I've three words for you, Jean. Trying. Too. Hard

Melanie Morris

Can we please get some sort of dress code sorted in RTE? For the past six months, all we seem to be talking about is the presenters and the kind of kit they choose to wear on air.

Miriam O'Callaghan gets frequent flak for her choice of clothes on Primetime. Sometimes the dresses are too short, or too scant, or too see-through. Or just wrong for the interviews she's conducting. In fact, google "Miriam O'Callaghan" and the fourth thing that comes up in the predictive search is "cleavage".

Then Ryan Tubridy nearly sends the good people of Ireland apoplectic when he suggests he mightn't wear a Christmas jumper for 2010's Late Late Toy Show.

And then there's Jean Byrne. Crikey, at a time when TDs are resigning, businesses are tanking and jobs are crumbling, our newspapers and airwaves seem to be able to focus on little beyond her goth frocks.


Don't tell me Jean Byrne doesn't know exactly what she's doing. Especially at a time when the weather is pretty much behaving itself.

All quiet on the western front? Grand, Jean will create a ridge of high pressure by donning another bizarre frock. I mean, imagine if Martin King appeared on TV3 in a mankini? Without sounding like my grand-mother here, there's such a thing as appropriate dressing. Like, would Ms Byrne turn up at a funeral in that skin-tight metallic dress?

I'm not saying that presenting the weather should be stuffy, but in Ireland, we've chosen not to go the way of the UK, who employ 'weather babes' for their looks, not their degrees in meteorology.

I know Jean Byrne's a fashion-conscious woman, I've heard all the arguments for the case and I applaud it.

I also like a lot of what she wears, and think she suits what she chooses. But there's more to fashion than just wearing hot clothes, there's wearing them with style, too. And that means knowing what's suitable for which occasion. Unless one is trying to make a statement.

And there's the rub. It appears to me that Jean is doing her damndest to stand out, screaming for attention.

It's like the yummy mummy who turns up at the school gate and steps out of the 4 x 4 with fresh blow dry, perfect make-up, and a stain-free, blonde cashmere twinset and slacks.

Three words -- Trying. Too. Hard.

We all make fashion faux pas, but thankfully, most of us are lucky enough to do it in private. Under the radar.

Jean Byrne needs to wise up and sort her wardrobe of undoubtedly amazing pieces out. Those Joanne Hynes pieces will look phenomenal when worn out and about, Jean, rather than beside a two-dimensional map of Ireland. And you'll set lightbulbs flashing, and the internet buzzing for all the right reasons.