retro inspired dresses from collectif

Things I Want to Buy from Collectif Right Now This Very Second

My Collectif obsession is no secret.

Actually, scratch that: don’t you just hate it when bloggers start their posts by saying that something totally non-controversial is “no secret”? Why would it be a secret that I like Collectif? I mean, it ISN’T… and if you don’t believe me, the proof is here, here, here, here, and I can’t be bothered going back any further through my archives, but if you ever have a few spare hours and you want to see how many times I can wear that one cherry print cardigan I have, type ‘Collectif’ into the search bar at the top of the screen, then sit back and prepare to scroll.

But anyway. Over the past year or so, this retro-inspired brand went from being one of the sites I’d look at every so often, to one I check almost every day, and send a large percentage of my paycheck to every month. If you like vintage dresses, but are more of a retro-repro kinda gal, this site is pretty lethal, and here are a few reasons why:


Collectif Dorothy Tulle floral swing dress

Collectif ‘Dorothy’ tulle floral swing dress, £150

This is Dorothy. I could probably just end this post right here, because this is the kind of dress that makes me want to just type the word “OBSESSED” and pretend that isn’t a totally ridiculous thing to say about a dress. It’s also the kind of dress that makes me wish I was, like, Grace Kelly, say, or someone else who actually had a reason to wear this. Do YOU have a reason to wear this dress? Then you should buy it. Trust me when I tell you, you will regret it if you don’t.

(If you DON’T have a reason to buy it, meanwhile, you should wait until the next Collectif sale, and see if you can justify buying a totally impractical dress on the cheap. That’s what I’m going to do.)

Collectif Sophie occasion swing dress

Collectif ‘Sophie’ occasion swing dress, £159.50

This is Dorothy’s sister, Sophie – or, as I call her, ‘GIMME’.  This one also comes in navy and ivory. The ivory version would make an awesome wedding dress: the other two, meanwhile… well, the other two are just plain awesome.

Collectif retro inspired Regina doll dress

Regina Doll Polka Flock Print Dress, £30

Er, hello, polka dress which has just been reduced to £30 in the sale, and which prompted my finger to hover over the “add to basket” button for a full five minutes before reluctantly talking myself out of it. This is still available in the navy, but it’s almost sold out in this blue/green/whatever-that-colour-is-supposed-to-be-and-who-cares-when-it’s-this-pretty shade. In fact, there’s just one size left, and, guys? It’s MY size. I am so tempted right now, I can’t even tell you. Only the rain battering against the office window, and reminding me that I’d be reeeaaalllly unlikely to get to wear this anytime soon is stopping me. Well, that and the Dorothy Perkins order I placed over the weekend. Moving on…

I’m going to bypass the skirts section, because that would be way too dangerous right now, and move straight on to the knitwear. I LOVE Collectif knitwear. My preference for cardigans and sweaters is for a very fitted style, which looks good over dresses, or with capri pants/jeans. Unfortunately, the high street doesn’t really cater too well to that style, and a lot of the knits you find there are quite loose fitting, which I find frumpy with the kind of clothes I normally wear them with. Retro-inspired brands like Collectif, however, usually cut their cardigans to a cropped, fitted shape, which is much more flattering. For instance:

Collectif Jessica Daisy cardigan

Collectif ‘Jessica’ daisy cardigan, £42

I’ve wanted this baby blue cardigan since I saw it in the spring/summer preview. It’s gone in and out of stock since then: when it’s IN stock, I don’t have any money, and when it’s OUT of stock, I do… but I end up spending it on something else. Because I never learn.

I would wear it with this:

Collectif 'Fiona' pastel gingham skirt

Collectif ‘Fiona’ pastel gingham skirt, £31

OK, I know I said I wouldn’t look at the skirts section, but… I looked at the skirts section. And it was a bit like looking into the eyes of Medusa, really – once you’ve looked, there’s no looking away. On that note, I think it’s probably better if I stop there, while I still have some money left for food, and other things that are less interesting than retro-inspired dresses, but slightly more practical. (Only slightly, though…)

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  • Hana


    Hilarious! Also, need all of these. Especially the second one in all colours, thankyouverymuch.

    June 1, 2015
  • I need that cardigan and that second dress. They’re gorgeous. And I agree the second dress would make an amazing wedding dress.
    Fashion and Happy Things

    June 1, 2015
  • So I probably shouldn’t read this post because I love Collectif and it will just make me want to Buy All The Things. So, this is me not reading that post. Yep. *exerts enormous amount of self control* *drums fingers* *has totally got this self control thing nailed* *twitches* *twitches* *TWITCHES* *rushes off to read post and Buy All The Things*

    June 1, 2015
  • Also, that polka dot dress that’s on sale? BUY IT! NOW!

    June 1, 2015
  • Fingers crossed that the Camden Shop will have the Dolores dress in 22 (and that it fits – not like a glove/ stuffed sausage). Then I only need to decide on a colour – all are pretty, the blue dots, the green dots, the ginghams…

    June 2, 2015
  • That cardigan AND that polka dot dress, I would love them to be in my closet. I’m very overdue for a dress buying splurge…

    June 3, 2015
  • TinaD


    Love the blue cardi/pink gingham combination.

    June 9, 2015
  • The only problem with Collectif is that too many people now love them and trying to buy the things you want is like playing chicken with your bank account – only the brave will win the about-to-be-sold-out things!

    June 9, 2015
  • Have you heard of the Australian brand Alannah Hill? They have nice cropped and fitted cardigans too 🙂

    June 10, 2015