Tag "Petticoat"

A Sailor’s Sweetheart – A Collectif Review

*This dress was a gifted item

One of the best things for me is to get dressed up. When you’re a bigger girl living in London the way you view yourself and fashion may be slightly different to the view of the average person. For years we have been limited with our options and it’s only been the past few years that has brought new changes and opportunities to the forefront. The fashion industry as a whole has started to embrace the bigger girls and with it we have been awarded the chance to freely express ourselves.

What I love about Collectif is that they create their dresses in sizes 6-22. I have to say I love that the brand has the same set of clothes available for standard and plus size women. So many brands have a separate range of clothing for us bigger girls and, more often than not the choices aren’t as edgy or experimental. The good news is that the options that are coming from brands all over the place are becoming more stylish, edgy and generally more fun to wear.


Collectif recently contacted me and gave me the chance to review a dress. When I saw the Ginger Sailor Wing Bust Dress, I knew I instantly wanted to try it. My Sindy Doll sailor dress is one of my favourites and I absolutely love wearing it. As the shape of this dress is very similar, I knew it was one I could have fun with. I’ve selected this dress in a size 22.

I love nothing more than slipping on a fun vintage dress, putting on a petticoat and really going all in with my look. When I was styling this dress I imagined being back in the 1950s. I pictured myself as the wife of a sailor in the Navy on my way to meet my husband whilst he came back from his tour. Funny I know but it’s fun to play a character sometimes lol.



I say it all the time, I love blue, any shade of blue and so this dress was one I was determined to have fun with. A great feature is the adjustable straps. These can be worn in a criss-cross fashion, in a halter style or the dress can be worn as a strapless number. In these pictures you’ll see that I have taken pictures in both the criss-cross and halter-neck style.

I should note that the belt of the dress has no loop holes for you to have a fixed closure. I found that from time to time when walking or moving the clasp would slip open. This to me was the only flaw in the dress but can easily be resolved by using another belt if you really want to wear the added accessory.

Hanna and I were taking full advantage of the hot London sun and so we decided to spend the day taking a ton of outfit pictures this previous Saturday. Whilst I was getting my dress together the lovely Diana was really sweet and borrowed me a few things to try with the dress. This gorgeous fascinator by Pearls And Swine was something I fell in love with at first sight. I love the gorgeous collection of white roses and the net detail attached. At first we weren’t sure how this would look but I thought it completed the outfit beautifully. A simple white bolero was added and in some of my pictures a necklace of a ship was worn. Definitely in keeping with my sailor theme!

I of course selected my Michelle shoes from Hotter as my given footwear! It’s no secret how much I love to spin and swirl in my pinup dresses and so I needed shoes that were perfect vintage styling and pain free. If you love to swing or jive dance I cannot stress enough how incredible these heels are!

In keeping with usual style I wore my small hoop earrings for added jewellery. Applied some deep red lipstick to my usual vintage style makeup and I was ready and set to go! I always say it, have fun with your clothes. If something makes you feel amazing, wear it! Don’t apologise for expressing yourself through fashion, that’s exactly what fashion is all about!

Good news ladies this amazing dress is currently on sale! The price has been slashed in half so if you want to try this one out for yourself be sure to pick one up now! Also any of you who do get this one I’d love to see your pics and how you styled it!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Pinup Perfection: The Dolores Doll!

Sometimes you just have one of those days when everything clicks and you feel amazing in your clothes. I usually like to dress to my mood and try to find ways to make it work with the weather. Lucky for me the sun was bright and hot in London the other day and I had just received my latest Collectif purchase! I bought my first dress from Collectif 2 years ago and I have to say I have been in love with the brand ever since! The Dolores Doll is a favourite for many ladies and so far remains my favourite cut of vintage dress from any brand! I now have 3 and I still want more!

What I love so much about this cut of dress is that is suits absolutely everyone! It’s not often that you can find a dress that suits women of all heights, shapes and sizes! The cute little puff sleeves are really lovely and are so comfortable. The length of the dress stops just below the knee, true to the 1940s and 1950s cuts for a dress, but also very flattering for anyone to wear. The even better news is that most women have to size down to have the perfect fit. In most brands I wear a 22-24 but always go for a size 20 in this dress, and I would easily be able to get into an 18 if my bust was smaller! They are all available in sizes 6-22.

The thing is, in my day to day life I don’t often have much time to just feel girly and playful and I always love wearing my vintage clothes because I feel ultra feminine and sexy. There’s something really sexy about vintage clothes as they highlight all of the best attributes of the female figure. Tall, short, fat or thin everyone suits these dresses and I find that they are wearable in many more places than people think. I have seen these used in countless weddings, summer events like garden parties, a day at the races…the list is endless! When I first saw this baby blue polka dot Dolores it had to be mine! I went onto to the site to make my purchase and as usual the size I required was gone! I was absolutely gutted and so I kept my eyes glued to the website. A couple of weeks later I saw the dress appear in my size and so I snapped it up before it was gone, despite the fact that I didn’t have the money at the time lol. You all know how I feel about blue! It’s my favourite colour and I am always looking for new blue fashions. It’s not often that I can pick up something I know I’ll love and wear often, and I just knew this one would be more than welcome in my wardrobe!

I wore this with my white Petticoat from Vivien Of Holloway. I have to say of all the Petticoats I have tried theirs are the best by far! Available in an assortment of different colours with a high elasticated waist band. All 26-27 inches are a silky soft chiffon that is really comfortable on and really gives any swing dress that extra boost you might want from time to time. They do cost a little more than some of the others on the market but I cannot stress enough these are worth every penny!

I don’t have that many cardigans or boleros and one staple colour I’m missing is white! I thought this lace bomber jacket from a previous Evans Collection would look cute with the dress. Bomber jackets are heavily featured in vintage and rockabilly fashion and so it was an easy choice for me.


I love to dance! I don’t get the chance to much but I often buy my vintage dresses with the view that I will go jive dancing in them one of these days! I haven’t been jive dancing in over a year and despite the fact that I’m not that good I can’t resist twirling in my swing dresses and watching them swirl around me! What can I say they bring out the playful side of me. I have however worn my white Dolores Doll to a night club in the past and I was not short of compliments or opportunities to throw some shapes!

I was recently gifted the most gorgeous pair of Michelle heels from Hotter. I got my first pair of shoes from the brand last year and I have to say I am in love with them! The inner soles are made of a really foamy material which contains over 1000 air bubbles. The technology used for the soles of these shoes make them so comfortable and their heels are virtually pain free! The black suede shoes with patent t-bar and heel detail were a must have for me and work perfectly with almost all of my vintage style dresses!

To see how I have previously styled my Dolores Doll dresses check out my recent post where I wore my white polka one with hot pink accessories. Also check out the review of the amazing summer bouquet dress available in 2 colour ways!

2 of my favourite bloggers and friends Caroline (Curvy Wordy) and Georgina (Fuller Figure Fuller Bust) have also reviewed the Dolores Doll. Check out their blogs to read their reviews and see how they styled the dress!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Collectif Gretel Gingham Swing Dress Review

When it comes to Vintage dresses there are various styles and prints that will ALWAYS be in style! Polka dots, cherries, swallows and gingham fabrics.

As you all know when I see something I like the look of I will push and push and push to get hold of it! I first saw this dress modelled by the beautiful Georgina Horne AKA Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. Not only did she give the dress a fantastic review, she was used as the model on the Collectif website. After reading her post on this gorgeous number I knew I had to try and get hold of my own dress.
I ran down to the Camden store to see what vintage treats I might find and of course scope out the dress! Unfortunately the dress that was in store was a size too small for me as I needed something to accommodate my large bust. I wasn’t put off however, my main purpose for this shopping trip was to see if the dress suited me and felt comfortable on.
To my luck when I was ready to order the dress, Collectif were having a fantastic online sale which I took full advantage of! I ordered this dress in a size 22 Which for me fits really comfortably with plenty of space across my curves and just enough boob room for the cute heart shape buttons not to gape. I already knew that I would wear this dress the same way I wear my others with a bolero and cinch belt. I like to colour coordinate my clothes and so depending on my mood I work from the colours in the dress. White or red accessories and boleros would work with this dress or if you want something a little more striking you could of course add some black hints.
Stock Image Courtesy Of Collectif
This is one that I have worn both with and without a petticoat. The photo above was taken as soon as I got the dress out of the packet and tried it on! I love the light weight feel of the fabric and the cute trim. I’ll be honest with you; depending on the look you want to achieve and on your body shape you may need to go up a size. This dress is available in UK sizes 6-22 but the fabric doesn’t allow for much stretch. If you hold a curvier frame or slightly larger bust I would recommend trying this in a larger size.
I have to say every time I have worn this dress I have gotten the most amazing compliments from people. It really is a show stopper and you can’t help but feel dainty and feminine in this number!
I personally would only wear this dress on warmer days as the fabric is so light but I think there is a lot you could do with this one. If you are trying to get more of a pin-up look then heels or patent flats would be a great addition with maybe a hair flower, and jewellery. You could take this one in another direction and wear it with a denim jacket and brown boots, this would give you more of a country or cowgirl look and would take the style to another dimension.
As you know I love the clothes from Collectif for their style, versatility and quality so it really is worth giving them a try. Trust me you won’t regret it! This dress is still available on their website and in stores.
www.collectif.co.uk

Collectif Dolores Doll Dress Polka Review

When it comes to classic vintage pin-up girls there is one thing that pretty much all of them have in common; at some point they have all worn a classic polka dot dress!

 The simple spotted patten is one that has NEVER gone out of style and it continues to be just as popular now as it was decades ago! I think the one thing we ladies have in common when it comes to selecting our dresses is the need to find something that’s flattering, stylish and versatile. These were three elements that I found when I picked up my first Dolores Doll Dress from Collectif. Not only was the print those simple but timeless spots, it had all the features of the perfect pin-up dress. I absolutely love the cut of this dress and the little puffed sleeves were just darling. I just love the cinched in waist and the flared skirt as the cut lends to that hour glass shape and hides a multitude of sins!
This of course is one that you can wear with or without a petticoat and you can wear it pretty much for any occasion! The fabric is 98% cotton 2% elastane, and not only feels great on but sits just right on the curves. Now as I have a rather big bust I have to say that when I wear this I am given a more than impressive cleavage; which is always nice! If you do hold a bigger bust then you’ll love this one because there is plenty of room in that area to make you feel comfortable whilst being sexy, but still with heaps of class!
The first time I took this one out on the town was out with friends for my birthday drinks this year and I have to admit not only was I dressed to impress, the compliments I got in this number just kept on coming! Going dancing in a dress that not only feels great, but “swings” with you is just amazing. I even ended up getting myself into a spin with people I hadn’t ever met before!
  
  
The versatility in this dress goes way beyond it’s image. One of the things I love the most about the Dolores style is the fact that you can wear this one out on the town, at a quiet dinner party, for a picnic, formal affair, as a simple day dress, the options are just endless! I have worn this dress countless times and I never get bored of it. I love the fact that unlike some other styles it’s not limited to an evening event or formal affair. What you do to jazz it up is simply up to you!
For me I tend to add a splash of colour to this one with my red boleros, red cinch belts and red petticoats. Of course I pair the ensemble with my red patent flats but you can of course wear this one with heels and that super striking red lipstick that we all love! The black or white dresses leave you open to play around with pretty much any colour. I think a cobalt blue or a pink would look amazing! Having said that I have gone the other way with this one and worked with the black accents in the dress by wearing a black bolero, black cinch belt and my Collectif Dietrich trench coat for additional coverage. Some might decide to add a hair flower or some pearls to the look to give it a whole other dimension. Whatever you want to do the options are endless and so for me this was a must have item to add to my wardrobe!
I simply cannot rave about this dress enough and if you can’t already tell, it’s my favourite of my vintage dresses! This one is available in sizes 6-22 and the even better news, most ladies go down a size or two as the fabric has a lot of extra give. For me I decided to go for this one in a 20 so that I could wear it with and without my petticoats and have plenty of room either way.
 
Image Courtesy Of Collectif
Model Is Pictured Wearing This One Without A Petticoat 
If you haven’t already; it is definitely worth heading down to Collectif to try out some of their Dolores dresses! The polka dot style comes in black, white, red and navy but there is also a wide selection of other prints to try in this style. If you can’t make it down to one of the branches you can of course check out their website www.collectif.co.uk

My Introduction To Vintage Style (A Vivien Of Holloway Review)

When it comes to fashion I think there’s one thing that many women do, especially us bigger girls; we fall into a fashion slump of what we feel comfortable in and what we feel looks OK on our particular shape. I’m one of those women who were always conscious of what will cover the lumps, bumps and what would be the most slimming. It’s fair to say that 80% of my wardrobe is black and navy coloured and it was a single trip into a cute little boutique that changed my entire outlook on what I should be wearing! 
 
For years my friends had been bugging me to go out and buy a dress. Now you have to understand the very concept of putting myself in a dress was one of serious discomfort, but it was after viewing various fashion blogs, celeb magazines and beauty columns that I started to actually consider doing it. I figured I’m in my mid twenties I should be willing to dress a little more adventurously and in some brighter colours. I was looking at a wide selection of women with more curvaceous and fuller figures and it was when I saw images of people like Adele, Maryln Monroe and countless plus size models that I decided to try and look into 1940s and 1950s fashion. After a little bit of searching I came across the website www.vivienofholloway.com. The clothes were gorgeous, the images bright and inviting and when I saw that the store itself was based about 15 minutes away from my home I knew I had to give them a call! 
A little later on that day I ventured into the store and what greeted me upon my arrival was fantastic! All of the sales girls were beautifully dressed and made up and they could easily have stepped out of an old 1950s add! One of them greeted me with a smile and measured me. She instantly pulled 3 Sateen flared dresses from the rack and recommended them to me. One was a classic black polka dot dress, another a simple plain black number and the third a more casual dress laced with cherries. I was given a red petticoat to try also and cinch belt and from stepping into the changing room (with a little help zipping myself in) what I saw in the mirror shocked me! For the first time in YEARS I looked in the mirror and LOVED what was looking back at me! I felt like a million dollars in all three of the dresses and even though they were more flamboyant than anything else I had ever worn I decided to take a few snaps in them before deciding on which one to buy. It seems that the girls not only knew how to make me feel extremely comfortable but they knew my exact taste in styles and patterns too. 
I have to say these dresses are fantastic. The engineering and design gifted to the dresses is just perfect. The bodice is boned, virtually forming a built in corset and even with my 38GG bust I didn’t need to wear a bra and had amazing comfort and support! The quality in the fabric is fantastic and in my opinion getting one of these dresses is definitely a form of an investment!  I love that the dresses are commonly worn for weddings and parties but are also great for more casual looks too. You can of course wear the dresses with or without a petticoat depending on what look you want to achieve.
 
The petticoats are a silky chiffon material that feels really comfortable and enhances the fullness of the circle skirt. With an elasticated waist one size fits all and the look it gives the dresses is great! I personally love wearing a petticoat with my dresses even though I’m not in these pictures below. I always like to pair my dresses with Boleros when I wear them as I feel more comfortable having my arms covered. Heels or flats will work also so you can pretty much do what you want for this look. 
 
These pictures were taken during the summer heatwave a few weeks back so I felt a lot more comfortable in flat shoes and without a petticoat. Having said that I do love my heels!
There are so many more great items in the store such as hair flowers, broaches, shoes, jewellery and so much more! It’s worth heading down to the store or alternatively checking out their website. Since my first trip to Vivienofholloway I have purchased several vintage dresses from other outlets and I think it’s safe to say i’m officially hooked on the style!