By: Julia Elizabeth
Let me start by saying that I am by no means a “fashionista”. I have a disgustingly simple wardrobe and wearing colored jeans is my definition of dressing up for the day. However, since my arrival in Dublin, that has all changed—well, kind of. The one major thing I had heard about Dublin prior to coming is that the women dress fabulously and they do NOT wear leggings in everyday life. Now, the latter is false, pretty much everyone wears leggings; but they dress them up in the most fashionable way. Basically, they look like working women of society, not bums just barely making it to class. Being in Dublin has changed my perspective on fashion, so here are a few things I wish I knew before coming that maybe would make me look less like a hopelessly lost American.
1. Black tights.
The most unexpected item that pretty much nobody has in their wardrobe in America. Everyone, and I mean everyone, wears them in Ireland, and they look flawless. You can wear them with anything from a simple black dress and flats to an eye-popping frock and sexy heels. And honestly, they are comfortable to wear while still keeping you warm, even in the unforgiving Irish weather.
2. Chunky jewelry.
I have never seen so many chunky necklaces in my life—every working woman wears them. Now I know what you’re thinking: Well, that’s popular in America too, what’s the big deal”? The Irish women do it better. They put chunky necklaces with patterned tops and exciting outfits as another accessory, not a statement piece. The necklaces are colorful and shiny to add that extra pop on top of a patterned blouse. Definitely something I recommend bringing.
3. The messy bun.
If you are planning on traveling to Ireland, master the messy bun. They have a knack for making the idea of “throwing hair on top of your head” a fashion statement. Anyone from high school students to established working women have their hair up with a few pieces hanging down. It is a great solution if you are low on time and need to go, but the key is to make sure it look neat messy, not a rats nest like mine usually looks; needless to say, I’m still working on it.
4. A trench coat.
Do not leave America without having a waterproof trench coat. Even though all it does is rain in Ireland, not one Irish woman wears a rain jacket. I stick out like a sore thumb in my black North face jacket with my hood up. They have their tan or black trench coat with only their black tights and shoes showing on the bottom and they look like the most fashion savvy women I have ever seen. Naturally, my first fashion purchase was a quality tan trench coat, not that I can complain because I have always fantasized about having one and now I stand out a little less.
In any color or style. To work, to the bar, to school or to walk around the city, flats are the “in” shoes. Behind the black tight, they are the most important item to bring with you. They look flawless with the tights and can be worn with literally any outfit and in any situation. Definitely the best investment I made prior to coming here. And let me tell you, your feet will hurt significantly less if you don’t wear heels to work everyday.
While all of the items above are extremely important pieces to pack in your unfairly small suitcase, it’s all about how you put it together. Add color. I know, I know that’s what everyone says, but it’s really true. European women can make wearing black and blue together a fashion statement instead of looking like a giant bruise. Don’t be afraid to try new color combinations and wear colors that you would be afraid of at home. For example, my favorite piece of clothing I own is a pink, red and black color block dress from Express. I am the definition of afraid to try out new styles and color combinations, but I absolutely am in love with this dress and when I added the black tights I looked like a true European beauty… well after the extensive makeup and attempting the messy bun. Trust me—if I can do it, so can you.[divider] [/divider]
Julia is a 21-year-old adventurer who recently shipped of to Dublin to work in Public Relations and ‘study’ marketing. She love immersing herself in the culture and trying new things whether it’s taking a cooking class in Spain or white-water rafting in the rivers of Ireland. Fun fact, she has two black belts in karate and love having the power to trick people into thinking she’s scarier then she actually is. She drinks a sex on the beach daily and is loving the Irish pub life. She is very driven and plans to go to law school after college… lucky her. She has an unhealthy obsession with Luke Bryan and he will forever by my favorite artist. Dublin has made me more aware of my fashion and I am becoming obsessed with creative ways to add style to a simple outfit. Overall, I am an outgoing and motivated person who loves new friends, new people and new ways to express myself, so check out my blog for all my abroad adventures and www.juliapalermoblog.wordpress.com[divider] [/divider]