• Layered to the max! Warming up for winter with Collectif

    Feeling the chill in the air the past week or so, I decided to layer up with a few Collectif pieces including the Caterina Blackwatch and the matching scarf

    The Blackwatch pencil dress is a rerelease and comes in a variety of other styles too this year, including the swing version and the fabulous scarf which I obviously needed to play matchy-matchy with. 

    It’s a gorgeously classic green, black and navy check in the popular Caterina shirt style design. There are patch pockets and a matching belt (no holes sadly). I really love the Caterina’s and have quite a collection of them now. They work so well to dress up or down and feel smart but not too formal. I always buy my normal size in a Caterina pencil which fit really well and I size down in the swing versions.

    I really love that there’s a matching scarf (and gloves too, might need those!), to co-ordinate your look and it has the sweetest tasselled fringing. I picked out the green of the dress and wore it with my Molly jacket, which is another rerelease this year but there’s an amazing orange version in the Top Vintage collab too which I am sorely tempted by.

    Molly jackets are the perfect short jacket for cooler weather days, when it’s not cold enough to warrant a full length coat  but too cold to wear something thinner. The 40’s tailored style is really flattering, nipping in at the waist with a wide buckled belt and the floral linings are so pretty! I also really like that you can remove the faux fur collar should you wish to which make it suitable for warmer Spring days ahead, or as a paired down suit jacket for work.

    Sans scarf

    The Molly’s are cut quite small, so if you’re busty or you want to wear thick layers underneath, definitely size up one. I have it in my normal size and it’s a perfect fit for me with a jumper over my dress too (but not a super thick one – no cable sweater numbers!). 

    I decided to style my tartan scarf on my Molly coat with my own little nod to the highlands, wrapping it around like a shawl and tucking the corners into my belt. It was actually a really cold day when I wore this and I felt so snuggly and warm with the scarf like a shawl. Definitely going to wear it like that again!

    With shawl scarf

    I added some thick black tights (we all need tights right now – gotta protect those pins!) and my Lulu Hun Selma boots which I bought last year but are also available to buy online now. The range has been expanded to include the most fabulous green and red pairs this season (here) and I can’t tell you how comfortable these ankle boots are with their small block heel.

    They really suit vintage styles perfectly with their dainty round toes, scallop edge details and ribbon laces. Such delicate features which compliment 40s and 50s style dresses, skirts and wide legged trousers and look really cute peeking out at the bottom of a long winter coat too. 

    I have them in my normal size which fit really comfortably for me. If you have a wide foot, you may want to size up but they’re true to size. 

    I love a good check so I‘m really enjoying seeing the new collections launch and more matching accessories which have really won my heart this season! Which have been your favourites? x

     

     

    Additional info:
    I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and 4’11 with 2.75 inch heels on. 

    Full outfit details:

    Caterina Blackwatch pencil dress 
    Blackwatch scarf 
    Natalie bead necklace in green
    Tiki earrings in green
    Molly jacket in olive green
    Selma boots in black
    All Collectif/Lulu Hun

    Hair flowers: high street
    Bangles: Splendette

  • Unreal Redheads Jinkx Floral Tropical Dress [Voodoo Vixen]

    I first set eyes on this gorgeous frock back in February at London Edge (I mentioned it here) and ever since, my heart has pined away. Randomly waltzing through the streets of Nottingham last week, I stumbled upon one of the Blue Banana stores and decided to take a peek. I usually buy via Blue Banana online, so it was a nice to change to see everything in the shop instead.

    Well lo and behold, as it if was meant to be, this beauty of a dress was on a rail, the last one which happens to be my size, reduced from full price (£66.50) to a mere £15! You’d best believe that was coming home with me! The summer madness continues in store, so if you can get to one, have a good browse, there are lots of bargains to be had in a range of sizes and the staff are really lovely.

    Now, the dress! This one is called Jinkx and is a collaboration with Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and Curves & Curls. While it’s available in plus sizes, it was also made in the standard sizes too and they’ve done such a great job with it. It really suits all figures. 

    There’s a bright, tropical print with vibrant palm leaves and exotic flowers (including one of my favourites, the bird of paradise), a sweet heart neckline complimented with pink, heart shaped, buttons to the front. Everything is piped in dark green to compliment the botanical theme. 

    I really love the adjustable straps on these which are actually a couple of buttons which you can choose to shorten or lengthen as needed, hidden away at the back. Elasticated panels at the sides make for a perfect fit and the piece de résistance….pockets!

    It’s a really lovely vintage length, cutting just on my mid calf and encompasses a full swing skirt, cinched in at the waist with a glorious green buckled belt. I found the belt too long for me so I’ve trimmed it back a little. I’ve also added a white petticoat underneath to accentuate the volume in the skirt. I love how it moves while I’m spinning!

    Size wise, I found it true to size, if a little roomy, as I do with all Voodoo Vixen, but it’s easy enough to pull things in with a belt it’s not that far off fitting me perfectly. If you’re busty, this range was made for you. I‘m not particularly busty but found it fine for me too.

    You can still find some of these at full price (plus sizes only sorry gals) on the Voodoo Vixen website, and my goodness are they worth it! 

     

    Endlessly seeking out a bargain

    What was your greatest bargain over the Summer? Share yours in the comments below ⬇️

     

    Also wearing:
    Bangles and Earrings: Splendette
    Hair flowers: Miss Bella’s BloomsNecklace and Sunnies: Collectif
    Shoes: E5P years ago

    For reference: 
    I’m a standard size 6 and 4’11”, wearing 4 inch heels in the photos. All views are my own.

  • Carmella Polka Dot Mesh Swing Dress Review [Collectif]

    This darling of a dress was launched last year but was rereleased this Summer and I’m so glad it was! I totally missed out last year having thought – do I really need another evening dress?! Well, clearly the answer was a resounding YES! Always buy the dress haha. 

    It’s such a pretty design with two layers. The overlay is really delicate with a sheer fabric and velvet polka dots scattered over it. It’s fully detachable so you can wear it over other dresses too, which is a great feature.

    It has sweet little buttons (with elastic hoops for ease of closure) to the front and one at the neck where it fastens into a keyhole shape. There’s also a belt which goes through belt hoops on the outer layer too for a snatched waist. My belt was a bit long so I folded it over, but would do my usual trick of a Velcro dot when I’m out on the razzle dazzle!

    As the buttons stop at the waist, the overlay doesn’t meet at the front, so you always catch glimpses of the under dress, which looks really elegant and flattering as you move. The overlay is unfinished at the hem which I really like as you can see the mesh floating over the dress instead of being drawn to a heavy border.

    Underneath, the base of the dress is a strappy bengaline number with a sweetheart neckline. The straps adjust, which is brilliant as it can fit taller and shorter gals in one short tweak of the straps. I always size up once when I buy anything made from bengaline and I made the right choice with the larger size for this one. Aside from that, it’s a perfect fit and I really like the length which is cut on my mid calf as all good vintage dresses should be. I’m thrilled with it! It’s a full swing skirt so I’ll likely wear a petticoat underneath it for a more fancy pants look, but in the summer sun, I couldn’t handle a petti! 

    Squinty McSquinty in the Summer sun

    Just look at those gorgeous little sleeves and the shirt style collar! To die for. If you missed out on the Carmella Polka Dot dress too, or overlooked it by any chance, it’s reduced down in the sale to an amazing £27 from £90! The mid range sizes are all still available at the time of writing so I’d bag yourself this bargain (and size up once) – you won’t regret it!

    Now, off to a socially distanced, end of summer soirée!

     

    For reference: 
    I’m 4’11” and wearing 4 inch heels in the photos. I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif, but wearing a size 8 in this one which is the size of a 6.

    Also wearing:
    Earrings: Starlet Jewellery
    Hair Flower: High Street 
    Sunnies: Collectif old stock
    Shoes: Iron Fist old stock

  • Jemima Cool Palm Swing Dress Review [Collectif]

    I bought this gorgeous dress prior to the sale when it first launched and totally forgot to write about it, so forgive my much belated review…oops. I have previously posted about Jemimas (here and here) as the polka dot versions stole my heart and although I have a couple already in my wardrobe this cool palm print was everything and I had to have it!

    Just look at that totally tropical design! What’s not to love?! It screams sun-filled paradise, and let’s be honest, we’re all dreaming of days like that at the moment.

    The palm design looks fantastic against the navy background. I have a thing for gigantic leaves (my house is full of them) so walking around like one is always my first option!

    The Jemima has a sweetheart neckline with wide shoulder straps (still not adjustable unfortunately, the only downside to the Jemima), a fitted bodice and full, gathered, swing skirt. Running down the centre is a row of the red buttons used on a few other designs. I don’t mind the red as it always co-ordinates with my hair, but I think brown wooden buttons would have worked better on this one (like those on the previous Kimberly) as there aren’t any other red elements to it. There isn’t a zip so this is how you get in and out, using the buttons at the front.

    There’s a matching buckled belt in the same fabric which can cinch in that waist. I really love that the Jemima’s always have belts in the same fabric as the dress. They also have side seam pockets! Which is obviously a must – where would we be without pockets?! And I much prefer side seam pockets to patch, so hurrah!

    I teamed it with the Collectif Jessie Palm Cardigan which works really well together as the day got cooler. The cropped cardigans from Collectif are great for these styles as they sit just above the waistline, not covering the belt so you can clearly see where your waist is defined (but stay warm).

    I also paired it with green shoes and turquoise, blue and green jewellery which matched the colours in the print perfectly. Picking out the colours featured in whatever you’re wearing always makes the best accents. 

    Size wise, I’m wearing my usual size and again, it’s true to size for me. However, if you’re a D cup or above, you’ll likely need to size up. There isn’t any stretch to the bust so those bestowed with bounteous boobage would struggle in your normal size. It sits at the top of my calf which is a lovely length for this style of dress (it’ll obviously be shorter on taller gals).

    It’s 100% cotton and feels so nice on. The sale has been raided so unfortunately you won’t find any on the Collectif site anymore but at the time of writing, there are quite a few sizes over at Succubus (a reliable Netherlands based company) if you need it as much as I did.

     

    For reference:
    I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing a size 6 in the Jemima above. I’m 4’11” and wearing 4 inch heels in the photos.

    Also wearing:
    Cardigan: Collectif Jessie Palm (old stock)
    Necklace: Collectif Natalie (old stock)
    Bangles: Bow & Crossbones and Splendette
    Earrings: Splendette
    Shoes: E5P (old stock)
    Brooch: Erstwilder
    Hair flower: Collectif Lili (old stock), high street and eBay.

  • Kimberly Cherry Swing Dress Review [Collectif]

    Happy August Bank Holiday, guys! Hope you’re spending the day doing something wonderful, or just having a well earned rest. I’m enjoying the last of the Summer sun and looking at the Kimberly Mini Cherries dress today which I managed to nab in the first flourish of the sale. I had meant to buy this dress when it was first released but it totally slipped my mind as I was waiting for other things to drop too so I sadly missed it. In the sale, it was only available in a size 8 and though it was OK with a size up (but quite roomy on the bust for me), I had regrets that I hadn’t bought my normal size way back when. However, within a week, my normal size suddenly appeared as though manna from heaven, so I was able to return the 8 and purchase the 6. I’m so glad I did as it’s such a great fit and perfectly true to size.

    I have previously talked about the Kimberly design when she first launched (here), and I’m so glad it returned this year with some amazing patterns as it’s such an easy summer dress to pull on and always feel fabulous. I especially love this cherry design though, the embroidered cherries are super cute and really pop against the black.

    There’s a sweetheart neckline with wide’ish and adjustable straps, elasticated shirring to the back which makes it super comfortable and stretchy, and a side zip. I also think the colourful red buttons are a really sweet touch.

    The dress is made from 100% cotton and falls below the knee. The patch pockets are super handy for popping summer essentials in (or hands when you’re trying not to touch your face!).

    Unfortunately during sale times, things go quickly and this is no longer available from the Collectif website anymore (though they do have some other Kimberlys in different prints). However, it is still available in selected sizes from Silk Fred for £28.50 with free delivery which ships direct from Collectif, so you still have the great service from Collectif, but none of the shipping costs! so grab one before they’re gone!

     

    For reference:
    I’m 4’11” and wearing 3.5 inch wedge heels.  I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing a 6 in the photos.

    Also wearing:
    Bangles: Splendette and Bow & Crossbones
    Earrings: Splendette
    Shoes: Lulu Hun Kathleen 
    Sunnies: Collectif old season
    Hair flower: High street years ago
    Necklace: Thrifted vintage

  • Lilla Swing Starfish Dress Review [Collectif]

    As soon as I knew this dress was coming, I couldn’t wait to bag it! So the day it dropped on to the website, I bought it and it is just as good as it looks on the website, if not better!

    This summery little number has the cutest bespoke, red starfish, print against a dark blue background which adds to its nautical feel.  It’s such a clever design, with the full swing skirt to the bottom and a bikini top style which has scarf-like halter neck straps to tie at the back of the neck. 

    You might think there isn’t much support going on with this dress (which I was concerned about too) but it’s actually really supportive as the back of the dress is all joined together and features a centre back zip to get you in and out easily…..and how sweet are those starfish?!

    A normal dress at the back with a zip

    The top is quite small though. Very small chested girls will be fine with their normal size, but anyone with some boobage will likely need to size up. I bought it in two sizes to see which suited me best. I’m a C cup and I couldn’t get the girls in my normal size, although the waist was perfect for the skirt. I don’t class myself as big chested, but when buying bikini tops I always have to size up twice to fit properly (and my normal size for the bottoms), so I had expected something similar for this style of dress. I’ve kept the size up as my boobs feel much better and aren’t squished, just sitting pretty! The waist is bigger on the size up obviously, but that’s not really an issue with the belt which cinches in – and there’s always room for seaside treats now! haha. I may take it in a smidge at the sides which is easy to do a it’s hidden under the corners of the crop top.

    The belt is a lovely wide style with circular buckle, in the same vibrant red as the starfish. I love how I can be matchy-matchy with my hair hehe.

    As a woman in my 40s, I was a bit dubious about the cut out triangle below the bust. Questions like, “am I too old for that?” crossed my mind for a nano-second – then I realised, sod it! You only live once and you should wear what you love, regardless of age! So here I am, belly out and strutting it and loving it! ha.

    Feelin’ myself ha

    I’m so glad I bought it, and if you haven’t already, you really should! It’s still in the sale (here) in all sizes, down to an amazing price of £19.25 – what a steal! You won’t regret it. Shoulders back, boobs forward and rock that look!

    _________________________________________________________________________________

    For reference:
    I’m normally a standard size 6 in Collectif, but I’m wearing the size 8 in the photos above. I’m 4’11” and wearing 4.5 inch heels.

    Also wearing:
    Hairflower: Collectif and high street
    Bangles: Splendette and Bow & Crossbones
    Earrings: Splendette
    Sunnies: Collectif
    Shoes: These are old faves which are no longer available

  • Jill Rainbow Stripe Dress Review [Collectif X Modcloth]

    Another day, another gloriously rainbow striped piece from the sunshine filled array of gorgeousness over at Collectif! I’ve been keeping a close eye out for the new ModCloth collaboration pieces to drop since I saw them go live at ModCloth a few weeks ago. My patience paid off when they dropped last week and I snapped up the Jill dress sharpish.

    I love the shape of the Jill design – a flattering sweetheart shape to the neckline, wide pin tucked straps, a pleated skirt and THAT amazing print!

    I do have a confession though – I usually steer clear of a Jill as I find the straps to be too long for me. But as soon as I saw the rainbow stripes I was ALL IN, and I’m actually super pleased I took the leap. The straps are a touch long for my body but not nearly as much as I’d expected. I had planned to pop some body tape on my shoulders to hold them in place but to my delight, I didn’t need that at all and they stayed firmly where they were meant to. So the straps are definitely workable and not to be avoided going forward (which is wonderful news as I’ve always adored the cut of this dress and there are many more Jill dresses which I’m going to need now!). I think the ModCloth version is sized a little smaller than the Mainline range which has worked in my favour.

    I really like the tailored pleats on the flared skirt which make a nice change from a full circle. It’s such a classic shape and very pretty. And although it’s not a full circle, there is still plenty of room for a good swish about.

    The Jill is meant to fall on the knee but I’m itty bitty so it falls below mine (which I prefer). My knees don’t often get seen but swishing around I dared to bare the hint of a knee – what a devil! haha

    There’s a centre back zip for getting in and out of the dress easily and unfortunately no pockets but maybe these will appear in time (pocket lovers, I know you feel me). Made from 97% cotton, the dress is light enough for summer but the fabric isn’t at all see through, so although it’s a white dress with a diagonal print, there are no embarrassing moments stood in front of light sources! The fabric is great quality and there’s a little stretch in it too.

    There’s also a matching yellow belt (sans holes but it does have belt loops and a stopper). I really like that the yellow has been picked out from the dress to accent with the belt – not least because yellow is my favourite colour but also because it’s so darned cheery! I also picked out the yellow with my necklace and hair flower, and chose to compliment the rainbow theme matching the green and yellow stripes of the dress with my heels and earrings. Plus, bangles (because we know you can never have too many of those!).

    Fit wise, if you’re plus sized, be sure to check the ModCloth sizing chart (which can be found on the last pic for the dress on the website). The new ModCloth range is sizing a little differently than last year so check your measurements against the new charts. For the rest of the sizes, it’s pretty standard and I bought my normal size which fits fine for me, but as I mentioned above, does feel smaller than the Mainline sizing (which I’d tried on previously). So if you usually size down for a Jill, don’t with this one as it’s pretty true to size.

    Available in ModCloth sizes 4-30, this one is priced at £93 as it’s a collaboration piece and there is another Modcloth collab Jill with a sweet lemon print which dropped at the same time (see here). If that’s a little out of budget, there are non collab Jills in other prints (here) which are priced at £55 and an array of other joyful rainbow goodies to choose from if the dress isn’t for you (here). I have my eye on a few more! Which will you go for?

     

    For reference:
    I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and 4’11” tall (small) with 4 inch heels on here.
    I’m also wearing:
    Hair flower: Miss Bella’s Blooms
    Bangles: Splendette and Bow & Crossbones
    Necklace: Thrifted
    Earrings: Collectif 

     

  • Adalaide Yacht Stripe Swing Dress [Collectif X Modcloth]

    I adore a striped dress (as you know), but even more so when it has a nautical nod. This piece by Collectif is from their collaboration collection with Modcloth.

    It’s absolutely perfect for Summer and the heat wave we’ve been having of late. Made from viscose it’s super light and flowy. I felt so cool in it, despite the temperatures soaring!

    It has a bold, bespoke, yacht stripe pattern in red, white and a slim line of blue too (which I hadn’t previously noticed in the pic before but upon arrival was delighted to see). To the front, there’s a fitted bodice with sweet peter pan collar and keyhole detail. This works really well together and looks effortlessly chic.

    Not only that, but this dress has side seam pockets! (hand resting nicely in one in the pic above). Woohoo! We all love a good pocket, I know. It also comes with a circular belt (no holes unfortunately) and has a centre back zip. 

    The dress flows out from the waist but isn’t a full or half skirt. It does blow beautifully in a breeze however, and has the perfect amount of swoosh for walking around on sunny days. Who would want a full skirt on a yacht, anyway?! hehe.

    This dress has a lovely, floaty shape and feel because of the fabric

    I chose my normal size (6) in this dress and it fits perfectly. As with all Modcloth collab items, the sizing is the same as Collectif from size 6-16. However, if you’re size 18 or above, follow the specific Modcloth size chart as it then differs slightly (found on the Collectif site, here).

    The Adalaide Yacht Swing Dress is available in sizes 4-30 (which is amazing; I love how inclusive those sizes are at both ends) and costs £77. This elegant new design is also available in plain navy (here) has also been released on the mainline collection in a different striped colour way for £55 (see here).

    Pockets are everything <3

    Also wearing:
    Shoes: Lulu Hun (see previous review, here)
    Hairpiece: Miss Bella’s Blooms
    Bangles and Earrings: Splendette

    For reference:
    I’m 4’11”, wearing 6cm heels and I’m a standard Collectif size 6. 
    For full transparency, this item was gifted to me but I only ever write honest reviews, all based on my own thoughts. 

  • Demira Gingham Daisy Pencil Dress [Collectif Clothing]

    What a great new style for the Spring/Summer 2020 collection! This bloomin’ gorgeous dress is the Demira Gingham Daisy Pencil dress and is a stand out piece – radiating happy vibes wherever you wear it!

    I managed to bag it in the sale (still currently on) having ummed and ahhed over it since it launched. I absolutely love the bold, bright, print but I was a bit concerned about the higher neckline and puffed sleeves – not things I would normally go for. I almost bought the pencil skirt instead (which is also very cute) but I’m so glad I took a punt and bought the dress – it’s a triumph!

    The puffed sleeves are elasticated and actually add a sweet detail to the top of the dress which is more conservative with a round neck. They’re comfortable on the arms and not tight at all. At the back of the dress, the neckline dips into a lovely v shape and there’s a centre back zip making this easy to get in and out of.

    I found this style to be true to size, with limited stretch at the waist, so if your widest part is there, you may want to size up. It falls on my mid calf giving a great vintage feel and accentuating that wiggle when you walk!

    I wore the Demira with accents of yellow, picked out from the daisy print. This goes really well but you could pair it with white, blue or black accessories if you preferred to be matchy matchy but not so bold with yellow. 

    To get your gingham daisy fix, this dress is still currently 50% off at £26.25 (utter bargain!) and available in all sizes. If a pencil isn’t your thing, then have a look at the other items available in this design too (available here). I’m still thinking I may need a few more pieces in this print, but if you prefer spots over gingham, then Collectif have also just launched this new polka dot design! Which will you choose? x

     

    Also wearing:

    Pineapple bag and cinch belt: Collectif Clothing
    Yellow shoes and Blue shoes: Lulu Hun
    Hair flower: Miss Bella’s Blooms
    Earrings: Bow & Crossbones
    Bangles: Splendette
    Necklace: Vintage

    For reference:
    I’m 4’11” and a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing, wearing 4 inch heels in the photos.

     

  • Astrid Deckchair Stripe Dress [Bright & Beautiful]

    What a treat! I love a rainbow dress and this beautiful Astrid Deckchair dress was kindly gifted to me from Collectif. It’s part of the Bright & Beautiful range which is the 1960’s and 70’s inspired sister label to Collectif Clothing. The Astrid is the perfect Summer dress with it’s array of radiant stripes and lightweight rayon for feeling cool, but staying chic.  And though I don’t have a deckchair, I do have a hammock – and this dress looks amazing while taking in the rays. 

    This is such a fun dress with its striped print, but is also very elegant with a fitted bodice at the top. A trademark of Astrid dresses is they’re usually trimmed with something delicate and this one is no different, using red ric rac this time. It’s a sweet detail and matches the flowy, carefree, nature of the dress. 

    There’s a side zip to get in which is super easy and the dress feels really comfortable to wear. There are pleats on the skirt falling from your natural waistline which give the skirt an extra swooshy feel as you’re moving. I absolutely love it! The only thing it’s possibly missing is what every girl needs – pockets, but it’s such a lovely dress that I don’t even mind forgoing those.

    I find Astrids true to size and though they fall a little longer on me, I actually don’t mind because they’re so floaty. I’ll wear it with some flat summer sandals too and brighten up a (socially distanced) barbeque.

    They’re such a great style and so easy to wear, I feel like everyone needs at least one Astrid in their wardrobe – and for an instant Summer injection, this one is a great choice! There are lots of other prints too in this design if full on stripes isn’t your thang though, see here. Just add sun x

    Let’s be having you, Summer!

    Also wearing:
    Hair flower: Collectif Clothing 
    Shoes: E5P
    Bangles: Splendette
    Earrings: Bow &  Crossbones

    For reference: 
    I’m 4’11” and a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and Bright & Beautiful. I’m wearing 4 inch heels in some of the photos.

    This piece was gifted to me, but all my views are my own and I only ever post honest reviews.