With Halloween now behind us, my thoughts spring forward to festive events and all the upcoming parties we’ll be attending. With that in mind, I had to share the beautiful Florence Occasion Swing Dress from Collectif, which is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time!
The sweetheart neckline is divine and the bodice is boned for a great fit. The trim is all in black velvet (yummy) and the straps (also velvet) are adjustable – woohoo! I do love an adjustable strap.
The velvet adornment continues at the front with a cute bow detail and the swing style skirt is hemmed with a velvet edge too. It’s extra pouffy from a netted underskirt, followed by a black satin overlay, and finished with the most amazing tulle layer covered in glittery polka dots which graduate with an ombre effect. This is a total head turner of a dress and you will bedazzle everyone! I can’t tell you how in love I am with it (though you’re clearly getting the gist).
The fit is bang on true to size, so if you’re in between sizes, you should size up as the waist doesn’t stretch.
I’ll be donning this fabulous beauty of a vintage inspired gown at the next Collectif Party, and I can’t wait to see where you all wear yours too! For more occasionwear inspo, I’ll be adding a few more posts soon with more options to look the belle of the ball this year. Bring on the fairy lights and champagne coupes!
UPDATE: By happy coincidence, the Collectif x Modcloth version of this dress has also just launched today. You can find it here. It’s a little cheaper and doesn’t have the velvet edged hem but is just as pretty.
Gloves – Original vintage evening gloves from an antiques fair a long time ago
Shoes – Lulu Hun Susan Heels in black
Earrings – Collectif Clothing Mansfield Hoops
Dress – from Cherry Red Vintage
First of all, oh my gawd, how cute is the black palm embroidery on these? To be honest, as soon as I saw that, I was sold! For someone who wasn’t a dungarees-wearing kinda chick, I now have quite a few Collectif pairs and I love each pair.
I think my fear previously with dungarees was that, because I’m petite, I’d end up looking more like a kid than an adult, but with the Collectif range that never seems to happen because of their great finishing details.
The Jenna dungarees are made of a gorgeous cotton twill fabric. Anyone that has the old Franky trousers (I have them and am besotted with them) will recognise it as a similar fabric – thicker than a normal cotton making them feel more structured and a little bit of stretch in it too.
It has a gathered and tucked bust line which is amazing and definitely elevates them from any other dungarees. The neckline swoops around giving a lovely line and can be worn with a thin top underneath in cooler weather or without any if it’s warmer. I’m personally loving it just as it is!
I don’t usually wear red against my top half as I don’t like the clash with my hair usually, but these are the exception! Look at that glorious, vibrant, red! The fit is bang on true to size for me and the adjustable straps are perfect for accommodating a range of heights.
There’s a side zip, pockets and the upper half is fitted to your body, with wide swing trousers. I highly recommend these, I can’t wait to wear these in the sunshine! The Jenna dungarees are available in sizes 6-22 and are £65.
For reference, I’m 4’11” wearing 4 inch heels and have taken up the length. The inside leg measurement for a 10 is 31 inches. I’m a standard Collectif size 6.
So last Saturday I headed back over to the big smoke for the second Collectif Outlet Sale. I wasn’t able to attend the first sadly but I got to this one just before it opened at 11am and joined a rather large queue which had already brought everyone out and it quickly trickled in.
We were greeted by the Managing Director who welcomed us all into the pop up shop area of the Head Office. Behold, a thing of beauty! Rails and rails of pretties lined up in order of size, with shoes and accessories around the sides. There was so much to see it was super exciting!
The sale included sample sale stock – some old and some new (there were a few samples from summer 19 stock which hasn’t arrived yet) and old stock from recent and older seasons.
I headed to the 6’s and managed to snag some really gorgeous dresses which I’d previously missed out on, then had a good mooch around the rest of the sale, bumping into a bevvy of beauties who were all as equally excited as I was to be given such an awesome opportunity to bag such bargains.
I queued twice – the first time was pretty fast and I was done within ten minutes but while I’d been enjoying all there was to see in the outlet, the queue outside was unrelenting and never seemed to go down. People were let in but simultaneously an unprecedented amount of people would turn up and join the back of the queue again! It was so busy and the queues at the checkouts started to get bigger, tailing around the aisles. The staff were working so hard to get everyone in and checked through but the sheer volume of people meant there were queues for an hour and a half – although nobody seemed that upset about it in the store – we used the time chatting away with like minded vintage lovers and continuing to check the rails as we made our way around (you know, just in case we missed a hidden gem!). The rails were regularly restocked and the staff were just amazing – the Managing Director was even packing and bagging! All hands on deck and they did the most wonderful job. I’ve since learned that Sunday was much quieter, so perhaps we should spread out next time as there’s enough stock for everyone (Sunday was restocked too).
So, what did I get?! here’s a snapshot of my bargains and a full run down….
I had loved the retro tulip print on this Aida Zak Nora Abstract dress from 2017 but missed out on it at the time so I was delighted to get it for just £10! (original price was £64.00). It has a matching belt and big, white, patch pockets. I absolutely adore it! I really hope more retro prints like this appear in future seasons. In the photo below, I’m also wearing a sample necklace I picked up for £2.
I then spotted this beautiful Sandra Boat dress from Aida Zak (from spring/summer 2017) which has the most fantastic nautical print. It has the prettiest pin tucked shoulder detail and buttons on the back. And of course, everyone’s favourite – pockets! The belt is really good on this too as it’s pu backed with riveted holes, has a cute white plastic buckle and is made in the same fabric as the dress. Dreamy! It was reduced from £49.95 to £15.
Next up I found an Olive dress! This is a much coveted dress by many and I was never a fan (not based on anything other than I’d assumed it just wouldn’t suit me, although I loved it on other people). There was a forest green one hanging amidst the size 6’s for £7 (reduced from £62.00 and part of the 2015 collection). Hmmm, well at that price, it would have been ridiculous not to try it! It turns out, I now need them in all the colours as it’s become a new Autumn/Winter favourite! I really hope they make more of these in all sorts of colours. It’s so comfy and cosy to wear.
The pic above looks smooth for some reason, but it’s actually a ribbed knit fabric as seen here:
I hadn’t really looked at the Primrose dress before but this satin pencil from 2017 features a sweet little bow at the waist and drew my eye. It has a deep v at the back and is boned for support. I really love it and it’s the most perfect evening wear. I can’t wait to take it out! The original price was £44.00 and I got it for £5, what a steal!
I had previously seen this beautiful flocked palm print on another of the Bright & Beautiful range but hadn’t paid any attention to the Sandy Devore dress, which was a mistake! From last year’s collection, it has a classic fitted shape at the top and a swing skirt. It was £50.50 down to £7 and I look forward to wearing it for dinner dates, the mesh overlay is just divine.
Moving on from the dresses, I also picked up this fluffy and fabulous Fatima jumper which had been on the site recently (originally a 2017 design). With long sleeves and a cropped length, it has a cute ric-rac collar and keyhole feature and is really soft. I’ll be wearing this a lot as the weather has just switched back to being cold! I’ve paired it here with the Kayleigh skirt I already had (bought in last year’s sale from Camden). It was £44.00 but I checked out at £10.00.
I never used to wear shorts (bit worried about being too old for them), then I bought my first pair of high waisted Ayanas and I was sold! I have a few pairs now and this Tropical Flamingo pair from the Collectif x Modcloth collaboration were from last year’s stock. They were down from £34.50 to £5! Perfect for balmy, sunny, days and I love their deep pockets. I wore it here with my Lucy Gingham cardigan from last summer.
I also picked up this orange Elvira parasol which was reduced to £5 from £15 and it will protect my pillar box red hair from the sun in the most fabulous way.
Although there were some changing rooms at the sale, I just winged it and luckily managed to come away with a clean sweep of everything fitting as I’m a pretty standard Collectif size (except for being petite, obviously!) so I can usually buy off the peg and it will fit.
I had the best day and it was really nice to see the Head Office too – what a lovely location for a fantastic team to work in. I look forward to many more outlet sales ahead – the prices are so low and there’s a great variety for everyone, making it possible to pick up old pieces you’d missed and new pieces which aren’t even out yet. It’s definitely a day to pop in your calendar. Just allow yourself lots of time as this event is now extremely popular, take a drink to stay hydrated (we were so lucky with the weather, what a blissfully sunny February day!) and have a blast! See you at the next one xx
Ps for anyone reading this looking for information about the Collectif Outlet Sale location, get the DLR to Custom House, walk the full length of the concourse towards the Excel, down the stairs and turn right. The Collectif warehouse is in front of you with the sign featured on the main image and you walk down the stairs to enter. There is disabled and pram access via another entrance if you let Collectif know.
Hello lovelies, it’s that time again! I had the pleasure of attending London Edge at the weekend and ogling all the new pretties heading our way – my goodness, wall to wall fabulousness!
It was so great to see everyone there and catch up with all the staff, models and stockists. I wore my Winona Slither dress with the Carmella coat I bought in the sale – she is divine! With black Lulu Hun Mara shoes upon my feet, I was head to toe in Collectif!
So, what have we got to look forward to? Well, everything! Basically, we will all be broke for the next year because we’ll be buying all the new Spring/Summer pieces and the amazing Autumn/Winter collection. I’d already seen SS19 at last year’s London Edge and have a few pieces already (see here), so I was really looking forward to previewing AW19 and the brand new Menswear range – and oh happy days, it didn’t disappoint! There’s so much I want to share with you that I’ll have to break this up into three parts (SS19, Menswear and AW19).
There are some amazing summer prints heading our way, with pretty pastels as well as bold primary colours too. Faithful staples like the Dolores and Caterinas return in new colourways as well as a whole new range of exciting tops and dresses…and the all important swimwear!
Swimwear launched very recently at Collectif with the Playful Promises collaboration. It’s great to see two independent brands teaming up to produce such a pinup perfect collection! My favourites are the leopard print swimsuit and bikini and the green palm bikini. In a couple of months, more of the collection will be available, including these gorgeous items:
The Watermelon bikini is awesome! I love the cupped styles and some also have light padding in too for extra support. They’re perfect for lounging around a pool with a cocktail in hand at your next beach holiday! I am also considering pairing the leopard swimsuit with slacks to wear for an evening look.
Moving on to separates, there are a dazzling array of new tops coming this spring, including all of these:
The bardot and slash neck tops are such a great addition as they’re such a staple for a retro gal’s wardrobe. You can pair them with anything and instantly feel a little rockabilly. I like wearing mine with capris or wide leg trousers, circle or pencil skirts or under dungarees (check my instagram for styling ideas as I wear these a lot).
There’s also a return to the light sweater tops which are so perfect for spring. These Wendy tops are so reminiscent of the era. I really hope a matching cardigan will come in the future too as twin sets are a personal favourite of mine.
An alternative to the Dolores tops which I know you are all big fans of, is this lovely gypsy style top with elasticated sleeves and button front will be available in a lovely light cotton in black or white. This is going to be great to slip on with anything.
I love broderie anglaise for summer and so I was delighted to see it on a Sammy shirt. Sammy shirts go so well with denim, light trousers or shorts. The tie detail at the front is great for a pinup feel with a bandana in your hair, and I also like to tuck the waist ties into trousers for a slightly tailored look. This one is available on the site to buy now.
The Amanda top was very popular last year and it’s returning in a beautiful, vibrant, red this year! I know this will make a lot of you very happy. I have this in last year’s navy and the button feature at the shoulder is just darling.
The biggest new addition was the range of tshirts which are coming! Yes, you heard it right, tshirts! Such cute retro themed designs which you’ll be able to tuck in or over cute denim on casual days. I adore these and will need the whole set.
Speaking of denim, these sweetheart dungaree shorts and button feature jeans really stood out for me. I love the detailing with the brown buttons at the top.
Moving on to skirts, I loved this new red style which has deep front pockets with a covered button and is begging to be paired with the slash neck stripey tops or a bardot.
The Jasmines are a style I’ve always really liked as they suit so many of us, whatever the size or shape and a full gathered skirt is a perfect 50’s pick. The fruity fun of recent years continues with limes. There’s also a Jade dress in this print and a matching cardigan (we all love a matching cardi!).
The fabulous knitwear continues with the ever gorgeous Chrissie jumpers. This season features the amazing palm print detail to the shoulders in a muted green.
Now, it’s time for the dresses! The Cecilia Lemon print from last year (I have the pencil version of this and it’s beautiful!) has been added to the Dolores collection and as a full swing Cecilia. These look so pretty and the fabric is lovely. Definitely one (or two) to add to your wish list! As you can see from the photo, there’s also a matching lemon cardigan coming too which pairs exquisitely.
This red palm tree print is stunning and will be available as the Dolores shown here, but also in other styles too and in a range of colours. It’s a perfect summer print!
For the Caterina fans, there are new shades like this beautiful pale grey, , a large blue check and a pink and blue check too which are so 50’s!
There’s some radiant sunshine yellow pieces this season too, including the Aria shirt dress with a fresh new look. I love everything yellow – it brightens up even the coolest of summer days!
The Ocean Map wrap dress is very cool (there are a few other styles in this print available online here), teamed with the matching mermaid cardigan.
I also really like this light cotton cactus dress and the totally bananas Lorena (so fun!).
One of my all time faves from last year , the Wanda (I have it in green and the black/white polka dot version already), returns in pastel pink, woohoo!
I’m also a big Outlaw jacket fan and have 3 of the previous styles, but I know this shell pink version will really appeal to the pastel princesses out there!
The accessories and shoes this season are also off the scale! They’ve really outdone themselves! So many colourful jewellery sets, belts, bags, hair pieces and fantastic summer sandals!
I mean, look at these iridescent mermaid shoes and matching bag!!
I particularly love the cute cactus bag, which is also coming in a natural shade.
And I am always a fan of a novelty sandal and a gingham ballet shoe for summer outfits
The gingham continues with these sweet wedges and matching bag. I think the bag would match the black and white Suzanne and June dresses I bought last year too.
As always, this is only a snippet of my own picks, and there will be so much more coming, so if we don’t have the same tastes, rest assured, there will be something coming which will totally grab you!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the little preview of the new collection and parts 2 and 3 will be coming up shortly with menswear and autumn/winter, so subscribe below to be notified of the new posts going live x
Hi everyone! Hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year to you all!
I had a few gorgeous treats this year from Collectif and thought I’d share them and sizing info for you before we all hit the sales tomorrow!
I’m not one for short jackets usually as they don’t tend to sit right on me (being half the size of a normal person!). However, the Molly jacket is absolutely amazing and I wish I’d noticed her sooner!
In a beautiful olive green, and belted with the sweetest lining, she’s a perfect fit for me – I found her true to size, however I know some ladies have to size up. I would suggest if you’re anything over the Collectif size guide then size up but otherwise it’s bang on. It has a lovely wide belt that matches and a detachable fur collar for days when you feel like being less fancy – though when are those days?! Always be fancy!
Next up is the black and white Marilu skirt which had a revamp in 2018, being a slightly different fabric to its predecessor of 2017. I much prefer the new one and it’s fully lined too which is a dream to me!
This skirt is absolutely true to size with no stretch, so again, if you are a teeny bit over the size guide, size up. Mine is in my normal size which will be perfect for me when I stop eating all the Quality Street!
The Ines Tropical Fruit Pencil dress I tried on in the summer at Camden and decided to take the Cecilia Lemons instead (another beautiful summer print!), as I didn’t think I needed 2 pencil dresses that day – but I totally regretted not picking it up at the time!
I was delighted to receive this frock with it’s fab fruity print and deep front pockets (I love shoving my hands in pockets – mine, obviously!). It is true to size for me and has a lovely matching belt to cinch you in.
I was also treated (no, spoilt) and given these two amazing frocks which I absolutely adore! The first of which is the Winona Slither Check Pencil Dress. Who doesn’t love a good tartan for winter? And I know the Harry Potter fans were loving the whole range.
The Winona dress has a pretty black collar, long sleeves (I favour longer sleeves in winter) and pockets (winner!). This is such a versatile dress – easy to dress up or down but always stylish.
The second dress I received was one I hadn’t considered before it was made in the Make A Wish print (so sparkly!) because I’d assumed the shoulders would be too high for my frame – how delighted I was to be so very wrong!
The Vanessa Make a Wish dress oozes sophistication and style. I loved the Make a Wish range with its shooting stars on sumptuous black velvet, but I’m unable to buy the Trixie version of this as it’s too big in the 6 for me (tip: always size down in the velvet Trixies). So I was over the moon to be able to have this print in another style, I absolutely love it! There’s plenty of stretch so it accommodates my over indulgence at Christmas and if you’re in between sizes, you’ll be fine with your normal size. This is currently out of stock online but may be available in stores. I’ll be looking out for next year’s Vanessa’s now I know what a great choice they are!
Lastly, my new Lulu Huns, which I’d been eyeballing since last year! The Mara is such a classic style and so easy to pair with everything.
I love the burgundy colour with red velvet trim and bow detail. I actually size down in most of my Lulu Huns and this was no exception. I have a narrow foot so find it suits me better – if you have a wider foot, go with your normal size though. I prefer to wear a lower heel in the day so these are perfect at 2 1/4 inches.
I’ll be posting pics of all of the above on my Instagram so give me a follow there if you’d like to see how they look in real life.
Which vintage inspired treats did you find under the tree? I hope you all manage to get what you want in the sale too!
It may be September, but I’m all about June right now! Having highly anticipated this gorgeous dress, I snapped it up as soon as it went live on the website and I’m so glad I did as it’s already out of stock in my size (be quick Collectif fans!).
Superb service from Team Collectif as always too; I ordered on Monday afternoon and it arrived the next morning at 9:15am via my usual cheerful DPD delivery driver.
This beautiful black and white gingham pencil dress has flashes of red detailing on the cuffed sleeves and circular belt – such a classic combination and it works really well.
It’s actually listed as polyester, but, along with their previous autumnal styles using this, it doesn’t feel like polyester, it’s much softer and closer to a cotton texture.
Fit wise, it’s listed as true to size with little stretch, and I found this to be spot on. If you’re in between sizes, especially on the waist, size up as there’s no stretch there at all. I’m a true Collectif 6 and it was a perfect fit. The sleeves aren’t too long (which for petite gals is often a problem but not in this case), and the hem sits at a true vintage cut on my mid calf which is my preferred length to look a little more authenticly vintage in style.
June has previously been available in a few different prints (leopard and stripe trims on black) but I hadn’t really taken notice of her before this gingham version. Now I’m thinking I need ALL the Junes!
There will also be a flared version of this gingham dress which will launch later in the season, called Suzanne, which is really lovely too. However, unfortunately Suzanne doesn’t include the red detailing on the sleeves in the swing style (such a shame, but still a very gorgeous dress).
The June is a perfect wiggle to dress up or down and I love everything about it. The only thing I would have wanted is for it to be lined so I could wear tights underneath in winter without it riding up, but that’s personal choice and lining on dresses is limited to only a few styles in Collectif (fingers crossed for more!). I look forward to many more Autumn stock hitting the site, but in the meantime, all hail, gingham!
A little introduction as this is my first post. I’m a 40 something, petite (4ft 11ins), pin up lovin’ kinda gal, living in a modern vintage world. I adore everything retro and vintage inspired, particularly those of the 1950’s era, though I don’t discriminate and appreciate anything beautiful and reflective of its time.
The point of this blog was to showcase the styles I love to those that are in the same boat as me – a little vertically challenged! There’s so much choice available to average sized gals, but it’s a little trickier for those of us on the petite spectrum! I also see a lot of gorgeous young things on promo ads and (not being a spring chicken anymore), I thought a place to show that you don’t have to be young or tall to wear the clothes and look and feel good, would hopefully inspire others to wear what they love too.
Hope you enjoy the blog 🙂