Formulaic

black and white polka dot dress with red belt and shoes

red wedge shoes

polka dot midi dress

polka dot dress

[Dress: ASOS (last year) | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Belt: vintage | Sunglasses: House of Harlow]

When I was putting this outfit together (Which is a really pretentious way of saying, “deciding which shoes to wear with this dress…”), I realised I was sticking to a formula which I’ve repeated too many times to count, both on this blog, and in real life. It’s a very simple formula, which basically dictates that if I’m wearing some form of black and white (or black and cream/off-white/whatever), then I will always wear red shoes. Like, ALWAYS. Almost as if there are no other colours in the world. Or as if I’m a tabloid newspaper or something.

Now, obviously this wasn’t exactly a revelation for me, but for some reason, this time it gave me pause. I felt like I should probably “mix things up”, “give it a bit of edge”, er, wear something different, just this once. (Sorry, I ran out of fashun-speak…) Either that or just, you know, not bother photographing this one, because, as we all know, if you don’t blog it, it totally doesn’t count. Ahem.

I didn’t actually WANT to wear something different, obviously. But I felt like I probably SHOULD, if only so that this outfit wouldn’t be in exactly the same colour scheme as the last one I posted here. Or any of the kazillionty-one near-identical versions I’ve ALSO posted over the years. “People will say I’m boring and predictable!” I fretted. “And they’ll be right!”

So I went and got out a bunch of other shoes and tried them on. Blue ones. Green ones. Yellow ones. Er, that was pretty much it, really. And you know, they all looked fine. But as  I clomped around, “auditioning” them all, I realised that I wouldn’t be wearing them because I WANTED to wear them: I would just be wearing them because I felt like I should – and for the sake of the blog, basically.Which is pretty silly, really. I’ve always said I’d rather have a signature style - even if it DOES mean wearing the same styles and colours over and over (and over and over…) again, rather than feel like I have to wear things I don’t really want to wear, just for the sake of being “different”, and well, now I do. This is part of my “signature” style: it involves black, white and red – ideally with some kind of polka dot print, but if not, stripes will work just as well.

I have a feeling you haven’t seen the last of this combination, folks…

polka dot midi dress with red wedge shoes

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21 Comments

  • InTheseHeels says:

    Red heels really are awesome. Especially those Loubs. So jealous.

  • Roisin says:

    I identify with this because I keep sewing and buying the same kinds of dress, and maybe it’s boring for my readers. Oh here’s Roisin in another printed dress, yawn! But I don’t care. I like having a signature style. And I love yours, too, and your photos are always so beautiful! So basically, as you were. But if you ever get tired of those shoes… :)

    • Amber says:

      Well, if it’s any consolation, I never get bored of your amazing dresses… I guess maybe it’s a good thing that we always stick to similar styles, because at least we get to know other people who have that style, too! I like having a signature style, too, though: I mean, I have a ton of clothes as it is, but I shudder to think how many I’d end up with if felt like I had to keep changing my style all the time, too!

      • InTheseHeels says:

        As many as me? I could do with a style. Its too much hard work trying to pick what mood I’m in of a day. Plus my house would be a lot less like Primark, with clothes all over the place…

  • Mana says:

    I’m a fan of black, white, and red. And especially of your signature style, being that I’m American and that people here seem to think its okay to wear not just jeans but rubber beach thongs to weddings, I find it refreshing. And often say out loud “Ooh, Amber is wearing green polka dots!” Or “OMG why don’t I wear black white and red?” To which my husband says who the eff is Amber? Anyways my point is I love your style it’s gorgeous.

  • Corinne says:

    Hahaha, I know this feeling of being predictable. I wear the same black shoeboots in about 80% of my photos. But I love them and they look so great with everything!

    I really SHOULD invest in some new shoes. But, I’m more about the dresses.. every time I look at shoes, I think to myself ‘but I could buy another dress instead, and they would look great with my trusty black shoeboots!!!

    Maybe when I move house in a month (oh god, how I am going to transfer my wardrobe from one place to another in just one day, I don’t know) I will invest in a couple new pairs (I really REALLY want the pink/cream Menbur/Sarenza shoes.. but alas, they have sold out!)

    Anyway, don’t worry about being predictable, or boring or whatever. You have your ‘style’ and I’m sure the majority of people here would probably agree with me when I say that I could never tire of it!

    Have a great day.

    Corinne x

  • Erika says:

    Ooh, ‘signature style,’ I like the sound of that. Much better than saying, ‘the same ole boring thing.’ Works for me, and I love your ‘signature style!’ Black, white, and red go so well together, why change it? :-)

  • Fran says:

    I think it’s a very elegant kind of style, it compliments your hair and skin, and you just look so comfortable in it! At the end of the day I think there is a reason why we always end up choosing the same thing.

    I wear so much blue, it’s unreal. So one day I decided I should totally try yellow and green, because they are nice colours, right? Wrong. On me, so wrong. I had ordered so many different dresses from ASOS and DP, so that I could return them very easily…and not one of them looked good. Not one! And they were all different styles, so clearly the colour was the issue. I’m going to go ahead and say I think those old fashioned tailors who talked about ‘doing one’s colours’ weren’t very far off the mark…

  • Anna says:

    I really missed all your adorbs outfits on Shoeperwoman – so this is where you’ve been hiding them! Love all the spring-y photo sessions!

  • Kristian says:

    Red is just a great color though. It just works. And this dress is great on you!

  • Liz Tea Bee says:

    I actually feel like I’ve learned how to wear from you. If I put any red above my waist I look sunburnt. But I’ve got two pairs of red shoes and a red belt in my regular rotation. I skipped over red shoes for years because it was so firmly in my head that “I can’t wear red.” It didn’t occur to me to wear it on my feet.

  • Anthea says:

    This look and the other one you mention in your post are so different. Ok, you use the same colors, but that’s the only similarity if you ask me. Love them both!
    I just started reading your blog, so I can’t say much about your other outfits.

  • Chiara says:

    You can’t go wrong with white+black+red, so why try to change it?
    BTW, looks like you are getting more sun in UK that we are having in Italy! So jealous now!

  • Red shoes are my go-to combination except when I put on my B&W wedges and opt for a pop of color with a bag.

  • Minda says:

    I’ve been reading another blogger who is encouraging people to question their “shoulds.” It goes kind of like is: I should wear a different color. Or…I could wear the color that feels right to me because it’s my body and my style. :) Which is totally what you did and GOOD FOR YOU! Personal style should be about knowing who you are, not playing to some external pressure. I love that you made YOUR choice, not a fashion choice!

  • Laura says:

    you’re looking gorgeous! and that dress is beautiful! x

  • Destiny says:

    Amber, I love that dress on you! And the red shoes, well, I think red shoes go with just about everything. There’s a running joke in my family that I’ll wear red shoes with anything. I’ve done that since I was about 2 years old when I convinced my grandparents to buy me a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes. I promised my Mom I’d only wear them on special occasions. But she says I wore them every day. I currently have 11 pairs of red shoes:)

  • Selina says:

    But its the best tri colour combination so go for it every time if you want

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