Anyone who’s followed me for long enough knows I’m a sucker for nautical coloured clothing–put some combination of red, navy or white together and I will probably love it. Another thing I love, but have rarely found in affordable repro, is a winged bust. So it’s time to say hello to Collectif’s Ginger line.
When Collectif launched their SS15 line I was thrilled to see they had included a winged bust in some wiggle dresses, a swing and a playsuit. And then I was sad that all those pieces featured novelty prints, something I’m very picky about and rarely partake in. The atomic flamingo wiggle dress was adorable–but not my style. The strawberry print play suit was super cute–but a no for me with that much fruit appeal.
I don’t know how it snuck by me, but I didn’t realise until recently that there was a nautical colourway of this dress, the navy and white Sailor version of that winged bust design available in both a wiggle and a swing dress. A mere week after I came across this information Collectif launched one of their infamous half price sales. Wing busted, sailor swing dress named Ginger, come to mumma!
This dress, obviously, features bust wings that can be worn up or down. It fastens with a side zip and hook & eye, has a smocked back that allows plenty of stretch, a full circle skirt, and comes with a matching slide belt. The belt isn’t particularly useful because it slides loose easily, but that’s not uncommon of slide belts and I’ll just replace it with one of my own white notched belts.
One of the best things about this dress, apart from the winged bust itself, is that it’s a multi-way dress. The straps are removable, so you can wear this dress as a halter neck, with straps crossed in front, or strapless. I failed you somewhat when taking pictures because I forgot to get photographic evidence that not only can the straps be worn multiway, but they can also be moved to a second set of hooks on the inside of the bust so that they come from the center of the sweetheart bust and not on either side like bra straps, giving an additional super cute look to the halter option of wearing the dress. If that wasn’t enough, I was really pleased with how well the dress actually stayed up when worn strapless given that there’s no boning or stiff structural support in the bodice.
Before I bought this dress I read on repro site stocking it that they recommend sizing down due to the give in the smocking. Collectif didn’t have any similar sizing instructions on their own size guides for the product so I ordered true to size with a size 14 and it fits fine. While it could be tighter it also isn’t loose–which suits me, because I didn’t want to size down and end up owning a dress that creates or displays any lumps or bumps because it’s tighter but not stiffly structured. So if you’re large busted and have your heart set on wearing this strapless then sizing could work for you, but otherwise I think the dress runs true to size and you should size accordingly.
The only downside with this dress is more a suspicion of necessary caution: I have several friends who own the strawberry print version and all those who have washed it (even on cool) have said the colours have run. If you’re buying the strawberry print, that’s something to bear in mind as you’ll have to treat it as a dry clean only dress. I haven’t yet washed this dress to see whether the navy is colourfast, but given the white trim and bust detail on this dress I’m not willing to test it so I plan to carefully spot clean this dress by hand if needed and to dry clean it until I get confirmation that this dress is safe to machine wash.
Both Ginger swing dress colourways are £65 at full price but currently reduced to half price of £32.50 and available in sizes UK 6 to 18. If you love the style of this dress but prefer a wiggle then this navy colourway is available in a pencil dress, available in UK sizes 6 to 22 and costing £55, also currently half price at £27.50 on Collectif.co.uk.