As an avid collector of original vintage, there are certain brands that get my heart all aflutter. One of these would have to be Horrockses. The brand made beautiful cotton dresses in the 40s and 50s and even dressed the Queen in their stunning ready to wear collection, I wrote a post on her Horrockses outfits a couple of years ago. Even back then the dresses were very desirable and were a very special addition to women’s wardrobes.

The brand have been much discussed and written about a lot in recent years and have been part of some major exhibitions. A few dresses from Horrockses have passed through my hands over the years as a dealer. I’ve even found a couple for under £5 at car boot sales in the past. Online they sell for big money these days and as most are safely stored in museums and collectors wardrobes they are now reasonably scarce.

The main problem for me, is that they don’t really come in my size. The main collection was only ever made up to a vintage 16, which is a modern size 12. So as a size 14 I just can’t fit into them. When this dress popped up on a Facebook selling page in my size, I just had to snap it up. I was especially happy to get my hands on this one, as I was quite familiar with the print, having seen it in books before. Apparently certain shops did stock Horrockses dresses in slightly larger sizes, so they are out there. One day I might find another!

I found this particular print in Christine Boydell’s book Horrockses Fashions – Off the Peg Style in the 40s and 50s. It was designed by Alastair Morton in 1947 and as far as I can tell the dress was produced in 1948. Christine recently wrote a post featuring this design on her blog, which is a really interesting read and goes into more detail than I could on here. In fact her whole blog is a fascinating read if you’re interested in vintage textile design in general.

The dress cost me £75, this is pretty cheap for a Horrockses dress and this was mainly because it has seen better days. The label is missing, the zip is broken and it has a fair few marks on it. Luckily it is still totally wearable and I just adore it. It just goes to show you shouldn’t give up on a vintage item just because it isn’t perfect. I bought the dress from Liz who’s blog Advantage in Vintage is an incredible resource, she also has a ridiculously large collection of Horrockses dresses. Her Etsy store is also a bit dreamy!

I’ve worn the dress with a cropped cardigan from Tu Clothing, which I picked up last year. I’m wearing the Mimosa shoes from Hotter which I got recently, they are a cute comfy wedge that will look great with some of my vintage summer dresses. My basket was a recent £5 bargain from Ikea and my necklace is an original vintage one. I wore the outfit for a stroll around Richmond and a pub lunch with my dad last week.

I wear a lot of modern and reproduction clothing for everyday, as a mum I find it more practical, but it is lovely to wear some of my really special original vintage pieces and now that the weather is warmer, these will be appearing a lot more on the blog. I’ve also been sharing a lot of my everyday outfits on my Instagram over the last few weeks.

As for Horrockses, after its heyday in the 40s and 50s they continued to make dresses into the 60s and 70s, but those classic cotton and full skirts were a thing of the past. The brand name was recently licenced to another company who have made a selection of dresses based on the original prints. The dresses are available on Asos, but are made with duchesse satins and have a lot less fabric than the originals. As dresses I really love them, but I’m not sure they pay a true homage to the stunning original designs. I did think they were worth a mention though, as they would look fabulous for events. Click on the images below to see them in full. (above pic via Pinterest)

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Over the last couple of years I’ve had a bit of a love affair with the Tu clothing range at Sainsburys. As well as having a great selection of lovely clothing, they have also had plenty of vintage inspired pieces, with lots of styles clearly influenced by the 50, 60s and 70s. I love being able to treat myself to a bargain, while picking up my groceries and every time I pop in there seems to be something new.

One person who understands my love of a good old wardrobe supermarket sweep, is my best friend Fay. We’ve been on several Sainsburys shopping sprees together, which involves lots of clothes shopping and way too much cheese! Last week she sent me a pic of this lovely dress, knowing I would love it, so at the first available opportunity I made it mine.The lovely midi length floral denim dress is so pretty and can be worn on its own or with a top underneath. For this outfit I wanted to go for a 70s vibe and popped a sheer blouse underneath, to keep my arms warm in the not so sunny early spring weather. I teamed it up with some thick black tights and of course my favourite Orla Kiely for Clarks shoes.

The sizing in Tu clothing is always spot on for me. I always go for a size 14 and find it very true to size. Most of their styles fit well on my fuller bust without stretching or gaping. I’ve always been hugely impressed with the quality. For a relatively budget friendly range, you get good quality fabrics and well finished garments which really stand the test of time. They also have lots of items which mix and match really well, I’ve already seen a few tops that would work well under this dress as well as some knitwear for colder days.

The dress is really reasonably priced at just £20 and I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of it over the next few months. It’s a really handy garment for throwing on for school runs and days out with the kids. Mostly I just love how cute and pretty it is!

The dress is available on the Tu at Sainsburys website.

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I’m feeling a lot of love for Voodoo Vixen at the moment, their last couple of collections have been so fresh and fun and I like the variety on their site. They aren’t producing the same dresses in lots of different colours, but have a nice selection, with a little something for everyone.

The dress in today’s post was an instant favourite for me. It breaks my rules a little as I never wear black, but I was completely drawn to the gorgeous oversized flower print and although this is from their winter range it is also perfect for both spring and summer. The Mabel dress is a classic fit and flare style with lots of lovely details.

The dress is made from a silky polyester with a slight stretch to it, which makes it sit really nicely on the body. The gathered detail at the waist adds a little extra details and gives the dress a slightly empire feel, while still being quite a classic 50s shape. While the ruffles cap sleeves have more of a 70s look. Whatever era you’re going for the dress is super flattering and comfortable to wear. 

I was really happy with the length of the dress, which sits perfectly on the knee with me, as I’ve mentioned in other dress reviews I like my skirts to be on or below the knee as its more vintage appropriate and on me, looks a lot better.

As I mentioned in my last Voodoo Vixen review, I find most of their dresses come up a little on the large side and where I’ve gone for an XL in the past I’ve sized down and gone for a L. I’m so glad I did as this sits perfectly on me and I think the larger size would be a bit too loose.

I’ve worn the dress with a flower crown and Hotter Donna shoes. The fun florals and lighter coloured shoes are perfect for transitioning the dress from winter to spring. I also think it would look great with red jewellery and accessories to bring out the darker flowers in the dress.

As well as this gorgeous dress and the Gabriela dress that I featured last week, there are also a lot of new arrivals on the Voodoo Vixen website at the moment, which I can’t wait to try.

*Thank you to Voodoo Vixen for sending me this dress for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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In a wardrobe stuffed full of dresses, I have very few fitted and wiggle dresses. This year I wanted to try a few different styles and shapes and this pretty wiggle dress from Voodoo Vixen was exactly what I was looking for. The Gabriela wiggle dress, is ridiculously glamorous, while being smart enough to wear to work.

Voodoo Vixen Gabriella DressI’m a little bit between sizes in Voodoo Vixen and in the past I have always gone for the XL and found them a bit too roomy. This time I went for the L and it is definitely very fitted on me, but still comfortable and easy to move around in. I’d definitely recommend having a look at the size guide before buying as it really helps.

It can be a little daunting wearing more fitted styles when you have a bit of a mum tum and a few lumpy bits. However I really love my body and decided to a while ago to wear things I like no matter what my shape and size. I have also got a fair amount of structured lingerie on under this dress to help with the shape! Voodoo Vixen Gabriela Dress ReviewThe dress reminds me of the early 60s and is perfect for getting that Mad Men look. Although the style is quite simple, I really like the little details at the neck and bottom of the skirt, which remind me of some of my original vintage dresses of the era.

Voodoo Vixen Gabriella Pencil DressI’ve worn it here with a pair of Viviene shoes from Hotter, a simple vintage bangle and a little pearl necklace. I think the dress looks really nice with simple accessories.

The dress is priced at £37 which I think is great value for such a lovely dress. I would love it if this style came in some darker colours as well, it would look fab in navy or a maroon shade in the winter. Right now though I’m going to enjoy wearing this colour for Spring.

Voodoo Vixen Lilac Wiggle DressThe dress is available on the Voodoo Vixen website.

*Thank you to Voodoo Vixen for sending me this dress for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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It’s been a while since I bought anything from Lindy Bop, mostly because my wardrobe is pretty full at the moment and I’ve been very good at resisting temptation. However their recent collection of fun novelty prints has definitely caught my attention. Back in December when my brother asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I knew exactly what I wanted and I sent him in the direction of the Alaska Print Gilda dress.

The Gilda dress is a lovely vintage style shirt dress, made from a thick slightly stretchy cotton. It comes in a lovely selection of novelty border prints. Linda Bop has gone a bit crazy for novelty prints recently. But I really like most of them and its a great change from the polka dots and cherries that seemed to be on everything a couple of years ago.

The dress is really lovely quality for the price and I love that as well as having buttons at the front, it also has a concealed side zip, which gives the dress a lovely fit. My only complaint would be that on me the dress is a little short in the body, I could do with the waist starting a little lower, but I don’t think it detracts from its overall loveliness.

The sizing on this dress is pretty spot on, I’m quite a standard size 14 and the dress works really well on me. I love that there is enough room in the bust, that it sits perfectly on me with no gaping. The dress is available up to a size 26.

I’ve worn it here with my vintage lucite necklace and my new Hotter Donna shoes, which are now available in lots of lovely spring colours. I’ll be blogging more about them soon.

Since this is quite a wintery print, the dress isn’t currently available in this option. The Alaska print is still available in a skirt and there are lots of lovely new prints in the Gilda dress. I popped some pictures of the current offering below, I absolutely love the Spring colours on the bicycle print dress.

London PrintSan Francisco PrintCocktail Bar PrintAlaska SkirtGolden Leaves PrintBicycle Print

I’ve got my eye on the San Francisco print at the moment, but I really love all of them. Which design is your favourite?

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