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 crop top may be small but its impact is mighty! In a gorgeous bright red, cotton, the Adriana top has halterneck straps which tie at the neck.
I love the sweetheart line and pleating details at the bust. I added the Cocktail O’clock brooch at the centre which I think adds a nice touch too – already feeling ready for Summer, despite only just dipping a toe in April!
There’s an elasticated back which makes for a comfortable fit as the shirring is super stretchy. If I could have, I would have sized down as it runs a little large on me (though anyone busty will have plenty of room so you should order your normal size). I’ll sew it in when I get to it, but I think I can get away with it as it is if I decide to be lazy.
There are matching shorts available (here), but I wore mine with high waisted trousers and jeans while it’s still a bit cooler. As a woman in my 40’s, it’s very rare for me to put my midriff on display, (especially in public, that’s usually saved just for the garden!), so I’ll probably end up wearing a loose white shirt over it, tied at the waist. Either way, it’s going to be the perfect top to wear as we heat up and will go with so many things. I had planned on maybe wearing it around the pool with some wedges – but maybe next year!
The Adriana top is £27.50 and currently available in sizes 12-22 on the Collectif website.
Checked trousers: Collectif Clothing Bonnie Gingham trousers (sassy pants from a couple of seasons ago)
Blue jeans: Collectif Clothing Kirsty jeans (also previous season, super high waisted stretch denim)
Bangles: Bow & Crossbones (black set and blue),vintage (red)
Earrings: Collectif Clothing Tiki Earrings (red), Bow & Crossbones Double Dot Hoops (blue/yellow and red).
Hair flower and necklace: so old I can’t remember, sorry! but likely the high street many years ago.
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing size 6 in everything above.
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.
So yeah, the world is crazy right now. I know a lot of us feel anxious about uncertain times ahead, watching wide eyed at the selfishness of others in a crisis. However with the bad comes the balance of good and it’s been amazing to watch communties pull together to help those in need, companies altering the way they do business in order to offer free products like hand sanitsers from breweries, which are essential to those that need them the most. And of course, the heros on the front line at the NHS, care workers and supermarket staff all getting out there every day to ensure we’re safe, fed, and cared for.
Amidst all of this, so many of us are now finding ourselves working from home or self isolating. It’s easy to sit on our phones every day, reading post after post about Covid-19, increasing our own anxiety and sense of panic in doing so. We want to be checking in on what’s happening and keeping up to date, but it shouldn’t take over our entire lives and become the only thing we focus on. Let’s use this time for something positive, something frivolous, something we wouldn’t normally do!
Here are a few ways to keep yourselves entertained, (many of which I’m doing too) to help turn those frowns upside down 🙂
1. Keep dressing up! I know maybe you’re not seeing anyone, but who cares! Always dress for you. The art of dressing in itself; picking out something to wear which makes your heart sing, and prancing around the house in it will make you feel uber glamorous and lift your mood. I love going through my rails to find something ridiculous to wear to do the washing up in on a normal day, so this is an easy one for me. Banish the sweat pants at least once a week, especially if you’re working from home.
2. Try out some hair and make up tutorials. Maybe you want to up your vintage hair game, or learn how to do something thoroughly modern but have never gotten around to it, or the hang of it. Now’s the time to call to action and seek all the answers on Youtube! Practice, practice, practice. We’ll have plenty of time to perfect our coiffs and and slick cat eyeliner wings. I have always loved Cherry Dollface for easy tutorials and she’s uploading new content regularly too, but there are 1000’s to choose from so if that’s not your style, have a search for something else and get to work on your pretty new pout!
3. Retail therapy. This has always been my favourite pastime and shows no sign of stopping. I’m a hoarder and enjoy looking at my stuff, so Marie Kondo doesn’t make my list ha! though sorting through your wardrobes is always handy too and clears the mind….making way for new pretties! Help keep independent brands going by using their websites and buying something small from them, if you can. Receiving cute parcels in the post at the moment is really helping brighten my days. Obviously don’t buy beyond your means and be sensible about it. A little pin badge here, a fakelite bangle there. It doesn’t have to be much to feel cute and add to your existing outfits.
3. Watch something uplifting – maybe your favourite comedian’s tour show or funny movie. Belly laughing right now is so good for the soul. I have a couple of Audrey and Grace Kelly box sets to watch again, so if you prefer the classics, old hollywood glamour is a great way to bring the pazazz back into our lives.
Also released online are a whole host of museum and gallery virtual tours, so whether you were always wondering about the Louvre, a Van Gogh or the Guggenheim, there’s something for everyone. I particularly love the British Museum tour (found here).
3. Read, read, read (not all the heightened panic stuff on the internet), tap in to some of your favourite novels, magazines, blogs etc. Podcasts and audio books are fab too if reading isn’t your thing. I was addicted to Serial years ago and will be dipping back into podcasts again shortly.
4. Cook up a storm! Batch cooking is a positive way to use up what you have and freeze in case you need something delicious later on. You could try out a new recipe, a new style of cooking, a new cake….I’m all about the cakes – I’m actually just about to whip up a couple of banana breads as they’re over ripe and I don’t want them to go to waste. Super easy recipe (bbcgoodfood) which always comes out looking and tasting amazing.
5. Learn something new. I recently reignited my love for Duolingo and I’m currently pelting my way through it. There are so many languages available and it’s such a fun (and free) way to learn.
6. If languages aren’t your thing, maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument, or add to your existing repertoire? We have the time to indulge these fancies now. I’ve dusted down my old clarinet and will be working my way through some rather honky first attempts as I reunite with her (sorry, neighbours!). There are so many tutorials available online. I’m a very visual learner so Youtube is always my first port of call. If you need to learn to read music first, again, there’s a tutorial for that too! If that doesn’t float your boat, browse your way through Spotify setting up new playlists.
7. Art and drawing is always a great way to express yourself. Maybe you haven’t had time to explore this before. Whatever the medium, give it a try! It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece either, if you just want to try adult colouring books, they make a good creative outlet which allows your brain to have a break from the stresses of the day.
8. Get crafty! I’m a big knitter and will be digging out my needles again which I also find very therapeutic. I never usually make for myself so it’ll be a nice change to do that. You may prefer crochet (which is quicker to see the finished project) or something like sewing, needlecraft, felting or paper craft. The options are endless and you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to get started.
9. Brain games. Keep those little cells ticking over with some puzzle games (have a browse through your apps, there are some great Escape Room style games) or go old school and get the Scrabble out. I love a board game and regularly get my nerd on so they’ll be coming out sooner than planned. Or maybe you’re a Sudoku addict. If you can’t source the books any more, there are lots available online for free.
10. Crack on with those jobs that needed doing. I have some wallpaper which has been waiting endlessly to go on the walls, so I’ll be trying to not bodge that up soon. Just moving furniture around for a new look or adding a couple of new cushions will help make your safe place feel fresh and cosy.
11. Keep moving. This could be a little jaunt around outside, (at a safe distance obviously), a run up and down your stairs to keep you active, popping on the tunes and dancing around the house – whatever it is that sends you to that happy place and keeps you active. Get the kids involved too! I love a bit of yoga, so I’ll be brushing off some of the old moves. Video games don’t have to be stagnant either. I really love Beat Saber and Rock Band so I’ll be getting those back out and living my best life as a Guitar Hero!
12. Keep calm with some Headspace. There are some brilliant apps which ensure you take some time out for yourself – even 5 or 10 minutes in the day to focus and centre yourself. It’s natural for the fear of the unknown to unsettle us so being mindful of our feelings but not allowing them to take over is so important. Headspace is a free app (with add ons if you want to use those but you don’t need to) with some guided meditations and reminds you to take some time each day.
12. Most importantly, stay connected. Call, Skype, Facetime, or use any other free video messaging service to see and speak to your friends and families during isolation. Get together with your gals on a Friday night and chat like you normally would or have an online games night.
13. Use social media, in a good way. Join local groups and online communities. Find out if you can help and contribute (time or help) or if you’re vulnerable and need help, make yourself known so that people can help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help should you need it.
Overall, stay safe, but have fun. Don’t drown in the fear; be mindful of keeping joy and a sense of calm in your lives. We may have limitations on our lives but we still have so much to fulfill us! What will you be doing to while away the time? x
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.
I’m a long time fan of the Chrissie jumpers, with their cute puffed shoulders, round neck and cropped length, they’re always perfect for pairing with trousers and skirts or popping under a cardigan for a twin set feel. However, Collectif have really knocked it out of the park with the novelty style Chrissie jumpers which are new this season! I absolutely love a novelty print, so these made my heart smile.
The cactus version has a vivid green pattern on black and is a really stand out print.
I tucked mine into my Frankie swing trousers (oh how I wish Collectif would remake this style!) and added a bangle stack and green and black jewellery to accessorise. The fit is true to size but a little looser than the next I found.
The lobster print is amazing! Who doesn’t love a lobster design? The bright red lobsters on navy make a real statement with its chevron pattern.
I wore it with my Trouble Maker jeans from last year and red and blue accessories.
As mentioned earlier, the lobster fits slightly more snug than the Cactus version on me, both still true to size though.
They’re 100% cotton and easy to wash and wear, they keep really well. I have Chrissie jumpers from years ago that have worn really well.
Necklace and Earrings: Natalie Bead Set and Tiki Earrings both by Collectif Clothing
Bangles: Splendette and Bow & Crossbones
Trousers and Jeans: both Collectif Clothing (old season stock)
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and wearing my normal size. I’m 4’11” and wearing 4 inch heels.
We are nearing the finale of our roundabout tour of London Edge this year and in this penultimate edition, we’ll be taking a glimpse at the upcoming Autumn/Winter collection from Collectif. For anyone that missed my highlights of the Summer launch, you can read about them here and check my latest reviews for SS20 lines which are currently out already.
Firstly, there are the beloved Caterinas, which we all love with their classic shirtwaister style. There will be plenty of glorious new updates to this design, but two gorgeous checks at the show were this one with it’s fabulously autumnal yellow and rusty hues:
And this one, which has a lovely red and black check on a cream background and gives me awesome lumberjack chic vibes:
Both with matching belts that have holes in, yay!
I also really liked this cute Mary Grace Swing dress which is an alternative shirt dress style:
This design first appeared as a dress last year (Meow print) and I’m so pleased to see it’s return with this sweet cherry pattern, neck tie and bold red buttons. It’s definitely on my list.
I don’t often go for suits, but this one really struck me. I just love the bold green check and the cut of the jacket:
Adorned with velvet buttons, you could either wear this with the matching items or as a single piece, which is how I think I’ll style it (with black trousers most likely). It’s so incredibly scrummy, I can’t wait for it to launch!
I thought this was the most perfect Autumnal outfit:
Next season’s Babette jumper will appear in a vivid orange and the border print skirt with orange falling leaves is a match made in heaven.
On to the Dolores, which is a super popular design, and this year will be arriving in a gorgeous purple check:
Seriously, how good is that print? 1 of each, please!
Now my ghouly gals, Collectif have you covered whether it’s just for the Halloween period or living spooky every day!
This Elvira style print with its fun Hocus Pocus design will send you batty, I’m sure!
And the Peta dress returns in sumptuous velvet with the coolest spooky print in glitter.
There was also a range of Beetlejuice inspired designs at the show which were amazing, including this one:
This Eliana Pencil dress will be a sure hit – it’s insanely good. I need one.
Moving on to coats, we saw the return of the leopard lined Sheena and Hazel cape and coat in a deep wine colour this time:
There will also be a couple of new Pearl coats, one of which was in orange:
Ideal for popping over all those seasonally fabulous outfits!
Lastly, the sought-after Trixie for Autumn Winter period will include this dazzling green version:
It has an array of glittery stars, cascading over luscious velvet. Perfect for all your festive events and celebrations.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneaky peek of the exciting things coming to Collectif later in the year. Do you have any favourites so far?
To see what’s ahead for Bright & Beautiful, Lulu Hun and Collectif Menswear, stay tuned for the next (and final) instalment of the AW20 previews x
As we take a little tour of the trade floor, I thought I’d show you some more highlights from the show. There were some great displays from so many brands and fab to see so many independent retailers exhibiting.
The featured photo above shows a stunning display by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury. They always have a wonderfully vintage stand combined with Classic Bags in Bloom, whose bags are hand finished in the UK and look absolutely adorable with their vintage styling.
Hell Bunny always have a great centre spot showcasing their existing and upcoming designs.
There were a few favourites I saw hitting the runway.
I particularly like the tropical Tiki print of the Noa Noa dress above which is full of exotic birds, palm frongs and hibiscus flowers – the perfect summer print!
Hell Bunny also had a range of shoes on display and I’m a sucker for a polka dot peep toe, especially if it has a bow on it. LOVE.
This is the Trixie Gingham dress and features a pastel rainbow gingham with love heart pockets and buttons – adorable!
The Hayley prom dress is a real head turner. I have a similar design which was hand made for me about 8 years ago as it’s such a classic vintage evening style and looks amazing on all shapes and sizes. Mine wasn’t resplendent in rainbow tulle though! I love it when straps sit delicately on the shoulders and the detailed pleating on the bust is fantastic.
The Jinkx Floral Tropical Print dress also stood out for me with it’s gloriously leafy and floral design.
The sweetheart neckline combined with heart buttons and elasticated sides for a perfect fit make this a great choice for holiday season.
There were also some fun novelty bags from Voodoo Vixen – and I do love a novelty bag! I especially like the camera bags:
It was also exciting to see Daisy Dapper at London Edge which are based in Sweden. Their stand was filled with elegantly styled, vintage inspired, pieces and some were adorned with daisies!
Lastly for today, my favourite piece from Banned Retro, was this Summer Sail Dress with it’s sweet open collar and border print full of bright sailing boats:
I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour around London Edge, look out for the next instalment which will include Collectif Autumn/Winter 2020 range. Subscribe below to be notified when the post goes live x
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
Not even Storm Dennis would keep me away from London Edge for their 21st year of this amazing trade show. It always has the best atmosphere, the coolest brands and so much to see my eyes can’t cope with all the awesome in one place! I’m going to write the round up in parts again as there’s just too much to share, and this way I can give each brand the time they deserve.
Upon arrival, I headed to the Press Meet where the back drop (main photo) brought the devil out in us all. I liked that my hair matched the theme, even if I was too short for the horns to actually reach my head ha – did you spot that?! I got to meet some absolutely stunning models and influencers and loved that our styles were all so different but everyone was super friendly and welcoming – as is the nature of the show.
After the press call, I headed over to see Rachel from Oh So Flamingo, whom I want to talk about today. I’d met this lovely lady at the last show and she’d kindly gifted me the most gorgeous Starburst Hoop earrings (see previous article here).
Her stand was filled with lots of beautiful new designs and I instantly fell in love with all the flamingo and jungle themed goodies with their bright, leafy, pieces which scream Tiki-tastic and make me want to wear them all!
Oh So Flamingo specialise in handmade, laser cut, acrylic, jewellery with fun novelty themes. The ranges include earrings, necklaces and brooches to wear together or as separate pieces, and are very reasonably priced (earrings are around £9.00) for all handcrafted pieces.
New additions coming this year also include some furry friends – and I know many of you are crazy (but obviously fabulous) cat ladies so these will be perfect to add to your collections.
Rachel also kindly made me the most amazing bespoke brooch which features my logo and I can’t tell you how good this is!
I love all the detail and it’s the perfect size to wear to events. I was ridiculously excited to receive such a special piece and popped it on straight away to flounce around the rest of the show with it – and of course, everyone loved it!
I can’t wait to snap up some of the new items when they launch, but in the meantime, if you’re looking to add instant joy to your outfits, then look no further than the current rainbow-filled Love In Colour pieces, which are available here.
Look out for the next part of my London Edge previews – you can subscribe to the blog below to be the first to see them x
Photo Credit: Melissa Sacco (featured photo)
The brooch piece featured was gifted, but all views are my own – I just love the brand and wanted to share it with you x