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
This year we’ve been treated to another gorgeous collaboration between Top Vintage and Collectif Clothing (you can view the full Collectif Loves Top Vintage range here). There are some very cute circus prints as well as a very fabulous harlequin (which I am eyeing up but I don’t suit pale colours so I’m hoping it’ll return in a bolder colour, fingers crossed!). Also included in the collection is this sweet little Caterina.
The Caterina is a very popular style (you know I already have quite a few!), but this one is super special because she’s sleeveless! It’s the stuff of dreams – a sleeveless pencil Caterina. No more trying to figure out how to bunch sleeves up under fitted cardigans just smooth, smooth, lines!
I find I’m being drawn more and more to red clothes again. They used to be my staple as a brunette, but since I became a redhead (almost a decade ago), I always avoid red clothes thinking they’ll clash too much. Well I’m truly over that now. Maybe current world events are encouraging me to stop getting hung up on the minutiae as they don’t matter. So, I’m embracing red, clash or no clash. It’s my favourite shade – that bright pop of lipstick red.
The fabric is cotton with a little stretch but it has a linen look and is lovely and light to wear for Summer too. As a classic 50’s shirtwaister dress, it has sweet wooden buttons running down the front (to the hip line) and these feature on the front pockets too. It has a matching belt with holes as well which is a great addition and I found it true to size for me, if a little bit generous on the hips. I’ve found a couple of the pencils are similarly sized this year. I may run it in a fraction but it gives me room for Covid essential pudding eating, so I’m not all that fussed.
I paired it with mint, but it will go well with so many other colour combinations too, I just adore anything on the turquoise scale with red. I’m currently knitting something in these shades and hadn’t realised that when I look around my home and clothes, I tend to put them together A LOT! ha
Stay safe and I hope you can enjoy a little pinup picnic of your own in your garden or even a floor picnic in your lounge while the sun is shining. We may not be able to get together, but we can carry on looking fabulous until we do! Have a great Easter, until next time cuties x
The Collectif Loves Top Vintage Caterina is priced at £55.00 and is available in all sizes from 6-22 on the website.
Cardigan: Collectif Lucy Strawberry Cardigan from a previous season (but Abigail would go so well too).
Sunglasses, Bags and Necklace: All Collectif
Bangles: Some vintage, mostly Bow & Crossbones
Peep Toe Shoes: New Look (many moons ago)
Brooch: Made by me
Everything else – vintage/ retro bits and bobs from my house
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif clothes and I’m wearing 4 inch heels in the photos. The dress sits on my mid calf which is a perfect cut for a vintage look. You can cinch in the waist with the belt for a classic 50’s silhouette.
Hope you’re all doing well in isolation and coping ok. It’s so important to be supporting small businesses during these hard times (if we can), and if you fancy a little lift to brighten your day, then I have a gem of a dress for you to consider!
This is the Collectif Maura dress which is a fabulous rockabilly styled shirt dress. It’s a lovely dark indigo denim with lots of stretch and features retro style square red buttons all the way down the front.
The red accents are continued on the stitching and the wide circular belt. The pencil shape is really easy to wear with lots of stretch and it’s super comfortable too. I did a lot of stretching, bending and all sorts while I was wearing it and it just moved with me, despite being a pencil it’s not restrictive at all.
I found it true to size, and it sits on my mid calf which is a perfect vintage length for me. For the taller among you, it should sit nicely just below your knee. If you’re particularly blessed up top you may wish to size up. There’s a handy popper detail below the first button at the bust area to avoid any gaping issues too.
It’s such a versatile dress – everyone needs a faithful denim dress to carry them through from Spring to Summer and this fits the bill perfectly with its classic 50s styling. I loved wearing it for a little walk in the sunshine and I’ll also be wearing it to pick up my essential groceries in a couple of days. As the days grow warmer, you’d best believe I’ll be wrapping my hair in a bandana to add those rockabilly feels!
You can find this fab little dress fully stocked in all sizes from 8 to 22 at Ilovethe50s.com which is an awesome independent online retailer, run by the very lovely Karen. Selling a range of vintage styles and brands, the Maura dress is amongst many others in the online store’s 20% off sale, so it’s the perfect time to snap it up. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about the little treats right now to get me through the isolation, and this offer will definitely brighten everyone’s day.
There’s also the option to use Clearpay or Klarna if you need to spread the cost and pay in instalments, and not only that, it’s all free delivery within the UK! You can purchase Maura directly here.
Stay safe, stay well, and treat yourself through the tough times xx
Shoes: Lulu Hun Susan
Bangles: Bow and Crossbones, vintage and Splendette. You can find lots of lovely new Splendette stock at Ilovethe50s.com too!
Handbag: Banned Retro previous season
Earrings & Necklace: Collectif Clothing Tiki and Natalie
Stats for reference: I take a standard size 6 in Collectif clothing (33:24:33) and I’m 4’11”, wearing 4 inch heels.
Disclaimer: Gifted ad – this piece was gifted in exchange for an honest review and a discount for my readers. All thoughts are my own and I would happily purchase from this company. Please contact me via my Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org for collab work or ads.
With a range of vintage and modern styles, I was delighted to meet the lovely team at Sheen on my visit to London Edge. I mentioned them on the blog at my last visit (see here) as I really liked the Helena dress which was showcased on the catwalk that day.
With it’s beautiful neckline, long sleeves and full skirt, this was a stand out winter dress for me. More recently, I fell in love with the aptly named Heart dress which is so insanely pretty, it truly captures hearts.
This year, the stand was bursting with colour and unique prints, featuring their Spring/Summer looks.
There is something for everyone, from fun and flirty playsuits to casual day dresses, all the way to evening wear. My favourites from the current line are these playsuits which have the sweetest details:
The charming Summer prints, daisy buttons and lace detailing at the sweetheart neckline make these a perfect choice for lazy Summer days or exploring on your holidays. The Jana went down the runway and looked gorgeous. Just add a wide brimmed straw hat, sunglasses and some wedges and you’re set!
From the new collection, my favourite picks were from the Capsule Collection. These nautical fancies are just spectacular!
I adore a novelty print and these cute little crabs on a blue and white stripe really make a statement. The waistbands with their double covered buttons are a really nice feature too. They’ll be available as cropped trousers or a swing skirt, both with pockets (yay!).
Then I spotted this dress and I couldn’t contain my excitement:
With a little nod to the super hero in all of us, this elegantly styled dress has beautiful detailing to the shoulders and neckline. And with a border of cheery crabs scuttling around the hem (I couldn’t fit it all on one photo sorry!), this fun design is bound to be a big hit.
You may also be able to pick these two out of the stand photos which I really liked:
A casual shirt dress with a fun print is my ideal sunny shopping day attire. For cooler days I’d throw on a cardigan and tights with brown boots. This style of dress is very versatile so the Morgan Shirt Dress appealed to me.
And then there’s Bette, with her fabulously bright toucan print, combining my favourite colours (turquoise and yellow). This halterneck pencil dress ties at the neck and features a sweetheart neckline wth bow tie to the front. It’s the perfect cocktail dress for a tiki bar or summer barbecue party.
There are many more styles coming too, and while the brand is usually only available via stockists, Sheen has exciting things planned. In around a month’s time, a new ecommerce store will be available on the website, meaning we can buy direct! And everything is available in sizes 8 to 22 which provides a good range.
You may also have noticed on the stand that the brand name will be changing – from Sheen to Timeless. There’s a definite shift happening within the company and while most items are available in cotton currently (some polyester), they’re becoming a more environmentally conscious brand. To that end, the textiles they plan to use going forward will be sustainable which is a great step forward for those of us that enjoy fashion but want to think about our footprints on the planet too.
I’m looking forward to exploring the new website when it launches!
Look out for Part 3 of the London Edge previews, or subscribe below to be notified of the next publication x
Happy bank holiday everyone! I think we were spoilt with the last one where we were all basking in the sunshine – this is definitely more like a British bank holiday! Hope you’re not too chilly and able to enjoy it in your pretties none the less.
I was lucky enough to be treated to this absolutely gorgeous dress for my birthday at the end of last month. This beauty just screams Spring is here and brightens up any dull day. I first saw her at a trade show last year and ever since then, I’ve waited patiently for her to drop on to the website.
The Margherita Sun Check Swing Dress is a wonderfully bright yellow shirt dress with 3/4 sleeves and a large gingham print (bright yellow and a pale yellow on white). She has a belt similar to those of the previous Aida Zak collections which I’ve been harping on about recently – they look so fitting for the era (it’s a matching yellow belt with pale yellow plastic slider which stay put without the use of holes).
Of course, this awesome dress has pockets to keep us all happy as well as really cute details on the sleeves (which are turned up) and the collar (which is a little wider than a Caterina, for instance). Both of these features are reminiscent of the 50’s. I also really like the circular, yellow, buttons they’ve chosen too.
Margherita doesn’t have a full circle skirt but it’s not a-line either – she’s somewhere in between and I definitely prefer this flared style. There’s enough fullness without the need for a petticoat which can get very hot in the summer.
It’s also worth noting that this new style is a little shorter – which is perfect for us petites! I was absolutely delighted to find her sitting just below my knee. This literally never happens with dresses! The skirt length is 23 inches, so those on the taller side may not find it suitable, but it’s a dream for any of us that are vertically challenged.
Fit wise, I find this truly spot on and fitted me perfectly. If you have a large bust, I’d size up to accommodate the button closure, or if you have wide arms, again, you may want to size up for the sleeves.
This dress is so perfect and even better than I’d hoped for – when you fall in love with a dress you’ve only seen in a different size, you hope she’s going to be right for your own body shape….and this one felt made for me.
I’ve paired her with red here but she looks great with so many other colours too – like green, turquoise, navy, pink, lilac etc, so whether you want to mute it a little with a complimentary pastel or turn up the brights even more (as I have), you can as it lends itself well to both.
If you fancy a slice of Margherita (see what I did there? cheesy, I know – oh, there’s no stopping her!) she’s on the site now for £75 with free delivery (free delivery only lasts until the end of today – Monday 6th May 11:59 GMT) and is available in all sizes from 6-22. She’s a must for your wardrobe but there are alternatives if she’s not quite right for you – check out this beautiful print in all the other styles here.
For reference, I’m 4’11” wearing 3 1/4 inch heels and I’m 33:24:33
Photo details (what I’m wearing):
Sunglasses: Collectif (previous season)
Bangles: Collectif Carrie and Bow & Crossbones
Necklace and Earring Set: Collectif Natalie in red
Shoes: Lulu Hun Juliette (last season)
Hair Flowers: Miss Bella’s Blooms