Comfort in Stripes [Dolly & Dotty]

Come on, you must know by now that I’m a little bit crazy for nautical colour combinations. Give me red, white and navy, give me anchors, give me stripes! I just don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. But I suppose, sigh, that it is sensible sometimes to have separates that can make up a nautical outfit but don’t have to, that can be paired with other pieces for a different kind of look. I mean, I guess.

These pieces from Dolly & Dotty both indulge my nautical love and gift me with a somewhat reluctant possibility of versatility.

Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt Dolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirtDolly & Dotty Gloria stripe top Erin high waisted flared skirt

Top: Red Stripes Gloria top C/O Dolly & Dotty
Skirt: Navy Erin High Waisted skirt C/O Dolly & Dotty
Bag: White purse by Lola Von Rose
Hat: Old Select
Bangles: Woven Bamboo by Splendette + Assorted bamboo bangles
Shoes: Old Primark

Playful joking aside, these pieces really do make for versatile staple pieces. I love off the shoulder tops but more often than not I tend to find they fail to do their one job–actually stay off the shoulder. Consequently, I probably own at least 5 different off the shoulder tops that I hardly ever wear, despite feeling they’re super flattering on me, because it drives me crazy having to repeatedly pull them back into place sufficiently off my shoulders throughout wear. No thanks. This Gloria top, however, poses no such frustrating problem. Once off the shoulder, this top really did stay in place, perhaps because the stretchy fabric is such a fine knit it’s not constantly bunching back up from the weight of its own stretch. This top settles and stays put, even as I move about my day, which is something I can’t praise highly enough, especially for only £14.99! Methinks I’ll be needing it in the other colours as well, and that perhaps Dolly & Dotty should look into offering it in plain shades too. Just a (hopeful) thought 😉

The Erin high waisted flared skirt is exactly that, featuring a wide waistband, hidden pockets and 17 functioning buttons that fasten down the entire front centre panel of the skirt. I must admit that items of clothing that fasten with a series of buttons drive me slightly crazy, as buttons that won’t unpop throughout the day are hard work to fasten in the first place, and buttons that are easy to fasten are a threat to popping open at the most inopportune of times. These are the former, so at least they stay in place and won’t accidentally flash someone your belly button or pants when you aren’t paying attention. Plus, the inclusion of pockets always makes me a happy pinup.

The skirt actually had tons more stretch than I was picturing–I’m not sure if I confused this skirt with another one I had seen sizing information on elsewhere, or whether I just somehow deduced from the product pictures and the deep waistband that it was going to size small, but either way, I was wrong. The 18 I requested was much too big, especially since this skirt has stretch, but I took it in by a few inches in the back and now it’s a comfortable fit. Before I got out my needle and thread, though, I did note that the waistband flat measures 38 inches with stretch up to 41 inches, so definitely either size true on the size chart or size down. My Gloria top, thankfully, I requested in the right size, the size 18 to fit my 45 inch bust, and it fits comfortably through the arms, my main area of concern in sleeved tops, as well as in the bust with some extra room in the waist. It’s a true to size piece that has stretch, so it’s an easy piece to order without size concerns.

The Erin high waisted flared skirt comes in navy blue, black and burgundy in UK sizes 8-24 for £34.99 and the Gloria off the shoulder top comes in 5 different striped colourways in UK sizes 6-24 for £14.99.

Bewitched By Sabrina [Dolly & Dotty]

I first spotted the Sabrina cape by Dolly & Dotty at London Edge earlier this year. I’m fond of capes and capelets in general, but as a curvy woman I do tend to feel when I actually don one that all the extra fabric results in me losing my waist, which is something I can’t really visually afford when constructing an outfit. This particular cape is a more cropped length, which not only makes it adorable but also stops it from eating up the outline of one’s body, regardless of curviness, as well as making it petite-appropriate. I was certain it would end up being the perfect incarnation of my cape-love so I’ve been eagerly awaiting its release since I first spotted it in January. I’m thrilled that it’s finally available!

Dolly & Dotty Sabrina Cape, Gina Top, Falda Pencil Skirtsabrina15Dolly & Dotty Sabrina Cape, Gina Top, Falda Pencil SkirtDolly & Dotty Gina Top, Falda Pencil SkirtDolly & Dotty Gina Top, Falda Pencil SkirtDolly & Dotty Gina Top, Falda Pencil SkirtDolly & Dotty Sabrina Cape, Gina Top, Falda Pencil SkirtDolly & Dotty Sabrina Cape, Gina Top, Falda Pencil Skirt Dolly & Dotty Sabrina Cape, Gina Top, Falda Pencil SkirtCape: Black Sabrina cape by Dolly & Dotty
Top: Gina Black & White Stripe top by Dolly & Dotty
Skirt: Falda Pencil Skirt by Dolly & Dotty
Above all C/O Dolly & Dotty
Belt: From my Red Havana dress by Pinup Girl Clothing
Heels: Old season Everything5pounds.com

The Sabrina is a true cape, with no armholes. It’s just a cropped caplet that fastens around your neck with a large popper, which holds it steadily in place, with the popper covered by a pretty double-bow neck detail. It’s lined and comes in three colours, red, white and black, and I kind of want all three because along with navy blue those are the three foundation colours in my wardrobe.

I love that this cape is so simple and chic that you can style it in a million ways, channeling retro vibes or opting for something truly modern. I know wearing it with a pencil dress or skirt will be my go-to silhouette choice, but I’m also eager to pair it with some capri pants and a plain fitted top for something a little out of my style norms. I got this in a size 14 and since there’s no armholes or other structural restrictions, getting the sizing right on this isn’t a big worry. You can stick to your usual size or size up or down, because it won’t fit too tight in the shoulders or hike up too short just by the difference of a size or two. It only costs £24.99, so you can probably expect to see this featured in multiple colours in future outfit photos.

The Gina top is a short sleeved striped top with a keyhole cut out detail in the back, which I really like. It sounds silly but it can be surprisingly hard to find striped tops these days, so getting this in the black and white stripes will make it super easy to pair with tons of my wardrobe. As it’s stretchy I intended to get the size 14 but it 14 was sold out so I got the 16. The arm cuffs on this top have a black trim the same as the rounded neckline, and while they aren’t tight I think if I had sized down they might have been, so the 16 was a perfect all over fit. It only costs £12.99 and is available in 7 striped colourways and 4 polka dotted colourways, all sizes  6 to 24, so it’s such an easy piece to add into your closet without any stress on your wallet. Next up I definitely need to order a couple of their striped Gloria tops because they look like the perfect off the shoulder tops to pair with all manner of bottoms to create a retro look.

The Falda skirt in black costs £19.99 and works great as a wardrobe staple piece. Since it’s such a plain, classic style it’s easy to wear it for work or to style it up for your social wardrobe, whether casually or more elegantly. As I’m 5ft 7 it comes up a bit shorter on me than a true vintage style high-waisted skirt, but since it reaches my knees I’m okay with that. I got this in a size 16, which is for 34-36 inch waists and it flat measures at 36 inches in the waist with enough stretch to reach 38 inches. More importantly for me, it flat measures 45 inches in the hips with stretch to 48 inches, so it manages to fit my hips. That does mean you might be able to size down if you want a really tight fit for a wiggle in your walk. The Falda skirt comes available in 4 solid colours and 8 prints, all from UK sizes 6 to 24.