A couple of weeks ago, Cath Kidston launched yet another gorgeous Disney Colab. This time classic Cath Prints were revamped with a lovely 101 Dalmations theme. Having bought dresses from the last two collections I knew I had to pick one up this time too.

Luckily for me, this is the first time they’ve done a preview launch in a few stores. So to avoid hours of online frustration trying to get the dress into my basket, I headed to the Piccadilly store and stood in a queue for an hour to get my dress.

The whole shopping experience was pretty stress free. It was a lovely sunny day and the queue was organised really well. There were friendly CK staff chatting to people in the queue and it was a really nice atmosphere. When the store re-opened at 7pm we were let in a few at a time and staff were on hand to make sure everyone got everything they wanted. I left with this dress, a bookbag and a mug. I also got a bonus canvas tote bag for spending over £40, which was a really nice touch.

Obviously I absolutely love the print of this dress, the colour and design are really cute. However I was even more in love with the Townhouse print, so I was a little disappointed that they didn’t do it as a dress, as it would have been perfect.

A few people have mentioned being a bit disappointed by the material of the dress. When I first went into the shop, I was too. The dress is 100% polyester and at first I was really sad that it wasn’t cotton or viscose. I’ve not come across another CK dress in this material before and it actually felt very cheap. However my mind completely changed when I put the dress on. When you’re wearing it the material drapes really beautifully and the lighter fabric works very well with the pleats. The dress is very comfortable to wear and not at all sweaty, so don’t be put off!

Fit wise, I always go for a 14 in Cath Kidston and this fit really well. As usual I found it a little short in the body, but I was much more pleased with the skirt length on this, than any of my other Cath dresses.

Price-wise this was not a cheap one, at £80 it is a bit of a splurge for a simple dress. But all my Cath Kidston dresses have lasted for years and always washed well, so I always treat them as an investment. I also rarely buy anything expensive, so I will treat myself to something I really want every now and then

I am really looking forward to finding out what the next Disney collaboration will be. One day I’m hoping for a Lady and the Tramp or a Mary Poppins print. That would be amazing! What Disney film would you like to see Cath Kidston work her magic on next?

Find the full 101 Dalmations range on the Cath Kidston website.

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Sometimes with dresses I experience love at first sight. I have felt that way so many time about dresses from Palava. Their range really speaks to me, not only are the designs beautiful, but the cotton is also organically produced and they are ethically made.

I’ve been wanting to buy a Palava dress for a really long time, but have always put it off because I just couldn’t decide which one to get. I’m so glad I finally decided to get the Beatrice dress and I went for the Chelsea Flower Garden print. The dress arrived in beautiful packaging, with its own little picture book which explains the story behind the print. Everything about it is adorable and as well as appealing to my love of pretty dresses it also makes me feel all nostalgic for the books of my childhood. The border of each dress tells a story and there’s something so lovely and adorable about knowing what the illustrations mean.

Palava is a small family business with an interesting history. The family’s shop Strickland and Holt has been selling various things since 1854. In the 70s the parents of Palava owner Bryony, came in to save the business. They also formed a company which produced bedding using their own designs and those of local artists. They branched out into clothing and the company was a big success. Sadly they had to close in 2000 after a fall in the popularity of prints and the further decline of British manufacture.

10 years later their daughter Bryony restarted the business, using her own illustrations. And so the beautiful dresses with the matching story books were born. The dresses come in both women’s and girls sizes.

The company is run with ethical values at it’s core. From the organic cotton to the European and British manufacture, Bryony ensures that everyone is fairly paid and that the company leaves no negative impact on the world. This is important to me as a consumer and I am happy to pay a little bit extra for that.

Back to my lovely dress, I couldn’t be happier with it. The cotton is super soft and the print is so beautiful and vibrant. The dress has a light cotton lining and is perfect for hot weather. I haven’t put mine through the wash yet, but the dresses are designed to wash well and be hard wearing, so that they can be enjoyed for years. As someone who wears their favourite dresses year after year, this is really important to me.

I went for my usual size 14 in this. I checked the detailed size guide on the website, to make sure it would fit. I really liked the cut of this dress which allowed plenty of room in the bust, while being quite fitted at the waist. The dress fastens with a side zip, like most 50s dresses and I find that really helps to achieve the perfect fit.

I’ve worn mine with a pair of shoes from Hotter, a vintage Enid Collins bag and a flower garland.

The quality is absolutely stunning and everything you’d expect from a dress in this price range. The dress costs £145.95 and for the quality fabric, beautiful design and construction and ethical values you definitely get what you pay for. I would like to invest in more Palava dresses in the future as I know I with love and wear them forever. Here are a few more of my favourite designs from the website.

Find the full range on the Palava website.

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I love it when a reproduction or vintage style item, looks like it could be an original. I really feel that way about the Lindy Bop Maybelle jacket and dress sets. They really do pay homage to that early 60s Mad Men era style. When I went out last week with my mum and dad they were genuinely amazed that this wasn’t a real vintage find.

The set was hugely popular when it first launched in a couple of different colours and I was delighted to see lots of new additions this season. I’m not usually a big wiggle or pencil dress wearer, because I prefer to hide my tummy and hips, which definitely show the signs of having had two babies, but I really like the slightly heavier fabric and lining on this dress, which definitely help smoothen things out a bit.

When Lindy Bop contacted me, to see if I wanted to review one of their new items, I chose this straight away. I love anything in a mustard colour and I thought this would be a great addition to my wardrobe. It makes a nice change from my usual dresses and it’s useful to own something a bit smarter and more formal.

The jacquard fabric definitely reminds me of real vintage pieces I’ve come across in the past and I really like that it had a little bit of stretch. The combination of fitted dress and slightly more boxy jacket works really well too and gives it a very authentic feel.

Quality wise I’m pretty impressed. I like the little details like the concealed zip, fabric covered buttons and the bow on the dress. The lining is a great addition, which I think makes the dress fit and hang better. The set is also finished very well, giving it a more expensive feel. At just £55 I think its great value for money.

Fit wise I went for my usual size 14 and it was absolutely fine. With Lindy Bop it is always worth looking at the size guide, as they really do vary a lot.

I’ve worn the outfit with a pair of Hotter Viviene heels. I think it works well to keep the outfit simple and not go overboard with accessories, so something simple and cream is perfect.

The outfit comes in a selection of colours. If a fitted dress isn’t your thing, then there is also a very similar style in the same fabric with a fuller skirt, which is also absolutely gorgeous.

Top Row – Maybelle Dresses Bottom Row – Marianne Dresses (more colours available)

Which is your favourite colour and style?

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

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I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Cath Kidston’s latest print, firstly because I love anything beachy, but also because it features lobsters. This isn’t the first time novelty lobster prints have been used and the latest offering from CK has has some rather fabulous lobster predecessors. I thought I’d share a bit of fashion history, before showing you my favourite pieces from the Cath Kidston collection.

Image from The Philadelphia Museum of Art (source)

This amazing dress by Elsa Schiaparelli dates from 1937 and was designed in collaboration with Salvador Dali. It’s one of my all time favourite dresses.

Image found via Pinterest

Above is a picture of Walace Simpson wearing the dress, photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1937 shortly before her marriage.

Image found via Pinterest from The Fashion and Textiles Museum

Horrockses also produced a lobster print, which can be seen in the above skirt. I really love this print and I hope one day it’s reproduced.

Another variation of the Horrockses Lobster print designed by Pat Albeck is included in the Horrockses book by Christine Boydell.

Lobster and Shells DressLobster Beach ToteLobster Kids SunglassesLobster Foldaway ShopperLobster Grace MugLobster Espadrilles 

I absolutely love the cute beachy theme of the Cath Kidston dress and the colours are really pretty. I also really like the simple lobster and blue background print on the shopping bag and really wish there was a dress in this print too, as it would love a bit more vintage. As well as the dress I really like the beach tote bag a lot and these are the two pieces from the collection that I’ll definitely be saving up for.

What do you think of the Cath Kidston prints, is there something from the collection that you like?

See the full Lobster range on the Cath Kidston website.

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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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