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
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
I’ve had this Caterina for a good while now and it’s one of my all time favourites – just look at that cool 50’s print! I love how bright and fun it is and how reminiscent it is of an original 50’s wallpaper design. Anything atomic is always a winner for me, but especially so when it’s pretty authentic and based on actual vintage patterns.
The Caterina is a staple design for Collectif and comes in swing or pencil style. I often lean towards the pencils but I have quite a few swing versions too. You can’t go wrong with a Caterina in your closet. The shirtwaister style is so easy to wear and great to throw tights on and a cardigan over for a classic winter look.
There are small buttons to the front, two patch pockets (both close with a matching small button) and a matching buckled belt with the same patterned fabric (I love it when they do that). The short sleeves are turned up and there’s an open v neck with collar.
I found the fit is true to size. If you’re in between sizes you may need to size up as there isn’t much stretch in the waist. I’m in love with this atomic print and I hope it’s repeated in some other colours and styles. It’s currently available in all sizes at £55 for the pencil and sizes 6-14 in the swing version for £65 but both look to be heading towards the sale so this would be a great one to add to your wish list!
Moving on to the stunning Annasofia Faux Fur Coat with its glorious princess vibes! Made in a dark green with gorgeous brown faux fur details to the collar (which is detachable – handy!) and pockets. I have quite a few Collectif coats including a Pearl which is fabulously trimmed in faux fur. I wanted a coat which was still fancy, but not as full on as the Pearl, and the Annasofia is just perfect to fill that gap in my coat needs. Such a pretty coat but very practical too as I can still move around easily and it’s not as heavy as my Pearl.
There are a couple of buttons to the waist for fastening and a concealed one behind to make sure it stays put.
It also has a beautiful green velvet ribbon at the back to tighten or loosen as you wish for the waistline. Though I need to press the ribbon as it literally came out of the bag and straight on to my back haha
It has a flared skirt to the bottom half while keeping everything above quite fitted. I have my normal size in this coat and it fits great for me with room for layering underneath, though the guidance on the website advises to size up for this and I wouldn’t be able to fit great bulky jumpers underneath but I can certainly fit cardigans layered over a dress. So if your layering is like mine, using thin layers, you’ll be fine. If it’s more bulky, size up to fit them all in.
The length is good on me too despite being petite, hitting my lower calf though it looks longer from the angle of my camera here (which it’s not). I’m really happy with the Annasofia, she’s such an elegant coat with a great design and in a gorgeous colour. Unfortunately she’s mostly sold out now with only the smallest and largest sizes available on the website (current pre sale price is £125) but Cherry Red Vintage also has 16 and 18’s at £112.50 and an 8 and a 12 can also be found over at Atom Retro (£87) so it’s worth scouting around the internet to find one if you need an Annasofia in your life, as I did.
I’m also wearing the Angelina Faux Fur heels by Lulu Hun in the photos with the Annasofia. You can just see them peeking out at the bottom. I tried these on almost a year ago at a trade show and fell instantly in love.
They’re a faux suede, closed toe, platform heel with faux fur trim all the way around. How cute! Perfect for jazzing up any wintry outfit. The heel is slim and almost 4 inches so not for the faint hearted ha but I do love a high heel. The guidance given is to size up as they come up small but I actually found they fit me perfectly in my normal size. I don’t have wide feet though so if you do, follow the website guidance and size up. They’re currently available in all sizes at An already reduced price of £33.95 but will likely enter the sale too so I’d recommend you nab a pair of these fun faux fur beauties!
Looking forward to seeing what everyone chooses for the sale and hope the reviews have helped with your wish lists! xx
I’m 4’11” wearing mostly 4 inch heels in the photos and a standard size 6 in Collectif which the dress and coat are.
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.
I’d like to introduce you to a few new gal pals. Judy and Tess. New this season from the Collectif Clothing Spring/Summer 2020 collection, are these gorgeous vintage inspired beauties. They really are truly reminiscent of the period too with their prints and styling. I just adore them.
So first up we have Tess, which is a pencil style featuring two, large, front pockets, a centre back zip and comes with a matching fabric belt (which I’ve tied at the front in a bow).
I’m in love with the bespoke hatch check print in navy, gold and white. The print is absolutely spot on for the era. I had earmarked this piece as my ‘must have’ this season and I wasn’t disappointed!
The neckline is cut straight across which isn’t my usual style but I really like it on this dress. The hip area is quite wide compared to the bust but it’s pretty true to size apart from that, especially on the waist and bust. The length is good, sitting just below midcalf, giving a true vintage feel. I like it when my dresses still cover my knees when I’m sat down, which would have been a necessity for propriety back in the day.
Next, in the same fabric, is the Judy Hatch Check Dress. She’s a swing style with a fabulously fifties, wide, collar and a great addition to the shirtwaister styles (which I have a particular penchant for).
There’s a gathered skirt with pockets and buttons to the front. I’ve also added the fabric belt from my Tess to the waist as I felt it needed pulling in (it doesn’t come with a belt). The wide sleeves are typically 50s with their overhangs and turn ups.
It’s longer than I usually wear but I quite like the length so I won’t be making any alterations. It sits at my lower calf but should be below the knee for those that are average height. I found it came up rather large, so would advise sizing down if you want a fitted look (or if you’re blessed up top, it will be perfect for you in your normal size). I definitely feel like a 50’s housewife in this style, it’s the perfect day dress.
Finally we have Judy, the Ribbon Check Pencil Dress which is our last member of the vintage girl gang today.
In the same style as the shirtwaister dress, with buttons to the front and open collar, this Judy is a fitted, pencil option, with a lovely nipped in waist and a very mid century marvellous bespoke print of navy and yellow ribbons over ivory cotton sateen. Another fabulous print which is so in keeping with the true vintage vibes which make me swoon.
This version is much more true to size. You may even need to size up if you’re particularly busty as the waist and bust don’t stretch much beyond the Collectif size chart so check your measurements. It’s a great cut for me, sitting at my mid calf. The perfect Spring dress for running errands or lunching with your girls.
I’ll be posting more new season goodies next time (subscribe below to be informed of new posts) but for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed a little look at these mid century marvels. Everything is available in all sizes (6-22) on the website.
Dresses: Collectif Clothing
Necklace: Collectif Clothing
Earrings and Bangles: Splendette
Shoes: E5P from years ago
For reference, I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif. I’m 4’11 and wearing 4 inch heels.
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