I've tried several more since, and I've only blogged about a handful of them. So this post is a review of one of my new Dolores Doll dresses.
Did you know that Collectif have an eBay page where they sell off a variety of different items? Some of the listings are old stock that is on special offer, some is regular stock and then there are the gems. Sample items made as one-offs which one can only assume are made up with a view to be put into mass production for the new season. And I guess too that some of them don't make the cut...but regardless, you could own a unique Collectif item, even if it's just until the new range comes out.
In late November I found a dress that made me gasp. And I whooped with joy when I saw it was available at a bargain Buy It Now price so I purchased that dress just as fast as I could.
And when it arrived, it was everything I'd hoped for.
Do you love the print as much as me? I think it is absolutely stunning. Simple, delicate, feminine and HEAVENLY. If I was being really fussy I'd say I would like a bit of green foliage for contrast but still, this is lovely exactly as it is. The bright white background is vibrantly illuminated behind the gorgeous red rose print. I feel so girly and romantic in this dress!
This dress is a size 10/Small so it's a size down from the navy polka dot version of the Dolores Doll (I got that in 12/Medium) but as you can see from the photos it fits my waist nicely. It is a smidge tight on the boobs though, but all that does is enhance my cleavage, which is no bad thing in my book! Thankfully the fabric is 98% cotton and 2% elastane so the touch of stretch allows for a superb fit.
As with my other Dolores Dolls, the length on this dress is perfect for me. I am around 5'4 and it comes to just above mid calf. I am not a fan of my legs at all so the more I can cover them up, the better. This dress does exactly that but without looking frumpy or old-fashioned.
The sleeves are elasticated along both sides, which means they can be worn off the shoulder if wished. This isn't an option for me as I'll always need to wear a bra but it's a good option for those who can. The sleeves do tend to move about a little bit at first on my shoulders but they soon settle down and if I'm wearing a bolero then I hardly notice them at all.
The dress fastens at the back with a zip. I found it a bit tricky to get used to at first - I live alone so don't have anyone on hand to help me! And I'm used to jersey dresses that I yank on over my head...but with a bit of practice I soon got the hang of the zip. I undo it all the way, step into the dress with the zip at the front and zip to just below the waist. I then twist the dress around so it's the right way (in the same way as some of you put on your bras), do the zip up my back as far as I can, before reaching from above and pulling the zip up. Sometimes I have to push it up with my other hand just to get started on that last bit. Does that make sense?
For ultimate ease I think these dresses could do with a single hook and eye at the top of the zip, which would hold the dress together and makes for easier fastening. I may yet install one myself.
I love the fact that this dress fits me very nicely without a belt. I don't always want to have to add one but it's nice to have the option to do so. Naturally I had to see what the dress looked like with my favourite red belt...
I got this red patent belt from eBay USA and although I had to pay a fair bit in terms of shipping as I was buying something from across the pond, I think the overall cost was worth it as the best is real leather. To get the best possible value for the shipping fee I got the same belt in black, blue and white! It's a size S/M, which fits my 29-30* waist very nicely.
And what about a bolero/shrug? Well, I firstly went for something a bit different:
What do you think? There's a huge trend at the moment for mixing prints and I can't quite decide if my red and black leopard print shrug looks ok enough with this dress. I think it does...but perhaps the question should be whether or not I am brave enough to wear this combination out of the house!
So, my fall-back would be a plain red bolero, of course:
Simple but effective. The shrug will help to keep my shoulders warm and offer a bit of coverage. It also means I don't have to worry about those elasticated shoulders moving around and showing my bra straps.
The vast majority of my shrugs come from Excite Clothing. They do them in straight sizes and plus sizes so there should be something to suit most people. Shrugs are so versatile and can really change the look of any outfit. One thing I'd like, though, are some shrugs that are a little more formal but without sparkles or glitter or whatever. Just something nice and plain like this but perhaps made from a nicer material than this basic jersey, which is great for everyday and more relaxed occasions but wouldn't be suitable for a posh event.
Red can be a tricky colour to match, which is why I am wearing nude heels for these pics. However, I can't wear these heels much in real life as I struggle to walk in them so I threw on something more comfortable for a few shots.
I know these shoes are not as sexy as the killer heels but they were heaven to put on after those skyscrapers!! I would happily wear these Mary Janes from Simply Be all day and remain in comfort.
This dress does not have a name, seeing as it was made as a sample. What would you call it? I have named it 'English Rose' for the purposes of this blog post, and the name has definitely grown on me whilst writing. Can you think of something more apt?
The Dolores Doll 'English Rose' dress is quite simply one of the most stunning garments I have seen in a long time. It is a firm favourite in my wardrobe and I am longing for better weather so I can get the chance to wear it. I love the fact that this is most likely the only dress like this in existence, although this could of course change when Collectif bring out their latest collection. What do you think of this dress? Would you buy it if it was available on the Collectif site?