Please forgive me if this topic has already been discussed extensively...I checked the tags and search engine and couldn't find an answer, so I thought I'd start a new subject.
When I first started collecting lolita, I bought mostly off-brand items. Once I bought my first BtSSB JSK I felt cheated by the earlier off-brand items because there was such an obvious difference in quality. I've mostly bought brand items afterward (I really hope this doesn't sound stuck-up!).
In the last few months, I've been paying more attention to items sold through Taobao. Some look really cute, and the prices are reasonable. I've read various reviews written by lolitas on the Taobao items they've acquired. I know that there are also differences between Taobao merchants--some are "good," others are "bad."
Here's my question: if you own both Taobao and name-brand pieces in you collection, are you able to distinguish a difference? (Also, what Taobao store did you acquire your item(s) from?)
If you can tell the difference between the two, how would they compare in these categories:
- Cloth weight/texture
- Detail and durability of prints
It might also help me if you use a grading scale to "rank" your Taobao and brand items! For example, if you give an Innocent World JSK an A+ for lace/ribbons, is a Taobao dress a B by comparison? Or a C+?
EDIT: It seems like most people feel that Taobao dresses don't come close to the quality of brand dresses. Does anyone have opinions on their other lolita items (accessories, blouses, etc.) and how they compare to brand items?