Well, well, well, what have we here? A summer heat wave, in May? Oh England, you’ve outdone yourself.
Or so I might think, if I believed it would continue this way until August, which it most certainly will not, because #England. Currently, though, the country is aflush with excitement that our temperatures have broken the 20c mark, and simultaneously aflush with the clammy pink faces that prove just how bad we are at coping with the heat. ‘It’s so sunny, it’s amazing!’ people proclaim to each other with joy, before parroting at one another ‘Oh God, it’s too hot’ just hours later, looking tired and red and a bit like they can’t go on like this.
That is British summer, and while that’s hilarious and kind of pathetically sweet, it does mean sensibly we have to do things to adjust that we just don’t have to do that often. Leave work at lunchtime to buy an iced drink because we need one, not because we want one. Sleep with windows open, because we don’t have air conditioning. Walk around with your top off in shorts, if you’re an obnoxious man. And for us women, there’s only one course of action; reach for the cotton dress.
For me, that means my new Emily and Fin Morrocan Riviera print Claudia cotton dress. It’s light and breezy, with enough coverage to keep my sensitive English rose skin safe from the sun and yet not so much coverage that I feel ready to keel over in this heat. Plus, the gorgeous Riviera print is as summery and light as the dress itself, making sure I still look good even as the heat dictates my fashion choices. Looking put together and keeping cool while everyone else huffs, puffs, and wafts their various layers about trying to get up a breeze? Please and thank you, yes.
I’m obsessed with the print of this dress. I love landscape prints and patterns, especially when focused on various different beautiful horizons and sights from around the world, and the print of this one is now already one of my favourites. I’m a colour lover in general, but pale blues, white, yellow and greens scream summer to me with an airy, sunshine aura that can make even a dim, cooler British summer day feel brighter, though that’s currently not needed.
This dress features capped raglan sleeves, and a gathered flared skirt (which is 26 inches long). The whole dress is lined, making it difficult for you to wear a petticoat under the skirt, but you could perhaps fit a very slim petticoat if you wanted a little off-the-leg lift. There’s pockets, hurrah, and it closes with a concealed back zip. In addition to the bonus of making this a breathable warm weather wear, the fact that it’s made from cotton means this dress is machine washable, another bonus that makes it particularly suitable for summer wearing.
I have a couple other Emily and Fin pieces in their size 16, but now they’re very tight in my bust so I decided to size up for this dress. I have a 45 inch bust and their size 18 is designed for 44 inch busts, with this dress flat measuring at a perfect 45 inches. The waist flat measures almost 38, compared to the 37.5 inches on the size chart, so it runs very true to the chart. It’s made of cotton so note there’s no stretch, just a touch of give. As you can see, Emily and Fin’s sizing does run a little larger than standard UK sizes (not that you can ever rely on one store’s size being same as another store’s equivalent these days anyway,) so make sure you check their size chart before ordering.
I think the great thing about this dress is that it evokes a vintage inspired feel in its design without all the extra fabric that tends to come in vintage inspired sundresses, making it a cooler summer wear option. Meanwhile, it looks very modern to ladies who don’t view the world through vintage-coloured lens. I could so easily see all my non-pinup friends loving and wearing this dress themselves, and I think that makes it a lovely versatile piece for any wardrobe.
The Morrocan Riviera Claudia dress comes in UK sizes 6 to 18 for £75. Emily and Fin ship internationally and have stockists around the globe.