A really casual outfit today as the sun’s out, so the legs are out too! I really love nautical looks which work super well with my hair (or any hair to be fair, I just really like when my bonce matches with my outfit hehe). So I’ve combined the Meri Nautical Knitted Top and Nancy Nautical Shorts for that classic sailing-inspired vibe of the 50s.
The Meri top is such a gem of a piece this season! So easy to wear and super comfortable. It’s a light knitted top with red, black and white horizontal stripes and features a gorgeous bateau neckline which is just fabulous.
There are delicately capped sleeves and these can sit on or slightly off the shoulders, however you prefer to wear it. I usually wear one on, one off to a jaunty angle! It has a knitted rib to the bottom so it can sit nicely over clothes to hip level or tucks in well too, which is how I’ve worn it.
The shorts are oozing maritime mid-century style! They’re so fun with rows of white buttons featuring red anchors.
There’s also a matching button at the back. The shorts fasten with a concealed zip at the back and the button fastens over. Such a cute detail!
There are wide, rounded, pockets to the front of the shorts, belt loops (I’ve added a belt to them in keeping with the nautical theme) and turn ups to the hems.
They’re so comfy to wear and I wasn’t sure about sizing so I tried sizing up as sometimes the waistbands on Collectif bottoms don’t stretch at all. Not the case with the Nancy Shorts though! I can get away with the bigger size as I’ve pulled the waist in with my belt, but they’re true to size and you don’t need to size up at all. They’re made from stretch cotton which has plenty of movement in them, so buy your normal size.
I just love this set together, such an easy way to get that classic nautical look with very little effort. The top is available still in all sizes (6-22) and the shorts are available in limited sizes on the Collectif website, both £35 each. There are extra sizes of the shorts available over at Rockamilly too.
I’m 4’11” and wearing 3 1/4 inch heels. I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif clothing and wearing a 6 top in the photos and a size up (8) in the shorts.
It’s not unusual to see me bedecked in as much rainbow print as possible, but it is massively unusual to see me in a bikini! However, I just couldn’t resist this cute little number. I think the sweet skirt covered bottoms did it for me as I don’t feel totally exposed.
The straps to the bikini top are adjustable (hurrah!) and the cups are moulded with some padding in to keep you decent and supported and covered in light pink fabric. The rainbow stripes run vertically and there’s a tie at the front you can loosen or tighten as much as you need to. The back fastens with a light pink clasp.
I usually go up two sizes in high street bikini tops and I needed to do the same for this one too. I’m wearing one size up (size 8) but it’s quite tight on my back so I’ll likely buy the bigger size too at some point. It’s fine for lounging around on my hammock in the meantime though and doesn’t look too small, I can just feel that I needed a bigger size. I’m a C cup so if you’re a C or above, you may want to size up a couple of times too. That’s the great thing with separates though, you can buy exactly the size you need instead of a blanket size where the top half won’t fit but the bottoms will!
The bottoms are adorable with a high waisted flippy skirt and integrated full proper briefs underneath. I love the skater style of these and that it’s just long enough for me to feel comfortable. The smallest size available to purchase is an 8 so I bought that which was always going to be big on me as it’s stretchy fabric too. It is a little loose but not so anyone would notice, and my pants aren’t going to fall off down my ankles as soon as I start walking, promise! It’s true to size so if you were an 8, it would be a perfect 8.
Overall I’m super happy with this set, it’s everything I wanted it to be and I can’t wait to wear it more now the sun has returned and Summer days are creeping ever nearer! So if you’re wanting something for your holidays, or even just to brighten a sunny sesh in your garden, have a look at the Rainbow Swimwear Set which is available in all sizes (8-22) and costs £39 for the top and £35 for the brief. You won’t be disappointed!
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing, but the swimwear starts at size 8 so I’m wearing both size 8 in the top and bottom. My stats are 33:24:33 and I’m 4’11” wearing 4 inch heels in the photos.
This adorable set was a birthday gift from a beautiful friend who knows me VERY well! What could be better than a cute frilly cropped top and swing skirt adorned in a big gingham print with scrummy cherries?! So perfect!
The Emilia Gingham Frill Top is a real darling of a little top with a frilled sweetheart neckline. I ironed down those frills to make them more uniform and set them in place.
There’s a row of domed black buttons to the front, but these don’t open. Instead it’s an elasticated back which is easy to get in and out of and adjustable straps which cross over at the back. It’s so great when adjustable straps are included with elasticated backs as they fit just about everyone. I would say it’s true to size. I’m actually wearing a size bigger than I usually wear which feels a little looser but not noticeably, especially with the straps adjusted. As it’s cropped it goes more by your bust size and as I’m almost a size 8 bust, I think that’s why it works ok for me. So I’d recommend you buy your normal size but if that isn’t available, a size up will likely work too.
The matching Dakota Gingham Cherries Skirt works so well with the top. I have the Dakota in another colour way already but this is a different fabric and much stretchier so you may be able to size down with it. There’s a buckled belt included and belt loops around the skirt which is great to keep the skirt from twisting around. There are two side pockets to the front with a fold over detail in the black trim and these are large enough to keep whatever you want (except the kitchen sink – hands usually suffice haha).
It has a centre back zip and it’s pretty gathered, fitting a petticoat underneath just fine. I wore a black one underneath but I’ll wear it without too.
The length is lovely and just past my knee, though bear in mind the petticoat will be lifting it a little so it’ll drop a little without one.
I absolutely love the print of kitschy red cherries over black and white gingham, giving it such a classic retro look. I was such a lucky (and spoilt) gal to receive this gorgeous set. It’s going to be super versatile too, not only wearing it as a set but wearing the top with a variety of jeans, skirts and trousers and the skirt with a range of different black, white or red tops. So many options!
The top is £27.00 and currently available in sizes 10-22 and the skirt is £49.00 and available in sizes 6, 18-22 (both available as a set, here) and sizes 8-16 available for the skirt over at SilkFred.
I’m 4’11” with 4 inch heels on here. I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif, but I’m wearing a size 8 in the top and a size 6 in the skirt. My measurements are 33:24:33.
What could be better than rows of rainbow stripes and stars? The Rigel Star jumper is a great little jumper for Spring. It has block coloured, three quarter, sleeves in teal and a small rounded collar in the same colour.
The stripes continue on the back too which I absolutely love! Such a cool feature to be fun from the front AND the back!
The stars and stripes combo is so unique, and really eye catching. It fits really well and has lots of stretch. It hits just at the top of my hip and looks great with high waisted bottoms. I wore it with the pink Maddie jeans from a few seasons ago which have a lovely high waist. You can get a little tuck in too if you’d prefer to not see the bottom of the rib.
I also really like the puffed sleeves which you can see better here on the left. They’re so sweet and how cute are those rainbow stars?!
The Rigel is a great staple to bright up your wardrobe and is available in sizes 6-22 at £45.00. If the rainbow life isn’t for you, there’s also a darker version [here] in a fabulous red and black combo x
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing the 6 above in the photos. I’m 4’11” and wearing 4 inch heels.
Something a little different to round the week off – though not too much of a stretch as I’m easily won over by atomic stars!
The How Star Will You Go dress by Harkel Clothing is a really cool little shirt dress with an all over celestial print featuring an array of bright stars and planets. It has a Peter Pan style collar which you can do up to the top if you prefer, but I like to leave shirt styles open.
It comes with its own thin blue belt but I swapped it out for a wide red one to tie in with my hair and accessories instead. You could get away with lots of belt options as there as so many colours you could pick out from the design. It also has round buttons with a moulded star shape on them which I thought was a nice feature.
It has a fitted bodice and full gathered skirt with two seam pockets which is great. Harkel don’t sell my size so I checked the sizing guide and the 8 was more of a 6-8 measurement so I took a punt. It is a little roomy on me but the good thing with shirt dresses is you can pull them in with the belt and nobody would know! It’s pretty bang on a 6-8 rather than a true 8 so I’m really chuffed to get away with it. The individual sizing charts are a really handy feature on each item. It sits just below my knees which is a good length for me. It will obviously be shorter on taller gals and in their description they note it’s aimed to be above the knee, so expect it to be cute and short if you’ve got those extra inches I don’t have hehe.
If you’re looking for some different styles to add to your wardrobe, it’s worth a look. I stay pretty much with 50’s styling but this is such an easy wear with a stand out print so it really caught my eye and I’m glad I went for it. Delivery was pretty quick.
I ordered this last month when it had 50% off and though that ship has now sailed, Harkel are always on sale and currently doing a promo with 40% off (code HAPPY40) so it’s still a good price and available currently in sizes 8-20 (no size 12’s though sorry dolls) x
I’m 4’11” wearing 4.5 inch heels and a standard size 6 in clothing and ordered the 8 in the dress above. It’s more like a 6-8 than a true 8, a little roomy to be expected but not too much. Use the size guide on the product page to ensure you order the right size for you.
Orchid hairpiece from the high street
True vintage belt
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
As Summer is drawing to a close, I’m making full use of my sale buys and enjoying the last of the sunshine in this very sweet little dress, the Demmi Deckchair, part of the Bright & Beautiful range from Collectif.
It’s super lightweight and made from rayon which is perfect for warm days. I’ve previously spoken about its counterpart with the Astrid in this print, but this shorter version is really lovely too and great to have as a more casual option.
As well as the amazing bright stripes, this dress has a gorgeous, sweetheart, neckline and adjustable straps which are great to ensure a good fit for everyone. The top part is fitted and has pretty wooden buttons running down the centre to the waist. From there, the skirt billows out with darts finishing at hip height. I really like how full the skirt part feels along with the fitted bodice. There’s also an invisible side zip to get in and out which is super handy and discreet.
The fit is great for me. I love that it’s a mini dress version – which actually works as just a normal length dress for me! It’s a wonderful length for petites and sits just above my knee (which to be honest, doesn’t usually get seen much now!). It will obviously sit shorter for those of average height and taller. There’s no stretch in the fabric so if you’re busty, you may want to size up and also if your widest part is on the waist. I found it true to size for me and I’m really happy with how it fits.
As the Collectif sale is coming to an end, this dress is now out of stock on the main site, however, you can still pick it up in selected sizes for just £22 at SilkFred which includes free delivery too – bargain!
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and I’m wearing a size 6 in this Bright & Beautiful range. I’m 4’11” tall wearing 4 inch heels.
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.
I’d missed the fabulous Bow & Crossbones last time they exhibited at London Edge as I ran out of time, so I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice! Heading over to their stand, I was greeted with such a friendly welcome from Camilla and Taz. It’s so nice when people you only know via social media turn out to be as lovely in the flesh as they are online.
Bow & Crossbones make fakelite and 50’s inspired bangles, necklaces and earrings, but also sell true vintage, kitschy cool, items. I love Cam’s work and often wear her pieces which you’ll have seen in previous posts – in fact I was actually wearing some Bow & Crossbones when I met her! You know I love a good accessory.
The Kane Wicker collection (which I’m wearing above in Coco and Black) is just unbelievably good, made better only by the fact that part of the new season pieces are two tone wickers! That’s right, you heard correctly, TWO-TONE!
I have no idea how it’s even possible, but it looks incredible. With earrings to match, these are so ridiculously cool. I think I may have let out an audible yelp when I first saw them. So they’re definitely on the list!
Offering us another sneak peek of what’s to come, these awesome octagonal bangles were showcased too, look at all the gorgeous carving:
I love shaped bangles but they never fit my teeny wrists, so when Cam said the new collections going forward will always be available in all 3 sizes (Princess, Queenie and Goddess), I was thrilled! Such great news, right?! whichever size you need, we’re all catered for.
There were lots of gorgeous earrings to look at too and I’d already spotted the Dot earrings which were released recently. They’re double hoops and super cute.
To my surprise, when I picked them up, they were so much lighter than I expected! No droopy lobes for us, ladies! I’m going to be bagging a few of those too.
Hope you’ve enjoyed a little preview of all the goodies coming this year from B&C, in the meantime there are so many pretties available on the website and make sure you drop by on Friday evenings for the market nights which are fab! x
Look out for Part 4 of my London Edge round up which will be coming soon. You can subscribe to the blog below which will notify you when it publishes to be a step ahead 🙂
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