So you know that feeling when you get something new in the mail and you can't wait to just tear into it, take a million pictures and share it with the world? It's an awesome feeling. And it's an equally not so awesome feeling the second you open that package and realize all your hopes have been shattered. Sadly, the latter has been my experience.
On August 3rd I ordered my very first pairs of tea party shoes from Bodyline. I ordered style 256 in black and style 251 in silver. They arrived August 18th, so just about two weeks from China to America with Airmail shipping. It's about what I was expecting and I wasn't in any rush for them to arrive, so I'm glad they showed up when they did. I was super excited when I saw them in my room, they were not only my first pair of tea parties, but my first pair of REAL Lolita shoes! They weren't in any boxes, but rather the standard tons of bubble wrap and securely sealed inside a plastic envelope.
Unfortunately, I had a sinking feeling the second I began to unwrap them. They looked small. Now, I had done my homework, read all over EGL and other reviews of these exact shoes and thought I had a pretty good idea in mind what size to order. I know when it comes to ordering online (especially a place like Bodyline that doesn't accept returns) that it's no time to be vain and pretend you're smaller than you really are. So I measured my foot about 40 times (even traced it on paper and measured the outline) and every time I came up with 24.5 cm (I wear a US size 8.5 for reference). Perfect. I could order size 245, just like everyone told me to (and just my luck, that was the largest size they had in silver). So that's what I did.
Nope. I suppose technically these shoes are size 245. Exactly 245. I can fit my feet into them, but they are literally the exact size of my feet, so my toes scrape the front of the shoe and there is absolutely no wiggle room to speak of.
That being said, I still took a quick photo, just to see if I like the look of tea parties on me. I admit, I feel really super cute in them, and the black ones don't feel as OTT as I feared they would.The straps aren't tight and the shoe isn't too narrow, so it's not so much a problem of the entire shoe being too small. If I've ever felt like an ugly step sister wishing she could chop her toes off, this was definitely it.
Still, despite these issues, I do have plans to order more tea parties from Bodyline. I really would like some pink and white ones and now I know to order at least half a size up. I am glad that the shoes themselves seem well made with no loose threads, wonky stitching or straps coming apart. I'm also really glad that aside from the squishy toes, the rest of the shoes actually feel quite comfortable. I don't tend to wear a lot of flat shoes anymore because after an hour or so they really begin to hurt my feet. Though I haven't walked in these long term yet, the inside already feels like they give a bit more support than regular ballet flats, so I'm hoping that comfort will last for more than a few hours at a time.
And as a quick aside, I also ordered these boots (style 298). Even huger disappointment. SO tiny (much tinier than the tea parties despite having ordered the same size) and I probably should have ordered at least two sizes bigger for them to fit comfortably. The boots themselves are actually of nice quality though, the faux fur very soft and the construction sturdy. However, the heels did come with some white stuff that are kind of difficult to brush off and they did have a very strong chemical smell right out of the bag. I still really do love the look of these boots and they seem like they'd be very comfortable in the right size, but as I doubt I can sell these (since they're heavy and the cost of shipping would be ridiculous) I don't know if I can get another pair for awhile. Huge, huge disappointment.
Overall, I'm sorry this post had to be such a downer. But I figure it's good for me to get that information out there anyway for other Lolitas, let others learn from my mistakes. Thankfully my darling boyfriend has offered to take the tea parties to the cobblers while I'm at work to see if they can be stretch about half an inch, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it'll work. Here's to hoping my next order of tea parties will end on a happier note.