Bringing the sunshine to recent rainy days, this elegant summer dress is lovely and bright with some stunning details. There’s a sweetheart neckline for that classic 50’s feel and fitted bodice.
It looks like a seemingly simple dress from the front, but all the WOW is at the back which I really love. There are double straps which join the skirt section at the back, but it’s backless aside from that which is such a sassy look and will also keep you cool but effortlessly elegant at summer soirées and garden parties over the coming months.
At the centre back there’s also a gorgeous bow feature which is part of the fastening for this dress. It has a a centre zip with hook and eye at the back of the skirt section and the bow has a popper on one side of the bow which acts like a flap over the zip. All of this is invisible and not seen at all – as you can see on the photo!
The skirt section is a full swing and fits a petticoat underneath just fine. I wore a petticoat underneath it here:
And without a petticoat here:
I think it suits both, it just depends what you feel happy with. I tend to wear a petticoat if I’m going to an event or do but day to day, I’d be super happy wearing it without too as it falls beautifully. It is a teensy bit see through so you may want to wear a half slip. There are also large pockets in the skirt which is a great addition to any dress!
Fit wise, I found it fit fine without sizing down (as the size guidance suggests). There’s plenty of stretch and the bust section is quite large, so if you have a smaller bust, you may want to size down. However the waist section is still correct as there’s no stretch once the bow is fixed in place so sizing down wouldn’t work for anyone in between sizes on their waist. The length is a little longer than I’d usually wear for a swing dress but works great with the petticoat to lift it a little. It’s at my mid calf without a petticoat and with petticoat it’s a couple of inches below my knee.
The straps are not adjustable which is the only down side to this dress. I had to bastardise the straps with my limited sewing skills as they were too long on my petite frame. It’s important to note that the straps sit a little differently at the back on the actual dress vs my bodge-it sewing attempt but I think I did ok?! That’s the only alteration I’ve made, though I may shorten the dress a little too going forward. It’ll work great for taller or average height gals though!
With brighter days on the horizon, grab this dress while you can! Available at Cherry Red Vintage in sizes 8,10,14 and 16 at £59.00.
I’m 4’11” and wearing 3.25 inch wedge heels. My stats for reference are: 33:24:33. I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing the size 6 in the photos, though I’ve adjusted the straps.
This dress was gifted to me by Cherry Red Vintage but all my views are my own and I only give honest reviews.
So I didn’t realise just how many checks I’d ordered in the sales until they arrived ha. I guess it turns out, I really do like checks! I’m so happy with my choices though, they’re all unique in their own way and such great dresses.
First up is the Amber Holiday Romance Pencil dress in a glorious red and white pattern.
I have an Amber Evergreen pencil dress already from a few years ago so I sort of knew the fit to expect with this, though obviously it’s a completely different fabric so I did kinda hope for the best. As it turns out, the fabric is actually much thicker and quite firm. It’s such a great choice for the colder months and I really like it. I dream of days when all pencils will be lined but I feel like my tights will actually have more chance of not sticking to my dress with this fabric.
It has a wide scoop neck and half sleeves, a fitted bodice and a classic wiggle cut for added va va voom!
It’s a lovely modest length below my knee and has a zip at the back with a hook and eye fastening. Fit wise, I’m glad I bought my normal size as it’s a good fit for me. There is some stretch in the fabric, but if you’re in between sizes you may need to size up as the waistband seam doesn’t move much. It’s a really comfortable fit for a wiggle dress. I also added a belt too to pull the waist in further and true vintage gloves to complete the look. It’s available in all sizes currently and only £15.75 with code BS50 until Sunday night!
As well as a pencil style, there are also swing versions of this dress. I have Amber-Lea’s which have a gathered full skirt to the bottom with the same top half, but I don’t have the Amber swing so this is a new style for me and when I saw the bold print of the Amber Scholar Check Swing Dress, I just knew I had to have it! I mean, look at these colours!
This one is a Modcloth collaboration and has the most fantastic, stand out, black, green/blue, yellow and pink check print. The style is the same as the pencil above the waistline with the wide neckline and half sleeves, but includes a full swing skirt to swoosh about in. It’s a really flattering fit and an amazing colour combination.
I wore it with a complimentary yellow belt and shoes with a smaller heel and it still sits nicely just below my knee so a great length for me. I bought my normal size and again that was the right choice for me. If you’re a size 18 or over make sure you check the sizing chart for the dress as Modcloth have their own sizing for these sizes. Anything under an 18 is the standard Collectif sizing. Waistbands usually have a little more stretch in the seam for the swings, I’ve found, and this is no exception. So if you’re in between sizes, you’ll be fine with your normal size for the swing version. It’s currently available in all sizes and down to £27.19 in the sale with the code. I’m absolutely delighted the collabs are included in the sale.
Another collab I had to have but waited patiently for was the Suzanne Valley Check dress from the Top Vintage collection. It has the most glorious print in green, orange, yellow and black which brightens up any dull day! I’m a bit in love with the Suzanne dresses and admittedly already have two – the black white check, here, and I was treated to the beautiful Berry Check this Christmas from a good friend, here, but you can never have too much of a good thing!
It’s such a classic style with a gorgeous bateau neckline, tailored princess seams and a fitted waist. Three quarter length notched sleeves and a really full swing skirt also add to that fabulous 50’s feel. There’s also a matching fabric belt which is one that sadly doesn’t have a buckle but I use Velcro dots to fasten it in place which is a handy tip if you struggle with these kind of belts!
There’s a centre back zip and two lovely pockets to the side seams. I have my normal size in my other two Suzannes and they’re perfect fits so I did the same with this TopVintage collab and hit the jackpot. The length is great for me too, hitting my mid calf. Though the fabric has a small amount of stretch, there’s no stretch in the waist, so if you’re in between sizes and/or if you’re busty, you will need to size up in this one. The fabric is great for winter too, being thicker than normal – though not as thick as the Amber. A great winter staple for every vintage lovin’ gal!
This is one of those dresses which is even better than you’d imagined and I’m so glad I managed to get my mitts on it. It’s only available in sizes 6, 8, 12 and 18 now for the sale price of £33.75, so if you can snag one, do it! Remember the sale ends midnight on Sunday and works on these TopVintage and Modcloth collab beauties x
I’m 4’11” and wearing 3-4 inch heels in the photos above (Susans are 4 and the yellow Juliette is 3). I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and bought that size in all of the dresses above.
With Amber Holiday Romance:
Susan red heels by Lulu Hun (previous season)
Natalie Red Necklace by Collectif
Adore Heart Belt by Collectif (previous season)
True vintage red gloves
Starburst bangles by Splendette
With Amber Scholar Check:
Juliette shoes by Lulu Hun (previous season)
High Street belt from moons ago
Flamingo Carved Earrings in pink by Splendette
Bangles by Splendette and Bows & Crossbones
What did you manage to grab in the sale? There’s always that one item you order that you’re not sure about but think, “well, I can always send it back!”. Then it turns out to be the best thing you bought and wonder why you didn’t just go for it sooner!
For me, that’s the Moxy Holiday Check Trousers. I coveted these for ages but I just wasn’t sure because of obvious height issues for me as well as sizing concerns. They’re a brand new style so I had no point of reference about how they sized up.
They’re a wide legged trouser with an amazing large checked pattern in dark green and red with a light green background. I don’t know why, but they seemed yellow on my screen before I ordered and when they arrived, they are indeed a gorgeous soft green with no yellow whatsoever (I wouldn’t mind them in yellow though – maybe next time!). Here’s a close up of the fabric.
The fabric is actually quite stiff and thick which make them perfect for winter. There are two large pockets to the front and the thick fabric does make them stick out a little at the sides with the cut but I don’t mind this so much – especially as I love a big pocket for hand stuffing and they’re incredibly comfy!
It has a super high waistband which is fitted and fastens with a zip to the front of the trousers as well as a concealed hook and eye above it to keep them secure. You also do up two, black, covered buttons above the zip so these babies are staying put! The waistline is pointed where it meets the cute matching fabric straps and these crossover at the back. There are matching black buttons on the braces both front and back and a buckled matching belt. I’m loving these little details!
The straps have double buttons to fix them in place and, as I’m petite, I’ve used the highest button hole only to fix them and shorten the straps for my frame. I’ll hop on the sewing machine and add another button hole to the braces so I can have them both in place as they should be, but it’s not too bad without that effort. I’ll also slightly shorten them but to be honest, I was super surprised that they weren’t longer as Collectif trousers do tend to be super long. Maybe not one for the really tall gals among you but average and shorter girls will be rejoicing!
I bought my normal size and they fit great. There’s some stretch in this fun fabric which is good as I often find the waistbands are sewn in tight and don’t stretch. That’s not the case with these so if you’re in between sizes or have a big lunch, you’ll be fine!
I really like these vintage style trousers, which surprises me as I didn’t think they’d suit me at all! So if you’re like me and were wavering, I fully recommend taking the leap! They’re currently still available in all sizes from 6-22 at just £19.50 with the discount code BS50. The full price should be £55 – total bargain! x
I’m 4’11” wearing 4.5 inch heels and I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif.
Morgana top by Collectif (previous season)
Tiki earrings and Natalie necklace in green both by Collectif (last season)
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.
The Blackwatch pencil dress is a rerelease and comes in a variety of other styles too this year, including the swing version and the fabulous scarf which I obviously needed to play matchy-matchy with.
It’s a gorgeously classic green, black and navy check in the popular Caterina shirt style design. There are patch pockets and a matching belt (no holes sadly). I really love the Caterina’s and have quite a collection of them now. They work so well to dress up or down and feel smart but not too formal. I always buy my normal size in a Caterina pencil which fit really well and I size down in the swing versions.
I really love that there’s a matching scarf (and gloves too, might need those!), to co-ordinate your look and it has the sweetest tasselled fringing. I picked out the green of the dress and wore it with my Molly jacket, which is another rerelease this year but there’s an amazing orange version in the Top Vintage collab too which I am sorely tempted by.
Molly jackets are the perfect short jacket for cooler weather days, when it’s not cold enough to warrant a full length coat but too cold to wear something thinner. The 40’s tailored style is really flattering, nipping in at the waist with a wide buckled belt and the floral linings are so pretty! I also really like that you can remove the faux fur collar should you wish to which make it suitable for warmer Spring days ahead, or as a paired down suit jacket for work.
The Molly’s are cut quite small, so if you’re busty or you want to wear thick layers underneath, definitely size up one. I have it in my normal size and it’s a perfect fit for me with a jumper over my dress too (but not a super thick one – no cable sweater numbers!).
I decided to style my tartan scarf on my Molly coat with my own little nod to the highlands, wrapping it around like a shawl and tucking the corners into my belt. It was actually a really cold day when I wore this and I felt so snuggly and warm with the scarf like a shawl. Definitely going to wear it like that again!
I added some thick black tights (we all need tights right now – gotta protect those pins!) and my Lulu Hun Selma boots which I bought last year but are also available to buy online now. The range has been expanded to include the most fabulous green and red pairs this season (here) and I can’t tell you how comfortable these ankle boots are with their small block heel.
They really suit vintage styles perfectly with their dainty round toes, scallop edge details and ribbon laces. Such delicate features which compliment 40s and 50s style dresses, skirts and wide legged trousers and look really cute peeking out at the bottom of a long winter coat too.
I have them in my normal size which fit really comfortably for me. If you have a wide foot, you may want to size up but they’re true to size.
I love a good check so I‘m really enjoying seeing the new collections launch and more matching accessories which have really won my heart this season! Which have been your favourites? x
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and 4’11 with 2.75 inch heels on.
Full outfit details:
Hair flowers: high street