What: The “Alison” mid-length swing skirt, which is available in black, navy blue, and burgundy red. I’m wearing a size XXL/UK 18, because there is no stretch to the waistband of this skirt, and I sized up since I was between sizes.
Where From?: Collectif, a UK retro reproduction brand. I purchased from Collectif’s UK website.
Sizes: Collectif caters for sizes UK 6 to a UK 22, with UK 6 having a bust measurement of 32-34 inches and a waist measurement of 24 inches, and a UK 22 having a bust of 48-50 inches and a waist of 40 inches. Size 18, which I am wearing in this skirt, has a waist of 36 inches.
How Much?: Usually 60 GBPounds, I purchased my skirt during Collectif’s July/August sale, for 45 Pounds. At current rates, that’s about AU$98.
Wear: The full circle Alison is based on original patterns from the 1950s, and features darted-box pleats rather than gathering. What this means for the wearer is that instead of having bulky fabric gathers creating “poof” at the waist, this skirt offers a sleek waistline and falls elegantly to mid shin on this 5’2″ pinup: think volume without bulk.
Collectif recommends that, due to the lack of stretch in the waistband, those who are between sizes should size up. I have done so, and find that the Alison fits comfortably with a little bit of extra room at the waist. The fabric itself is a 95% polyester, 5% spandex blend that has enough weight to fall nicely from the waist, while still being light enough to wear for a Queensland summer. Being unlined makes the skirt cooler to wear, but the dense weave of the fabric means there is no transparency, even in bright sunlight. No knicker flashing here!
The Alison fastens with an invisible zip in the back centre of the waistband, and unlike some invisible zips, I found that this one did up without any issues. I was also pleased to find that, if I hung the skirt up on the line to dry as soon as the washing finished, it dried wrinkle-free, saving me from having to iron the pleasts. Woohoo for less ironing!
I paired my Alison skirt with an old v-neck grey top, light chiffon headscarf (my hair was up in an easy scarf roll today – tutorial to follow soon), my trusty black Red Ginger patent heels, and my favourite market stall buy: my love letter necklace.
If you purchase from the Collectif website, their postage to Australia is quite reasonable, with the cost ranging from £13.50 – £22.50, depending on the size and weight of your parcel. All items are sent using a Royal Mail system that requires signature on delivery for security, and orders can be expected to arrive approximately 5 – 6 working days after being dispatched. Note that if you purchase during their busy Sale period, or if you live in a regional or rural area, delivery may take a bit longer.