County's most stylish on show

Marisa Reidy

HATS off to the ladies of Kerry and beyond who turned on some serious style on Friday afternoon to make the annual Ladies Day competition at Listowel Races one of the most glamourous yet.

HATS off to the ladies of Kerry and beyond who turned on some serious style on Friday afternoon to make the annual Ladies Day competition at Listowel Races one of the most glamourous yet.

While the overall title went to Finuge stunner Nollaig McCarthy McEnery, there were hundreds of possible contenders for this year's top prize, such was a the level of style and glamour on show at the island on a beautiful sunny Friday afternoon.

Among the bevy of beauties showcasing their fantastic sense of style was Mary Woulfe who travelled from Athea for the event. The glamourous mum looked amazing in a 1950s peach and silver vintage dress, teamed with matching shoes from Dorothy Perkins and hat from local milliner, Aoife Hannon.

A regular at Listowel Races, Mary has also been to Galway, The Curragh and Killarney already this year, but is always drawn to The Island every September.

"This is definitely my favourite. You get to meet all locals and you know everyone here," she said. "I suppose it's the first place we've ever come to, so there's something about Listowel that brings us back year after year."

Joining Mary on Friday - and looking equally gorgeous - was her friend Tasha O'Connor from Templeglantine, who was sporting a Karen Millen number for the event.

Tasha is also a keen racegoer and loves to don the style at Ladies Day. A very inventive dresser, Tasha teamed her designer dress with a hat she bought on ebay - but just added her own 'bits and pieces' to.

Ballyheigue's Aine O'Connor personified the pretty in pink look on Friday, sporting a 1950s inspired baby pink dress from Tralee boutique Rockalily, teamed with matching bag and shoes from She and her friends were thoroughly enjoying Friday's meeting - their favourite on seven day Listowel meeting. Aine teamed her beautiful dress with a headpiece created by her friend Eimear O'Mahony who has recently opened her own millinery business in her native Ballyheigue.

Having just started out in the millinery world last February, Eimear had 15 orders for Listowel Races on Friday and of course was sporting one of her own creations on the day - a stunning sphere with shells and pearls at the bases, complemented with feathers to match her dress.

"I started this in February and it's going really well since. I was always into design and had been art teaching for a while, but when I was out of work for a bit in December I decided to do course in millinery and it's all kicked off from there really," Eimear explained. "I'm based in Ballyheigue and pretty much make customer pieces for people who are looking for something to match their outfits. I have 15 pieces here today which is great."

A real show stopper on Friday afternoon, and one of the Ladies Day finalists, was Tralee woman Kristin MacKenzie Vass, who looked a million dollars in a maroon leather dress and jacket ensemble from Tralee boutique, Jasmine. The stunning blonde teamed the look with skyscraper cream heels from Shoerack, and a stunning cream hat.

"The winter season is favourite time of year and I always get an outfit this time of year for Listowel," she told The Kerryman. "Leather is all in and when I saw this I just loved it."

Local woman Marie Maher was wearing her own ensemble of old and new, put together with the help of her good friends. Her dress was new and bought in Limerick, the matching jacket was vintage and bought in Cork, while shoes, accessories and headpiece were chosen by her girlfriends, all of women are regular race-goers.

Being a native of Listowel, Mary loves the local meeting and always makes an effort on Ladies Day. She was also hugely impressed by the fashion on show on Friday, describing it as 'stunning and amazing."

Her friends, Mary O'Rourke - a Tipperary native domiciled in Ballyheigue - was certainly dressed for the winner meeting, in a beautiful matching wool brown trousers and green and brown jacket.

"I'm going a bit causal today compared to other years," she said. "I have these in the wardrobe for quite a while. The jacket has only come out in the wardrobe today. It's been there for after a three or four years," she said. A huge fan of Listowel and Ladies Day, Mary said she loves the atmosphere on The Island.


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