• 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

  • 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

  • Mirtilla Oranges Pencil Dress Review [Collectif Clothing]

    We’ve reached the end of another week – a miserable one here in the UK sadly with all the rain (but our gardens are thankful!). Better weather is on its way though and what better way to hold on to hopes of blue skies and endless sunshine than by adorning yourself with a taste of Spain (when I see sweet juicy oranges, I always think of Valencia).

    I managed to purchase this one during the 50% off sale and my size happened to appear (it was meant to be!) so I snapped it up immediately. The Mirtilla style is new this season and what a fab little pencil she is! Emblazoned with oranges on a navy cotton sateen, she has a casual feel with the polo style top but still dressy with the tailored wiggle. I absolutely love this new design, especially the bespoke orange print, it’s just delicious.

     

    The collar has a couple of buttons to the front and turn up sleeves on the arms. There is a side zip on this one which, to be honest, I found incredibly difficult to get on with a pencil style. They work much better for swing dresses and I do wish it had a centre back zip instead as I have to ruin my hair to get it on. I much prefer to step into dresses and I felt a bit like I needed to be double jointed to get into it with side zip haha. Once on though, it’s super comfortable to wear and it has just the right amount of stretch. 

    It falls on my mid calf which is just perfect for a good vintage length. I love that it’s more of a casual style but still in my beloved pencil shape. I really hope to see more of this design returning (but fingers crossed for a centre back zip). There are also swing versions of this design if you’re not a pencil lovin’ kinda gal, but not in the oranges print.

    I paired mine with the orange Billie cinch belt and Natalie orange bead necklace from last year’s Collectif accessories, the parasol I picked up at a Collectif outlet sale event a couple of years ago, the Aaliyah orange orchid hair flower from earlier this season at Collectif, shoes from Lulu Hun (featured earlier on the blog, here) and bangles by Splendette and Bow & Crossbones which were a perfect match with this dress. I felt totally tropical! Bring back sunny days x

     

    For reference:
    I’m 4’11 and wearing 4″ heels, I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and no alterations have been made. 

  • [London Edge Feb 2020 Part 7] Bright & Beautiful, Lulu Hun and Collectif Menswear AW20

    In our final instalment of the Autumn/Winter 2020 previews, we’re starting with the awesome new collection from Collectif Menswear. 

    As well as the amazing Jonathan jacket pictured above (seriously, how cool is that?!), there were some great chunky knits, guaranteed to keep your other half warm (or for yourself as I’ve often said before!).

    I love a good moss stitch pattern and this bright yellow cardigan has bags of true vintage style with a modern flair, brightening up even the darkest of wintry days.

    I will always be a sucker for an atomic print, so this knitted top also caught my eye:

    The starbursts are everything! For a more casual look there are plenty of polo tops too:

    As with previous seasons, there will also be a range of novelty prints which are going to be very popular (no previews of those though to keep you in suspense!).

    Next we have Bright & Beautiful, which takes its inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s. Adding a contemporary twist to their vintage styling, there are often pieces which crossover from the past and look on trend for the modern day. Like this cropped sequin jumper which will look great with some high waisted jeans or slacks:

    The rainbow sequin detail is so pretty! Also this cute ladybird dress which is a classic 60’s mini shape in velvet, but sits a little longer than their daring lengths and has a fabulous gold print:

    As with every Bright & Beautiful season, I’m always on the look out for the new Astrid, and this tweedy version didn’t disappoint!

    Such a staple style to pair with brown boots for Autumn.

    There was also this new trench coat style which has the best tartan detailing to the lining:

    I love the turned up cuffs to reveal the tartan pattern. With a wide collar and double breast buttons, it oozes 70’s style but you could easily throw this over something more modern too. 

    Moving on to Lulu Hun and accessories now and the displays were fantastic as always. Here you can see the bags from the current collection: 

    Current season stock

    The leopard bag is particularly splendid, and there’s also a matching mirrored brooch which will be coming to the Collectif Accessories range:

    The accessories line will also launch new Natalie necklaces (you know how much I love those), one of which is this superbly pumpkin inspired treat (no tricks):

    Featured on the shoe display were these Spring/Summer prickly delights from Lulu Hun:

    The cactus wedges and pumps are really fun, and I adore a tropical leaf print!

    So what can we look forward to for Autumn from Lulu Hun? Firstly, the wonderful Mara is returning in two new shades:

    I have these in black and red already from 2018:

    They’re the perfect heel to be running around in and look so dainty with their velvet bow detail to the front, impeccably finishing off your vintage outfit. The plum and green versions will be brilliant additions.

    The next stand out pair for me were these spectacular heels:

    With faux fur all the way round, these platform heels are so cute and are like the shoe version of the Tatiana boot. I had to try them on to see how they looked of course!

    Bit of a weird angle as I was doing a balancing act of holding everything in my hands and trying to point down to my feet, without dropping everything! but, you get the picture. They look super cute on and were a really cosy fit.

    And now for the cream of the crop…..

    There are no words. These cowboy boots are just magnificent (ok, there were some words). I’m hoping they’re faux leather so I can strut around in the blue and red pair, tip my hat at random people and say, ‘howdy partner’ as I pass by.

    Finally the Autumn/Winter bags from Lulu Hun. My favourite picks were this black glitter satchel:

    So practical but so fancy! And also this incredibly cute pink heart bag:

    Isn’t it adorable?! And with all that love, it’s the perfect way to leave our jaunt around London Edge this year having viewed so many gorgeous things. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing all the previews and do share with me which you liked most by popping a comment below x

     

    Featured brands today can be found here:
    Collectif Menswear
    Bright & Beautiful
    Collectif Accessories
    Lulu Hun

  • [London Edge Feb 2020 Part 6] Collectif Sneak Peek AW20

    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:

    The colours are so scrummy on this one

    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

  • [London Edge Feb 2020 Part 5] Voodoo Vixen, Hell Bunny & More!

    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.

    Hell Bunny Python Rose Dress
    Hell Bunny Viva Las Vegas Top and Skirt
    Hell Bunny Pina Colada Dress and Noa Noa Mid Dress

    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.

    Moving on to Voodoo Vixen with their exciting collaboration for Summer called Unreal Redheads (so I’m aptly drawn to it!). I really loved the cute designs and pastel shades of these two.

    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.

    Beautiful tulle pleats

    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