A couple of years ago, my style didn’t have a particular “focus”. I would wear anything that caught my eye or was pretty and cheap. Nowadays, I do tend to have more of a specific style I like and that is retro, classic and pin up. I’ve talked before about how I’m an Imperfect Pin Up as I absolutely love the complete pin up look but am useless at hair, make up and accessories to match the clothing. I’m also happy to buy and wear high street clothes that masquerade as retro. But my favourite brands are those which create pin up and retro “repro” style clothing – pieces that are vintage inspired but made to a slightly more modern cut so that they can blend in with current trends too if need be. Collectif is my absolute favourite (I mean, did you see all the clothes I own from them in the Imperfect Pin Up post linked above?!), followed closely by other brands like Lindy Bop and Hell Bunny. And I may have a new contender for a fave: Dotty and Dolly.
I was asked to pick out my top 3 dresses from their site and they would pick one of those, and oh my goodness, was it difficult to just pick three! I’m SO glad they didn’t ask me to choose one 😀 Well, I had to start somewhere so I decided first that I’d just bought a couple of Collectif pencil dresses so I’d be better to go for a day dress than a fitted one – that narrowed it down by about half. Then I decided I’d also be better going for something in a more wintery colour and style since my summer dresses, despite them being my favourites, get very little wear thanks to the good old British weather. I’m always more drawn to browns, burgundies and oranges throughout autumn and winter, so I decided to pick my favourite few styles from them in these colours. I was also sorely tempted all the beautiful ginghams and tartans, but I do tend to have an overload of these in my wardrobe, so I tried very hard to stay away from them! (Not that I don’t have an overload of polka dots and florals too…)
So, drumroll please, my final choices were:
- The Poppy Vintage Shirt Dress in Black
- The Annie Swing Dress in Dark Blue Floral
- The Wendy Rockabilly Dress in Dark Purple
And as I’m sure you can tell, it was the Wendy that made its way into my wardrobe! I’d say the colour is somewhere in between a burgundy and plum, ideal for those dark winter jewel tones I was talking about. Although, let’s be honest, the sleeveless aspect of it isn’t quite so winter-approprirate!
I debated over which size to choose for a while as I sat in between an 8 and a 10 on their size charts. In the end, I went on their advice to try a size 8 and was really pleased that it fits perfectly, despite my bust being over the measurement for the size! I love that the dresses come with a belt in the matching fabric (and I swear I won’t lose it…) to help cinch in at the waist too.
The quality seems very good for the price. The fabric is quite thick and sturdy, although does crease quite easily. I wore this dress out to the theatre (to see Mary Poppins, and yes, it was amazing!) and by the time it had finished, it was rather creased at the back, but what can you do?! As you can see below, it has a lovely full skirt, perfect for twirling and plenty of room for a small petticoat underneath. I really like that the length sits just about bang on my knees (I’m about 5’6.5″ – yes, that half inch matters!) – it’s a good length for day time wear that’s slightly more formal than the usual, but not over the top.
So I’m now planning my next piece from them – I’ve just spotted the Gloria tops which are striped and off the shoulder at £9.99, it would be rude to leave them behind, wouldn’t it?!