Cut-Price Pin-Up

polka dot wiggle dress

polka dot midi dress

pin-up wiggle dress

polka dot dress

Dress: Missguided c/o MoneySupermarket.com // Belt: New Look // Shoes: Office (c/o) // Sunglasses: House of Harlow ‘Chelsea’ // Nude fishnet tights: Accessorize // Coat: in the car, waiting to be replaced once these photos were taken (although it was actually very Spring-like this week, so I didn’t really feel cold: miracles do happen!)

What would you do with £20?

Say you found it in a coat pocket, or in a handbag you rarely use. It’s not exactly a life-changing windfall for most of us, but given that it’s money you didn’t know you had, it’s exactly the kind of amount you might choose to splash out on one of those quick pick-me-ups that don’t cost too much, but which make your day that little bit brighter.

So, what would it be? 

Last week, MoneySupermarket.com asked me that very question. They recently conducted an experiment whereby they placed hidden cameras in a dry-cleaners, and then told customers they’d discovered a £20 note left in a pocket of their clothes (you can see the reactions here). Now they’re looking to find out what kind of “feel good” items people might spend that money on, if it magically landed in their wallet.

Of course, there are lots of things you could do with £20. You could buy 20 lottery tickets, or a nice bottle of wine. You could go to the movies, or catch a train to see a loved-one. You could give it away to the first person you see on the street, and that would  make you a better person than me, seriously.

Me, though?

I’d spend it on a polka dot dress. With sleeves. And a midi-length hem. Well, you didn’t seriously expect anything different from me, did you?

These long-sleeved midi dresses are absolutely everywhere right now (Topshop and ASOS both have tons of them, too), and I love them: they’re a really easy, inexpensive way to get that pin-up style wiggle-dress look, without having to spend a fortune on it, and although I’ve dressed this one up with heels and a matchy-matchy belt, you can also wear them in a much more casual way, with boots and a cardigan, say. This one was just £15, and with the extra £5, I managed to slip two more “feel good” items into my online shopping basket, in the form of two nail polishes, one of which I’m wearing in these photos. £20 goes a long way in the world of cut-price fashion, and while those investment pieces I spoke about last month definitely have their place, sometimes a quick, fun, pick-me-up is exactly what you need…

In other news, this weekend was actually warm enough for me to briefly swap my opaque tights for fishnets. They’re forecasting snow for Tuesday, but while the sun was out, I figured I may as well make the most of it!

polka dot dress

[Disclaimer: This dress was purchased using £20 provided by MoneySupermarket.com as part of their What’s In Your Pocket? campaign. All opinions are my own.]

22 Comments

  • InTheseHeels says:

    It’s fabulous! Did you have to take it up at all? I’m not having any luck with midis these days, they are floor length at times.

    • Amber says:

      I actually didn’t, miracle of miracles, but it is kinda ruched up a little under the belt! I know exactly what you mean, though – I’ve bought quite a few midis from ASOS over the past few months, and they were almost ankle-length on me. I know I’m short, but I have no idea who they think they’re designing these clothes for!

  • Veronika says:

    Love the details – lips, bow and the shoes. And of course your hair :))

    • Amber says:

      Thank you! Weirdly, my lipstick never seems to come out right in photos, but it was a really bright red, to match the shoes and belt – I wish I could find a way to capture the colour better!

  • Frida says:

    What a nice experiment, I’d be happy to meet someone to give me 20€ while I’m walking on the streets – I’d immediately go and “splurge” it on a dress… Maybe a polka dots dress..! :D
    YES I do love those low prices but still cute design clothes. This dress is so pretty and it looks so nice on you, a nice way to welcome back the sun! It makes you very happy and it shows. :)

    • Amber says:

      I definitely feel much better when the weather brightens up – and much more “myself” in outfits like this, than bundled up in lots of layers!

  • Maddy says:

    This looks great on you and I really like the length of it as well! xxx
    http://unstitchedd.blogspot.com

  • Maybe just me, but this post had me on the edge of my seat. First I was swooning over the dress, which isn’t a surprise what with me and polka dot anything. Then my adrenals started kicking in in the first paragraph. Oooh, something here is {pounds}20. But I was sure it must be the belt, or just maybe the shoes.

    But the dress! Nothing better than a edge of your seat suspense with a love story ending.

    You look lovely and ready for spring.

    • Amber says:

      Haha, I’m glad it managed to keep you on the edge of your seat! I’m MORE than ready for Spring now – counting down the days until outfits like this can be the norm again: I’ve been really missing my shoes!

  • Wore Out says:

    No one wears long sleeve midi dresses like you do Amber. Love how you gussied this one up with your red accessories, all in all I’d say this look was money well spent!

    • Amber says:

      Oh, thank you! I was going to tone it down a bit with something a bit less matchy-matchy, but it’s been a while since I got to embrace my inner pin-up, so I figured I might as well go all-out with it!

  • Janine says:

    I love it, in fact I may need to copy you and buy it. I cannot resist the pretty when it is so cheap (I will never turn into an investment piece buyer it seems haha) You look wonderful and so much happier in these photos (it must be the warmer weather) You always look smiley and really happy in your photos but in these you just seem to have a bit of an extra ‘bounce’ about you, like a new energy. Maybe spring is on the way after all? Well, after we get the snow out of the way that is. We have a warning for heavy snow tonight – up to 20cm – where I live. Woo, you know how I love the snow haha.

    Also, if I found £20 I would hit Primark and probably get a dress and some tops, I love cheap and fast fashion for a quick pick me up. Although a night out at the cinema sounds good right about now too, so maybe that!

    PS that photo of Rubin after his bath had me in stitches, even Mr Bertie cracked a smile at it :) thanks.

    Janine xx
    BakeGlueandTrend
    Giveaway Post >>> bakeglueandtrend.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/love-dress-giveaway.html

    • Amber says:

      I think Terry has to take some of the credit for me looking happier: the whole time he was taking these he was pretending to be a pretentious fashion photographer type and putting on this silly accent while “directing” me how to pose – I couldn’t stop laughing at him!

      I’m glad you and Mr Bertie liked the Rubin photo – I seriously cracked up when I took it: I just kept looking back at it and laughing!

      • Janine says:

        Terry sounds like a marvellous photographer, he definitely brought out the best in you, it’s hard to always be happy in photos when you take them a lot (i.e. you are a blogger haha) but when someone genuinely makes you laugh whilst taking them it really comes through, well done Terry!

        I might go look at the Rubin photo again now for a giggle session as I am having a really rough morning (it seems MS likes to remind me of my limitations when I decide to do anything exciting or out of the ordinary after work on a Monday, that will teach me eh?! Don’t worry I will get the MS back, when it is least expecting it, KAPOW!!! Yes I am hard, be afraid haha)

  • Rebecca says:

    Such a lovely outfit! i love the dotted dress!

  • Erika says:

    I always go for dresses when ‘free’ money comes my way – not that it happens very often though. This was a great choice!

  • Trea says:

    Looking great as usual Amber! No one does polka dot like u!! I bought a few midi dresses from asos and they were nearly hitting the floor and I’m 5′ 6″ so its good to see midi dresses are actually available in reasonable lengths.

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