Warm up for winter

Posted on: 13th November, 2017

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

Cool, dry days are my absolute favourite. No need for coats, just fabulous woolies, capes, wraps or ponchos. There is an elegant feel to them that I’ll never tire of. My friend called by the other day; she was wearing a chunky knit rainbow poncho and she looked amazing, the strong bright colours were exactly what a dull grey day needed. She looked vibrant and cheerful. Isn’t it amazing the difference a bright colour can make? We can all get ‘oh so comfortable’ in convenient black…yes, it’s a wardrobe staple but clothes are meant to do so very much more than just cover you or perhaps help you to hide away! So many women repeatedly hide out in black. It’s slimming, it’s safe, it’s practical and it can also be sensational, seductive and elegant…but you lose the fun in fashion if you wear black all of the time. If I’m describing you, then it’s time to add a sprinkle of colour to your wardrobe.

Next time you’re in a clothes shop, I forbid you to even look at anything black. If you ask me we all have a default switch, we revert back to what makes us feel comfortable, what we know is safe rather than taking on the challenge of wearing something even a little different. Challenge yourself, but do so within your limits. In other words, if you never wear skirts and then you buy a really short one or one with a high slit, ask yourself if you are really going to wear it. Of course you won’t, but if you buy a gorgeous, slightly below the knee, straight dark blue skirt, the chances of you wearing it increase dramatically. Set yourself a little challenge next time you go shopping, otherwise, you may end up looking the same day in, day out!

Culottes are very definitely a big topic of conversation this season. I love them but would I wear them? This is the question that we’re all asking ourselves. I know of so many who have bought them, but unfortunately, no matter how many times they have tried them on or what they have paired with them, they have taken them back off again. So how do we wear them? I love how Gigi Hadid wore a stunning winter white pair…with gorgeous chunky heeled dirty cream boots and bag, a cream turtleneck and a sheepskin gilet. Striking and chic. Some style influencers are wearing them with black lace-up leather shoes and a ruffle shirt. This is a strong confident look, perhaps not for everybody. If you are thinking about buying a pair, think long and hard about when and how you would wear them – just because they look lovely on your friend does not mean that they will suit you. The bottom line is that you need to have shapely legs to wear them and if you have wide hips, avoid them like the plague, as they will only add to your width.

I am somewhat obsessed with the pretty layers and layers of ruffles. The look is airy yet sophisticated and is one of the key trends this season. Flouncy frills are aplenty everywhere you look. If you are used to a streamline silhouette, take note – a well-placed ruffle can do the job of statement jewelry, a good handbag or major shoes. Whether you opt for a bold ruffle-front dress worn with jeans, a frilled off-the-shoulder top, or a delicately layered, very feminine dress, there is a ruffle look out there for everyone. The dresses look sensational with over-the-knee boots.

Check coats can look amazing. The key to buying a great one is all about the colour mix. I found a stunning mix – grey, red, navy, black and cream – this you can wear over anything. Add luxury and warmth by searching for a tweed check coat.

Printed velvet has crept into all of the shops and while it’s not for everyone, it can and does look wonderfully glamorous. You need to love velvet to feel comfortable enough to wear it with a print.

You can bet your bottom dollar that there is plenty of shiny, glitzy, glam, sparkly, sequined bits out there. This year ‘sparkle’ is going into overdrive. How fabulous! Of course, you will not wear shiny sequined pieces all the time but there is nothing nicer than adding a bit of sparkle for an extra special look on a night out. A great sparkly top, a tux-style jacket with the sleeves rolled up, snug jeans and heels and you will give any episode of Sex and the City a run for its money!

The golden rule is to always choose clothes that make you feel something – that’s why some women always look fantastic and very often they don’t have to spend a fortune. They choose clothes that have an effect – they flatter, the colour makes them come alive, the cut enhances their assets. They think about what they are going to wear. They know their limitations and only ever take small risks and best of all, these are the women who will have the same clothes for years and years and still be able to wear them and look fabulous. The best tip that I can give you is to find a celebrity who is similar to your shape and colouring…internet stalk every picture of them…this is the best way to judge what works, what doesn’t and will give you amazing ideas that you can copy for a fraction of the cost.

Have a ball shopping this season, I am. I’m finding lots of ‘fun’ clothes and unusual pieces to add to my wardrobe basics. The shoes and boots on trend are sensational; in fact I have to hold myself back from splurging again and again. But you deserve to do a little splurging, go on!

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RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
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