Getting Lolita dream dresses from Xianyu in the midst of Covid-19

Has your mind ever gone on auto-pilot leading you to Google for things you never knew you needed until you saw them? For reasons unknown to me, I decided to spend one fine afternoon looking up Japanese Lolita clothing with cat prints. That led me down the rabbit hole and I eventually ended up narrowing the search to Juliette et Justine cat prints. I didn’t realise JeJ had so many pretty cat print dresses.

Stock image of Juliette et Justine’s Mimi Eden

The adorable tabby cat from Mimi Eden stared at me out of its ornate frame, and I was hooked. I’ve never been a JeJ fan, but I adored everything about the dress, from the flowers and birds in resplendent colours, to the elegant frames and lace, to the simple cut and lightweight fabric (100% polyester) which would make it perfect for the hot Singapore weather, and for traveling. Kitty wanted me to bring it home and I was determined to make it happen. But Google-fu informed me that I’d missed it’s re-release last year. So it’s Xianyu, China’s favourite second-hand market app, to the rescue!

I found a couple of listings in my preferred size and colour. Since it was just before Chinese New Year, I figured I’d wait till after the festive rush to purchase it. After all, I’d just purchased Robe de Chouchou La Marche off Xianyu in the same month and was in no hurry to add on to my credit card bills.

But of course, Covid-19 came along, and the whole of China shut down. Oh why didn’t I buy my dress before CNY? How long would I have to wait to ship it? What if the nation-wide mandatory leave gets extended beyond 9 Feb? What if the major cities get locked down too? Even if I could buy it, would I be able to ship it? I had all these burning questions but I didn’t want to bother any of the proxies I worked with. They were dealing with more pressing issues.

On 1st Feb, I couldn’t bear it longer. First, I touched base with my favourite warehouse and happily, they could receive mail, though they wouldn’t be able to process my package before 9 Feb. With my delivery destination secured, I asked my Xianyu proxy about ordering from one of those listings I’d shortlisted earlier. My first priority was based in Anhui, but the seller didn’t know when her city’s courier would resume work. Welp. The seller of my second priority hadn’t logged in in weeks. My third priority was slightly more expensive, but it was based in Shanghai, where Shunfeng Freight Collect was available as a mode of delivery.

Freight Collect meant that the recipient would pay for the postage when the package arrived. With no one at the warehouse until 9 Feb to handle that administrative procedure, I had to ask the seller to wait until 9 Feb to post it. I also paid a small fee for insurance as I was afraid my delivery would be messed up during this crunch time.

Thankfully, the Covid-19 situation had somewhat stabilised and there were no further extensions to the mandatory leave for workers in China. My package reached the warehouse on the same day it was mailed out. Processing the package took about a week. Then international shipping took another week, longer than the usual 3 days, due to the reduced number of flights from China to Singapore.

I’m thrilled. The dress looks much prettier in reality than in the stock image. The colours are so vibrant!

The print quality is interesting. Close-up, it is not really sharp. In fact, it looks kind of fuzzy. But from a normal distance, the pictures pop, almost giving it a 3D effect.

The listing came with a hair accessory which the seller made to go with the dress. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s really pretty and well-made.

It’s a brand new piece too. After insurance, shipping and service fees, I paid about 50 SGD more than priced.

Stock image of Juliette et Justine’s Robe de Chouchou de La Marche

On the other hand, Robe de Chouchou de La Marche, which I purchased from Xianyu a month ago, cost me about 100 SGD less, despite having a higher retail price than Mimi Eden. It’s not brand new, but it looks pristine, and that’s all that matters.

I was attracted by the cats, but it was the detachable shoulder cape that won me over. I found it quite unique and more importantly, it’ll hide my flabby arms without me having to wear a long-sleeved blouse X)

It’s both elegant and cute!

The art style is so adorable and charming!

It’s business as usual for courier services in most parts of China. While projected release dates for Chinese EGL brands have been postponed indefinitely, now is a good time to purchase 2nd-hands because they can be mailed out immediately (except for sellers in locked down cities and those who left their dresses in their school dormitories. Schools have not re-opened in China).

Found your dream dress on Xianyu? Follow the guidelines on this page to place your order!

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