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)
Hooray! The Big Sale at Collectif is well underway and we’re all rushing to put orders in – sometimes multiple times as there’s always that extra item you never noticed before but suddenly have to have! Maybe the beautiful Mara is one of those frocks you’ve been eyeballing for a while but weren’t too sure about? Well I can tell you it’s fabulous and you definitely need it! hehe.
I haven’t had a Mara before, though I almost bought the previous checked patterns which came out. The shirt style really appealed to me but it seemed like a lot of dress for my frame. When the green Garden Stripes version was launched, I hovered over the buy button for some time, pondering which size I would need as I’m aware the checked versions were sized smaller.
I took the plunge and decided I needed all those glorious green stripes in my life! The dress is so vibrant and I really love the pattern. I have a petticoat on underneath too for added poof and the fullness of the swing skirt is very swooshy which is excellent!
The dress can button right up to the neck and has a matching waist tie which I’ve worn as you’re meant to at the waist in the photo above, though I left the neck open as I like a more casual look sometimes with a necklace showing. However, I also really liked switching the waist tie to make a bow neck tie instead and adding my own belt too.
With long, cuffed, sleeves and a placket of concealed buttons to the front, this practical dress also has two side pockets which are super handy. I went with my normal size and luckily that was the right choice for me as a size up would have been far too big. There’s slight stretch in the fabric and the length on me is the same as a swing Caterina – which is lower calf and a bit longer than my other dresses, but I don’t really mind that.
So if you’ve been pondering this dress, I can confirm it’s brilliant – a really practical but cute piece which is lots of fun with the dramatic stripes and great sizing wise – get it in your basket! haha. It’s currently half off at £33.75 with code BS50 (which lasts until 11.59pm on the 17th) and it’s available in all sizes.
Lulu Hun Susan High Heels in green (previous season)
Adore Heart belt in red by Collectif Clothing (previous season)
Tiki earrings in green by Collectif Clothing
I’m 4’11” wearing 4 inch heels. I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and that’s the size I’m wearing above.
The dress was bought via the fabulous Cherry Red Vintage
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.
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
Happy August Bank Holiday, guys! Hope you’re spending the day doing something wonderful, or just having a well earned rest. I’m enjoying the last of the Summer sun and looking at the Kimberly Mini Cherries dress today which I managed to nab in the first flourish of the sale. I had meant to buy this dress when it was first released but it totally slipped my mind as I was waiting for other things to drop too so I sadly missed it. In the sale, it was only available in a size 8 and though it was OK with a size up (but quite roomy on the bust for me), I had regrets that I hadn’t bought my normal size way back when. However, within a week, my normal size suddenly appeared as though manna from heaven, so I was able to return the 8 and purchase the 6. I’m so glad I did as it’s such a great fit and perfectly true to size.
I have previously talked about the Kimberly design when she first launched (here), and I’m so glad it returned this year with some amazing patterns as it’s such an easy summer dress to pull on and always feel fabulous. I especially love this cherry design though, the embroidered cherries are super cute and really pop against the black.
There’s a sweetheart neckline with wide’ish and adjustable straps, elasticated shirring to the back which makes it super comfortable and stretchy, and a side zip. I also think the colourful red buttons are a really sweet touch.
The dress is made from 100% cotton and falls below the knee. The patch pockets are super handy for popping summer essentials in (or hands when you’re trying not to touch your face!).
Unfortunately during sale times, things go quickly and this is no longer available from the Collectif website anymore (though they do have some other Kimberlys in different prints). However, it is still available in selected sizes from Silk Fred for £28.50 with free delivery which ships direct from Collectif, so you still have the great service from Collectif, but none of the shipping costs! so grab one before they’re gone!
I’m 4’11” and wearing 3.5 inch wedge heels. I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing a 6 in the photos.
Another day, another gloriously rainbow striped piece from the sunshine filled array of gorgeousness over at Collectif! I’ve been keeping a close eye out for the new ModCloth collaboration pieces to drop since I saw them go live at ModCloth a few weeks ago. My patience paid off when they dropped last week and I snapped up the Jill dress sharpish.
I love the shape of the Jill design – a flattering sweetheart shape to the neckline, wide pin tucked straps, a pleated skirt and THAT amazing print!
I do have a confession though – I usually steer clear of a Jill as I find the straps to be too long for me. But as soon as I saw the rainbow stripes I was ALL IN, and I’m actually super pleased I took the leap. The straps are a touch long for my body but not nearly as much as I’d expected. I had planned to pop some body tape on my shoulders to hold them in place but to my delight, I didn’t need that at all and they stayed firmly where they were meant to. So the straps are definitely workable and not to be avoided going forward (which is wonderful news as I’ve always adored the cut of this dress and there are many more Jill dresses which I’m going to need now!). I think the ModCloth version is sized a little smaller than the Mainline range which has worked in my favour.
I really like the tailored pleats on the flared skirt which make a nice change from a full circle. It’s such a classic shape and very pretty. And although it’s not a full circle, there is still plenty of room for a good swish about.
The Jill is meant to fall on the knee but I’m itty bitty so it falls below mine (which I prefer). My knees don’t often get seen but swishing around I dared to bare the hint of a knee – what a devil! haha
There’s a centre back zip for getting in and out of the dress easily and unfortunately no pockets but maybe these will appear in time (pocket lovers, I know you feel me). Made from 97% cotton, the dress is light enough for summer but the fabric isn’t at all see through, so although it’s a white dress with a diagonal print, there are no embarrassing moments stood in front of light sources! The fabric is great quality and there’s a little stretch in it too.
There’s also a matching yellow belt (sans holes but it does have belt loops and a stopper). I really like that the yellow has been picked out from the dress to accent with the belt – not least because yellow is my favourite colour but also because it’s so darned cheery! I also picked out the yellow with my necklace and hair flower, and chose to compliment the rainbow theme matching the green and yellow stripes of the dress with my heels and earrings. Plus, bangles (because we know you can never have too many of those!).
Fit wise, if you’re plus sized, be sure to check the ModCloth sizing chart (which can be found on the last pic for the dress on the website). The new ModCloth range is sizing a little differently than last year so check your measurements against the new charts. For the rest of the sizes, it’s pretty standard and I bought my normal size which fits fine for me, but as I mentioned above, does feel smaller than the Mainline sizing (which I’d tried on previously). So if you usually size down for a Jill, don’t with this one as it’s pretty true to size.
Available in ModCloth sizes 4-30, this one is priced at £93 as it’s a collaboration piece and there is another Modcloth collab Jill with a sweet lemon print which dropped at the same time (see here). If that’s a little out of budget, there are non collab Jills in other prints (here) which are priced at £55 and an array of other joyful rainbow goodies to choose from if the dress isn’t for you (here). I have my eye on a few more! Which will you go for?
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and 4’11” tall (small) with 4 inch heels on here.
I’m also wearing:
Hair flower: Miss Bella’s Blooms
Bangles: Splendette and Bow & Crossbones
Happy VE Day you gorgeous lot! I hope you’re able to celebrate in any small way you can during lockdown – be it bunting in your kitchen, or socially distanced garden parties with neighbours on your street.
Uncharacteristically, I’m not in a dress for a change! Instead, I’ve chosen a land girl inspired look with a modern twist and 50’s details (as stylistically, that’s my preferred era to wear) for my celebrations. In keeping with the red, white and blue theme and a nod towards the brilliant ladies of the Women’s Land Army, I’ve gone with the Voodoo Vixen Jasmine Overalls.
They have the cutest polka dot print over denim blue and sweet details like the sweetheart neckline, handy (and deep) pockets and a flattering cropped length.
The straps are adjustable and can be crossed over at the back. I bought a size 6 and the sizing guide states they’re true to size. Personally, I found they came up a little large on me, but not so much that I can’t work with it. I really love them and they’re super comfortable to wear. They could easily be dressed up or down and I picked out the Maria Hawaiian blouse by RocknRomance to wear underneath.
The blouse is super light and can be worn either tucked in as I have here, or tied at the front (cleverly, the ends are button free so this can be achieved easily). The tiki inspired print is so pretty and the collar can be worn up or down depending on your mood and is also available in other colours and styles. I also have the dress version of this print in a couple of colours, which is just adorable. If you haven’t found yourself browsing their site before, it’s definitely worth having a look. I found their customer service to be really good too – friendly interactions and speedy replies and delivery.
My new Tonya shoes by Lulu Hun were the perfect choice to complete this outfit with its red, white and blue stripes!
The wedge heel is so comfortable to wear and the style is just incredible. I love Lulu Hun for shoes. I bought my usual size but could have sized down. I have narrow feet though, so for those that have a wider foot, don’t size down. The ankle strap is in the contrasting pale shade and has a normal buckle, not the hoop over type. They’re so bright and fun, I adore these shoes and I’m seriously considering buying more colours.
What will you be wearing? I can’t wait to see all the photos of everyone’s events. We may not be together, but we’re united with respect for the fallen and all efforts made which afford us our normal freedoms. Take care, be safe and have fun! xx
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.