The Boyfriend

We’ve had their jeans and now their coats have infiltrated our wardrobes. I’ve always been a casual girl so when Chelsea boots, slouchy jumpers and baggy coats are considered the height of fashion, I am in my comfortable, effortless element. I can get dressed in five minutes (it never takes me more) and actually look like I’ve made an effort. Just you wait until no makeup and messy hair comes back, I’ll look like I’ve come straight off the catwalk.

So, boyfriend coats. I admired them last winter but, as I’d taken out a mortgage to buy an All Saints Monument coat the previous year, I had to wear that coat every bloody day for two years and bide my time.  Continue Reading →

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Dear Me: A letter to my 16 year old self

If I could offer you one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. On every piece of exposed skin, every time it meets the sun. Factor 50, just to be sure. Never, ever, ever lie in the sun with baby oil on your beautiful face. In the future, tans will be a sign of ill, not good, health. Skin cancer will be the most common cancer in Ireland, and Ireland will have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. You will narrowly avoid becoming a statistic when you have a pre-cancer removed from your face at the tender age of 40. And the cosmetic sun damage will surely be in the post by then.

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A brief history of (my) trainers

I have always been a trainers girl. I love the look, the feel and the smell of them. From the day I graduated from Dunnes best to Gola Harriers, I have worn my trainers with pride, a sure sign of the laid-back, considered dresser I imagine myself to be. Continue Reading →

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Kirsty Wark

“Why would it be antithetical to feminism to be interested in style, in design, in line and colour and cut? Why would a desire to feel good about yourself, to look modern, be at odds with feminism? Look at Simone de Beauvoir! She looked fabulous.”

Kirsty Wark in the Guardian.

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Isabel Marant

‘You want to look good but you don’t want to spend too much time on it. I will always go to things that make me feel comfortable. Every morning when I open my cupboard I need some clothes, I don’t need some clothes to go to awards or whatever, because it’s once a year.’

Isabel Marant in the Telegraph. Spot on. Now, if only she can rationalise the price part of her designs.

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How to dress for spring when it still feels like winter

All it took was a few mild days in late February to turn our thoughts to brighter, lighter clothes. Changing from a coat to a jacket, from a boot to a shoe and from black to blue represents a change in fortune, that longer, warmer, happier days are on their way. One sunny day and our optimism knows no bounds; a dark, wet day and we can’t imagine it any other way. We were up and now we are down again. Back in the winter woollies and wondering how we can dress optimistically in minus degrees. Continue Reading →

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Isabel Marant Jackets

I have long admired Isabel Marant jackets on many a fashion blogger so I decided to have a go myself. Now, at €300-400 a pop, I will most likely never get to bring one home – even if I did suddenly come into money, I wonder how long it would take for four decades of thriftiness to ease its way out of my consciousness. So, just out of curiosity, I wanted to see just how much better a €400 Isabel Marant jacket felt than its €50 Zara counterpart. Continue Reading →

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IFTA Glamour

Vintage beaded dress by Frank Usher – €80 from second hand shop

Red shoes by Prada – €60 from the Greystones Buy, Sell and Swap Facebook group

Clutch by Coast

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Wish List: Monochrome

Black and white shoes by Zara (above). They are already in the post so I’ll do a photo of them next week. I usually steer clear of anything that precludes me wearing socks or thick tights, being a cold-blooded creature, but look – they’re so cute. With stripes too. Will just have to compensate with a big woolly jumper, hat, scarf, coat and many layers underneath. Continue Reading →

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Inspired by: Aran sweater

Another gem from Joanna Donnelly…..

To make this Aran sweater, I went in search of the nicest Aran wool I could find. It’s all about the yarn! I found the one I liked the best at The Wool Shop. They’re a pleasure to deal with there, delivery is next day and from what I can make out the pricing is competitive enough to suit me. The wool is the new Tivoli Celtic Aran superwash 100% wool and it’s lovely. I choose the nearly white colour. Continue Reading →

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Do you have to be skinny to wear skinny jeans?

It is ten years since Lucy Pinter of Superfine styled Kate Moss in grey, faded skinny jeans. Within months, Vogue had hailed a new trend and it wasn’t long before the high street followed. Possibly the most lauded skinny jean of them all, Topshop’s Baxter, was launched in 2005 and is still available, although sales have been overtaken by the even skinnier Leigh jean, 1.2 million of which were sold last year.

You only need to look out the window to see that skinny jeans are ubiquitous. My kids, my husband and my mum wear them. And yet, their universal acceptance has done nothing to dent their popularity. In fact, every new season brings a new skinny jean. They have long since left the confines of denim and have brought patterns and textures back to jeans. We’ve had floral, brocade, baroque, sequinned, we’ve had velvet, coated, leather, camouflage. Continue Reading →

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Fluffy Jumpers

There’s not much I like more than a bit of fluff and fur (faux obviously). So, although the current fluffy jumper trend is not always the most flattering, I just can’t resist. They might not be sexy or figure-hugging…..but they’re fluffy! And cuddly and snuggly! If a fluffy jumper doesn’t win you a hug then I don’t know what will. (Obviously a slinky sequinned dress will get you a different type of hug but have you ever tried to snuggle sequins?) Continue Reading →

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Arm Candy

Black patent belt by LK Bennett

Chestnut-coloured cuff, Marshall’s, Boston, USA

Swallow and apple cuff, NW3 by Hobbs

Swallow pendant, NW3 by Hobbs

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Joanna wears skirt inspired by Maison Martin Margiela.Victoria BeckhamJoanna wears skirt inspired by Maison Martin Margiela.

Inspired by: Maison Martin Margiela

In the first of an ongoing series, Joanna Donnelly shows us the best way to get high-end looks at low-end prices – make your own! First up is Maison Martin Margiela’s Tuxedo Stripe Skirt, as seen on Victoria Beckham.

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