I’m not usually one for lobster motifs. These little red critters are a popular novelty feature in the vintage realm, but the reasoning behind that has always flummoxed me. Who would want a crimson crustacean featured on their clothes? I wondered, confused, as my Instagram feed filled each summer with beautiful modern pinups buying item after item in lobster print. I just don’t get it.
…And then, as always, I found the one dress that made me finally understand something I hadn’t previously, and now I’m like ‘lobsters? How cute!‘ So to whom do I owe the credit of this bending of my previously steadfast opinion? Collectif, step right up!
Dress: Sandrine Lobster Stripe dress C/O Collectif
Cardigan: Blue Mist Get it Girl cardigan by Doll Me Up
Bangles: Red Starbust bangles by Splendette
Bag: Collapsible bamboo bag from eBay
Shoes: Meghan flats by Hotter Shoes
Necklace: Old Primark
I love that while this dress utilizes the classic red, white and blue colour combination of most nautical themed clothing, it feels unique compared to the usual nautical style vintage-inspired reproduction pieces we see so often out there on the market. The spacing of the blue and white stripes, the wide square neckline, the plain front feature pockets that stand out against the stripes, the blue stripe at the waist that takes the place of the belt; all of these are less typical design elements that, when combined, create something that feels different and fresh. It’s a dress made perfectly for days at the beach that won’t have people questioning whether you’re wearing a cheesecake sailor costume.
The Sandrine dress also features blue buttons down the centre length of the dress, but they’re only decorative and the dress actually closes with a back zip–phew! Few things annoy me more than having to undo and do up 15 buttons just to get a dress on. While the front pockets are definitely adorable, you’ll be pleased to know they are also functional, yipee!
I love a wide square neckline on a dress, it’s a neckline I feel is massively under-used, especially in the repro world. The interesting thing about this neckline though is quite how wide it is, something I didn’t notice from pictures but only when I put the dress on. The straps sit so wide on the shoulders that I wonder if ladies who have very narrow shoulders might find that they slip off them. At the very least, it will likely mean you have to reach for your best strapless bra, as none of my bras with straps sat wide enough on the shoulders to stop my bra straps being visible.
In terms of sizing and fit, I asked for this dress in a UK 18 and it’s a very true to size piece. While the skirt is a full flared style, it’s cut closer in the hips than a full circle skirt would be, so ladies who don’t like extra volume in that area will love this cut. Interestingly the bodice feels to me like it comes up a little shorter than Collectif pieces usually do. The waist flat measures 35 inches with stretch to 37, while the bust flat measures 40 inches with stretch to 45 inches. The bodice measures 15 inches flat from the top of the shoulder to the bottom of the blue waistband stripe, and the skirt measures 28.5 inches from the base of that stripe to the hem.
It’s a gorgeous dress that just feels like summer, as well as being able to claim the surprising glory of getting me into lobsters. Who knew?
The Sandrine Lobster Stripe dress is available in UK sizes 6-22, or in the non-striped, all-lobster printed version in the same size range. Collectif ship internationally, have a handful of their own stores in London and Brighton, and have stockists all over the world.