So I am not a label head. I LOVE a Penny’s bargain and I unashamedly fancy River Island. Yes I know River Island can sometimes venture into Russian-Mafia-Girlfriend-Wardrobe every now and then, but it also had some stunning summer dresses that are lightweight and versatile. Such as this fantastic dress from the graduate collection I bought at the weekend in Belfast

Here is the red in full

Here is my one up close

However, I think I am a style snob. I like to look different. I like to wear things my own way. I like to do it with a bit of a twist. My style is: lots of dresses (I own two pairs of jeans which don’t get many outings), leggings, layers, hair bands and flats. I am not Super Alternative but nor do I like to look like Other People.

And so last year when I was attending a wedding I spent ages looking through boutiques like Crave, Aria and Kalu in Naas and Lara Four Dame Lane, till I found a different looking dress and then funked it up with contrasting shoes and handbag. The finished verdict was a beautiful D+G dress, much reduced in Kalu, and by far, one of my most coveted items ever.

The crucial accessory: Vodka+Coke

Many the time I have sneered at the idea of popping into Coast or Monsoon to pick up a dress with the corresponding shoes, clutch and hairpiece – this is far too easy and soooooooooo mainstream. I was a complete Coast snob and thought it was only for unimaginative and uncreative souls.

Well slap my ass and call me pretentious. So my brother was getting married this year and I was a bridesmaid. My sister-in-law had an idea of what she wanted for the bridesmaid dresses and that involved Coast and Monsoon. Shudder. But while I may be a bit of a style snob, I am not a cow and so I happily went along with this. Only two days shopping and we found a dress that – shock horror – she liked and that suited me. I even went so far as to buy a matching set of heels, handbag and flats in Dune. A complete step out of the norm for me.

So then it happened. The compliments. I have never in my life been told how well I look in a dress, how nice my shoes looked with it and how flattering said dress was.
So much praise was lavished on the frock it got a second outing to my graduation this week ( I AM A SOLICITOR, HEAR ME ROAR!!!!!!!!) and again it flattered my figure (a little too ample is my bum), complimented my skin tone and was comfortable to wear. So which dress was which? Can you guess?

So the moral of the story for me is – it ain’t about how much it cost, it’s not about where you bought it and it sure as hell isn’t about who designed it. If it looks good on you, that’s all people notice!