Style small print

Wed, Mar 21, 2012, 00:00

Work it out: Sportswear no longer means blue and white trackies with white vests. Technology and fashion have come on in leaps and bounds, and this season’s offerings will leave everyone else in the shade.

Coral windbreaker (€79), Adidas by Stella McCartney at littlewoods ireland.com

Eleanore swimsuit (€79.90), Tommy Hilfiger

Nike Free trainers (€85), Lifestyle Sports
 
Under Armour bra (€50), from selected sports retailers including Lifestyle Sports, Champion Sports
and Elverys

Debs dress distress

I’m looking for a debs dress for my daughter. She wants a dress that is long and strapless or one-shouldered with maybe a jewelled panel or bust. I’m willing to pay up to €200-€300 depending on the dress. She is very sallow and goes quite dark in summer so white, cream or strong colours suit her best. She doesn’t wear yellow or beige.

– Rosaleen

I suppose telling your daughter that spending money on a dress that she will never wear again – and will most likely regret in Facebook albums to come – would be pointless? Then again, in five years or so you can use your complacency on the topic of debs dressing as a source of great guilt-tripping, and this will keep you in flowers and regular visits for some time to come.

Coast gets a bad reputation as the bridesmaids-only destination, but this Sevrene maxi dress (€250) is a serious winner. It has detachable straps, a tight bodice and flowing skirt with a sweetheart neckline. It would look great with some gold ribbon around the waist. If she wants to wear it again, it could easily be taken up.

Pamela Scott might have a generally older clientele, but this one-shouldered red dress by Max & Lola (at a bargainous €69.95) has debs written all over it. It is super-bright and eyecatching, one-shouldered and has a lovely asymmetrical jewel detail. You can even buy online and return with no questions asked at pamelascott.ie.

This jewel-toned maxi from Asos (€112.07) is slightly more demure but slightly cooler. It’s Grecian in style but stays on the striking side in this bright plum shade, and would look great accessorised with bold, gold jewellery. Try Forever 21 for the best range of inexpensive trinkets this side of Marrakesh.

If you have the time, try TheOutnet.com, the discount sister site to Net-a-Porter.com. The site regularly has 80-per-cent-off sales and flash discounts, which you’ll be alerted to if you sign up to the newsletter. It has a great range of designer gowns at high-street prices. Best of all, she’s guaranteed to be the only one in the dress if she turns up to her debs in, for example, this Badgley Mischka number, reduced from €666.31 to €299.84.

Jessica Simpson's shoe in

To most of us, the name “Jessica Simpson” calls to mind warbly singing and a TV series (MTV’s Newlyweds) that seemed to last longer than the marriage it chronicled, but in the US, the southern songstress is carving out a niche in clothing design, with her eponymous range.

The range has been so successful that, in 2010, it racked up sales of $750 million, and that in the midst of the worst recession most consumers have ever seen. Now you can grab yourself a bit of the Simpson legacy in the form of her bad-hooker-done-good heels, available in Richard Alan on Grafton Street.

These are not shoes famed for their walkability – rather, we’re talking super-high heels and even higher platforms, in a range of eye-catching colours and shapes. And the prices are great. Some celebrities release “affordable” ranges with prices starting at €450 – the majority of Simpson’s shoes retail at less than €100.

Star Buy

Style Scrapbook for Kipling camera bag (€99.90) at Arnotts and selected stockists nationwide, kipling.co.uk


Read Rosemary’s fashion blog, Fash Mob, at irishtimes.com/blogs

Have you got a fashion query you’d like answered? Send your questions to rmaccabe@irishtimes.com