May Baby [Dolly & Dotty]

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.

Dolly and Dotty May Stylish V Neck White Blue Striped dress

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Glorious Gilda [Hearts and Found]

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.

Hearts and Found custom made Gilda dress

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Lana in My Life [Dolly & Dotty]

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.

Dolly and Dotty Lana striped strapless dress Continue reading

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 Continue reading

Look For The Lighthouse [Hell Bunny]

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.)

Hell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s Skirt Continue reading

Ambling in Ambleside [Hell Bunny]

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 Ambleside dress Continue reading

Marin & Me [Hell Bunny]

Hell Bunny Marin Dress Navy Nautical

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

Gingerly Does It [Collectif Ginger Dress]

Anyone who’s followed me for long enough knows I’m a sucker for nautical coloured clothing–put some combination of red, navy or white together and I will probably love it. Another thing I love, but have rarely found in affordable repro, is a winged bust. So it’s time to say hello to Collectif’s Ginger line.

When Collectif launched their SS15 line I was thrilled to see they had included a winged bust in some wiggle dresses, a swing and a playsuit. And then I was sad that all those pieces featured novelty prints, something I’m very picky about and rarely partake in. The atomic flamingo wiggle dress was adorable–but not my style. The strawberry print play suit was super cute–but a no for me with that much fruit appeal.

I don’t know how it snuck by me, but I didn’t realise until recently that there was a nautical colourway of this dress, the navy and white Sailor version of that winged bust design available in both a wiggle and a swing dress. A mere week after I came across this information Collectif launched one of their infamous half price sales. Wing busted, sailor swing dress named Ginger, come to mumma!

Collectif Ginger Navy & White Swing Dress Continue reading

[Sailor] Swing, Baby, Swing!

Continuing on with my recent resolution to review some of my dresses that feel most summery to me, today I’m reviewing my Sailor Swing dress by Pinup Girl Clothing. One of my favourite things about this dress is that it was one of those dresses that actually sparked my transition into pinup style.

At the start of 2013 I began to pincurl and wetset my hair to achieve heat-free curls after a bad experience with heat styling that left ruined my natural curls. I had always liked the fashions from the 50s but had never considered it something a modern woman could fully adopt, so as I began to tinker with my makeup to reflect a more 50s look I also began to search online for clothing options that might feel a bit 50s without being over the top. I didn’t feel confident enough then to wear the kind of outfits I do now, and as I was so tentative about the style change I also didn’t want to drop big bucks on clothing. I found this picture of the navy Sailor Swing dress on Tumblr and became obsessed.

Word up Doris Mayday, lookin’ hot! Image: Laura Byrnes Photography

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All At Sea With Joni

The Joni dress is another of the Voodoo Vixen dresses from their Spring/Summer line that I saw at London Edge and immediately knew I had to have. The print on the Joni dress features white anchors and ship wheels on a navy blue background, the perfect nautical print, but this same print is also featured on the Gywenth dress, the cute strapped wiggle counterbalance to Joni’s cap-sleeved flare design. They are lovely pieces and I kind of want to own them both, but for now I have Joni, whom I took to the beach recently to show her off in her natural habitat. Of course it took only a couple of minutes for the delightful British seaside wind to blow my pincurls to bits, as I should have foreseen, requiring a brief retreat to the car for an emergency bobby-bin salvaging session with my hair. (I think I deserve a Brownies badge in Emergency On-The-Spot Hair Salvaging Without Help Of A Mirror Or Brush.) Hair disaster only barely averted, Joni and I went for a bit of a wander around the slightly less windy wish tower and seaside pathways instead.

joni2 Continue reading