E very so often you come across a 'wow' fashion label that triggers pangs of guilt. Not because it costs too much and you're having second thoughts about spending that kind of money on yourself.
No, it's guilt because you're hesitant about sharing this information -- when it comes to wardrobe gems, all is fair in love and fashion, as the saying goes.
Weekend magazine readers deserve the best in fashion news, however, so here's the heads-up on the American label Stop Staring, which delivers a strong retro vibe.
Rockabilly, 1940s and 1950s glamour... it's all there in this label, which was inspired by the glamour of screen icons such as Rita Hayworth and Marlene Dietrich. I first saw the label at Anthony Ryan's in Galway when I was doing my reccie for the races, and my curiosity was pricked.
I spotted the label again in Killarney, and let's just say that I was hooked. Good prices with ultra-feminine styling and, best of all, fabrics and tailoring that pull you in all the right places.
I found Stop Staring at MacBees in New Street. There was a sailor-style cream and navy dress with bow detail, plus a blue and white, polka-dot print dress called Bombshell. You get the picture?
Autumn-winter fashion offerings around Killarney are very promising, judging from my visit last week. My favourites at MacBees include a dramatic black coat with seven-eighths sleeves trimmed in white, and a matching dress featuring white and black vertical panels.
Ramp up the drama with a saucer-like white hat from Whiteley (€257).
Red is very big this season and MacBees has a beautifully tailored claret suit from Laurel, which zings when accessorised with purple as we did for our shoot at the penthouse suite of the Aghadoe Heights Hotel.
I like nothing better than hitting a new town and finding local fashion gems. Walking through the Innisfallen Mall, I happened upon Who's 4 Shoes owned by Marie O'Sullivan. She stocks a number of great labels such as Neet and has a strong selection of bags from Friis.
Around the corner on New Street, you'll be rubbing your eyes looking at the price tags in the B Young shop: fabulous dresses for less than €50, great maxis for €89, and long, cotton cardis in vibrant colours for less than €30.
Fans of the rock-chick look will not be disappointed either, with two strong styles -- a studded biker and a softer, gathered jacket coming in sub-€80.
The oyster-patterned satin dress with neck tie is my favourite of all, at €44.95.
Majella Mahoney opened Lilly & Rose on Old Market Lane just two months ago. I was instantly drawn to the boutique when I saw the Darling coats and dresses in the window.
Again, I was in for a surprise when I saw the prices, with coats at around €90 and dresses for €70. Perfect for anyone looking for an outfit for an autumn graduation.