Onto the review!
Look at that. Doesn't it make you want to melt? Yes, terrible pun intended. I've had the privilege of being able to view these items in person, and I must say they look just as you'd expect in the photos. Let's break things down, shall we?
Material: The material is a heavy, thick jacquard (61% cotton and 39% polyester) which is perfect for the autumn season coming in. The colours are very complimentary autumn too.The lovely, embossed square on the fabric really give it an interesting touch. The colours come in ivory, mocha, brown or bitter.
Design: Well, of course, the name speaks for itself. It's chocolate, but not just any chocolate, this is chocolate fit for royalty. The name just screams quality and yet makes me hungry at the same time.
You can really see where Angelic Pretty have gone to great lengths to show the chocolate inspiration though. Rather than simply having a pattern on the dress, they have made each product look as much like a piece of chocolate as is humanly possible with fabric. The pleats on the skirts and JSKs beautifully reflect a chocolate bar without looking awkward. In addition, the wavy lines give that lovely melted effect. With the round, gold buttons, clean lines and gold chain accents, this line has a kind of royal guard look to it. I'm a big fan of the side bustles Angelic Pretty have added to the JSKs. In this series it reminds me of a chocolate waterfall a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Obviously, Angelic Pretty is a fan of this fashion twist too since they've used it on a lot of their products.
This is something I can see a storybook character wearing in the Land of Goodies where everything is made of treats.
The JSKs (Jumper Skirts)
Similarly to 2012's series, Angelic Pretty brought out two JSKs, the regular and the low-waisted. Both have their charm. The regular JSK has a distinct military feel to it with the buttons and connecting chains on the bodice. The sharp lines are softened by the bow and side bustle. The low-waist, on the other hand, has a softer look - the only hint of military is in the clean lines and the straps, once again accented with round, gold buttons.
2013 has retrogressed to 2011's look albeit without the side bustle. The panels are wider and the melting waist is slightly larger. I feel the larger size of the melting waist looks better. On 2011's version it isn't as noticeable. The wider panels also work well and the underskirt's fabric is an improvement - more feminine. I'm a fan of 2012's high waist skirt the most, but 2013's skirt is a subtle but pretty part of the series. Nothing outstanding, but generally no complaints.
Angelic Pretty did well with their first coat. It's an interesting and lovely design - a bit too much solid colours for my liking, but still very nice.
2012's is a complete disaster. The fur accents make it look cheap and grandmotherly, and the general shape is high on the frump scale. I'm sure it's warm. I'm also sure that if they had it in purple it would suit Violet Beauregarde to a T.
2013's jacket has done well in pulling the more tailored 2011 design and mixing it with the jacket style. A definite improvement on 2012, but then...anything is. My grandmother is welcome to keep that design locked away in a mothball box in the bottom of her wardrobe never to traumatize anyone ever again.
The hat continues with the sweet regimental theme with just a touch of chocolate sailor. I feel the cuffs and ribbon too are nice accents. I've always been a bit meh about tote bags. This one is a nice design as tote bags go, and the umbrella is ok, although nothing particularly special. The tights are a bit overkill for a chocolate outfit in my opinion. There's such a thing as too much, but perhaps someone out there can put it in the right combination.
Overall Score for 2013 series:
I'm probably biased because I love all chocolate-inspired items and I'm a big fan of regimental looks, so the combination in this series has me drooling for all the right reasons. The fabric is good quality, rich and not too much, and the design hits all the right notes. In a Goldilocks effect, the 2013 series has brought the best parts from 2011 and 2012 and put them together to great effect. Not too much, not too little, but just right. Only one point knocked off in improvement for a not particularly amazing development on the skirt. It's not doing anything new with the design apart from having parts slightly bigger, and I personally prefer 2012's version.
All in all, an averaged out score of 5/5.
No wonder it sold out so fast!
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