Reiss summer boon


SUMMER DRESSING:The warmer weather we’ve been having means it’s the perfect time to get your pins out in some of the summer’s best dresses.

IT MAY be the Middleton effect, but UK high-end high-street retailer Reiss (pronounced “reece”) is having a serious fashion moment. While it’s still doing a serious line in work-appropriate and formal dresses, 2012’s spring/summer collections have seen it relax its tailoring slightly and move into subtle, Scandinavian prints, taking a leaf out of Acne’s book while also riffing on designs by US bloggers’ favourite, Stylestalker.

The Jinny contrast-sleeve grey tee (€150) is a great staple for updating a pair of skinny jeans, while the Alicia ballet pumps (€160) are a modern taken on a trusty classic. The Danni tee (€90) will look equally great tucked into a posh midi skirt as it will under a battered leather jacket – and, speaking of which, the quilted dove-grey Lauren jacket (€465) is a serious contender for leather jacket of the year. Wear with the Molly sheer maxi (€180) for a more feminine take.

In the accessories field, the Mini Bleecker handbag (€280) is a high-street take on Mulberry’s much-coveted designs, at a far more high-street price, and it will look great with spring’s pastels and summer’s acid brights. Reiss has a standalone store on Stephens’s Green, with concessions in Arnotts and BT2.

Spanx by any other name . . .

Sara Blakely, inventor of Spanx, recently became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, turning a €5,000 investment into a billion-dollar fortune.

You’ll most likely have heard of Spanx or, at the very least, shapewear – a catch-all term for undergarments that nip and tuck women into a “more acceptable” shape. Spanx offers a dazzling array of items, from the Power Pantie to the Higher Power Body Brief and, terrifyingly, the Super Higher Power Thigh and Tummy Control Panty. Try saying that on a Friday night at 10pm, two martinis to the wind and running late.

For all of its body-shaping promises, Spanx is not cheap (starting at around €40) – so, in case you’re of the school of thought that women’s bodies should be smooth, like the kind of plastic Mattel makes Barbies from, we’ve selected a few alternatives.

Asos’s Magic Waist-Nipper (€19.45) may look as if it were conceived before the suffragette movement, but isn’t the fact that it’s still in demand comforting? No? Well, take heart in its low price and hold your breath.

Flexees Fat-Free Dressing Built Up Tank (no, we’re not making this up) claims to “slim, shape and smooth” – and will make all but your most oversized T-shirt look better. At €39.95 from Arnotts, we’d quite like it to make coffee in the mornings, too.

Maidenform’s Natural High Rise Thigh Slimmer is, thankfully, reduced at, from €28 to €16.80 and will, presumably, slim your thighs while looking natural and – we agree, this seems irrelevant – having a high rise.

If, however, shapewear isn’t your thing – perhaps you value your ability to breathe, cycle and walk without needing to sit or pass wind every five minutes – you could try something different. Exercise more, eat less or, if neither of those take your fancy, wear clothes that fit – to quote a certain Mr Darcy, we like you very much just as you are.

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