Nothing makes me happier than my creature comforts. Normally, I would never draw comparisons between my own character and that of Mark Francis’ from ‘Made in Chelsea’ but we do share a similar abhorrence of anything camping-related. Mark Francis coined it well when he said; ‘I once knew someone who owned a sleeping bag…..The sleeping bag had a bag. What a thought.’ While I jump at the chance at festival frolics and tomfoolery, the high jinks of the night must be concluded with a trip home to my own beloved bed or a local hotel nearby. I will gladly jump at the chance to attend Longitude or Forbidden Fruit but the mere suggestion of Electric Picnic is enough to send me into a downward spiral of utter revulsion.
A well-brewed cup of Barry’s tea (black or red label– I’m so fancy), a freshly baked scone, a crackling fireside and some sartorial snuggliness are my weaknesses. When Autumn/Winter comes around, I revel in the delight of wearing sumptuous fabrics such as shearling, faux fur, cashmere and wool. Dare I say it, I almost look forward to the colder weather so I can break out the Winter wardrobe and dress for maximum cosiness.
Imagine my delight when I saw the abundance of cosy couture on the runway this season from the subtle hints of shag on Chloe’s fuzz-trimmed boots, to the powder -perfect pastel shearling jackets at Gucci, to Prada’s full on multicoloured statement coats with exposed seams.
My statement coat is from Topshop and I bought it on the sale last year for €80, looking ahead to this year’s trend. I had my eye on it for ages and at €120 I thought I’d wait until the sale but when it eventually came, I couldn’t find one in my size. The shock, the horror, the irrational fear that I would never own this coveted coat took over! I trekked the length and breadth of Dublin, tried my hand at the store in Waterford and in the end travelled to Wexford for the one size ten that was available in-store. And boy, was it worth it! I was in Topshop yesterday and noticed they have the exact same coat this year selling at €80. Get in!
Visiting my parents in Waterford, I decided to take a trip down to the People’s Park and check out the recently-erected skateboarding park. I had a hankering for a skater-boy boyfriend when I was a teenager and would drool over the local skater boys’ moves down the promenade in Tramore. I was mesmerised with boys with names like ‘Mook’ and ‘Frog’ with their street-sweeper jeans and perfectly tousled, not-so-subtly highlighted hair (Remember Sun-in?). I was enthralled by their out of season tanned limbs and failure to feel the cold. We were listening to Greenday’s ‘Dookie’ and Nirvana ‘Nevermind’ and rollerblading down the promenade, but we also ironically sang Billie Piper’s sickly sweet ‘Girlfriend’ when assured that none of the objects of our lust were in earshot. There were dance-offs to Monica and Brandy’s ‘The Boy is Mine’ as we both fancied the same boy who was already taken. Ah, the innocence. Another amazing fact about Billie’s facile yet ridiculously catchy hit song was that it started like this; Shoo be doo be doo doop boo hoo / Shoo be doo be doo doop boo hoo.’ Pure lyrical genius.
This coat is such a statement piece that the key to making this ensemble work is to keep the rest simple. I paired it with some faux leather and cotton trousers from Silence and Noise at Urban Outfitters and a vintage silk shirt with fringing details. My boots are from Office and my bag is Gucci, a loan from my Mam who has always instilled in me a sense of quality, not quantity when it comes to clothes.
Wearing a turban with my outfit really turns the heat up a notch and this sumptuous silk number adds a touch of Hollywood glamour to the ensemble. I feel like a modern day Marlene Dietrich or an urban femme fatale. On a much more banal level, it also helped to keep my mane tamed and combat any frizz in the wild and wet Waterford weather. I recently learned how to do a fishtail plait from good old Lauren Conrad and am sporting this look very frequently lately as it is so easy to do and looks effortlessly chic.
My accessories to this outfit are very significant. I’m wearing my Mam’s engagement ring on my left hand. It is a dead ringer for Kate Middleton’s sapphire sparkler and is another reminder of my Mam’s great, timeless taste. The other knuckle duster I’m sporting is very special to me as my Godson and nephew Andrew bought it for me. He loves picking out presents for me himself and this bad boy is one he hand-picked in Penneys. He thought it looked like treasure and would be really good for games! He also bought it for me in a burnt orange colour and I think they only cost €3 each!
Coat: Topshop, €80 on sale, was €120. Available in store in Stephen’s Green and online here:
Shirt: Vintage, 100%silk, bought for €6 in Gorta charity shop on Capel Street. Similar available here:
Jeans: Silence and Noise at Urban Outfitters, bought on sale for €25. Similar pairs at Karen Millen and Noisy May at Asos here:
And here: http://www.asos.com/Noisy-May/Noisy-May-Skinny-Jeans-With-Faux-Leather-And-Zip-Details/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=4189149&cid=3630&Rf-200=4&sh=0&pge=1&pgesize=36&sort=-1&clr=Black&totalstyles=178&gridsize=3
Boots: Office, €35 on sale. Similar at Kurt Geiger. Available in Arnotts or Brown Thomas or online here:
Bag: Gucci. Try Brown Thomas, ebay or Siopaella for similar.