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.
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’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.
So apparently we should all be tired of January about now. If you’re feeling it, I hope the rest of Jan passes quickly for you. I’m certainly looking forward to Spring as I always do – I’m definitely more of a sunshine baby than a winter one!
Banishing those winter blues has been helped a lot by an unexpected sale buy for me. I’d seen this dress almost a year ago and it was love at first sight, naturally. What’s not to love with its gorgeous Poison Ivy vibes?! However, I never wear red as I feel it clashes with my hair too much. I used to wear red a lot as a natural brunette so that took some adjusting to almost a decade ago when I became an unnatural redhead.
A few weeks ago, maybe around Christmas time, I’d noticed ASOS Marketplace were stocking Collectif as a boutique. I’d browsed and seen my normal size wasn’t well catered for on there so thought nothing of it. Then the Bella pencil dress, (which was sold out in most sizes on the Collectif main website), was hollering at me from the screen, begging me to click on her, despite knowing a 6 didn’t show up in my search.
So I succumbed, as you do, because obviously if I click there may be a 6 which was hidden and wasn’t on the search, right?! Wrong. But lo and behold, an 8 was available. The ASOS Marketplace was reduced half price, just as the main website, but it also includes free delivery. So, I took a punt and figured I’d just return it if it was too big.
It was shipped super fast but wasn’t by the normal DPD delivery from Collectif, I think ASOS must hold stock and it was delivered by Royal Mail (order placed on a Thursday evening, delivered Saturday morning). The return shipping is to Collectif direct, so you don’t have to worry about using the Marketplace as a platform to buy from, it’s all very easy and legit.
It was just as I remembered, so beautiful with it’s delicate leaf and rose strap detailing on the shoulders, boned bodice, silicone tabs and lightly padded bust (to allow you to go braless if you wish) with a matching, wide, velvet belt.
I tentatively put it on and all my concerns were gone. It was a lovely fit! A 6 would have been perfect but I could definitely get away with the 8. The fabric has stretch in it but the bodice is quite fitted. Best of all, there’s room for puddings, so I’m very happy with that! So if your size isn’t available (limited sizes left), you could try a size up as I have. I love cinched in styles like this, but which are roomy enough to eat your own bodyweight and still feel comfortable. I felt instantly sexy when I put it on.
So I’m no longer going to rule out reds anymore and embrace the clash with my hair. It’s taken me a while to get there but this was definitely the dress to do it!
My new SS20 stock has also arrived so it really will be goodbye sale, hello Summer next time on the blog. See you then! x
With Halloween now behind us, my thoughts spring forward to festive events and all the upcoming parties we’ll be attending. With that in mind, I had to share the beautiful Florence Occasion Swing Dress from Collectif, which is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time!
The sweetheart neckline is divine and the bodice is boned for a great fit. The trim is all in black velvet (yummy) and the straps (also velvet) are adjustable – woohoo! I do love an adjustable strap.
The velvet adornment continues at the front with a cute bow detail and the swing style skirt is hemmed with a velvet edge too. It’s extra pouffy from a netted underskirt, followed by a black satin overlay, and finished with the most amazing tulle layer covered in glittery polka dots which graduate with an ombre effect. This is a total head turner of a dress and you will bedazzle everyone! I can’t tell you how in love I am with it (though you’re clearly getting the gist).
The fit is bang on true to size, so if you’re in between sizes, you should size up as the waist doesn’t stretch.
I’ll be donning this fabulous beauty of a vintage inspired gown at the next Collectif Party, and I can’t wait to see where you all wear yours too! For more occasionwear inspo, I’ll be adding a few more posts soon with more options to look the belle of the ball this year. Bring on the fairy lights and champagne coupes!
UPDATE: By happy coincidence, the Collectif x Modcloth version of this dress has also just launched today. You can find it here. It’s a little cheaper and doesn’t have the velvet edged hem but is just as pretty.
Gloves – Original vintage evening gloves from an antiques fair a long time ago
Shoes – Lulu Hun Susan Heels in black
Earrings – Collectif Clothing Mansfield Hoops
Dress – from Cherry Red Vintage