Friday, March 16, 2012

Review {Collectif Clothing}

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...

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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.

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I love how the back comes down to a little 'v'.

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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.

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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.

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I like the gathering at the bust here.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I got a lollipop in my parcel, too!

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And a cute little mirror with the Collectif Logo on it.

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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.

Love,
Andi B. Goode
x

17 comments:

  1. I find Collectif dresses are baggy for me around my waist too, but, like you, I just wear a belt.

    I am loving that shirt! Might have to invest...

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  2. oooo! i just love all of these!!!

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  3. You look great in the dress! That dress and blouse are great pieces to add to any wardrobe. The mirror is way cute too.

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  4. God darn you Andi I need that flamingo blouse, I have an obsession with flamingos! They both look perfect on you, I always thought it looked a little cheap the clothing, but these certainly do not! xxx

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  5. I really, really love that flamingo shirt--and that you paired it with leopard print pants. Cute! :)

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  6. Loving the print of the hibiscus! Very pretty :)

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  7. Aaaah that flamingo shirt?! I need it! How freaking adorable. You look great, Andi!

    -Leah
    Superstition Vintage

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  8. That floral skirt is AMAZING!!!! LOVE! =)

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  9. OH.MY.GOD!!! I have never heard of this brand before until now...I'm so glad :D I love the items you picked out, it must have been so hard because I've just been pouring over their stuff and it is amazing.

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  10. I'm in love with that shirt! May have think about getting that one! - Also a quick note to let you know that I've nominated you for a blog award! No need to participate but you can check out my blog if you're interested! :)

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  11. Being from the UK I'm familiar with Collectif.. my friend stocks their designs in her shop too. I have a couple of their stretch knit cardigans and really love them, but I really can't wear any of their other stuff. Mainly because as a UK 18 or 20 literally NOTHING in those sizes is ever available on their website, I don't know whether it just sells out in five minutes or whether they never stock it in the first place. I'd love to try some of their new ranges but never get the chance!

    Of their garments I have been able to try when I've seen the range stocked in shops, I find the designs just don't fit me due to that issue you mentioned about there not being much difference between the bust and waist. Being bigger does not equal being an amorphous blob, and I really wish the company would do some market research or consultation with bigger girls, because it just feels like they grade up from small sizes without changing the shape or proportions.

    The dress and blouse you picked look great on you, I like the addition of the belt. Love the flamingos too!

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  12. i really love that floral pattern. the color scheme is so pretty!

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  13. SCORE!! ~ l o v e ~ that dress on you!! & the belt looks great! Wonderful detail - in fact, I think it makes the outfit!!

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  14. Agree with the baggy factor (and tiny sizing). I love their stuff, but had to take in the dresses I bought - didnt mind because they are so fabulous anyway. Ebay is a good bet for getting their brand at a reasonable price!

    My one complaint would be with the red cowboy shirt I bought (had a white yoke with embroidery on it) bled everywhere the first time I washed it. It totally stained the white yoke to a pink colour, and I had to wash it three times with Runaway to get rid of it, and now the shirt looks really tired.

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  15. this was a great review! and i love that first dress on you. and it's nice to know how sizing works.

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  16. Firstly, love your blog, have been reading for ages but never commented. :) Just wanted to let you know that I found your review super helpful! I have been lusting over collectif gear, but really unsure of buying. So your comments and pics are fantastic. Adore the flamingos too!!

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  17. Thanks for the great review. I have to admit I'm a bit of a Collectif collector, they just had a 50% off sale too. I find the finish & fabrics to be good quality, but the sizing varies considerably with the designs. I'm a Australian 14/16, but wear their cardigans in 12 (I like them fitted), wiggle-style dresses & skirts in 16 & full skirt dresses in 14. The waists can tend to be a little loose on me too. Their bags are well made & sturdy, highly recommend.

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I read and greatly appreciate each and every comment. If there's a question you'd really love answered, though, please feel free to send me an email about it at andi.b.goode@gmail.com. Thank-you! x