50s skirt and high heels

UK fashion blog

personal style blog

pink polka dot and stripe shoes

[Skirt: Topshop // T-shirt: Primark // Shoes: Menbur c/o Sarenza // Petticoat: eBay]

…one more 50s-style skirt, worn with high heels and a bun, that is, then I promise I’ll stop … until next summer, when this little “uniform” of mine will probably come back out again.

I actually wasn’t going to bother showing you this outfit. Not because I didn’t like it – I do. But I figured it was probably a little too basic to be blog-worthy. My style has always been simple: it’s most often described as “classic” by those who like it, and “boring” by those who don’t. I can’t really disagree. And don’t get me wrong: I like to keep it simple when it comes to fashion. In fact, I sometimes think that the very “basic” outfits are some of my favourites. But at the same time I though, well, no one really needs to see yet another outfit consisting of a 50s-style skirt and pair of high heels, do they? I mean, YOU GET IT. I know you do.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I came to realise that this outfit sums up my personal style (in summer, at least) almost more than any other. Yes, it’s very simple. Yes, you could call it “boring”. Yes, I like the retro shapes, and the 50s-style fashions, and you’ll probably have to prise those stilettos off my cold, dead feet. But that’s who I am, and what I wear: I know I should probably be constantly fretting about “changing things up” and re-inventing myself all the time, but…I just can’t seem to make myself care. I don’t really want to be “edgy” or “unexpected”: I just want to enjoy wearing the things I like, while I have the chance.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying personal style should never change or evolve; that I intent to stick rigidly to the same style for the rest of my life and never try anything different. Of course not. But it’s only really been in the last few years that I feel like I’ve begun to develop anything like a distinct style of my own, however predictable it may be: actually, I think it only really started when I begun blogging about my outfits. Up until then, I knew what I liked (I’ve always had very strong ideas about what I do and don’t like), but I was mostly too scared to wear those things for fear of being “different” and overdressed for everything, so my “style” was mostly just a random assortment of jeans and tops that I didn’t love and didn’t hate, and a few fabulous dresses which hung in the wardrobe for years without ever seeing the light of day.

Even now, I feel like I really only have anything like a personal style during the supposedly warmer months of the year. I know I’ve beaten this horse to death, but in summer I get to dress like myself: I get to wear what I WANT to wear, as opposed to what  I HAVE to wear because of the weather. When autumn comes, all of that ends, and I’m back to mostly wearing jeans and sweaters, because I don’t like tights (Have I mentioned I don’t like tights? Oh, only a million times – gotchya.) and hate the feeling of being bundled up in lots of layers of clothes. In fact, at this time of year, when every fashion blogger in the world with the exception of me and Roisin is getting all excited about the prospect of boots and coats and tights and OMGLAYERS, my heart just sinks (and I also feel like a complete and utter freak, to be honest) as I realise that I’ll have to go back to fighting with my wardrobe rather than enjoying it, and staring at its contents every morning wondering what on EARTH I can possibly wear today that will allow me to look like me, as opposed to like Kenny from South Park.

So, the next few months will be a challenge, is what I’m trying to say. And I’d like to say that this winter will be the year I finally learn to embrace the colder weather, and discover a way to stay true to my own style ALL year, rather than for just a few short months of each year.

But I’m warning you in advance: it probably won’t be.

  1. If it’s any consolation you always look just as stylish in your winter posts as in your summer ones. I am sorry to say that I’m another one who loves winter and I’ve been inspired by a lot of your autumn and winter looks!

  2. How about some of the high waisted swing trousers (VoH or Heyday) for a change to your winter staple of jeans? OR…some of the jeans styles they do?? I stay in skirts all winter but then I don’t mind tights!

    I don’t think your style is boring at all….it’s fab IMO.

    1. Swing trousers just look horrendous on me, sadly: they’re one of those things that look great on other people, but they’re just not “me”! Strangely enough, although I love vintage style dresses and skirts, when it comes to trousers and jeans, for some reason I prefer modern styles most of the time. I do love cigarette pants and capris, though, which have that kind of retro feel about them – just always difficult to find the perfect fit!

  3. I used to be exactly the same when it came to dresses: I loved them, but they hung sadly in my wardrobe, waiting for some designated special occasion when they would at last be exposed to sunlight. Now I pretty much live in dresses – the prettier and fancier, the better! It’s much more fun to wear a dress because you want to, rather than waiting for these (possibly mythical) special occasions.

    1. This is my thinking too: those special occasions hardly ever come, after all! I do still have to struggle with the impulse to NOT WEAR things, though. If I find something I really, really love, I always worry that I’ll ruin it somehow, or just wear it out through overuse, and then, OMG, I won’t have it any more, so I better just wear something else instead… But of course, that way the things never, ever get worn, and life is just too short to spend it keeping everything for “best”!

  4. ” I knew what I liked (I’ve always had very strong ideas about what I do and don’t like), but I was mostly too scared to wear those things for fear of being “different” and overdressed for everything, so my “style” was mostly just a random assortment of jeans and tops that I didn’t love and didn’t hate, and a few fabulous dresses which hung in the wardrobe for years without ever seeing the light of day.”

    You basically just summed up my life. I know what I like and what I _want_ to look like but I’m too afraid to put it out there. Too, I’m a UK size 20/22 which means a lot of the time I have to buy whatever stores throw at me rather than getting to actually, you know, choose. It’s probably why I love your blog so much–you basically wear what I would be wearing if only I were a little braver and shops a little kinder on us plus size girls 🙂

    (In a nutshell: love your style. You’re like Betty Draper–at least looks-wise 🙂 )

    (I’m actually starting to learn how to sew–take that, stores!–but many patterns aren’t for plus size girls either. But I will not be defeated!)

    1. Oh my God, you just made my day – I love Betty! (Well, I love her clothes, anyway!) I think learning to sew is definitely the answer: I always have these really precise ideas in my head of what I want to wear, but the stores never seem to sell them, or if they do, they don’t fit properly (50s style dresses with micro-mini skirts spring to mind!), and I’ve often thought how fabulous it would be to be able to just make them. Sadly I am much too lazy (and also the least “handy” person ever – I can barely even wrap a parcel, let alone thread a sewing machine), but I do think it would make getting dressed a whole lot easier if I could!

  5. I think you’re underselling your style. In some ways it’s easier to pile on heaps of accessories and follow the latest trends. When you’re wearing something simple you have to let the pieces do their own talking. Most people, even outfit bloggers, have a uniform or two that they wear more than anything else. To have that uniform be an actual reflection of your personal taste and not just what the shops are pushing at the moment is quite an accomplishment.

    I know you loathe tights but what is it about them, exactly, that bothers you? Maybe we can help you find a work around.

    1. I Just find them really uncomfortable – even as a kid, I would refuse to wear them, because I hated the feel of them – and I’ve never really thought they looked all that great, either. I do wear them, obviously, because they’re the only way I can wear dresses or skirts in the winter, but I just always feel like whatever I wear them with would look better without them!

      I think it’s partly because I work from home, too: it’s really easy and comfortable to throw on a dress in the summer, but in winter I have to add tights and a cardigan, and I hate sitting around the house in tights, so I always end up just wearing jeans or trousers instead!

      1. I don’t think I could form home. I’d never put proper clothes at all. And I don’t find dresses particularly comfortable. I only ever wear them because they make me feel pretty. 🙂

        I hated tights as a kid, too. I’ve managed to find a few kinds I hate less now.

  6. I agree with Lizzabee, I think you ARE underselling your own personal style. And anyway, as this is a *personal* style blog, there’s really no need for you to be doing anything other that showing your own personal style! Obviously I agree with you – the summer is the easiest time of year for me to get dressed, as well, because I don’t really have to worry about figuring out layers! Well in theory anyway, obviously this summer has sucked weather-wise. I honestly can’t understand these bloggers who are wishing for autumn as soon as June rolls around – I suppose the only thing I can think of is that’s when the AW pieces start arriving in shops and maybe they want to start thinking of new content? I don’t know. I mean, I can’t deny that autumn is lovely and all. And I do have some lovely winter coats and a nice pair of boots. But god, give me a warm sunny day any time! I wear tights – even though I hate them – because I just cannot be doing with jeans. That’s the only way I can get through the winter myself.

    1. I think a lot of the people who get really excited about it must like in a place that actually has seasons: I guess if I’d had months on end of boiling hot temperatures, I’d be looking forward to it being a bit cooler, too, but in the UK we don’t really get “Fall” – it’s just the same weather we have most of the year anyway and it’s not like we need a break from the relentless heat! That said, I think most people seem to just loathe summer, even if it’s just a few days of it – I don’t understand that at all, because I’ve always loved the warmth, but I think we seem to be in the minority!

  7. I’ve always felt my style really became more defined once I started reading (and writing) blogs too. Its nice that you recognize that it isn’t a style rut but its your personality/personal style. Which I really like, btw.

    Have one question though, do you wear a petticoat under the skirt to get that lovely, fully look?

  8. I’ve been reading your blawgs for several years now and have always thought you look great in whatever you choose to wear. You have a style that really suits you. I tend to stick to the same style as well – but can’t be doing with anything girly so it tends to be jeans/trews & tops for me (like you, I work from home as a freelance writer). I do like heels though and lots & lots of accessories!

  9. I can really relate to this post! I also have a simple style, particularly in the summer. I usually wear a vintage-style dress and heels every day, with plain jewellery and a fairly unfussy hairstyle. (Well, my hair takes forever to style so it isn’t technically ‘unfussy’ but there aren’t any complicated ringlets or victory rolls going on).

    I don’t have a blog, but I read a few fashion blogs and sometimes I feel like I’m not trying hard enough with my personal style. Like, maybe I need to pile on more accessories or do some more authentic vintage hair looks. But then I remember your blog, and I think that you’re the closest to my absolute ideal of fashion out there in blog land. Some of your outfits are just so stunning and sophisticated, yet they’re also so simple – and in a way it’s more of an art to put a beautiful look together with fewer pieces, rather than piling on a whole load of items on at once and hoping they kind of work.

    I find your style really inspiring.

  10. I love tights, mostly because my legs look awfull due tu lots of mosquitos in my part of the world and a tendency to get scars easily (I just cannot not scratch!). I don’t wear trousers often just because I hate the feeling of the waistband. Don’t really know why, but they just make me feel really uncomfortable and squashed – even when they are the right size.

  11. I know exactly where you’re coming from – only this morning I bought a 50s style skirt with flamingos on it, completely ignoring the fact that it is now September! I found your blog fairly recently and love your style. Really hoping to get some inspiration for Autumn/Winter.

  12. I hate layering too, Amber. Mainly because I am fundamentally opposed to carrying more than I have to, and when you layer…you KNOW you’re going to have to lug around that extra coat and jumper when you’re inside and all toasty warm. Such a ballache.

  13. Amber, I enjoy every single post and the preponderance of ’50’s style skirts and dresses with heels (and often polka dots) matters not in the least! This look works so beautifully for you and I never tire of seeing it. Plus, you are consistently hilarious. 🙂

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