Wednesday 26 November 2014

Karen fights to support her man, but her crime is looking good

Karen Woods always looks immaculate -- and her outfits are a source of strength for her, writes Niamh Horan

Published 26/08/2012 | 05:00

PURPLE GAZE:Two weeks ago. Photo: David Conachy
PURPLE GAZE:Two weeks ago. Photo: David Conachy
opted for black last week
Karen Woods wore stripes earlier in month to visit Sean

IF some people had their way, Karen Woods would be dressed in a sack cloth and daubed with ashes to visit her imprisoned husband each week in Mountjoy training unit.



Instead, she has chosen defiance in the face of adversity.

Yesterday morning the Castleknock blonde emerged from the car to make the same dutiful trip that has now become part of her weekend routine.

Dressed in a lilac soft-knit cropped sweater, skin-tight black jeans and black ankle boots -- carefully accessorised with an oversized Marc Jacobs handbag and patterned scarf, she injected a splash of colour into the drab wet morning outside the dreary exterior of one of Ireland's toughest jails, Mountjoy Prison.

Her blonde locks swept up in a tousled roll, she finished off the look with a dainty pair of diamond studded earrings.

In tough times, the new bride is putting her game face on.

And who could blame her?

Regardless of what the Quinn family has done, no one could argue against the simple truth that a brave face is the first line of defence in times of crisis.

And style, an armour.

Historically, women have used it to give them confidence and a fighting spirit when everything was against them.

Princess Diana never looked better than in the days after her divorce.

Her wide smile as she stepped out of her car in a killer little black dress and pearl necklace which showed off her delicate decolletage will forever be ingrained in our psyche.

If Karen Woods decided to dress in an old sweater or tracksuit to make everyone feel better, it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference to what is happening in the High Court, the outcome of the trial or indeed the amount of money the taxpayer is out of pocket.

The bottom line is she is doing it for herself and because of her duty as a wife to her husband.

If she looks glamorous he is assured she hasn't fallen to pieces without him and that he hasn't given her a life of hell.

She has a young husband in prison. How would he feel if she came in looking miserable every week? When she walks through the door oozing glamour, it gets him through the week and gives him something to look forward to in the confines of grim prison life.

That's what prisoners' wives do. They look as good as they can and try not to make husbands feel worse.

It might not be the popular thing to say, but it's true.

Coco Chanel once reflected that: "Elegance is refusal." And Karen refuses to be a beaten docket. For her own sake -- and for that of her husband's.

Sunday Independent

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