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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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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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen me share a few pictures of todays gorgeous dress. I have already written about it for the Laura Ashley blog and everything about it is fabulous!

Laura Ashley Floral Ruffle Dress 2A few months ago I went to the Laura Ashley press day and saw so many gorgeous things that appeal to my love of vintage and retro clothes. For this season Laura Ashley have looked back to their archives for inspiration and this collection really does pay homage to the companies best days. As I’ve mentioned many times I adore the 70s look and all the romantic flowing fabrics and floral prints, this dress really epitomises that for me.

Laura Ashley Floral Ruffle Dress 4The Pink Floral Ruffle Dress has a high neck with a pussy bow detail at the neck as well as plenty of retro ruffles. It has gathered sleeves and an elasticated waist which is neatly hidden behind a classic tie belt. The dress falls mid calf, which is a little longer than I usually wear, but perfect for wearing with some knee-high boots. The ones I’m wearing are from Dune and were kindly leant to me by Fay (the bestie).

Laura Ashley Floral Ruffle Dress 6Fit wise, I went for a size 14 as usual and the fit was great. I didn’t have any problems with gaping at the bust and the elasticated waist was just right, but would also add a little flexibility if you’re between sizes. The dress is made from polyester crepe and doesn’t need ironing, which I appreciated as I seem to spend most of my time glued to the iron!

Laura Ashley Floral Ruffle Dress 3As the dress has quite a busy design and print, I kept accessories to the absolute minimum and only brightened the look up with a hair flower from Scarlet Ribbons. I wore my hair in a simple messy Gibson roll, I think the dress is nice with an up-do as its shows off all the details, although it would also look good with some 70s style waves. As the weather gets warmer I will probably wear the dress with a pair of wedges instead of boots, making it a great transitional piece as the seasons change.

The dress costs £110, but is currently on offer for £88 and is available on the Laura Ashley website.

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

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At this time of year, I can’t help looking forward to the warmer months ahead. I absolutely cannot wait to leave the cold weather behind and start enjoying everything that Spring has to offer. Wardrobe wise I am more than ready to hang up my winter coats and start wearing my favourite dresses.

Laura Ashley Pink Dress 1Todays outfit is perfect for the transition between warm and cold. This lovely dress from Laura Ashley has a high neck and long sleeves making it perfect for when the weather is still chilly, but Spring is in the air. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it at their press day last year and couldn’t wait for it to come in stock.

Laura Ashley Pink Dress 2The colour is absolutely gorgeous, I love grown up classic dusky pinks, which go well with everything. I’ve paired it here with black tights and a hat along with my Orla Kiely shoes, for a warmer option. I love the classic lines of the dress, which pays homage to the classic 50s fit and flare style.

Pink Laura Ashley Dress 5The best part of this dress for me is the little details. At the waist there a stitched in pleats, which make the drape of the skirt absolutely beautiful. The dress fastens with concealed buttons and has a tie detail at the neck. It also has a tie belt and I love the way the bows dress up the simple design. The length is also perfect and on me, sits just below the knee

Laura Ashley Pink Dress 4The dress is made from a super soft very high quality cotton. It feels absolutely lovely to wear. I love the simple and chic design and it is the perfect classic addition to my wardrobe. I went for my usual size 14 and found the fit to be spot on. I think the style and colour are very versatile and this could be styled so many different ways throughout the year.

Laura Ashley Pink Dress 3The dress is also available in a light blue denim, which I also really like. The dress is usually priced at £95 but is currently on offer at £66.50, which is a great price for the beautiful quality. This is definitely an item that will get a lot of wear and will stay in my wardrobe for many years.

I am really impressed with most of the offering from Laura Ashley this season, many of the designs have vintage influences and the designers have looked back at the archives for inspiration.

Find the dress on the Laura Ashley website.

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

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It may be absolutely freezing outside, but in my head its time to start planning outfits for Spring. I have acquired a few new dresses in anticipation of a warmer spell and one of those is the gorgeous May dress from Dolly and Dotty.

Dolly and Dotty Blue Floral Dress Review The dress is made from a lovely light cotton and has a pretty gathered bust and waist and a full skirt. I really like the wrap style at the front. The floral print is both classic and pretty and I think this would be perfect for a Spring vintage look.

May Swing Dress in Blue from Dolly and DottyI got the dress in my usual size 14 and I found it came up a little bit small at the waist. It fastened fine, but felt a little tight. So it might be worth sizing up in this one if you plan to eat a big lunch (which I always do).

Dolly and Dotty May Swing Dress ReviewThe dress is fully lined, which I always really like, especially when I’m wearing a dress with tights. I was very happy with the quality and as a bonus, the dress comes with two matching belts, which I decided not to wear with the dress as I quite like keeping it simple.

Dolly and Dotty OOTDAt £34.99 the dress is a great price and is perfect for creating a classic 50s style look. The dress also comes in a huge range of prints and colours and I would love to pick up a darker coloured one too.

I wore the dress with an original 50s necklace, black tights and Hotter shoes.

Check out the full range of dresses on the Dolly and Dotty website.

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

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