Now I love period clothing, and am a particular fan of 40s and 50s style. It seems to me (as other commentators have noted) that we have lost a sense of the real shape of women’s bodies in the rush to produce ever cheaper mass market fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I can do a lot of damage in Primark, and am no snob when it comes to the supermarket ranges. Most days, you will find me in something from Asda, Sainsbury’s or Matalan, and the Primark accessory department is my second home.

However, there are times when my hourglass (large 14) size is just not feeling the love from the size 8s hanging on most high street stores’ racks, and that is when I head to Collectif in Covent Garden. This amazing shop makes 40s, 50s and rockabilly clothing for modern women, so most things go up to a size 18 (some to a 20). The styles are very hour glass, so no gaping at the waist if you’ve got breasts and a bottom, and the colours are gorgeous.

Add to this an accessory range (including a few hats) which will INSTANTLY make you feel like a million bucks, and you just can’t go wrong. Just a few images below.

Dresses are around £60, hats are under £20 and tops are about £30. In other words, the same as you would pay somewhere like M&S, but cut to fit a real woman, and with extra flair!

Valerie Top black Dolores Doll Blue Hibiscus Dolores Dress Polka Pink hat vanessa red Regina Doll White Hibiscus