutely no complaints. I've ordered from UK web shops that have taken longer to post. Fantastic.

Clip on hair horns ("kreepsville" inspired?) x 2 black, x 1 red @ £0.40 ea. (link)
Eyeball hair clip x 1 @ £0.40 ea. (link)
Bone hair clip x 1 black, x 1 white, x 1 bloodstained @ £0.40 ea. (link)
Skeleton hand hair clip x 1 white @ £0.40 ea. (link)
Portable/flat pack wig stand x 4 black @ £1.10 ea. (link)
Horn/Ear beanie hat x 1 black @ £1.20 ea. (link)
Skeleton hands necklace x 1 white @ £1.40 ea. (link)
Grey/silver wig x 1 @ £5.40 ea. (link)
Dark ashy blue wig x 1 @ £6.30 ea. (link)
(please note all prices/price conversion accurate at the time of buying.)


Without styling or any make-up aside from BB cream, I tried on some of the purchases straight away, I don't think I'll be wearing them quite like this but tried to show as much as I could at once! Each item was pristine, the wigs are so thick (no big gaps in the wefting) and do not moult, and are made of high quality kanekalon fibres. The hair clips were so well made, no excess glue, no faulty clips, no scratches, marks or discolourations.

The only thing I will mention to be careful of is that each hair clip/accessory is sold individually. If you order x 1, you will get one clip, not one set/pair. Meaning one clip is £0.40, a pair is £0.80. I didn't realise that (Totally my fault for not reading properly and assuming!) so I will be returning again to order more clips the next time I order from there!

The seller was polite, courteous (even wished me a "happy new year"!) and was fast to reply by e-mail to any questions I had and explained well. They double checked my address and told me when they received payment and when they posted the item out. I really have nothing bad to say about this.

Postage: ❤❤❤❤❤
Service: ❤❤❤❤❤
Price: ❤❤❤❤❤
Quality: ❤❤❤❤❤
Overall: ❤❤❤❤❤
5/5 highly recommended
will order again!