I was thinking the other day about the kinds of prints I love and why, and for some of them it boils down to something surprisingly simple: squares. My winter favourite, plaid, and my summer favourite, gingham, are both prints created by criss-crossing coloured lines to create squares of various sizes. As boring as that sounds, that description can also be applied to picnic blankets, and is there a single person out there who’s willing to say they hate picnics? If there is, there shouldn’t be.
This Lindy Bop Claudine dress makes me think of picnics, and buttercups, and being a bit too excited to be able to bust out one’s sunglasses for the first time this season because the sun, and even some warmth, are finally here. Let’s soak it all in!
Dress: Claudine Blue Check shirtdress C/O Lindy Bop
Bag: Large Round Straw bag C/O Lindy Bop
Hat: Bell Brim Straw hat previously gifted by Unique Vintage
Bangles: Golden Chocolate Splendette and old thrifted wooden bangles
Shoes: Old New Look
Shirtdresses are a wonderful day dress option that can be styled in many different ways, to the extent that you can reach a full vintage inspired look just as easily as you can achieve a casual, modern look for ladies who prefer to dress in the present, so to speak. Last summer during our British heatwave I realised I had a gaping hole in my wardrobe, that of presentable, vintage-inspired items that were made of cotton, didn’t fit snugly, and could be worn super casually, with genuinely no effort, when it was just too hot to bother trying. I had to resort to wearing items that didn’t feel like me at all–t-shirts and maxi skirts from the high street, for example–or wearing my most lightweight repro pieces but feeling awkward and self-conscious because I hadn’t assembled a full look for them by doing my hair and makeup. This Claudine dress will, thankfully, give me a comfortable, simple option that will look cute even worn make-up free in flats and a messy bun, as well as lovely pinned up. It is, basically, a casual dress ready to get as truly casual as you wish.
It ticks all the usual shirtdress boxes; functional front buttons, collared neckline, skirt with slim-medium volume. There’s a couple other features it throws in as delightful extras, though, the first of which is a forever favourite–pockets. The second is the sweet tie detail on the cuffs of the short sleeves. These not only look cute tied into a bow but can also help achieve some extra comfort for those of us who sometimes find the folded cuffs of non-stretch dresses can dig into our biceps. It comes with a brown buckle belt, closes with a hidden side zip, and is fully lined in cotton.
With shirt dresses often my bust or my upper arms can cause an issue with sizing, or discomfort during wear even when a dress does technically fit. For this reason even though I knew the size 18 would fit, I decided to size up to the 20 for a looser, more casual fit, in the hopes that it would have a roomy feel that would be comfortable for all day wear even during a heatwave. My hopes were met! This size 20 lines up well with its size chart, flat measuring 39 inches in the waist with no stretch, and 47 inches in the bust. The cuffs measure 16.5 inches flat in circumference up to the point that the cuff transforms into fabric ties, but depending on how tightly you tie said ties you can gain another 1-2 inches of room in the fit from those as well.
This large round straw bag is also from Lindy Bop. I love wicker and straw bags and I own (if you believe such a thing is possible) probably too many. They’re one of my favourite accessories during warm months, though, and in this case this bag offers something my many other straw bags don’t; genuine I’m-not-just-saying-this-so-you-don’t-criticise-yet-another-straw-addition-to-my-wardrobe room to carry around all my shit. For a lunch trip seeing friends or something similarly social, my other lovely but somewhat small straw bags work perfectly fine. But for a day out shopping, a trip to a beach, even running errands, this is the only bag that offers true practicality.
The fact that it has handles that can be worn over the shoulder is a big part of that workability, because a small bag that must be held or hung from the wrist easily gets in the way. Most obviously, though, it’s big enough to really carry what you need. I took it with me this past weekend to do my weekly food shop and errands, and it not only fit all my expected essentials with tons of room to spare, but then had no problem also accommodating the extra pieces I bought that couldn’t all fit into the reusable shopping bag I’d brought along. The inside of it is simple, a lined open space with one open-top wall pocket to store small items. The bag closes with a zip and is lightweight, it’s even possible to be stored rolled up small to take up minimal room in your home or kept in your car in case you need it unexpectedly.
The Claudine blue check shirtdress comes in UK sizes 8-26. Alternatively this same dress style is available in additional prints, including a red gingham or red stripe prints perfect for summer. The large round straw bag is one of a handful of straw and wicker style bags Lindy Bop offer.
Disclaimer: The dress and bag featured in this review were gifted to me by Lindy Bop in exchange for writing an honest review. The hat was previously gifted to me by Unique Vintage also for review. All opinions expressed are truthful and my own, with no input from any of the companies listed or any other individuals.