Keeping it short and sweet

Posted on: 4th June, 2014

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

The odd burst of hot summer sunshine is definitely gearing us all up for what we hope will be an incredible summer. The anticipation of lazy summer days stirs a giddy feeling in just about everyone.

You have to agree that no summer is complete without a pair of denim shorts and there is a style to suit everyone, from pretty embroidery to cool rip and repair. Blue vintage denim shorts are my absolute favourite; they are not too dark, slimming and add a tad more class than lighter colour denim. A turn-up is a must; they balance the top of the leg and flatter the thigh. While I think a ‘rip-effect’ on shorts looks great, it is a look that is very definitely for the young ones. Even though denim shorts are ultra-casual, bleach denim shorts are the ‘most’ laid back item of clothing that you can wear, the only problem with this lighter shade of denim is that you simply must have a glorious tan to go along with them – white legs don’t work with bleached shorts! Try on as many pairs as you possibly can, try every shade and when I say the shorter the better, I don’t mean that the lower part of the cheek of your bum needs to be on show. We have all seen it, I’m as open-minded as you can get and abhor ‘prudish’ thinking, but leave your bum cheek exactly where it is supposed to be — covered!

Gingham shorts are very cute and chino shorts can add a touch of class, so if denim is not your thing, don’t dismay, the world is your oyster because the variety this season is incredible. Get your legs ready, get working on your skin. It’s amazing the difference wearing shorts around the house can make, even before the weather entices you outside! You know that purple/blue colour that Irish legs always start out with, well, the cure is to acclimatise your legs by leaving them out ‘for an airing’. I do it every year and even though it’s only around the house, it forces me to spend more time than I normally would moisturising my legs which in turn boosts circulation – end result – better looking legs and well moisturised legs absorb the sun or fake tan so very much better. Try it out; make a commitment to yourself to have ‘GREAT LEGS for SUMMER 2014’!

Our climate means that we are not blessed with a huge variety of flowers all year round. We have to wait for the summer sunshine to kiss our garden and encourage a mass of colourful flowers to begin blooming. So it is no wonder that we are embracing the floral pattern that is covering just about everything this season. It’s a fresh look, a very cute look and most importantly, a very feminine look. I quite like the floral blazer, it’s very chic! Brutally honest as always I have to say that I have seen a few people look like a complete mess or totally overdone by wearing too much colour with a floral blazer or jacket. The key is to keep everything else calm and neutral, try a plain t-shirt and jeans, wedge sandals and a floral blazer – a winner all around. When it comes to a party look try a block colour dress with a floral pattern blazer and eye-catching heels – another great look. Beware of too many flowers, keep that look to just one item of clothing that you are wearing at a time – otherwise you might find yourself the centre of attention and not the way you think, you might find yourself attracting every flying insect you can possibly imagine!!

For those of you who shy away from any pattern at all or find the idea of wearing a floral pattern way too ‘busy’ and distracting then you can still follow the trend by investing in some floral flip-flops, a floral bag or even a floral bikini (there will not be enough material in it to be classified as ‘busy’).

I’ve spotted so many cute little summer dresses in heartwarming colours and the winners are always inspired by a different time —1920s inspired tailoring or Broderie Anglaise. Denim dresses are everywhere, find your favourite shade and shape – a loose A-line is very ‘now’ and oh so easy to wear. Keep in mind the golden rule of denim – ‘never’ wear top to toe in the same denim, if you want to wear a denim jacket over a denim dress or jeans, go for a different shade! Lace dresses are this season’s sexiest item of clothing but I keep coming across women who buy these gorgeous ‘dressier’ dresses and then only ever wear them once or twice because they believe the dresses can only be worn in a formal setting. Get out all of your dresses and match them to some slinky and eye-catching flip-flops – ‘yes of course you can wear them with flip-flops’! It’s all about re-inventing your wardrobe and wearing the clothes or dresses, not just admiring them on hangers in your wardrobe. Find that zone where you are comfortable enough to transfer a lot of what you thought was very dressy wear to everyday wear – be practical. It really does work and it works really really well. You will feel great, cute dress, gorgeous flip-flops and throw a bag across your shoulders – perfect day wear.

When I find what I believe is a hidden treasure I am compelled to share it with you. I know that most women have no problem when it comes to formal wear or ‘going out’ clothes but looking for cute bits to wear every day can prove to be a major ‘stress-er’ for some. DESIGNS in Skibbereen might just look like a luxury Irish gift shop at first glance but wow, it’s very definitely in my Aladdin’s cave list now. Designs stock ‘Seasalt’, a fabulous clothing and accessory collection that is ‘designed by the sea, for people who live everywhere’. Seasalt is famous for organic cotton, chic outer-wear, trendy footwear and cool accessories that are designed with practicality in mind without forfeiting even a morsel in the style department. Their water-proof jackets are longer in length so showers don’t get the chance to soak through to your thighs! We all follow what colour is in but Seasalt blends unique prints, colour palettes and textures that are inspired from the countryside, coastline and landscapes of Cornwall. This is a line of easy wear yet trendy clothes, I urge you to take a look because we all very definitely need a lot of good quality day wear.

What I was pleasantly surprised to find tucked away in the back of ‘Designs’ was a pre-loved boutique. Owner Finola opened this in October of last year and I was delighted to see exceptionally good quality well known more exclusive brands on the hangers. We are all conscious of what we spend on clothes, now more than ever, don’t turn your nose up at something because someone else already owned it – these are the types of shops where you can find some incredible treasures and always remember that no two people ever look the same in the same dress, our skin tone, hair colour, body shape, height etc make sure of that — just in case you are worried! There is no better feeling than getting a designer dress at a fraction of the cost, who cares where it has come from!

Wherever you are, try to shop local and now you have no excuse because if you cannot afford boutique prices then save for their sales or else find the closest pre-loved shop to you. What girl does not smile in a new or nearly new dress?

If this is the year that your daughter is a debutante (what a glorious word) and you have not as yet bought ‘the’ dress, then get cracking on it now. There are some absolutely stunning formal dresses out there so that your princess can go to the ball in style. Be careful not to go with whatever colour is ‘very in’ as it could end up looking like a uniform on the night because lots of other girls will be wearing the same colour! Go classic, go tailored, go long, ditch the diamante, easy on the tan – this is the recipe for an elegant princess. If you have been lucky enough to have been invited to a few then swap those dresses girls, like I’ve said so many times before, everyone looks completely different even in the same dress!

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