Something a little different from me today. I don’t usually veer too much from my love of the 50s but occasionally something will come along from the Bright & Beautiful range which I just love and need to have! That’s the case for this gorgeous Annabelle Palm Dress which oozes much more of a late 60s/early 70s vibe. I actually had a very similar wallpaper in my bedroom growing up as a little kid so it’s really nostalgic for me.
It’s still a shirt style dress, which I often wear, but instead of either having a voluminous skirt over the knee or a tailored pencil shape, it’s loose and not at all fitted.
It also features a super cool, pointed collar which match the cuffs on the full length loose sleeves. None of which is too hot to wear as it’s made from a really light fabric that’s perfect for Summer. The bespoke print is great with the large florals and palm frongs all over in greens, white and a dash of blue.
I love how light it is to wear and that the breeze caught the bottom of the skirt a little to give me a little ‘flip’ when I walked
As well as wearing it as intended, I also couldn’t resist cinching my waist in a little and added a white belt from another outfit to change it up a bit and give myself more options. I really like it with the belt too and feel like it works well.
Overall I preferred the option with the collar buttoned up and the belt added and felt the look was still retro, though I’d style my hair in more of a straight bouffant next time and change the glasses to something a little larger to emulate that groovy vibe.
Fit wise, it’s a loose fit and I have it in my normal size which fitted great. If there was a size down (unfortunately sizes don’t go down enough for me) I’d have also tried the size down too but I feel it’s pretty true to size. The length is above my knee which is amazing for me! These dresses are meant to be on the shorter side which was part of the trend at the time.
I’m 4’11” with 4 inch heels on in the pic and a standard size 6 in Collectif and Bright & Beautiful clothing. I’m wearing a size 6 in the photos above.
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.
If you missed the previous Spring Summer 2020 previews, you can click for Collectif and Menswear and see what delights next year holds! Today is all about my favourite picks from Lulu Hun and Bright & Beautiful though, and first up, we’ll take a look at Bright & Beautiful.
To be honest, I don’t buy a great deal from this range as the era isn’t something I wear much of (it has a very 70’s vibe), but occasionally there are some beauts which I just can’t be without!
For instance, the Astrid. I’ve spoken about this style of dress previously here. It’s boat neck and flared skirt design easily lends itself to the 50’s and it’s the main dress from the range which I really look forward to seeing from B&B every season. Next year, we have this gorgeous Deckchair version coming!
It’s a showstopper for sure. I love the rainbow stripes and the addition of the red ric rac trim (it’s often lace that features on the edge instead). If you’re not an Astrid fan, then this print appears in a few other styles too so there’s something to suit everyone.
If you are an Astrid fan, then you may be delighted to hear that it’s also coming in a new pencil style!
This looks like it will be a Summer staple for most with it’s classic gingham check and perfect crossover for work wear, lunch date or a mooch around the shops with friends. I really like how the main best sellers are all getting an upgrade next year to incorporate new versions of a very popular design.
The gingham continues with this gorgeous red checked dress called Iris. It has a shirred top and flared skirt – again, perfectly passable for a fifties style. Just add the picnic.
The knitwear was a massive hit with me. There are so many cute, short sleeved, jumper styles coming, including this yellow check Sydney.
and the Bella Harlequin jumper in blue
Both of these have the sweetest details at the back with a row of false buttons. You could probably wear it either way around too.
Next up is Lulu Hun. This range just keeps getting better and better – I just love all the novelty items and the accessories which match perfectly with the designs of the dresses.
The sandals are always a big hit and they have some fabulous styles coming, including these orange, strawberry. monstera leaf Lottie sandals and the Phoebe starfish version.
True vintage fans will also like this 40’s inspired, mock croc, matching bag and shoes.
I also really like this wedged sandal which has a removable flower!
You can just see underneath where it has a brooch and hair clip attachment. So you could pop it in your hair if you don’t want it on your shoes. Clever!
The bags were so fun and fabulous as always. I particularly liked these bright gingham saddle bag styles with co-ordinating fruits and flowers. There’s also a little padlock feature to the front and lots of room for all your essentials.
And lastly, a pastel pink perfection bag with something I happen to say rather a lot.
This heart shaped bag sums up the collection rather well I think! Will you be broke next year because there’s so much stuff you want?…..HELL YEAH! (sorry, not sorry) x
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.