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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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfgzgTMBved/

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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Thrifty challenge: Ten swimsuits and bikinis all under €20

Last summer, I went a bit stir-crazy and spent most of my time shopping online for swimwear while I was laid up with a broken ankle.

I bought several swimsuits and bikinis but didn’t even wear all of them on holidays.

For this year’s swimwear post, I thought I’d focus on more thrifty swimwear and see if I could find five swimsuits and five bikinis all under €20.

Asos is always one of my favourite places to buy swimwear as they have really original styles.

My first pick is this stunning palm print swimsuit from Pimkie at Asos. It is on sale and comes in at a very affordable €13.98 if you shop in sterling.

It features a cross back and has removable cups, great for those who wear a larger bra size and need some support.

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Palm swimsuit Pimkie at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

Girls who have larger boobs will know the struggle of trying to find affordable and cute swimsuits that also offer support.

This is something I’ve always struggled with when buying bikinis and swimsuits as I need to take about two sizes up in a bikini top and find myself falling out of some one-pieces!

I was pleasantly surprised to see this pretty pink snakeprint swimsuit available on sale for just €19.36 down from €40 from Asos.

Shop in sterling and you’ll get it for a reasonable €15.66.

It is available in sizes DD to G and has underwire support and a clasp at the back.

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Pink snakeprint swimsuit. Wolf and Whistle at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

And this two-tone beauty from Missguided is currently reduced from €27 to €17.

It is perfect for lazing by the pool or popping a pair of denim shorts over for heading out.

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Black and whiter halterneck swimsuit. Pic: Missguided.com

Tall gals will love this gorgeous Versace style chain print suit from Boohoo.com which flatters long lean figures.

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Chain print swimsuit. Pic: Boohoo.com

It was €24 but with a 20% off promotion, it’s only €19. Boohoo also do a similar style in white for only €11.

Versace style prints are one of the biggest trends in swimwear this year and I absolutely love the look.

Bandeau swimsuits are really flattering on smaller busts and petite figures and this lime green one from PrettyLittleThing is only €6.

If lime green isn’t your thing, it also comes in black with white polka dots.

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Lime green bandeau swimsuit. Pic: PrettyLittleThing.com

Donning a bikini can be daunting for many of us but finding a shape and style that suits your body is one way to feel more confident.

This Versace print gold and black beauty from PrettyLittleThing comes in at an affordable €12. It also comes in white and red variations.

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Gold and black print bikini. Pic: Prettylittlething.com

Last year, I found a gorgeous little green sequin bikini on PrettyLittleThing and fell in love with it.

This year, I’ve spotted very similar sequin bikinis in green and multi-coloured versions in Penneys, €17 for the entire set.

These were launched in April so I’m not sure if they are left in many stores but I did see them in Penneys on O’Connell Street in Dublin.

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Sequin bikini. Pic: Primark.com

Frills and flounces look great on petite girls and this green set from Missguided at Asos is just the ticket if you like detailed bikinis.

It’s €17.98 for the entire set in euro but only €14.55 if you use sterling.

I love the bottoms as there are a lot of super skimpy high cut styles out at the moment but this one offers a little more coverage.

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Green bikini, Missguided at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

For those who require more support than a triangle top can offer (*puts hand up*), Asos have an adorable pink bikini top with black spots in sizes DD to F for only €9.68.

It has thick supportive straps and a clasp on the back. It also comes in a triangle top style.

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Pink and black bikini. Pic: Asos.com

You can match this with either a thong or high-cut tanga bottom, depending on how daring you feel, €5.53 and €6.91 respectively.

Shop in sterling and nab the lot for €13.44 (with tanga bottom) or €12.32 (with thong).

Bandeau bikinis are great if you want to avoid tan lines and polka dots are huge this summer.

This adorable red and white one comes in just under budget at €19.58 from Bershka, reduced from €27.98.

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Red and white polka dot bikini. Pic: Bershka.com

Hope you all enjoyed this post, it was a bit of a challenge to hunt down nice swimsuits and bikinis under €20 but it was also enjoyable.

If you’d like to see more thrifty challenge posts on my blog, leave me a comment and let me know.

The Blog Awards Ireland 2018 are now open for entries so if you enjoy reading my blog, please give me a nomination here.

PS- this is not a sponsored post and there are no affiliate links – all my own choices. For more inspiration, visit my Pinterest swimwear board.

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

Edel

 

 

 

 

Visiting the Basque Country: Biarritz and San Sebastian

After a rather difficult year, I was badly in need of a break and my holiday in Biarritz and San Sebastian was just that.

We booked this holiday prior to my accident and it gave me something to look forward to.

We’d found reasonably-priced flights to Biarritz and after I read Indie and Lily’s blog post on San Sebastian, we decided to spend two nights there also.

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With the cost of two Airbnb’s and renting a car, it was definitely one of the more expensive holidays I’ve been on.

As we’d booked it a long time in advance, it gave me time to save up spending money, however, I did find myself buying clothes for holidays all summer…

I was worried about how my injury would affect my enjoyment of holidays but I actually walked for at least an hour most days.

The most amazing thing happened during our first evening there. I walked a few steps without my crutches! (I’d been trying to do this for some time but could only lurch rather than walk).

I couldn’t believe it as it had been FOUR MONTHS since I had last walked. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing when I showed my boyfriend and I almost cried with happiness!!

Biarritz is a hilly city so there were lots of inclines for me to navigate.

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Biarritz coast

Our Airbnb host informed us that there was a free shuttle bus (the navette) into the city centre every day and we made use of that on several occasions.

However, the city centre navette only ran till 7.30 pm, which meant we usually went for dinner in the local area.

This wasn’t an issue though because our apartment was only 10 minutes from the bustling Les Halles area, full of restaurants and bars.

Our Biarritz Airbnb was a charming retro apartment with a huge terrace.

We spent most of our time at the apartment on the terrace eating outside or chilling in the sun. It was about a 15-minute walk from the city centre but on crutches it took longer.

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The terrace complemented my dinner outfit.

One thing I immediately noticed was that there seemed to be few chain restaurants and stores.

I didn’t see one MacDonalds or Starbucks which was really refreshing. (That’s not to say they weren’t there but there certainly aren’t as many as at home…)

We stuffed our faces with delicious food, from ice-cream to seafood, burgers and frites, churros, croque madames et monsieurs and croissants.

Biarritz is full of gastronomic delights and my diet went right out the window!

Alcohol was also plentiful and I enjoyed several delicious mojitos!

We didn’t really go shopping in Biarritz apart from a brief trip to Galeries Lafayette but this was just for a browse.

We took two day trips, one to St Jean de Luz, a pretty little Basque town.

We lounged on the beach and enjoyed lunch there. I even managed to get into the sea and swim – yay!

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Basque or Euskara is a bit of linguistic mystery, it has no relation to any other European language.

As we drove out of Biarritz, we saw more signs in Basque and signs featuring the Basque cross.

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Sunday was rainy and we decided to drive up into the Pyrenees to a town named St Jean Pied de Port.

The town is famous for being part of the Camino de Santiago Compostela.

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Streets of St Jean Pied de Port

The hilly town wasn’t the easiest for me to negotiate but we walked right to the top of the town, stopping off for a coffee and a trip to a tiny local museum.

Walking up the steep hilly cobbled street in the rain was no mean feat!

I then took a rest while my boyfriend climbed up the Citadelle, a 17th century fortress sitting on the highest point in town. 

On our last day in Biarritz, we wanted to visit the two main tourist attractions, the Rocher de la Vierge, a statue of the Virgin Mary which resides on a rock formation in the middle of the ocean and Le Phare, the historic lighthouse overlooking Biarritz.

However, my injury presented challenges as the Rock of the Virgin entails a long walk out on a metal footpath and the lighthouse has 258 steps and no lift!

We decided to catch a little tourist train out to the Rock of the Virgin (we thought it would let us off but instead it just stopped on the promenade).

This meant we only saw the rock from the distance but given my limited mobility, it was for the best.

It was €6 for a round trip which dropped us back to the city centre.

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Le Phare lighthouse

We drove to the Le Phare and enjoyed taking some photos of the beautiful scenery outside.

I decided against the climb and enjoyed a coffee instead.

The weather was mid-20’s to low 30’s most days with our final day being the warmest and most humid.

We’d gone to the beach that morning to catch a few rays.

That evening there was a thunderstorm which we enjoyed watching out the terrace doors.

After the storm passed, we went to a hipster burger joint called Bonheur. I wasn’t too hungry so just had fries with parsley and garlic -delicious!

The next day we had to rush as we got a message from our host asking if we’d left – we had forgotten to check what time we had to check out at! Oops!

Luckily, we were pretty much packed and ready to go and we set off for San Sebastian or Donostia as it’s known in Basque.

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The streets of San Sebastian

We were only in San Sebastian for two days but it was a wonderful two days.

Buses were plentiful so we didn’t need to use our car.

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Plaza de la Constitucion San Sebastian.

Our first day was spent strolling through the city streets in search of pinxtos.

We soon found a pinxto bar on a side street called Bardulia.

We sampled a mix of cold pinxtos here but to be honest they were quite underwhelming.

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Pinxtos

I noticed that one street was called 31 Agosto and when I discovered that’s because the city was burned to the ground by invaders on the date, apart from that one street.

We arrived on the 29th and apparently, there’s a commemoration on the 31st every year but we were leaving early that day.

We meandered down as far as La Concha promenade and took in the beautiful spectacle of the shell-shaped beach.

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La Concha Beach San Sebastian
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Views from the promenade.

The promenade is lined with ornate white railings with old-fashioned street lamps at the entrance to the beach.

Beside the promenade was a stunningly beautiful carousel which stood out against the bright blue sky.

That evening we had burgers and one of the best mojitos I had all holidays at a restaurant called Muuk in the main square.

The burgers came with a tiny serving of potato shavings, kind of like mini chipsticks!

The following day we went to the beach where I finally got to wear my new bikini from PLT.

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It turned rainy in the afternoon so we went shopping.

I had my heart set on a Longchamps bag but I hadn’t time to go to the Longchamps store in Biarritz.

However, we tracked down the only store selling Longchamps in the area.

N.B shops in San Sebastian tend to close between 2-4, so be aware of this if you are shopping.

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Frizzy hair don’t care

The store in question, Styl, didn’t have a huge stock of Longchamps bags but I decided to get a navy rucksack.

While Stan Smiths were everywhere in Biarritz, in San Sebastian, everyone seemed to sport a Levis t-shirt. I picked one up in Noa and Judy for €25.

I also bought an Iron Maiden tee in Donostia Rock for €24.

After that I wandered through Stradivarius and Bershka, unfortunately, I didn’t get to Zara or Sephora. *sobs*

On our last evening, we stayed in with pizza and beer and watched some ridiculous Spanish TV.

There were some bizarre sketch shows that made us laugh but seeing bullfighting on one channel was horrible.

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Church San Sebastian

I highly recommend both cities and wish we could’ve had more time to explore San Sebastian. Have you ever been to either? Let me know.

PS I’ve been very busy lately so haven’t had any time to blog but will hopefully have an autumn trends post coming soon. Thanks for reading and check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

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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Baywatch and bad tan lines: 10 of 2017’s hottest swimsuits

Fun fact about me: I learned to swim at the age of 24 after being terrified of water for 16 years. Nowadays I’m still not the best swimmer but I’m hoping that I will have sufficiently recovered from my injury to allow a dip in the ocean on holidays.

Every year I write a swimwear post and it’s always one of my most popular annual posts, so this year I’m going to do two. This post will be dedicated to one-piece swimsuits and I’ll have another on bikinis coming soon.

I’m loving the denim/chambray trend that’s everywhere at the moment and I have a particular soft spot for this denim-effect swimsuit from Vavavoom.ie. I love the lace-up side details and scoop back also and at €26.99, it’s a pretty good price for a swimsuit. Vavavoom offer next day delivery to the UK and Ireland for €2.99 which is pretty awesome!

UPDATE: I ordered this and it was not flattering on me. It’s definitely not for anyone bigger than a B-cup, it squashed my boobs flat!

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Chambray swimsuit. Pic: Vavavoom.ie

Oh, I loved this River Island one-piece initially. It beckoned me in all it’s green iridescent glory..then I realised it had a thong back. Nothing wrong with that but not for me. If I were 18 and going to Magaluf then maybe 😛

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Green swimsuit. Pic: River Island.com

Despite this I still love RI swimwear, just look at this bandana print one-piece.

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Bandana print swimsuit. Pic: River Island.com

It’s safe to say, Zara swimwear is never anything short of glorious, can we please take a minute for this beautiful purple floral one-piece with cross-over straps?

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Purple floral swimsuit. Pic: Zara.com

Zara is embracing the Baywatch trend with these incredible Baywatch-themed swimsuits, I really want one!

 

Penneys had an amazing red Baywatch-style suit at the start of the year for only €6 but there must have been some issue with it as it disappeared from my local Penneys never to be seen again. *sobs quietly*

UPDATE: I tracked it down in Primark in Newry for £4 so that’s part of my summer swimwear sorted.

It will look great with my orthopaedic boot, I just know it…

Side-ties are one of the biggest swimwear trends this summer and although they’re bound to lead to weird tan lines/burn marks I love them.

This gorgeous pink swimsuit from Pretty Little Thing comes in at just under €25.

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Pink side-tie swimsuit. Pic: Prettylittlething.com

 

For a Versace look on a Primark budget, check out this black one-piece with gold chain straps. It’s only €27 from Pretty Little Thing, what are you waiting for?! It was out of stock for ages but I’ve managed to find one. Also available in white.

 

Metallics look amazing in summer and every time I’ve passed by &OtherStories‘ window on Grafton Street, I’m drawn to this gorgeous shiny silver swimsuit.

At €49 it’s quite expensive but a cheaper alternative is this iridescent purple swimsuit from Missguided for just under €34. Perfect for the all the mermaid wannabes out there!

 

I hope you all enjoyed this post and are looking forward to the next installation. I really love swimwear despite not going away that often.

I’m looking forward to bringing you the bikini post and until then check out my Pinterest swimwear board for more inspiration.

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

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

Edel

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The Occasion Wear Dilemma

Got a wedding, graduation or a family event coming up?

If you’re tearing your hair out in frustration trying to find something that is stylish, formal and appropriate, then this post is for you.

I’ve spent quite some time on the hunt for occasion wear as I’ve both my Master’s graduation and a summer wedding coming up.

These are my tips for buying occasion wear and what I’ve tried and tested.

TIPS

Don’t buy too far ahead, by the time a summer wedding rolls around, your outfit might not seem as appealing as it initially did.

Make a Pinterest board of ideas – when I made one, I realised a lot of the dresses on it were quite similar in style, shape and colour.

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Blue strappy dress. Pic: Asos.com

Buy accessories last. You need to know they’ll suit your outfit.

Consider the dress code of the occasion, i.e. for a graduation, a plunging neckline isn’t very appropriate.

Think about weather, walking distances and whether you’ll be standing for long. Comfort is key!

Versatility – can your outfit be worn again? It’s never a good idea to buy something just for one day.

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Blue midi skirt, Glamorous for Lipsy. Pic: Lipsy.co.uk

Think outside the box, you aren’t confined to just dresses.

How about a jumpsuit, a skirt and top combo or even a cool trouser suit?

asos jumpsuit
Black Asos jumpsuit. Pic: Asos.com

WHERE TO SHOP/BRANDS

Asos, Debenhams, &Other Stories, Oasis, Folkster, Miss Selfridge, Ted Baker, TK Maxx, and New Look are all good places to shop for occasion wear.

Missguided and Pretty Little Thing have some occasion wear, but some of it is quite revealing and not that suitable for certain occasions.

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Pink lace dress. Pic: Missguided.com

I would recommend trying Asos’s own line, Little Mistress, True Violet, Paper Dolls, AX Paris, Lipsy, Lavish Alice and Elise Ryan.

Elise Ryan has the most gorgeous delicate feminine dresses and they’re quite affordable too. You can find these on Asos and eliseryan.co.uk.

I bought this blue dress for about €45 and it’s ideal for summer weddings.

Little Mistress and Paper Dolls dresses are available in Debenhams and on Asos.

I always buy brands direct from Asos as you can purchase in sterling.

If you are on a budget, try New Look, you could get an entire outfit in there.

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AX Paris lace dress. Pic: NewLook.com

You can also try Adverts.ie or Facebook selling groups as people often sell new and nearly new outfits and accessories on there.

TK Maxx  is worth hitting up also.

WHAT I TRIED

I bought these two dresses from Asos but I actually returned both as neither of them were very flattering on me.

Word of warning, if you’re petite, handle midi dresses with caution!

I bought this True Violet dress, thinking it wouldn’t be too long as it was just below the knee on the model.

More fool me, it was mid-calf and NOT flattering. It’s a beautiful dress but being 5’3′, I would need to chop a good few inches off it to make it work.

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True Violet midi dress. Pic: Asos.com

The other dress I originally ordered was this nude two-in-one lace dress.

It’s not as long as the True Violet dress but it’s very sheer and even with a lining inside, it still clung to every lump and bump!

I felt like a sack of potatoes so that was a NO also!

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Nude lace dress. Pic: Asos.com

My third option is this Paper Dolls dress also, from Asos. Fingers crossed, because I’m really running out of time here!

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Paper Dolls black dress with lace detail.

UPDATE: Not only did this dress get lost by the courier and almost not make it for my graduation but it also was quite small.

It’s a beautiful dress but it’s meant to fit a size 10 and it was more like an 8.

The waistband was very tight and dug in all day and the shoulder straps fell down constantly making it annoying to have to keep re-adjusting it!

I wore it twice but I don’t think I’ll be hanging onto it.

I originally wanted something in a pretty pastel colour but I had to go for the “safe” option in the end.

However, I can always opt for something brighter for the wedding.

I broke my own rule and bought shoes beforehand, as they were super cheap. They’re velvet heeled sandals from New Look for the bargain price of €9.60.

I’ll be posting a photo of the outfit up here soon. This was my outfit for my graduation from NUIG and I love this dress..tempted to wear it again!

If you guys have any suggestions for places to buy occasion wear, please leave me a comment.

FYI- this post was not sponsored or endorsed by any brands mentioned.

Hope you all enjoyed this post and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

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Bargain Bonanza: My Sale Shopping Picks

There’s only one cure for the post-Christmas blues: online shopping and hot whiskey. 😛 I’m currently lying in bed feeling very sick and sorry for myself so what better time to browse the best sale bargains?

Missguided is offering up to 75% off sale items. FYI if you have a holiday booked, their swimwear is massively reduced right now. Go forth and shop…

They also have some gorgeous dresses in sale, from causal slip dresses to more glamorous styles. New Year’s Eve outfit dilemmas sorted!

This 2-in 1 leopard camisole dress is reduced from €37.50 to €18.75, great for casual wear.

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Leopard print 2-in-1 dress. Pic: Missguided.com

This black cold shoulder dress is a new twist on the classic slip dress. It’s reduced from €42 to €16.80.

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Black slip dress with white t-shirt. Pic: Missguided.com

For a New Year’s outfit, I love this Balmain-esque floral red dress.

It has all the Balmain details with zip front and black piping but has a more affordable price tag! This was €105 but now just €42.

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Red floral zip through dress. Pic: Misguided.com

Asos is offering up 50% off sale items. Among the shoes I’m lusting after are these own brand silver loafers, €16, reduced from €27.

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Silver loafers. Pic: Asos.com

Another own brand bargain are these studded black flats. At only €22 now, they will be ideal for spring. They were €38 full price.

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Studded black ballet flats. Pic: Asos.com

Daisy Street is one of my favourite footwear brands available on Asos, they have amazing statement ankle boots including these two-tone snakeskin beauties. These are reduced from €47 to €27.33.

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Two tone snakeprint ankle boots.

I’m a big fan of Zara jeans as they are quite hard-wearing and a good fit. They have lots funky styles in sale from grungy paint-spattered jeggings to pink mom fit jeans.

These are all reduced from €29.95 to €19.95. Word of advice, Zara tends to stagger their reductions so these may go down further in price if you can wait.

Denim-lovers will also appreciate these Zara shirts. These are reduced to €39.99 from €49.95. Still relatively pricey but may be reduced further.

Pretty Little Thing is offering up to 50% off sale items at the moment.

They have some beautiful sequin playsuits and dresses if you’re looking for a little sparkle this New Year’s.

One thing to note about PLT’s sale is that an item may be reduced in one colour but not in another.

For example, the sequin playsuit is reduced from €42 to €16.80 in green, silver and gold but a multi-colour version is still full-price. The premium sequin dress is reduced from €70 to €42.

They also have statement bombers and cute accessories like this chain detail bag and multi-colour scarf. The purple bomber is now 50% off (was €49, now €24), the scarf is €8.40 (was €11.25) and the bag €21 down from €31.

River Island have some great discounts on winter coats at the moment. The cream puffer is half price at €60 and both the brown and pink coats are marked down from €95 to €45.

For sale shopping tips, check out my previous post and for online sale shopping hacks and discounts click here. I’ve rounded up some of the prices as decimal points frustrate me. 😛

Remember to check the returns policy, it will save you a lot of hassle. I recently attempted returning a full-price choker to Forever 21 only to find they don’t accept returns on jewellery.

It was in perfect condition, still in packaging and the receipt was in date! *shakes fist*

I hope you all had a good Christmas and have a lovely New Year also. Do you love or loathe sale shopping? Leave me a comment below.

PS- these are all my personal choices, I didn’t receive any payment or incentive to promote these brands. Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

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What to wear to a Christmas party: Festive Fashion Edit

Sick of all your dresses?  Contemplating wearing a Christmas jumper to the work do instead? Never fear, I have some Christmas outfit inspiration for you! And it’s not just dresses…

Sparkle always looks great at Christmas whether you choose a glittery accessory or a little sequin number. Glitter, sequins and embellishment are practically a requirement at this time of the year.

Folkster.com always have gorgeous glittery dresses in stock, ideal for a festive celebration.

These pink glittery shoes from Bershka add some festive cheer to any outfit. If you can’t afford to buy an entire new outfit for a Christmas party, these are only €29.99. A new statement accessory is great way to liven up an old outfit.

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Pink glitter shoes. Pic: Bershka.com

Christmas parties are synonymous with donning your best frock but a skirt and top combo can be equally glamorous. These sequin skirts from Pretty Little Thing are festive and fun.

Metallics also look great at Christmas like this patent silver mini from Bershka. This is a fitted skirt so a bodysuit is the best option for underneath.

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Silver miniskirt. Pic: Bershka.com

If you don’t like short skirts or glitzy dresses don’t feel pressured to wear one just for the Christmas party. Wear whatever you feel most confident in whether that’s a playsuit, jumpsuit, culottes or jeans and a top.

Longer skirts can be equally pretty like this sequined midi with tassel details from Zara. It has a side split but is not overly revealing.

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Black sequin dress. Pic: Zara.com

These gorgeous emerald green culottes from Bershka are a lovely satin material and are a loose fit.

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Green satin culottes. Pic: Bershka.com

This perfect party top would look great with jeans, black trousers or culottes.

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Blue strappy sequin top. Pic: Zara.com

Culotte jumpsuits have been hugely popular this year and this rich burgundy one from Missguided is beautiful.

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Burgundy culotte jumpsuit. Pic: Missguided.com

Missguided have come up trumps with this simple but elegant green cowl neck dress for €37.50.

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Green cowl neck dress. Pic: Missguided.com

They also have some fab dresses on sale right now. The black velvet and red bodycon dresses below are just €13.50 each!  The metallic plunge neck  one is just €22.50.

For my own Christmas party, I wore this black dress with floral detail and a deep mesh V neck. I actually bought this dress in Catch for €26 and it’s an exact dupe for one I spotted in River Island a couple of months back.

The only issue I had with this dress was the floral appliques are slightly loose in places and may come off!

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Black dress with floral details
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Floral detail dress River Island. Pic: River Island.com

The only differences are my dress has slightly less floral detail and a lower V neck. The River Island one was about €50-60 as I recall. Both dresses are similar to a Dolce & Gabbana one worn by both Kendall AND Kylie! Who knows, maybe they share clothes too…

Red and green hues, velvet and jewel details are all great for a Christmassy vibe. That said, if you look great in white lace just go for it!

Hope you all enjoyed this post and got some inspiration for a party outfit. Do you like getting dressed up for Christmas?  Leave me a comment below and let me know.

Enjoy the party season and if you have to work over Christmas, you have my sympathies. :/

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

Edel

Born Slippy: The Slip Dress Trend

I love anything to do with Clueless (just look at my Twitter) and the revival of nineties layering and slip dresses is what I’ve been dreaming of.

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Layer like Cher & co. Pic:dresslikecherhorowitz.tumblr.com
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Killin’ it in CK. Pic: Pinterest.com

The real champion of the slip dress was, of course, Kate Moss.

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This was Kate’s look. Pic:Pinterest.com
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Satin slip dress + sixties hair= perfection. Pic: Pinterest.com

The waif-like supermodel could wear a satin slip like no other. Bow down, bitches.

Nowadays, Kylie Jenner has single-handedly raised slip dresses from the dead. She’s probably also responsible for that whole bandana craze.

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Kylie wore it first! Pic: Popsugar.com

Simple black and white make for a great combination but feel free to mix it up with colours and different styles of dress.

I found this red Guess silk slip dress for €2 in my local charity shop. I layered it with a long top, sheer tights and Doc Martens.

Topshop currently has lots of slip dresses. PS if you haven’t been to new revamped Topshop on Stephen’s Green, GO NOW!

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Black slip dress. Pic: Topshop.com
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Metallic slip dress. Pic: Topshop.com

I can’t write a blog post without including something floral so here’s a little beauty from Miss Selfridge.

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Floral slip dress Pic: MissSelfridge.com

I knew I needed help for my floral addiction when this happened…

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Naturally, Urban Outfitters have their finger on the pulse with this fashion-forward black slip dress.

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Black slip dress. Pic: UrbanOutfitters.com

Peach and champagne colour slip dresses are a nice alternative to black and look great with a tan.

These dresses look best with bare legs and simple shoes, ideally flats.

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Peach slip dress. Pic: Prettylittlething.com
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Pink satin slip. Pic: Asos.com

Slip dresses don’t have to be super short either, laid-back style doesn’t get much better than this Boohoo midi.

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Stripy slip dress. Pic: Boohoo.com

If your slip dress resembles a nightdress/lingerie, all the better.

Satin, silk and lace trims are all good, just keep the rest of the outfit classy.

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Black slip lace dress. Pic: Missguided at Asos.com
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Blue slip dress. Pic: Asos.com

Other ways to do 90’s layering are wearing a vest over a t-shirt a la Cher, pinafore dresses over t-shirts and throw on a bandana as an accessory.

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Black Pinafore. Pic: Asos.com
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Bandana. Pic: Boohoo.com

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, leave me a comment and let me know! I can’t believe it’s taken me three years to devote an entire blog post to Clueless 😛

I’ve been longlisted for the Blog Awards again this year so thanks for the nominations, I’m delighted.

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

Edel

 

Festival Frolics

 

“I want to look weird…but not too weird!” (Two Irish girls discussing festival fashion.)

Dressing for festivals is great fun as it allows you to explore different styles and wear something you might not have considered previously.  Have fun but be mindful and respectful , don’t appropriate an entire other culture!

I’m  considering Longitude again or maybe Tennants Vital as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are playing…hmm… #decisions

Wherever I go, I’m going to dress the part. While I was in Edinburgh, I visited the Topshop on Prince’s St and got loads of ideas for festival outfits.

This shiny mac is perfect as a cover-up.

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It would look deadly over this crochet top.

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For festivals, I love a playsuit or a t-shirt and high-waisted shorts combo. The pastel playsuit is from H&M and the shorts and Star Wars t-shirt are both Penneys.

Festivals also call for sequins so what could be better than these Topshop shorts with turquoise sequins or the matching denim jacket?

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Img:Topshop.com

A sequin bomber is right up my street and this one from We All Shine is also available at Topshop.

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Img: Topshop.com

This PrettyLittleThing top is on my wishlist, I’m buying it the minute it’s restocked on July 4th!

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Img:Plt.com

For vintage festival looks, try concessions such as Loving Youth at Topshop. Affordable vintage and cute prints, what more could you want? They have bardot tops, reworked camouflage halternecks, printed dungarees and shorts.

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A printed swimsuit works equally well as a bodysuit with shorts or ripped jeans. I’d pair this funky H&M one with fray edge shorts.

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It’s not a festival unless someone’s wearing tie-dye. Europe1972 on Etsy have fab tie dye t-shirts like this rainbow one. For a cool hippie vibe, check out their shop.

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Img: Europe1972 on Etsy.com
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Img: Europe1972 on Etsy.com

Finally patches and iron-on badges are a great way to liven a plain denim jacket. These pastel ones from Jade Boylan Etsy are girly but with loads of attitude!

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Img:Etsy.com

As for festival hair, little French braids on the crown of the head and Mohawk style braids are where it’s at.

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Img:Pinterest.com

This textured messy braid created by TressesbyTress is the ultimate in festival cool.

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Img:Tressesbytress.com

I also love this tiny centre braid as seen on Kate Bosworth (remember her?!)

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Img: Grazia.com

Hope you’ve all enjoyed this festival post, leave me a comment and let me know what your favourite looks are. Follow me on Instagram and see my Facebook page here. Thanks for reading as always.

Edel