This year we’ve been treated to another gorgeous collaboration between Top Vintage and Collectif Clothing (you can view the full Collectif Loves Top Vintage range here). There are some very cute circus prints as well as a very fabulous harlequin (which I am eyeing up but I don’t suit pale colours so I’m hoping it’ll return in a bolder colour, fingers crossed!). Also included in the collection is this sweet little Caterina.
The Caterina is a very popular style (you know I already have quite a few!), but this one is super special because she’s sleeveless! It’s the stuff of dreams – a sleeveless pencil Caterina. No more trying to figure out how to bunch sleeves up under fitted cardigans just smooth, smooth, lines!
I find I’m being drawn more and more to red clothes again. They used to be my staple as a brunette, but since I became a redhead (almost a decade ago), I always avoid red clothes thinking they’ll clash too much. Well I’m truly over that now. Maybe current world events are encouraging me to stop getting hung up on the minutiae as they don’t matter. So, I’m embracing red, clash or no clash. It’s my favourite shade – that bright pop of lipstick red.
The fabric is cotton with a little stretch but it has a linen look and is lovely and light to wear for Summer too. As a classic 50’s shirtwaister dress, it has sweet wooden buttons running down the front (to the hip line) and these feature on the front pockets too. It has a matching belt with holes as well which is a great addition and I found it true to size for me, if a little bit generous on the hips. I’ve found a couple of the pencils are similarly sized this year. I may run it in a fraction but it gives me room for Covid essential pudding eating, so I’m not all that fussed.
I paired it with mint, but it will go well with so many other colour combinations too, I just adore anything on the turquoise scale with red. I’m currently knitting something in these shades and hadn’t realised that when I look around my home and clothes, I tend to put them together A LOT! ha
Stay safe and I hope you can enjoy a little pinup picnic of your own in your garden or even a floor picnic in your lounge while the sun is shining. We may not be able to get together, but we can carry on looking fabulous until we do! Have a great Easter, until next time cuties x
The Collectif Loves Top Vintage Caterina is priced at £55.00 and is available in all sizes from 6-22 on the website.
Cardigan: Collectif Lucy Strawberry Cardigan from a previous season (but Abigail would go so well too).
Sunglasses, Bags and Necklace: All Collectif
Bangles: Some vintage, mostly Bow & Crossbones
Peep Toe Shoes: New Look (many moons ago)
Brooch: Made by me
Everything else – vintage/ retro bits and bobs from my house
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif clothes and I’m wearing 4 inch heels in the photos. The dress sits on my mid calf which is a perfect cut for a vintage look. You can cinch in the waist with the belt for a classic 50’s silhouette.
Hope you’re all doing well in isolation and coping ok. It’s so important to be supporting small businesses during these hard times (if we can), and if you fancy a little lift to brighten your day, then I have a gem of a dress for you to consider!
This is the Collectif Maura dress which is a fabulous rockabilly styled shirt dress. It’s a lovely dark indigo denim with lots of stretch and features retro style square red buttons all the way down the front.
The red accents are continued on the stitching and the wide circular belt. The pencil shape is really easy to wear with lots of stretch and it’s super comfortable too. I did a lot of stretching, bending and all sorts while I was wearing it and it just moved with me, despite being a pencil it’s not restrictive at all.
I found it true to size, and it sits on my mid calf which is a perfect vintage length for me. For the taller among you, it should sit nicely just below your knee. If you’re particularly blessed up top you may wish to size up. There’s a handy popper detail below the first button at the bust area to avoid any gaping issues too.
It’s such a versatile dress – everyone needs a faithful denim dress to carry them through from Spring to Summer and this fits the bill perfectly with its classic 50s styling. I loved wearing it for a little walk in the sunshine and I’ll also be wearing it to pick up my essential groceries in a couple of days. As the days grow warmer, you’d best believe I’ll be wrapping my hair in a bandana to add those rockabilly feels!
You can find this fab little dress fully stocked in all sizes from 8 to 22 at Ilovethe50s.com which is an awesome independent online retailer, run by the very lovely Karen. Selling a range of vintage styles and brands, the Maura dress is amongst many others in the online store’s 20% off sale, so it’s the perfect time to snap it up. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about the little treats right now to get me through the isolation, and this offer will definitely brighten everyone’s day.
There’s also the option to use Clearpay or Klarna if you need to spread the cost and pay in instalments, and not only that, it’s all free delivery within the UK! You can purchase Maura directly here.
Stay safe, stay well, and treat yourself through the tough times xx
Shoes: Lulu Hun Susan
Bangles: Bow and Crossbones, vintage and Splendette. You can find lots of lovely new Splendette stock at Ilovethe50s.com too!
Handbag: Banned Retro previous season
Earrings & Necklace: Collectif Clothing Tiki and Natalie
Stats for reference: I take a standard size 6 in Collectif clothing (33:24:33) and I’m 4’11”, wearing 4 inch heels.
Disclaimer: Gifted ad – this piece was gifted in exchange for an honest review and a discount for my readers. All thoughts are my own and I would happily purchase from this company. Please contact me via my Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org for collab work or ads.
This sassy little number is a rerelease from last Summer and, as I missed out on it then, I was super happy to see it again this year.
With a large black and white gingham print, bardot, elasticated, sleeves which sit on the arms or shoulders and gorgeous fishtail to the bottom of the dress, it’s comfortable but sexy.
There’s a bow to the front of the sweetheart neckline, which you can pull tighter to reveal more cleavage (I didn’t as I’d reached my own dare to bare point without adjusting it) or leave looser for a more modest line. It’s true to size with some stretch in the material. I feel like such a senorita in this dress
Perfect for Summer dates with your love or night’s out with your girls. This design also comes in plain black currently but will be available in more colours for the Spring/Summer collection – so look out for those!
The Sasha is currently available in 8-12 and sizes 18-22 and costs £49.95.
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and wearing the 6 above. I’m 4’11” and in 4 inch heels.
We are nearing the finale of our roundabout tour of London Edge this year and in this penultimate edition, we’ll be taking a glimpse at the upcoming Autumn/Winter collection from Collectif. For anyone that missed my highlights of the Summer launch, you can read about them here and check my latest reviews for SS20 lines which are currently out already.
Firstly, there are the beloved Caterinas, which we all love with their classic shirtwaister style. There will be plenty of glorious new updates to this design, but two gorgeous checks at the show were this one with it’s fabulously autumnal yellow and rusty hues:
And this one, which has a lovely red and black check on a cream background and gives me awesome lumberjack chic vibes:
Both with matching belts that have holes in, yay!
I also really liked this cute Mary Grace Swing dress which is an alternative shirt dress style:
This design first appeared as a dress last year (Meow print) and I’m so pleased to see it’s return with this sweet cherry pattern, neck tie and bold red buttons. It’s definitely on my list.
I don’t often go for suits, but this one really struck me. I just love the bold green check and the cut of the jacket:
Adorned with velvet buttons, you could either wear this with the matching items or as a single piece, which is how I think I’ll style it (with black trousers most likely). It’s so incredibly scrummy, I can’t wait for it to launch!
I thought this was the most perfect Autumnal outfit:
Next season’s Babette jumper will appear in a vivid orange and the border print skirt with orange falling leaves is a match made in heaven.
On to the Dolores, which is a super popular design, and this year will be arriving in a gorgeous purple check:
Seriously, how good is that print? 1 of each, please!
Now my ghouly gals, Collectif have you covered whether it’s just for the Halloween period or living spooky every day!
This Elvira style print with its fun Hocus Pocus design will send you batty, I’m sure!
And the Peta dress returns in sumptuous velvet with the coolest spooky print in glitter.
There was also a range of Beetlejuice inspired designs at the show which were amazing, including this one:
This Eliana Pencil dress will be a sure hit – it’s insanely good. I need one.
Moving on to coats, we saw the return of the leopard lined Sheena and Hazel cape and coat in a deep wine colour this time:
There will also be a couple of new Pearl coats, one of which was in orange:
Ideal for popping over all those seasonally fabulous outfits!
Lastly, the sought-after Trixie for Autumn Winter period will include this dazzling green version:
It has an array of glittery stars, cascading over luscious velvet. Perfect for all your festive events and celebrations.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneaky peek of the exciting things coming to Collectif later in the year. Do you have any favourites so far?
To see what’s ahead for Bright & Beautiful, Lulu Hun and Collectif Menswear, stay tuned for the next (and final) instalment of the AW20 previews x
As we take a little tour of the trade floor, I thought I’d show you some more highlights from the show. There were some great displays from so many brands and fab to see so many independent retailers exhibiting.
The featured photo above shows a stunning display by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury. They always have a wonderfully vintage stand combined with Classic Bags in Bloom, whose bags are hand finished in the UK and look absolutely adorable with their vintage styling.
Hell Bunny always have a great centre spot showcasing their existing and upcoming designs.
There were a few favourites I saw hitting the runway.
I particularly like the tropical Tiki print of the Noa Noa dress above which is full of exotic birds, palm frongs and hibiscus flowers – the perfect summer print!
Hell Bunny also had a range of shoes on display and I’m a sucker for a polka dot peep toe, especially if it has a bow on it. LOVE.
This is the Trixie Gingham dress and features a pastel rainbow gingham with love heart pockets and buttons – adorable!
The Hayley prom dress is a real head turner. I have a similar design which was hand made for me about 8 years ago as it’s such a classic vintage evening style and looks amazing on all shapes and sizes. Mine wasn’t resplendent in rainbow tulle though! I love it when straps sit delicately on the shoulders and the detailed pleating on the bust is fantastic.
The Jinkx Floral Tropical Print dress also stood out for me with it’s gloriously leafy and floral design.
The sweetheart neckline combined with heart buttons and elasticated sides for a perfect fit make this a great choice for holiday season.
There were also some fun novelty bags from Voodoo Vixen – and I do love a novelty bag! I especially like the camera bags:
It was also exciting to see Daisy Dapper at London Edge which are based in Sweden. Their stand was filled with elegantly styled, vintage inspired, pieces and some were adorned with daisies!
Lastly for today, my favourite piece from Banned Retro, was this Summer Sail Dress with it’s sweet open collar and border print full of bright sailing boats:
I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour around London Edge, look out for the next instalment which will include Collectif Autumn/Winter 2020 range. Subscribe below to be notified when the post goes live x
With a range of vintage and modern styles, I was delighted to meet the lovely team at Sheen on my visit to London Edge. I mentioned them on the blog at my last visit (see here) as I really liked the Helena dress which was showcased on the catwalk that day.
With it’s beautiful neckline, long sleeves and full skirt, this was a stand out winter dress for me. More recently, I fell in love with the aptly named Heart dress which is so insanely pretty, it truly captures hearts.
This year, the stand was bursting with colour and unique prints, featuring their Spring/Summer looks.
There is something for everyone, from fun and flirty playsuits to casual day dresses, all the way to evening wear. My favourites from the current line are these playsuits which have the sweetest details:
The charming Summer prints, daisy buttons and lace detailing at the sweetheart neckline make these a perfect choice for lazy Summer days or exploring on your holidays. The Jana went down the runway and looked gorgeous. Just add a wide brimmed straw hat, sunglasses and some wedges and you’re set!
From the new collection, my favourite picks were from the Capsule Collection. These nautical fancies are just spectacular!
I adore a novelty print and these cute little crabs on a blue and white stripe really make a statement. The waistbands with their double covered buttons are a really nice feature too. They’ll be available as cropped trousers or a swing skirt, both with pockets (yay!).
Then I spotted this dress and I couldn’t contain my excitement:
With a little nod to the super hero in all of us, this elegantly styled dress has beautiful detailing to the shoulders and neckline. And with a border of cheery crabs scuttling around the hem (I couldn’t fit it all on one photo sorry!), this fun design is bound to be a big hit.
You may also be able to pick these two out of the stand photos which I really liked:
A casual shirt dress with a fun print is my ideal sunny shopping day attire. For cooler days I’d throw on a cardigan and tights with brown boots. This style of dress is very versatile so the Morgan Shirt Dress appealed to me.
And then there’s Bette, with her fabulously bright toucan print, combining my favourite colours (turquoise and yellow). This halterneck pencil dress ties at the neck and features a sweetheart neckline wth bow tie to the front. It’s the perfect cocktail dress for a tiki bar or summer barbecue party.
There are many more styles coming too, and while the brand is usually only available via stockists, Sheen has exciting things planned. In around a month’s time, a new ecommerce store will be available on the website, meaning we can buy direct! And everything is available in sizes 8 to 22 which provides a good range.
You may also have noticed on the stand that the brand name will be changing – from Sheen to Timeless. There’s a definite shift happening within the company and while most items are available in cotton currently (some polyester), they’re becoming a more environmentally conscious brand. To that end, the textiles they plan to use going forward will be sustainable which is a great step forward for those of us that enjoy fashion but want to think about our footprints on the planet too.
I’m looking forward to exploring the new website when it launches!
Look out for Part 3 of the London Edge previews, or subscribe below to be notified of the next publication x
Something a little different for me today. As a size 6, a lot of the reproduction vintage brands don’t cater for me so I often look longingly, but can’t buy. That was until I happened across this absolute beaut of a dress. I’d seen it on others but hadn’t realised there were size 6’s floating around on the internet. Even better than that, I managed to snap it up in the sale, so this £58.00 dress cost me a mere £18!
Occasionally, Voodoo Vixen include my size on random items but I never seem to be in the right place at the right time for them, so I was absolutely thrilled to bag this beauty.
The Edith gown is a 1930’s inspired, full length gown in sumptuous green ribbed velvet. There are full length sleeves with gorgeous little covered buttons and a daring plunge neckline. The detailing under the bust with gathering and pleats is stunning and adds that typically ‘column’ like silhouette of that era.
Now, for someone that doesn’t really have much going on up top, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to fill it! To my surprise, I actually look like I have a reasonable bust in this dress. It’s a very deceiving dress ha!
The classic 30’s silhouette was all about long, elongated shapes in a glamorous Old Hollywood style. This dress perfectly encapsulates that and makes little ‘ole me at 4’11” feel like I’ve grown a foot. Obviously I still look short as soon as someone stands next to me…..but for now, I can live out my tall girl fantasies!
The Edith dress is also available in a soft pink and a very flattering grey, and this emerald green version is also still currently on the main site at £58.00 (here).
Happy Valentine’s you gorgeous lot! This darling of a pencil dress is new for the Spring/Summer season. It has the most gorgeous sweetheart neckline, matching fabric belt (with holes), centre back zip and elbow length sleeves.
The houndstooth print is a classic and in this vintage style it will be the perfect dress to play down at the office with a nice fitted jacket over it, or play up for a dinner date tonight with red accessories and killer heels.
The fabric is quite stiff but stretchy, and true to size. I find most of these styles are a little big on the shoulders for me as I’m petite but I can get away with it. I find it similar to the Helene and Vanessa dresses for fit (both of which I also love). It also really accentuates the bust which, as part of the itty bitty committee, I really appreciate ha
My heart will always be with pencil dresses, there’s just something about them making you have to wiggle when you walk that keeps me choosing this style over swings. Although this is a Spring/Summer release, (and it’s certainly light enough to wear for those seasons), this will really work during the coming weeks over Winter too with some layers and tights. I do love a dual purpose dress!
The Katya is still available in all sizes currently and is priced at £55.00. Hope you love it as much as I do xx
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and 4’11” wearing 4 inch heels
I’d like to introduce you to a few new gal pals. Judy and Tess. New this season from the Collectif Clothing Spring/Summer 2020 collection, are these gorgeous vintage inspired beauties. They really are truly reminiscent of the period too with their prints and styling. I just adore them.
So first up we have Tess, which is a pencil style featuring two, large, front pockets, a centre back zip and comes with a matching fabric belt (which I’ve tied at the front in a bow).
I’m in love with the bespoke hatch check print in navy, gold and white. The print is absolutely spot on for the era. I had earmarked this piece as my ‘must have’ this season and I wasn’t disappointed!
The neckline is cut straight across which isn’t my usual style but I really like it on this dress. The hip area is quite wide compared to the bust but it’s pretty true to size apart from that, especially on the waist and bust. The length is good, sitting just below midcalf, giving a true vintage feel. I like it when my dresses still cover my knees when I’m sat down, which would have been a necessity for propriety back in the day.
Next, in the same fabric, is the Judy Hatch Check Dress. She’s a swing style with a fabulously fifties, wide, collar and a great addition to the shirtwaister styles (which I have a particular penchant for).
There’s a gathered skirt with pockets and buttons to the front. I’ve also added the fabric belt from my Tess to the waist as I felt it needed pulling in (it doesn’t come with a belt). The wide sleeves are typically 50s with their overhangs and turn ups.
It’s longer than I usually wear but I quite like the length so I won’t be making any alterations. It sits at my lower calf but should be below the knee for those that are average height. I found it came up rather large, so would advise sizing down if you want a fitted look (or if you’re blessed up top, it will be perfect for you in your normal size). I definitely feel like a 50’s housewife in this style, it’s the perfect day dress.
Finally we have Judy, the Ribbon Check Pencil Dress which is our last member of the vintage girl gang today.
In the same style as the shirtwaister dress, with buttons to the front and open collar, this Judy is a fitted, pencil option, with a lovely nipped in waist and a very mid century marvellous bespoke print of navy and yellow ribbons over ivory cotton sateen. Another fabulous print which is so in keeping with the true vintage vibes which make me swoon.
This version is much more true to size. You may even need to size up if you’re particularly busty as the waist and bust don’t stretch much beyond the Collectif size chart so check your measurements. It’s a great cut for me, sitting at my mid calf. The perfect Spring dress for running errands or lunching with your girls.
I’ll be posting more new season goodies next time (subscribe below to be informed of new posts) but for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed a little look at these mid century marvels. Everything is available in all sizes (6-22) on the website.
Dresses: Collectif Clothing
Necklace: Collectif Clothing
Earrings and Bangles: Splendette
Shoes: E5P from years ago
For reference, I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif. I’m 4’11 and wearing 4 inch heels.
So apparently we should all be tired of January about now. If you’re feeling it, I hope the rest of Jan passes quickly for you. I’m certainly looking forward to Spring as I always do – I’m definitely more of a sunshine baby than a winter one!
Banishing those winter blues has been helped a lot by an unexpected sale buy for me. I’d seen this dress almost a year ago and it was love at first sight, naturally. What’s not to love with its gorgeous Poison Ivy vibes?! However, I never wear red as I feel it clashes with my hair too much. I used to wear red a lot as a natural brunette so that took some adjusting to almost a decade ago when I became an unnatural redhead.
A few weeks ago, maybe around Christmas time, I’d noticed ASOS Marketplace were stocking Collectif as a boutique. I’d browsed and seen my normal size wasn’t well catered for on there so thought nothing of it. Then the Bella pencil dress, (which was sold out in most sizes on the Collectif main website), was hollering at me from the screen, begging me to click on her, despite knowing a 6 didn’t show up in my search.
So I succumbed, as you do, because obviously if I click there may be a 6 which was hidden and wasn’t on the search, right?! Wrong. But lo and behold, an 8 was available. The ASOS Marketplace was reduced half price, just as the main website, but it also includes free delivery. So, I took a punt and figured I’d just return it if it was too big.
It was shipped super fast but wasn’t by the normal DPD delivery from Collectif, I think ASOS must hold stock and it was delivered by Royal Mail (order placed on a Thursday evening, delivered Saturday morning). The return shipping is to Collectif direct, so you don’t have to worry about using the Marketplace as a platform to buy from, it’s all very easy and legit.
It was just as I remembered, so beautiful with it’s delicate leaf and rose strap detailing on the shoulders, boned bodice, silicone tabs and lightly padded bust (to allow you to go braless if you wish) with a matching, wide, velvet belt.
I tentatively put it on and all my concerns were gone. It was a lovely fit! A 6 would have been perfect but I could definitely get away with the 8. The fabric has stretch in it but the bodice is quite fitted. Best of all, there’s room for puddings, so I’m very happy with that! So if your size isn’t available (limited sizes left), you could try a size up as I have. I love cinched in styles like this, but which are roomy enough to eat your own bodyweight and still feel comfortable. I felt instantly sexy when I put it on.
So I’m no longer going to rule out reds anymore and embrace the clash with my hair. It’s taken me a while to get there but this was definitely the dress to do it!
My new SS20 stock has also arrived so it really will be goodbye sale, hello Summer next time on the blog. See you then! x