Outfit: the tropical two-piece and the ‘golden hour’ (!)

Ok, the consensus seems to be that it’s ok if I still post summer outfits while it’s cold and rainy outside, so you asked for it… I’ll at least get the most summery one out of the way, from my recent trip to Valencia.

But first (or skip this bit if you want to get straight to the outfit shots!), photographers – and bloggers – talk about the ‘golden hour’ for taking photos – that point when the sun just starts to set and everything is bathed in warm, but less harsh, light. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But the truth, dear readers, is far from lovely… The truth is:

  1. Running around a busy town in Spain trying to find somewhere among the tall, shadow-casting buildings to find enough light…
  2. … That also didn’t have c.10 curious Spaniards in the background…
  3. … or giant wheelie bins
  4. … or really, very, very ugly graffiti that was probably also very offensive (my Spanish doesn’t extend much beyond ‘hola’, so let’s just assume it was)
  5. Holding every awkward pose without breathing for several seconds to make sure your poor camera has enough time to suck in as much light as it can and you don’t have several limbs in full action blur, despite standing still
  6. Ignoring several amused passers by who stare openly at you while wondering why you’re standing on one leg for what seems like a very long time, looking intently at a nearby tree (and it’s not like you have the Spanish to explain what you’re up to, if they asked)
  7. Racing against the clock as it gets darker with every minute, meaning photos towards the end of the batch feature ever more intently staring – i.e. full on grumpy – facial expressions
  8. Despite all this effort, still getting ‘noisy’, blurry photos at the end of it.

However, it wasn’t actually my choice to take photos at sunset – it was more the result of poor planning as it suddenly became clear as we set out for this shoot we had no idea where a good spot would be. Turned out that place was actually about 30 seconds from the hotel, which was not at all ironic considering we’d walked for half an hour around the city to a place the map had reassured us was ‘historic’ (we thought that meant ‘beautiful’ – it did not).

Anyway, despite the slight blur and shadow issues, some of the photos did turn out well enough to share with you the Collectif two-piece I’d been waiting all summer to wear (before giving up and putting it in my suitcase instead). This set is not only very comfy cotton, the straps adjust (and have little bows!), the cups actually fit my bust for once, and the skorts are uber flattering as the skirt part skims over your tummy. The perfect outfit for an evening in the Mediterranean… and stands up wonderfully to pacing it all over a lively Spanish town.

Collectif tropical co-ords


Collectif Kiki Tropical Top






Collectif jungle set
Shorts: Collectif
Bag: eBay
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens (try Soletrader)
Hopefully my efforts were just about worth it!


  1. October 15, 2014 / 1:09 pm

    I just left a long comment, and it deleted it, how rude!! So here I go again – firstly, how lovely you look here. That two-piece is quite similar to Tara Starlet stuff I've seen, I wouldn't have guessed Collectif. I do adore the bows, I have a thing for bows in a big way! Finally, I left a silly quip about how towns should created designated fashion-blogger areas, to assist us in our missions, perhaps with signs along the lines of 'stand here between the hours of 6 and 8 and face East, for the perfect shot'. Do you think it could catch on?! x

    • October 17, 2014 / 12:41 pm

      That is indeed very rude! Has happened to me before, it makes me so mad. You're right, this is very Tara Starlet. But I got it in a Collectif sale for literally a bargain, so not like the £100 I'd have to pay for TS. I think there should be designated areas… or at least recognition. It amazes me that there's thousands of us doing this and yet we're still an anomaly in society. How is that possible?! x

  2. October 15, 2014 / 1:24 pm

    Wow if these photos were challenging to achieve you really hit it out of the ballpark! They turned out GREAT.

    The whole outfit and styling is perfect but I must comment on your hair…which is stunning.


    • October 17, 2014 / 12:43 pm

      Thanks 🙂 although they are still 'great with a hint of blur' – but at the size I need them for this blog I guess it doesn't really matter!

      My hair was mostly because a) it's super easy and b) it keeps it off my face in the heat… but I'm glad you think it looked especially good!! x

  3. October 15, 2014 / 6:30 pm

    Girl, you look gorgeous! And frankly, any time is a good time to post any pictures, really. If you're posting wintery stuff in summer, it's because you're keeping up with the runways. If you posting summery stuff when it's blustery and cold out, it's because you want to remind everyone of what they're missing. 😛
    The pattern is lovely on you. You have great coloring for pulling off all sorts of colors, but vivid prints like that are smashing. Love the bag, too – the twist lock is such a great, vintage-y detail.

    • October 17, 2014 / 12:44 pm

      That's true, I'm just being fashionable. As I wear stuff that's not 'in fashion' anyway, I can claim it's for next year…

      I think the key to my colouring is my mousy brown hair – it has to be good for something though, right?! And the bag is my favourite, I try really hard not to wear it with everything and feature it in every outfit post but it really is an effort…

  4. October 15, 2014 / 8:50 pm

    You are the epitome of cute + classic + stylish!!!

    I'm all for posting any type of outfit at any point in the year. Sure, seasonal has it's place, but if I suddenly discover in January that I forgot to share a shoot from July (or vice versa), you can bet I'm not going to let another day go past without tossing it up on my blog – especially since I know my readers in the Southern Hemisphere will really enjoy it.

    ♥ Jessica

    • October 17, 2014 / 12:45 pm


      I will now sheepishly admit I've got something like 7 or 8 more sets of photos from summer I still haven't shared… there was method to my madness somewhat, as I know it gets so cold here that in the depths of winter I won't want to be standing round on one leg looking at a tree in horrendous weather!! x

  5. October 15, 2014 / 8:50 pm

    This outfit is amazing and your hair looks beautiful.

  6. October 16, 2014 / 8:28 am

    Ahhh I've seen this set before online and I thought it looked cute but wouldn't suit me! I love how it looks on you though – with your hair and that clogs you've made it very cute and I think it's a perfect all-day summer outfit!

    • October 17, 2014 / 12:46 pm

      The trick is to buy this kind of thing in a summer sale when it's dirt cheap – as it is right now on Collectif's site – then if you don't like it, or if you only like half of it, no real money wasted. I think it's one of those sets that would be easy to look very 'pin-up' and OTT, so appreciate that you got my casual vibe here 😉 x

  7. October 17, 2014 / 12:42 am

    Oh my I hate when people stare at me when I'm getting a photo taken. I am so shy it just makes me sooo nervous! You are so pretty though and look great in your photos… You don't look nervous or grumpy at all! Love the outfit, it's so bright! Perfect for Spain 🙂


    • October 17, 2014 / 12:47 pm

      Yeah I'm not the biggest extrovert in the world either, but I do find the more I do it the better I get at focusing on the job and ignoring people at least… Glad I at least don't look like I felt 😉

  8. October 18, 2014 / 10:49 am

    The photos turned out gorgeous and I LOVE that two -piece! I'm also all for the sharing of summery outfits – it lets me live vicariously through your holiday photos, while the rain batters against the windows!

    I totally get the frustration of taking photos in public, too… I always think it'll be easier on holiday, because I'm typically somewhere fairly touristy, so you'd think people would be used to seeing cameras, and people posing for photos, but nope: even at places like DisneyWorld, I'll stop for a quick photo and people will be almost falling over themselves in astonishment at the sight of the magical camera box. Imagine, someone having their photo taken on holiday! Unbelievable!

    • October 20, 2014 / 12:29 pm

      It's currently in the sale, with others, for a bargain price so now's a good time to snap similar up!

      I find it so much harder on holiday – I hate having loads of people in the shot, but it's unavoidable in touristy places or on city breaks. Plus you don't know where a good place will be, so you have to immediately keep one eye out… I think they were just staring at you as you probably looked so glamorous 😉

  9. October 20, 2014 / 5:35 pm

    What a fun little number! I'm a bit jealous of a warm weather there. I also adore your hairdo. I've tried creating something like that when I had long hair. Unfortunately my hair never stays in place for longer than 5 minutes in any hairstyle.

    • October 22, 2014 / 12:20 pm

      Believe me I'm jealous of the warm weather there now that I am definitely no longer in it! Secret to any hairstyle is approximately 100 kirby grips 😉

  10. October 20, 2014 / 5:50 pm

    Wow, what a nice combination! Collectif always have such a nice clothes, oh I want summer again. I have the same bag just in white.

    I m so glad I found your blog. I m following you and looking forward to see new posts 🙂

    • October 22, 2014 / 12:21 pm

      I want this bag in all the colours! Adds such a nice touch to all my outfits.

    • October 22, 2014 / 12:21 pm

      Guess that's an unavoidable side effect of being really quite small..! x

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