It’s been an awkward spring this year, what with winter insisting on overstaying its welcome, but the sun has finally started to make a few appearances and I am more than ready for her to begin reclaiming her time. I have several fabulous new summer-loving outfits hanging in my wardrobe ready for the feel of fresh air and warm sunrays, but none more so than this Collectif Joice dress and Luzia heels combo, which absolutely scream SUMMER TIME to me. It might not be quite nice enough yet to hit the beach in this outfit for a boardwalk stroll and, of course, the eating of ice cream, but wearing it even on a slightly dreary day still has me experiencing all the summer feels.
If you follow my blog closely, you’ll likely recognise these heels from my London Edge AW17 recap post way back in September. At the time they were one of the stand out love-at-first-sight previews from the show that I couldn’t stop thinking about afterwards. While I suspected from their style that they must be a summer 2018 piece, rather than an Autumn/Winter 2017 style, I desperately hoped they were slated for Autumn/Winter just because I was so impatient to add them to my wardrobe. Of course, they’re definitely a summer shoe, so they were released just last week, but they’re so beautiful that they were well worth the 6 month wait, for no shoe has ever epitomised the idea of a warm summer day spent on the Italian riviera better than these Luiza heels.
Moving on from my pure love for them to their actual specifics, they’re a sling back style with a peeptoe and a buckle closure. The upper is made from a cream canvas, paired with a contrasting warm brown PU trim which, okay, let’s backtrack just slightly into the love-gushing to say that I am obsessed with. They have a small hidden platform, a sexy 4.5 inch stiletto heel, and they will probably go with almost everything you might want to wear this summer.
I asked for these in my usual size 7, and while Lulu Hun shoes are generally considered to run half a size small, the slingback style and the peeptoe mean they fit comfortably for me. If you have wide feet you might feel the need to size up, but otherwise the openness of the cut will probably mean your standard shoe size will suffice.
And now onto the Joice dress. Honestly, it’s still going to be a bit of a love-fest, because I just adore this dress. I own several wrap dresses, and lord only knows how many swing dresses (somewhere over 150, I’d guess–yikes,) but this style is so unique that I just can’t help but be a bit swoony about it. Typically wrap dresses are made from a stretchy material that, while comfortable and lovely to wear, inevitably requires you to sacrifice volume in the skirt to get the most natural looking fall to the dress shape on the whole, because the stretchy fabric doesn’t sit right over a petticoat. This Joice dress requires no such sacrifice of silhouette.
It’s made from a lightweight cotton sateen that holds its shape with a soft sturdiness that gives the skirt a wonderful flare even without a bulky petticoat. When pairing that shape with the gorgeous contrasting directional panels of the striped fabric, it creates a piece that is striking, flattering, and in no way run-of-the-mill. For us pinups it’s easy to style up this piece to achieve a vintage feel, but for your average woman this would work just as beautifully for a non-vintage summer look worn with casual hair, ballet flats and an arm full of clattering bangles. It may just be a dress, but it feels like summer to look at it, like bare legs and warm sunshine and a gentle breeze on your neck. That’s a dress I could never turn down.
It is a wrap dress but it fastens differently to most I own, which tend to have that long stretchy belt that threads through a hole in the waist to wrap fully around your body. This dress instead has two large sturdy poppers on the inside front of the waist which fasten it closed, combined with a matching fabric tie on the left hand side which you tie to fully secure the waist. When I was first told the dress closed with poppers I was a touch concerned, because who really trusts poppers to keep a whole dress closed when you’re out and about in public, you know? Swings skirts alone can present enough fun updraft moments to be dealing with without our entire dress bursting open unexpectedly. But the large size of the poppers and the tie belt together keep the dress perfectly secure and I don’t have any worries when wearing it that something might go awry. Plus, it has super cute and functional patch pockets in the skirt, which always adds approximately eleventy kabillion points to any dress, so there’s that.
I asked for this dress in the size 18/2XL and it’s a great fit. The sleeves are capped so there’s no upper arm pinching to worry about and the cotton sateen fabric choice will make this a light, comfortable wear during the hottest months. It fits very true to the Collectif size chart, flat measuring 34 inches in the waist with stretch to 37 inches, and flat measuring 43 inches in the bust with stretch to 46. The skirt is 28 inches long and can fit a medium-full petticoat (in the pictures above I was only wearing a cheap slim volume petticoat.) My only note is that the bodice felt quite short in the waist on me and it does measure 16 inches flat from shoulder to waist, so if you have a very full bust you may find the waist might sit quite high on you if you also have a long torso like I do.
The Luiza heels come in UK shoe sizes 3-8 and the Joice dress comes in UK sizes 4-22. Both are available to order from Collectif’s website or from their many global stockists, or can be found in-store at one of their UK shops located in London or Brighton.