A little while ago I was contacted by Collectif clothing to ask if I would be interested in choosing a couple of pieces of clothing from their site to review on my blog. Rarely being one to look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth, and having always really rather liked the designs I'd seen in their catalogue, I said yes and proceded to spend a few hours deciding on what I wanted. So, here is my review of the two items that I chose...
I rarely know what size I'm supposed to be in Australia, let alone the UK but I've been a UK 14 when I've bought from ASOS (according to their charts). According to the Collectif charts I'm closer to a UK 16. Either way, the charts are accurate to the sizing of their products and this fits me as I thought it would: it fits nicely in the bust but it's too big in the waist. Collectif dresses don't seem to have as big a difference between bust & waist measurements as other clothing brands I've bought from so I decided to get a size that would fit me in the bust (and this fits well) and just wear a belt. And, unlike other times I've worn a belt to cinch in something that's too big (and this is around 2 inches too big but I would like to stress that I knew it would be), there wasn't too much of the bunching that I hate. I actually quite like the way the belt breaks up the pattern as well.
I love how the back comes down to a little 'v'.
Can I just say how much I love this pattern? It's so vibrant and eye-catching. As I know I've said before I'm not one for floral prints in what I wear but I've made an exception for this one! The fabric is quite heavy (a stretch velvet, according to the Collectif page for this dress) which I thought might weigh it down too much but I think it actually helps it sit very nicely. It is a little stiff - it may soften with wear, I'm not sure - but for this style I don't count that as a negative thing.
The fabric of the bodice (a cotton blend) is lovely, too - it has a stretch to it which to me means less ironing, right? (I will rationalise less ironing any way that I can!) And it's very comfortable, as well.
I like the gathering at the bust here.
How could I pass up a shirt with flamingos on it? This is made from the same stretch cotton blend as the bodice of the dress and it's just really comfortable and sits nicely around my waist. It also comes in a gorgeous pink but I think the black will be more versatile for me.
One of the things that impressed me about Collectif was the variety in styles - there are some distinctly modern rockabilly flavours throughout (as evidenced in this blouse) but there are also some styles that are more period accurate than vintage inspired, I suppose? It's difficult to articulate exactly what I'm trying to say but I basically just like the variety they offer! So if neither of these things is up your alley you may just find something to your taste.
The sizing on the blouse was spot on for me - I'll just reiterate that the sizing charts are very accurate. (Though only in cm so if you work in inches then you'll have to consult google or similar for a conversion.) And there's no gaping at the bust! That's definitely a rarity in a blouse for me. Oh, and the sizes run from a 6 to 22 from what I can see.
The buttons were a little fiddly for me (though they look great) - of course, it could just be because it's a new shirt & buttoning/unbuttoning might get easier as I wear it more. That's really only a minor thing, though.
I suppose I ought to say something about pricing - I'm never very good at gauging that sort of thing! Whilst my own personal budget wouldn't currently stretch to cover their items (but I'm on a very strict budget on account of saving for exciting things) I think the prices are quite reasonable. I hesitate to use affordable as that's a very relative term but, excluding shipping, you can get a very decent dress for less than $100US. I had heard that Collectif items were nice but a bit on the cheap side in terms of final product but, though I'm no seamstress, I found these to be nicely finished and the fabric is sturdy and feels nice.
I got a lollipop in my parcel, too!
And a cute little mirror with the Collectif Logo on it.
As a disclaimer, I want to say that these things were sent to me for free (I think that was probably obvious from the first paragraph of this post) but I would not say anything that I didn't think was true. As such, my opinion may vary from what others think of the same thing. I also wouldn't have accepted the items to review if they weren't of interest to me and I didn't think they would be of interest to (some of my) readers, either!
Collectif is stocked by various stores around Adelaide (a couple of which can be found toward the bottom of the 'shopping' part of my Adelaide page....which I desperately need to re-haul!) and you can buy directly from their website.
Andi B. Goode