Fitting the Mould: A Wheelchair User’s Experience of shopping at JJ’s House

Last Sunday, I happily placed an order of my wedding dress and all accessories (apart from the shoes which I have) with JJ’s I have been searching high and low since last November for the perfect dress. Like many others, I was lured by  the JJ’s House website. I am still impressed by the prices and variety of the dresses and accessories and found many to my tastes.

When I ordered my dress, I went for custom size and we entered my measurements as per the drop-down boxes on the dress’s  page. Within a day, I got a reply from a customer service rep who I thought was just being thorough and checking my measurements. I said they were correct and thought that would be OK for them and that they could proceed to the next stage, making my dress.

Oh no, boy was I wrong because that was followed by another email AGAIN questioning my measurements. And it’s been like this for different parts of my body over the past four days. Every time, they would tell me that their dressmaker “suggested” X or Y measurements because they were, in their opinion, “too big” or “too small” and should be within “10 inches of each other.” 

I told them I’d ordered a custom size to my measurements. 

I woke  up all expectant this morning, checked my email and, lo and behold, JJ’s House had replied. It was the same thing: querying measurements and the same old link to the same standard size charts where I don’t fit squarely in 1 size or even 2. Something   I explained  ovet and over. 

Sick of this, and with sadness and anger in my heart, I cancelled the order today and asked for my money back. So, despite all my explanations of the fact that I repeatedly said I wanted a CUSTOM SIZE and that that is clearly stated on the order form along with the measurements, and trying other tactics including telling them to just make it to the measurements I had  given and also explaining that I went to a professional to get measured which I did (which they suggest on their website as well as in an email to me). NOTHING worked. They will not listen to reason.

Before I decided to go with them, I did see loads of good and bad reviews. I thought, “It’s  just like  anything   really, some people have difficulty with some products or services and some don’t.

All that’s left to say is that the saving grace is that at least they did not start my dress at all. They did not sew a stitch. I also have to say here that they should put the customer first. I know my body better than anyone. Sometimes I am beteween 2 sizes and sometimes I’m not. In the case of JJ’s House, with them being Asian I am all over the place and not between 2 sizes. I chose custom fit for various reasons: comfort for being sat, length of the dress so it is not caught in my wheels and style. I have no qualms about the style and colour of the dress,  which I love online. But this process, it could be better.

My only conclusion is that all this going round and round the same issue is their attempt to say “We don’t know how to make your dress so it will look good on you given you are sat and not standing.”

I won’t go so far as to say they are a fraud or anything like that, because the customer service regarding my quick queries, such as the size of a bolero or the length of earrings, was great and that was solved swiftly  and to my satisfaction.  But I do wish that when people can’t do something they SAY they can’t and don’t take me for a ride for 5 working days.

I also know it’s not my size that is the issue. Yeah, I am not the tallest, but I’m not really short either. I nearly bought shoes from them but was worried about the width so that’s why I went elsewhere for the shoes.  In general clothes shops I am about a UK 16 but most of my weight is on my midsection. I’m sometimes a UK 14 and have a smaller chest and bust and shoulders that are the equivalent  to a size 14. So, from what I have heard I am pretty “average.” I know JJ’s House are based in Hong Kong. I also know from YouTube video reviews of their dresses that they have so many happy customers.

Shame I am not one of them. At least not in the dress. The samples of material are great and I can see myself going back for accessories.  I adore the chosen colour of my samples.

I think they cater more for if you have a standard size 6 – 26 (UK)  or equivalent in your country and/ or   do not deviate from their idea of a proportioned body. They kept insinuating  that , to be “proportioned,” I had to fit X Y or Z measurement according to “their dressmaker,”  no matter how much I insisted that what ordered is to my custom measurements. 

 I also feel they are discrimanating against me and those who helped me get measured. It wasn’t a small task and I am still feeling the effects of the exhaustion and pain the effort caused me. I also think, why offer a custom service if you can’t conform to the requirements of a customer? I thought they would see me as a challenge and say “OK let’s do this.” I am  within the custom range limits for ALL my measurements and they are able to make custom dresses for people WAY bigger  than me, so I can only say that their problem is that they are discriminating against me by not taking my word as is.

I even found some sites that have “disability clothing” but they are more casual style.

But, as they say in fashion, no pain no gain. 

My Experience of Black Friday Weekend 2016

This weekend my parents were visiting. Despite the cold and rain, we decided to go to the Black Friday sales that were on. I have never been to any Black Friday events before and was excited. I love a bargain! Finances have always been difficult for me, but I really wanted to buy something for Christmas for my sister and nephew. I also wanted an early birthday celebration as my birthday is near Christmas. 
 I wanted to show my parents the Primark flagship store and so we went there. The store was full of people and the lifts were really busy but we made it. On the way, we stopped for a hot chocolate at a café which surprisingly had really good wheelchair access. 

My Primark purchases were a really soft short fleecy dressing gown in dove grey and a pack of really thick black tights to go with a black and white wool skirt I bought earlier in the autumn.
 I looked for another skirt in Primark as well as in Zara and Mango, but they were all pencil skirts which I find uncomfortable or skirts in designs I would never wear. The best surprise I got in Mango was the fact that they had redone the store and put a lift into it. The lift went down to the Mango Outlet which was great because I had never been able to go to that floor before . Mum bought me a really nice terracotta/rust colour tunic blouse which was €17 down from €30.  
 I saw online that Kiko Makeup Milano had a 3 for 3 sale on. Those of you who follow my blog will know that I am a complete Kiko addict and have taken advantage of this offer every time it has been on this year which is so far a couple of times. The other times I used it were online so I wanted to go to the store this time.
 One of the smaller stores was very full of people but luckily there was another one nearby. It was also really busy but the sales assistants were really helpful and got the products that I needed from the display stands. I was really disappointed that the two water shadows that I wanted (205 Chocolate and 223 Eggplant Purple ) were completely out of stock. So were the 3D lip glosses in shades 18, 22 and 21. 
 I ended up buying the lipgloss in shade 20 (Chestnut) and the sales assistant also checked that I liked the colour before I bought it, which I thought was good customer service. Usually, I find that if I need assistance in shops, the shop workers can be quite unhelpful at times.

This goes for any shop. A couple of weeks ago, I saw that Kiko had bought out a range of eyeshadows for just €2.50. This is called the Smart Eyeshadow range. I looked through the colours online before going to the store, and automatically loved shade number 23, Metallic Jeans Blue. 

I am always in need of really dark deep chocolate browns, so I found shade number 4 Metallic Cocoa was just what I was looking for. 

My fingernails seem pretty weak so I was looking for a strengthener and bought the Longer and Stronger Base Coat. 

I also finally bought the water shadows in shade 203 (Burgundy) and 204 (Plum) that I wanted!


At the drugstore, I bought the Oil Control Makeup Fixing Spray by Makeup Revolution and Wet and Wild’s glitter eyeshadows in Brass and. I am really glad that we went to the shops despite the rain and cold and I’m especially happy with the fact that I was able to buy the gifts I wanted as well as everything else I bought.
 On Saturday, we ate at Gino’s, my favourite Italian restaurant which is part of a chain. I decided to have the pizza bread and lasagne. 

We went to the cinema afterwards to see Fantastic Animals and Where to Find them. All through November, the Harry Potter films had been on TV at the weekends and I was really wanting to see the new J.K. Rowling Film. I will review it on this blog soon. The cinema had really great wheelchair spaces with a lot of room. It was mum and dad’s first time watching a film in Spanish. Alfredo and I had been to the same cinema on August 23 2016 to see Star Trek Beyond. 
Sunday was a relaxing day in our apartment. We took some photographs (see below) 

 and had pizza and salad before mum and dad flew home in the evening.
All in all, I really enjoyed my Black Friday weekend ( apart from the weather of course!) Here we are braving the rain and cold. We even saw a Christmas tree and decorations. 

I am really looking forward to swatching and reviewing  my new products for you which I will do very soon.

At the time this post was written, some of the products I mentioned were  and others were not stocked online. To guarantee that you can get them, first check the website in your country before going to the store.

Another Powerchair Prescribed (And Other Things We Got Up To Today) 

Today, Alfredo and I went up to the hospital so that I could get a new prescription for a power chair.  We were running a bit late so caught a taxi, and arrived at the hospital but had to wait quite a while. 

We were pleased to see that the doctor that I was booked to see reacted in a better way than in the past, and was more laid-back and relaxed. For some months now, I have been considering the possibility of getting pressure mapping done.For those who don’t know, pressure mapping is a technique where a wheelchair user sits on a possible cushion which is connected to electrodes. This is connected to computer software which shows where your pressure points are when you’re sitting down. The aim of this is not only that you as a wheelchair user can know where they are, but it also helps when you have to choose a new cushion. 

From the results, I will be able to better judge which cushion will be supportive for me and help reduce pressure points rather than just buying a cushion and hoping for the best based on my initial feelings of comfort because of being on a new cushion. wheelchair cushions can be quite expensive, so I think that having the test done will hopefully help me when I choose one. Over the years, I’ve used all different types of cushions: foam, gel, foam and gel combined and air. 

It’s been. very hard finding a place that could do pressure mapping. Lots of small clinics do for cyclists and runners, but don’t have the equipment or expertise to do the test for anyone else. Another clinic said they only had a bench with no side  or back support which wouldn’t have been OK for me because of my sitting balance (I slip and slide when I’m sitting). 

 The doctor listened to us, and filled in the paperwork really quickly. Now I have the papers up-to-date I can’t wait to go shopping to get my new chair! 

I’ll be back at the hospital on August 28 (which just so happens to be my mum’s birthday) so that I can talk to another rehab doctor about us getting transport to the specialist hospital where they can do the test , as we don’t have a car and it’s really far away. I’ll then know when I’ll actually be going to the hospital to have the pressure mapping test done.

On the way back, we got the bus and went to a few shops and a supermarket  which we thought didn’t have wheelchair access, but actually does 🙂 I bought some cleansers and eye make up removers which I’ll review soon here. 

All in all, a good day really, we are pleased the appointment went so well. I’ll keep you posted as to how the other appointment,  wheelchair shopping, and pressure mapping go. 

The Hottest Day of The Year (So Far)

Today was a really hot day- 35 degrees Celsius  maximum. I’d been meaning to get my hair cut for awhile and finally did (I’ve been growing it out.) We went to the bank which was surprisingly very accessible, and which Alfredo had found one day. Without warning, the bank moved my account to a building that’s totally inaccessible for me, so, armed with all the documents I needed and my to-the-point explanation that the bank my account is now at isn’t accessible, I didn’t have to explain too much, the lady who served me seemed to understand thankfully. Where I’ve moved my account to is a very accessible building, with a shallow ramp and electric doors. I get really annoyed when EVERY building, especially public building, isn’t accessible. I did notice an elderly lady in a wheelchair who was being pushed by her daughter and who’d obviously come to the same conclusion as I had- that other banks nearby weren’t as accessible as this one. When I went up to the counter, I was thinking I can’t wait to get my new powerchair with the electric seat riser though, so I’m at a better height when near anywhere with a counter. For a shopaholic like me, this is something that’s a real must so I can feel like the environment is more inclusive and mine and other wheelchair user’s/ people with disabilities needs are met. I got into a conversation with the hairdresser about the best products for my hair (she assured me it isn’t dry/damaged like I thought) and she was really interested in where I was from and asked what types of products I liked to use mist on my hair. I bought some more ” hair / beauty supplies” too, but exactly what will be revealed in Sunday’s “Sunday with a Sassy Shopaholic” post. I’ll post pictures of my haircut after Alfredo dyes it for me, which should be tomorrow, so look out for them in this post. 

Till the next post, take care!