Stylish stars confess their fashion regrets
US star Olivia Palermo says that she never regrets her fashion choices. Not everyone is so lucky
Published 18/07/2013 | 05:00
It's all very well for Olivia Palermo. Not only is the star of The City gorgeous, successful and invited to all the top fashion events, but last week she also revealed she has absolutely no style regrets.
None. There's not a brightly coloured poncho, a shell suit, pair of tie-dyed leggings or any other poorly clad skeleton lurking in her closet.
"I rarely ever regret an outfit," she declared nonchalantly, only conceding that perhaps she should take more time to "have things properly tailored".
Pah, if only the rest of us were so fortunate. A new survey showed 79pc of women have been embarrassed by their clothes and almost half of online shoppers end up ruing their trendy purchases.
Most women have so many fashion faux pas cluttering up their closets that they only wear 20pc of their clothes on a regular basis.
In honour of these women, we asked Ireland's stylish stars to dish the dirt on the regrettable outfits that haunt them . . .
Lisa Fitzpatrick, fashion stylist and presenter 'I looked like a Vegas showgirl'
I loved the dress I wore to the Style awards in 2007. It was the year I won and I felt like a million dollars. It got a great reaction from other people on the night, but now I look back and think I looked like a Vegas Showgirl. I wore it twice and then donated it to a charity Buy My Dress event that I was involved in with Special K three years ago. We all evolve with age and I've definitely changed my groove now I'm older. I like tailoring and edgy clothes and I've got better at picking timeless pieces like coats, blazers, jeans and bags that I know I'll be able to pass on to my daughter because they won't date.
Seainin Brennan, 'The Fall' actress
I bought an off-white, studded jacket in a real rush in 2010 when I found out I was going to the Meteor Awards.
It was a very last minute choice and I was desperate for something that would shake my outfit up a bit, make it a bit rock and roll. It was from River Island and cost £69.99 (€80).
The photo of me in it makes me giggle, not just the jacket but how dark my hair is, how dark my tan is and those awful French polish gel nails.
It was relegated to the wardrobe almost immediately and I've never worn it since, but I've hung on to it. It's always good to have a reminder of what NOT to wear!
But to be honest I'm not horrified by it, I think everyone's allowed a "what was I thinking" moment.
Fashion is fun, and if you're happy at the time, then it's right, no matter what you think afterwards.
Jenny Buckley, TV presenter
The item of clothing I now look back on and wonder 'what was I thinking?' was a red dress with large Italian writing all over it which I bought eight years ago for a friend's wedding in Italy.
I remember thinking 'this is so different, I'm sure no-one else will end up wearing the same dress'. It was really expensive (I think over €400) and I bought it in a boutique.
In my mind I actually thought it was an investment piece that I'd have for years in my wardrobe, so it was well worth the cash.
As I don't speak Italian, I had absolutely no idea what the translation for 'Sono cosi caldo in fiamme' (which was literally plastered all over the dress) meant. If I had, I certainly wouldn't have worn it to a wedding!
I remember the priest throwing me a dirty look in the church. Then at the reception every waiter was winking and making rather provocative actions towards me – it was reminiscent of a Benny Hill type scenario.
The wedding planner eventually pulled me aside and asked me if I realised what was written on my dress and it turned out to be 'I'm so hot, I'm on fire'! Hilarious to look back on now, but mortifying at the time.
The lesson I've learnt about style is probably less is ALWAYS more and, also, never be afraid to use a dictionary.
Anna Nolan, TV presenter
From a black-lace skirt in the 1980s, to a boring beige jacket I wore recently – fashion faux pas happen very regularly with me!
There was an Orla Kiely shirt I bought nearly 10 years ago for filming Ask Anna with RTÉ that I thought was the most fabulous shirt in the world because I loved the colours.
Now when I look at it, the colours are a bit off and it looks like the top of pyjamas, but if I'm truthful I still have a little fondness for it.
I wore it at a time when I was a healthy size 10 was doing lots of filming for RTÉ and the BBC. I'd just met my partner, Dearbhla (who loved the shirt and still does) and life was wonderful.
I actually don't really mind the clothes I've worn over the years. I think fashion faux pas are a necessity, they're nature's way of putting you back in your place.
Jackie Lavin, former model and business woman
I had a turquoise blue, bandeau dress where the design of the skirt was a number of wide, loose panels which overlapped but had nothing keeping them together.
It was from my boutique in Blackrock, cost about €120 and I loved the colour and the way the skirt swished when I walked.
But I wore it to the Galway Races and it was a complete disaster. Firstly, we travelled by helicopter and as soon as the wind from the blades struck, the panels took off up into the air à la Marilyn Monroe.
I tried to grab the sides, but to no avail in the whirling wind and with all the activity, the bandeau also started to slip as there wasn't much holding it up either!
At the same time I was trying to hang on to my hat and bag so unless you were an octopus the whole episode was doomed to failure. My friends were paralysed with laughter, they though it was hilarious.
I actually did wear it again, for a shoot with RSVP to promote The Spa, it worked much better indoors!
Marisa Mackle, author 'I wore a denim mini for two years'
I had a denim mini that I bought from a stall in Greece for around a tenner that I wore consistently for about two years.
It was very short and I used to wander around Grafton Street wearing it with my brightly coloured stiletto sandals thinking I looked the bee's knees.
It got consigned to the attic when I got pregnant and I can't imagine every wearing it again.
The lesson I've learned about style is that you need to dress appropriately for your age and figure. I still wear minis today but only with opaque tights.
It's also important to wear what suits you. Not mentioning any names, but some presenters get given stuff for free to wear on TV and they would be better off politely declining and just wearing their own clothes – Holy God they look hideous!
Carol Anthony, singer 'I wore my boots to death'
A few years ago I had a pair of high-heeled boots I bought for about €30 that I wore with absolutely everything.
At first everyone admired them but then they got sick of seeing me in them – I remember people saying I should burn them.
I cringe looking back because I really did wear them to death, also I had my hair dyed at the time – it was my era of blonde hair and dodgy boots!
I think now I've got better at picking classic pieces, but if I'm in a hurry then mistakes can easily be made and sometimes what looks great to the eye might photograph completely different.
The best advice I think is to keep it simple and rock great hair and make-up. Also it's best to be confident and comfortable, then you can carry off whatever you're wearing.