Nice t-shirts

I was in Urban Outfitters the other day and came across their selection of graphic tees which I really quite liked. Usually I wouldn’t bother spending very long looking at the t-shirts in UO as I’d rarely be able to justify spending the guts of €40 on one. But perhaps in this case an exception will have to be made! Below are my favourites costing €37 each:


Itsy, Bitsy, Teenie, Weenie

When it comes to fashion I generally favour the old over the new, my ma always tells me I was born in the wrong decade.

My latest obsession is vintage beachwear. I’ve wanted my own high waisted two piece or 1930’s maillot style one piece for some time now.  I’d take any one of the three suits below please.

I’ve trawled the internet relentlessly but everything I’ve found is too expensive (I just can’t justify spending the guts of 100 euro on something I’ll only get to wear once a year at best)

The US Urban Outfitters site has a lovely basic black high waisted bottom with bandeau top two piece and a classic red and white polka dot halter one piece (neither suit features on the European UO site).

The  US Anthropologie site has my favourite two pieces. It’s European equivalent website doesn’t have a swimwear section at all which is pretty unfortunate. We like to swim and look fabulous in Europe too you know.

Since I don’t want to spend that much money on my swimsuit I’m left toying with the idea of making my own. There’s a good few vintage swimsuit patterns to be bought online.

I found the patterns pictured below here it’s a great little site for all kinds of vintage patterns.

(This pattern has inspired me to either make or buy a sleeveless shirt dress to wear on the beach)

So vintage patterns is another great site for sourcing vintage patterns. The majority of patterns I want are sold already but it’s fun to have a look through them all. Well at least I’m sad enough to find looking through loads of old sewing patterns fun.

(I love this 1960’s Mc Calls pattern)

If I was to make my own swimsuit I’ve really no idea where I’d buy suitable, water proof fabric or even if I have the skill to pull it off. I imagine that sewing small pieces of stretchy nylon together isn’t the easiest. However I think I’ll have to give it a go and see.

Must remember to book that sun holiday when I’m done.

– Saoirse

The Hidden Man

I’m just after visiting The Sartorialist’s blog, a site which never fails to please me. Today I was very excited by the pictures that were posted from his Vintage Photo Contest.  I really love looking at photos and perhaps especially old photos, they sum up so much about the lifestyle of the people in them, the fashions at the time and the era in general in which the photo was taken in.

Recently my mom has been redecorating our house with old photos from her and my dad’s childhoods’, as well as photos of relatives in their families. One of these photos which was obtained from my Nana’s house, was of my great great grandmother. My mom decided to get it re-framed and after dropping it into the framers she received a phone call to say that they found a second portrait of a man concealed behind the portrait of the woman and would we like to have it framed too.  I joked that maybe this was a scam that was regularly pulled by the framers and several people around Dublin have the same picture of a forgotten relative hanging in their home. This perhaps sadly, was not the case, as the identity of the hidden man was confirmed as the lady’s husband, my great great grandfather.

Here they are –

Below is a picture of my dad as a toddler. I think my mom found the perfect photo for this ridiculous frame!

And below is a photo of my mom with her  siblings circa 1966. I love the clothes, which are really not too dissimilar to what’s in fashion now – socks with shoes, shirt with cardigan.

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Lovely shoes

I was shopping in Dundrum today and decided to go into the shoe shop Aldo. Somehow I had always presumed this was a shop selling shoes for old ladies, but upon inspecting the wares, I found myself happily mistaken. I was particularly drawn to their selection brogues and am now trying to make the difficult decision of which pair (or pairs!) to go for.

Check out their UK website here and click here for one of the pairs I have my eye on.

Brilliant Baggage

April 13, 2010

My grandmother wore brown, a lot. From the lightest beige to the deepest mahogany. For the twenty two years that I knew her she was almost entirely faithful to that one colour. She always said that her love of brown made it easy to get dressed in the morning because everything went together. There was the odd anomaly, a green jumper or some cream blouses, but even still the colours tended toward a forest theme. In all the pictures that I knew of her she wore her unofficial uniform of brown. Even in the older photos she did look stylish but in decidedly black and white sort of way. There was one single exception.  In my parents wedding photo she stands in the back amid all the familiar faces wearing a bright pink turban. This picture was a small glimpse into her former self, the person that she was before five children and dozens of grandchildren.

When I was sorting through the boxes that my grandmother left me I thought that I would be the proud owner of a wardrobe of brown with one pink exception. But instead I found that the one pink hat had dozens of colourful counterparts. I found ivory lace gloves and burgundy hats and turquoise bread bins and embroidered bags and along with all these beautiful and slightly dusty things I found the grandmother I almost never knew.

It’s funny to think of clothes as a form of biography but that’s what they became for me as I read my grandmother’s life through the things that she chose to wear and then chose to keep. So now I think a bit more carefully about the things that I keep and the things that I throw away because even my matching leggings/t-shirt/hair-band combos from the 90s say something about the person I was then and might become part of a story that someone else is interested in learning.

Badges and Brooches

April 8, 2010

I thought I’d begin my debut onto this fashion/arts/everything deadly blog, by writing about something that I think is deadly – badges. Badges (and brooches) are in my opinion one of the best accessories you can get; whether you wanna add a bit of coolness to your collar, bring some bling to your bag or simply class up your ass, this is a fine way to go about it. My only word of advice would be to use sparingly on clothes…unless you’re going for a ‘TGI Friday’s employee’ look.

On the high street, check out Topshop for some playful girly brooches (click here) and Accessorize/Monsoon for some more fancy stuff (click here).

On the internet go to for a huge selection of button badges with some really lovely designs, Lara Allport’s badges are among my favourites on the site. is also worth having a look at. This site is home to various sellers with mostly hand-made things on offer. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, this is the place to go.

The Three Elements,a Hypothesis and an Introduction

January 21, 2010

I’d like to apologise in advance for patronising the face off an entire gender. Sorry mum.

Long before auto-tune showed up to ruin everything, hip-hop famously revolved around the Four Elements. Bruce Willis needed Five of them and a very annoying Chris Tucker. The key to women however can be summarised in just three. That’s right, though terrifyingly complex and usually illogical, all women share some the same love of three things in particular. What are they, you cry? Well, take your hands out of your pants (do grow up, it’s not those kinds of things) and follow me.

Before we continue it’s only right to acknowledge the shrieking loony in the corner, tearing clumps of her own hair out as she wails that there are surely more than these three things that women love.  Quite right Margaret, there’s a whole host of things loved by many. But not by all. That’s what sets this little theory apart;  the unadulterated, pure happiness every single woman in the whole entire country has towards them.  There’s no exceptions* or caveats, no calorific or credit card related guilt which  would rule out so many other varieties. Oh no, this is pure joy. Now toddle off back to your room Mags while we deal with them in turn.

Perhaps the most basic of all is that most Irish of things: a cup of tea.  The Brits and the Chinese might stake a claim to this one too, but surely it doesn’t give the satisfaction and overwhelming sense of relaxation that Irish women really do get them that very lovely cup of tea (the adjective lovely can’t apply more accurately to any other thing). While to many of us coffee-drinking males, tea may merely evoke thoughts of a  decrepit peasant pathetically boiling a  few manky nettles in a tin cup at the side of famine road, tea seems to hold an altogether cheerier memories for women. It rather strangely seems to  act as a liquid hug. Even the cut throat world of advertising has realised this and as such only makes adverts that are basically 30 seconds of distilled loveliness (video here – though on a less lovely note dog that played Shep has probably carked it by now).

Whether it’s to comfort during depressing times, in celebration or just to start a day in a rather nice way, a hug can be replaced with a cuppa and seemingly cause the exact same chemical reaction in the brain. A chemical reaction that no doubt makes the sound of a satisfied; ahhh. This does of course mean that offering  to make a cup of tea is the perfect choice for the uncaring boyfriend and pnigophobiac alike (look it up).

But while a cup of tea may give the emotional side of a hug, it still lacks somewhat in the physical side of things, what with it causing violent disfiguring burns if applied to the body. That’s where #2 comes in to play: blankets.

Ah yes, the simple blanket. Enjoyed the world over from the indigenous Quechua peoples in Peru to Lisa Simpson and her sadly destroyed patchwork quilt (Season 2, episode: Bart’s Dog Gets an F for completists)  there is no denying it; women go batshit crazy for blankets. Some may argue for the inclusion of a good hoodie or even these gruesome new romper suits from Where the Wild Things Are ( but they can’t compete with the mighty blanket. With its simple inclusion a Kate Hudson movie can be transformed from making one want to self-harm in to “actually being kind of sweet”. Whilst the hoodie does offer some warmth and snugness, blankets have another trump card to play – the social aspect. Indeed a blanket apparently should not be wasted on one person alone, instead by draping it over everyone on the couch a higher level of snugness can apparently be achieved, an action usually quickly followed by further tucking, the hugging of oneself and a few short comments about just how comfortable the blanket is indeed.

Clearly there’s a buck to made on the back of all this, and in recent years the assorted captains of industry have made their move by offering the Slanket and Snuggie at a ridiculous mark-up for what is essentially a dressing gown turned worn back-to-front. That hasn’t stopped them flying off the shelves, but again we mustn’t forget the social aspect to this now not so humble blanket.

That’s right, because a blanket isn’t any fun unless it can be enjoyed by more than one person at the same time the good people at Snuggie Sutra have compiled a whole load of ways to get the very most out of what at first glance appears to be a one-woman blanket. There’s far more fun to be had therein, as their helpful illustrations show.

But where would one buy such a blanket if trying to avoid the overpriced Slanket craze? For most there seems to be but one answer. The one and only; Penneys. Women love Penneys. Seriously love Penneys, even if it disguises itself as a Primark.

What was An otherwise run of the mill scarf is transformed through a quick interrogation

“Oh that’s nice.”

“Thanks, I got it in Penneys.”

“PENNEYS?! God, they have the best stuff!!!”

A ridiculously low price will soon be mentioned followed by another expression of utter disbelief. It really does seem that every outfit can be enhanced in some small way by the inclusion of something that you’d never believe actually came from Penneys. The utter love and devotion so many women have towards Penneys and their I-can’t-believe-it-only-cost-you-that-much pricing can not be questioned. Any man who has forlornly propped himself up by a rack of incredibly well priced socks while half a dozen female friends scour all four floors of Bristol’s scarily large Primark (imagine Henry St’s Penneys on HGH) will know exactly what I’m talking about. The exact mechanics and discoveries to be had are better dealt with by Sinead and Saoirse, I’m merely the ideas man,though I can leave you with one last tip. This winter Penneys did begin selling their incredibly warm and snug blanket at the low, low price of just €5. No, seriously €5. Yeah, I got it in Penneys. Honestly. I know right, they have so much good stuff…

– your estrogenly challenged special guest blogger, Seán

*-oh come on, don’t start. I’ve spent a whole evening putting together this theory