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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It can be tricky to find practical shoes to go with vintage dresses. For me comfort is a huge priority. I’m a busy mum and I do a lot of walking. A lot of my job involves going from place to place and keeping my feet happy is really important to me. I’ve mentioned numerous times, how much I like Hotter shoes. I have so many pairs now, but until recently they were mostly heels.

A few weeks ago, I was sent a pair of their Flare sandals in red and yellow and they were perfect to wear with this original 1940s dress which I picked up at a car boot sale.

The sandals are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I have ever owned. They are wide enough for my feet and have adjustable straps for a perfect fit. The shoes are contoured and have a microfibre insole for ultimate comfort. I went for my usual size 6 and the standard fit. They also come in a wider fitting. My feet are reasonably wide, but I always find the Hotter standard fit to be spot on.

I chose the red and yellow colour way, because they remind me so much of original vintage ones I’ve seen. There are so many lovely 40s sandals in bright colours like these. For a modern shoe, I think they’re a perfectly acceptable addition to a vintage inspired outfit. I think they’d work well at festivals, where comfort needs to come first. These will definitely be coming to Twinwood with me this year.

I love how well they match up to my bangles and I’ve definitely been picking out similar coloured items from my wardrobe to wear with these this summer. As well as this lovely colour, the Flare also comes in several other colourways including gold, blue and aqua, and brown. See all the colours here.

The quality is everything I’ve come to expect from Hotter – excellent. They are beautifully made from high quality materials and best of all, they are produced in the UK. These sandals cost £59.

Find the full range of sandals on the Hotter website.

*Thank you to Hotter for sending me these shoes for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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Today I’m continuing my mission to share all of my original vintage dresses on here. Continuing from last week when I shared one of my original 1950s dresses. Today I’m featuring another of my very favourite dresses, this time its a Swirl. I talked about Swirl wrap dresses in a post a few years ago, when I wore my black and white one. They are one of my favourite brands to collect and this particular dress is the highlight of my collection.

I spotted this dress at Twinwood Festival back in August and it was love at first sight. I had absolutely zero shopping budget while I was there. I kept coming back to it though. I absolutely love anything with a fruit print and being a big fan of Swirl dresses I knew I couldn’t let it get away.

The stallholders kindly offered to bring it to the Mid Century Market in London the following month and had it waiting for me when I got there. I’m so glad I got to make it mine! I bought it from Shazam, who are best known for their incredible vintage style hair flowers. They also sell original vintage pieces at fair and festivals. It wasn’t cheap at around £80, but this dress is one that I plan to keep forever. Although most of my clothes are bargains, I will invest in special pieces for my collection if I know I will love and wear them for a long time.

I’ve worn the dress with my yellow Miss L Fire shoes, which I can’t stop wearing at the moment. They are such summery shoes, that I pair them up with everything at this time of year. I’ve also added a hair flower and a stack of bakelite – my go to accessories for nearly every outfit! Beppe the cat also wanted to be included, this is his OOTD debut and he I think he poses like a pro.

One of the things I love about Swirl dresses is their distinctive cut and style. They fasten with a button at the neck and wrap around the back, with ties at the front. The basic design of all Swirls is the same, but the finishes and patterns vary immensely. I particularly like the 50s versions which their big patch pockets.

This fabulous advert from the 50s shows how a Swirl is worn. Image from The Vintage Traveller (used with permission)

First produced in America in 1944 and manufactured well into the 70s, the design changed very little. This makes them a great type of dress to collect. Being wrap dresses the sizing can be a little tricky and I have been caught out before buying them a bit too small, so its always worth double checking the measurements.

You can find out a lot more about the company on The Vintage Fashion Guild website and The Vintage Traveller has some really informative posts on Swirls. I decided not to write too much about the history of the brand, as these two sources have done it so much better than me.

Image from The Vintage Traveller (used with permission)

Swirl dresses are very popular and collectible today. They are more common in the States than they are over here, but they do pop up on Ebay and Etsy from time to time. They aren’t usually ridiculously priced and if I see something I really like I’ll often get it from abroad. I find Swirls are generally in pretty good condition, as they were well made from good quality cotton and were designed to be worn and washed frequently. They have definitely stood the test of time and are still a handy and comfortable addition to a wardrobe.I am completely in love with this novelty print Swirl dress on Etsy at the moment, and just wish it was my size so I could buy it!

Heyday is the only reproduction company who do a style similar to a Swirl. Their Fleur dress is inspired by Swirls and comes in a lovely selection of prints. I’m wearing one in this post from a few years ago.

This patchwork print dress from Heyday pays tribute to the Swirl wrap dresses of the past. 

This lovely duck print dress from Heyday shows how both the Swirls and Fleur dresses fasten at the back.

 Writing this post had made me want to dig out my other Swirls and get some pictures, so watch this space and I’ll be showing them very soon as well.

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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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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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