I feel like every season I say Collectif has outdone their last season, and yet here we are again, with li’l ol’ me fully in love with Collectif’s SS17. The particular torture of this love affair is that I actually got to view the line last September, so I’ve had 5 months of remembering what beauties lie ahead of us and eagerly awaiting the releases with grabby hands while also not trying to wish time away purely for the sake of clothes. But, you know, I was tempted to. Because if you haven’t seen Collectif’s new offerings rolling in to the New In section on their website, you might want to take a little look at the new arrivals, as well as at their Lookbook to see what other magic they’ve got in store for us.
There are many, many pieces from the upcoming line that I’m excited for (extremely understated language,) but the Lucy cardigan and Jade swing dress were early favourites for me. When I spotted this dress hanging on the rails at Collectif’s booth at London Edge last autumn, I gaped at Pippa, their fabulous PR manager (heeeey girl) in what must have been a truly dorky way. This style of strappy sundress is one of my favourites, but add in some of my other favourite design features–ALWAYS ALL CAPS POCKETS, and adjustable straps + double straps + bow straps = best straps ever??–and it got mind-bendingly exciting fast. And then with the Lucy cardigan, being both cropped and gingham, another two of my faves, that was another no brainer. So this outfit, really, was just meant to be. The universe gathered together fabric, magic and my joy, and presented me with a spring time gift. Thank you, universe. Thank you. (Also Collectif’s Pippa and Julia, because credit where it’s really due.)
Dress: Blue Jade Swing dress C/O Collectif Clothing
Cardigan: Red Lucy Gingham Cardigan C/O Collectif Clothing
Bangles: Woven Bamboo + Wine Carved + Clear + Red Clear bangles all by Splendette
Brooch: Clear Starburst Splendette Brooch from Audrey Stars Boutique
Bag: Red Vintage inspired bag by Lola Von Rose
Shoes: Hand bedazzled by me (tutorial)
Surely you’ve grasped already how much I love this outfit, but just in case you haven’t, let me be clear: I am all kinds of psyched about these pieces. They’re both well fitted, entirely comfortable, flatteringly cut, fun and downright lovely. I’ve wanted a plain light blue sundress for a while so this fills that need perfectly, and every time I look at my vast stack of plain coloured cropped cardigans I lament a little that it’s so hard to find cropped cardigans in any fun patterns or prints. This bold large gingham is exactly what I was yearning for and I love knowing that I’ll be able to pair it with dozens of items in my closet, as well as half the new Collectif range coming out.
The Jade dress, as mentioned, boasts pockets, which are deep enough to fit your phone without fear it will drop out, with room still to spare. The straps are adjustable, meaning you can customise your fit, and the bow feature is sewn down, so you get the cute finish of a bow without the frustration of having to tie them 6 times trying to get them even or the annoyance of having them come loose while you’re out. It fastens with back zip and there’s lots of fabric in the gathered skirt, so it fits a petticoat easily. I’m wearing my Malco Modes Jennifer petticoat in the pictures above, which is 23 inches long and doesn’t create a drop-off effect with this dress, but the skirt could accommodate something fluffier without any trouble.
I wasn’t sold on the big belt just from seeing the pictures on their website but when I put the dress on I actually really liked it, so it might be down to your own proportions and personal preference as to how it sits on you. The only downside to the belt is the large belt loops are centered on the dress, so if you decide you don’t want to wear the belt they stand out quite a bit. You could unstitch them carefully, but I can’t advise as to whether any pin-marks left would be noticeable.
In regards to fit, I opted for my standard Collectif size 16, which is a perfect fit. There’s some stretch in it, making it comfortable as well as forgiving, so following your usual size will probably see you right. Specifically, my size 16/XL flat measures 34 inches in the waist with stretch up to 37 inches, and the bust flat measures 42 inches with stretch up to 46 inches. The skirt is 25 inches long.
As for the Lucy cardigan, it’s downright darling. The immediate huge win is what a great cropped length it is, possible to be worn as a top if desired with your high-waisted vintage style bottoms. (Specifically, it’s 18.25 inches long from shoulder to hem.) The knit feels sturdy enough that I don’t think it will quickly stretch out and lose it’s shape, and the buttons are sweet little half pearls, a lovely finishing touch. For those of us who live in temperate climes like ever-changeable England, having half sleeve cropped cardigans provide essential but not overwhelming coverage for those mid-temperature days that occur regularly throughout the changing seasons when a coat is too much but bare arms won’t do. I chose this in the size 16 and it buttons over my 45 inch bust without gaping, and can also stretch up to 35 inches in the waist without gaping or looking taut. The arms aren’t tight, with plenty of comfortable stretch, and the armholes measure 20 inches.
Thanks to this sweet little duo, I’m now raring for spring, as well as eyeing up the other Jade dresses due out this season. I sense a new collection coming on. Hmm, I wonder how much I would have to bribe Collectif with to get them to make one in every colour…
The Jade swing dress is available in UK sizes 6-22 for £70.50 in this plain blue as well as solid black, and will also be coming in a scenic mountain border print, a watermelon print and two seaside themed prints. The Lucy cardigan comes in UK sizes 6-22 at £45.50 in both red and pink gingham. Collectif ship internationally.