Hi Darren, I recently got through to the Dublin Rose of Tralee finals. My next big challenge will be in Citywest Hotel on June 25. My style would be considered very casual, which suits my day job but not the Rose of Tralee -- I'm in desperate need of advice. Hopeful contestant, Dublin
I'd recommend you approach this event much in the same way as you would a friend's wedding. A good rule of thumb is to dress nicely enough to respect the formality of the event, but up the glam factor for this particular occasion. That's not to say you go so glamorous that you draw exorbitant amounts of attention and outshine the bride, or, in this case, the final itself. It's about striking the right balance of sophistication and sassiness.
Granted, it's not always the easiest look to achieve.
The colour you choose is of paramount importance. Go too bright and you risk looking garish; go too dark and you risk coming across as dull. Ultimately, it's about finding a shade that you feel comfortable wearing and represents your personality.
A safe yet beautiful option is nude, if you have the colouring to pull it off. Personally I find nudes look best on more sallow skin tones. Grecian-style evening dresses tend to have an extra classy quotient to them. The Catalina, from Coco Boutique on Dublin's Clarendon Street, is a beautiful full-length gown. The beading on the fitted bodice coupled with the full skirt makes it a show-worthy number.
If it's a short dress you are after, the Keaton metallic gold dress by Elie Tahari (€625 at Harvey Nichols) is a showstopper, as is this black number (€295) from Dannii Minogue's Project D. Good luck!
Darren, I've never been one for the nautical trend but I'm drawn to the multi-coloured stripes I keep seeing in magazines. Everything I've seen is so expensive, though. This is my first foray into wearing any stripes so I don't want to spend a lot, just in case. Where would I find pocket-friendly ones that look the part? Susan (41), Cork
Recently I changed my place of work, which means I've now a 20-minute walk to and from the DART every day, as opposed to my previous four minutes. I wear heels in the office and have been wearing some Penneys pumps for the commute. I find my feet are sore after the walk and not getting enough support. Would you have any suggestions please? Diane (48), Dublin