Hey there, Autumn! It’s been a while and the chillier weather has now descended with darker evenings drawing in. It’s definitely time to think about cosy knits and keeping warm as glamorously as possible.
The Catalina dress by Collectif is a great option for staying toasty as it has a ribbed fabric and long sleeves.
You can see the material is really substantial and it feels warm to wear. It also comes with a brown, faux leather, buckled belt – though this did crack as soon as I threaded the belt through, so I’ll likely use another with it.
It has a wide, scooped, neckline which is quite open and looks better with a strapless bra than one with straps as it sits so broadly. The waist is semi fitted giving a slightly tailored look, and the skirt is a half swing with plenty to swish about but not enough for a full petticoat (a cotton one for winter would be good). Unfortunately there isn’t any lining so it’ll stick to tights (which I was wearing) but I tend to pop a half slip on to prevent this – a light spritz of hairspray on the underside is a good little trick too, but don’t stand next to any naked flames!
I love that it’s so easy to throw on (no zips or buttons) and you can dress it up or down. I chose to wear it casually with my faithful Lulu Hun western boots (previous review here and you can still find small sizes in the other colour way here) which tied in perfectly with the brown from the belt.
The fit is really good and the fabric is stretchy. I have it in my normal size and the length is just past the knees which is great for vintage looks. It will become an Autumn staple for me and I’ll pair it with small heeled ankle boots as well as heels to change the look.
I adore the knitted styles from Collectif and hope there will be more in further Autumn/Winter ranges. Sadly there aren’t any pockets in this design, so maybe it could return with those next time (fingers crossed!). Currently the Catalina swing is available in a few sizes on the website at £64.99, and for those that prefer a pencil dress, there’s a wine coloured version in sizes 10-22 for £58.99 too. But Black Friday is coming so maybe you’ll get a cheeky discount! x (Edit: Black Friday code is now live. Use BF50 for 50% of this style)
The boring bit, if it helps:
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and wearing a 6 in the photos above. My stats are 33:24:33 and I’m 4’11” in height.
So I didn’t realise just how many checks I’d ordered in the sales until they arrived ha. I guess it turns out, I really do like checks! I’m so happy with my choices though, they’re all unique in their own way and such great dresses.
First up is the Amber Holiday Romance Pencil dress in a glorious red and white pattern.
I have an Amber Evergreen pencil dress already from a few years ago so I sort of knew the fit to expect with this, though obviously it’s a completely different fabric so I did kinda hope for the best. As it turns out, the fabric is actually much thicker and quite firm. It’s such a great choice for the colder months and I really like it. I dream of days when all pencils will be lined but I feel like my tights will actually have more chance of not sticking to my dress with this fabric.
It has a wide scoop neck and half sleeves, a fitted bodice and a classic wiggle cut for added va va voom!
It’s a lovely modest length below my knee and has a zip at the back with a hook and eye fastening. Fit wise, I’m glad I bought my normal size as it’s a good fit for me. There is some stretch in the fabric, but if you’re in between sizes you may need to size up as the waistband seam doesn’t move much. It’s a really comfortable fit for a wiggle dress. I also added a belt too to pull the waist in further and true vintage gloves to complete the look. It’s available in all sizes currently and only £15.75 with code BS50 until Sunday night!
As well as a pencil style, there are also swing versions of this dress. I have Amber-Lea’s which have a gathered full skirt to the bottom with the same top half, but I don’t have the Amber swing so this is a new style for me and when I saw the bold print of the Amber Scholar Check Swing Dress, I just knew I had to have it! I mean, look at these colours!
This one is a Modcloth collaboration and has the most fantastic, stand out, black, green/blue, yellow and pink check print. The style is the same as the pencil above the waistline with the wide neckline and half sleeves, but includes a full swing skirt to swoosh about in. It’s a really flattering fit and an amazing colour combination.
I wore it with a complimentary yellow belt and shoes with a smaller heel and it still sits nicely just below my knee so a great length for me. I bought my normal size and again that was the right choice for me. If you’re a size 18 or over make sure you check the sizing chart for the dress as Modcloth have their own sizing for these sizes. Anything under an 18 is the standard Collectif sizing. Waistbands usually have a little more stretch in the seam for the swings, I’ve found, and this is no exception. So if you’re in between sizes, you’ll be fine with your normal size for the swing version. It’s currently available in all sizes and down to £27.19 in the sale with the code. I’m absolutely delighted the collabs are included in the sale.
Another collab I had to have but waited patiently for was the Suzanne Valley Check dress from the Top Vintage collection. It has the most glorious print in green, orange, yellow and black which brightens up any dull day! I’m a bit in love with the Suzanne dresses and admittedly already have two – the black white check, here, and I was treated to the beautiful Berry Check this Christmas from a good friend, here, but you can never have too much of a good thing!
It’s such a classic style with a gorgeous bateau neckline, tailored princess seams and a fitted waist. Three quarter length notched sleeves and a really full swing skirt also add to that fabulous 50’s feel. There’s also a matching fabric belt which is one that sadly doesn’t have a buckle but I use Velcro dots to fasten it in place which is a handy tip if you struggle with these kind of belts!
There’s a centre back zip and two lovely pockets to the side seams. I have my normal size in my other two Suzannes and they’re perfect fits so I did the same with this TopVintage collab and hit the jackpot. The length is great for me too, hitting my mid calf. Though the fabric has a small amount of stretch, there’s no stretch in the waist, so if you’re in between sizes and/or if you’re busty, you will need to size up in this one. The fabric is great for winter too, being thicker than normal – though not as thick as the Amber. A great winter staple for every vintage lovin’ gal!
This is one of those dresses which is even better than you’d imagined and I’m so glad I managed to get my mitts on it. It’s only available in sizes 6, 8, 12 and 18 now for the sale price of £33.75, so if you can snag one, do it! Remember the sale ends midnight on Sunday and works on these TopVintage and Modcloth collab beauties x
I’m 4’11” and wearing 3-4 inch heels in the photos above (Susans are 4 and the yellow Juliette is 3). I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and bought that size in all of the dresses above.
With Amber Holiday Romance:
Susan red heels by Lulu Hun (previous season)
Natalie Red Necklace by Collectif
Adore Heart Belt by Collectif (previous season)
True vintage red gloves
Starburst bangles by Splendette
With Amber Scholar Check:
Juliette shoes by Lulu Hun (previous season)
High Street belt from moons ago
Flamingo Carved Earrings in pink by Splendette
Bangles by Splendette and Bows & Crossbones
I’ve been meaning to write about this gorgeous little number for about a month now, but never got around to it, so I’m popping it up now while we’re still embracing the beautiful, autumnal, colour palette. Everywhere I go at the moment everything is golden, orange or fiery reds – love it! (though I’m definitely feeling the cold already brrrr!),
The Mimi Pumpkin Check dress is a really lovely shape with its sweetheart neckline (trimmed in black), featuring a little gathering at the bust, and cute, puffy, sleeves. The swing shape isn’t a really full circle skirt but there’s more than enough room for a petticoat underneath if you wish to add one. Sadly, there aren’t any pockets to this one – but maybe we can keep our fingers crossed these will come in time.
The print itself is just divine with those amazing oranges and blacks – it’s a real headturner. The fit is true to size, so if you’re in between sizes on the waist, you should size up as the fabric doesn’t stretch. The length is a little shorter than the Dolores style (which is great for me!), so it cut nicely at my shin.
I’m really pleased with this style and will be buying more Mimi’s. They’re a very comfortable, easy, design to wear and perfect for popping some tights and knitwear on colder days. I would have liked a lining on the skirt part to sav me wearing a slip but that’s just a minor detail. This style comes in a range of other prints too but this one is still available in sizes 8-22 and costs £52.50.
I paired mine with yet more orange and black (couldn’t resist living my own pumpkin dreams!)
Billie Cinch Belt – Collectif Clothing in orange (these are such handy little elasticated belts to have, I bought them in a few different colours).
Bangles – Splendette in Fox
Bangles – Bow & Crossbones in Black Weave
Bangle – Collectif Clothing Carrie in black
Necklace – Collectif Clothing Natalie Bead Set in black
Earrings – Splendette
Boots – Lulu Hun
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and wearing the 6 above.
Happy Halloween lovelies! For today’s post, I thought I’d wear the fabulous Amber-Lea Pumpkin Stripe Dress which I’ve had for a while now but it seemed fitting to share with my spooky friends.
This new style is similar to the Amber pencil dress, with a gathered skirt instead. I have an Amber pencil already so I knew I was going to love this shape – and with the cool pumpkin stripes, it was a definite winner!
The swing skirt has plenty of room for a petticoat (I wore mine with a fluffy black petti underneath) and has huge pockets for stuffing hands or essentials into.
There are half sleeves for colder days and a wide scoop neck (great for larger busted ladies).I found it true to size with a bit of stretch in the fabric (thanks to the spandex) so there’s plenty of room for puddings (marvellous).
This style pretty much sold out immediately on the main site, but there is still plenty of stock available from stockists in all sizes currently (except 6).
I paired my pumpkin dress with a Kimberley Cardigan and picked out the green to compliment it. These are really lovely (I already have other colours) and so soft. The sleeves are very long for petites so tall gals will love them. The cropped length is perfect over swing dresses and gathered skirts and the matching green buttons are very sweet and super easy to do up.
Continuing with the green accessories, I had my Carrie bag which was the perfect match. I love this darling little bag. It’s very reminiscent of vintage purse style handbags with a modern twist. One little clip in the centre opens the entire bag and there’s enough room for all my bits and pieces (lipstick and liner, obviously). I’m grateful for a really easy way to get in and out of this bag as I’m usually forever fumbling with fastenings. It comes with a gold chain if you want to make it into a shoulder bag, but I really like it hand held instead.
I’m also wearing the sweetest addition to the accessories collection this year, which is the Evie Ascot Scarf in black. This is based on an original vintage design and one side cleverly tucks into the other to hold it in place so there’s no knotting, keeping clean lines and the focus on the chic pointed scarf ends. I also bought it in the mustard to brighten up my black outfits. This is such an inexpensive way to make an immediate vintage impact on what you’re wearing.
Hope you like the outfit and enjoy Halloween – don’t get too scared!(unless you like that, obviously).
If you’re looking for a super way to spend a day this weekend, remember the Collectif Outlet Sale is on (details on their events page). I’ve written about what to expect at these events previously and all the bargains I’ve snapped up so it’s definitely worth a visit – enjoy! x
Necklace and earrings: Natalie Bead Set by Collectif in orange
Bangles: Splendette and Bow & Crossbones
Belt: Billie by Collectif in green
Shoes: Lulu Hun Susan heels in green
Petticoat: Hell Bunny