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

  1. “I guess I’ll just dress-down when I’m dead…” I think I have to make that my new life motto! I’d say that it would be great to print it on a t-shirt but I hardly ever wear t-shirts, so maybe there should be dresses with that line… 😉
    Also, I really like your hair in the first picture. Did you use hot rollers?

  2. Amber you’re freaking beautiful! I love your style so much and your photographs are stunning. You inspire me to get off my ass and find the time to do the outfit posts that I’ve always wanted to do!

  3. As Oscar Wilde has said: You can never be overdressed or over-educated. Can’t agree more! You look absolutely wonderful! I bet when you walk out the door the sophistication level of the whole neighborhood goes up a few notches. (I totally wish sophistication level wasn’t a thing, cause I’m killing it as we speak with my hoody and ripped jeans, but it is. It is.)

  4. Nothing wrong with being overdressed, I am a fan! The colors in the outfit go so well together, and I find myself more and more liking yellow. I love the way the shoes go with the whole outfit and the belted bow is beautiful. Stunning as always!

    1. Thanks! I actually have to confess that I would never have thought of it either… I was actually planning to wear something completely different that day with the yellow shoes, but I changed my mind at the last minute: they were still lying on the bedroom floor by the time I finished changing, and it was only when I picked them up to put them away that it occurred to me to try them on!

  5. I guess I’ll dress down when I’m dead so has to be your tagline, it is an amazing saying!!! Next time people at work as me why I am so dressed up (yes THAT annoying situation never ends does it?!) I am going to say it to them 🙂

    I love this outfit, you look so ladylike and dainty. Also those sunglasses are so cool, I want a pair!!

    Janine xx
    Bake, Glue and Trend!

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