For several years, I have been a huge fan of vintage brand Collectif. I love their 40s and 50s style clothing and own a number of their items, including coats, tops, and dresses.
Shortly before Christmas, I was contacted by the Collectif team to ask if I would like to review something from their range and of course I jumped at the chance. My first thought was to go for a Dolores Doll dress, but I have already reviewed a number of these so I wanted to go for something a little different. I ended up picking the Phyllis Velvet Pencil Dress (was £60.00, now £30.00; UK sizes 6-22):
Image courtesy of Collectif
I had previously tried on Georgina‘s Phyllis Doll Dress in Navy (also in size 20) and although I quite liked it I found it wasn’t the best look for me as the fabric wasn’t particularly stretchy and the cut didn’t really work. I initially ordered the Phyllis Velvet Pencil Dress in sizes 16 and 18 but found there was nowhere near enough boob room in the 18 (although it fitted really well everywhere else) so I sized up to a 20.
Please note that in these photos I am wearing my Ewa Michalak PL Laguna bra 36K/80K and Briefs 16/44, some black shaping tights from Matalan, and some fab wide fit black lace patent stiletto heels from New Look.
The size 20 dress was pretty much spot on! I do find it to be a little baggy on the waist but as my boobs take up so much space in the top half of the dress it isn’t as much of a problem as it could have been.
I love the deep green colour of the dress, and the velvet fabric is very soft and touchable. It’s also very stretchy (97% polyester, 3% spandex), so I had no problem getting it to fit around my curves. There is a cute floral embroidery feature on the right front shoulder area, and this does a great job of breaking up the plain green velvet fabric.
The fabric is thick without feeling too much, and the three-quarter length sleeves work perfectly with the look of the dress. This is not a frock I’d wear in the middle of summer, but I think it would be ideal for evening events at any other time of year when temperatures are a little lower.
The wrapover bust is probably true to size, but as my boobs are 3 or 4 dress sizes larger than my waist I had to size up in order to get them decently covered. I’m glad I did – the size 20 fits well on the bust and I can adjust the wrapover to show as little or as much cleavage as I choose. I do find the wrapover moves itself quite a bit, so I would simply secure it with a safety pin if I was going for a less cleavage-y look.
I like how the back of the dress has a v-shaped neckline as it adds interest and stops the wearer overheating. There is a zip to fasten the dress but I found I was able to put on and take off the dress without having to use it. That’s always handy when you live alone like I do as there’s no-one to help with the zipper!
I am very impressed with the cut of the skirt. It’s hard to find a true ‘wiggle’ skirt when you have waist:hip proportions like mine, but the Phyllis Velvet Pencil Dress is an absolute winner in this respect. The skirt hugs my backside and then skims down my hips and thighs to my knees. There is enough width at the bottom of the skirt – which comfortably covers my knees – for me to be able to walk comfortably but it’s cut neatly to not flare outwards. It’s the perfect pencil cut as far as I am concerned, and the stretchy fabric helps give that super fitted look.
For me, this is one of the best bodycon dresses I have ever tried, and the sumptuous fabric and classic design makes it a real winner. I highly recommend the Phyllis Velvet Pencil Dress and I hope Collectif will bring it out in other colours in the future. I’d also like to see it in stretchy bengaline, which is a more suitable fabric for warmer weather, in a range of hues and prints.
Do you own any Collectif dresses? What do you think of the Phyllis Velvet Pencil Dress?