Did you grow up lonesome, one of a kind? Were your records all you had to pass the time?

50s-inspired outfit featuring blue swimmer skirt and sweater with yellow shoes

outfit detail: clutch bag and bow belt

redhead running in high heel shoes

mustard yellow high heel shoes

[Skirt: Topshop 2012 // Sweater: H&M 2012 // Shoes: Topshop 2012 // belt & bag: New Look (both old) // Sunglasses: Target 2011]

 As you probably gathered from my “black widow” look from earlier this week, one of my biggest fashion challenges is knowing when to stop.  “Ooh, look!” I’ll think, “A sixties-style shift dress! That would look nice worn casually, with flats, and natural-looking makeup… but it would look BETTER with a giant beehive, Twiggy-style false eyelashes, and maybe some white knee-high boots?” Once this kind of idea has hit me, it becomes really hard to shake: the “dressed down” option will always be second-best in my mind after that, so the next thing I know, my hair is so big I can’t get through the door without ducking, and I look like a reject from Pan’s People.

Er, that was obviously a totally made-up example. I mean, I would never wear white boots, for instance. Because I don’t have the rest of the stuff to go with them yet.  This outfit, however, was real enough, and actually, this is the second time I’ve worn it recently. The first time I wore it, well, let’s just say the phrase “50s debutante” popped into my head. Yes, again. Actually, the outfit is basically the winter version of this one, and it had a similar inspiration. There was big hair. There was a petticoat. There was an exaggerated cat’s eye flick. And when I was finished getting dressed, I looked in the mirror and realised I looked like I was wearing a Betty Draper Halloween costume or something. (Note to self: Betty Draper Halloween costume! WHY have I never thought of this before?) I felt so uncomfortable I ended up taking my hair down in the car, and then I got to walk around all day with hair that had been up, but now was down, and… yeah. It wasn’t my finest hour.

This time… well, I managed to dress it down a little bit. Not a huge amount, granted, but of course, I AM still ME, so let’s just be grateful it was a 50s-inspired skirt that caught my eye and not, I don’t know, a pair of leather hotpants, say. I guess I’ll just dress-down when I’m dead…

Forever Amber: UK fashion blog and personal style diary

Title lyric: The Gaslight Anthem, The Queen of Lower Chelsea