I thought it was time for a little pencil dress feature, and oh my, is this one a beauty! In a gorgeously soft, mustard, fabric and three quarter length sleeves, the Christine is a perfect winter addition to everyone’s wardrobe.
To the front, there’s a wonderfully sweet peter pan collar with a fixed, black velvet, bow detail. The velvet is continued with four feature buttons across the chest and at the waist on the adjustable belt (which has eyelets – woohoo!).
This classy piece has a centre back zip and a split to the rear (so you can wiggle but still walk). It falls at a perfect vintage mid calf length on me with my heels. There is a little stretch in the material but I find it true to size. If you’re busty or wider on the waist or hips than the Collectif chart, you should size up.
I really like this dress which you could easily wear for work or play depending on accessories. I’ve kept mine simple and paired it with some black Lulu Hun heels. There’s also a swing version of this dress available if you’re not really a pencil kinda gal, which can be found here. Both versions are currently available in all sizes and I do hope more colour ways come out in future collections as it feels lovely to wear – fingers crossed!
Height: 4’11” wearing 4 inch heels
Stats: 33:24:33 and a standard Collectif size 6 (which I’m wearing here)
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
Happy Halloween lovelies! For today’s post, I thought I’d wear the fabulous Amber-Lea Pumpkin Stripe Dress which I’ve had for a while now but it seemed fitting to share with my spooky friends.
This new style is similar to the Amber pencil dress, with a gathered skirt instead. I have an Amber pencil already so I knew I was going to love this shape – and with the cool pumpkin stripes, it was a definite winner!
The swing skirt has plenty of room for a petticoat (I wore mine with a fluffy black petti underneath) and has huge pockets for stuffing hands or essentials into.
There are half sleeves for colder days and a wide scoop neck (great for larger busted ladies).I found it true to size with a bit of stretch in the fabric (thanks to the spandex) so there’s plenty of room for puddings (marvellous).
This style pretty much sold out immediately on the main site, but there is still plenty of stock available from stockists in all sizes currently (except 6).
I paired my pumpkin dress with a Kimberley Cardigan and picked out the green to compliment it. These are really lovely (I already have other colours) and so soft. The sleeves are very long for petites so tall gals will love them. The cropped length is perfect over swing dresses and gathered skirts and the matching green buttons are very sweet and super easy to do up.
Continuing with the green accessories, I had my Carrie bag which was the perfect match. I love this darling little bag. It’s very reminiscent of vintage purse style handbags with a modern twist. One little clip in the centre opens the entire bag and there’s enough room for all my bits and pieces (lipstick and liner, obviously). I’m grateful for a really easy way to get in and out of this bag as I’m usually forever fumbling with fastenings. It comes with a gold chain if you want to make it into a shoulder bag, but I really like it hand held instead.
I’m also wearing the sweetest addition to the accessories collection this year, which is the Evie Ascot Scarf in black. This is based on an original vintage design and one side cleverly tucks into the other to hold it in place so there’s no knotting, keeping clean lines and the focus on the chic pointed scarf ends. I also bought it in the mustard to brighten up my black outfits. This is such an inexpensive way to make an immediate vintage impact on what you’re wearing.
Hope you like the outfit and enjoy Halloween – don’t get too scared!(unless you like that, obviously).
If you’re looking for a super way to spend a day this weekend, remember the Collectif Outlet Sale is on (details on their events page). I’ve written about what to expect at these events previously and all the bargains I’ve snapped up so it’s definitely worth a visit – enjoy! x
Necklace and earrings: Natalie Bead Set by Collectif in orange
Bangles: Splendette and Bow & Crossbones
Belt: Billie by Collectif in green
Shoes: Lulu Hun Susan heels in green
Petticoat: Hell Bunny
If you missed the previous Spring Summer 2020 previews, you can click for Collectif and Menswear and see what delights next year holds! Today is all about my favourite picks from Lulu Hun and Bright & Beautiful though, and first up, we’ll take a look at Bright & Beautiful.
To be honest, I don’t buy a great deal from this range as the era isn’t something I wear much of (it has a very 70’s vibe), but occasionally there are some beauts which I just can’t be without!
For instance, the Astrid. I’ve spoken about this style of dress previously here. It’s boat neck and flared skirt design easily lends itself to the 50’s and it’s the main dress from the range which I really look forward to seeing from B&B every season. Next year, we have this gorgeous Deckchair version coming!
It’s a showstopper for sure. I love the rainbow stripes and the addition of the red ric rac trim (it’s often lace that features on the edge instead). If you’re not an Astrid fan, then this print appears in a few other styles too so there’s something to suit everyone.
If you are an Astrid fan, then you may be delighted to hear that it’s also coming in a new pencil style!
This looks like it will be a Summer staple for most with it’s classic gingham check and perfect crossover for work wear, lunch date or a mooch around the shops with friends. I really like how the main best sellers are all getting an upgrade next year to incorporate new versions of a very popular design.
The gingham continues with this gorgeous red checked dress called Iris. It has a shirred top and flared skirt – again, perfectly passable for a fifties style. Just add the picnic.
The knitwear was a massive hit with me. There are so many cute, short sleeved, jumper styles coming, including this yellow check Sydney.
and the Bella Harlequin jumper in blue
Both of these have the sweetest details at the back with a row of false buttons. You could probably wear it either way around too.
Next up is Lulu Hun. This range just keeps getting better and better – I just love all the novelty items and the accessories which match perfectly with the designs of the dresses.
The sandals are always a big hit and they have some fabulous styles coming, including these orange, strawberry. monstera leaf Lottie sandals and the Phoebe starfish version.
True vintage fans will also like this 40’s inspired, mock croc, matching bag and shoes.
I also really like this wedged sandal which has a removable flower!
You can just see underneath where it has a brooch and hair clip attachment. So you could pop it in your hair if you don’t want it on your shoes. Clever!
The bags were so fun and fabulous as always. I particularly liked these bright gingham saddle bag styles with co-ordinating fruits and flowers. There’s also a little padlock feature to the front and lots of room for all your essentials.
And lastly, a pastel pink perfection bag with something I happen to say rather a lot.
This heart shaped bag sums up the collection rather well I think! Will you be broke next year because there’s so much stuff you want?…..HELL YEAH! (sorry, not sorry) x
I’ve been meaning to mention the Anna Capris for a while now as I already had the black pair from last year, see below (back when I used to crop my head out of all my photos ha):
The navy version launched this season and they are just as sweet as the black. Made from a stretch cotton, they’re quite roomy in the leg compared to my black pair, and the high waistband is fixed (side zip) with little stretch – so if you’re in between sizes on the waist measurement, you may want to size up. They have the cutest ties at the bottom of the cropped legs; I absolutely love the little details Collectif adds in like this.
The black and the navy are both worth investing in as they’re staples for a pinup look and work well with flats or heels to go from day to night. You could also wear a nice blouse and cropped jacket with them for workwear. The navy costs £35.50 and the black is currently on sale in sizes for £28.40. Both are available in all sizes at the time of writing (6-22).
I paired my navy capris with the Lottie Gingham Top, which is a picnic-perfect darling of a top in a large red and white print. There’s a sweetheart neckline with wide straps, (both trimmed with a pretty daisy lace edge), an elasticated panel at the back making it super stretchy to accommodate all bust sizes, and an invisible side zip.
The princess cut seams are one of my favourites and really elevates this lovely little top. She’s a shorter style, finishing above the hips, so this is an ideal pick for petites (or those that like a shorter top without all the need for tucking in).
Available in sizes 6-22 at £25.50, this is a great price for such a classic rockabilly styled piece. Pop a cropped denim jacket over and a bandana or a very cute hair flower in your hair, and away you go!
Hair Flowers: Beautiful blooms from Miss Bella’s Blooms
Jewellery: Natalie Bead set from Collectif in Red
Bangles: Vintage and Collectif Carrie in Red in main pic, Splendette and Bow and Crossbones in black capri pic
Shoes: Joe Browns in black capri pic; Everything5pounds in main photo
I don’t shop on the High Street much, but I was browsing (monstera covered) homewares when I happened upon the petite collection at Matalan (which had launched five years ago apparently!). The range is limited, as with most petite collections, but there’s enough to provide a petite gal with a good few options for Summer.
Available in sizes 6-18, I tried on a few things in a 6 and the proportions were on the large side for me personally. However, there were a couple of pieces which were great.
I loved this green Paisley Shirt Dress which had a strong 70’s vibe. There are buttons all the way down the centre, on the cuffs of the cropped sleeves and a pull through belt. It’s a cool midi length, but it would be too long for me without heels. They aim for 5’3″ and under, so it would probably be great for the top end of that height range if you only wear flats. Add some tortoiseshell earrings and a scarf in your hair for boho chic, a comfortable heel for a great office look or flat sandals and a wicker bag for a shopping day. Or you know, if you’re trying it on in a changing room, the barefoot look works too….
The best buy I found were the April Embroidered Ankle Grazer Jeans which have the most amazing embroidery panel and pom pom trim! (you know I’m all about the pom poms). They’re a skinny fit style with pockets and were actually a really good length (22 inch inside leg – slightly cropped, above the ankle) and fit (no bagging around the waist, the waist was actually in the right place, no extra length in the crotch area which usually happens with standard sizing on petite gals).
At £18 they’re an utter bargain too. Limited sizes are left online but they had plenty in my store so it may be worth calling ahead to see if yours has them.
I paired my new jeans with the Collectif Ronda top which continued the pom pom theme and added more colour to what would make a perfect summer bbq outfit. It was such an easy to wear outfit and will be perfect for mooching around in the sunshine too.
I’ll keep my eye on Matalan from now on – I like to support companies which are trying to provide us with a targeted range; that way it’ll encourage others to do so (the same with collections aimed at tall people, too). We need more like this to jump on board and think about torso sizes, waistbands, leg length etc. We are small in stature and in number, but we’re still a target market prime for the taking. Fingers crossed for more petite lines in the future!
For reference, I’m 33:24:33 and a standard size 6 in most shops. I’m 4’11” and wearing 4 inch heels in the main photos.
Belt: Lisa belt in blue from Collectif (I had to add a couple of holes to make it fit)
Shoes: Lorena by Lulu Hun
Hairflowers: Lucina by Miss Bella’s Blooms
Bangles: Mix of Splendette, Bow & Crossbones and Vivien of Holloway
As Summer seems to have up and left us for the meantime, light jumpers and capris are perfect for this in between weather.
I have quite a few Chrissie tops and although I just love the big tropical palm leaves on the shoulders, I was worried that the colour of this one wouldn’t suit my olive skin so I had held back from it. But of course, I am weak and can only hold out so long! I’m so glad I went for it as the colour is really lovely and I don’t mind it against my skin tone at all – I think it would actually work well with most skin tones.
The Chrissie styles are a real staple and this one has the applique leaf details on the shoulders which really set it apart and make it a little bit extra special. I find them true to size. If you’re bustier or in between sizes, you may want to size up. They’re also quite slim on the arms if that’s something you need to consider and hit elbow length – which I prefer as they then fit great under Collectif cardis. I like to layer mine up under a cardigan (the Jessie Tropical leaf cardigan would be a perfect match) for a twin set inspired look (I really hope they’ll make Collectif twin sets one day). The top is £37.50 and available in sizes 8-22 on the website.
I paired my Chrissie top with the Alex Pom Pom Capris in red, which I’ve had for a few months now but haven’t had the chance to wear them. They’re such a fun, new, addition to the collection with their feature pockets to the front that have a patterned strip and hanging, multi coloured, pom poms from them. They are the capris of dreams!
They’re made from a red cotton sateen and fasten with a side zip. It makes it a little bulky on the hip and I would have preferred a centre back zip but that’s just my preference. They’re high waisted and have slits in the bottom of the legs which is always such a cute detail and practical too for bending/running around in.
I found them true to size with some stretch. If you’re in between sizes on the waist measurement, you may want to size up as there’s less stretch there. They’re also available in black too in all sizes currently at £42.50.
My trusty Lorena Heels in red were the perfect shoes to finish off my look, with their colourful ric-rac styling (see review here). They’re so comfortable to run around in during the day as well as to brighten up evening outfits.
I hope you’re managing to stay out of the rain and will join me in doing a lil’ sun dance to encourage Summer to return! Until then, I look forward to seeing your transitional outfits to see us through this, ‘hmm it’s June but it feels like April’, weather x
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing. I’m 4’11” wearing 4 inch heels.
Bangles: Mix of Splendette, Bow & Crossbones, Collectif and Vintage
Hair Flowers: Miss Bella’s Blooms
Necklace: Natalie set from Collectif
Sunglasses: previous season from Collectif
I had such an awesome day/night spent with the Collectif crew at their Summer Party on Sunday. I actually missed my train and arrived much later than planned, but there was still time for shopping in the Camden store – where all ticket holders were given a whopping 50% off everything! wowee! So I picked up the red pair of Susan heels (previously reviewed the black pair here which I actually wore that evening) for an absolute steal!
The shop was bustling with lots of ladies bagging amazing bargains, and the staff were just fantastic as always – literally nothing is too much for these girls! Even though it must have been pretty overwhelming at times with the sheer volume of dolls that turned up, (and very hot upstairs), their welcoming smiles and willingness to help and advise is always impeccable. I love the Camden shop so much.
While the ladies that booked to have hair and make up done were getting primped and primed at the venue by the fabulous Le Keux team, I grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading back just in time to see the start of the queue forming for the evening event and within 5 minutes we were in Gabeto, the venue for all the night’s fun and frolics.
I just loved seeing wall to wall Collectif and everyone looked so beautiful in their finery. Some had brought their other halves along and they were resplendent in their waistcoats and tiki tastic shirts too. As with all Collectif events, there’s such a lovely buzz and feel to the place – everyone is so happy to be there and to be involved; it gives off such a great party vibe.
We were treated to live vocals from vintage lovin’, big band sound, babes, The Sweet-Spots, The Tootsie Rollers and The Satin Dollz. All of whom were dressed in Collectif and looked (and sounded) utterly fabulous. Swingdance UK were also on the dancefloor and swinging like a dream! I could watch them all night.
Musical delights also came in the form of The Cash Cows, whose quirky style got everyone dancing, with numbers you recognise but reworked in a totally unique way.
The very glamorous and utterly divine House of Burlesque gals served up sophisticated chic on the catwalk later in the evening, cutting their way through the crowds to share the new stock styles. Their cheeky sassiness was infectious and everyone loved the show! It was ingenius to use them as models as it really brought the clothes to life; these girls know how to turn it up on the catwalk!
The star of the catwalk show was, inevitably, the new Nova pastel rainbow dress which everyone is waiting for (it’s coming soon, woohoo!). It looks absolutely gorgeous in real life!
We also saw a little sneak peek of the upcoming Menswear collection (previously blogged about here). Again, it makes such a difference seeing them on the guys. They did a fab job and obviously when I’m asked to feel the quality for myself while they’re strutting down the runway, I oblige!
Entertainment by Lolo Brow was also a highlight – she’s always so good! If you get the chance to see her, go!
It was a really great night, catching up with Collectif loving fans near and far and of course, Team Collectif, too.
There will be another party soon enough, so if you’re able to, come along and see what you’ve been missing! They’re so much fun and you can dance the night away with like minded lovelies as well as being entertained by awesome acts!
For fear of turning into a pumpkin at midnight (and missing the last train home), I left at 11pm and got home around 1:15am; a little dishevelled, tired but so very happy! See you at the next one guys and dolls! x
Dress: Collectif Watermelon Love Mahina Sarong Dress
Starburst Brooch: Antique
Cardigan: Collectif Jessie Tropical Palm Leaf
Belt: from the Collectif Zoe dress
Jacket: Collectif Monroe in black
Hairflowers: Ebay, High Street and 2 x Elsie pink and green hydrangeas from Miss Bella’s Blooms
Bangles: Splendette and Bow & Crossbones
Earrings: Splendette black hoops
Shoes: Lulu Hun Susan Heels in black
I must start by saying I already own one of Miss Bella’s Blooms and wear it quite often (it’s the large yellow hydrangea you will see in my pics a lot). So I already knew these hair flowers are amazing quality and beautifully made with so much work gone into them.
I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful package of pretties in the post and to my utter delight, I have now radically upp’ed my hair flower game!
I received 4 stunning, custom made, pieces in different shapes and styles which suit me perfectly and go with so many of my outfits, I can’t wait to wear them all just as often as my yellow piece.
First off is this pretty yellow and green Ranunculus & Alstromeria hair flower which I wore on my last outfit post (here).
It’s bright and cheery but subtle at the same time and with a mix of colours, I can wear it with so many different outfits. There’s also a splash or orange/red too which ties in well with my hair, especially as I love to accessorise with red, but all red would have been too much. It measures 7″x 5″ and is perfect to add some vintage glam to every outfit.
On to the next piece which is a dazzling blue Hydrangea and Tweedia hair flower. This is just amazing and I think it’s my favourite piece of all (also because I’m just such a sucker for hydrangeas, my heart swoons when I see them).
The blue is so vivid and the clip measures 10″x 4″ making it lovely and long to wrap around the head.
Luckily, Miss Bella’s Bloom’s thinks of everything and some branded pins were included for me to place the top end of the hair piece down where I wanted it.
I adore orchids (they were my wedding flowers) and so the last two made me leap with glee! This Green Orchid Hair Flower clip is 5,5″x 2.5″ and features clusters of pale yellow and white hydrangeas (dreamy combination for me!) and white cherry blossoms too.
It’s a really delicate piece and perfect on its own or with extra flowers added too.
The final piece was this gorgeously bright and fun Lucina Tropical Orange Orchid clip which is just utterly fabulous with all it’s tiki vibes!
It measures 4.5″ x 4.5″ and as well as the orange orchid, there are also orange and yellow Alstromeria on green leaves which add interest all the way around – so from whatever angle you’re seen, you’ll be blooming gorgeous!
They are priced so reasonably for the amount of workmanship that has gone into making these. The orange one above is only £7.50 and the green orchid cluster is just £10.90. You could also contact the very lovely owner, Claire, and commission something if you have a preference for particular flowers.
The work that goes into these is fantastic and not only do you get beautiful hair flowers, but they also double up as corsages! So you can wear the most beautiful floral brooch on your vintage styled outfits. Look at the handiwork on these with options for hair or corsage on each piece:
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my new collection and no doubt you’ll see plenty more as I just love a hair flower to finish off a vintage look!
Disclaimer: These were gifted to me by Miss Bella’s Blooms and I have chosen to write an honest review (I wasn’t asked) in support of such a fabulous, independent, business (please buy more from small businesses if you can). I will continue to buy from this company as I had previously (in fact, I made an order today!).
A gorgeous new addition to this season’s collection is the Kimberly Embroidered Cactus dress. She’s the perfect summer dress in white with sweet, embroidered, cacti dotted around and wooden buttons for decoration down the front. The dress actually has a side seam zip to get in and out and there’s a shirred, elasticated, back (as with the fairy dresses) so there’s room for stretch at the bust.
Made from a lovely 100% white cotton, she’s super light and perfect for sunny afternoons. I may pop a slip underneath mine as I’m always a little conscious about standing in front of light sources wearing white. Those that wear a petticoat won’t have this issue and there’s plenty of room for a petti underneath as she has a gathered skirt. The bodice is lined so fully covered in that respect and features princess seams for a lovely fit. I found her absolutely true to size on the bust and at the waist a little roomier so cinched mine in with a brown belt (to match the buttons) for more definition of my waist, which is just personal preference – though I would be very happy to wear it without the belt too for a more relaxed look (like at a family picnic/bbq etc).
The length is good, great for taller girls as well as petites as she’s more of a midi length – hitting just below mid calf for me (which is where I prefer mine to sit for a vintage look). I did wonder if she may look a bit too long on me without heels and need altering, but having tried her with flats, she still works either way for me I think, bonus!
I love a sweetheart neckline and the wider straps hide bras meaning you don’t have to go strapless with this one. There also large patch pockets to the front, making it super practical – we love a good pocket, don’t we gals!
As well as the white, this style is also available in new polka fruit fabric too if you prefer a darker novelty print which is such a fun mix of tropical fruit fabulousness!
I really hope this style returns in future seasons as it’s such a lovely, floaty, number and perfect for Summer or to take on holidays when you want something cute and easy to wear without melting. It’s available in sizes 6-22 and costs £55.00.
Disclaimer: Gifted ad – this piece was gifted to me and I’ve written an honest review – all thoughts are my own and I would happily purchase this myself. Please contact me via my Instagram for collab work or ads.
Stats for reference: I take a standard size 6 in Collectif clothing (33:24:33) and I’m 4’11”, wearing 4 inch heels in the photos.
It was a super windy day so apologies for the windswept look!
Bamboo bag: Primark
Shoes: Lorena by Lulu Hun
Hair Flowers: Miss Bella’s Blooms
Bangles: Splendette mostly (vintage otherwise)
Necklace: Natalie from Collectif
Earrings and Sunglasses: previous seasons from Collectif