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
Happy August Bank Holiday, guys! Hope you’re spending the day doing something wonderful, or just having a well earned rest. I’m enjoying the last of the Summer sun and looking at the Kimberly Mini Cherries dress today which I managed to nab in the first flourish of the sale. I had meant to buy this dress when it was first released but it totally slipped my mind as I was waiting for other things to drop too so I sadly missed it. In the sale, it was only available in a size 8 and though it was OK with a size up (but quite roomy on the bust for me), I had regrets that I hadn’t bought my normal size way back when. However, within a week, my normal size suddenly appeared as though manna from heaven, so I was able to return the 8 and purchase the 6. I’m so glad I did as it’s such a great fit and perfectly true to size.
I have previously talked about the Kimberly design when she first launched (here), and I’m so glad it returned this year with some amazing patterns as it’s such an easy summer dress to pull on and always feel fabulous. I especially love this cherry design though, the embroidered cherries are super cute and really pop against the black.
There’s a sweetheart neckline with wide’ish and adjustable straps, elasticated shirring to the back which makes it super comfortable and stretchy, and a side zip. I also think the colourful red buttons are a really sweet touch.
The dress is made from 100% cotton and falls below the knee. The patch pockets are super handy for popping summer essentials in (or hands when you’re trying not to touch your face!).
Unfortunately during sale times, things go quickly and this is no longer available from the Collectif website anymore (though they do have some other Kimberlys in different prints). However, it is still available in selected sizes from Silk Fred for £28.50 with free delivery which ships direct from Collectif, so you still have the great service from Collectif, but none of the shipping costs! so grab one before they’re gone!
I’m 4’11” and wearing 3.5 inch wedge heels. I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing a 6 in the photos.
This crop top may be small but its impact is mighty! In a gorgeous bright red, cotton, the Adriana top has halterneck straps which tie at the neck.
I love the sweetheart line and pleating details at the bust. I added the Cocktail O’clock brooch at the centre which I think adds a nice touch too – already feeling ready for Summer, despite only just dipping a toe in April!
There’s an elasticated back which makes for a comfortable fit as the shirring is super stretchy. If I could have, I would have sized down as it runs a little large on me (though anyone busty will have plenty of room so you should order your normal size). I’ll sew it in when I get to it, but I think I can get away with it as it is if I decide to be lazy.
There are matching shorts available (here), but I wore mine with high waisted trousers and jeans while it’s still a bit cooler. As a woman in my 40’s, it’s very rare for me to put my midriff on display, (especially in public, that’s usually saved just for the garden!), so I’ll probably end up wearing a loose white shirt over it, tied at the waist. Either way, it’s going to be the perfect top to wear as we heat up and will go with so many things. I had planned on maybe wearing it around the pool with some wedges – but maybe next year!
The Adriana top is £27.50 and currently available in sizes 12-22 on the Collectif website.
Checked trousers: Collectif Clothing Bonnie Gingham trousers (sassy pants from a couple of seasons ago)
Blue jeans: Collectif Clothing Kirsty jeans (also previous season, super high waisted stretch denim)
Bangles: Bow & Crossbones (black set and blue),vintage (red)
Earrings: Collectif Clothing Tiki Earrings (red), Bow & Crossbones Double Dot Hoops (blue/yellow and red).
Hair flower and necklace: so old I can’t remember, sorry! but likely the high street many years ago.
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif and wearing size 6 in everything above.
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.
So apparently we should all be tired of January about now. If you’re feeling it, I hope the rest of Jan passes quickly for you. I’m certainly looking forward to Spring as I always do – I’m definitely more of a sunshine baby than a winter one!
Banishing those winter blues has been helped a lot by an unexpected sale buy for me. I’d seen this dress almost a year ago and it was love at first sight, naturally. What’s not to love with its gorgeous Poison Ivy vibes?! However, I never wear red as I feel it clashes with my hair too much. I used to wear red a lot as a natural brunette so that took some adjusting to almost a decade ago when I became an unnatural redhead.
A few weeks ago, maybe around Christmas time, I’d noticed ASOS Marketplace were stocking Collectif as a boutique. I’d browsed and seen my normal size wasn’t well catered for on there so thought nothing of it. Then the Bella pencil dress, (which was sold out in most sizes on the Collectif main website), was hollering at me from the screen, begging me to click on her, despite knowing a 6 didn’t show up in my search.
So I succumbed, as you do, because obviously if I click there may be a 6 which was hidden and wasn’t on the search, right?! Wrong. But lo and behold, an 8 was available. The ASOS Marketplace was reduced half price, just as the main website, but it also includes free delivery. So, I took a punt and figured I’d just return it if it was too big.
It was shipped super fast but wasn’t by the normal DPD delivery from Collectif, I think ASOS must hold stock and it was delivered by Royal Mail (order placed on a Thursday evening, delivered Saturday morning). The return shipping is to Collectif direct, so you don’t have to worry about using the Marketplace as a platform to buy from, it’s all very easy and legit.
It was just as I remembered, so beautiful with it’s delicate leaf and rose strap detailing on the shoulders, boned bodice, silicone tabs and lightly padded bust (to allow you to go braless if you wish) with a matching, wide, velvet belt.
I tentatively put it on and all my concerns were gone. It was a lovely fit! A 6 would have been perfect but I could definitely get away with the 8. The fabric has stretch in it but the bodice is quite fitted. Best of all, there’s room for puddings, so I’m very happy with that! So if your size isn’t available (limited sizes left), you could try a size up as I have. I love cinched in styles like this, but which are roomy enough to eat your own bodyweight and still feel comfortable. I felt instantly sexy when I put it on.
So I’m no longer going to rule out reds anymore and embrace the clash with my hair. It’s taken me a while to get there but this was definitely the dress to do it!
My new SS20 stock has also arrived so it really will be goodbye sale, hello Summer next time on the blog. See you then! x
I’ve been meaning to write about this gorgeous little number for about a month now, but never got around to it, so I’m popping it up now while we’re still embracing the beautiful, autumnal, colour palette. Everywhere I go at the moment everything is golden, orange or fiery reds – love it! (though I’m definitely feeling the cold already brrrr!),
The Mimi Pumpkin Check dress is a really lovely shape with its sweetheart neckline (trimmed in black), featuring a little gathering at the bust, and cute, puffy, sleeves. The swing shape isn’t a really full circle skirt but there’s more than enough room for a petticoat underneath if you wish to add one. Sadly, there aren’t any pockets to this one – but maybe we can keep our fingers crossed these will come in time.
The print itself is just divine with those amazing oranges and blacks – it’s a real headturner. The fit is true to size, so if you’re in between sizes on the waist, you should size up as the fabric doesn’t stretch. The length is a little shorter than the Dolores style (which is great for me!), so it cut nicely at my shin.
I’m really pleased with this style and will be buying more Mimi’s. They’re a very comfortable, easy, design to wear and perfect for popping some tights and knitwear on colder days. I would have liked a lining on the skirt part to sav me wearing a slip but that’s just a minor detail. This style comes in a range of other prints too but this one is still available in sizes 8-22 and costs £52.50.
I paired mine with yet more orange and black (couldn’t resist living my own pumpkin dreams!)
Billie Cinch Belt – Collectif Clothing in orange (these are such handy little elasticated belts to have, I bought them in a few different colours).
Bangles – Splendette in Fox
Bangles – Bow & Crossbones in Black Weave
Bangle – Collectif Clothing Carrie in black
Necklace – Collectif Clothing Natalie Bead Set in black
Earrings – Splendette
Boots – Lulu Hun
I’m a standard size 6 in Collectif Clothing and wearing the 6 above.