Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

A New Look for a new season . . .

In Galway last weekend for the Irish Blog Awards, I just happened to find a few minutes to venture into New Look – one of the best, and most often overlooked, high-street stores for on-trend fashion pieces at affordable prices. …

Fri, Apr 2, 2010, 09:18

   

In Galway last weekend for the Irish Blog Awards, I just happened to find a few minutes to venture into New Look – one of the best, and most often overlooked, high-street stores for on-trend fashion pieces at affordable prices.

The problem in Ireland is that there aren’t all that many of them. Galway’s offering, in the Eyre Square shopping centre, is a large, nicely laid out store with high ceilings, bright lights, and plenty of space. The store in Newbridge’s Whitewater Shopping Centre, on the other hand, is positively cramped by comparison. The store in Liffey Valley is really big, with plenty of choice – but the buyers’ choices don’t seem to be as on-trend as their Galwegian counterparts. (For a full list of New Look stores in the Republic, see here.)

So, what’s it good for? The store definitely has a young vibe – booming music  (although not as booming as AWear‘s), and a cohort of young, hip staff (and here I realise that I have the mindset of a 90 year old woman). So for young, trendy takes on this season’s key pieces, it’s definitely got a lot going on: on this trip I spied a lot of lingerie dresses, some really beautiful vintage-inspired pieces, and a great selection of leather and suede “statement” jackets.

Aside from anything else, New Look is amazing for florals – a trend that is not going anywhere fast and, while it might not make up the mainstay of everyone’s wardrobes (ahem), is easily converted from day to night, from spring to summer – and then, as the evenings draw in and the nights get colder, to winter with the help of a pair of opaques and some leather boots.

newlook.jpg

Above is a selection of items available right now on the website – and most of these items I saw instore. The suede bolero jacket (bottom right) is really beautiful in real life – buttery soft suede with perforated detailing and puffed shoulders, it’s almost ahead of trend and is a gorgeous colour. The jersey draped jacket on the bottom right would be a great pastel staple for this spring/summer, and the embellished tops (second from bottom left, and second from top right) are a gorgeous twist on a plain basic.

As for the lingerie dress (top, centre), the day I visited it was stocked in three colours – mint green, mint blue and pale pink (reminding me, in no small part, of a Nissan Figaro) – and is a really flattering fit. There are some words of warning, however: it’s almost see-through, so nude underwear is an essential addition, and it transforms itself entirely when placed on the body of someone with, how should I put this, boobs. In other words, if you’re bigger than a B cup you won’t be wearing this during the day, or in front of relatives.

What about fit? As with any high street store, it varies – and yes, this is irritating. One item’s 14 is another item’s 10, and there seems to be little standardisation across styles, or even between colours in the one style. As well, it should be noted that these items have not been hand-stitched with care, and they won’t take an awful lot of throwing around, so obeying the care instructions is to be advised.

People spend a lot of time raving about the shoes, but when it comes to footwear – you know, the things you put on your feet and then suffer through for a whole day – I would always recommend buying that little bit more upmarket than you would clothing, as your feet will thank you for it in your old age.

You can also buy online – but, unless you’re sure of your size, and the fabric and fit of the garment, I would recommend taking a trip instore.

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