Holly White road-tests... Match day chic
Rugby in Ireland is one of those things that just takes over your life when it's on, whether you are interested in it or not. The family TV can't be switched over to anything else, friends don't answer their phones during the game and your social life is dictated by it.
I have no interest in or knowledge of rugby, save for some lingering looks at cavemen-like males that I occasionally find myself drawn to.
One thing I do know is just how important rugby is for some. Such was my ex-boyfriend's obsession that regardless of whether I was in desperate need of comfort or in the throes of an argument that needed immediate resolution, watching the game took precedence -- it was akin to a doctor saving lives. It meant my need for contact was put on pause for two hours.
It was something I just had to accept, which I did. I went to one match with him, Leinster v the Dragons, clad in a mini-skirt and tights. I thought I looked rather fetching, but as the game went on and the depths of the November chill crept in, I was soon purple with cold and willing the clock to tick faster.
We ate chips in the Embassy Grill afterwards and I could barely lift a fork as my hand was so dead with the cold. Never again -- until now.
Well, if you can't beat them, join them, so instead of loitering about on my own for the next few Saturdays I have decided to fight fire with fire by attending matches, trying to figure out what on earth the men in shorts are doing and, most importantly, doing it in style and comfort-- ie, warmth.
Having asked fervent attendees, I have learned that men think those women who wear mini-skirts and flirty little pieces of fabric look downright ridiculous and worse, they are considered very annoying when they ask for their boyfriend's practical jackets, gloves and scarves as the cold sets in.
Learn the lesson -- take responsibility for your own warmth and comfort. Sometimes, when he offers a jacket, he is just being polite and really hopes you will say no.
It's a tricky line to toe as a match is likely to lead to a pub, which can then effortlessly slip into a Leeson Street foray -- therefore, I don't think the puffa duvet number will cut it. It becomes all about skinny layering.
While I've chosen leggings, I'll wear a cheeky pair of tights or two under them on the day. Gloves are an essential and I particularly loved Topshop's vintage ones, which evoke a Gatsby-esque image of driving gloves. Boots are a must and are not only practical, they are incredibly warm. The pairs featured here are my favourites as they are almost flat.
I am a huge fan of Topshop knits, and the studding on this cream jumper makes it very beautiful and on-trend.
When asked about match-day style, one guy simply said, "No Silly hats", so I didn't include any lest he be offended.
I specifically chose leather jackets as they tend to have lots of pockets with zips, and they are waterproof, which is another bonus.
For bags, I love a massive handbag filled with potentially useful beauty gadgets, a spare pair of shoes and other cumbersome paraphernalia, but for this occasion, I advise that you at least try to curtail it to the bare minimum and maybe even go without, just putting your bits and bobs in your pockets. My mum has one memory etched in her mind of being at a match and of her handbag being cut off her shoulder. I am convinced she couldn't feel it as her limbs were numb with the cold.
Needless to say, it's a horrible cautionary story. Phones are tiny these days, and concealer, keys and lip gloss don't take up much space. Hopefully, the guys will be so delighted with the win that they will buy you drinks all night -- so you don't need to be laden down with a heavy wallet.
Enjoy the weekend and all that goes with it!