You must know by now that I have a thing for velvet. With Christmas coming up fast, it’s the perfect time of year to get a bit plush and lush with some velvet on ya body, whether that’s as luxurious trim on a piece made from another fabric, a little glimpse of a velvet top layered under other items, or a full-on, can’t-be-denied, say-hello-to-my-velvet-dress!
The latter, especially, is my favourite kind to flaunt for some festive fun, and thanks to Collectif I’ve added a truly stunning velvet number to my collection with this Clara dress. But as if the festive perfection ends there; paired with these rose gold beauties from Hotter Shoes–could I be any more ready for Christmas? I think not. Praise be and pass me the candy canes!
I’m going to start by pointing out that this Clara dress comes in black, red and navy colourways, each as glorious and luxe as the other. The black is timeless, ready to be brought out for evening wear at any time of the year. The red, of course, is a perfect morsel for upcoming Christmas festivities, like a sexy, chic, dreamier version of something Mrs Claus would wear. And while, in an ideal world, I would happily own both of those colours too, it’s this navy version that stole my heart, because I just can’t remember the last time I saw a lovely navy velvet dress, if at all.
I typically associate navy blue with summer, alongside red and white for the very obvious and seasonally appropriate nautical vibes it presents, so it felt refreshing to see navy utilized so beautifully for this time of year. It’s not as harsh as black (for those who love colour,) but also not as brusque as red (for those who love black,) so it presents a sweet middle-ground for those of us who love everything. Plus, just picture how gorgeous it will look paired with either gold or silver glittery, bejewelled accessories to take this dress into a fully fledged festive Lewk territory. Exactly, it will be flawless.
Getting down to the specifics, the Clara has a flared skirt and full length sleeves. It features a deep rounded neckline that captures attention by way of the velvet tie that stretches across the collarbone to tie delicately into a bow. It fastens with a hidden back zip. The skirt can accommodate only a slim-medium volume petticoat without getting that awkward look velvet can get when laid over too many layers of tulle, but it moves beautifully and would be wonderful for dancing.
I asked for this dress in the size 18 and it’s a perfect fit. Velvet, of course, offers a lot of forgiveness compared to other fabrics, so it’s a piece in which you may be able to size down if you want a tight fit or if you aren’t able to find your size in stock. As it is in the size 18, the bust flat measures 40 inches with stretch to 46 inches, while the waist flat measures 36 inches with stretch to 40 inches. The skirt is 28 inches long.
The Clara dress comes in black, navy or red in UK sizes 6-22. Collectif Clothing has 4 UK stored based in Brighton and London, and they ship internationally, in addition to having stockists all over the world.
And now, the shoes! The Viviene heel is a staple style for Hotter, regularly released in new colours and materials for different seasons. This rose gold makes for an exemplary example of festive footwear, but it’s also an answer to my footwear prayers because I’ve been on the look out for a pair of gold vintage style shoes for about a year now. All the options I found were always slightly off base from what I wanted in one way or another; heels too tall or too thin, style too strappy, too chunky, too gold. When you get an idea in your head of what you want it can be hard to sort through the hundreds or thousands of options out there in the world to discover whether any of them match up with your vision. Little did I know I needn’t have wasted all that time searching, because one of my favourite shoe styles would fit the bill perfectly in this rose gold colourway.
Since I got my first pair of Hotter shoes early this year I’ve become a bit obsessed with how much more comfortable and supportive they are for my feet than the kind of cheap, mass produced footwear I was habitually buying beforehand. These Viviene heels are definitely an example of how much better it feels to wear a pair of good quality, well produced shoes than it does to wear a much cheaper counter option. With padded insoles, they help fight off that burning-soreness heels often produce in the ball of the foot after extended wear.
Given I have daily pain in my left foot thanks to my Plantar Fasciitis, you’d think any heels at all would be out of the question, but since the Viviene sports that aforementioned padded insole and a low, thick sturdy heel measuring under 2.5 inches, on a good pain day these can feel just as comfortable for me as a pair of flats.
I own a pair of Vivienes already in a UK size 7 which were a perfect fit up until recently (thanks to the occasional swelling of my left foot,) so with that fluctuating swelling in mind I asked to size up into the 7.5 for this rose gold pair and they work perfectly. On the whole I’d say the Viviene shoe is true to size, so wearing your usual size should work out a treat. For those who need a wider fit shoe, they’re also available in an EE wide fit on some of their colourways, all from a UK 3 through to a 9, including half sizes.
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