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Life in your 20s versus life in your 30s

Recently I was looking back at some photos of myself in my early 20s.

I felt a twinge of sadness that I’m no longer that age and more than a few regrets as I thought about things I could’ve done to improve my life and wellbeing back then.

But I’m also relieved that I’m no longer dealing with things that plagued me in my 20s, such as struggling to get by on a low income, worrying about my career prospects as well as dealing toxic friendships and dead-end relationships.

 

I turn 31 on Friday and so far, the first year of the 30s has been far better than all of my 20s put together.

When I was 21, I had only left Ireland once, I was friends with people who dragged me down and held me back, I was hopeless with relationships and I had no idea what to do with my life.

These days I might not get ID’d anymore when buying drink (they did it up until about 28) but I am a stronger, happier more confident person.

Here’s a look at how my life has changed for the better:

DRINKING/SOCIALISING

I used to go out and drink until I fell over or at least got very tipsy. Then I’d be up for work or college the next day no bother.

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Nowadays I drink a lot less and I prefer to go to my local than going into town.

I used to love nightclubs and predrinks but I haven’t been in a nightclub for over a year and I can’t even remember when I last did predrinks!

Of course, I have the odd session or weeknight drinks on a rare occasion but in general, I’m a lot more sensible.

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CAREER

I slogged it out during the recession working in retail, admin and recruitment, sometimes working two part-time jobs at once just to pay the rent.

Once I worked 32 days in a row without a single day off!

I moved to Dublin when I was 24 but found it even more challenging here due to the high rents.

Over time, I saved up and took the plunge to do my Master’s degree in journalism, something I never thought would be possible.

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Life has vastly improved since my early 20s

They say you learn more from your failures in life than your successes and for me, that is certainly true.

After doing two internships, I secured a full-time position in a great company and I’m finally earning a decent wage (enough to get by in Dublin anyway…)

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I struggled in my 20s but am flourishing now.

TRAVELLING

My family didn’t go on holidays when we were kids as my parents worked all hours on our farm and we had no money.

In my 20s, I spent two summers working in America as well as city breaks and longer holidays in the last couple of years.

While I didn’t have much money for travelling in my 20s, I couchsurfed, bunked with friends and stayed in hostels and cheap motels.

I also travelled on my own several times which built up my confidence massively.

I’ve yet to do any backpacking or round-the-world trips but who knows what opportunities may come yet?!

FASHION/STYLE SENSE

My fashion and style sense really hasn’t changed that much but I’m a lot more into charity shopping and vintage clothing these days.

My style is still pretty colourful but I don’t wear heels as much (partly because I wrecked my ankle) or really short tight dresses anymore – not quite as slim as I once was either – but I’m happy regardless!

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I still have this gorgeous jacket I found in a charity shop

In my early 20s, I was obsessed with labels and brands but these days my wardrobe is a  mix of second-hand, vintage and high-street clothing.

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Life has changed for the better

My outfit below is an example of this. I was gifted this black faux fur jacket by PrettyLittleThing and I absolutely love it.

It’s a statement piece that switches up any outfit.

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I still like loud statement pieces

I wore it with Topshop mom jeans, New Look boots and a t-shirt from Etsy.

My accessories are all cheap and cheerful, a vintage belt which was €1 in a charity shop, earrings from AliExpress, a Penneys necklace and a beret I bought for €4 in Topshop.

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I’m less concerned about labels or brands these days
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I’ve found my own sense of style

ADULTING

I don’t and maybe never will have a mortgage but that’s OK. I’ve been renting since I was 18 and last year, finally got a lease in my own name – sharing with a roomie obviously.

In the current rental climate, I feel very lucky to have a safe place to call home.

A lot of my friends are settling down now, getting married and having kids but I don’t feel under pressure. I would love to get married one day but for now, I’m very content with my relationship.

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RELATIONSHIPS/FAMILY/FRIENDSHIPS

As I’ve matured, I’ve developed a more balanced approach to friendships and relationships.

I used to put everything into a friendship or a relationship regardless of whether that person cared for me in the same way. My self-esteem was so low that I thought I needed these people.

When my dad died suddenly in 2014, something inside me snapped and I cut ties with some toxic people. Life is too short to spend it around people who bring you down.

I don’t have lots of friends but the ones I have are reliable and I’m in a long-term relationship with someone who has been there for me through the good times but also some really tough times. He even took the photos for this post!

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New Look snake print boots

I’m aware that I’m still very young and my life is bound to change so much yet but I’m happy with where it is going.

If you’re struggling with any of the issues I’ve mentioned, I hope this will give you hope.  And if you’re near the end of your 20s and dreading the 30s, honestly it’s nothing to be afraid of!

Outfit cost breakdown

Jacket – Prettylittlething but was gifted – Please note they did not ask me to blog about or review it but I absolutely love it!

Thank you to Burrell PR for the generous gift. You can find it here – not an affiliate link.

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Happy ‘cos this jacket keeps out the wind

Jeans – €55 Topshop

Beret – €4 Topshop

Belt- €1 charity shop

Necklace -€3 Penneys

T-shirt – €15.70 Pink Space Store Etsy

Boots – €18 on sale from New Look

Earrings – €1.67

Total cost: €98.37

Thanks for reading this incredibly long post. I’m going to DCU’s Fashion Show this week and I’ll be posting about it soon.

Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

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Buying a bikini: How to choose the right style

I have a love/hate affair with bikinis, there were times when I would barely get into one because I felt “fat”/unattractive. Prior to my first ever proper holiday abroad at 19, I went on a drastic diet to try and lose weight.

I definitely wasn’t overweight but my weight fluctuated a LOT when I was younger and I was really uncomfortable with my body for years.

I remember feeling awkward and not remotely confident on that particular holiday but I’ve managed to gain a sliver of confidence since when it comes to donning a bikini.

Cashflow issues and ankle problems aside, these are some bikini trends I am absolutely in love with at the moment and some tips on what style to choose.

Re-worked

I’m obsessed with reworked bikinis and I’m always looking for them on Etsy. These are from one of my favourite Etsy shops Croptopchannel.

At just under €48, they aren’t what you’d call thrifty but bikinis aren’t really something you can pick up in a charity shop..nor would you want to!

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Reworked Adidas bikini. Pic: Croptopchannel
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Reworked camo bikini. Pic: Croptopchannel

I love all things Moschino but you can’t have a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget.

So, a reworked Moschino bikini is about as glam as it gets for me… How cute are these gingham and marble sets?

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Moschino reworked bikini. Pic: Croptopchannel.

 

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Marble reworked bikini. Pic: Croptopchannel

Embellished

This cactus print bikini from Pretty Little Thing is adorable although it kinda looks more like underwear than swimwear.

The bottoms are plain but there’s a matching sarong if you’re a sarong kinda gal.. personally, once I’ve committed to wearing a bikini I’m not going to be half covered up and half not!

The top of this looks quite see-through so it’s probably more suitable for sunbathing than swimming.

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Cactus bikini. Pic: Prettylittlething.com

River Island has gorgeous swimwear and bikinis every year.

Their take on the denim-look trend is this chambray bikini with cactus embroidery and tribal details.

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Cactus print denim look bikini. Pic: RiverIsland.com.

Asos is a good pit stop for an unusual bikini and this 3D floral one is just fabulous. It’s so pretty!

If you’ve ever wanted to recreate this iconic Claudia Schiffer look, then say no more…

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This is quite expensive with the top alone coming in at just under €30 but I always buy in sterling on Asos as it’s significantly cheaper. Check out my online shopping hacks post for more.

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Asos floral bikini. Pic: Asos.com

As the flowers add volume this would suit someone with smaller boobs, rather than large ones.

The high-waisted bottoms are great also if you don’t want your stomach on show.

Sequins & Metallics

I love this super shiny metallic blue bikini from PLT, I never wear bandeau bikinis but I do find halterneck bikinis sometimes give me headaches and neck pain if I’m wearing them for ages so perhaps I should give the bandeau style a shot.

My issue with bandeau bikinis is that they tend to flatter a smaller chest (which is not me ) This would look great on a slight or slim build.

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Metallic blue bikini. Pic: PrettyLittlething.com

If you’re heading to a party spot this year such as Ibiza, this green sequin bikini is the perfect addition to your suitcase.

It would be good for girls who need a larger top half as it offers plenty of coverage and the wraparound style may give some extra support.

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Green sequin bikini. Pic: NewLook.com

Gingham

I’ve never had a high-waisted bikini but they look super-flattering and the blue and white gingham print is really summery. This is also from PLT and comes in pink also.

It also offers plenty of coverage and would suit curvy and slim figures.

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Blue gingham bikini. Pic: PrettyLittlething.com

Gingham is a massive trend this summer and for a cheap little gingham number check out this beauty on sale from New Look.

The top and bottom were €32.98 altogether but now you can get both for €17! #bargain

It has a bra-style fitting so definitely more supportive than a tiny triangle bikini.

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Gingham bikini. Pic: NewLook.com

Hope you all enjoyed this brief post and got some inspiration for your holidays.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you liked this post or the one-piece post better. Check out my Pinterest swimwear board for more inspiration.

I’ve been struggling to blog between my broken ankle, looking for a place to live and working but it’s good to be back!

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

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Dressed to Frill

Frills may be something we associate with four year olds but they are one of the hottest trends this S/S 17. Get ready for an explosion of frills, flounces and ruffles!

These are a few of the frilling pieces (sorry not sorry) that I’ve seen lately on the high street and online.

This cold-shoulder dress from Missguided combines two spring trends, it’s a beautiful lilac hue with frills over the arms. Missguided are currently offering 30% off heels and dresses with the code DRESSUP30 so you could nab this beaut for just under €30!

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Lilac cold shoulder dress Missguided. Pic: Missguided.com

This elegant grey midi dress also from Missguided would be perfect for an occasion such as a wedding or graduation.

Grey frill dress. Pic: Missguided.com

Even loungewear gets the frill treatment this season, I normally don’t like tracksuit sets but how cute is this?

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Grey tracksuit with frill details. Pic: Missguided.com

 

H&M have embraced the frilly trend like no other. Their latest online editorial “Wild at Heart” is full of stunning pieces like this 80’s style blouse. Frills on top of frills, Siberian tigers and lush vegetation, whats not to love?!

This blouse is a bit more expensive at €44.99 but it’s definitely a statement piece!

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The blouse of dreams. Pic: HM.com

H&M always have great workwear and you could incorporate some of these frilly pieces into a work wardrobe.

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Trouser suit with frill hems. Pic: HM.com

I’m not sure how I feel about ruffles and frills on trousers but if the rest of the outfit is kept simple it could work.

This gorgeous floral blouse would be great for work or play. H&M  have more understated frilly pieces in store and online.

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Floral frill blouse. Pic: HM.com

If you prefer a subtle dainty look, this white blouse with frilly yoke will be right up your street. (Which reminds me, I’ve a vintage white frilly blouse in the back of my wardrobe somewhere…)

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White frill blouse New Look. Pic: New Look.com

This yellow top is only €22.99 and comes in five different colours.

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Yellow frill top. Pic: New Look.com

While this pink crop top is only €10 and would be gorgeous with black leather trousers or skinny jeans.

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Pink frilly crop top. Pic: New Look.com

While I love frills on blouses, tops and dresses, I’m really not sure about frills on jeans. Take for instance, these Ellery jeans, WTF is going on here?!!

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Ellery jeans. Pic: Farfetch.com

A subtle flounce might be ok but those things could sweep streets!

What do you think of the frill trend? Leave me a comment below and let me know. N.B. I’m not being sponsored by any of the brands featured here-these are all my personal choices.

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

Edel

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Tips for buying a great winter coat to suit every budget

With temperatures below zero and Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to invest in a winter coat.

If like me, your current winter coat is the consistency of tissue paper and hanging together by a few threads, then you’ll need a good quality warm coat.

Buying a new coat can be an onerous task. Do you opt for a cosy parka which will provide warmth but isn’t rainproof?

A stylish coat which looks great but has no lining? Or are you tempted by puffer coats but afraid you’ll look like a marshmallow?!

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When it comes to buying a winter coat, first decide what you need. If you want something exceptionally warm, then get a parka with a detachable fleece lining.

I’ve never been a parka fan as they always come in the same muted boring colours but they do provide warmth.

If you love a pop of colour in your outfit, there are lots of parkas with colourful fur contrasts in shops this year and these are a nice alternative to the traditional parka.

New Look has some super stylish parkas this year with bright fur collars, embroidery details, and even a camouflage parka. These range in price from €69.99-€84.99.

If you are buying online, New Look offers 20% off your first full-price purchase.

Faux fur coats are a great way of retaining your style credentials and keeping cosy at the same time.

Violinkit demonstrates how to style one over on her blog, check it out for inspiration.

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My black faux fur coat from Pretty Little Thing

Shein.com have very affordable faux fur coats on promotion at the moment. The grey is just under €45 and the tan one is just under €28!

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Faux fur coat. Pic: Shein.com
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Tan and white faux fur longline coat. Pic: Shein.com

Puffer coats and jackets are also really warm and super stylish this year. If you’re afraid they may look bulky on try some streamlined versions. River Island has an amazing streamlined style in black and pink.

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Pink puffer jacket. Pic: River Island.com

I bought the pink one and it’s super cosy without being bulky.

This was €120 but I got it for €85 using Asos’s 20% Cyber Monday deal and paying in sterling. Check out my Shopping Online Hacks post for more details.

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Black puffer coat. Pic: River Island.com

Boohoo.com are offering 30% off selected winter stock as part of their Cyber Week promotion. But hurry, it’s only until 6 p.m tonight! Use code OHNICE at the checkout.

Among the coats in the promotion are this parka (€61 full price) and this fab military coat (€68 full price).

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Khaki parka. Pic: Boohoo.com
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Black military coat. Pic: Boohoo.com

At all costs, avoid unlined coats, even if it means spending a little more. You don’t want to spend your Christmas nights out shivering wishing you were at home in a onesie!

I’ve made the mistake of buying a coat with a wool-like exterior but only a thin lining. Never again!

If you have the cash for a more expensive coat, go for it. A good quality coat should last a few years. And if you are strapped for cash, then watch out for the sales. Some shops are already reducing winter stock or offering promotions on coats so keep your eyes peeled.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed this post, leave me a comment and let me know.

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

Edel

 

 

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Loafer Madness

‘Don’t buy those granny shoes!’ my friend Alice shrieked at me while I was earnestly perusing some loafers in New Look. That was a few years ago and loafers were just another footwear option and it was unusual to find a pair which weren’t black or brown. Thanks to Gucci, they are now an A/W 2016 essential. I still love these ‘granny shoes’ and I’m also still friends with Alice. 😉

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMB-Ch9Alq6/?tagged=gucciloafers&hl=en

The loafer craze started with Gucci’s gorgeous horse bit loafers, the arrival of which left fashionistas foaming at the mouth. Not only did Gucci make loafers cool again, they also introduced new styles, heeled loafers, printed loafers and a rather dubious backless slipper loafer.

The furry slipper style look like something you’d wear to take the bins out but if you like them Shein.com have excellent dupes for under €40!

There are loads of great dupes to be found on the high street also. Topshop have an impressive range of loafers this year, with leather loafers for €89 euro and cheaper styles as low as €16!

Classic black loafers are a great investment piece but I can’t help but be drawn to these metallic blue and pink ones. If you’re on a tighter budget Penney’s have excellent dupes in pink and silver for about €11.

If metallics aren’t your thing, these heeled loafers with pearl details also from Topshop are perfect for work or dressed up with frayed hem jeans and a black top.

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Heeled loafers with pearl detail. Pic: Topshop.com

Another amazing dupe comes courtsey of Mango. These gold heeled loafers are just like the Gucci version and just under €60.

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Gold heeled loafer. Pic: Mango.com

Personally I feel the need to invest in at least two pairs, a plain black pair and a patterned pair. Office have a fab brocade pair that I’m lusting after.

Not to mention these beautiful floral jacquard pair from Asos just under €30!

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Floral loafers. Pic: Asos.com

The only issue I have with loafers coming into winter is you can’t wear socks with them! The answer? Flesh colour tights or pop socks under jeans. Black tights work well with a skirt or shorts just don’t choose overly thick ones.

New Look have some of the best affordable black loafers around, in leather, suedette and patent styles. In fact these are under €30!

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Black leather loafers. Pic: New Look.com

I don’t know about you but I need some “granny shoes” in my life! What do you think of loafers, would you wear them?  Leave me a comment below and let me know. Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

 

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Bombs Away

Bomber jackets are one of the hottest new spring trends. I’ve always loved a good bomber and I can’t wait to get out of my winter coat…will this winter ever end?! 😦 I actually spent most of Christmas desperately trying to hunt down a khaki bomber jacket for our customers, one day we’d stock them, the next day they were all gone.

This navy blue isn’t normally a colour I like but this one from Bershka is just the right shade.  It also comes in khaki and black.

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Pic: Bershka.com

Also from Bershka is this looser style, great if you don’t like the fitted bomber style.

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Pic: Bershka.com

Another gorgeous navy/petrol blue option from New Look, really like the zip details.

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Pic: ASOS.com

American Apparel have a denim bomber hybrid which is really cool.

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Pic: American Apparel.com

I especially like metallic/silky bombers and embroidery detail like this one from Asos Premium. Definitely one to save up for as it’s €91!

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Pic: ASOS.com

And one worth taking out a loan for – a vintage Moschino beauty available on Asos.

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Pic: Asos.com

There are also lots of long-line bomber styles out there but I prefer the short traditional style. If you haven’t seen anything you like here then get thee to Nine Crow St. because they have the best selection of bombers and flight jackets- you will be spoiled for choice!

N.B. I don’t receive any payment or incentive from Bershka or any of the brands featured here-these are all my personal choices.

Will you be buying a bomber jacket? Leave me a comment below and let me know. Thanks for reading as always, you can follow @joyofblogs on Instagram and Twitter or see my Facebook page here.

Take Me Away- Swimwear and Sun Holidays

This has been the most depressing summer in Ireland’s meteorological history so I thought I’d cheer us all up with a sun holiday and swimwear post!  I’m about to go on my first sun holiday in about three years and I’m very excited. I’m going to Palma de Mallorca and am looking forward to seeing sunlight!

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SWIMWEAR

This Versace-esque scarf print bikini from River Island is the bomb! It is gorgeous and also on sale at the moment, the top is reduced to €12 and the bottoms to €3. I’m going to try get my hands on one before I go away. I hope I can find it as once bikinis go on sale, the chances of finding your size in a matching top and bottom are pretty slim!

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New Look also do some great swimwear at reasonable prices. It seems silly to spend a lot of money on a bikini considering our fabulous climate! They have covered all the trends from this mesh high neck style, a colour block Triangl lookalike, a simple pink and black trim bikini and a strapless wet look black bikini. All of these bikinis except for the black wet-look style are currently on sale.

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One pieces don’t have to be boring, take a look at these diverse styles from Asos and Motel.

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Asos South Beach metallic swimsuits

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Asos purple seventies swimsuit and Evil Twin Yin Yang swimsuit.

These iconic “Wave” swimsuits by Motel are the coolest one pieces I’ve ever seen!

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And if none of the above have tempted you Nine Crow Street currently are offering 30% off all online orders!

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Vintage geometric swimsuit Nine Crow St.

 SHORTS

River Island have cute baroque print shorts reduced to €12 from €24.

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Or for something a little more boho, I like these black crochet hem shorts from New Look currently reduced to €11.50 from €22.99.

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SHOES

Although I’m not a massive fan of wearing heels on holiday, I do like these white platform wedges currently €30 in the River Island sale. Other cute shoe options include these studded sliders also from River Island at €18.

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Hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to writing about Mallorca and also my upcoming trip to London! I’m also hoping to do a giveaway on the blog soon and it’s going to be a good one 😉 Keep an eye on my Facebook page here for more details!

Thanks for visiting my blog as always.

Edel

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NOVELTY BAGS

Fun or novelty handbags are becoming increasingly popular on the designer and the high street. A small cross body novelty bag is a great way to liven up an old or sombre outfit. You can now find pretty much any kind of novelty bag from a giant ice-cream cone to a unicorn!

Moschino are well-known for producing novelty items and when it comes to handbags they excel!They have created a fabulous leather jacket handbag which is the cutest thing ever! It comes in black and white and looks exactly like a leather jacket right down to the zip detailing and “Moschino Milano” label inside the “collar.”alt=<Moschino black jacket bag> alt=<moschino white jacket bag>

This bag retails at a four figure sum so happily Romwe have produced a lookalike!

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My other favourite designer Henry Holland has designed a Magnum ice cream clutch bag exclusively for Net-A-Porter, it’s a work of art!

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I’m also loving all the milk/orange juice carton bags that are around. Massively impractical but kitsch. Here is the downside of novelty bags, they are usually small and awkwardly shaped. You won’t be able to fit the kitchen sink in so don’t even try. Take only the essentials (bank card, lipstick and keys). Below is one from Romwe.

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Skinnydip London are one of my favourite accessories brands and  I’m loving their novelty bags. Their pineapple juice bag is so colourful.

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Their mermaid bag is blowing up Instagram and  selling so fast you have to preorder it!

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It’s also in blue, I can’t decide which is prettier!

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They have tons of other fun stuff such as this “Unicorn Tears” flask. This is also a best seller and currently sold  out on the Skinnydip site however all of their bags are available on Asos also.

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Accessorize have a funky gold camera bag which would be ideal for a festival or holidays.

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This ice-cream cone wristlet bag from New Look is now on sale. This bag won’t hold much but it’s fun and summery!

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Pic: Asos.com

And finally New Look also have this mental unicorn head clutch. I believe this to be the most accurate representation of a unicorn ever. Check out that silver horn and holographic coat! 😛 Also currently on sale in New Look.

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Michael Kors howareya, all  I want is one of these cuties!

I’d love to hear what you think, do you like these bags or do you think they’re just a gimmick?

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, thank you for reading and you can like my blog on Facebook here. I’m hoping to get to Longitude next weekend to see Tove Lo, I will be posting about that soon.

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Sale shopping tips from a former retail worker

The sale season is upon us and it tends to turn the most sensible people into crazed banshees hunting for a bargain.

Stores are crowded, there are long queues for the fitting rooms and till and shops descend into chaos.

It’s incredibly tempting to buy reduced items but how can you be sure you are buying something of value? Having previously worked more sales than I care to remember I’m well qualified to advise.

Firstly try not to buy seasonal summer or winter clothing in the first few months of a season. It will inevitably be reduced in sale.

The big summer and winter sales serve a purpose, to help the retailers clear seasonal stock (and make them a ton of money).

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This is especially important with summer clothing, after all in Ireland you only need a limited amount of bikinis/shorts/sun hats.

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Do you really need a sequin bikini?

It’s very satisfying to get your summer clothing at bargain prices mid-season. It’s a matter of patience and playing the waiting game.

Watch out for markdowns ahead of the sale

Shops generally have to do a markdown the day before sale and it’s a mammoth effort.

To prepare in advance, some stores will mark the price tag with a pencil denoting the markdown price. It may look something like 0024. (€24). If you see this, it’s likely to be on sale.

Consider stock at full price and be aware of staggered reductions

Look out for any limited edition collections or outrageous colours or styles. These are often reduced in sale if they are not selling enough units at full price.

Conversely, items that are selling extremely well or basics are unlikely to be reduced.

Some retailers slash prices to half-price almost immediately to sell the stock faster while others will stagger reductions, going down 20%, then 50%, then 70% towards the end of the sale.

Try and go to the shops early in the first few days of sales.

After a few days of sale, the best items are gone and anything left will have been manhandled!

If you have difficulty dealing with crowds, mobility issues or have young children, mornings are a good time to scope out the sales without being trampled.

Weekends and evenings are peak times so beware.

Look out for signs of damage or wear on items before you buy.

Sometimes you can get an extra discount if something is damaged but think carefully.

You will more than likely not be able to return this if you knowingly buy a damaged product.

So if it’s something you can fix like a missing button then go ahead. Any major defects do not purchase. Hold onto receipts in case you change your mind.

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Be sure you know the return policy before buying a sale item

Many stores offer both refunds and exchange on sale but some will only offer an exchange. If you aren’t sure, ask.

I tried to return a choker to Forever 21 only to find out they didn’t accept returns on jewellery.

Choker
The choker I planned to return but ended up keeping because of the refund policy

Also with some items such as jewellery and small accessories, the retailer may ask you to keep the item in its original packaging as well as keeping the receipt.

When trying on items, take your time.

Ask yourself if you can wear this garment with at least three other things in your wardrobe at home. If the answer is no, then you know what to do. Put it back!

During sales your size may not be available, trying on another size may seem like a good idea rather than missing out.

But if something doesn’t fit correctly it will never ever look good, it’s a waste of money and it will sit in your wardrobe taunting you forever.

Your feet will not grow or shrink and likewise, your body shape is unlikely to alter extremely!

When trying on a jacket, always button it up if it has buttons and check it doesn’t gape or sag. When trying a dress or skirt, walk around, sit or squat down.

This will give you an idea of how much movement the garment allows and whether you feel comfortable with the length sitting down. View yourself from different angles or ask a friend’s opinion.

Fitting rooms are manic during sales periods and some shops may even close them for the first day of sale, depending on how busy it is. So, always keep your receipt if you can’t try the item on.

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When trying shoes be careful as sizes may have been mismatched during sale. Be sure to get the correct size and try to walk around in them even if the store is packed.

Think about your personal style and don’t buy something that you know isn’t “you”. Buy items you would happily buy at full price.

Look for good quality materials and staple items

High heels, smart dresses, workwear and handbags are items to look out for. Keep your eyes peeled for leather jackets, bags and shoes.

Leather is very durable and will last a long time. One of my best sale bargains was finding leather brogues reduced from €70 to only €18.

Leopard print brogues
These leopard print brogues lasted years

If you are buying for a special occasion, sales are a great opportunity. It’s easy to pick up a formal outfit for less rather than blowing a lot of money for one day.

Post-Christmas is a great time to buy a new coat at discount so try and hang on to your old reliable till then.

Grey coat
Grey Stradivarius coat I bought in a post-Xmas sale

Check the labels for washing and ironing instructions.

You may see a lovely cheap dress but if it is dry clean or handwash only, ask yourself if you are prepared for the cost/effort of maintenance.

Remember most stores will be displaying full price items after a few days or in one part of the store. So be aware of this area if you came to specifically shop for bargains!

Treat the staff with respect and dignity

It may be hard to locate a member of staff during sales but remain courteous and they will help you with your needs.

Also, most stores tend to hire new or temporary staff at Christmas so if a staff member appears clueless they may be new. There is usually a manager on hand to help with any problems/queries.

Working during a sale can be very stressful and retail staff are juggling several demanding tasks at once. Most of them are on minimum wage also so try to have some empathy and patience when dealing with stressed-out staff and they will extend the same to you.

Best places to shop the sales

Now here are my picks of what’s on sale at the moment and the best stores to pick up a bargain. (Note this is an updated old post so these items will no longer be available).

Zara are fantastic for sale accessories such as this vintage-style belt now €16.99. This would be fantastic with jeans and a check shirt for a vintage vibe.

Image 1 of BLACK LEATHER BELT WITH FOLK-STYLE BUCKLE from Zara
Pic: Zara.com

I also adore this clutch bag that I’ve had my eye on for a while! In black and white and now €9.99!

Image 1 of TEXT WALLET from Zara
Pic: Zara.com

If you are looking for cute phone/tablet cases, Zara has these by the bucket load!

For jumpers try Forever 21, I love this cable knit now €15.99.

Pic: Forever21.com

Stradivarius always has amazing handbags in sale, in particular, this rucksack. Cool, practical and now €15.99!

Pic: Stradivarius.com

Their footwear sale is usually worth checking out too, these metallic ankle boots are amazing. (€49.99)

Pic: Stradivarius.com

Topshop is a good place to shop the sales, especially to get unusual pieces at reduced prices. Larger Topshop stores usually have concession rails and this is a great place to get a dress/playsuit on sale. Their denim range is also worth a browse.

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on sale shopping – do you love it or hate it?

Thanks for visiting my blog and don’t forget to follow me on InstagramTwitter and Facebook here.

Edel

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!

 NSFW vs

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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Edel