Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Perfect Pair

We met on Wooster Street in Manhattan in 2008. I’d been looking for so long and there you were.  It was perfect.

We went to Barcelona shortly after, then Croatia, Manchester, London, Biarritz, Belgium, Sicily and the fields of Stradbally where you were warmly received.  In Texas and California there were remarks on how bright you were, but I defended you. We almost went to Paris, but you were a little too worn out from all the pavement pounding.

With moving comes the inevitable purge. I finally had to say goodbye to the best runners ever. I tried to recycle you, but couldn't fine a place that would take you.

I am seeking a replacement pair. I’ve trawled Ebay for your clone, but no luck so far.

New applicants must have a GSOH,  a splash of yellow and be the right fit.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Old is New

Friday night led to two rediscoveries...

Rediscovery 1: I cut my fringe (or bangs) back in. (Apologies to Rob, my hairdresser, if he’s reading this!) I have been putting off getting a chop for as long as possible as I’d like to have long hair again. However a slightly hungover Friday in work and the walk home led to me deciding that the fringe would be trimmed as soon as I got home. I don’t think it’s too bad for DIY job.

I look better with a fringe. Or at least I think I do and that is what matters. Makes me feel a bit minxy – I blame Bettie Page.

Rediscovery 2: The ring was bought at a posh charity sale a few years ago for 2 euros and is labelled R Sobral. It was always a shade too big for some fingers and too tight on others. However in my search for something to wear out with a plain outfit, I threw it on and it fits my index finger.

Methinks both will be making appearances for a while.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Today's Lessons

1. The water in my area was being shut off for the day. Unfortunately I learned this post-yoga and pre-shower. Thank goodness for baby wipes and dry shampoo.

2. Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon accompanied by a Bloody Mary at Lennox Street Cafe is the definition of a perfect brunch.

3. Powerscourt Centre has always been one of my favourite places in Dublin and at the moment it is one of the best places to shop. Hour Glass has very lovely hats, scarves and gloves. 2nd Skin has tights of every description. There is a great selection of vintage jewels in the shops on the second floor, including one that has signed Lea Stein brooches at affordable prices. The Loft has a bit of something for everyone. I could spend a lot of money in there in a very short amount of time.

4. Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde smells amazing and one squirt lingers for hours.

5. D&G have some very cute bike basket-friendly handbags.

6. Everytime I ponder the purchase of a denim skirt I see a girl wearing one and I remember that they don’t really flatter anyone.

7. I am forever indebted to hipsters for making flat shoes fashionable again, however in most cases said shoes are slippy, making hipsters running in the rain slightly entertaining.

8. The sight of Christmas decorations in shops makes my liver hurt. Apparently it never forgets and is not looking forward to the impending festive season.

9. The Starbucks on Harcourt Street is excellent for people watching when taking cover from a particularly heavy shower.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wishing and hoping and...

Wishing and hoping and

This is my current wish list...

I made the mistake of going to BT2 in search of shoes and couldn’t avert my eyes fast enough from COS. Temptation pushed four frocks into my arms and manhandled me into the fitting room.

I am totally in love with this dress. My poor housie has been subjected to me mentioning it frequently since Wednesday. Finally this morning it dawned on me that I have the perfect reason for its purchase...a christening! 

I am also in love with the ‘it’ polish for the season...again. I can’t decide if I am just a fashion marketer’s dream in this regard or if it’s the colour. Years ago I had this amazing Hard Candy polish in a deep, glittery olive green. This polish reminds me of it, but has a gunmetal edge and I’m a sucker for grey.

The YSL belt bag...though I don’t want it in patent and would prefer it in matte black, mink, camel or olive. I got a bicycle recently and well this is a perfect hands-free handbag. Yes the bike has a basket on the front of it, but...well...I just want it!

The brogues because I’ve been saying for ages that I want a pair of glittery brogues. I regretted not buying a pair a few years ago when they first hit the scene and now that they’re back, I will be sure to acquire a pair. 

The yoga mat because I actually need a new one, my current one is wearing out. I’m getting a slightly posh one this time as I go to yoga twice a week and a good mat is necessary.

Instant gratification must wait however as I am off to Texas on Wednesday for a best friend’s wedding...I’m a BM so was unable to use this as an excuse to spend a ridiculous amount of money on an outfit of my choice. Plus I never know what I’ll find in the States and it could turn this current wish list on its ear, except the yoga mat and the glittery brogues and the...

Thursday, September 29, 2011


It seems like Gok Wan’s fashion solution to everything is ‘put a belt on it’. Now for the most part I am not mad on Gok and part of it is that I feel he relies on belts a little too much as being key to every outfit and shape, but with some things in my closet a belt is exactly what is needed.

They can instantly transform a dress that doesn’t do much for your waistline or in something patterned they break it up a bit, making the busy-ness a bit easier on the eye.

I have a ‘strictly for purpose’ plain black belt, which has reached a stage where it should really be replaced, to wear with jeans and trousers and a number of ‘fashion belts’. As pictured, one of these was removed from a pair of vintage trousers that I got in a family haul and the other has been featured previously as being a TJ Maxx, or TK Maxx, depending upon which side of the pond you are on, find. I have a few others that get used for nipping in various dresses – and I think pretty much all of these are from H&M (like the bow belt above). I also tend to use scarves or long chains as belts.


Dream mom has an amazing vintage brown leather belt from the know the ones with a painted scene carved in that includes rainbows and snow-topped mountains...I keep contemplating stealing it. And I have also been keeping my eye out on Ebay for a reversible Hermes belt, preferably in turquoise and black or chocolate brown with a silver H buckle. I think both of these will remain a dream for a good while longer.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Autumnal Tones

I have recently renewed my love affair with thrift shops. I’ve always popped in and out, but as bridesmaidly duties approach and an ever shrinking bank account, it was time to start making a bit of time to hunt down a pair of silver shoes on the cheap.

Of course on my first outing to the thrift shops, I did not find silver shoes, but I did find these amazing Bally heels for 8 yos, hardly worn and in my size. Last night was the perfect night out for them and I decided to go for variety of autumnal tones...maroon dress from H&M, navy blue tights and vintage forest green leather cluth.

Oh and I found the perfect Buffalo silver satin shoes for less than a fiver, also hardly worn on my next outing...wonder what I’ll find next?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Festival Fetish

The fear is slowly fading after the Electric Picnic, all to be faced with the Festival of Fashion, the Dublin Fringe Festival, and Dublin Contemporary 2011 (they really should have thrown an f-word into that last one to indulge my love of alliteration).

I am super excited about everything going on in Dublin this months, however my body and wallet recoil in horror. I have a feeling that both sides will win some and lose some. 

Anyhow, how does one accessorise for a weekend of frolics and music in the Irish outdoors? Wellies, sunglasses and tights are mandatory. The name necklace slightly vital to make striking up conversations eith strangers a bit easier. After that it’s whatever takes my fancy – this year it was the Hello Kitty ear headband from H&M and wristwear – I’ll let you guess which cost over €200 and which came out of a Christmas Cracker.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bead it!

I have been a bad blogger lately. Not sure if it’s a bit of writer’s block or if I’ve been occupied with so many other things that I just don’t have the energy for writing. I have a feeling the blogging may be a bit intermittent until the end of October, so please be patient with me!

I like to refer to these beads as my flapper beads. My lovely friend Jan purchased them for me many moons ago in H&M after I nearly swiped some vintage glass beads of the same colour that she possessed. I have searched for a vintage glass version, but they’re a bit pricey for my purse strings these days. I love beads in their many forms, especially long beads because they can have a bit of swing and you can play with them when you’re bored.

I hadn’t worn these in quite a while, but have a feeling they will be in rotation quite a bit this autumn/winter. I’m looking forward to deep jewel tones and bought myself a little rust coloured dress at H&M on Sunday. I look forward to pairing it with these beads, a number of other necklaces, scarves, a top underneath, a cardigan on top, various tights, brown shoes, black shoes...I was going to try and hold off wearing it until September, but have a feeling it will make its first appearance this week...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Accent Enough

Sometimes even I wear something that doesn’t require accessorising. This dress is one of those somethings. It’s Marks and Sparks from last A/W, I’m thinking if I can find the right pair of trousers I can use this top to pull of the tunic and trousers look. Of course finding trousers that suit my pear shape and the money in my budget for them is another matter...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Favourite T

You know you have one. It has faded, has holes, the screenprint is cracked or has faded beyond recognition and it has absolutely no shape to it whatsoever. It has survived purge after purge. You might have purchased it yourself or stole it off a parent/significant other/not-so significant’s your favourite T...used to wear it everyday...

This beauty is from a gig I went in Houston, Texas at the age of 14. I was (probably still am a little) obsessed with Evan Dando and while it wasn’t my first gig – that honour goes to Milli Vanilli, redeemed by the fact that Young MC opened – it was one of my most memorable. My glasses got kicked off my face in the mosh pit because everyone was so angry in the mid-90s that you moshed even at a Lemonheads concert and I actually couldn’t see the gig.

These calamities did not prevent the t-shirt my father bought me that night from taking pride of place in my wardrobe for over 15 years. It doesn’t really get worn in public these days, but it does get slept in frequently enough.

Luckily in 2007 I was able to see my teen hero play Dublin with my friend Yvonne and courtesy of her mate Trev, who got us on the guest list. We had a bit to drink beforehand and were squealing like teenage girls. This time I wore my contacts just in case there was a mosh pit and I made sure to make my way as close to the stage as I could for a good part of the gig. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lurking Good

There is a rather large pile of laundry in my room and I just can’t seem to find the will to tackle it. It really wouldn’t take much to do...

This of course required the wearing of clothes that have been lurking in the drawers for a while.  I am pleased that they got a bit of an outing and that I got to let out a bit of my inner hippy.  At the age of 13 I was obsessed with tie-dye shirts and times the song remains the same...though this shirt is a lot more revealing then one I'd have worn then.

Top:Urban Outfitters
Jeans: Gap
Bag: Ebay
Sunglasses: American Eagle Outfitters
Bracelets: Stolen from my mom and Bernard Shaw Carboot Sale

P.S. You can’t see them in the photos here, but I have persevered with the wedges of pain and was able to walk around in them for most of today without a problem - vaseline on the skin where the shoes are rubbing seems to have finally done the trick!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reacquainted - Wedges of Pain

I seem to be going through a period of rediscovery with a number of items in my closet. This week I was staring at the great wall of shoes in my bedroom – it’s more of a mess of shoes on the floor that seem to end up creating a barrier than a lovely organised wall of shoes – and thought, ‘meh’.

Remembering that I have a number of pairs of shoes that get neglected, I decided to pull out a pair of wedges that I have owned for about 4 years.

Theoretically everything about them is right. They are leather, comfortable, not terribly high, good with jeans or dresses and they make my legs look mega long. They were quite affordable and they kept showing up in magazines post-purchase, so I felt like I got the purchase of a lifetime from Topshop.

So what is wrong with them? The first few times I wore them I seemed to fall at least once in them, part of this was clumsiness and/or levels of intoxication, but the other was that the sole is quite narrow and if you hit any kind of uneven payment the wobbles begin. The other issue is that they rub in a few places. I have persevered with shoes previously and won the battle, but am unsure if it will work with these, based on below:

Monday: Right heel rubbed a bit raw. Stitching near buckle on right wedge rubs ankle and actually cuts into it. Loosen down a notch to no avail.

Tuesday: The heel part is fine, but the ankle thing getting increasing uncomfortable. Tried rubbing vaseline repeatedly on portion of shoe that is doing the damage, seems to improve it for a bit, but then back to square 1.

Wednesday: Now the left ankle is also cutting into me. As above in terms of attempts to correct.

I love these shoes, but they are abusing me and I am reminded why they haven’t been worn much. Anyone have any tips? Or tales of abusive accessories?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

En Soie

I have my own little fashion rules in my head – I am never sure if these are just completely my own or if I heard them somewhere and adopted them. One is not to wear knee-high leather boots in summer and every year I try not to wear a winter coat until after 1 October.

These compulsions make summer wardrobe choices a daily series of battles within my head and/or with the elements.
“Is it going to rain? It’s a bit too warm for the rain mac, but what if gets cold?” 
“Sun might peek out, will I put on my contacts so I can wear my sunglasses?” 
“No, you can’t wear an all black outfit – it’s summer for f**k’s sake and you are not a goth!”

There is a lovely and easy solution to the last one in the form of this lovely Hermes scarf purchased on holiday in Biarritz about 3 years ago. When I was originally looking in the shop, I fell in love with this same style, but on a cream background with pinks, reds and oranges when I went to buy it, the only non-display version was the dark blue one here, but I decided I liked it more because it included a few more colours and would not show any stains should anything get on the scarf.

I wear this piece quite often and I can’t believe I haven’t written about it before as it is one of my prized possessions and would be saved in a fire. I love the colours, the shape and the fact that the entire pattern is in the shape of an elephant when viewed from a slight distance. (I’ve had a thing for elephants since the 5th grade). If ever I develop an allergy to silk it will be framed and hung on the wall...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tightening & Transforming Belts

It’s the weekend before payday. Every month I swear that it will be different that I will stick to my budget and have loads of cash to spend on the last weekend of the month.  Inevitably I find some amazing find on ebay or in the shops or a friend calls to invite me out and I have to say, ‘Ummm...actually...umm’

The good thing is that it forces me to get creative, today’s examples:
  • A cocktail of muddled nectarines and vodka with some ginger, brown sugar, a dash of nutmeg and topped up with tonic was created. Verdict is that the mix was quite tasty, but nectarines were very pulpy. You would be better off infusing the vodka with nectarines.
  • I spied my little AA rope belt this morning and just had to wear it, unfortunately it wouldn’t really tie right as a belt on my dress and I couldn’t loop it as a crown on my head for the office without raising numerous eyebrows. I wore it as a necklace.
Some say economic strife leads to heightened creativity and today, I definitely agree.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Princess for a Day

Apologies for the hiatus - it has been a crazy past few weeks involving a lot of long days and extra hours at work and a lot of hard play on the weekends. 

As of Friday I am 32 years young and with the rationale that 3+2 equals 5 and with all the royal weddings of late, I decided to have a princess-themed party.

I am lucky enough to have amazing friends and my best mate, Jan, organised princess crowns, sashes and a princess cake to bring the theme to fruition. Of course I needed a new frock to go with the theme. I had planned on getting something super-frilly in the sales, but fell in love with this little gĂșna from Mango in the House of Fraser sale. It's a bit Snow White-esque so went well with the theme.

I’ve paired it here with my own vintage belt, Tatty Devine nickname necklace and shoes from H&M. Crown provided by Jan. 

I may have looked like a princess, but am pretty certain all notions of princess-like behaviour disappeared at about midnight. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

You (and you and you) make me smile

Taken in Barcelona a few years ago. 

I have been exhausted this week, which means that I have been unable to photograph or write about anything I’ve worn this week. So I am going to do a round-up of the top 10 things that made me smile this week.

1.     Net-a-porter’s ‘What’s new for you on Monday’ message, featuring several Missoni jewellery items: I would like to have one of each, per favore. Especially this and this.
2.     Outdoor Yoga: I am sure I am one of many fashion bloggers that would count yoga as one of their ‘Hobbies and Activities’. However, how many can say that dogs and swans run through their class? Plus the instructor is utterly charming.
4.     This ring. Sweet and tough.
5.     The Brown Thomas Sale. Lovely red patent Miu Mius, Ferragamo jellies and Missoni scarves were among the many things I coveted on my journey through the shop.
6.     Murphy’s Ice Cream: I had yet to try any Murphy’s and decided that yesterday was the day to do it – Balsamic Vinegar, Strawberry and Dingle Sea Salt ice creams in a waffle cone. Yes...oh YES!
7.     The site of Rainbow flags and the Pride parade while rounding a corner in Dublin.
8.     Hendrick’s Gin: Imbibed for the first time this week. Served with tonic and a slice of cucumber. Life-changing.
9.     Reading ‘Everything Is Illuminated’ by Jonathan Safran Foer in the park today, which turned out to be a proper Sun Day. Even the smelly lad who chose to sit and snore near me shop near me didn't put me off.
10. These shoes at New Look – my housemate has them and I usually resist copying another friend’s style (especially one I live with), but I need new heels and these seem to tick all the boxes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sunshine Souvenir

But in this case, it is. I am fairly sure I have mentioned that I usually buy an accessory of some sort as my holiday souvenir. So in Alicante I was ready to shop, but on a very tight budget. I discovered a fab little store Bimba & Lola and fell in love with this bag.  I hesitated due to the 'appropriateness' of a clear bag for a woman over 30, but inspired by my 'summer of fun' mantra, this post from Ripped Knees, the fact that it is on sale for half-off and it's my birthday soon -  I'm thinking that it must be added to the collection.

I did leave Spain with a purchase. Normally I don’t fall for 'it' colours, but when the 'it' colour is yellow (or, officially, 'Mimosa'), by Chanel and can be worn on your nails, well, an exception has to be made. I know I could have purchased it anywhere in the world, but I bought it in Alicante and will think of the trip whenever I wear it and that is what matters. The colour also brightens your mood on the greyest of days, which is never a bad thing when spending the summer in Dublin.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


My own personal portmanteau for that post-holiday feeling – in my case I am easily distracted, and want to spend as much time outside wearing sandals, dresses and sunglasses, while reading books and making general merriment. In fact, I am writing this blog, while sitting in Belgrave Square soaking up the sun in a dress purchased for, but not worn on vacation.

I am lucky enough to have a travel gang known as the Sardines, our first trip was to Sardinia hence the name. On this holiday we went to the Costa Blanca for just under a week – cheap and cheerful. We rented a flat in El Campello, a town about halfway between Alicante and Benidorm, and lay on the beach, hit Aqualandia, witnessed Benidorm and checked out Alicante town.

I wanted to wear colour on this holiday. I feel like I have been stuck in dark clothes for a while and it was time to throw some sunshine into the wardrobe. The day before departure, and conveniently enough the day after pay day, I went on a mini-spree to H&M and picked up three brightly coloured dresses for €60. These are my two favourite outfits from the holiday.

Benidorm Brights:
Dress – H&M - €15
Sunglasses – Vintage Polaroid from this Etsy Seller
Bangle – H&M (US) - $5
Sandals – Birkenstocks - €95

Alicante Awesome:
Dress – H&M - €30
Belt – Lauren by Ralph Lauren purchase in TJ Maxx - $20
Sunglasses – Chanel – Way too much, but have had them for 5 years.
Sandals – as before
Bag – Vintage and gifted
Bracelet – Coral – Gifted

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Life Goes to a Party

This week saw another work formal occasion, though on this occasion it was on a Thursday and began not long after quitting time.

For the dress I went for a little black number with sequins from Topshop that wouldn’t wrinkle if thrown into a bag. I also knew I could wear my peacock feather headpiece with it, which meant not having to worry too much about the state of my hair after a long day at work.  I bought the headpiece for a friend’s wedding last year off of Etsy and have been looking for an excuse to wear it since.

With the primary accessory and dress chosen, I decided to go for a bit of a 40s theme, carrying a vintage black bag with an art-deco clasp and tights with faux seams up the back. Luckily the only item I had to buy were the tights, which I picked up at M&S for about a tenner, so it was a budgetary and fashion win all around!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Goldie Looking Chain

Sometimes you come across something in a charity shop or box of a relative’s old things that is incredibly charming, but there is something wrong with it. A cigarette burn, a zipper that needs replacing, or a stain on delicate material makes the item seem a bit of a lost cause, but you are still drawn to it.

A bag was given to me amongst a number of vintage items my mom and aunt had gathered and unfortunately the clasp was completely broken. I’ve taken a number of things to it to try and open it, but to no avail.

I have salvaged a piece of it without very much effort. The strap was a lovely bright gold chain, which I now use as a belt or I double it up and wear it as a necklace.

I have stored the bag portion somewhere 'safe' and hope that I can some day return it to its former glory as a handbag as a belted pouch bag - almost like robin hood would have worn if he were a bit more camp and flashy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Give me Liberty!

Once upon a time, I resided on Great Portland Street, London, W1. I lived and worked in a pub and during my hours and days off would wander a number of high street shops, Selfridges and Liberty of London.

Liberty is the only shop I have ever been intimidated walking into. The Tudor revival architecture made me feel like I was entering another realm. The colours, lighting and displays were all so meticulous and beautiful, I was afraid I might bump into something. The salespeople were friendly, but I felt as if I’d fallen through the wardrobe and landed in fashion Narnia.

I never managed to buy anything at Liberty, but I found a lovely vintage, silk scarf in A Store is Born in Dublin a few years ago and had my then boyfriend purchase it for me as a gift. It is not a typical Liberty floral, but that is part of what I love about it.

I love that it is a fairly simple grid-like pattern, which then becomes a bit more adventurous with the tassels. The tassels remind me a bit of mome raths from the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. The colours are a bit hard to describe – they’re vibrant, but subdued. I’ve been known to wear it as a necklace, belt and scarf, of course. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm Curious Yellow

Salvatore Ferragamo flat shoes
$390 -
Diane von Furstenberg platform heels
$280 -
Gucci leather messenger bag
$4,250 -
Bottega veneta handbag
2,130 GBP -
Marc by marc jacobs watch
$250 -
Merle O Grady chain earring
135 GBP -
Yves Saint Laurent glass ring
115 GBP -
312 GBP -

There are few things more dangerous to my personal finances than the 'What's New for You' updates that arrive from Net-A-Porter to my inbox several times a week. This Monday what was new for me was this absolutely stunning Sonia by Sonia Rykiel dress. I've had a long standing love affair with Sonia and have purchased a few items in the sales and through Ebay.

I cannot put into words how much I want this dress. If I had an unlimited budget this is how I would style it. And I already have the glasses, so I think it's a good start...