The vintage reproduction/inspired world is ever-growing with beautiful swing dresses, skirt, blouses and wiggle dresses. One thing that I’ve always thought was a little lacking however, was the availability of a gorgeous vintage inspired gown. In the last year or so, I’ve noticed multiple companies start producing gowns so I thought it was time to do a series of blog posts featuring my favourites… and there was no better place to shoot them than at the incredible Civic Theatre with Elizabeth J Photography!
The first in the line-up in the Collectif Clothing Ingrid Fishtail Dress. Coming in a purple and black, I of course went strait for the purple version!
This dress is a nod the the 1930s style with it’s fishtail and geometric panelling. The fabric is quite stretchy and looks like a satin but is 96% synthetic fibre and 4% spandex.
Looking at the Collectif size chart, my bust measurement (36″) is on the upper end of the size 8 and lower end of the size 10. My waist measurement (27″) puts me halfway between the 8 and 10 but my hips (42″) put me on the upper end of the 14 and lower end of the 16!
Siobhan at Collectif recommended I go for the size 14 as she has a similar hip measurement to me and that’s the size she has. Normally, I order size 10’s from Collectif when they are swing styles so I was assuming I’d have to get the top tailored.
I ended up not worrying about getting the top half taken in. Sure, it’s a little roomy but I kinda of liked the bagginess in contrast to the uber-fitting hips. I felt like with the fish tail, having a little more room in the top helped to even things out. If it was super fitting everywhere, I think it would be less flattering for my hips… and besides, with the cowl neckline, the roominess works well.
I initially tried it on without shapewear just to see if it actually fitted. It did but I knew immediately it’s a ‘wear only with shapewear’ kinda dress! The fabric is on the thinner side and very clingy, showing up every lump and bump and doesn’t do any smoothing on it’s own.
For the photoshoot with Elizabeth J Photography, I wore my now go-to shapewear, the Rago 6207 shaping shorts and 2202 Longline bra. This created a seamless look although unfortunately you can just see the top of the bra due the the backs deep V shape.
Thank goodness for shapewear! The only complication of wearing shapewear with a slippery fabric like this is that the dress slides up a little bit when you walk and gets lots of creases. However, it is super tight on me which doesn’t help!
The stretch in the material makes it very comfortable and if it wasn’t for the stretch, I’m not sure I would be able to sit down in it and would have needed the next size up.
The cowl neckline is a really lovely look especially since the Ingrid’s cowl is a subtle one. Because of the extra room on top, I can wear it either up on my shoulders or on the corners of my shoulders.
The fishtail starts around about the knee and makes it nice and easy to walk in! I’m 168cm tall and just skims the floor in my 3.5″ heels.
The Ingrid Fishtail Dress comes in sizes 8 to 22 in both Black and Purple. It’s full retail price £89.50 but it is currently on special for £44.75 and both colourways still have the majority of sizes in stock.
Thank you so much to Elizabeth J Photography for another fantastic shoot. Contact Liz to organise a shoot of your own, be it with your family or a bespoke portrait session. She is a fantastic photographer and her packages include lots of edited images so you are not caught out having to pay extra.
The Civic Theatre was a stunning location and full of wonderful places to take photos!
Wear the Ingrid to a cocktail evening, theatre, ball or even for a photoshoot! The rich purple is sure to shine and capture everyone’s eye and the black exudes vintage glamour!