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.
Happy Friyay lovelies!
Hope you’ve all enjoyed a little splurge on the sales. Isn’t the January sale always AMAZING?! I confess, I do tend to buy throughout the seasons as and when things appear so by sale time, I’m thinking I’m pretty much done and don’t need anything. However, then I flick through the sale pages and realise I NEED IT ALL!
I’ve been pretty tame this year and just bought a few things. Some went back as the sizing wasn’t right for me (which is my own fault as I knew a different size wouldn’t fit me but one can dream) and these are the items I kept (there are a couple of others but they were duplicates of things I already have).
Firstly, the peter pan collar obsession continues with this beautiful Clemence Pencil Dress. This was one of my must haves when I saw it a trade show and I’d been patiently waiting for it to launch, which it did, shortly before Christmas. Having been a bit extravagant at Christmas, I waited for the sale and bought it at 50% off and my goodness am I so glad I managed to snag it! and for that price too!
The gorgeous meadow print is used on a couple of other seasonal styles. It has a large green, white and black check and the sweetest details, including covered black, velvet, buttons which run down the front and little black buttons on the sleeves. Yes, that’s right gals, I said SLEEVES! How fantastic is it to have a dress with sleeves during the winter months. I always feel the cold so I am over the moon as sometimes three quarter sleeves aren’t enough for me little chilly wrists.
There is also an optional ready made, adjustable, bow which can be worn or excluded. I really liked both options and will also be using the bow on my other dresses and blouses. Such a great feature!
Fit-wise, I found it a little roomy for me. It seems larger than some of my others, but you know, that’s just room for puddings. I also found it longer than other pencils I’ve had. They normally cut mid calf but this one sits on my lower calf. I may end up having it altered slightly to be a tiny bit shorter, but I was happy with the overall fit and look. I’m also removing the buttons on the skirt part as I prefer them just on the top half. Hopefully I won’t make any holes! I paired it with my black Lulu Hun Susan Heels and some Christmas decorations which were still up at the time I took the photos haha
Next is one I’d forgotten about until I happened to remember that some Modcloth items are included at sale time. The polka dot print on this Caterina is the same as those on the Jemima and Dolores dresses we’d had previously, but in a glorious navy instead.
The 50’s shirtwaister style is such a classic for a vintage lovin’ gal. I have a number of dresses in this style but this is definitely my new favourite. The polka dots against the navy are really lovely.
I tend to size down with Caterinas and I did with this Modcloth collaboration too and it fits perfectly. There’s a matching belt in the same fabric and pockets in the side seams. I also much prefer the buttons on this one which are metal with a little pattern around the edge. Caterina’s are so easy to wear wherever you’re going (or not going – just add a pinny over it at home for 50’s housewife chic!).
Lastly, this is a sale item I didn’t expect to be keeping as I thought it wouldn’t work for me, but I think it does! woohoo! The Dolores Palm Jumpsuit was from the last Summer collection and I didn’t take much notice of it as I don’t suit Dolores styles, and with the petite aspect, jumpsuits often don’t work with my shorter frame. But I threw caution to the wind (as you often do during sale time) and figured, what’s the worst that could happen? I end up with a saggy crotch? Ok, that sounds pretty bad, but luckily it didn’t turn out that way!
The top of the jumpsuit is a normal Dolores style with slim fit trousers. Genius! Firstly, this print has been amazing and I’ve picked up a few styles with this palm tree design. I’ve always loved the look of a Dolores on others, but for some reason, I can’t get my body to make it work. So the jumpsuit option made my little Dolores-wannabe heart sing! There’s a centre back zip and a pocket on your butt. It’s a comfortable fit with stretch in the fabric. She’s going to get worn a lot this Summer as you put it on and instantly launch SASS mode. I popped a wide red belt on to cinch in the waist and some white heels to fully embrace the sassiness.
Unfortunately the jumpsuit is no longer available, but fingers crossed for a return this year in a different print (or check the Collectif buy/sell group for this version). The Clemence dress is in the sale, along with the full swing version too. I recommend snapping these up! The Modcloth Caterina isn’t in the sale section so I was lucky to get that with the 50% off code, but it will no doubt enter the sale at some point so keep your eyes peeled.
Having all shopped til we drop, I’ve been patiently awaiting the launch of the Spring/Summer 2020 collection and was delighted to see the new additions to the site this week (although strangely they’re not in the New In section, you have to look for them by category). I’ve bought a few items which I’ll share next time with you (I know it’s still winter, but I’m already wishing it was Spring). Some of them will crossover with a cardi and tights added for winter so I can get double the wear! In the meantime, enjoy your sale items and look out for further reductions x
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and 4’11” usually wearing 4 inch heels in the photos above.
Bangles: Bow & Crossbones
Necklace: Charity shop find
Shoes: Lulu Hun and Everything5pounds
Silly Doggo spying in one of the pics: Model’s own
So last Saturday I headed back over to the big smoke for the second Collectif Outlet Sale. I wasn’t able to attend the first sadly but I got to this one just before it opened at 11am and joined a rather large queue which had already brought everyone out and it quickly trickled in.
We were greeted by the Managing Director who welcomed us all into the pop up shop area of the Head Office. Behold, a thing of beauty! Rails and rails of pretties lined up in order of size, with shoes and accessories around the sides. There was so much to see it was super exciting!
The sale included sample sale stock – some old and some new (there were a few samples from summer 19 stock which hasn’t arrived yet) and old stock from recent and older seasons.
I headed to the 6’s and managed to snag some really gorgeous dresses which I’d previously missed out on, then had a good mooch around the rest of the sale, bumping into a bevvy of beauties who were all as equally excited as I was to be given such an awesome opportunity to bag such bargains.
I queued twice – the first time was pretty fast and I was done within ten minutes but while I’d been enjoying all there was to see in the outlet, the queue outside was unrelenting and never seemed to go down. People were let in but simultaneously an unprecedented amount of people would turn up and join the back of the queue again! It was so busy and the queues at the checkouts started to get bigger, tailing around the aisles. The staff were working so hard to get everyone in and checked through but the sheer volume of people meant there were queues for an hour and a half – although nobody seemed that upset about it in the store – we used the time chatting away with like minded vintage lovers and continuing to check the rails as we made our way around (you know, just in case we missed a hidden gem!). The rails were regularly restocked and the staff were just amazing – the Managing Director was even packing and bagging! All hands on deck and they did the most wonderful job. I’ve since learned that Sunday was much quieter, so perhaps we should spread out next time as there’s enough stock for everyone (Sunday was restocked too).
So, what did I get?! here’s a snapshot of my bargains and a full run down….
I had loved the retro tulip print on this Aida Zak Nora Abstract dress from 2017 but missed out on it at the time so I was delighted to get it for just £10! (original price was £64.00). It has a matching belt and big, white, patch pockets. I absolutely adore it! I really hope more retro prints like this appear in future seasons. In the photo below, I’m also wearing a sample necklace I picked up for £2.
I then spotted this beautiful Sandra Boat dress from Aida Zak (from spring/summer 2017) which has the most fantastic nautical print. It has the prettiest pin tucked shoulder detail and buttons on the back. And of course, everyone’s favourite – pockets! The belt is really good on this too as it’s pu backed with riveted holes, has a cute white plastic buckle and is made in the same fabric as the dress. Dreamy! It was reduced from £49.95 to £15.
Next up I found an Olive dress! This is a much coveted dress by many and I was never a fan (not based on anything other than I’d assumed it just wouldn’t suit me, although I loved it on other people). There was a forest green one hanging amidst the size 6’s for £7 (reduced from £62.00 and part of the 2015 collection). Hmmm, well at that price, it would have been ridiculous not to try it! It turns out, I now need them in all the colours as it’s become a new Autumn/Winter favourite! I really hope they make more of these in all sorts of colours. It’s so comfy and cosy to wear.
The pic above looks smooth for some reason, but it’s actually a ribbed knit fabric as seen here:
I hadn’t really looked at the Primrose dress before but this satin pencil from 2017 features a sweet little bow at the waist and drew my eye. It has a deep v at the back and is boned for support. I really love it and it’s the most perfect evening wear. I can’t wait to take it out! The original price was £44.00 and I got it for £5, what a steal!
I had previously seen this beautiful flocked palm print on another of the Bright & Beautiful range but hadn’t paid any attention to the Sandy Devore dress, which was a mistake! From last year’s collection, it has a classic fitted shape at the top and a swing skirt. It was £50.50 down to £7 and I look forward to wearing it for dinner dates, the mesh overlay is just divine.
Moving on from the dresses, I also picked up this fluffy and fabulous Fatima jumper which had been on the site recently (originally a 2017 design). With long sleeves and a cropped length, it has a cute ric-rac collar and keyhole feature and is really soft. I’ll be wearing this a lot as the weather has just switched back to being cold! I’ve paired it here with the Kayleigh skirt I already had (bought in last year’s sale from Camden). It was £44.00 but I checked out at £10.00.
I never used to wear shorts (bit worried about being too old for them), then I bought my first pair of high waisted Ayanas and I was sold! I have a few pairs now and this Tropical Flamingo pair from the Collectif x Modcloth collaboration were from last year’s stock. They were down from £34.50 to £5! Perfect for balmy, sunny, days and I love their deep pockets. I wore it here with my Lucy Gingham cardigan from last summer.
I also picked up this orange Elvira parasol which was reduced to £5 from £15 and it will protect my pillar box red hair from the sun in the most fabulous way.
Although there were some changing rooms at the sale, I just winged it and luckily managed to come away with a clean sweep of everything fitting as I’m a pretty standard Collectif size (except for being petite, obviously!) so I can usually buy off the peg and it will fit.
I had the best day and it was really nice to see the Head Office too – what a lovely location for a fantastic team to work in. I look forward to many more outlet sales ahead – the prices are so low and there’s a great variety for everyone, making it possible to pick up old pieces you’d missed and new pieces which aren’t even out yet. It’s definitely a day to pop in your calendar. Just allow yourself lots of time as this event is now extremely popular, take a drink to stay hydrated (we were so lucky with the weather, what a blissfully sunny February day!) and have a blast! See you at the next one xx
Ps for anyone reading this looking for information about the Collectif Outlet Sale location, get the DLR to Custom House, walk the full length of the concourse towards the Excel, down the stairs and turn right. The Collectif warehouse is in front of you with the sign featured on the main image and you walk down the stairs to enter. There is disabled and pram access via another entrance if you let Collectif know.