Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Sourpuss in Review

Sourpuss in Review

I own a number of Sourpuss brand items. When I was first introduced to them a few years ago I went ape shit for their stuff. I was completely enamoured with their funky bold prints. In the last two years I have seen a number of shops open up in the surrounding area that carry Sourpuss products. After watching the gothic scene in my city die out, it was interesting to see a new generation flock to the few alternative shops for these garments. Girls swooned over the rockabilly frocks with little nautical appliqués or the cute goth cardigans and clutch purses. When introduced to Sourpuss, these women went wild! I can't blame them. Their clothes are cute and there isn't much else out there to choose from, especially when you don't like to buy online. But I caution the new Sourpuss fan to consider whether it is money well spent. There are a handful of other brands to buy from, like Iron Fist, Kreepsville 666 or Hell Bunny. All have their pros and cons. Today, I'm going to discuss my feelings on my Sourpuss brand dresses (their most popular product) and provide some recommendations when browsing their collections.

Sourpuss Brand Clothing
I own five Sourpuss dresses and each has their issues. I have four printed cotton spandex dresses and one printed chiffon baby doll dress. The first Sourpuss dress that I ever bought was the Bat Attack dress in hot pink (pictured at the top of this post). I instantly fell in love with it. I love bats and I love hot pink! It's a cute dress and it has received a number of compliments. Sadly, it hasn't held up well after the first wear. I have had to iron the crap out of this sucker and it's damn near impossible to get it looking as good as it did the first time. Not kidding! If you Google the dress you will find images of girls wearing it and they are wrinkly, wrinkly, wrinkly! They look like they're wearing something that has been balled up in the laundry hamper. If I can't manage to iron out the wrinkles before going out I just don't wear it. It is quite embarrassing and it's pretty much unavoidable. I own both versions of the Tangled Web dress and a hot pink Tiki dress and they are all the same material (and mostly the same design - in fact the Sourpuss dresses are largely just variations of the same dress using different prints). All of these dresses look wrinkly and it is impossible to get the wrinkles out. I hand wash my dresses so it's definitely not an issue of care. My straps have gone on my Tiki dress a couple of times and the zippers are all jamming on every dress. The cotton in the Tangled Web dresses has shrunk and the tulle underskirt now sags down six inches beneath the hem line, I can easily trim this, but why should I have to? The bottom line is that these items just don't hold up very well.

What's the problem here? Well, printed dresses are expensive to produce. I looked into creating my own printed designs a few years ago and discovered it's way too costly, this might be why some of these dresses are priced so high (something many customers have critiqued). In order to manufacture a dress that is reasonably priced, they print the design on a less than desirable material or cut costs in notions. It's sort of like how Lolita fans complain about an overabundance of "cotton sateen" on the market; it's affordable, the garment can be sold at a reasonable cost and there is still a profit to be made. If Sourpuss selected a higher quality material it's pretty safe to say that the price would more than double. Would we pay more for higher quality? I'm sure you've heard of fast fashion - what's hot today is gone tomorrow - but does this ring true for the alternative scene? I know a lot of people who hold onto their wardrobe favorites and wear the shit out them. I still own shoes and dresses that I had in high school because I adore them. I'm not dominated by a need for what's new and trendy and I have never considered myself as being "out of fashion." I just can't imagine many alternative fashionistas would ever feel compelled to be up to date. I mean, how long have goths been wearing corsets? If Sourpuss improved the quality of these dresses I would say the cost would be well justified. I would pay good money to have a bat dress that I don't have to spend 30 minutes ironing before wearing.

Sourpuss Brand Clothing Cardigans, Shirts and Skirts
This is not to say all of their products are of low quality. I own a few of their cardigans and they look as lovely as the day I bought them. I have three sweaters and only one of them has pilled and misshapen. The same goes for the jewelry and hair accessories, some lose rhinestones and break where others do not. It really is hit or miss. Overall, their designs are just nicer looking. If I had to choose between brands, I would choose Sourpuss over Lip Service because not only are their products better looking but they are better constructed, too. And above all, I am always happy to invest in and support a producer of alternative designs.

If you are going to buy Sourpuss brand clothing and accessories, I have some advice for you. First and foremost it is really best to check things out in person. This way you can get a good look at the quality of the items and try things on. A lot of the dresses are short so you will want to do a butt check (to see if your bottom hangs out when you bend over), you may need to size up. I also recommend going for a dress made of something other than a cotton blend; my chiffon dress is the only dress of the five that has fared well. Handwash all of your items as this promotes the longevity of the garment. Yes it is fussy but it is worth it. Turn them inside out and hang dry them (or flat dry if it's a sweater), preferably out of the sunlight. Trust your best judgment, if a garment is showing signs of wear in store it likely will only get worse. Check zippers to make sure they are running smoothly and are not chipped or snagging. Check straps and buttons to make sure they are well secured. The best way to get the most life out of your jewelry and hair accessories is to store them properly. Don't use pleather purses in cold weather, I've done this with two of mine and it just destroys them. Overall, take good care of things and use common sense and you will get the most out of these items!

I hope this helps anyone in their shopping endeavors. : )

Kind regards,

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