Lo-Fi Gothic: The Orphan’s Arms

I’m really feeling The Orphan’s Arms right now.

But who wants to pay £80 for a sweater? NOPE, NEITHER DO I, so praise be that there’s an outlet store! It’s way better than their official site, anyway.

They say:

RENOWNED FOR ITS ICONIC GRAPHICS, THE ORPHAN’S ARMS IS UNDERPINNED BY ITS SENSE OF PLACE, SEEKING THROUGH POIGNANT AND REACTIONARY MOTIFS TO CAPTURE A LITTLE OF THE ENGLISH SPIRIT THAT IT FEELS IS SUCCUMBING TO A GLOBAL CULTURE OF BLANKET HOMOGENEITY.

Yawn. Or: “Melancholic, wryly casual threads in statement prints for the thinking misanthrope in your life”. They should get a new copywriter and it should be me.

Anyway.

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

As a documented rabbit enthusiast I’m big into the “Follow” print they do, now available in two versions:

FollowNew_FollowAww yissss.

The pros:

  • A complete steal at £18. I’ve already got one in grey and I want more in black (so the White Rabbit can actually be white, you see).
  • Real talk, it’s a wonderful soft-touch, cosy quilted material with a bossly-flattering scoop-neck.
  • Get the more detailed design in a lighter shade, and the White Rabbit transforms into the BLACK RABBIT OF INLE, offsetting the delicate pastel hue with subtly morbid bunny vibes and gothic script.

The cons:

  • For now you can only get black pullovers in size S. I’m still waiting for the black ones to come in in size M or L because a) I am never a size S; b) when you are a hyperbuxom style monarch you want your prints to not get lost under the majestic shadow of your boobshelf; and c) COME ON, I LIKE TO LAYER IN WINTER. The nice people at the warehouse say I have to just keep checking back. I really hope there’ll be more soon. 😦
  • There are no other cons. This is the perfect statement sweater.

Moving on!

Girl Mysterious

I also recently nabbed this drop-shoulder raw-edge pullover featuring a massive and unsettling print of a Victorian girl being held up high by ghostly hands:

Mystere_drop

The pros:

  • Holy shit this print is a definite statement. It’s huge. Never a subtle creature, I’m OK with that.

I’m teaming it with flared jeans when I’m feeling lazy and a big ruffled skirt when I’m feeling effortful.

The cons:

  • One Size is a foul lie and we all know it. Shoppers of distinction, and ‘alternative culture’ types in particular, are fucking bored of it. Fuck One Size in the bin. The body of this top fits me fine, but the arms are very clingy, so the whole “drop shoulder” effect isn’t really going on for me. I still like the top, but the shape is totally different to how I visualised it – and this is the sort of shit that’s a total gamble with this brand, because they use very few model-photos, and those they do use are all wearing size S. (I’m a curvy lady, but my arms are not especially wide, either.)
  • The print on this line is rough and not as nice as it is on the ‘Follow’ quilted sweater. This is probably because they’ve got different techniques for white-on-black, but it’s noticably not as lovely.
  • Raw edges: I am on the fence about raw edges. When they roll up and need a bunch of ironing, they’re really annoying. So we’ll see how this garment ages, because as a matter of necessity I’m far too busy being fabulous to iron shit.

T-shirts, though. Let’s TALK about T-SHIRTS.

Hogwarts Schmogwarts

Let’s talk about the fabulous “London School of Sorcery” print!

Sorcery_black

The pros:

  • Longline, but fitted on the arms even in size L! Bum-covering and loose, but not a sack! Love it.
  • Soffffffft, oh so soft

The cons:

  • No real cons. Maybe they could state how longline this is, though. Some people are gonna be after something else.

ANYWAY SO HERE ARE THE RULES FOR SHOPPING ORPHAN’S ARMS

  1. Screw the main site; it’s all about Outlet.
  2. Get in quick or it’ll all sell out.
  3. Remember Outlet = Some Experimental Variation Going On.
  4. Be careful you don’t end up bankrupt. I own four things from these people already.
  5. Team these predominantly loose garments with stretch pencil skirts and an understated pair of boots. I recommend Triumph 1914s or something with a witchy chunky heel, as usual.

One last image before I close: the Tea For Two design, with unsettling backprint.

Tea-black (1)

“It wasn’t until after
I had poured the second cup
That I realised
I was alone.”

I like to think that’s because the tea companion was a ghost.

In T.O.A. gear, you actually look like you rule the night, on a practical basis. You know, getting shit done while you rule the night. Having a wry literary joke while you get on with the business of night-ruling. That’s the look here. These pieces need minimal accessor-effort, because the prints really do do most of the talking.

Unlike that dude in the frilly shirt with flocked bats all over it who hasn’t yet gotten over the cultural death of LiveJournal. His screenname is probably Hades1977 or something, but in gear like this? You’re the real Persephone.

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