It feels like the recent cold snap has definitely welcomed in Winter this week and here we are in December already! What to wear in Winter while keeping it vintage is always a bit of a conundrum, especially when you’re wanting to stay warm. I love layering during the colder seasons and it works so well when you have a great base like the Collectif Tave Top.
It’s a pretty simple top but all the drama comes from the neckline, with its nautical style ties to the front that drape down over the front. It’s such a great feature and you can easily wear 40s or 50s styles with it and a warm knit over the top to keep you cosy with that extra layer.
Made from 100% cotton, it’s super comfortable to wear and has three quarter length sleeves to keep you warm but show off your fabulous accessories too!
I wore it with the Alexa Valley Check pencil skirt from the Top Vintage collaboration last year, but there’s a very similar check in this season’s Collectif stock called the Alexa Giles if you’re looking to go for this style. It would also look fabulous under a sleeveless dress with just straps, with trousers and with a swing skirt. It’s very versatile and could be worn to work or out for drinks!
It’s a really lovely fit and I have my normal size which was perfect for me. There’s lots of stretch to the top too and it’s long enough in length to tuck into things.
The boring stuff, in case you need to know:
I’m a standard size 6 and wearing a Collectif size 6 in the photos above. My stats are 33:24:33 and I’m 4’11”.
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
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