Too often do I find myself on a Sunday afternoon contemplating where the weekend went. When I pack for Cork on a Thursday night I throw in the most ridiculous of items in the hope that my choices may inspire a profilic photoshoot. However a lethargic and indifferent individual has taken over my life rendering me incapable of producing creative blog posts. Part of the problem is that I wear all my formal/nice clothes during the week when I'm sans photographer, and dress like a hobo at the weekend when I'm surrounded by my family. For instance, today I wore double denim, to a hotel. A faux-pas, or the condition of the working human? There has been a distinct lack of outfit posts on my blog as I am currently suffering from a work-wear casual wear imbalance. I tend to document my work-wear clothes on Instagram with the cringe-inducing hashtag, "From where I stand", (please see above). I can only hope that this crisis of fashion is also due to the fact that the weather is now slightly warmer and I'm simply unable to cope with milder climes. This morning I was frogmarched (by myself), into Penneys to return two skirts which would have been a bit out there for Molly Ringwald in the Breakfast Club, along with some faux LK Bennett court shoes that looked like something from the wardrobe of Kate Middelton. Thankfully my faith in my fashion choices was slightly restored when I managed to pick up some nice items on ASOS in their flash sale. My obsession du jour is silver shoes. The beautiful brogues I picked up in Faith a few weeks ago unfortunately had to be returned as the silver leaf ripped off them after two wears, I am hoping that the same will not happen to these ASOS slippers.
I returned from Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon, wrecked but completely satisfied with my travel destination.
Amsterdam is a certainly a lively spot, with throngs of tourists young and old trotting up and down the canals at all hours of the day and night. We only stayed for two days, but in retrospect an extra day would have been ideal. However we did managed to see the main tourist attractions and explore off the beaten track. I didn’t do too much shopping due to lack of time, but I did manage to drop into the ever so hip Monki
store and picked up some psychedelic tops. The weather was unexpectedly cold so I didn’t pack as well as I would have hoped, thus a lack of posey outfit pictures.
It wouldn’t be a holiday post without a summary of where to stay, go, eat etc. So here is my account of how to do AMS on a modest budget. Sleep
– Cocomama Hostel
– Yes I know, a hostel, but having been to several hostels throughout Europe I can safely say I would rather stay in a hostel than an underwhelming and over-priced 3 or 4 star hotel. As a former hotel employee, I cannot excuse the following,
- Extortionate yet average accomodation
- Poor customer service
- Dirty/dishevelled looking rooms
Cocomama met with my exacting standards, and exceeded beyond expectation. The staff were extremely helpful and gave a thorough and comprehensive guide of the city, and an interesting account of the origins of the hostel, (a former brothel known as, “The Princess”). Located close to the popular Rembrandt Plein, it’s a stone’s throw from the city centre with lovely boutiques and restaurants dotted along the streets and canals. Visit
I’ve always enjoyed fine art but it was only when I went to the Uffizi with Órla aged 17 that I became quite the arto-phile. The Rijksmuseum was only recently re-opened, so it is advised to book online. The Night Watch by Rembrandt was a highlight – it is impossible to miss.
Canal Tour – With the terminus located in front of Centraal Station, the Canal tours are a fantastic way to see the city. Similar to a hop on hop off bus, the boats follow three different lines, (Red, Blue and Green), visiting the primary tourist attractions, and offer an insightful history of the city throughout the journey. Exceptionally well-priced at 22euro for a 24 hour pass, the boat is a lazy and relaxing way of viewing the city – the couches on board are extremely comfy, and they even have a Heineken tap - should you feel so inclined.De Wallen
(Red Light District) – It is what is. I wouldn’t call it seedy but it’s definitely tacky. It’s hard not to laugh when you wander down into the district. The countless red lights, Americans aghast at the girls dancing in the windows, the atmosphere in general is fraught with excitement and a feeling of risk. It certainly is a den of inequity, with live shows, museums and coffee shops dotted throughout. It’s as lurid as expected. If you’re brave enough go down Trompettersteeg Alley, it is both terrifying and fantastic.
De Negen Straatjes (Nine Little Streets) – I wasn’t here for long but it was recommended by our super friendly Hostel host. Decorated with cool vintage shops, boutiques and cafes, Nine Little Streets is a favourite amongst the locals. Eat
for Pannekoeken and Stacey’s Pennywell
for Burgers. My worst nightmare is restaurants with pictures of food on placards – so if you too are the same avoid anywhere central like the plague. Musuemplein has exceptional vendors offering delicious lunch time treats.
If you’re looking for a fun weekend break I cannot recommend Amsterdam more – just be prepared for space cake jibes from everyone.
Whilst in Dublin I tend to live like a pauper, favouring Tesco Value over M&S, illegally downloading the odd movie to forgo a trip to the cinema, and (sometimes), walking instead of driving. However this scrimping has yet to result in a large golden nest egg, or a bountiful portfolio. Sadly when it comes to the weekend, after a week in the office, I simply cannot control myself.
Unfortunately for me, (and my finances), I was given the go ahead last week to order items to work. Not a day has gone by since without me frequenting ASOS, Topshop, Missguided and Zara online.
I managed to whittle down my wishlist to a selection to mix and match items that I can wear in Amsterdam, work etc. In general there is a bluey/navy/creamy theme going on across my wardrobe. I was a devil during my teenage years for buying odd, random and loud pieces that were impossible to match. I've learned with time to exercise caution with regard to bright and excessive items. Here are my choices from my forever favourite ASOS. Affordable, effortless, and timeless. I also included some Instagram pics I took on the sly this week. I've become quite slick at sneaky selfie taking.
Although I'm living the dream, (well), up in Dublin, every weekend I find myself longing for Cork. As mushy as it sounds, (and I'm pretty sure I've written about it before) - you can't quite beat the comfort of home. That and the fact that when I checked my bank balance on Thursday night the meagre figure staring back at me put the kibosh on any wild weekend plans in the big smoke. So I packed up Henny the Hyundai full of my washing and hit the M50.Prior to getting my grown up job, I worked more or less every weekend for three years. A lazy weekend was a unknown feeling, and now that I have that lovely experience to enjoy every weekend, I am truly revelling in it. Yesterday my Mum and I went pottering around town and for a delicious lunch in Tara's Tea Rooms on McCurtain Street. If you're following me on Instagram you would have also seen that I popped into Vibes & Scribes. The arts and crafts aspect of the store recently relocated to Bridge Street, and the treasure trove of goodies is quite the spectacle. I'm currently trying to coax my Mum into knitting me a mohair blend jumper, but unfortunately the colour wool I wanted was out of stock. Quel dommage! Perhaps I shall go back to the drawing board with regard to my desired SS14 knitwear.
Here are some pictures of what I wore yesterday, what I ate, and what I bought! As usual I am wearing my Topshop Jamie Jeans. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
It is amazing the difference a pleasant amble in the morning makes to the day. It was a joy to be awoken to a bright and clear sky in Clonskeagh, a stark contrast to the erratic conditions experienced throughout the country of late. Crisp, cool and clear - the perfect temperature for a commuter who wishes to arrive in the office without a big red face and wind, “swept”, hair. It pains me how much I mention the weather on this blog – constantly citing how bad weather hampered blogging plans, but it is really unavoidable in Ireland. Today the weather was beautiful and I was debuting my new skirt - It would have been be rude not to prance around Ballsbridge, posing and taking selfies. Thanks for the help Cian!
The skirt is a new purchase from River Island. I adore the gaudy, “I’m going yachting”, print. The midi length skirt is a tricky one for me to pull off as I’m not the tallest (5’ 4”), and not exactly enthusiastic when it comes to day time heels. However I paired the silky skirt with a crisp white shirt from M&S, a navy fisherman’s jumper from Vero Moda, Zara boots, and a River Island Coat - I like to think I managed to pull off the difficult length. This is a typical office outfit for me. I'm fond of wearing traditional shirts and plain woollen jumpers with statement jackets, trousers, skirts, accessories etc. A blank canvas matched with a bold print or contrasting material is my ideal day time look - one does not want to be a wall flower but it is important to remember the office is not the place for more avant garde pieces. I took a lot of inspiration from Orla Kiely’s AW13 collection when buying items for work this year. I adore the clothing of the 1950/60s and Orla Kiely’s modern take on the era is everything I want from a working wardrobe – I previously blogged about the exquisite collection here!
Weather and outfit dependent I may blog some more office outfits – the surroundings of my workplace are too nice to pass up on. However I wouldn’t be expecting one this weekend. I hear a storm a brewing.
As usual my grand January blogging plans were put on hold due to weather and a very busy schedule. I'm currently in hibernation mode, incapable of staying up past ten, resulting in little or no time to shop online, check out other blogs, or even bother with composing a post. While the lack of frivality is not necessarily a bad thing, (from a financial point of view), I'm getting rather bored with my wardrobe. The unfortunate in between season paradox.
Thankfully Spring has finally sprung, and I have a trip to Amsterdam on the horizon. My favourite part about planning holidays is putting together a capsule wardrobe, full of mix and match items with the odd statement piece, that will carry one through the weekend. At the moment I'm contemplating Nike high tops, leather, cut-out boots, and a big fluffy coat - all of which will probably change when I start looking to purchase, Seeing as I am visiting the Netherlands, I have been looking to dutch blogger Lucy, of Lovely by Lucy
fame, for inspiration. Laid back cool and casual is the look I'm aiming for - as day to day in the office I look like an extra from Mad Men.
I have been told Amsterdam in awash with quirky vintage shops and cool pokey boutiques - I've got the vintage bug at moment after spending last Saturday pottering around Georges St Arcade and the environs. However I some how managed to miss the Dublin Flea Market - I was none too pleased when I found out either! I think I may be in Dublin for the next one, all going to plan! I haven't done much Instagramming of late, (so much so I only managed one day out of the 100 happy days challenge) but here some pictures, which include the fabulous vintage ring I picked up for a song over the Ha'penny Bridge last weekend, the jumper my mum knitted for me and some of the, "cool", looks I'm hoping to emmulate whilst rocking around Daam square.
Photo credit - Pinterest.
Last Sunday I uploaded an outfit snap, suggesting there was a blog post to follow. Unfortunately my current situation is busy and tiring to say the least - not that I'm complaining, I love being an actual human with a normal job. But by 6pm on Sunday I could barely muster up the strenght to call the chinese takeaway nevermind write a blog post. The rest of the week followed a similiar pattern. So here we are a week later with a post about last weekend.
Brian joined me up in Dublin for a couple of days, and we had a lovely weekend of shopping, eating and catching up with old friends. I had yet to visit the sales in Dublin, so I did some hefty damage to my current account on both sides of the Liffey. I also frequented the oh so famous Copper Face Jacks, from which I am still recovering. The main event of the weekend was a matinee of Wicked - which was absolutely amazing, as was expected. However I would not recommend going when you are feeling
d) All of the above
You will cry during, "Defying Gravity."
Here are some pictures from my fun weekend in the Pale, and some of the lovely purchases I made. It's hard to miss the garish yellow short sleeve jumper from H&M, which will be forever filed under, "Clothes my boyfriend will never understand."
For my last post of 2013 I decided to share some pictures from a trip into town yesterday. Folly and spontaneity was the order of the day resulting in Órla and I returning home with some new holes in our ears. While both are quite discreet, the initial barbell is always larger to allow for swelling - So I won't be rocking a pony in the office any time soon.
2013 was a mixed bag for me, soaring highs and heart wrenching lows. I'm utterly delighted yet shocked that I've managed to successfully maintain the blog throughout the year. My commitment to new things can be lacking at the best of times. That said, I've found an amazing creative outlet that encourages me to write regularly, stay au fait with the fash pack, and has provided opportunities to meet with some really interesting people. This is really quite a fantastic result for something that was born entirely out of a college project.
To all the lovely people who have complimented The Clothing Confidante, thank you very much, and cheers for reading my really little, teeny tiny blog. The kind words received are what make all the planning. writing, editing and anxiety worthwhile.
Happy New Year
- Ailísh x
I'm currently on a roll with regard to consecutive blog posts, so I continued today by taking selfies in my new glasses/fluffy pink jumper and documenting my trip to New York Nails and Douglas Tea Rooms with Órla. The salon which has been Órla's nail bar of choice for years, has only recently come to my attention. The friendly staff offer a range of services including Shellac, Gellish, and my personal favourite, Vinylux. Vinylux which is from the makers of Shellac, comes in a range of colours, and lasts at least 7 days. Priced ever so competitively at €12 for a file and polish, how could one resist?
Having treated our talons we retreated to Douglas Tea Rooms for refreshments. A bonne idéé pour une jour de pluie!
Like many bargain hunters I too braved the elements and ventured into town on St. Stephen's day. It makes me sad that very few shops remain shut on this day, but I suppose it is people like myself going into town for the other shops force them to open their doors. What happened to St Stephen's day spent eating turkey sandwiches on the couch whilst watching The Sound of Music? The queues on Patrick's street and the animalistic like behaviour exhibited in certain department stores indeed support the claims of widespread consumerism in Ireland. That said I benefited wholly from the reduced offers in both town and Mahon Point, so I am hardly one to comment on the state of the nation.
Behold my bargains, I did pretty well this year, with great buys from Brown Thomas, Topshop, Penneys and Warehouse. I have been justifying all my purchases by telling myself how practical they will be in Dublin. What's not so practical? Packing them into my already bulging suitcase.
L-R: River Island, Penneys, Cos, Warehouse
Cosy in Cos.