fantasy shopping

Fantasy Shopping for My Fantasy Life

You know how I’m always banging on about how you should shop for your REAL life, not your fantasy life?

(Er, by which I mean you should buy clothes that are suitable for the school run, or the casual lunch with friends, or standing at the bus stop in the rain at 7am, or whatever it is that you do in your life, rather than the clothes that are most suitable for the red carpet, or lounging on a yacht in Cannes.)

(Unless you’re a movie star, or a Kardashian or something, obviously. You can processed as you were. Also, I pretty much hate you right now, you do know that, right?)

Well, today I’m not going to do that. No, today I’m going to shop for that fantasy life, and to hell with the bus stop and the casual lunch dates and all the rest of it, because today I’m wearing THIS:

high street dupe of Keira Knightley's Atonment dress

In my head, I mean. Because I might be shopping for my fantasy life, but I’m doing it with fantasy money, so don’t panic: I did not just buy a floor length green satin gown. Even although it’s basically the ‘Keira Knightley in Atonement‘ dress, and I actually think I might die if I don’t get to wear it. Can that happen, do you think? Is that a thing? Can you actually die of longing for a dress? Probably not, actually, because if you could, I’m fairly sure I’d be dead by now. Don’t you just love it, though? Wouldn’t you feel amazing in it, even although the low neck would probably reach your belly button, and you’d spend the whole night wondering if the girls had escaped their satin prison? (And by “you”, I obviously mean “me” here. Hell, even a perfectly respectable looking v-neck sweater can look borderline obscene on me, so this would be… interesting to say the least.)

I don’t care, though: I still want it. And in my fantasy life, I don’t just have a reason to wear this: I have exactly the right figure to pull it off, too. (Also, I look like a young Vivien Leigh. That has nothing to do with the post, really, but please imagine me like that from now on, if you wouldn’t mind. Appreciate it.)

Seeing as this is fantasy life, I’m also going to have this:

Chi Chi London Nora dress

Yes, it’s by Chi Chi London. I know what you’re thinking: I spend WAY too much time on, don’t I? You’re right about that, as it happens, but I don’t care, because fantasy life, remember? I was actually going to include this dress in last week’s roundup, but I left it out at the last minute, because although I love it so much I can hardly breathe when I look at it, I know that little collar wouldn’t suit me. Oh, it looks adorable on the model, obviously (And it would look adorable on YOU, too: so you should totally buy it, and then at least ONE of us will be living the dream…), but on me, little high collars like that just look like I’m in fancy dress as an old maid – and not the fun, sexy kind you just KNOW will look amazing if she just takes off her glasses and unbuttons her cardigan. No, the kind who glares at you and tells you that in HER day children were seen and not heard, and young ladies knew their place. It’s not good.

Of course, in my fantasy life, I can wear collars like this: and to be totally honest, if this dress went on sale, I’d probably try to wear it in THIS life, too, so if you see me in an outfit post, looking suspiciously old-maidish, just call me Miss Amber, and then ignore me…

(I really hope I haven’t offended any old maids with this, but I know I probably have. I’m so sorry. Also, you should buy this dress: it will change your life, I promise.)

This one would also change my life:

apple green dress

I mean, it’s £540 AND it has one of those deep V necklines I can’t wear, so it looks like my life will be remaining stubbornly unchanged, but if I COULD buy it, and if I DIDN’T have the type of non-boobs that just make these styles super-awkward, what a life I’d have, huh? I can just see myself now, sipping champagne on a roof terrace in Monaco, and laughing coquettishly as a minor member of the European aristocracy promises to buy me a miniature pony for my collection. (I’m really big on miniature ponies at the moment. I saw an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians – don’t laugh – a few weeks ago, in which Khloe visited a miniature pony farm, and since then it’s been all I can think about. The good news is that Terry has agreed that if we ever become rich, and buy a gigantic house in the countryside, I can have some miniature ponies to keep the grass down in our lawn. The bad news is that that isn’t ever going to happen, is it, so I actually wish I hadn’t started writing this post: it’s just making me think of all the things I’ll never have…)

Anyway, I’m going to end on a slightly more achievable note, with this faux fur coat, which is only £40 on sale, so I COULD technically buy it:

Dorothy Perkins blonde faux fur coat

It so happened that I was passing Dorothy Perkins a couple of weeks ago, and they had one of these coats hanging on a rack near the door. One minute I was powering onwards, the next my legs had taken on a will of my own, and I found myself abruptly turning into the shop, picking up the coat, and clutching it to me like a baby. It wasn’t my size, but as I admired it, I noticed a girl watching me furtively from behind another rail of clothes: a girl who then proceeded to follow me around the store, while half-heartedly pretending not to. That girl should never try to become a spy, let me tell you. Well, it was obvious she wanted the coat: and it was becoming increasingly obvious that I wanted the coat, too (It was WAY nicer in real life than it looks in this photo, by the way. Just ignore this photo, and trust my memory instead…), so even although I knew it wouldn’t fit, I carried it to a dark corner of the store, where I tried it on and – watched by my hapless spy friend – attempted to convince myself that it WAS the right size, it WAS.

It wasn’t, though, so I left it for the one who obviously wanted it the most: I didn’t see what happened, but I like to think she bought it, and is, even now, skipping down the street in it, while an upbeat song plays in the background, and people turn to smile indulgently at One Girl and Her Coat. So why didn’t I just buy it from the website when I got home, I hear you ask? Because I also like this one. And this one. And this one, which is totally sold out now, but which you can find on eBay if you’re obsessive enough: and I think we all know by now that I AM obsessive enough. And also because Terry has told me – and I quote – that I “don’t need any more coats.” HAHAAHA! Thanks for the laugh, Terry: I needed that!

(I also need a faux fur coat, obviously. And I will find one, as God as my witness, I swear it.)

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  • Wendy


    I have been dreaming of that first dress since I saw it earlier this week. So 30’s Poirot. And it would look divine on you so I think you should buy it – then book a cruise on the Nile or a trip on the Blue Train or Orient Express so you could wear it.

    December 12, 2015
    • Annabel


      You just have to be careful not to get blood on it!

      December 12, 2015
  • That ChiChi London dress looks charming – unfortuntaltely not one of their styles they do in a 22/24. Sigh….

    December 12, 2015
  • I love the first dress!

    MARTA from

    December 12, 2015
  • Oh My. That green dress. I totally just compiled myself a list of acceptable excuses to buy it, including organising some sort of Oscars themed house party where I could be all “What, this old thing? Oh I had it already…..” WANT IT!!

    December 12, 2015
  • That green dress is like my new one but with added danger! It’s gorgeous… I now have two faux fur coats and I tell you this – I wear them all the time. Just with jeans and boots if I feel like – it’s so warm and comfy, why wouldn’t you?! So yeah, buy one – you won’t regret it…

    December 12, 2015
  • Trudy


    I am an old maid and I am offended. Ha! Just joking 😉 At 30, unmarried and single, I suppose I qualify for the title, but I sure don’t think of myself as an old maid. But if that 2nd dress is what old maids get to wear these days, I’ll be one in a heartbeat 🙂

    December 13, 2015
  • Caroline Herdman-Grant


    Several years ago a friend who lives a glamorous jet set lifestyle left two dresses to me before disappearing on said jet set lifestyle. One is black and ruffled and in no way shape or form suits me. The other however is a red twin to the first dress and I can attest to the fact it is UTTERLY impractical and unnecessary but my god do I feel amazing whenever I try it on.

    December 13, 2015
  • The only reason I’m not lusting over the green dress is because I had bought this one just a week before:

    Looks blueish on the site (to me), but it’s actually the most beautiful emerald. Didn’t even need hemming on me!

    December 13, 2015
  • That floral shirtdress is just beautiful. I never ever look at ASOS, there’s just so much stock I find it quite overwhelming and never know where to start!

    December 14, 2015
  • I need that first dress. It would definitely be obscene on me though. Why do dresses do these things to us?

    December 16, 2015