AW Wardrobe Essentials

Hi all, 

Wardrobe Essentials are very important to me as a stylist as I feel that in order to have a wardrobe that works well for you, you must first build a solid foundation by investing in key key pieces. I am not suggesting that you go out and buy each and every piece on the list but instead try and decide which pieces will best work for you. If you have any queries about any of the pieces or if you feel I have omitted any important piece I would love to hear from you. Have a lovely weekend. 

Orla x 


Less is More!

I showed my students The True Cost movie in class today. It is a documentary that focuses on Fast Fashion and and the massive toll it is taking on humanity and the environment.  It jumps from the glamorous catwalks of Milan to the slums of Bangladesh where the clothes are actually made. The documentary is very powerful and such an eye opener. I could not recommend it highly enough and think it is a must see for everyone - especially if your wardrobe is over flowing;). I've had an interest in this area ever since I first started teaching on the Fashion courses in GTI.  I could never claim that I am the most ethical shopper, but I do think that being aware of these issues allows me to make much better shopping decisions. I do try to encourage clients to be more conscious shoppers by spending time thinking what works for them and their wardrobe in the long term, instead of falling foul of disposable fashion where consumers are incessantly shopping yet having nothing to wear. 

As a class we spent time researching the brands that were considered ethical. I must admit we found a lot of conflicting evidence in our research. For example, the documentary depicts the likes of H&M and Zara to be some of the biggest offenders yet we found an ethical fashion index which contradicted this. Therefore we decided to contact a number of different agencies to find the one true ethical index.I look forward to passing on this information to you all soon. 

As a stylist my Fashion Philosophy has always been to focus on these 5 main points:

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As a stylist my Fashion Philosophy has always been to focus on these 5 main points:

  1. Always chose quality over quantity 

  2. Invest in wardrobe essentials 

  3. Calculate the Cost Per Wear for each garment

  4. Ensure a minimum of 30 wears rule with each garment

  5. If in doubt, leave it out!

Zara - The Best Bits

I have such a love hate relationship with Zara. On the one hand it has some of the best fashion on the high street, but on the other the customer service can be so infuriating! The extra long check out queues, the tiny fitting rooms, the messy shop floors, ....all drive me crazy! Yet it's still not enough to keep me from coming back! 

Here are some of my favourite pieces at the moment; you can click on any of the images for links to the website! Below are a few suggestions on how I would like to style them. 

The Camel Coat - I love a high neck on a coat so I love this style. If a coat doesn't have a high neck I feel it can look really bear without a scarf. 

The Flower Print Midi Dress - I'm not a huge fan of print but I made an exception for this dress. I love the shape of this dress but I feel its slightly out of season so I'm hoping I wear mine more next summer. The one that is linked is slightly different but I think it's actually nicer. 

Red Boots - I've wanted red boots for some time now, so I'm still trying to decide between these two. I love velvet but I feel the others may be more durable and practical. I love the idea of styling them with a scarf from the tweed project see here, my camel coat and jeans. 

Navy Velvet Jacket - I just love the look of this jacket.  Navy and velvet are two of my favourite things this season. It's a little similar to the Maje navy velvet bomer jacket but a fraction of the price. I think it would perfect alternative to the puffer jacket. 

Check Blazer - I've already spotted this all over Instagram but I'm in love - I'm blazer obsessed in case you didn't notice! I love the idea of styling it with all black, all black and the red boots, or with blue jeans and a black tee. 

Cream and Navy Chunky Knits - I love chunky knits for this time of the year. These two look great and I love the idea in theory of styling them with a skirt,  but being realistic I don't think thats a look that will suit the average shape (if that exists;))! I think chunky knits work best with skinny jeans and boots. 

Camel Cashmere - I love cashmere jumpers, I really like the way Zara styled it with the white tee and jeans. Alternatively I love camel and grey together. A word of warning - cashmere is almost impossible to keep (see my blog post on how best to look after it)

The Blazer Dress - I can see this dress being styled so many different ways and suiting a lot of different shapes. You could try it with or without tights or wearing boots or stilettos.


My Go To Places in Galway

I feel very fortunate to call Galway my home! I don't think I have ever met somebody who doesn't love the place.  I moved to Galway in 1999 to start college and loved it pretty much from the word go. Although I have lived in both Dubai and Dublin for periods, I always felt my heart was in Galway! Over the years the food scene has improved enormously so much so we are spoiled for choice. I hope you find this helpful?

Favourite restaurants   - Kai & Ard Bia hands down!    Drinks  - Tribeton, Universal,   Pizza  - Dough Bros    Lunch on the Go  - Mc Cambridge's & Kashab    Sushi  - Kappa Ya    Coffee  - CoffeeWerk & Press, Urban Grind    Hotel  - The G    Wine & Chesse Board  - Sheridans

Favourite restaurants  - Kai & Ard Bia hands down! 

Drinks - Tribeton, Universal,

Pizza - Dough Bros 

Lunch on the Go - Mc Cambridge's & Kashab 

Sushi - Kappa Ya 

Coffee - CoffeeWerk & Press, Urban Grind 

Hotel - The G 

Wine & Chesse Board - Sheridans

Nails  -  Shelley’s Beauticians   Lashes  - LashLuv By M    Hair  - Laura at Raymond Skelton    Make Up Artist  - Aisling K    Spray Tan  - Sara Duffy 

Nails -  Shelley’s Beauticians

Lashes - LashLuv By M 

Hair - Laura at Raymond Skelton 

Make Up Artist - Aisling K 

Spray Tan - Sara Duffy 

Favourite Clothes Shops  - Willow and Brown Thomas  More detailed shopping post coming soon! 

Favourite Clothes Shops - Willow and Brown Thomas

More detailed shopping post coming soon! 

Maje - The Best Bits

I hope everyone had a good weekend and got through Storm Ophelia ok? My sister-in-law just moved home from New York, so we ended up sorting through her wardrobe. As terrible as the storm was it was an ideal opportunity to get some jobs done! I know many of you used my 'Tips for Organising Your Wardrobe' post which I previously posted. I'm always delighted to hear you find my styling tips helpful. Here is a link. 

I sorted my out my own clothes last week. I really feel so much better about my wardrobe when there's less in it! I literally just hang what I wear - everything else is passed (Depop) on or moved into storage (summer clothes). I think it is so much easier to get dressed in the morning when it isn't full of clutter and out of season pieces. It also makes it easier to see where the gaps are, what's working for you and what's not. 

I was delighted with all the positive feedback from last weeks post about my favourite bits from COS (click here for link). This week I decided to pick one of my all time favourite labels to concentrate on it. If you follow me on social media you'll know how often I wear their clothes (see some of my pictures below). Although it's a little more pricey than the Highstreet I think the quality defintely matches the price tag.  I have some of their pieces for over 5 years and I'm still wearing them today. Below is just some of my favourite pieces from this seasons collection. I hope you like them. 

I would love to get your feedback, let me know on Instagram or Facebook if you purchased any of the pieces. xxx

P.s, I don't make any commission from Maje or any affiliate programmes.  

1. It took me a good 5 years to decide on a leather jacket. For years I just didn't think I could pull it off (and maybe I can't!!!) but I just fell in love with this one. I loved the simplicity on this style and the quality of the leather, I also felt that it was a good price for a real leather jacket that was going to be a definite wardrobe essential. 

2. If I didn't already own a pink jacket I would be so tempted by this. I love everything about it, the shade, the length, the buttons, the collar and the cuffs. It's just perfect. Perhaps I could be tempted in the sale! I love styling pink with greys, blacks and even red!

3. I tried this shirt on when it came into the store with high waisted jeans and loved it. Just yesterday I saw one of my favourite bloggers @thestylebungalow wear it with light blue denims and red pointy kitten heels and it was beautiful. It would also be very cute for under a suit for a more corporate look. 

4. I'm always on the look out for nice trousers for clients. I love the combination of wide leg and high waist. They make your legs look really long and make a nice change from the straight leg. A good pair of black trousers are a definite wardrobe essential. If you have a good waist and don't like the shape of your legs these are very flattering. 

5. This is what I call my Going Out top, although my nights out are so limited these days! This top is cool styled with my old high-waisted Levis 501's. I'm not crazy about the inside vest that came with it, so I got a cream crop top instead for underneath. 

6. The simple black long sleeved jersey body is really handy for styling with all things high-waisted. The low back gives it a lovely dressy feel. It's one of those tops that you'll surprise yourself with how handy it actually is. 

7. Maje has the best selection of coats this season. I love the cuffs and collar on this coat. The contrasting buttons are so cute. It's so girly but I want it. 

8. I love sweaters, especially velvet sweaters. It has a real feeling of comfort but still looks dressy at the same time. It comes in a green colour too. I want the pink so I can wear it with my grey sweats or white shirt and skinnies at the weekend. 

9. I bought this skirt for the night before my cousins wedding in Vancouver and it got so many compliments. See look below. I'm looking forward to wearing it with an oversized black knit and boots this Christmas. 


COS - The Best Bits

Often my clients tell me they have little success in COS and I can totally understand why. If you are unfamiliar with the brand it can appear oversized, masculine and only suitable for the Scandinavian body type!  I find around 60% of what they offer can be tricky to wear, but there are also many great pieces that are so versatile, wearable and quality-for -price is pretty good too. 

Below are some of my favourite bits in Cos at the moment. They work for so many of my clients, especially if you feel you just want something easy to throw on in the morning - yet look good at the same time. I personally hate when clothes are too tight around the tummy (especially after the two babies), so their fit is just perfect.

1.The green dress is a best seller for my clients. It's  great with tights and boots/brogues in the winter. It so flattering on, be sure to go down a size. 

2. The grey cashmere jumper is on my current wish list, I love pairing an oversized cashmere jumper with jeans.

3. The black knit with the side buttons is also available in dark green and I've yet to see it on somebody it doesn't suit. It can be worn open or closed.

4. The orange merino fine knit comes in a variety of colours and I want them all! I plan on styling this with check trousers I bought recently.

5. The navy knit is just one of those jumpers that will you end up wearing so much. I love wearing mine with the slim fit white shirt.

6. The grey sweater looks great on but be sure to go for a smaller size than usual. I'm afraid it doesn't work as well on bigger busts. 

7. The navy dress with the bell sleeves has also been very popular -  it's perfect for dressing up or down.

9. I use the slim fit white shirt purely for layering - it has a little bit of stretch in it so it works perfect under dresses, jumpers, cardis etc.

10. I personally love polo-necks but I know they don't work on everyone. I have the navy one (shown here), in black,  and it's a great fit. The only drawback is that you need to be so careful washing your knits from Cos, I have had bad luck with a few pieces I wasn't careful with.

11. The slim-fit trousers have worked for almost all of my clients - they are great for a smart casual look. The cropped version is cool with flats too. They come in a variety of different colours each season.

12. The Cos cashmere scarf is a definite wardrobe essential. I have it grey and black!

 I would also recommend dropping a size in most things from Cos apart from their slim fit trousers, their fitted white shirt and their cashmere jumpers. 

I would love to get your feedback, let me know on Instagram or Facebook if you purchased any of the pieces. xxx

P.I don't make any commission from Cos or any affiliate programmes.  

The Perfect Height

Shoes can be the biggest problem area when it comes to outfit planning. I often find that some of my clients have lots of beautiful clothes that never get worn and it is usually because they can't find the right the shoes. Sure, some outfits look best with a sexy high heel but the idea of wearing those heels on a cold Tuesday morning when you are rushing out the door with kids isn't really a reality. I try to ensure that my clients have realistic shoes options for all their looks to ensure that everything they own gets at least 30 wears! Below are links to some of my favorite kitten and block heel that are available in the shops now. Click on the image for links. 

The Vancouver Wedding

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I had the most amazing few days in Canada for my cousin Orla's wedding. The time went by so quickly as I was only there for 4 nights. Orla is my first cousin, her mum Nancy moved to British Columbia in the 70's and had 4 kids all around our age so we have so many great memories of them coming to visit as kids. Orla and I were the youngest in both families so we always hit it off. I was so excited to hear she got engaged and knew it was a wedding I wouldn't want to miss. Orla always looks fabulous so it came as no surprise how incredible she looked on her wedding day and coincidentally she wore the Irish Designer Thea! 

The wedding was a three day affair. There was a cocktail party the first night in the beautiful Vancouver Club, the venue was super fancy. I wore my new silver sequence Maje skirt and an old ASOS off the shoulder that cost only €20.

The actual wedding itself took place in a home owned by the grooms family. The house is called Casa Mia. We have heard so many brilliant stories about the house - they hire it out as a location for movies, 50 Shades of Grey is just one of many that was shot there. To say it is amazing is an understatement! Walt Disney had stayed there at some point and had drawn a mural in the kids bedroom.
I made a major fashion faux pax for the day of the wedding. At the last minute I changed my mind on the new dress I bought (I wasn't mad about it and figured I wouldn't get enough wear out of it), so I decided to go with the pink suit instead. In hindsight it was just not dressy enough. I'm usually guilty of being overdressed and that's a position I would much rather maintain. If someone tells you Canadians are casual, never believe them! The style was super fancy! Needless to say my faux pas didn't stop me enjoying the whole day and night immensely!!

The day after we all met up in the Vancouver Yacht Club for lunch. I always love the day after a wedding probably more than the wedding itself! Everyone is always so much more relaxed. I wore the Zara dress that I bought in the sale in New York.  It's so comfy and I'm a sucker for for a dress with a sleeve.

Just before I went to the airport I managed to squeeze in some paddlebaording. It was so beautiful! The views of the city were insane. Four seals came right up to my board and swam around me for a bit; it was surreal!! Vancouver is definitely one of my favourite cities. I can't wait until the kids are old enough to bring them back to meet their new cousins and to go skiing!

Overall a fantastic weekend with family in a spectacular setting. 

Top Wedding Looks

Finding the right look to wear to a wedding can often be an impossible task. I always try and keep my eyes open for some pieces throughout the year. Ideally I like to have something ready for the next big event, however I hadn't come across anything that really excited me all summer. While working with clients I'm always trying to think ahead for myself. The biggest problem is that I tend to avoid print or anything that is terribly fussy which really eliminated an awful lot this season. I love monotone, clean simple looks. I think they tend to be timeless, elegant and more flattering. 

I have three weddings coming up, the first of which is on this weekend in Vancouver! I'm only going for four nights as I'm taking unpaid leave from GTI, but I'm so excited about it. I'm even looking forward to the ten hour flight! Obviously the kids aren't coming, as much as I am going to miss them I can't wait for four full nights of sleep! The other two weddings are at home and coincidentally in the same venue (Mount Juliet). Both are black-tie which will present an interesting challenge when it comes to the dress. I look forward to doing a post on this soon.

Katie and I got such a great response to the last joint post that she also agreed to collaborate on this one. For more on Katie check out my last post and don't forget to follow her on Instagram @katiemoorekatie 

Guess what Katie and I are wearing to the wedding this weekend???

Orla's Top Picks for Wedding Wear

Katie's Top Picks for Wedding Wear

Back to School Wish List

Katie and I are delighted to finally collaborate on a post together. If you have been following me on social media you probably know by now that we are the first cousins.  We pretty much grew up in each others houses and have always (well nearly ;)) been the best of friends! Both of us have been obsessed with all things fashion since we were kids, although Katie was always been a complete fashionista my fashion choices at times were nothing short of questionable, but it gives us great entertainment when we look through our old family photo albums!

Katie studied fashion textiles in GMIT. She has interned with both John and Simone Rocha and even attended London Fashion week with them both. Since graduating she has been an artist in residence for mayo coco to commemorate 1916, her most recent residency was with artist Andrea Zittel in the Joshua Tree desert, California. She has exhibited her work in galleries all over Ireland, including the RHA in Dublin and the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life.

As Katie and I are both returning to work and college in September we decided to choose a number of our favourite pieces. I hope you find something that tickles your fancy! And if you too are returning to work or college best of luck!




New York Looks (Part 2)

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend. This is my last post on New York, I promise! It's already beginning to feel like a distant memory! Unfortunately I don't think we will be returning any time soon as Kevin, Clare and baby Lainey are moving home. The upside is we will get to see lots more of them which is great. Who knows...we may do a home exchange with someone in New York in the future!

Below are my 8 remaining looks - if you missed New York Looks (Part 1) click here

I have linked all the looks below. If the garment was no longer in stock I tried to find a similar one where possible.

  1. Willow Blazer, J Crew Striped TopBrandy Melville Shorts
  2. Sandro Jacket, Reiss Silk TeeZara Shorts
  3. Brandy Melville Shorts & Tee 
  4. Comptoir Des Cotonniers Dungarees & J Crew Top 
  5. Zara Dress (sold out)
  6. Citizens of Humanity Jeans & Zara Top 
  7. American Vintage Top & J Crew Culottes (sold out)
  8. Zara Dress (sold out)

If you have any questions about any of the looks, please feel free to ask!

Love Orla x 

10 Tips for Buying a Swimsuit

I love the fact that swimsuits are all the rage this season. I think they are far more flattering than bikinis and there seems to be endless options to suit all shapes and sizes in the shops. Personally, I've been on the prowl for the right swimsuit since last summer so I can safely say my research is done! I was so delighted when one of my favourite swimwear brands Melissa Odabash sent both myself and baby Annie a swimsuit to try. I had been swooning over her swimsuits for years and I swear they didn't dissapoint. The quality of the fabric was far superior to anything you would try on the high street - it almost worked a bit like spanz for holding you in. The fit was fantastic. The leg rise was perfect, high enough to create the illusion of a longer leg yet not overly sexy. The halter-neck fit very comfortably around the neck and the belt sat perfectly at the waist creating an hourglass silhouette. I personally loved the navy colour as I think its a classic and works great with a lot of different skin tones. For me, this swimsuit gets a 10 out of 10 - I can't recommend it highly enough. I know it is a bit of a splurge but for me I genuinely have been looking forever and I've no doubt it will be worn for years. Click here for direct link .

So here's some shopping tips:

  1. Choose quality over quantity, If there is one garment to spend money on its definitely the swimsuit. I compared the quality of a low end retailers to the more expensive brands and lets just say the difference was enormous. Plus if you are anything like me you will be wearing it for years!
  2. Devote time to task: swimsuit shopping can be stressful for the best of shoppers, don't underestimate the challenge ahead.
  3. Try on a variety of styles, prints and colours: go to a store with a large choice of labels and don't be afraid to go outside your comfort zone you might be surprised at what will work for you.
  4. Focus on your assets: If you have a good bust or bottom prioritise these features. 
  5. Go for a high rise leg: This makes everyones legs look lounger and leaner. 
  6. Try a variety of sizes. I found that my size varied dramatically with different brands
  7. Wear a thong when shopping: when trying on swimsuits you are required to wear underwear so having the least visible thong will give you the best picture.
  8. Apply a little bit of fake tan: it not only makes you look slimmer but it also puts you in that summer holidays frame of mind.
  9. Bring a summer sandal; there is nothing worse than trying on a swimsuit with a big clonky shoe. 
  10. Shop online: I usually don't like shopping online but you might be more comfortable buying a number of suits online and trying them on in the comfort of your own home. Ensure you read the return polices so you don't get caught out. 
  11. Try and get a matching Kaftan or accessories that will compliment the swimsuit. 
  12. Consider the purpose of the swimsuit: It is for sunbathing? Or do you plan on doing any water sports? Tan lines and inbuilt support may be an issue! 

Things we did with the Kids in New York City

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.....

  1. The flights ✈️: I could never claim to have the two best eaters or sleepers, but when it comes to flying I've two of the best jet setters you could hope for!! Neither moved from their seats for the entire flight, tbh I don't think they realised they could! And they also slept for at least four hours on each flight. To keep them occupied we brought a few new toys (and covered them in layers of wrapping paper🎁). We also brought new books and downloaded some of their favourite tv shows. Plenty of treats too, I must admit! I'm sure this behaviour was just a once-off,  but let me just brag anyway! 😜
  2. Luggage👜: I try my best to be a minimal packer when I can. The trip was made so much easier by the fact that we didn't have to bring buggies, car-seats, toys, travel cots  and even summer clothes for Annie (thanks Lainey!) as the guys in NY had us sorted - this was obviously a serious advantage. If you're not as fortunate as us I have heard that their are companies that rent baby equipment for the duration of your stay.
  3. Accommodation 🛌: Staying with relatives was a major plus- booking accomodation in Manhattan for 3 weeks wouldn't have even been a consideration! 
  4. Time difference ⏱: The kids adjusted really well to the time difference on the way over. I think by night 3 they were going down at a pretty reasonable NY time.
  5. Local knowledge 🗽:Kevin & Clare have a 16 month old baby girl (hi Lainey!), so they knew all the great parks and things to do for babies in the city. 
  6. New Yorkers love babies 👶🏻: honestly, babies are like celebs, everyone seems to absolutely love babies, especially on the subways where people were so helpful when it came to buggies and flights of stairs. They could not have been nicer.


  1. Baby Formula: Annie is on a special high calorific formula due to her weight (she's tiny), so we had to carry 50 bottles with us as it wasn't available in the US. They weighed about 18kg. 😱 Point to note: none of the baby formula was the same as home so it is something to consider. 
  2. Food: Bobby went on hunger strike - he's not a great eater at the best of times but things went from bad to worse on holidays. I've heard since that this is pretty common. I think if this wasn't an issue we would have considered staying even longer (did you notice we extended our trip an extra week🙈😜) Clare pre-made lots of lovely dinners for Annie and Lainey before we arrived so that was an absolute God send for Annie! She even ate more than usual! Clare is Neven Maguire's first cousin and used his baby recipe book so that may have something to do with it! 😂
  3. Sleeping: By the morning, there was usually 4 in the bed! 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 There was a lot of elbows in faces and feet in mouths! At times my head rested on the bed-side locker! Practice makes perfect with that trick 😛
  4. Nights out: These were limited, but, to be honest we could have gone out way more than we did but we were usually too wrecked. Thankfully we've been to NY seven or so times so we've had our fair share of late nights on the town. Old age is definitely making us boring! 😴😴😴
  5. Weather: The temperatures the first few days was really hot, so we had to limit the outdoor time but thankfully the guys have an indoor playground and swimming pool in their building. Facilities for kids were unreal in that regard. 
  6. Haircuts: For some reason we thought it was a good idea to get Bobbys hair cut in New York! As you can see from the pics, this didn't turn out too well! 🙈😂The NY Yankees baseball cap came in handy!

Things to do with kids in New York City: 

  1. Central Park Playgrounds - with over 21 playgrounds to choose from we were spoilt for choice. We usually went to one on 67th on Central Park West as it was only a few blocks from where we were staying.  
  2. Picnics on Sheeps Meadow in Central Park - it was such a treat to be able to sit out taking in one of the most iconic NY views soaking up the atmosphere & people watching 
  3. National History Museum - great outdoor water park for kids and lots of dinosaurs! 
  4. USS Intrepid - surprised at how much the kids got out of this. Lots of planes and submarines for them to jump on! 
  5. Baby classes on the Upper West Side - there were several classes to choose from. Our kids particularly loved one drop in class that cost $20 (very reasonable for NY 😳) It was ran by a former ballet dancer and a professional singer who provide high energy, super upbeat classes for the little ones. The classes were called Juliet and Ella's play date, they are on Facebook. 
  6. Central Park Zoo - Fun day out, especially if you can catch the sea-lions show. There is also a petting zoo with a separate entrance which can be easy to miss. It's small but the kids enjoyed it.
  7. Play dates at friends apartments - if you're fortunate enough to have friends or family over there you'll get to enjoy the unreal facilities in the apartment blocks.
  8. Museum of Modern Art - Bobby actually enjoyed commenting (loudly) on what exactly he liked and disliked! Annie enjoyed crawling around the open spaces! We lasted around 30 mins before checking out the Children's  Playroom 
  9. Biking in Central Park - Loved this! Great to explore the corners of the park you'd never get to. The helmet for Annie was too big so may be worth buying one to be safe. 
  10. Governors Island - an unexpected treat. We got the 15 minute ferry from Wall St and the wide open green spaces were great for the kids. Super views of the city too. 
  11. Free open air baby classes at Riverside park on the Hudson - Similar to the earlier classes but bigger crowds. Great to watch the kids play and mingle together. Lots of song and dance.
  12. Brooklyn Bridge - great for getting Annie to sleep in the buggy! Bobby loved the views and had plenty of questions about how bridges work! On the Brooklyn side of the bridge you end up in Dumbo. 
  13. Janes Carousal - playground and carousal under one of the most iconic landmarks on the NYC skyline. 
  14. 9/11 Memorial - Lovely playground close to the memorial
  15. Sunset on The Hudson - as we were on the west side it was a great thing to do. Lots of park areas down by the river, a picnic, some ice cream and watch the sun dip behind the New Jersey skyline.
  16. The Lincoln Centre - right beside where we stayed, the Lincoln Centre was another one of the great people watching spots. It was also ideal for the kids to run the legs off themselves before bed!

New York Looks (Part 1)

Hi there,

I hope you are all having a lovely week!

We had an absolutely fantastic time in New York. From the outset I must say we set our expectations very low when planning this trip with the two babies. We weren't sure what way it was going to work out. My brother Kevin, his wife Clare and their baby Lainey have been living in Manhattan the last 2 years so this was really our primary reason for visiting. I had been to the States several times in the past and even once when Bobby was 9 months (and easy) but we felt this could realIy go either way!! We obviously knew it wasn't going to be the same type of trip that we had before, where we had our long lists of restaurants and bars to hit up. Instead we hoped to see how we could get the most out of Manhattan for kids, while soaking in that amazing atmosphere New York has to offer. I will do a much more detailed post on what we got up to real soon, but in the meantime I just wanted to share some of my New York looks with you. You can click on any of the looks and it will link to the website!

Enjoy the sunshine!

Orla x

12 Tips I learnt from the Curl Masters (Devachan)

Dress from Zara 

Dress from Zara 

I was so excited to be invited Devachan hair salon in Soho, New York which specialises in cutting and styling curly hair. They invented the "curly girl method" and have created there own line of award winning styling products. My sister in law introduced me to Deva Curl products over 2 years ago and I have been using them ever since.

Here's what I learned:

1) They cut each curl individually when the hair is dry.
2) They never use shampoo (they compare it to fabric detergent!). They created their own Deva Curl No Poo, which is a sulphate and silicone free cleanser and doesn't lather.
3) We should only shampoo (as in No Poo) the hair once a week but condition with each wash.
4) Adding moisture to the hair is the primary key to creating curls
5) Use cold water for the final rinse, this locks in the moisture and closes the cuticle
6) Use your fingers to detangle your hair after conditioning as bushing it breaks the curl pattern.
7) All the styling products go into the hair soaking wet
8) Lift the hair away from the scalp when adding styling products to help create volume
9) After all the styling products are in, use clips at the roots to create volume
10) Use paper towels to create the curl mound and remove any excess water (always avoid using towels as it takes the moisture out of your hair)
11) When diffusing your hair turn your head upside down and avoid touching it as this breaks the mould created by the styling products
12) Once the hair is completely dry ensure all the product is out by scrunching it out with your own fingers.

I really enjoyed my visit to the Devachan salon. I absolutely loved how they cut my hair and I think it will help create volume and allow me to consider having it longer in the future. In regard to styling I prefer how I do it myself but I've had years of experience dealing with my unpredictable and temperamental Curls!

All and all it was such a positive experience and I look forward to visiting again in the future. 

List and links to the Deva Curl Products I use:

  1. Deva Curl No Poo shampoo
  2. Deva Curl One Condition
  3. Deva Curl Light Defining Gel  
  4. Deva Curl B'leave In
  5. Deva Curl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam
  6. Deva Curl Mist-Er-Right Curl Refresher
  7. Deva curl Heaven In Hair


How I get my Curls!

Hi all,

The most frequently asked questions that I receive are almost always about my hair. To be honest I find this so flattering as there are times that it just won't behave and can drive me mad!

Finding the right products to suit your type and texture of curl is most important. This can take time, patience and money. Your product choice may also depend on the type of look you hope to achieve. For me, the perfect curly hair day means having lovely spiral curls with plenty of volume at the roots. My hair is actually quite fine, which means I cannot afford to grow it too long or the curls can really drag.

I personally find that curls are quite complex and temperamental. The typical curl scenario is that you'll have the best hair day ever when you have nowhere to go!Finding the right products that work for your curl is a very personal journey that evolves over time. Often what might work for my hair may not work for yours.

That said I really hope that you find this post helpful and have time to give me some feedback about what products you find successful.

1. Washing My Hair
I only use Deva Curl No Poo(Shampoo) and Deva Curl Conditioner every second or even third time that I wash my hair, as I find it goes quite limp if I use (shampoo and conditioner) product for every wash. My best day for curls is when I just completely soak my hair but don't use products. 

2. Post Hair Wash
Directly after washing my hair I wrap my hair with a 100% cotton cloth (usually just an old t-shirt or a muslin cloth). I don't use a towel as it absorbs too much water out of the hair ad introduces frizz. I find it's better to keep your hair VERRY wet before you put the styling products in.

3. Brushing My Hair
When possible, I try not to brush my hair after washing it. However, when I don't use shampoo and conditioner I have to give it a quick brush as it can get quite knotty. I trend to brush mine directly after washing it.

4. Adding The Styling Products
a. I start by putting 3 squirts of the Deva Curl Miracle Curl Plumper (Texture and Volume) product into my hair. I rub it betweenpalms and apply it generously from root to tip. I think this is great for adding volume and shine.

b. For me, this is the most important stage. I have been using the Umberto Gianni Curl Whip Mousse for years and I think it works best for my curls. I have tried others products throughout the years but I always end up going back to it! I generally use three large handfuls of mousse. I apply it generously at the root and pull it through to the end. Turn your head upside down and scrunch the excess product out using your muslin cloth.

c. Then I use 3 squirts of the Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel. Rub the gel between palms. Tilt head forward then scrunch gel all over very wet curls.

d. Once the hair is soaked with products (then) turn your head up side down and use the muslin cloth to scrunch up the curls. Again it's important not to use a towel here as I think it absorbs too much of the product and introduces frizz.

5. Pinning My Hair Once you have finished scrunching your curls, it's time to pin it up using the claw clips(these can be purchased in Boots, Penneys, H&M etc). This is an important stage for me as I need plenty of volume as I have fine hair. This isalso handy if you don't fancy scrunch drying your hair straight away. I often repeat this stage after my hair is dry to create even extra volume. When pinning your hair, divide your hair into 8/10 sections and roll the curls into individual sections and pin it to the scalp using the claws.

6. Drying My Hair I use a diffuser dryer called Babybliss. I bought it in Boots pharmacy for about €40 and it seems to do as a good a job as any! I generally put it on full heat and full power. I personally don't like the look of jelly curls (i.e curls wet with product) so it's important to me to fully dry out my hair so there is no look of product left in the hair. While drying my hair my head is usually upside down to introduce volume.

7. After Drying My Hair I often repeat Step 5. using the claw clips to pin up my hair gives it even more volume.


General Tips for Curly Hair
1. The claw clips are the best way to achieve a spiral curl and add volume to a curly head.
2. Use the claw clips at night to pin up your curls, sometimes day 2 or even day 3 are even better hair days.
3. Don't use a towel to dry your hair, use a cotton t-shirt or a muslin cloth.
4. Avoid using shampoo and conditioner each time you wash your hair! Unless you have invested in the Deva Curls No Poo.
5. Go to a hairdresser that understands curls! I go to Laura at Raymond Skelton in Galway. I think it's best to cut curly hair when it's dry and curly!
6. Fully dry your hair so there is no evidence of the styling product as to avoid jelly curls!
7. Once a week use the Umberto Gianni intensive conditioning treatment.
8. I currently USE Deva Curl No Poo and Deva Curl Conditioner. But I also found the L'Oreal Elvive colour protect shampoo and conditioner good. Most shampoos contain dehydrating detergents, Deva Curl offer a non-lathering shampoo alternative. Unfortunately it's only available in the US but it is possible to buy online through

I hope you find this post helpful and have time to give me some feedback about what products you find successful. 

Have a great week, x 

My Top Tips for Buying a Denim Jacket

5 reasons why you should own a Denim Jacket

  1. It is a wardrobe essential. I recommend that all my clients own a denim jacket - there are so many different styles and shapes to suit every age group.
  2. It's a timeless piece - I honestly think I have a had a denim jacket in my wardrobe since I was 5! 
  3. It's trans-seasonal - a denim jacket can be worn in winter for layering over a hoodie or in the summer over your favourite maxi.
  4. It works with so many different looks - the list is endless, I love styling mine with summer dresses or all-white!
  5. Your choice is infinit - practically every label and high street store does their own take on it.



5 Tips for buying a Denim Jacket

  1. Choose a colour that works well on you - for the paler complexions like my own I wouldn't receommend going too light with the denim. 
  2. Personally I would avoid going too trendy i.e ripped, sequences, pearls, patchwork etc.
  3. Choose a style that suits your shape - the more authentic style is my favourite but it's all about trying out what works best with your shape and style.
  4. Go up one size so you leave enough room for layering knits or hoodies during the winter.
  5. Make it your own - roll up the sleeves, wear the collar slightly up, leave the top and bottom undone! 



Outfit Details (Top) - Denim Jacket - Maje, White T Shirt - Cos, Skirt - Topshop 

Outfit Details (Left) - Denim Jacket - Maje, Yellow Dress - Maje, Sandals - Carvela 

Weekly Wardrobe Planning

Light Duster Coat from Warehouse ( click here ), White Jeans from Oasis ( click here ), Black & White striped top from Warehouse ( click here ).

Light Duster Coat from Warehouse (click here), White Jeans from Oasis (click here), Black & White striped top from Warehouse (click here).

Just a quick note firstly to thank you so much for reading my blog. I noticed my readership has increased dramatically in the last few months - I'm so flattered you would take the time to visit my site.

As I mentioned yesterday on social media, I returned to my teaching job after a year off so I felt it was prefect timing for this blog post. 

Planning my weekly wardrobe may sound a tad OCD but since having kids, outfit planning is a must for me. Although I only have two kids it seemed to take forever to get out of the house in the morning. i realised we definitely needed to get more organised. Sometimes I wish I was someone that would throw on the handiest thing and run out the door but honestly that never going to be me. Does this make me high maintenance? Perhaps! The outfit planning has worked for so many of my clients, especially those with early starts, big families or with both parents working.  Some clients go as far as to plan the whole families wardrobe on a Sunday evening. I also find the rail really handy for planning our holiday wardrobes. Which I can't wait to do!

Outfit Details: Jacket, Dress and Necklace - Maje, Sandals - Carvel

Outfit Details: Jacket, Dress and Necklace - Maje, Sandals - Carvel

How to plan your weekly wardrobe

  1. I find the best time to do this is on a Sunday night when the babies are in bed
  2. Invest in a mobile clothes rail, the one in the picture is from Ikea and its €7.50, click on this link.
  3. Choose the complete look for each day, including accessories, underwear and footwear 
  4. Sort each look by the day of the week 
22 yellow.jpg

Benefits of Weekly Wardrobe Planning 

  1. Saves an incredible amount of time in the morning 
  2. Minimises the mess created (I can literally turn the house upside down choosing an outfit)
  3. Maximises the use ALL your clothes 
  4. Helps create more put together styled look 
  5. Helps you identify where the gaps are in your wardrobe (i.e what you need to purchase) 
  6. After a few weeks for doing this, clients found that they got a real sense of what worked for them what didn't (i.e re creating the looks that worked etc)

Potential Pitfalls  

  1. Laundry issues (i.e matching top for outfit isn't clean)
  2. Climate change (very rarely an issue in Ireland unfortunately!) 


Friday Night Look

Are you ever at a total loss as to what to wear out on a Friday night? You don't want to look overdressed but you certainly want to look like you've made the effort! I find this is a look that my clients often struggle with. I think the Cami/Blazer combo is understated and effortlessly chic. I've gone for all black in this look, but, you could also try contrasting blazers or different colour cami's too. It's a great look with your favourite skinny jeans and a pair of heels. Outfits Details - Blazer - Kooples, Cami - Kooples, Jeans - Guess                  

My Favourite Fashion Bloggers!

This is a post I have been meaning to do for the longest time as I get so much of my inspiration from Fashion Bloggers. I love the fact that there is such a vast selection to choose from, and unlike the magazines, they comes in all different shapes and sizes. I know social media has its pitfalls,  but when looking for fashion inspiration the options are endless. Initially I was guilty of following far too many different people across all platforms, but I read a great piece of advice recently from a girl called @siuners on Instagram where she talked about "digital clear-outs" - basically unfollowing accounts you don't engage with - and that's exactly what I did (In turn, greatly decreasing the amount of time spent on social media)! I love when my followers engage with me, as it gives me an idea of the type of content you enjoy and what styles work - I must add a kicker to say that my favourite bloggers  are constantly changing, so I promise to update it regularly!