About 3-4 years ago I had very little sports wear to my name. Like baggy trackies and beat up old runners were really all I had. But sure yeah, I didn’t need it. I wasn’t exercising, it would have been a waste of money and I hate wasting money. But also, I didn’t much care for how it all looked. Nothing jumped out at me as really cool. Maybe I was in the wrong mindset? Maybe I was uncomfortable with the idea of sports wear. Maybe I felt I had a moral code of fashion to uphold. Or maybe I saw nothing I thought was cute… But recently, every other high street brand has an activewear section and all the sports brands are just getting hotter and more fun! Activewear is becoming the new casual, Lululemon yoga pants and a Nike tank is perfectly acceptable (dare I say it, trendy) attire to pick up a few bits from the shop. It’s no longer just for the gym…
For me, it’s not a comfort or a practicality thing (though that is important), my sports wear says a lot about me, be it my Sunburst style zip-up or my strappy-back all-in-one or my bright blue sports bra. My gear says “yes I’m athletic and yes I work out but also I got swag” *clicks finger!*. I buy gear that I feel free in, that I look good in and I think it shows off another side me that is (still girly) but tougher.
And due to all this, instead of going for some skimpy bikini, or some too cute high waisted two piece for my summer holidays, I went and bought a kick-ass, take-no-prisoners sporty two piece. And boy am I excited about it. I mean, I look amazing in a sports bra (brag much!) and if I’m surfing/kayaking/swimming/splashball tournamenting (family game) my ladies are gonna stay up and deffo aren’t gonna pop out! I will be able to move and be free and feel good about myself, as I do in my training gear. For once I’ll be bringing my tougher side with me…
Now, I do have a pretty floral halter for that day by the pool where I’ll be doing nothing but sunbathing (those swimsuits are just as important). Two’s enough right?
So last night I was at a house party. A friend of mine did the terribly, stupidly brave thing of going back to college. We’re all so proud of him for going back and chasing his dream. And last week he finished! So in true Ross fashion, his wifey had a shindig in his honour. But it was no ordinary house party. Oh no, it was themed. Which I am totally fine with, honestly I love any excuse to make a costume (last Halloween I went into work as a cat, a cat people!)
Problem is, it was possibly the hardest theme I’ve ever had to dress for. The theme was ‘student’. Don’t be fooled, this seems easy but it truly isn’t. There are too many variations to choose from. What era of student? What level? Am I protesty? Am I a stoner? Am I bookish? Should I channel some kick ass students from the movies, like Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect (don’t hate me it’s a great movie) or maybe in Reese Witherspoon from Legally Blonde (seriously, don’t hate me!) Am I to dress like a modern day student? How do they even dress? Or should I just dress how I dressed when I was in college. I really had no interest in doing the last one, don’t really know why, just wasn’t an option.
So I panicked and threw on some skinny jeans, some beat up old converse, some cheap ass earring from Tenerife, one of my boyfriends old tshirts and an army-style jacket (sorta going for the angsty-protestor-student-doing-the-walk-of-shame-and-has-been-on-a-sun-holiday-with-her-gal-pals-hence-the-earrings look). Cormac wore some torn up combats (which he wears all the time), a hoodie (which he wears all the time) and a fees protest tshirt from his college days. He honestly didn’t look like he tried at all but he really did, he even got cans!
I honestly had no idea what to expect. How other people would interpret the dress code. What would pass for a student? And I was amazed at the different costumes that people had come up with. From the lady (who I reckon was fifty) dressing like an out and out punk (and totally working it by the way), to the man who went as ‘Cow-Elvis’, to the bald man in the lab coat (clearly a science degree theme going on there). And then all the simple similarities, like everybody wearing some sort of sneaker. Converse reigned supreme! It was a complete mish-mash of everyone’s own thoughts of what college life was or maybe even should be.
And just like when I was a student I was yet again the designated driver, some things just don’t change…
I think by now everyone knows that I love fashion. I love getting new pieces, I love putting outfits together. I love the confidence my clothes give me. When I was in college I strived to always be fashion forward. It was hard due to not ever having money, but because my days consisted of college and telly watching I wasn’t exactly restricted due to activity. So most days I looked very on-trend. Though I did get some odd looks. (Jaysus people it’s just a leather pencil skirt and cons!) I think this way of life was hugely influenced due to having a blog. I mean if I’m discussing clothes I have to look my best all the time, right?
But my life got busy and it became more than just college and blogging. I started working, started rowing, nephews came along, I started getting more active, I started baking and cooking, I moved out and started living with my boyfriend. And suddenly this need to be blog perfect fell by the way side. Unlike those fabulously stylish fashion bloggers I read about everyday, my job did not require me to look on-point on a daily basis and frankly it was becoming impractical. I mean I do love me some stilettos but they’re not my friend when I have to dash across town to the bank on my lunch break. And I adore white skinnies but I can’t exactly strut up to the rowing club in those, they would get destroyed! But that doesn’t mean I want to stop having fun with my clothes.
Yesterday is a wonderful example of this. As you can see from the above image I was driving a safety launch for some rowers going out for a Sunday spin. (You can also see that life jackets are in NO WAY flattering – I mean I look about thirty pounds heavier!) I could have changed my outfit from something less sensible to something more sensible but I don’t want to have to waste my day with unnecessary costume changes. No, yesterday I needed to be practical from start to finish. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to have fun. I still wanted to be me, I still wanted to show off some style. So I decided to dress for the persona of “chilled seventies surfer chick” which consisted of flares, vans, a surfer hoodie and an oversized plaid shirt. (Trust me it looked good sans life-jacket – why can’t safety be chic!?)
So in a long winded way, what I’m trying to say is that my style hasn’t really changed. I still love all the same things. But my attitude to dressing has changed. Style, to me, isn’t about mere aesthetics, but managing to find that balance between aestheticism and practicality, between what’s beautiful and what works for you. I’m no longer just dressing for my blog. I’m dressing for my life.
I really hate this time of the year. Obviously, I love the fact the the world is coming back to life blah blah blah, but I’m just terrible at dressing for this “transitional season” kind of weather. In the morning it’s freezing so you bundle up, at lunch time the sun is splitting the stones and you’re baking, in the evening it’s getting nippy again. I have never been good at dressing for this, which is unfortunate because it’s the longest season in Ireland!
This outfit is a perfect example of this. This morning was dull and grey so I went for tights (it’s still March!) and what turned out to be a mostly black ensemble. Fast forward to lunch time and I’m sweltering and feel dark and moody looking. I keep looking at these pics (’cause I’m so gorgeous!) and thinking now if I had bare legs and some nude heels that outfit would look much better. But honestly I cannot bring myself to go tights-less. Maybe in April… Maybe… But you look at so many bloggers in places just as cold as where I am and they are practically starkers! Do I just not like fashion enough? I am not willing to sacrifice my warmth for the perfect look… What have I become!?!
I suppose at least there is some pretty spring detailing. This top for example, it’s new and simply beautiful. Chiffon and lace are a wonderful combination. Delicate, feminine, soft. I feel very “House on the Prairie” in it, but you know in a seductive way. And there is a big mother fuppin’ slit in my skirt, surely that also adds to my spring attire feel… right? I mean who wears such slitful skirts in winter (I do), it’s definitely a spring thing!
No? I still look too wintery? Well feck that anyway! Am I alone? Does anyone else have that problem or does the rest of the world fall into two categories, “Always gets it right when it comes to transitional dressing” and “Don’t give two ninnies about transitional dressing.” Someone else join me in limbo…
Top: Vila / Jacket: Only / Skirt: Oasis / Sunglasses: Quay / Shoes: Penneys
Oooh today was L.O.V.E.L.Y! Just the perfect weather to introduce my new coat to the world! Well it could have been warmer but I am not complaining after the battering we got the past few days. You know, you really do get sick of the wind howling. But today sunglasses were needed and a nice amble after lunch was had. How cute is Killaloe!
So about this coat. Well, when I was about eighteen or so my mam (hey ma!) decided to longer buy me an Easter egg like everyone else. No, she decided to buy me clothes, she loves clothes just as much as me and it was far more fun to go out and buy me a frock or a pair of shoes than to get me chocolate. And I wasn’t gonna stop her! After all, I get chocolate off my boyfriend, I don’t need piles of it. What I need is a new spring coat! And a spring coat is what I got! A beautiful oversized, swingful lemon gem of a spring coat!
And I think it goes real well with my dressed down Friday attire. A crisp white shirt and some trusty cons. Which are usually never that clean but I washed them the other day, much to my boyfriend’s annoyance. To be fair they were banging around the tumble dryer for quite some time, the telly was indeed turned up.
Oh yes crisp, fresh and clean was the name of the day!
It was well windy today! Thank goodness my hair was up. So you know the phrase one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Of course you do… have you been living under a rock? That’s another well known phrase! Get back to the point! So yeah, the trash/treasure scenario. Well, believe it or not this dress is second hand. A beautiful French Connection body con dress that my friend was going to send to a charity shop before she thought about me. And I’m glad she did! Not only did I get this dress but two others, a swing top and two cardigans (one kimono style).
This dress has become a proper, full on staple in my wardrobe. It gets worn maybe every two/three weeks, which for me is a pretty big deal. And I am always wearing these boots with them, always. I should probably expand my use of this dress but I think they work so well together. Speaking of trash (well stuff that someone didn’t want), these boots were a gift from my sister but only because they didn’t fit her legs (she’s got scutty legs). So instead of sending them back I got them for Christmas! See where laziness will get you…
So people, I am a perfect example of why you should ask your friends to come round, have a bottle of wine and rummage through what you and they no longer want/fit in/need. At the very least you’ll have a giggle and at best you’ll have something new to wear AND a cleaner closet!
Dress: French Connection / Jacket: Only / Scarf: River Island (old) / Boots: Carvela
So I’m all rosy cheeked. The office heat is on full blast on one half of the building (my half) and the other is stone cold due to a broken boiler. It’s like going between two extremes. I’m just glad I don’t move around a lot.
And as far as outside goes… Well, let’s just say we nipped out for all of five minutes to take these photos, much to my co-worker’s annoyance. To be fair to her she is nursing a cold so I probably shouldn’t have made her. I probably shouldn’t do a lot of things but that’s for another day.
Back to today… So I got up and it was snowing. Snow is not the best weather to have to work with, all of a sudden people are super slow on the roads, people either winge about it or start frolicking in it and I don’t own a whole pile of warm clothes (big fan of the layering). But I do have this beautiful jumper that my ma knitted for me about two years ago. It’s a little oversized at this stage but I think that adds to the charm, and talk about cosy! Sure with that and one of those huge blanket scarves you’re all sorted! I implore anyone who knows somebody that knits to commission (beg for) one. They are the business and they’re one of a kind which is always special.
Look at my rosy cheeks! You’d swear it wasn’t baltic out! Also, look at those earrings! It pays to have a mother-in-law that has taste! Oh and I also had gloves and a coat on but they were covering too much of the outfit so they had to go, at least for the photos. How is everybody keeping warm in this never ending winter. Damn Smarch weather!