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
What did you manage to grab in the sale? There’s always that one item you order that you’re not sure about but think, “well, I can always send it back!”. Then it turns out to be the best thing you bought and wonder why you didn’t just go for it sooner!
For me, that’s the Moxy Holiday Check Trousers. I coveted these for ages but I just wasn’t sure because of obvious height issues for me as well as sizing concerns. They’re a brand new style so I had no point of reference about how they sized up.
They’re a wide legged trouser with an amazing large checked pattern in dark green and red with a light green background. I don’t know why, but they seemed yellow on my screen before I ordered and when they arrived, they are indeed a gorgeous soft green with no yellow whatsoever (I wouldn’t mind them in yellow though – maybe next time!). Here’s a close up of the fabric.
The fabric is actually quite stiff and thick which make them perfect for winter. There are two large pockets to the front and the thick fabric does make them stick out a little at the sides with the cut but I don’t mind this so much – especially as I love a big pocket for hand stuffing and they’re incredibly comfy!
It has a super high waistband which is fitted and fastens with a zip to the front of the trousers as well as a concealed hook and eye above it to keep them secure. You also do up two, black, covered buttons above the zip so these babies are staying put! The waistline is pointed where it meets the cute matching fabric straps and these crossover at the back. There are matching black buttons on the braces both front and back and a buckled matching belt. I’m loving these little details!
The straps have double buttons to fix them in place and, as I’m petite, I’ve used the highest button hole only to fix them and shorten the straps for my frame. I’ll hop on the sewing machine and add another button hole to the braces so I can have them both in place as they should be, but it’s not too bad without that effort. I’ll also slightly shorten them but to be honest, I was super surprised that they weren’t longer as Collectif trousers do tend to be super long. Maybe not one for the really tall gals among you but average and shorter girls will be rejoicing!
I bought my normal size and they fit great. There’s some stretch in this fun fabric which is good as I often find the waistbands are sewn in tight and don’t stretch. That’s not the case with these so if you’re in between sizes or have a big lunch, you’ll be fine!
I really like these vintage style trousers, which surprises me as I didn’t think they’d suit me at all! So if you’re like me and were wavering, I fully recommend taking the leap! They’re currently still available in all sizes from 6-22 at just £19.50 with the discount code BS50. The full price should be £55 – total bargain! x
I’m 4’11” wearing 4.5 inch heels and I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif.
Morgana top by Collectif (previous season)
Tiki earrings and Natalie necklace in green both by Collectif (last season)
I first set eyes on this gorgeous frock back in February at London Edge (I mentioned it here) and ever since, my heart has pined away. Randomly waltzing through the streets of Nottingham last week, I stumbled upon one of the Blue Banana stores and decided to take a peek. I usually buy via Blue Banana online, so it was a nice to change to see everything in the shop instead.
Well lo and behold, as it if was meant to be, this beauty of a dress was on a rail, the last one which happens to be my size, reduced from full price (£66.50) to a mere £15! You’d best believe that was coming home with me! The summer madness continues in store, so if you can get to one, have a good browse, there are lots of bargains to be had in a range of sizes and the staff are really lovely.
Now, the dress! This one is called Jinkx and is a collaboration with Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and Curves & Curls. While it’s available in plus sizes, it was also made in the standard sizes too and they’ve done such a great job with it. It really suits all figures.
There’s a bright, tropical print with vibrant palm leaves and exotic flowers (including one of my favourites, the bird of paradise), a sweet heart neckline complimented with pink, heart shaped, buttons to the front. Everything is piped in dark green to compliment the botanical theme.
I really love the adjustable straps on these which are actually a couple of buttons which you can choose to shorten or lengthen as needed, hidden away at the back. Elasticated panels at the sides make for a perfect fit and the piece de résistance….pockets!
It’s a really lovely vintage length, cutting just on my mid calf and encompasses a full swing skirt, cinched in at the waist with a glorious green buckled belt. I found the belt too long for me so I’ve trimmed it back a little. I’ve also added a white petticoat underneath to accentuate the volume in the skirt. I love how it moves while I’m spinning!
Size wise, I found it true to size, if a little roomy, as I do with all Voodoo Vixen, but it’s easy enough to pull things in with a belt it’s not that far off fitting me perfectly. If you’re busty, this range was made for you. I‘m not particularly busty but found it fine for me too.
You can still find some of these at full price (plus sizes only sorry gals) on the Voodoo Vixen website, and my goodness are they worth it!
What was your greatest bargain over the Summer? Share yours in the comments below ⬇️
Bangles and Earrings: Splendette
Hair flowers: Miss Bella’s BloomsNecklace and Sunnies: Collectif
Shoes: E5P years ago
I’m a standard size 6 and 4’11”, wearing 4 inch heels in the photos. All views are my own.
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.
I bought this gorgeous dress prior to the sale when it first launched and totally forgot to write about it, so forgive my much belated review…oops. I have previously posted about Jemimas (here and here) as the polka dot versions stole my heart and although I have a couple already in my wardrobe this cool palm print was everything and I had to have it!
Just look at that totally tropical design! What’s not to love?! It screams sun-filled paradise, and let’s be honest, we’re all dreaming of days like that at the moment.
The palm design looks fantastic against the navy background. I have a thing for gigantic leaves (my house is full of them) so walking around like one is always my first option!
The Jemima has a sweetheart neckline with wide shoulder straps (still not adjustable unfortunately, the only downside to the Jemima), a fitted bodice and full, gathered, swing skirt. Running down the centre is a row of the red buttons used on a few other designs. I don’t mind the red as it always co-ordinates with my hair, but I think brown wooden buttons would have worked better on this one (like those on the previous Kimberly) as there aren’t any other red elements to it. There isn’t a zip so this is how you get in and out, using the buttons at the front.
There’s a matching buckled belt in the same fabric which can cinch in that waist. I really love that the Jemima’s always have belts in the same fabric as the dress. They also have side seam pockets! Which is obviously a must – where would we be without pockets?! And I much prefer side seam pockets to patch, so hurrah!
I teamed it with the Collectif Jessie Palm Cardigan which works really well together as the day got cooler. The cropped cardigans from Collectif are great for these styles as they sit just above the waistline, not covering the belt so you can clearly see where your waist is defined (but stay warm).
I also paired it with green shoes and turquoise, blue and green jewellery which matched the colours in the print perfectly. Picking out the colours featured in whatever you’re wearing always makes the best accents.
Size wise, I’m wearing my usual size and again, it’s true to size for me. However, if you’re a D cup or above, you’ll likely need to size up. There isn’t any stretch to the bust so those bestowed with bounteous boobage would struggle in your normal size. It sits at the top of my calf which is a lovely length for this style of dress (it’ll obviously be shorter on taller gals).
It’s 100% cotton and feels so nice on. The sale has been raided so unfortunately you won’t find any on the Collectif site anymore but at the time of writing, there are quite a few sizes over at Succubus (a reliable Netherlands based company) if you need it as much as I did.
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing a size 6 in the Jemima above. I’m 4’11” and wearing 4 inch heels in the photos.
Cardigan: Collectif Jessie Palm (old stock)
Necklace: Collectif Natalie (old stock)
Bangles: Bow & Crossbones and Splendette
Shoes: E5P (old stock)
Hair flower: Collectif Lili (old stock), high street and eBay.
I adore a striped dress (as you know), but even more so when it has a nautical nod. This piece by Collectif is from their collaboration collection with Modcloth.
It’s absolutely perfect for Summer and the heat wave we’ve been having of late. Made from viscose it’s super light and flowy. I felt so cool in it, despite the temperatures soaring!
It has a bold, bespoke, yacht stripe pattern in red, white and a slim line of blue too (which I hadn’t previously noticed in the pic before but upon arrival was delighted to see). To the front, there’s a fitted bodice with sweet peter pan collar and keyhole detail. This works really well together and looks effortlessly chic.
Not only that, but this dress has side seam pockets! (hand resting nicely in one in the pic above). Woohoo! We all love a good pocket, I know. It also comes with a circular belt (no holes unfortunately) and has a centre back zip.
The dress flows out from the waist but isn’t a full or half skirt. It does blow beautifully in a breeze however, and has the perfect amount of swoosh for walking around on sunny days. Who would want a full skirt on a yacht, anyway?! hehe.
I chose my normal size (6) in this dress and it fits perfectly. As with all Modcloth collab items, the sizing is the same as Collectif from size 6-16. However, if you’re size 18 or above, follow the specific Modcloth size chart as it then differs slightly (found on the Collectif site, here).
The Adalaide Yacht Swing Dress is available in sizes 4-30 (which is amazing; I love how inclusive those sizes are at both ends) and costs £77. This elegant new design is also available in plain navy (here) has also been released on the mainline collection in a different striped colour way for £55 (see here).
I’m 4’11”, wearing 6cm heels and I’m a standard Collectif size 6.
For full transparency, this item was gifted to me but I only ever write honest reviews, all based on my own thoughts.
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.
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.