Get the look; Stylemma; Chic Cheat; Stylewatch
Get the look: Aoibhin Garrihy
Retreating into black feels both safely flattering and sort of soothing after the bling-fest of last month.
As evident from actress Aoibhin Garrihy's outfit, above, it's possible to do black without seeming drab, or as if you've adopted a sartorial hideout. Nice textures help -- for example, her slightly shiny velvet coat lifts the outfit, while the addition of the Russian-style faux-fur hat adds a touch of glamour.
Boobs in the Pink
Irish online retailer, Bumps 'n' Babies, has just launched a new line of maternity and nursing tops called Bumps 'n' Boobs.
There are three styles -- a long-sleeved top; a crossover top with bracelet-length sleeves; and a draped, short-sleeve top with keyhole detail at the neckline, right. They come in various shades of fuchsia pink and light purple, and all cost €38.
I'd like to pick up a coatigan, either in the sales or from new-season stock, if there's anything in yet. I haven't bought a winter coat in a few years, so I'm happy to spend a fair bit on something nice -- up to €500.
A If you'd like a coatigan -- which is a cross between a coat and a cardigan -- there are certain things you should avoid. A lot of them tend to have cropped sleeves. This silhouette can look nice, but it means you'll always need a coat for outside, or else you'll have to worry about layering your sleeves. Avoid any busy patterns -- a coatigan is, in many ways, a coat substitute, and you'll want to wear it regularly. Patterns can be limiting. Our favourite label for this sort of thing is Vince at Brown Thomas. They have a lot of felt-wool coatigans from last season, mostly in neutral greys and browns. They can be pricey -- up to €800 -- so a sale is the ideal time to invest. Joseph has a beautiful grey coatigan which has a draped waterfall front, €585, see www.joseph-fashion.com; and Brown Thomas. A great coatigan source is www.asos.com -- they have some nice grey numbers for around €100.
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Let's go walking on air
Naturally, our thoughts are turning, albeit slowly and reluctantly, to getting back into some sort of shape after last month's excesses. It's too soon to face the horror of squeezing our post-party-season bodies into anything of a Lycra nature. We'd rather, for now, focus on footwear. Skechers recently launched the Flex Appeal range, left. It features Skechers memory-foam-topped, cushioned-comfort insoles, which work as a sponge for your foot for extra comfort.
The Flex Appeal collection comes in a range of colours, priced €65-€70, and is available from Skechers stores in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, as well as selected department stores
Chic cheat: bejewelled pumps
These gem-heeled pumps (Pic 3 above) €35, Marks & Spencer, are just the thing for January. Discreetly glamorous and comfortable, they are suitable for work, or perfect for wearing casually with jeans.
Stylewatch: Things to buy in sales
Not all the good sale stuff is gone and, if you're clever about it, you could still nab a few bargains that will see you through the next few months.
There are a few things worth keeping an eye out for that will still be relevant for the coming season.
Pink was the colour of last season, and it's big for spring/summer 2014 too. Look for something between a very pale, baby pink, and a fuchsia. Pink works best with pale grey to balance the Barbie effect. Biker jacket styles are being replaced by boxy jackets in rough-hewn fabrics; this is the sort of thing Isabel Marant does so well.
Ideally, you'd be after something from her own line -- see Brown Thomas and BT2, but the style has been copied by basically everyone. The skinny leg is over, so look out for wider-legged trousers.
They're probably not something you want to spend oodles of cash on, so they're a good sale buy. The longer A-line skirt and the dressy T-shirt are still around for this season, as are statement sweaters (that's any jumper with a bit of jewelling), and relaxed tux-type pants, such as those worn by Irish Model Daniella Moyles. These kind of pants work well for spring and summer, with court shoes and bare feet.