Mad Men’s Groovy ’70s Style

I’ve been on hiatus off from the blogging world for few weeks but I’m now back.

Let’s talk about ’70s’ fashion. I’m watching the 7th and final series of Mad Men at the moment and loving it! The office ladies are all about showing legs. Everything is short; short dresses, short skirts and top dresses.

image
Mad Men Season 7 cast

What I like most is not the shortness of the ladies’ apparel but the colours they use and how they wear them with such panache. These days, I find most office attire is all about blacks, browns and other safe colours but wouldn’t it be so much more cheerful to see a lot of vibrant, bright and beautiful colours in the office.

image

Sola Bamas as Shirley in Mad Men _ Season 7, Episode 2

Scientific research has shown that brighter clothes make you happier and I can prove that people are more likely to notice and make comments when you are wearing bright colours and that, in turn, can boost your mood and help lift the spirits of those in your environs.

I know it’s not warm yet to wear short attire but there are always stockings to save the day and they come in all colours. So ladies, lets bring a lot of cheerfulness and smiles into the office with some colour!

image

Advertisements

Warm-up your winter wear with Tweed

As the days continue to be short, dark, wet and cold, we are all bringing our knits and woollens out but behold, there is a fabric that is rather rich and has a varied history you might need to add to your winter wear – Tweed!image.jpegPhoto: Courtesy of Vicky Garnett Photography

As soon as you hear ‘tweed’, your mind might have raced to the royals, Dr Who, nerdy professors, Sherlock Holmes, politicians or those aging men in Harris or Donegal tweed hats in your local pub. Whatever your associations with it, tweed redefines the complex history of gender, class and fashion from the 19th century until now. It had functional characteristics that were attractive to 19th century gentlemen and aristocrats who had an interest in virtually every sport and adventure activity – shooting, hunting, fishing, golf, cycling, motoring and mountain climbing.image                                             Dr Who in tweed jacket

In the 1890s British tweed became popular when it was included in ‘tailor made’ garments for women which consisted of a jacket and long skirt. They were warm, functional, durable and were the ‘power dress’ for contemporary office women.

By the 1920s Coco Chanel was simplifying fashion with her innovative forward looking ideas on female clothes. She borrowed items normally worn by men and transformed them into pared down stylish female apparel, for example simple jersey and tweed suits.114822515.jpgThe Time Lifestyle Magazine – 1960s Chanel tweed suits 

Although tweed might be associated with old-fashioned values and upper-class country sportswear, fashion houses have made it popular again by adding new lighter tweed weaves that are perfect for modern street wear.imagePhoto: Courtesy of Vicky Garnett Photography

It might look like an itchy, stuffy and heavy fabric but tweed is practical, warm, versatile…….and classically stylish. Perfect central heating for those winter walks!!

Pygama Pants? Let’s go back to the 1930s

Mo, you’re still wearing your pyjamas!” That’s what a male friend, with a big smile, said to me this week at work. I looked down at myself, as if for the first time ,and I had to agree that the colourfulness and width of my trousers may have led him to mistaking them for pyjama bottoms………but it didn’t rattle me, I adored them!

image.jpegLess than a century ago it was daring and rather scandalous for women to be seen wearing trousers. Wide leg trousers first began as lounge pants, becoming increasing popular as ‘beach pyjamas’ or resort clothing in the late 1920s. By 1930s the wide leg trousers took a more practical purpose as sports attire and women adopted this new set of clothing regardless of whether they played sport or not. Despite the popularity of the fashion trend, it was still unacceptable to wear them in public, apart from when playing sports or vacationing.

imageSource – Beach pajamas 1930s

imageBeach pyjamas featured in a German fashion magazine in 1931

Things changed in the late 1930s and 1940s thanks to actresses such as Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, whose then-ridiculed outfit choices paved the way to women’s freedom to wear pants.

imageKatharine Hepburn posing in a pair of wide leg trousers in 1930 – Source

When I laid my eyes on these Roxy trousers for the first time, I fell in love. It was the only pair left in the shop. The discounted price was very enticing, the colours were dazzling and when I tried them on they were perfect fit. I was just like someone who have found true love, I felt it was only the best thing ever!!imageAs a break from my usual outfits made up of skinny trousers, dresses and skirts, I usually wear these trousers in winter as they are corduroy fabric. They are warm, comfortable, sleeky, easy to wear and they are so colourful that they cheer up the dark evenings. The colours also makes it easier for me to choose a top to wear them with. Every colour top goes with the trousers and that’s one less headache if you’re in a hurry.

If you ever decide to buy a wide leg trousers in the future, here are some helpful tips:

  • Wide leg trousers looks great when worn with heels and certainly look better when they slightly hide your high heels
  • For a classic look, wear them with a well fitted top as it creates a lovely silhouette….especially if you are ‘heavy on top’.
  • If you are short, wearing striped wide leg trousers can give you the look of longer legs and even add a perceived few inches.image

So while my friend saw my wide leg colourful corduroy trousers as pyjamas, I saw them as a ‘love at first sight’ fashion statement!

Christmas jumper revolution!

Since that scene of Mark Darcy’s ugly Christmas jumper in Bridget Jones Diary movie , I have never looked at Christmas jumpers the same way. Who would want to wear something so cheesy and hideous I thought? How I was wrong!! Walking on the streets of Dublin the days towards Christmas was like re-living that movie scene hundred times over.

image

What is it that is making Christmas jumpers so popular each year? Fashionable, trendy or just people trying to be different? Most of the people I saw wearing Christmas jumpers were going to parties, so I would assume this is the new Christmas party look and a lot of people want to be part of it.

image

I admire people who can rock those jumpers but here is why a jumper with Christmas trees, santas, reindeers, tinsels and lights won’t be on my shopping list anytime soon.

image

Reason #1: I want to get my money’s worth. Why should you spend your money on a jumper you can only wear once a year?  I will be inclined to buy a jumper that is timeless and practical which can be worn off season too.

Reason #2: It’s nice to be different but great to look unique. It won’t matter whether your Christmas jumper is from Primark or John Lewis, what matters is that 10 or more people are also wearing the same jumper decorations as you, so it end up feeling like you are wearing a uniform!

It will be interesting to see how the Christmas jumpers revolution will do this year, as for me I will stick to my neutral winter jumpers.

image

Wishing you a Happy 2016!

The boardroom to happy hour dress code

Professional life is becoming a 24/7 norm these days. We are constantly running around from one business meeting to another. However, in all that hustle and bustle of work life, there remains a need to reconnect with our social side. Everyone wants time to just mingle and giggle to none work related jokes over drinks or dinner once in a while. We all need the happy hour!!

So, you have a business meeting out of office which will go for the whole day but you also have that overdue dinner, drinks or cocktail party with your friends or colleagues. You are so excited about the day ahead but you find yourself in a dilemma on what to wear. If you are like me, bringing a separate set of clothes is just excessive baggage – totally inconvenient, going home to change is time consuming and by the time you get to the bar, happy hour is over. So what do you do? One easy solution is to wear an outfit that can easily take you from day to night hustle free.

The Good Wife

Sheath dress– is something you can easily wear from work to happy hour. A well-tailored, full or quarter sleeved, not too tight, and not too short sheath dress can bring a lot of class and femininity in a business meeting that is full of suits. If the dress is sleeveless, then wear a blazer to accompany it.

imageThe Good Wife’s Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) is an inspirational example of how to power dress for the office and for the night out and her collection of blazers is to die for.

image                           Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick series THE GOOD WIFE

imageA pencil skirt – wear a pencil skirt with a crop top and throw a blazer on top and you are ready for that big business meeting, you take the blazer off when out.

image

Black tights – Another accessory that can transform your outfit are black tights. Yes, you don’t really have to worry about the length of your hemline and you can look respectable and ladylike. After the meeting, you can bare your lovely legs again for the happy hour.

image

image

Jumpsuit – is another quick fix to the day to night transformation. If you are not keen on blazers (why wouldn’t you though!) then wear a jumpsuit instead. It’s simple, quick and It’s easy to wear and you will look the part in both places.

imageAlways follow the business fashion etiquette, which is to dress classy but keep things professional even during happy hour!!

image

Grace yourself with lace!

For most homes the classic white lace curtain window covering creates an enjoyable design experience. It evokes that feeling of relaxation in summer and in spring time. For a long time I used to associate lace with curtains. Then I started seeing some really amazing outfits and gowns and I never looked at lace the same way again.image“I have stolen your granny’s net curtains, and I won’t give them back!” – quote from this dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris in 1926

Lace is one of the most beautiful and feminine fabrics in the world. But just how long has lace been in fashion? Lace is known to have been first developed in Venice during the sixteenth century. It was always an expensive luxury item because of its painstaking, time-consuming production. Lace veils and lace bridal gowns became an enduring favourite for brides in the Victorian era and has been popular ever since with royals, brides, catwalks and even the high street.

image

Lace masterpiece – American actress Grace Kelly’s elegant wedding gown in 1956

imageKate Middleton is ever elegant and stunning in lace dresses

Lace continues to enjoy a place in fashionable dress today. White crochet lace rules in summer, in winter a black or red lace party dresses get us into the Christmas spirit.

image

If the lace look is too full-on for your personal taste, mix it up with contrasting textures. Don’t be afraid to experiment with lace. Whether it is a staple part of your wardrobe or for special occasions only, lace is an elegant and on-trend choice of fabric.

imageTo wear lace is to wear grace!!

Fifty shades of Green!

Across many cultures green is commonly associated with nature, growth, regeneration and fertility. In pagan times, the “Green Man” was a symbol of fertility . It was known as the colour of the heavens in the Ming Dynasty. In Ireland, it is a colour of luck and is popularly on St. Patrick’s Day or during international soccer or rugby games. It is believed that wearing green on any other day would be considered unlucky by the Irish ( I wonder about that one though!)
image

Content with nature in H&M emerald green skirt

Green is everywhere around us but it is also associated with unflattering phrases such as “green with envy” or “the green-eyed monster” both in reference to people harbouring more than a little bit of jealousy. It’s no surprise then that green is not a common colour in the world of fashion.

Wearing green is not for everyone as it can be seen as loud and dominant. Green is also a rare choice at red carpets or other gala events considering the proximity to the red carpet and some celebrities can’t risk looking like a Christmas tree! However, some people can pull the colour very well as seen in these emerald green choices by Angelina Jolie Pitt, Mila Kunis, Elizabeth Moss and Catherine Zeta-Jones.imageLast year the autumn/winter collections were full of different shades of green from lush olive, emerald green, grass green, pea green, moss green to sage green making it an interesting colour to buy. I wore this lace dress to a friend’s wedding last year and it was a perfect outfit for the day as it blended very well with the lush surroundings. I wore it again this year to a different occasion with different shoes, bag and a different hairstyle and it looked new again.imageThis outfit is great colour for the autumnal look. The cocktail of green, white, pink and red colours give it a colourful autumn effect and it’s an outfit that can be dressed up or down.

image

Forget about the green connotations! A woman in green isn’t the jealous type, rather she knows she causes envy in others. If you dare, get ready to spread the envy!!

image