polka dot playsuit

The Don CeSar, and a wardrobe malfunction

The Don Cesar Hotel, Clearwater, FloridaThis is the Don CeSar. Isn’t it pretty? It was opened in 1928, and was known as “The Pink Castle” to all of the rich jazz musicians and flapper girls who used to frequent it. You can just imagine them all, leaning out of the windows with their little bobs and their champagne glasses, can’t you?

We actually hadn’t intended to visit the Don CeSar – we were on a drive further down the coast – but, well, I have a bit of a thing about big hotels. I’m fascinated by them, and any time Terry and I go on holiday, we make a point of going into as many of them as possible, just to walk around being nosey, and imagining the ghosts of bygone eras flitting past. Also, the Don CeSar does really good ice cream, so there was no way we were just going to drive past, were we?

(My ice cream isn’t in this photo. It was in my belly. Because, yeah, like I’m going to leave ice cream just sitting around while someone takes a photo of it: AS IF. (Mmmm, ice cream…))

Today’s post, however, is not about the Don CeSar, or, indeed, about ice cream. No, today’s post is about this playsuit:

playsuit on the beachSo, yes, this is a playsuit, not a dress. Everyone thinks it’s a dress, but nope: playsuit! And the thing is, I’d NEVER wear a dress this short. Uh-uh, no way. As this is a playsuit, though, (not a dress!) it somehow feels more acceptable: I mean, those are shorts you’re looking at, people. Shorts! And as far as shorts go, they’re actually pretty modest. “People wear shorts MUCH shorter than this!” I told myself when I bought it. “So, I’m not wearing a really short dress: I’m wearing really quite long shorts. Which is totally different!”

Because the bottom half of the thing consists of shorts, then (Are you all getting that these are shorts, by the way? Because I’m not sure I’ve mentioned that enough yet. Also, I’ve written the word “shorts” so often now that it’s started to look totally alien to me. Shorts, shorts, shorts.) I figured I’d be pretty safe in this. It’s not like the wind would blow the dress up, (Because it’s not a dress!) and expose my nether regions, say. Why, I could bend over as much as I wanted to, and still remain totally covered. By my shorts. Nothing bad could possibly happen!

And, actually, nothing did. Not THAT day, anyway. A week or so later, though, I wore the playsuit in Orlando, on a quick trip to an outdoor mall. It rained that day. The rain made my legs wet. And… you see that bag? That bag that’s slung over my shoulder in these photos, but which I often carry in the crook of my arm, brushing my hip/thigh area? That bag made contact with the fabric of the playsuit, and that fabric rode up my legs (which, lest we forget, were a bit wet, and therefore sticky), and folks, it stuck there. Somewhere in the region of my butt, let’s say. Oh, GOD.

I have no idea how long I walked around like that, with one butt cheek on full view. All I know is that eventually two sales assistants in J Crew took pity on me, and alerted me to the tragic situation. “Um, ma’am?” one of them said, looking as mortified as I was about to feel. “I, um, think your dress has ridden up a little…”

(And, you know, it WASN’T a dress! It was a …oh, never mind.)

Well, I hastily pulled the fabric back down, and then I did the only thing I could really do in the situation: I burst out laughing. Clearly relieved, the two sales assistants laughed, too. Together, we had a good old, hysterical laugh at me and my stupid playsuit. And then I slunk off into a corner and I DIED. I’m still dying now, actually, as I think about how long I might have been walking around like that before I realised. It can’t have been too long, I don’t think. I mean, it’s not like people were pointing and laughing at me, or anything, and… oh.

people pointing and laughing at meAnd after that, I never did wear that playsuit no more. Even although it was quite a lot of fun to spin around in.

polka dot playsuitYeah, I’m easily amused…

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books by Amber Eve
  • I love your photographs, reminds me why I really want to live near the sea.

    July 13, 2012
  • Colene from Aberdeen


    Oh how I can relate to this post.

    I have a weird relationship with playsuits. I buy them and then decide that it’s NEVER warm enough to wear them in Scotland. So I take them on holiday, and decide it’s FAR too warm and sunny to wear a playsuit when I could be wearing a dress. And so they go unworn.

    Last summer though I decided to wear one, a really cute floral from Tesco that buttoned up like a shirt, and had ‘cullote’ bottoms like yours. I went into town shopping with a cross body bag.

    Wandering round New Look, I saw some girls looking in my direction. Initially I thought they were eyeing up my beautiful playsuit. Then I looked down and realised that the leg had been pulled up a little each time I moved thanks to my cross body bag, to the point that it was now wrinkled up near my waist with my entire right buttock on show. I proceeded to walk home with my hand clamped so tight to the bottom of my playsuit that I’m sure the hem was ready to give way…


    July 13, 2012
  • The castle looks like something of a fairy tale-its beautiful. Love the polka dots playsuit

    July 13, 2012
  • Cee


    Hi, just wondering if you are using a hair doughnut in the photos or if its a version of messy bun head? My hair never looks that neat

    July 13, 2012
  • I have yet to have a wardrobe malfunction, or maybe I have and have just a suppressed memory of it… Well, either way I tend to often fight with dresses working their way up while having an oversized bag at my side so, I totally know how this could happen. 🙂

    July 13, 2012
  • Oh no, you must have felt terrible. At least someone told you, and you “fixed” it eventually! Just try not to think about it.
    When returning from my holiday a week ago, I fell flat on the ground at the entrance of the airport. My suitcase got stuck at the entrance, and pulled me back..and the combination of the slippery floor and my plastic flats didn’t help, so I fell. While I was wearing a dress.
    The good thing is that it was so windy that day, that I wore a pair of shorts underneath it to stop flashing everyone around me (which I did to at least one person before I wore shorts). But the shorts were really loose, so I’m pretty sure that when I fell, someone around me definitely saw part of my butt. But I was so humiliated by the fall to even care at that time. Thank God I only had a bruise on my knee from the fall and nothing else.

    July 13, 2012
  • I’m going to be a positive Pamela and say that on the upside at least it happened in a place miles from home. Just imagine if it had chosen it’s moment on a Saturday afternoon on your local high street, with witnesses you would have to see again! 🙂

    July 13, 2012
  • Stacey


    How mortifying! It seemed that everytime I wore a dress I would manage to trip and end up with the dress over my head, flashing everybody in the vicinity. So eventually I thought “Hey, stop wearing dresses because you’re a klutz! At least give it a break and find something safe to wear.” So I have a boring routine of wearing jeans all the time, because I figure – what kind of malfunction can I possibly have in jeans?

    The last time I flew, I was running late for my flight. I forgot about the no belts in security, so had to take time in line to take my belt off. After making it through, I didn’t have time to stop and put my belt back on, so I was going through the airport checking every few steps to make sure my jeans were where they should be, since my carryon was brushing against my waist. I was terrified that the strap from the carryon would get tangled with the jeans somehow and I’d be de-pantsed in the middle of the airport. All went fine and I boarded my flight and forgot about the no belt situation.

    About 3 hours into my flight, I needed to get up and stretch my legs. After sitting that long, my legs and butt were going numb. I stand, get in the long line for the restroom – because apparently everybody else on the plane needed the restroom at the same time. I’m doing little toe-raises to try to get circulation back in my legs, I’m pretty much feeling nothing from waist down. Finally after making it into the restroom, I catch sight of myself in the mirror and my jeans had fallen down past my butt and I had been pretty much mooning the entire flight (I had underwear on). I could have died, and wanted to just stay in the restroom. It was humiliating having to walk back to my seat in front of all those people that I just flashed.

    July 13, 2012
  • I love your blog. You look like you are having a ball in your photos! Very inspirational 🙂


    July 14, 2012
  • I’m sorry Amber but I did laugh. I won’t laugh at your misfortunes again 🙂

    July 15, 2012
  • And that’s why I wear playsuits with tights. I also have a disposition to wear riding up things where they do as specified so tights are a must

    June 15, 2014