Bringing the sunshine to recent rainy days, this elegant summer dress is lovely and bright with some stunning details. There’s a sweetheart neckline for that classic 50’s feel and fitted bodice.
It looks like a seemingly simple dress from the front, but all the WOW is at the back which I really love. There are double straps which join the skirt section at the back, but it’s backless aside from that which is such a sassy look and will also keep you cool but effortlessly elegant at summer soirées and garden parties over the coming months.
At the centre back there’s also a gorgeous bow feature which is part of the fastening for this dress. It has a a centre zip with hook and eye at the back of the skirt section and the bow has a popper on one side of the bow which acts like a flap over the zip. All of this is invisible and not seen at all – as you can see on the photo!
The skirt section is a full swing and fits a petticoat underneath just fine. I wore a petticoat underneath it here:
And without a petticoat here:
I think it suits both, it just depends what you feel happy with. I tend to wear a petticoat if I’m going to an event or do but day to day, I’d be super happy wearing it without too as it falls beautifully. It is a teensy bit see through so you may want to wear a half slip. There are also large pockets in the skirt which is a great addition to any dress!
Fit wise, I found it fit fine without sizing down (as the size guidance suggests). There’s plenty of stretch and the bust section is quite large, so if you have a smaller bust, you may want to size down. However the waist section is still correct as there’s no stretch once the bow is fixed in place so sizing down wouldn’t work for anyone in between sizes on their waist. The length is a little longer than I’d usually wear for a swing dress but works great with the petticoat to lift it a little. It’s at my mid calf without a petticoat and with petticoat it’s a couple of inches below my knee.
The straps are not adjustable which is the only down side to this dress. I had to bastardise the straps with my limited sewing skills as they were too long on my petite frame. It’s important to note that the straps sit a little differently at the back on the actual dress vs my bodge-it sewing attempt but I think I did ok?! That’s the only alteration I’ve made, though I may shorten the dress a little too going forward. It’ll work great for taller or average height gals though!
With brighter days on the horizon, grab this dress while you can! Available at Cherry Red Vintage in sizes 8,10,14 and 16 at £59.00.
I’m 4’11” and wearing 3.25 inch wedge heels. My stats for reference are: 33:24:33. I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing the size 6 in the photos, though I’ve adjusted the straps.
This dress was gifted to me by Cherry Red Vintage but all my views are my own and I only give honest reviews.
This darling of a dress was launched last year but was rereleased this Summer and I’m so glad it was! I totally missed out last year having thought – do I really need another evening dress?! Well, clearly the answer was a resounding YES! Always buy the dress haha.
It’s such a pretty design with two layers. The overlay is really delicate with a sheer fabric and velvet polka dots scattered over it. It’s fully detachable so you can wear it over other dresses too, which is a great feature.
It has sweet little buttons (with elastic hoops for ease of closure) to the front and one at the neck where it fastens into a keyhole shape. There’s also a belt which goes through belt hoops on the outer layer too for a snatched waist. My belt was a bit long so I folded it over, but would do my usual trick of a Velcro dot when I’m out on the razzle dazzle!
As the buttons stop at the waist, the overlay doesn’t meet at the front, so you always catch glimpses of the under dress, which looks really elegant and flattering as you move. The overlay is unfinished at the hem which I really like as you can see the mesh floating over the dress instead of being drawn to a heavy border.
Underneath, the base of the dress is a strappy bengaline number with a sweetheart neckline. The straps adjust, which is brilliant as it can fit taller and shorter gals in one short tweak of the straps. I always size up once when I buy anything made from bengaline and I made the right choice with the larger size for this one. Aside from that, it’s a perfect fit and I really like the length which is cut on my mid calf as all good vintage dresses should be. I’m thrilled with it! It’s a full swing skirt so I’ll likely wear a petticoat underneath it for a more fancy pants look, but in the summer sun, I couldn’t handle a petti!
Just look at those gorgeous little sleeves and the shirt style collar! To die for. If you missed out on the Carmella Polka Dot dress too, or overlooked it by any chance, it’s reduced down in the sale to an amazing £27 from £90! The mid range sizes are all still available at the time of writing so I’d bag yourself this bargain (and size up once) – you won’t regret it!
Now, off to a socially distanced, end of summer soirée!
I’m 4’11” and wearing 4 inch heels in the photos. I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif, but wearing a size 8 in this one which is the size of a 6.
Earrings: Starlet Jewellery
Hair Flower: High Street
Sunnies: Collectif old stock
Shoes: Iron Fist old stock
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