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.

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 SkirtHell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s SkirtHell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s SkirtHell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s SkirtHell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s Skirt Hell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s Skirt Hell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s SkirtHell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s Skirt Hell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s Skirt Hell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s SkirtHell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s SkirtHell Bunny Coco Top and Lighthouse 50s Skirt

Top: Coco top C/O Hell Bunny
Skirt: Lighthouse 50s skirt C/O Hell Bunny
Shoes: Navy Jessie textured wedges by Lulu Hun
Hair Flower: Red Signature Rose Double by Daisy Jean Florals
Bangles:  Bamboo bangles + Splendette Bamboo woven bangle
Bag: Red Vintage Inspired Bag by Lola Von Rose

The Coco top is a style first released last season, released again this Spring/Summer in two new colour combinations, including this white/blue stripe. I love that it feels like a design that could have been worn during any decade in the past, fun and simple without being dated or era-specific. I can picture my non-vintage style friends throwing it on in summer with a pair of shorts or jeans with no problem, but paired with a vintage hairstyle and some killer accessories it’s nautical vintage cuteness all the way!

This fine knit sweater features a knitted nautical collar that ties sweetly at the bust and flows into a rectangular block collar in the back. The hem and cuffs are ribbed, the latter with enough give that they didn’t feel tight or uncomfortable on my chunky upper arms. It’s a simple, comfortable staple piece, versatile enough to be worn with almost any bottom–picture it paired with swing skirts, capri pants, cigarette pants or even swing trousers, and I guarantee you can envision all of those options resulting in an outfit that gives off a cute and casual vibe. This size 16/XL I’m wearing is true to size, so it fit me close to the body in a flattering skim without clinging or stretching out the knit.

Then there’s the Lighthouse 50s skirt. Ah, this skirt. The moment I first saw it online I screenshot it and put it on my ‘I know you’re saving but you’re clearly going to have to buy this’ list. Soon afterwards I heard there was going to be a dress version of this print, so for a while I held out sensibly, telling myself I would buy only one of them and would need to see them both before I decided. Now I’ve seen the previews of the dress version and, you know, I’ve obviously decided I need to own them both, and of course I have, because look at that print! With a hearty dose of red, white and blue already recommending it to me, it also features an interesting and adorable mix of boats, sailor’s knots, stripes and, of course, lighthouses. It’s immediately eye-catching but not obnoxious or loud, which is just the type of balance I look for in my prints.

The skirt features wide box pleats that create a flattering flow of fabric from the waistband but don’t limit your ability to achieve some lovely fullness with a medium volume petticoat. It closes with a center back zip topped with a button and it’s got pockets, perfect for stowing your sunglasses, phone, lip balm or anything else you might need out and about on a summer’s day. Made of 100% cotton, this skirt has zero stretch and measures true to size, so I sized up from my usual Hell Bunny 16/XL to the 18/XXL so that I could wear it comfortably. The waistband measures 36 inches flat, so it is a little loose on me but better that than muffin-top unbearably tight, as the 33 inch waisted size 16 would have been. The skirt is 26 inches long and it’s already served me well through a seaside walk and a family roast dinner, so it’s shaping up to be a beautiful relationship already.

The Coco Top comes in 3 colourways (white with navy stripes, white with black stripes, and white with red and black stripes) in sizes XS-4XL for £25.99. The Lighthouse 50s Skirt comes in sizes XS-4XL for £29.99 – £32.99, but the discount code AMYMAY20!% will get you 20% off any order from Hellbunny.com, which ships internationally.