Dum dum dee dum

It is April, there are some minor improvements weather-wise and the season of love is nearly upon us. Yes, wedding season is just about here. I am a wedding guest veteran at this stage, I know all the words to Ave Maria and I have wedding etiquette down. Through my experiences, I have picked up some great tips to bear in mind when looking for your glad rags. The trick is to be sensible; you don’t need a different dress for each one (even if the guests are the same! ) Every look can be totally transformed with a little magic!

Recycle!

Having gone through two years as a wedding attendee, this year I get to be the bride. The dress is picked, the venue is booked, but before all of that, I have three weddings to attend and I am starting to think about outfits. If ever there was a year for me to economical, this is it. So, my first tip is to check what you already have. We all have more than enough clothes in the wardrobe that we haven’t worn in a while, or even worse, still have the tags on! The dresses or outfits to recycle are those which are block colours as they are like a blank canvas. Against any plain colour, like black or pink even, accessories can be your best friend. Take the little black dress, which we all have. For one occasion, try some long gold chains, and gold bangles with some statement earrings. Drape a cream wrap over your shoulders and you’ll give Jackie O a run for her money. Then for occasion number two, experiment with some colourful and embellished jewellery, like collars (pictured, gold collar from Accessorize ) and cuffs for a very Spring Summer inspired look. Swap the wrap for a printed cardigan like this one from Oasis (€53 ), and the dress looks completely different. Shoes wise, I always advise to stick to a natural colour like nude or beige. The look great against every skin tone and have the added benefit of elongating your legs. Also, don’t forget that you can bring any dress to a seamstress to change the neckline, length or even added some trimming to transform it.

For anyone who is conscious of their arms and has a sleeveless dress sitting at the back of the wardrobe, then coming to the market this month is a super new invention called, Canopi (www.canopi.ie ). Canopi acts as covers for the arms; produced as a one piece (pictured in black and avwhich clips onto your bra straps for added comfort and security. These are simply automatic sleeves and are very reasonable at €39.95!

Dress genius

I will be eternally grateful to the person who invented the “100 dresses in 1” concept which has taken to the market with incredible success. The principle behind these dresses is simple: one dress made in flexible fabric which can be wrapped many ways to create a completely different ensemble. Available in short and maxi lengths, I have also seen these dresses been worn as bridesmaid dresses as they suit all shapes and come in a rainbow of colours. The brand to look for is Eliza and Ethan available at Peaches Boutique Kilkenny (where I got mine ) and Alila boutique Dublin. Each dress comes with a booklet showing you how to wrap the dress and of course, you are not limited to these, play around with it and see what you can create!

And for Mum

I am asked all the time for advice on mother of the bride (and groom ) outfits and there is a common theme. Each lady wants something unique but classic that she can wear again. I recommend the dress and jacket combination; it’s very Chanel but most importantly, this outfit will never go out of fashion and will take you to the wedding and the christenings that follow a few years later. Take a trip to Kadee boutique, Athlone which is not only well known for its bridal boutique, but has a large range of occasion wear by designers like Fenn Wright Manson and Linea Raffaelli. This boutique is celebrating ten years in business this year, and is one of my top shops to visit in Ireland.

And don’t forget, all of these looks will get you through race season too, so go ahead and enter the best dressed!

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