Sunday, February 27, 2011

A bargain piece

Like most fashionably minded, I love a bargain. I’ve trawled vintage and thrift shops since I was 13, I keep an eye on ebay for my favourite brands, and I hit up car boot and garage sales whenever I have the chance.

One of my favourite spots in Dublin is/was the George Bernard Shaw Car Boot sale. In addition to cocktails and amazing food, I’ve managed to bag some amazing finds at it and have even participated in it as a seller once upon a time. On a sunny Saturday in Dublin, there is no place better, though I believe they have been suspended for sometime.

I would always check out the jewelry on the stalls as it is easier to peruse with a beverage in hand and you don’t have to worry about guessing whether something will fit or trying to squeeze into the women’s toilets to try something on.

This particular find was discovered at one of the last sales I went to, I think I only paid €2 for it, but it always manages to earn a compliment or two. I’ve worn it here with a recent nautically-inspired, non-bargain, but affordable purchase from the COS concession at BT2.  Spring/Summer ’11, ahoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On such a winter's day

On such a winter's day
On such a winter's day by marielmcp featuring marc by marc jacobs jewelry

I knew that I was sick of winter when the sight of my beloved black boots started to annoy me. The days are starting to get longer and the temperature has become slightly more mild the past few days. Summer festivals, outdoor yoga and the feel of a warm sun on my skin are in my daydreams. This made me think of what my ideal summer accoutrements are this year...the more I look at the Lacoste wedges the more I think that they will have to be mine!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vintage - One Owner

Brogues, brogues, brogues - they have been showing themselves on the catwalk and high-street season after season recently. Heeled, flat, neutral, two-tone, canvas, leather – just about any variety to go with any outfit. I’ve been pondering the heeled pairs at Office and all out lusting for a pair from Margaret Howell.

But really, I don’t need a new pair. I bought a pair of black and white brogues in 1997 from a shop on Westheimer in Houston that had these and every other type of Doc Marten imaginable.  It wasn’t Dream Merchant, but the shop across the street – I can’t remember the name, but they had all sorts of mad clothes and I am fairly certain I bought a jar of Punky Colour there at some point.

They’re a bit too clunky for being 100% on trend, but I figure the fact that they’re vintage – one owner gives them more than a bit of cred.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One for the freezer

So this isn't really about fashion, but it is a necessary accoutrement for my life and must always be on hand for an ‘emergency’ situation. A run-in with the ex/boss/roommate/parent/sibling/pet, or better yet for an unplanned after party when it’s chucking out time. I would always recommend havng a bottle of booze in the freezer.

I prefer either Absolut Citron, or 42 Below Honey. For parties it’s invaluable because it is pre-cooled and can be used with recently acquired warm and over-priced mixers. With flavoured vodka I find you don’t need a mixer and can drink it straight - SLOWLY.

It lends itself to dancing and singing in the kitchen with your best mates until all hours. Alternatively, it gives you the stamina to watch bad movies until you have the ‘it’s time to go to bed’ epiphany, or as it did this evening, calm your nerves after a day where it seemed the fates were completely working against you. Your mother would not approve, but for an urban dweller it’s simply a necessity.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A bit of formality

My newish job involves attendance at a number of formal events.  Luckily, I have always been a believer in black dresses and own two. I have had one of these dresses since my senior prom and is a black halter neck maxi dress. The other is a recently acquired short black dress with a double-v neckline. I know that black is boring to some, but if you’re  on a budget and expect to dress up a minimum of 2 to 3 times a year for work functions, an LBD is an old reliable friend that is easy to accessorise.

I had the pleasure of attending one of these formal evenings last Saturday, so donned the new LBD with a pair of chandelier earrings, patent Ferragamo kitten heels and a solid-silver clutch.

For a cover up, I dug out my chanel-esque vintage cropped jacket with a dyed fox fur collar – it was my Grandmother’s – she held on to her best bits and gave them all to me a few years ago. I only get to wear these beauties once in a while, but always feel like a million bucks when I do.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Cocktail Ring

For years I wanted a cocktail ring, but always had trouble finding something that sat well on my hand. I have fairly thin fingers, but they’re on the short side. Then there was of course the challenge of finding something in budget that was classic, but quirky. Most importantly it had to be eye-grabbing, as a cocktail ring is nothing if not attention seeking.

I wasn’t wholly diligent in my search, it was an item I dipped in and out of looking for. When time presented itself, I would have a look, try it on, take it off, look at it again and walk away. The one was elusive. I thought I had found it on holiday in Barcelona once and actually bought the ring. I do wear it a fair amount, but it doesn’t quite have the je ne sais quoi I wanted.

It was late July when Jan and I had a lovely lunch in Powerscourt on South William Street and decided to check out Bow Boutique. While she was trying on a gorgeous dress, I spied two gorgeous rings. They looked great in the case, but how would they look on my hand?

RING-O! A large rainbow agate stone with a bright gold setting. A little more than I wanted to spend, but less than a €100 and it’s Paul and Joe, a label that has pieces I fall in love with season after season. It also fits my finger perfectly – not too snug and not too loose. Plus my parents had given me birthday money and I always try to buy an investment piece with it.

The stone, as you can see, is mainly teal, then rust with a bit of soft white lightning through it. The stone is held in place by a slightly detailed setting that looks a bit like limpet shells and the bottom of the stone dips slightly over my knuckle, so it doesn’t shorten my finger.  I had this amazing red dress for a few months and it paired really well with the ring. Sadly, the dress got a large hole that could not be repaired or disguised.

I probably wear it once a month, usually on its own to ensure it gets the most attention, but sometimes with a gold chain that was actually once a strap on a vintage purse. In this case I wore it with a simple black dress, patterned black tights and patent black shoes & handbag. Oh and with a cocktail ring polished nails are a must – I’m sporting Barry M Raspberry here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What lies beneath...

It was 6pm, last Sunday evening and I was not quite ready to go home. When I am near Grafton Street this inevitably leads me to Brown Thomas, where I wander the halls, thinking of all the things I would buy if I were filthy rich and super skinny.

Near the end of the sales, I always have a look in the lingerie section, lucking into some amazing bargains. The desire for new delicates and knowing the sales were near their end, led me to intimates and…oh my, there were lovely bits left at good prices and, most importantly, in MY size.

Myla, the perfect combination of bold and coy…all you need to know is it was a bit bold of me to buy and I’m coy enough to not give details. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Impossible Accessory - Brown Tights

They came into my life as part of a multi-pack from Marks and Spencer about 3 years ago. Black and grey posed no challenge and have long since disappeared from the top drawer as a result of wear and tear. The brown tights, survivor of many top-drawer purges, have remained, unloved and unworn.

I was baffled by how to wear them. Black, grey, navy and other cool colours are more my thing, especially when purchasing skirts and dresses. Then shoes - a decent and comfortable pair of brown shoes has eluded me for many years - what shoes would you wear with brown tights? Orange, yellow, green, gold? All colours that I love, but think, ‘are you really going to wear those often enough to sacrifice precious space in your wardrobe or cash from your budget?’ I don’t mind mixing brown and black on the top half and have seen other girls pull it off on their bottom half, but seemingly incapable of pulling it off myself.

Finally, I found a dress at M&S this year that I liked and that would have suited my skin tone, deep orange, brown and tan hues in a loose 70s style. I knew the brown tights would also work with it. Unfortunately there were none in my size - plus what shoes?!?

After finally locating the perfect pair of brown shoes - EUREKA!

A lemon dress with a white top,  part of me looking forward to spring,  and brown shoes and tights, embracing winter. It’s a perfect outfit for Groundhog Day and good enough, I think, to repeat over and over again.