New H&M College Green-Believe the Hype

I’m slightly behind schedule on this blog post, all about the brand new H&M store on College Green. However here it is at last! When I heard there would  be a new H&M in the city centre, my first thought was really? Three H&M’s within 15 minutes walking distance of each other?!  However this is no ordinary H&M, it’s a gorgeous new flagship store and anyone who hasn’t been in needs to see it ASAP. The building housing it is the former National Irish Bank and just the building alone is worth a look!

The building is a protected structure dating from the mid nineteenth century and was designed by an architect named William Murray. In 2012 Savills auctioneers listed it for sale at €4 million! H&M were brave enough to buy the building and are also planning to base their sister brand & Other Stories in the former A-Wear Store on Grafton Street. I would love to see this happen as the A-Wear store was quite big and it’s a shame to see it idle now. Also & Other Stories is currently only available to Irish customers online so it would be a welcome addition to Grafton St. Many shops such as A-Wear, Korkys etc. were forced to close due to the high rents on Grafton St. and the area has become less exciting with each closure. I think H&M will breathe some new life into the area and it is badly needed.

A sketch of the building (Archiseek.com).

The store has been open for over a month now but for anyone who hasn’t been there/doesn’t live in Dublin here’s a few pictures. (PS I hate to be the obnoxious blogger who only writes about things in Dublin but unfortunately the capital city is the obvious choice for flagship shops/new openings/fun things).

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Views of the decorative arches.

The new store now comprises of four floors and is 25,000 square feet! It blows the other two H&M stores out of the water to say the least.

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Bird’s eye view from upstairs!

And here are some of my favourite items currently in store. The new shoe department is particularly alluring and I’d crawl on broken glass for these chain-detail patent brogues. I think they’d be the perfect way to brighten up a dull work outfit/plain black dress. *wipes drool off keyboard*

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I’m also completely in love with these Perspex heel shoes-like the brogues they can add a fun dimension to an outfit and yet are very chic. If like me, you hate stuffy conservative clothing but sometimes have to wear it, adding funky shoes/jewellery etc. is one way to “break the rules”.

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amazeballs shirt

I can’t say enough about this shirt, its a mix of formal and fun! I think it would work in both a casual and formal outfit, either as styled or with pale blue jeans.

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And for going out they also have some excellent pieces such as this fringed skirt.

Or this equally cute quilted skirt with imitation leather front.

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I could go on and on about the store but the best way to experience it is to visit yourself! Let me know your thoughts, do you like the new H&M or would you rather see something else there? Do you think the building has been put to good use or do you think there are too many high-street stores in Dublin now? I look forward to your feedback.  PS. if you like reading my blog, you can like it on Facebook here. Thanks for visiting my blog as always. 🙂

Monday to Friday: How to survive office clothing

“Office appropriate” are words that strike fear into my heart. How can you put together an appropriate work outfit without losing all of your style/femininity?

It’s easy for men, they can throw on a suit and it instantly transforms the plainest guy into a handsome one! The ladies however don’t have amazing alternatives.

Looking around Dublin on a week day you see some girls who take the conservative route and wear unflattering wide black pants, black top, plain black shoes….or a sombre suit with plain shoes. Others opt for the “sexy secretary” look and wear really high heels, see through blouses and tight/short skirts.

No disrespect intended to these ladies I discovered girls dress this way because we are given two alternatives in shops …see below!

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serious business!

I recently had to buy some new office appropriate clothing and having not done so in several years it was a shock to me. I thought it would be easy to find some nice office wear and began my search in earnest.

It would’ve been easier find my way into Mordor than to find something that was both appropriate, reasonably priced and stylish!!

I know it's old and overdone, but this is very WELL done. So, I felt the need to share...

First stop Penneys…gahhhhhhh. All the blouses were see through and the basics looked really rough shirts with threads hanging off etc. I already know they have the world’s most unflattering black trousers so I didn’t look any further.

Then to Zara , I thought surely I will find something here maybe shoes if not clothes. But Zara had final reductions on sale and very little new stock.

They had some nice blazers but I already had picked up a H & M grey blazer for €5 in the charity shop. I spied what looked like the perfect navy shift dress, good length, on sale etc. I picked it up and realised it had a plunging neckline..almost down to the navel! Sob.

Even my charity shops were letting me down as I didn’t want to buy too many odd pieces that didn’t match.

Eventually I spotted a navy and white Next dress for €8.50 and grabbed it like a drowning man grabs a life buoy! I decided to wear this on Monday with a white pointelle cardigan from Penneys.

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Feeling  frustrated I then went to Dorothy Perkins. It’s not somewhere I normally shop but I was desperate. Et voila work clothes on sale!

I finally found a nice dress just beyond the knee. It had hearts on the top but at this stage I didn’t care and bought it. In my role this is fine BUT if you work with a lot of men or in a very senior position avoid hearts, flowers and kittens! Easier said than done in fact 😛

It’s nice to be feminine and sexy but it’s very important to be taken seriously at work.It was €30 on sale  from €45 which I thought was reasonable. I also tried on trousers from the petite range but this is a “true” petite range i.e. they were too short for me and I am 5’4ish. I would recommend this range for petite girls however.

Next also do good petite sizes in office wear but their sizes are slightly bigger sizes than DP. Next have some really nice office wear available and good quality also but I didn’t have the money to buy there. I wore my dress with a black cardigan and a black blazer…Tuesday outfit!

This dress is a good length and has a sewn in camisole inside.

I then tried H & M also where I managed to find slightly cute shirts! There are so many lovely shirts for guys but very little for girls. I really like H & M’s clothing but had never noticed their formal wear before. I picked up a pale pink shirt for €14.95 with white cuffs and collar. I also bought it in grey as I liked it so much.I paired this with a black pencil skirt I already had.

I’ve found vintage shops are great for colourful blouses and shirts that can be incorporated into a working wardrobe. My favourite one has to be this paisley blouse from Lyon Loring for €26.

 I was pleasantly surprised to find some nice office clothes in New Look and bought a plain white shirt which I layered under a textured black shift dress with gold trim for my Wednesday outfit. I saw some nice dresses and skirts here but was disappointed with a blue shift dress I tried on. It seemed to be my size(10)  but didn’t sit right over my hips and lower body and looked weird!

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I had enough at that point so my Thursday outfit was one I already owned, a green fitted dress with zip details from Next and my H & M blazer.

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It’s true : I cannot iron…

For those of you who have a “casual Friday” option here are some ideas I found on Pinterest. Dark jeans, a patterned trousers or shirts, knitwear and casual jackets are great for casual Friday.  A little colour is nice also especially if you wear black, white, navy etc. during the week!

Casual Friday work outfit with plaid button down, jeans, navy blazer, and camel pumps

love this- casual Friday work outfit

Do not forget to mix grey and taupe together. Love it. And add a little bit of silver!!! Perfect.

Please note: I do not own these images.

I have been wearing brogues to work ( I used to wear heels but I’ve been cured of this foolishness..) as I feel they are a smarter alternative to pumps and more comfy than heels.  Masculine tailoring is really trendy this spring and they are a great choice for work!

It is never ok to wear runners with office clothing even if you are walking/running/cycling to work: brogues are the way to go ladies!  Shoes are one way you can express your personality in an office 😉

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Office shoe choices: l-r Dunnes black and gold pumps, Asos brogues and Stradivarius ballet pumps.

Handbags for the office!

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Alternating between business like satchel and tote bag with room for everything!

And I finally bought myself a decent watch in Urban Outfitters

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This is an amazing watch! Wanted it for ages! Real leather and quirky face: perfect for a little self-expression at work. 😉 My work jewellery is pretty muted but this adds a little colour!

I was completely exhausted by the time I finished shopping for my work clothes. I felt a bit frustrated with the choices aimed at female shoppers. I also think we need more office clothes for different body types…I love tailoring and smart clothes but I like to still be creative and a little glam also.

What do you think? Where do you buy formal/work clothes? I’d love to hear your opinions!

P.S. I finally got my Romwe birth of Venus jumper (see below) and I’m loving it! It’s a baggy fit, really nice with jeans. Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoyed the post.

Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

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Nasty Gal

Nasty Gal  is an American label everyone needs to know about. It grew from humble origins as an Ebay store selling vintage clothing and is now an international cult brand.nasty gal clothing

The clothing ranges in style from hippy tank tops,band t-shirts, leather dominatrix-inspired pieces and cut-off denims.

They were also one of the first sites to feature Jeffrey Campbell shoes and also feature Dr. Martens boots and shoes and Lazy Oaf clothing.

I’ve been following the rise of the label for several years now and I think they always get it right. The clothing is original and the photography, lookbooks and styling are always beautiful and striking.

At the moment Nastygal.com are having a 72 hour flash sale ending on Sunday so I’m picking a few of my favourite sale items to show you all and hopefully introduce the brand to new fans.

Nasty gal brogues

These floral brogues are to die for! I love every little detail! They are not the cheapest (now €111, were €158) but they are real leather which is worth paying for.

The shoe sizes on Nasty Gal are US sizes so be aware of this if you’re shopping from their site.

Night Edge Dress

This “Night Edge” dress is one I’m thinking of buying myself as it’s unusual and a really great price! I love the cut-out collar and the faux-leather detail. I think it would be great for a night out over Christmas.

I love black and it’s simple yet not boring. It’s currently reduced to €21.79 from €34 so lets just say I am buying it.

Update the dress is quite nice but also longer than I expected so it can look a little funny and is made from spandex, on the whole designs are nice but the quality isn’t amazing. I bought a medium and just enough room in it!)

leather dress