Put some colour and a smile in your life

Posted on: 20th January, 2015

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

I simply have to start the New Year by paying homage to Mother Nature and the kindness she has shown upon us, especially during the festive season. Bright dry days meant that we could embark on family outings instead of sitting by the fire, stuffing ourselves like turkeys! I know that you are all grateful too but, being typically Irish, everyone seems to be holding their breath for what is coming next – as if some sort of Ice Age is going to hit! Get over yourselves and stop finding things to moan about. The fantastic weather has allowed us girls to show off our style instead of covering it up with raincoats and umbrellas. Embrace it; take full advantage of those bright days that ‘nudge’ you to wear a splash of colour.

While we are still entrenched in the winter season our warm woolies look amazing. It is with sheer delight that we can still find eyecatching, fabulous hats and scarves. Don’t underestimate their ultimate style content, get it right and you can look funky without any effort at all. Faux fur hats and scarves are luxurious and snug and I love the ecclectic range of colours available. A vibrant fur scarf allows you to transform a dead plain coat or jacket and a fur hat will cover you on those ‘not-so-good’ hair days. It’s glamour, comfort and practicality all rolled into one so take advantage of the sales and pick up a variety of sets – throw in some wacky gloves and a fur bag too, you won’t regret it. In my opinion, you can never have enough hats because umbrellas and hoods really don’t protect your hair from mist. I know all about ‘frizz’, and fighting it, and the best way to protect your hair is a hat. PS: This is a really good time to give your hair a nourishing treatment; we all probably did a lot more blowdrying and straightening than we normally would over the festive season!

Blanket capes look stunningat — don’t be afraid to go beyond cream and black ones — and they are the ultimate winter-warmer! They work with jeans, leggings, skirts and dresses and you can let them flow or add a belt (thin or chunky). Blanket capes add relaxed ‘funkiness’ to any outfit and it just takes a little bit of confidence to wear one. Unfortunately they are not for anyone who has height issues as they can smother you! Picture this, a wool polo neck covered with a wool blanket cape, jeans and over-the-knee boots… a gorgeous trendy look. Find your own way to wear a blanket cape on beautiful, dry, cold days.

While we all knew that biker jackets would always swing in and out of fashion, who would have thought that Bomber jackets would be back. Yes of course they can look great but only on a select few… the young ones or the very toned ones! I have to admit that some of these jackets are very enticing, the variety is jaw-dropping with embellished bling, metallic detail, embroidering, sequins and mesh sleeves – the bomber jacket can actually glam up an outfit rather than tone it down. It’s one of those items that you really need to be sure that you are going to wear when you purchase, so think and think again. Don’t waste your money if it’s only ‘a maybe’ — that really means that it will hang there with the tag on for a very long forever.

So you are all out pounding the roads and following the latest new diet. It won’t surprise you that sports and gym gear sales were at their peak before Christmas. Take full advantage of the sales; get the most comfortable pair of stylish runners that you can find. The time is definitely long gone when you can allow yourself to be seen in flabby tracksuit pants. If you still have any BIN THEM! Do you really think that just because you wear them at home that it’s ok to wear them in public? Is it even fair that your poor husband and kids have to look at you in them? How can you expect to feel good in something that allows your waist to keep stretching? Ok, I’m preaching a bit but it is for your betterment. (BTW: Wear snug fitting jeans as much as you can, they keep your weight under control better than anything else will). So if you are wondering what to spend your One4all vouchers on, head to your local sports shop and get some streamlined gear, you really do deserve it!

With whispers of Confirmations and Communions and your average dose of Weddings thrown in, it is the perfect time to take full advantage of some incredible dress sales. When faced with a sea of dresses, what will always help you to make up your mind is to go for a classic cut with a little bit of a sleeve. Bring some heels because you would be amazed at the number of dresses that look the perfect length in your bare feet but, when you add heels, they immediately become inappropriate for any church function! Choosing a colour can be mind-numbing but I always suggest that you avoid what is very ‘in’, so that you will have some individuality; a subtle pattern always wins over an eye-popping one, too much flare can make you look ‘lost’ in the dress and while a plunging neckline is always very attractive, keep to the modest-side of plunging. If you are someone whose weight never really fluctuates then I suggest that you invest in a designer dress, especially if it is on sale, as you will get many many wears out of it.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of ‘colour’ and how it can change your mood. Bright colours can and do lift your spirits. My daughter came up with the idea of painting a room in our house all different bright colours, that included the furniture and every single brick in a huge fireplace! She insisted that it would be the ‘Happy’ room in the house, that you could not possibly sit in there and be sad, angry or just fed-up, so I went along with it and ‘Wow’ — we all need to listen to our children a lot more than we do because it’s amazing; the room looks incredible and invigorating. It is bright colours from top to toe and rather than a solid carpet she chose a variety of solid colour rugs, all the same size. It works so well that everyone who walks into the room smiles! We are all stuck in our creams, beiges, biscuits, nudes – the list goes on. While it does look clean cut and simple, minimalistic even, I can now see that it lacks character and individuality and the same has to be said of our clothes. Even if you are wearing all black, paint your nails a really bright colour or add a colourful bag or scarf. Go for strong blues, purples, orange, red, even yellow to accessorise, especially on a dark and dreary day, it will cheer you up and watch how many compliments you get. If you are shy of strong colours and really feel more comfortable in the dark zone of navy, grey and so on, buy yourself some bright and funky underwear! It’s the start of a new year, the start of a new cycle in life, so it is definitely time to empty that underwear drawer and buy yourself some new bits. Everyone can afford a new pair of knickers. Just say no to the cake or scone with your coffee and trot off to the shops to pick up something that will make you smile, make your ‘significant other’ smile and remind you that you are still alive – no matter what age you are. Here’s to the happiest of New Years and a drawer full of underwear that will keep you smiling…

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