Collectif’s Nova dress was, it is safe to say, one of the biggest hits of their spring/summer line last year. It featured thin pastel rainbow stripes and sold out quickly. At the time I remember eyeing the cut and style of the dress shape with great interest, but as I’m not much of a pastel girl it wasn’t for me. I was very pleased, therefore, to receive their SS19 catalogue and to find that a red and white striped version was coming this season. Well, it’s here, it’s cut is all I had hoped for, and it’s ready to rock your boat (pun intended.)
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!
Spring isn’t even here but the first SS18 pieces are, so you know what that means? Time for the first nautical outfit of the summer that is still an age away!
I am all about stripes. If they’re white and navy? I could not be any more about stripes, no way, no how. A striped vintage style dress is so chic and classic that it literally never goes out of style. Add in how easy it is to style a dress like that and you’re laughing. It’s surprising to no one, then, that I’m pretty loved up with this Dolly & Dotty offering that’s new in their summer range.
I’ll tell you what–there are many ways we Brits are poorly adapted to dealing with hot weather, but for me one of the things I struggle with most is how uncomfortable I find tight seams and waistbands during hot weather. That might sound weird, but just picture it; you throw on one of your favourite dresses in the comfort of your cooled bedroom in the morning, then go out into the sweltering day only to realise a few hours later as you sit sweating at your desk, or on the bus, or waiting for your friend to turn up to your lunch date, that it was a mistake. Because in that moment, while you’re feeling hot and sticky and fed up, you realise that this dress–which was always a bit on the tight side because you were technically between sizes from this brand and you opted for the smaller size because it looked better on, even though you have to wear particular underwear with it–is actually fresh hell.
The waistband, which normally feels like it’s flattering your waist by cinching it in by sheer force of the fabric, is digging in to the clammy skin of your waist, and the bust feels like it’s squeezing your poor boobs, and the whole thing is just too tight and uncomfortable for humidity and summer and oh god why did you do this to yourself, this is not the kind of weather for sucking in and posing and remembering in every moment to be poised. You should have picked out one of your dresses that’s a bit looser, airier, one of those ones you normally have to add a belt to in order to feel it fits properly.
Or, you know, you should have worn one of your dresses that was literally made for you, custom measured in every aspect to fit your body. That, my friends, is what I’ve been doing a lot during our little British heatwave, and thanks to Hearts and Found I’ve been so much more comfortable for it.
At this point it’s got to be redundant when I talk about how much I love all things nautical, right? So I won’t. I’ll say instead that while this Lana dress by Dolly & Dotty is striped and fits a nautical themed styling easily, beautifully even, the dress itself technically isn’t nautical. It’s just a lovely white and navy striped number that comes with a red belt, fitting that red, white and blue colour scheme that’s so closely associated with all things seaside, beach front and sailing that it’s evocatively on trend in that area without so much as a flash of an anchor or glimpse of a sail.
Oh, huh. I guess I utterly failed at talking about nautical things after all anyway. Damnit!
But, still, you get my point. This Lana dress isn’t technically a nautical novelty, it’s just a comfortable striped sun dress that I couldn’t help but style with a nautical flair because I am a predictable red, white and blue loving maniac. Sorrynotsorry.
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.
Let’s state the obvious right up front: I’m a fan of nautical prints and styles. Considering I don’t actually like swimming, going on boats, sunbathing, or anything else that happens near the sea really (except eating ice cream,) I can only assume what I love most about the theme is the combination of red, white and navy blue, three of my favourite colours to pair together. Plus, there’s often stripes in nautical prints, which is clearly a forever winner in style, and sometimes cute things like anchors and ship wheels as well, so I guess I’m just superficial and only care about appearances when it comes to this topic?? (Appearances and ice cream.)
Oh well, I’ll try to remember to feel awkward about it while I frolic in my cute new Hell Bunny nautical get-up at Eastbourne Pier. (Spoiler alert: no I won’t.)
If you know anything about me at all it’s probably that I love nautical style clothes. Navy, white, red, they just go together so beautifully, and there’s something timeless and fun about nautical themed pieces, whether they’re simple colourblock styles or nautical themed prints.
When I was a little girl, I had a pale blue nautical style sailor-girl dress that I loved. Since it was the 80s, our family had three of these dresses in different sizes, so that me and my two elder sisters could match. Maybe that’s where my nautical love all began, who knows. What I do know is that my love has never waned, if anything intensifying over the years, so when I spotted the nautical offerings from Hell Bunny’s SS16 range, I was sold.
I already reviewed the Marin dress from Hell Bunny earlier this season, a seaside themed printed dress which I love and constantly wear, so I figured now it was time to review one of their simpler, navy pieces.
It’s time to take a countryside amble in the Ambleside dress.
Hell Bunny’s SS16 line offers the same varied mix of styles as their usual lines–some truly cutesy stuff, a bit of tropical, some kitsch, a range of plain staples, and a touch of nautical. For the first time they’re offering handbags too, but the piece that most stood out to me, lover of nautical themes that I am, was the Marin dress.
Available in red and blue, this dress sports a full circle skirt, pockets, a rounded neckline reaching up to self-tie shoulder straps and a nautical print featuring everything from rum bottles and ragged flags to crabs, ship wheels and compasses. My 4 year old nephew had great fun studying the print recently when I went to spend the morning with some of my family, although he did question why a ship would be in a bottle–I dunno, little dude, people have hobbies, I can’t explain how that ever came to be. Continue reading