Maven Heaven: Style is all about the right accessories
The true secret to looking good in your clothes, no matter what the trends, is to dress to what suits your body shape the most. Once that's taken care of, you will feel comfortable and thus feel your best, all the time.
But the secret to looking hot-to-trot is your accessories. Change them with the seasons and you will always look contemporary.
I had forgotten about the joy of accessorising, so focused was I on fashion with function - making sure that all my clothes were good workers in my wardrobe.
But being female is all about expression, and our face and clothes are our primary language. In not playing with accessories, I was forgetting to express an important aspect of my femininity.
This came home to me a few months back when I noticed Parfois, a new shop on Mary Street in Dublin, as I was dashing from one meeting to another. Its windows looked good enough to eat so I resolved to pop back later that day, and was glad I did.
I had been searching for a simple white leather bag to wear with all my summer sports-luxe pieces. Parfois had an abundance of white bags, from satchels to clutches and cross-bodies. Then I noticed their gorgeous costume jewellery and sunglasses. That was the moment when I stopped thinking function and started thinking femme.
Parfois is a Portuguese, family-owned company, founded in 1994, with design teams in both Porto and the incredibly hip, fashion-forward Barcelona. It is a dedicated accessories store for women who love fashion and like to be considered directional thinkers.
Hence they had the white bag I was looking for, which could only otherwise be found in Stella McCartney and other investment designers. Parfois is an undoubtedly feminine brand, though it does do things like grungy ankle boots and trainers and flatforms.
They see themselves as your first port of call to craft the best of the season's trends in an affordable and accessible way, but at better quality than most other high-street stores. Prices are extremely good, with bags costing from €19.90, up to €59.90 for a wheelie bag; shoes from €14.90, up to €54.90 for winter boots; hats and scarves from €7.90 to €34.90; jewellery from €1.40, up to €29.90 for exclusive pieces.
Every week, new pieces are added to what's in store. I loved their jewellery, and I was massively impressed by their sunglasses range. They also do great travel bags, scarves and footwear. They have stores in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, or you can shop online at www.parfois.com.
Parfois is for women who love to be as expressive and feminine in their style as they can be - at an affordable price.
STYLING BY TANYA GRIMSON
FASHION EDITED BY CONSTANCE HARRIS