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
Happy new year, beauties! With the BIG SALE fast upon us, I hope you have your wish lists at the ready! Here are a few reviews for you for a couple of items which will be in the sale and that I really recommend. First off though, is a new season dress which won’t be in the sale, but is an absolute must! It’s even better in the flesh and such a cosy dress to wear.
The Halette College dress is a knitted style in navy and beige with a college style C on the chest. This is such a cool feature and I love it! The top is fitted and the skirt is loose, but not even a half circle so don’t expect to swoosh, but there is definitely a lovely movement in it – perfect for dancing around Grease style! And look – pockets!!
It has a button up front with domed navy buttons and a matching buckled navy belt. It’s a really comfortable dress to wear and I bought my normal size which fits perfectly. If you’re quite busty, you may want to size up though with the buttons. The length was also great on me hitting my mid calf. It’s an adorable piece and well worth the investment. It’s currently available in all sizes at £59.00.
So what should you buy in the sale? Well for one, the Brunel Safari dress is unreal! I was so excited to see this almost a year ago and it really doesn’t disappoint. If you’re like me and obsessed with safari dresses – you need this! I don’t usually wear similar colours to my skin tone but I made an exception for this one as it’s such a great design.
The camel coloured pencil dress has concealed buttons to the front, a matching wide buckled belt and has a sharp collar for ultimate retro safari chic. The v neck is quite low for me so I may add a little popper later on but I actually really like it with the addition of a neck scarf. There are flap pockets on the bust and two pockets on the sides of the skirt.
It’s really comfortable to wear and has a little stretch in the material. I bought my normal size and it’s spot on for sizing. The sleeves are a little long on me so I’ve shortened them, but that’s just because I’m petite and to be expected, they’ll be fine if you’re average height. It cuts on my mid calf which is a great length for me. Honestly, everyone needs one of these! It’s currently available in all sizes and doesn’t have a sticker on so should be in the sale. The current pre sale price is £65.00 and it’ll be an absolute steal in the sale!
My next pick is the beautiful Pacy Velvet dress. I have quite a few velvet dresses from Collectif but I never tire of their amazing designs and how they make you feel.
The Pacy is made of a gorgeous green velvet and has adjustable straps and a sweetheart neckline. The top is boned and has silicone strips to keep everything in place and make everything look fantastic! The skirt billows out into a full swing style which is immense and the best thing for swooshing, especially as it has pockets!!
There’s also a zip at the centre back with a hook and eye to feel super secure. The fit was great on the top for me and the waist was a little larger for me as it is part of the velvets – and with the velvets you normally size down. I don’t think sizing down would have worked for my chest though, so I’m happy with my normal size and the waist leaves room for an extra pudding, which is always a good thing!
It’s such a beautiful dress and will suit so many ladies which may have overlooked it for the more traditional velvets like Trixie and Dolores but this one offers lots of support so it’s definitely worth a fling in the sale! It’s available in all sizes except a 22 at the moment and £65.00 pre sale. So I’d recommend you snap this one up!
Hope you all get the pieces you want in the sale, I’ll add a couple more reviews tomorrow which hopefully will help if you have any questions about the look or fit of an item. I’m also looking out for all the new Spring Summer designs which are about to hit the site and I’ll add those on the blog to review too. Have fun in your pretties and stay safe gals xx
Disclaimer: Some items have been gifted. However, I only give honest opinions about the items I wear and receive and would definitely have been happy to buy them myself.
What a great new style for the Spring/Summer 2020 collection! This bloomin’ gorgeous dress is the Demira Gingham Daisy Pencil dress and is a stand out piece – radiating happy vibes wherever you wear it!
I managed to bag it in the sale (still currently on) having ummed and ahhed over it since it launched. I absolutely love the bold, bright, print but I was a bit concerned about the higher neckline and puffed sleeves – not things I would normally go for. I almost bought the pencil skirt instead (which is also very cute) but I’m so glad I took a punt and bought the dress – it’s a triumph!
The puffed sleeves are elasticated and actually add a sweet detail to the top of the dress which is more conservative with a round neck. They’re comfortable on the arms and not tight at all. At the back of the dress, the neckline dips into a lovely v shape and there’s a centre back zip making this easy to get in and out of.
I found this style to be true to size, with limited stretch at the waist, so if your widest part is there, you may want to size up. It falls on my mid calf giving a great vintage feel and accentuating that wiggle when you walk!
I wore the Demira with accents of yellow, picked out from the daisy print. This goes really well but you could pair it with white, blue or black accessories if you preferred to be matchy matchy but not so bold with yellow.
To get your gingham daisy fix, this dress is still currently 50% off at £26.25 (utter bargain!) and available in all sizes. If a pencil isn’t your thing, then have a look at the other items available in this design too (available here). I’m still thinking I may need a few more pieces in this print, but if you prefer spots over gingham, then Collectif have also just launched this new polka dot design! Which will you choose? x
I’m 4’11” and a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing, wearing 4 inch heels in the photos.
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.
Hope you’re all doing well in isolation and coping ok. It’s so important to be supporting small businesses during these hard times (if we can), and if you fancy a little lift to brighten your day, then I have a gem of a dress for you to consider!
This is the Collectif Maura dress which is a fabulous rockabilly styled shirt dress. It’s a lovely dark indigo denim with lots of stretch and features retro style square red buttons all the way down the front.
The red accents are continued on the stitching and the wide circular belt. The pencil shape is really easy to wear with lots of stretch and it’s super comfortable too. I did a lot of stretching, bending and all sorts while I was wearing it and it just moved with me, despite being a pencil it’s not restrictive at all.
I found it true to size, and it sits on my mid calf which is a perfect vintage length for me. For the taller among you, it should sit nicely just below your knee. If you’re particularly blessed up top you may wish to size up. There’s a handy popper detail below the first button at the bust area to avoid any gaping issues too.
It’s such a versatile dress – everyone needs a faithful denim dress to carry them through from Spring to Summer and this fits the bill perfectly with its classic 50s styling. I loved wearing it for a little walk in the sunshine and I’ll also be wearing it to pick up my essential groceries in a couple of days. As the days grow warmer, you’d best believe I’ll be wrapping my hair in a bandana to add those rockabilly feels!
You can find this fab little dress fully stocked in all sizes from 8 to 22 at Ilovethe50s.com which is an awesome independent online retailer, run by the very lovely Karen. Selling a range of vintage styles and brands, the Maura dress is amongst many others in the online store’s 20% off sale, so it’s the perfect time to snap it up. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about the little treats right now to get me through the isolation, and this offer will definitely brighten everyone’s day.
There’s also the option to use Clearpay or Klarna if you need to spread the cost and pay in instalments, and not only that, it’s all free delivery within the UK! You can purchase Maura directly here.
Stay safe, stay well, and treat yourself through the tough times xx
Shoes: Lulu Hun Susan
Bangles: Bow and Crossbones, vintage and Splendette. You can find lots of lovely new Splendette stock at Ilovethe50s.com too!
Handbag: Banned Retro previous season
Earrings & Necklace: Collectif Clothing Tiki and Natalie
Stats for reference: I take a standard size 6 in Collectif clothing (33:24:33) and I’m 4’11”, wearing 4 inch heels.
Disclaimer: Gifted ad – this piece was gifted in exchange for an honest review and a discount for my readers. All thoughts are my own and I would happily purchase from this company. Please contact me via my Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org for collab work or ads.
This sassy little number is a rerelease from last Summer and, as I missed out on it then, I was super happy to see it again this year.
With a large black and white gingham print, bardot, elasticated, sleeves which sit on the arms or shoulders and gorgeous fishtail to the bottom of the dress, it’s comfortable but sexy.
There’s a bow to the front of the sweetheart neckline, which you can pull tighter to reveal more cleavage (I didn’t as I’d reached my own dare to bare point without adjusting it) or leave looser for a more modest line. It’s true to size with some stretch in the material. I feel like such a senorita in this dress
Perfect for Summer dates with your love or night’s out with your girls. This design also comes in plain black currently but will be available in more colours for the Spring/Summer collection – so look out for those!
The Sasha is currently available in 8-12 and sizes 18-22 and costs £49.95.
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and wearing the 6 above. I’m 4’11” and in 4 inch heels.
With a range of vintage and modern styles, I was delighted to meet the lovely team at Sheen on my visit to London Edge. I mentioned them on the blog at my last visit (see here) as I really liked the Helena dress which was showcased on the catwalk that day.
With it’s beautiful neckline, long sleeves and full skirt, this was a stand out winter dress for me. More recently, I fell in love with the aptly named Heart dress which is so insanely pretty, it truly captures hearts.
This year, the stand was bursting with colour and unique prints, featuring their Spring/Summer looks.
There is something for everyone, from fun and flirty playsuits to casual day dresses, all the way to evening wear. My favourites from the current line are these playsuits which have the sweetest details:
The charming Summer prints, daisy buttons and lace detailing at the sweetheart neckline make these a perfect choice for lazy Summer days or exploring on your holidays. The Jana went down the runway and looked gorgeous. Just add a wide brimmed straw hat, sunglasses and some wedges and you’re set!
From the new collection, my favourite picks were from the Capsule Collection. These nautical fancies are just spectacular!
I adore a novelty print and these cute little crabs on a blue and white stripe really make a statement. The waistbands with their double covered buttons are a really nice feature too. They’ll be available as cropped trousers or a swing skirt, both with pockets (yay!).
Then I spotted this dress and I couldn’t contain my excitement:
With a little nod to the super hero in all of us, this elegantly styled dress has beautiful detailing to the shoulders and neckline. And with a border of cheery crabs scuttling around the hem (I couldn’t fit it all on one photo sorry!), this fun design is bound to be a big hit.
You may also be able to pick these two out of the stand photos which I really liked:
A casual shirt dress with a fun print is my ideal sunny shopping day attire. For cooler days I’d throw on a cardigan and tights with brown boots. This style of dress is very versatile so the Morgan Shirt Dress appealed to me.
And then there’s Bette, with her fabulously bright toucan print, combining my favourite colours (turquoise and yellow). This halterneck pencil dress ties at the neck and features a sweetheart neckline wth bow tie to the front. It’s the perfect cocktail dress for a tiki bar or summer barbecue party.
There are many more styles coming too, and while the brand is usually only available via stockists, Sheen has exciting things planned. In around a month’s time, a new ecommerce store will be available on the website, meaning we can buy direct! And everything is available in sizes 8 to 22 which provides a good range.
You may also have noticed on the stand that the brand name will be changing – from Sheen to Timeless. There’s a definite shift happening within the company and while most items are available in cotton currently (some polyester), they’re becoming a more environmentally conscious brand. To that end, the textiles they plan to use going forward will be sustainable which is a great step forward for those of us that enjoy fashion but want to think about our footprints on the planet too.
I’m looking forward to exploring the new website when it launches!
Look out for Part 3 of the London Edge previews, or subscribe below to be notified of the next publication x
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.
Wow, Wanda is full of sass! A figure hugging pencil dress with matching, wide, belt and the cutest, winged, neckline detail to the front. It also has heart buttons with a faux centre opening (great for girls with bigger busts that hate gaping buttonholes). There is actually a zip at the back and a halterneck tie.
I picked up both the polka dot and the green version last Summer but as they’ve been rereleased (here) I thought a review would be helpful for those wanting to grab it this season – especially as they’re adding new colours to this range, including a gorgeous little black dress option.
The black and white polka dot version is so much fun! It’s a stretchy cotton and is true to size. If you’re in between sizes though, or have a larger bust (D+) you will probably want to size up. I love to jazz mine up with red accessories – who doesn’t like a little monochrome with a splash of red?
I also added the hat I featured here to it the other day, along with sunglasses and jewellery all from Collectif. Perfect for warm days basking in the sunshine – look at that sweet wing-tipped neckline!
The light green one is a really lovely colour. Again, it has stretch in the fabric, however the waist band doesn’t really stretch and is bang on true to size – so if you’re in between sizes or even a little over the Collectif measurements for your normal size, size up with this one. This green is marginally smaller than my polka dot version and as I’m within the measurements, it’s fine – but I definitely won’t be wearing it to an all you can eat buffet unless I buy the bigger size (which I may still do, cause, you know, cake).
They are really cute dresses, perfect for wearing casually with a cardi and flat sandals or vamping up with killer heels and a (faux) leather jacket. I highly recommend them; just size up if you need to and keep your eyes peeled for more styles coming too!