Category Archives: Fashion

The Church Catwalk: Communion and Confirmation style


So it’s that time of year again in Ireland, the rite of passage that is Confirmation and Communion season. (Full disclosure here, I opted out of all the catholic stuff many years ago so I won’t be partaking myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still help with some outfit planning!)

I don’t know if it’s just me but confirmation and communion celebrations seem to be getting bigger and bigger every year. Not bigger in the sense of flashiness that the Celtic Tiger days enjoyed  with limos and marquees, but more so in the importance in the family calendar as an EVENT! And with any big Irish event, it’s the mammies who will usually do the lion’s share of the planning and organising, including stressing about “The Outfit”.

The biggest factors to take into account when planning your outfit are as follows:

  • It’s usually a really early start – you don’t want to be a sweaty melty mess by 2pm
  • It’s in a church - so you need to be respectful and church appropriate
  • There are children involved!
  • The event will be held in Spring/Summer – so even though the Irish weather is unreliable at best (and generally shite at worst!) you will need to inject a bit of colour and freshness
  • There will be eating, drinking and a fair bit of standing and moving around involved - this is not the day to go for the bet on bodycon number and 6 inch heels

So keeping all the above in mind, here’s a few of my tips and outfit ideas for you. It is a big day for you and you want to look and  feel your best (and photos last forever!!!) so why not pull out the stops and wear something that makes you feel amazing and suits your personal style.

  • The Prep 

I am a born organiser and control freak and firmly believe there is no such thing as being too organised for any event or planning too early. You will be up to you eyeballs organising your precious offspring and partner and planning the celebration meal/party so make time for you!!!!! Go shopping, try things on, look at styles you like on Instagram or Pinterest, order online to get your size. Work back from the big day and  book  your appointments. I insist you have nails, toes, blow dry and tan done at least!!! If you can manage to squeeze in your make up application on the morning then go girl, but at least get the other stuff done in the days leading up to D-Day.

  • The Practicalities

Mama is going to be on duty big time on the day so you need to be practical when it comes to the outfit planning. If your kids are anything like my kids then EVERYTHING will get passed over to you to “mind”. So you need a big handbag where you can dump cards, tissues, rosary beads, spare hair clips, bottle of water etc.. You also need shoes that you can wear all day and run around after younger kids in as well as stand around in at the church and school. This is not car to bar territory trust me! I love my shoes and always feel like a bit of a sell out or a granny if I go for the comfy option so you need to be smart and go for a heel that has a platform support, a wedge or block heel or just a really comfy shoe that you can rely on.

And now for the outfit suggestions. This is just a selection to get the thinking caps on, remember everyone has their own personal style and now is not the time to go for a completely out there look or something you would never usually wear as you will just end up feeling awkward. Be yourself, be comfortable, wear a colour that you know suits you, get dolled up so you feel glam and then sit back and let the compliments flow and enjoy yourself.


Green is the absolute colour of the moment and it is such a fab, fresh colour for Spring/Summer. You can’t go wrong with choosing bright green for the big day. Here’s a few different ways to wear it, full on green or as a  background colour with a nice floral print.

Green lace dress Warehouse

Green lace dress Warehouse


Green silk wrap dress Mango


Green duster jacket River Island


A wrap dress is so flattering on all shapes and sizes and a nice wrap style with sleeves is perfectly church appropriate. Once you pick a dress then it’s all about glamming it up with fab accessories to really take it to the next level.

Cream wrap kimono style dress - Closet London

Cream wrap kimono style dress – Closet London

Oriental style wrap dress HandM

Oriental style wrap dress H&M

Blue wrap dress Warehouse

Blue wrap dress Warehouse

two tone wrap dress Bella Dungarvan

Two tone wrap dress Bella Dungarvan


Why not consider a suit style for the big day. This is definately my kind of style, a bit different but very dressy and feminine if you go for the right fabrics and colours so you won’t look like you’re heading for the  boardroom.

Mustard slouchy style  suit from River Island:


Silky kimono style suit from Zara

zarakimonojacket zarakimonotrousers

Pink tailored suit Zara

pinkzarasuitjacket pinkzarasuittrousers


Very nice black  and red dress from H&M that’s very Spanish in style and would be lovely with red accessories and a nice red lippie


If you’re style is a bit more conservative or formal then this preppy style skater dress from H&M would be very nice with a black or white blazer over it and bright green shoes



Gold is such a classy colour and a lovely daytime colour too as it’s soft and subtle. Best on darker skin tones  (i.e. get the spray tan done!)  This patterned gold dress is from Mango


I’d love to hear your thoughts or outfit planning ideas so please comment or let me know if you are on a mission for find something specific and I’ll happily help with the research.

Happy shopping and enjoy your big days

Avril x






Shopping tips – What to buy this Winter


Happy November! Now that it’s officially Winter and party season has arrived, I’ve put together a really quick shopping guide to cover off the major trends to help you shop for your Winter wardrobe!  Just follow the tips below and you’ll be ready to rock in no time.


Velvet is EVERYWHERE this year. If, like me, you are of a certain age, you’ll probably have flashbacks of being trussed up in an 80′s velvet flouncy dress at Christmas time. But strangely enough, rather than being allergic as a result, I am really loving the velvet obsession. Its so luxurious and dressy and perfect for occasion wear at Christmas but it can also be dressed down too with casual accessories. It’s so sexy and gothic and dark,  you’ll deffo end up fancying yourself just a little bit wearing velvet.  :)  All the high street stores have embraced the  trend with gusto so you can dip your toe in the trend in  the form of a little clutch for party season or a velvet choker,  you could keep it simple in a plain black velvet skirt or dress or go full on 80’s glam in a bodycon coloured number, coat or boots.

Me in my €18 Penney's Velvet dress

Me in my €18 Penney’s Velvet dress



Burgundy is the colour of the season! Think rich claret tones and dark deep reds – very “Interview with a vampire” and actually goes very well with the velvet trend above. To really nail the fashion victim style this year think a rich, deep burgundy velvet number. Keep this colour in mind if you’re investing in a new winter coat, boots or handbag as a change from the standard black.

Michael Kors Plum Leather Handbag

Michael Kors Plum Leather Handbag

Over the knee boots

Again these are EVERYWHERE!!! Not for everyone, but if you’re going to do Winter boots then get stuck in to the over the knee trend. Usually seen on the nine foot tall model gang, it can intimidate us shorter arsed ladies, but they actually work well on all heights. Kourtney Kardashian is a huge fan and she is tiny. If you want to play it safe, go for black and wear over thick black tights or leggings with a plain baggy jumper-dress to keep it understated.

Kourtney rocking her overknee boots with kids in tow - no excuse for us!

Kourtney rocking her overknee boots with kids in tow – no excuse

Velvet boots €69.95 Zara

Velvet boots €69.95 Zara

Wrap coats: 

While the military style has always been a firm favourite of mine, unfortunately buttons are out of favour with the fashion crew this year. Think big lapels, feminine wrap styles and big belt tie fronts. If you’re investing in a new coat this year then you can’t go wrong with a cross over wrap style. Head straight to Coast and Ted Baker – an investment winter coat from either will last you for years!

Limited Edition Cashmere Wrap Coat €179 Zara

Limited Edition Cashmere Wrap Coat €179 Zara

Burgandy wrap coat €395 Ted Baker

Burgandy wrap coat €395 Ted Baker


This is the other colour obsession this season. So if you are going to invest in a new coat then a camel wrap number will hit the style jackpot. Again, a nice change from black, goes with everything,  suits all skin  tones and is softer and warmer than harsh black.

Camel coat Ted Baker

Camel coat Ted Baker

Coast Camel Coat

Coast Camel Coat

Winter florals:

Flowers are still in but the pretty spring summer prints have been ditched for edgier, bigger flower prints. A strong floral print on a black fabric is perfect for this season and breaks up the head to toe black hole we’re all guilty of falling into from  Halloween onwards.

Me in my M&S floral two piece - blouse and trousers

Me in my M&S floral two piece – blouse and trousers

Floral cold shoulder top €40 River Island

Floral cold shoulder top €40 River Island

River Island Floral Cami

River Island Floral Cami

Put a sprinkle of designer in your life


I think I have discovered a serious problem in society …….. we don’t treat ourselves enough! Seriously!

Think about it, no matter how great a job you have or how much disposable income, it all seems to get sucked up into the relentless cycle of everyday life and keeping the show on the road. Mortgage to pay, childcare, bills, groceries. Of course, as the more cunning and resourceful of the species, us ladies will always find a way to shop and treating ourselves to a new top or necklace come payday is fairly standard practice.

However, with the realities of real life, the belt tightening recession and the endless overheads that come with being a 30-something, the nearest any of us will ever get to running amok in Brown Thomas with a personal shopper is in our dreams

Mention the word “designer” and most of your friends will start giving you the raised eyebrow stare and brace themselves for you to tell them you’ve just won the lotto. But if you do the sums, adding up all you have spent this month on a few bits from Pennys, a new Zara top, a work dress from Dunnes and there is easily a dent in your bank balance to the tune of a couple of hundred euro.

So instead of spending money on lots of little bits throughout the month, why not consider one decent treat every now and again that will actually last and add some real joy to your life. It’s all about value versus volume and putting your money into the right pieces that will actually get worn and complimented. And if not to treat yourself, then consider this your next hint list for the significant other in your life who may need inspiration for Christmas or your next birthday or anniversary.

So in ascending order, here’s my top 5 ways to add a sprinkle of designer into your everyday life:

A designer phone/ipad cover – You use your phone all day every day so this is a no brainer and it’s as cheap as designer gets. I got a gorgeous new iphone for my birthday this year so it could only be completed properly with a lovely Marc Jacobs cover. I get to look at it every day, it’s fancy, it stands out from my work phone when I’m rummaging in my bag and it was only €35 from Brown Thomas online.

Lots of nice phone and ipad covers available from Brown Thomas. Check them out here 


Designer costume jewellery – OK so let’s get the disclaimer out of the way first, yes this is still only costume jewellery i.e. not sterling silver or real gold and if you can’t wear plated jewellery then you’re out of luck, and you may feel the price tag is still a bit steep for less than premium product.  If, however, like me, you have the hide of a Rhino and can wear anything, then why not treat yourself to some designer jewellery. Marc Jacobs do some fab ear rings, Chanel jewellery starts at surprisingly reasonable prices (I have the whole collection!!!!) and Vivienne Westwood and Calvin Klein also have lovely collections. CK jewellery is stocked in a lot of jewellers, Vivienne Westwood is stocked in House of Fraser and Brown Thomas stock both Chanel and Marc Jacobs.

My Chanel bracelet - €200,  Brown Thomas

My Chanel bracelet – €200, Brown Thomas

Nothing beats Chanel packaging - Gorgeous!

Nothing beats Chanel packaging – Gorgeous!      

A nice wallet – as with the phone, we use our wallets every single day so why not have the nicest one you can afford. It also gets a lot of wear and tear so a good quality wallet is actually an investment as it will last longer. And you get to flash it out and about a lot so the cost per use will work out very low, very quickly! DKNY, Michael Kors, Furla and Marc Jacobs are all at the more reasonable end of the designer spectrum and will set you back between €80-€200. I currently have my eye on this classic black leather, Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet in Brown Thomas, currently reduced to €156. you can buy it online here 

Marc by Marc Jacobs €156

Marc by Marc Jacobs €156

Fancy Sunglasses – I LOVE sunglasses and usually treat myself to a new fancy pair every couple of years. But they also make a brilliant gift as they last for years, go with everything and they don’t care what size you are! So if you’re racking your brains to try to think of ideas for the man in your life this Christmas then why not consider a gorgeous new pair of sunnies. They are just as important to have in the Winter as Summer and you will get a lot of wear out of them. My two favourite brands have to be Chanel and Prada, both classic and stylish and will always be in style. Coloured rims became very popular this year and the red or white Ray Bans are very cool, but personally I prefer to learn towards a classic style of black or tortoise shell. So if you don’t have a pair of designer sunglasses in your wardrobe then time to get them on the shopping list.

Prada Cat Eyes

Prada Cat Eyes

Designer Watch – This is the priciest item on my list but it’s probably the most popular and a good watch seems to be on a lot of ladies lists this Christmas. Rose Gold is still the metal of choice and the only two brands in the running really are Marc Jacobs or Michael Kors. I have a rose gold Marc Jacobs watch that I got for my birthday a couple of years ago and it genuinely does get noticed and admired a lot and I really do love it on my arm, like a nice piece of practical jewellery.

Brown Thomas have a great selection of both MK and MJ here 

Net a Porter also have a good selection here 

Michael Kors from Net a Porter

Michael Kors from Net a Porter

I’m really liking this slightly different rose gold watch from Michael Kors. The white stripe adds a touch of sports luxe and a modern twist.

So there you have it, my top five sprinkles of designer that should be on every 30-somethings to do list! It’s always nice to treat yourself but even better to let someone else do the honours, so with Christmas just around the corner it’s time to get hinting now.


Caped Crusaders


My almost 4 year old son and his creche gang are obsessed with superheroes at the moment. Being the indulgent and supportive mother that I am, I’m constantly keeping an eye out for batman or spiderman t-shirts and clothing so that he can dress the part while pretend flying and shooting webs from his wrists. Hey, I’m all about dressing for the part – fake it till you make it, right?

Somewhere along the line the superhero fetish must have rubbed off on my 36 year old self as I am OBSESSED with all things caped this Autumn. If it has a cape or a swing cut then I want it. I am a sucker for nice tailoring anyway but there is nothing like a cape to take things to the next level. Talk about could be designer, these things were made for the catwalk.

And to state the bleedin’ obvious, most caped clothing tends to be roomy and baggy so this trend ticks my favourite boxes of comfort and coverage. Yay it’s Autumn, we can hide our bodies again for the next six months :)

All the high street buyers must also have 4 year old boys as the cape trend is everywhere this Autumn/Winter. So since we’re all Superwomen anyway, let’s just formally acknowledge this fact and put our best foot forward with our power capes swinging.

Here are my best picks:

COS Black Cape Dress €89

COS dress €89

COS dress €89

Check out this bad boy, serious Batman stuff going on here. You can’t go wrong with a statement black dress for A/W and the big cape really adds the wow factor. I would let the cape do all the talking here and would just accessorise with big ear rings and red lipstick.

COS Zip Up Blazer €135

COS Blazer

COS Blazer

How amazing is this blazer? I love it. Made form 75% wool, this is a really good quality statement jacket. The zip close and the cape add an edgy finish and this is definately on the “could be designer” list. Team this with a black polo neck and black jeans and let the jacket do all the talking.

Savida Cape Jacket – Dunnes Stores €55

Savida Cape Blazer

Savida Cape Blazer


Everyone needs a little dressy black jacket for the upcoming party season and this is it. It’s actually  more like a fitted waistcoat with the cape draping over the tops of the arms so it could even be worn on it’s own as a dressy blazer over jeans and black heels or worn over a LBD as a nice cover up on a night out. I’d add a nice blingy brooch to the lapel and then you’re ready to swoop on out to hit the town.

Savida White Blouse - Dunnes Stores €30


I love this blouse because it blends ladylike chic with a kick ass cape, to really take feminine power dressing to the next level. White is also a gorgeous colour for A/W and can be worked into a classic monochrome look with tailored black trousers or a more casual style with blue jeans.

Massimo Dutti Navy Cape Blouse €79.95



This is a beautiful 100% silk blouse in a lovely fluid fabric. I would compliment the small gold clasp with chunky gold earrings and a big gold cuff and wear with nice skinnies and heels.

Mango Cape Coat €89.95


This is as cool as a boring black winter coat gets.  Combining a military feel with superhero style this coat is the ultimate in power dressing. Wear with statement leather gloves to make the most of the exposed arms.





Mmmmm Monochrome

2014-06-26 22.07.30

Everyone has an opinion on Kris Jenner. You may not be a fan of her parenting “momager” style or her “sell your granny” approach to business deals but there is one thing she does to perfection – her monochrome wardrobe! She has made black and white tailoring her signature style and for a “more mature” lady who has popped out six kids, she rarely puts a foot wrong. Monochrome is definitely a favoured look here at Mutton Dressed As Glam!

Processed with Moldiv

Black and white is the most classic colour combo of them all, it transcends all trends and seasons and if ever there was a timeless classic this is it. You can never go wrong in a monochrome outfit, it suits every dress code and occasion and you will always be classy and chic, with the bonus being that it always looks expensive. If it’s good enough for Coco Chanel then it’s good enough for the rest of us common folk!

Even the celebs can’t get enough of monochrome and know they can rely on it for any event:

Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy rocking secretary chic

Jenny McCarthy rocking secretary chic

 Danni Minogue

Danni at the National Television Awards a few years ago

Danni at the National Television Awards a few years ago 

Michelle Keegan

Michelle wearing a gorgeous pair of silk trousers from Six Ames (House of Fraser)

Michelle wearing a gorgeous pair of silk trousers from Six Ames (House of Fraser)

Miranda Kerr

Miranda can do no wrong, even when she's doing casual daytime!

Miranda can do no wrong, even when she’s doing casual daytime!

Here’s my round up of monochrome must haves from the high street this Summer:

River island – white sweat shirt jumper €33.00

River Island €33

River Island €33

I love this casual sweat shirt. Perfect over jeans with converse or even with black yoga pants or trackies for a veg day.

Zara – trousers with combination sides €49.95

Zara €49.95

Zara €49.95

Amazing, amazing, amazing, get these ASAP! The ankle grazing length means you can go sporty casual with flats or else dress them up with killer heels. Did I mention they also have an elasticated waistband? Happy days :)

Coast – Pill Side Bow Net Hat €19.00

Coast Hat €19

Coast Hat €19

How gorgeous is this hat?? It is currently reduced in the Coast sale from €80 to €19!!!!!!!!!! Bargain central. And it is the perfect accessory to liven up an LBD for a  Summer wedding or a day at the races. This is actually the kind of thing I would buy as a “just in case” accessory for future events, for this price it is well worth having to hand.

Next Utility shirt €41.00

Next €41.00

Next €41.00

Gorgeous dressy shirt, perfect for the office. Stick to the monochrome theme and pair with tailored black trousers or mix it up a bit with a splash of colour and tuck the shirt into a bright pencil skirt (pink orange and yellow really work well as a pop of colour against monochrome)

Dunnes - Gallery Spot Dress €45.00

Dunnes Gallery €45.00

Dunnes Gallery €45.00

Polka dots are a fun way to wear monochrome and this lovely dress from Dunnes will become a wardrobe stable. The faux wrap effect is super flattering on waistlines and bellies and this is a very versatile work dress which can see you right through Autumn and Winter by adding a blazer and black tights.

Closet – Monochrome dress €62.00

Closet €62

Closet €62

So everyone is probably missing Closet dresses ever since A-Wear shut it’s doors, but I found this little number on the Next website. Closet can still be purchased in Next and Dorothy Perkins and they can always be relied on for a good party dress. I love the paneling and structure of the stripes in  this dress and the back is gorgeous with an exposed zip. Perfect for a big night out, a Summer wedding or the races.

River Island – Kimono €33.00

RI Kimono €33.00

RI Kimono €33.00

Everyone who knows me knows I LOVE a good Kimono and River Island are always top of the class when it comes to cool Summer style. Think festivals, Ibiza and general feel good Summer vibes. Now remember you live in Ireland so you will not exactly be skipping around Marley Park in hotpants and this Kimono on a daily basis. But worn as “Glam” evening wear, a Kimono really dresses up an outfit. Wear this over a black vest and black skinnies with heels or over a short black dress and you’re all set for a night on the tiles.