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River Island floral print 50s style dress


ast Friday, as I’m sure you all know, was the day of the Royal Wedding.

What you may not know, but which was actually more important in our house, was that it was also the day my car was due to have its M.O.T. (Which is an annual inspection, for the benefit of those of you outside the UK, who don’t understand my abbreviations. I actually don’t know what M.O.T. stands for either, to be perfectly honest, but I expect approximately 91 of you will tell me as soon as I post this, so I’m not even going to bother Googling it.)

Well, Terry and I watched the wedding, and afterwards found ourselves with just a small window of opportunity in which we had to drop off the car and walk the dog before it was time to… well, before it was time to watch the William and Kate movie on TV. No, I can’t believe I just admitted to that either. Look, I don’t know what happened to me on Friday, OK? It was strange: I didn’t think I was even interested in the wedding beyond a general “I wonder what her dress will look like” curiosity, which I felt sure would be satisfied by looking at the photos online. Next thing I know, though, I’m sitting in front of the screen shouting to Terry, “QUICK! QUICK! YOU’RE GOING TO MISS WILLIAM AND HARRY ARRIVING!” And then I’m all, “Actually, I think I will also watch this made-for-TV movie about the happy couple. Rule Britannia!” What happened to me? We may never know.

Anyway, in order to solve this little dilemma of ours, we came up with a cunning plan, in which we would both go to drop off the car, and then we would walk back from the garage with the dog. So off we went.

Well, we got to the garage, and Terry went in to give them the car keys, while I waited outside with Rubin.

Now, I was wearing a 50s style dress that day. It wasn’t the one in the photo, which is here purely for the purpose of illustration, but it had a similarly big skirt, which was swishing around in the gentle breeze. The problem with that, however, was that as soon as I got out of the car, that “gentle breeze” turned into a full-on GALE. No sooner had I taken up my position outside the reception area of the garage, than a huge gust of wind came along and…

… blew my skirt right up over my head. And I DO mean RIGHT UP OVER MY HEAD. For a few horrible seconds I was naked-but-for-my-underwear from the waist down, and blinded by acres of fabric. Awesome!

“This totally isn’t what happened to Marilyn Monroe that time,” I thought, annoyed, as I fought my way out from inside my skirt. “Why, she just put her hands down, gave a big smile, and looked positively charming. And here I am, half-naked in a car park!”

It took me a freakishly long time to free myself from my fabric prison. Once I was released, I smoothed down my hair and glanced feverishly around the area to see if anyone had witnessed my disgrace. There were a few people picking up cars, but no one was actively pointing and laughing, so I chose to let myself believe that I had managed to get away with it, and had only flashed Rubin. (Who has seen it all before, to be completely honest with you.)

red hair in the wind

“Well, Rubin,” I said, straightening up from the  defensive, crouching position I had assumed in my shame, “THAT was lucky!”

“Not really,” said Rubin. “Because your bare butt is on show RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND.”

No, he didn’t. Because he’s a dog, remember? Dogs can’t ACTUALLY talk. But sure enough, my nether regions did feel somewhat…breezy. Almost as if I was out in public in nothing but my knickers, actually.

I glanced down, anxiously. No, it was fine: my dress was primly covering my knees. And yet…

I turned my head and looked at my right shoulder. There, sitting proudly on top of it was THE HEM OF MY DRESS. The hem of my dress that was ON MY SHOULDER because it had blown up and got caught there, and while I’d managed to get the front of the dress back down again, I had not been so lucky with the back.


So, you’re thinking my humiliation was complete at this point, aren’t you?

Readers, my humiliation was not complete.

Because when I turned round to whisk that dress down from my shoulders, I realised I was standing with MY BACK AGAINST A WINDOW. The window of the garage reception, to be exact. The reception that was full of mechanics and customers and God only knows who else.

And THEN my humiliation was complete.

I’m not sure if anyone saw me. Terry was inside the reception at the time, and he didn’t see my knickers framed in the window, nor did he hear gales of laughter sweep through the room. We’re assuming I got away with it.

But… but… not ten minutes after we got home (me waddling along with my skirt clamped firmly between my knees), the garage called to say we could come and pick up the car.

It’s never been finished as fast as that before. AND it passed the MOT, which I wasn’t really expecting. Suspicious? I think so.

And that’s why I’m wearing jeans all the time from now on.

EDIT: For those of you who asked, the dress in the photo is from River Island!






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  • Sandy
    May 5, 2011

    Oh noes!

    As a daily wearer of full skirts, I can sympathise wholeheartedly. I’ve never mooned a garage window though! 😀

  • Linda
    May 5, 2011

    Oh that’s brilliant! not for you obv, but it makes such a funny post! Our MOT is called the NCT which is national car test which I suppose is easy to figure out but I can’t figure out your one out, presume Motor is the first word! Yeah I was the same about the wedding I thought I would just want to get a glimpse of the dress but I found myself getting really excited on the day. Of course my small children ensured I saw only the teeniest bit of it!

  • Stef
    May 5, 2011

    Ministry of Transport test, I googled for you 🙂
    And that is precisely my reluctance to wear skirts even though I love them XD

  • Fashion Limbo
    May 5, 2011

    Now, after recovering from the palpitations and shakes I got from seeing those amazing shoes in the post below I shall go on with my initial intention, comment on this one… only to say that you got me smiling a lot reading this :):):)
    The joys of dresses, heels and everything girlie that always ends up betraying us at some point, whether is by flashing, by falling to the ground, you name it. But you do look fabulous in a dress so who cares? I wore a dress yesterday just for the sake of walking to my pilates class..yes it kept stupidly riding up my hips thanks to my bag, and exposing my thighs, but I couldn’t care less 😛

  • Caroline
    May 5, 2011

    I have had this happen to me SO MANY times, that I barely notice anymore. But the worst offenders in my wardrobe always get a slip worn beneath, just to ensure I don’t get picked up for indecent exposure, y’know?

    I LOVE this dress by the way – the fabric is stunning! 😀

  • Relatable Style
    May 5, 2011

    LOL OMG! I hope I’m lauging with you and not at you here, but all you can do about things like that is laugh, right? See the positive side: Now that you’ve lived through it, you’ve got another story to tell at a boring party. At least that’s what I would do.
    Oh and the dress in the pictures? Positively pretty. The shoes? Covetable. And I love your last minute dedication to the whole wedding shindig. I did watch the wedding too, but I skipped the movie. That was just too much to handle, plus I think it didn’t run here that very afternoon 🙂

  • lila
    May 6, 2011

    I am glad you got away with the dress over your head flashing your knickers moment, also glad your car passed the MOT, and with flying colours. Don’t worry I only watched the wedding for the dress too, I cheated though, I recorded it and fast forwarded through it!

  • Selina
    May 6, 2011

    Oh this made me laugh so much! I remember once a guy I worked with returning to the office from his lunch break with a huge grin on his face. Turns out he’d been walking behind a pretty young thing when a gust of wind had come along and lifted up her skirt. And she wasn’t wearing any underwear. I presume you were wearing underwear. Hopefully it was pretty underwear, because there’s nothing worse than having a breeze lift your skirt to reveal the manky holey underwear you’ve had to resort to because it’s laundry day. Not that this has ever happened to me. Nooo. No, no, no, nooooo. I think I need to buy some new underwear.

    • Selina
      May 6, 2011

      Oh and in New Zealand it’s called a WoF. Which stands for Warrant of Fitness. And is also the noise the dog makes when someone comes to the door. Or if you drive a truck it’s a CoF. Certificate of Fitness, and also the noise I make when I inhale the flavouring off my salt and vinegar crisps. Which we call chips. I’m going to stop now.

  • Roisin
    May 6, 2011

    This happened to me in Paris, standing over a grate over the metro, with some Japanese tourists looking on. D’oh! Not a graceful Marilyn moment either. Days like that I wish women still wore bloomers.

  • Kate
    May 6, 2011

    It could’ve been any of us, I suppose.

    But hey, at least yours resulted in a quicker turnaround on the car inspection? (I first typed that as “on the inspection” but that gives the sentence a rather different meaning, eh?)

    LOVE the dress in today’s photos, BTW.

  • Nicola
    May 6, 2011

    i have had that happen too – and its always at the worst possible time … its like the wind waits untill it cause cause the most embarrasment!

    but if it meant your car passed its MOT and you got the car back quicker than normal i wouldnt knock it!! if it works!

    nicola xx

  • Paula
    May 6, 2011

    What a tale!!! I cringed for you.

    My dresses regularly work their way up my legs on my walk to work in the morning. Luckily, they tend to be covered by my coat. It’s just the point where I get to my desk, go to remove my jacket and realise I am missing the bottom of my dress and can see the crotch area of my tights . . . well, THAT’S embarrassing.

  • Hilarious story – you may have been humilated but at least you entertained us (and no doubt several mechanics).

  • Diane
    May 7, 2011

    Oh wow, this was so funny, although I’m sorry it happened to you. Another reason for me to hate dresses!

  • Amy
    May 7, 2011

    Holy moly, that was hilarious. I heard about a study where they were measuring embarrassment in brain scans; in order to get the subjects embarrassed, the subjects were shown video of themselves singing karaoke (“My Girl” to be exact).

    But I think they should have read your story instead. My cheeks burn in sympathy (but only the cheeks on my face, lucky me!). Cheers to your positive attitude!

  • kristy
    May 9, 2011

    you’re gorgeous!! love your style too. i want to follow you… do you have bloglovin’? i prefer it to google reader. tweet me and let me know! i want to keep up with your blog. =)

    Kristy Eléna – Full Time Fabulous
    Vogue Gone Rogue
    Twitter: @kristyelena

  • Fi
    May 10, 2011

    I saw that dress at a wedding on Saturday, was proud to be able to identify it. Does yours gape at the back?

    • Amber
      May 10, 2011

      Lordy, I hope not! No-ones said it does, anyway – will check next time I wear it, though!

      • Fi
        May 12, 2011

        Hers had a zip to just about where your bra back strap would be, then hook fastenings the rest of the way – quite widely spaced. She had one of those ‘invisible’ clear plastic bras on.

        • Amber
          May 12, 2011

          Oh yes, mine has that too. It doesn’t gape, though – or I don’t think so, anyway!

  • Katie
    May 10, 2011

    GASP! horrifying yet entertaining at the same time, and i can say this only from experience. same thing happened to me this weekend at a rooftop bbq. all i had to say to the onlookers was….”you’re welcome”

    that aside, this dress is gorgeous! the first photo is fantastic. when the wind worked WITH you, you definitely won.

  • Fashion Bombay
    May 10, 2011

    You look absolutely gorgeous. Love the entire look.

    Lots of love from India
    — Fashion Bombay

  • two birds
    May 10, 2011

    that is a hilarious story! wow…it’t like out of a movie! hopefully no one saw you, and if they did, hopefully you don’t ever run into them again! if it’s any consolation, you look absolutely lovely!

  • Cel
    May 10, 2011

    I’m sorry, I have to admit I laughed. Quite the story! I can imagine how embarrassing that was for you though, so I shouldn’t laugh too much, goodness knows the same thing could happen to me far too easily.

  • Pixie in Pumps
    May 10, 2011

    oh geez.. this happens to me every time I wear certain skirts, but thankfully I have never had my butt frames in a window at a car park during one of these incidents. Hopefully no one really did see! I love the dress you’re wearing in the pictures too, so pretty! And that last picture is so gorgeous!

  • Shoe
    May 10, 2011

    This was such a funny post, but I have to say the dress is really beautiful and very possibly worth it. You look great!

  • jessie
    May 10, 2011

    how gorgeous are YOU?! i just found your blog today (via EBEW) and have since proceeded to scroll back through an embarrassing amount of archives! what can i say? i’m hooked!

    can’t wait to follow along on your stylish adventures!

    XOXO – jessie

  • Cate
    May 10, 2011

    I love that dress! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given people an eyeful of my backside when wearing dresses, but for some reason I keep wearing them anyway.:) This is such a great blog, btw.

  • Loren
    May 10, 2011

    I just linked over from the EBEW page, and I wanted to say that story is hilarious! But you look so amazing in your dress that it really makes up for any embarrassment you suffered. (Note: I especially love this story because our dog also ‘talks’ to us. We hold entire conversations with him… It’s somewhat embarrassing to admit which helps make up for your ‘flashing your knickers’ story.)

  • thatdamngreendress
    May 10, 2011

    hee…this too is a stunningly gorgeous dress. I love the feel of floofy fifties dresses swirling around the knees, and I thank my lucky stars that this hasn’t happened to me (yet!)- I tend to wear a slip though, and maybe I always will now… what a hilarious story, and soooo embarassing- thanks for sharing it!

  • academiaemily
    May 10, 2011

    Oh no to your dress mishap, but hooray to how beautiful your dress actually is! I’m American, and we had a made-for-TV William and Kate movie here too. Maybe it was the same one? I didn’t watch it, but I did DVR the wedding on two channels (in case one of them failed). And then exclaimed loudly to my husband about the dress – it was a great one.

  • Charlotte
    May 11, 2011

    Oh my goodness. That sounds horrible, but I had to chuckle! I do know exactly what you’re talking about, though not in such a public setting haha! Wind has ruined many outfit shots for me. But the wind in this post looks like a blessing because these breezy pictures are totally gorgeous, especially the first one! I’m in absolute awe of your dress and your hair, as well! They are both so so pretty!

  • Kerissa
    May 11, 2011

    What a funny story! This has semi happened to me and a co-worker within a few days. Imagine trying to avoid being on display for a bunch of male middle schoolers. I always tuck when it is gusty out. The dress used here for illustration purposes only is so delicate and cute.

  • Aminta
    May 11, 2011

    Wow! What a wonderful dress…. !! Im following your blog for sure..


  • Debbie Baker Burns
    May 11, 2011

    You look absolutely beautiful! The dress is gorgeous even if it was misbehaving! Your Marilyn moment was much more exciting than the original one.

  • Cee
    May 12, 2011

    I love the dress, where is it from if you don’t mind me asking?

    • Amber
      May 12, 2011

      It’s from River Island 🙂

    May 12, 2011

    Amber, WOW. So your photo on EBEW hooked me but then I read this whole story and had way too much. Sorry about that, but it’s a hilariously horrifying story. These 50s style dresses sure do make for amazing photos though! Where is yours from, I am in love!!

    May 12, 2011

    Amber, WOW. So your photo on EBEW hooked me but then I read this whole story and had way too much fun. Sorry about that, but it’s a hilariously horrifying story. These 50s style dresses sure do make for amazing photos though! Where is yours from, I am in love!!

    • Amber
      May 12, 2011

      Wow, I’m so flattered you commented, I love your blog! The dress is from River Island 🙂

  • Sara Shoemaker
    May 12, 2011

    WOW this dress is amazzzzzing! where did you get it? I certainly love it. hilarious story too!

    House of Shoes

    • Amber
      May 12, 2011

      Thanks! It’s from River Island.

  • simplychic
    May 12, 2011

    such a lady like dress 🙂 reminds me of charlotte

  • Mariel
    May 13, 2011

    OMG something similar happened to me a while ago only I was in a sidewalk thankfully without much traffic because of the time and I only flashed the man walking behind me but still so not cool.
    BTW pretty dress!

    Something similar happened to me a while ago only I was in a sidewalk thankfully without much traffic because of the time and I only flashed the man walking behind me but still so not cool.

  • Mariel
    May 13, 2011

    OMG something similar happened to me a while ago only I was in a sidewalk thankfully without much traffic because of the time and I only flashed the man walking behind me but still so not cool.
    BTW pretty dress!


  • Mariel
    May 13, 2011

    ouch sorry I double posted I tried to stop it, delete the offending 1st post pls hahahaha

  • Emily
    May 13, 2011

    I just found your blog through EBEW:Florals… I love the dress. Very pretty!

    This story, though? Oh my goodness… I’m at the office, and reading this story in my office was really hard, because I can’t get caught laughing out loud (then it would be obvious that I’m not doing any work). I’ve TOTALLY had this happen to me before. It’s so miserable while it’s happening, but so wonderfully funny to tell later on, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Zoe
    May 13, 2011

    I have been there, oh dear god have I been there! I went to a high school which required us to wear skirts knee length or longer and I swear, there was a weather conspiracy out there because for four freaking years almost every time I wore a full skirt there was gale force winds. And since my locker was in the administrative building I had to clutch my skirt about fourteen times a day as I made my way back and forth from class.

    You would have thought I’d have the good sense to stop wearing my full skirts but they are just so pretty! They make me feel like Grace Kelly or Jackie O

  • Sherry
    May 15, 2011

    I love your dress with the color of your hair. And the sunnies just top it off perfectly! I am sorry about your dress mishap… I, too, have experienced that humiliation. But I did not have the opportunity to communicate it in such an eloquent way! LOL! Cheers!

  • Briggs
    May 15, 2011

    Saw you on EBEW and loved your dress! You have a great blog. And I have had a skirt blow up in my face in front of my employers before…embarrassing, but it happens. 🙂

  • paisleyapron
    May 15, 2011

    That is precisely the reason why I am investing in some pettipants this very very moment. It has happened to me one too many times.

  • A
    May 15, 2011

    Haha, this has happened to me on more than one occassion!
    I had a party for the royal wedding, but I wore a dress with a more fitted skirt, so managed to avoid this kind of thing

  • kari
    May 19, 2011

    hahaha… this was an awesome story… also, i hate the wind!!!

    but then, at least you can comfort yourself in knowing that you look good, so you flashed everyone with something they wanted to see ^_- which is better than the alternative!!

  • Nell
    May 27, 2011

    Hahaha the exact same thing happened to me. At a wedding. I was wearing a thong. The bride doesn’t talk to me anymore…

  • samuel
    July 8, 2011

    you are like an angel

  • Pamada
    December 9, 2011

    gawd. i think i just died laughing.


  • Selina
    June 15, 2014

    And that is why I wear tights and shorts under my dresses

Rosslyn Castle & Traquair House. And a swing.
The Trouble With Dresses