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I approach shopping with a mixture of hope and trepidation. It's nearly like putting my self esteem on a bungee rope and hoping to hell that I tied the chord properly. 

You see, dear reader, I'm a size 12-or at least I should be. In some shops I'm a 10, in others I'm a 20. How good I feel about myself and the world in general that day directly correlates to the numbers on the clothes. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. 

Obviously, I would love nothing more to wake up in the morning and have Gigi Hadid's abs, but I like pizza too much for that to happen anytime soon. 

I'm no super model, but the 'average' size of Irish women is a UK 14, so as a 12(ish) I should have no problem finding decent clothes in an average high street store, right? 

WRONG. 

A couple of months ago I went into a much-loved and well known high street store to pick up a chiffon shirt for work. Burgundy, with those 70's sleeves the seem to be everywhere, I figured I was on to a winner. Paid for it without trying it on, a rookie mistake in hindsight. 

I brought it home, tried it on. Much to my disgust, it wouldn't even fight over my chest. 

I was completely distraught, I must have piled on the pounds without realising it, started vowing to myself that I would live on a diet of celery and treadmills. 

Tearing it off in a self-directed rage, I turned to an old reliable shirt that's been wardrobe staple for many moons. Then, the label caught my eye, it was the same size, from the same shop. Both the shirts were a similar cut and material, bought within about two years of each other. One fit perfectly and the other restricted any hope of breathing. 

In jeans, one high street store a pair of high waisted skinny's 12 fit like a dream, another wouldn't go past my knees. 

You'd think that  there should be some kind of general consensus between clothing manufacturers but, in actual fact, there isn't. Which really doesn't make sense. Even the history behind where these sizes come from doesn't make that much sense. 

So buckle in, ladies and gentlemen, for the quickest roller-coaster whistle stop tour of sizing conundrums in the world. 

According to research done by Slate, the idea of standardised sizing first appeared in 1940's America. With Europe still in bits from World War Two, New York became home to the fashion industry. Couture and tailor made clothing begin to decline in comparison to ready-to-go, mass produced clothes. 

Before this ready-made clothes were only for men (typical), they used chest measurements to suss out what his other measurements would be. So the geniuses decided to do the same for women, basing sizes on women's busts. 

Of course, these measurements aren't exactly accurate. We all know ta ta's have a life and mind of their own. 

So in the 1950's the government went back to the drawing board, asking statisticians to take measurements of over 15,000 women. They hoped to create a broad, simple, standardised system  using all that data. But the data wouldn't co-operate, because everybody is different (obvs) AND they only measured white women. 

So they came up with 27 different sizes, including height differences, but that caused major headaches for manufacturers. So eventually, they came up with a more simplistic size range, from 8 to 32, based on bust measurements and a "classic" hourglass shape, which only 8% of women have.  By the 1970's the US government pretty much gave up trying to control dress sizes, so they let manufacturers decide.  

In 1982, the 'Specification for Size Designation of Women's Wear' was released in the UK. Similarly to the US, while stores were happy with these guidelines at first, they let them slip by the wayside giving manufacturers a lot more wiggle room (unlike those aforementioned jeans). 

Today, the changing of measurements can go either way. On one hand, you have budget stores using it as an excuse to slash sizes and save money by using less material per item. On the flip side, vanity sizing means that over the years some shops have crept their sizes up the scale to make customers feel better about themselves. 

Anyway, my point is that you don't need a label to define your size. Society constantly, through social media, magazines, films and TV, tells women that to be a above a certain size means to be lesser. Less attractive, less intelligent, less ambitious. Which of course, simply isn't true. So why do we obsess over completely archaic sizes that are totally inaccurate anyway? 

So please, ladies, don't go beating yourself by beating yourself into those jeans. You are and always will be so much more than a number on a label. And who really cares what that label says? As long as you're happy, healthy and can look in the mirror and say 'yeah I'm hella fine' that's all that matters. 

via GIPHY

And FYI, I went back and got at top in a 16- and it looks great. 

 

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The weather outside may say otherwise, but summer 2018 is FINALLY in sight – and with that, it's high time we give our wardrobes a bit of a style makeover. 

Sure, you could nip into town and fill you shopping bags with the high street's latest collections, but if you're on the hunt for unique finds and vintage threads, look no further than ASOS Marketplace. 

Home to the best independent brands and boutiques, the online store is a vintage lover's dream. 

From gorgeous accessories to colourful kimonos, here's just some of our favourite pieces available to buy right now. 

Bag strass multicolor // amandalovesvintage // €37.67
RARE 80s vintage Givenchy tweed jacket // givenchy // €148.96
Pink Corduroy Oversized Biker Jacket // style by s+s // €22.86
Vintage 90's Patchwork Dungaree Dress // €22.86
Vintage Inspired White and Gold Cat Eye Sunglasses // style by s+s // €13.75
Floral and Tile Printed Kimono Kaftan Cardigan // exceptional london // €22.90 
Light Grey "Habana" Sweatshirt // kaotiko // €51.45
Vintage 80s Levi's Mom Jeans RAW DENIM / 0001 // levi's // €41.24
Vintage 80s Tan Brown Suede Long Jacket // €63.02
Ring a Roses Print Co-ordinates // yapyap // €45.83
Vintage Floral High Waisted Denim Cut Off Shorts // levi's // €32.08
Chinese Paisley Crop Trousers // yapyap // €33.23

 

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So, the snow is pretty much a distant memory, and we can all start getting excited about Summer.

The sun, the holidays, the cocktails… but most importantly – the CLOTHES. 

No more heavy jumpers and rain jackets (well, almost), when the summer arrives we'll have a chance to wear dresses, sandals and all the good stuff. 

However, as we all know, Summer in Ireland lasts approximately 6 days, so we can't justify spending a fortune on sun-friendly fashion.

Thankfully, we have Penneys, a genuine gift from God. 

Anyway, they have given us a sneak preview of their High Summer 2018 collection, and it is FABULOUS. 

Have a look, and let us know your thoughts:

Dress €17
Sandals €10
Earrings €3

 

Dress €17
Ring Set €3

 

Dress €13
Bikini Top €9
Bikini Pant €6

 

Dress €17
Earrings
€5 Sandal €8

 

Cami €11
Jean €17
Sandals €6
Necklace €4

 

Shirt €13
Skirt €12
Earrings €3

 

Bikini Top €9
Bikini Pant €6
Necklace €4
Ring Set €3

 

Blouse €13
Jean €15
Earrings €5

 

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So, I think it is fairly safe to say that almost everyone is off today, as a result of the freakish weather. 

Anyway, if you find yourself at the computer, tempted to go mad with the online shopping, it's your lucky day. 

The gorgeous folks at River Island are offering a 20% discount site wide today – HURRAH! 

The code is SPRING18; the irony is not lost on us here. 

Anyway, if you are looking for some inspiration – look no further. 

This is how we'll be using our discount, and our entire pay check…

1. This gorge cosy cardigan, €55.

2. This fab crisp shirt, €37.

3. This tropical jumpsuit, €80.

4. This fab cross body bag, €43.

5. This perfect 'jeans and a nice top' number, €40.

6. These dreamy ankle boots, €87.

7. This stunning red blazer, €95.

8. These groovy green culottes, €55.

 

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Lately it seems as though everywhere we look, someone has a new and outrageous part of their body pierced. 

If you are not a fan of the idea of getting a bull ring, but still want a piercing, look no further. 

We have compiled a list of some of the daintiest ear piercings ever, and they are too adorable. 

 Prepare for some serious ear-envy…

 

 

 

 

There you have it… the perfect combination of femininity and edge. 

YES HONEY. 

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So, we're well into February at this stage, and the Christmas sales seem like a pretty distant memory.

However, there are still some serious bargains out there, as most of the sales are starting to well and truly wind down. 

Actually, most places are basically giving the stuff away by now, so it is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself. 

We had a good stalk of the Zara website, and found so many goodies for a tenner or less. 

Let's do this thing…

Printed Camisole Dress, €9.99.

Image 3 of PRINTED CAMISOLE DRESS from Zara

Tweed Top with Contrasting Ruffle, €9.99

Image 1 of TWEED TOP WITH CONTRASTING RUFFLE from Zara

 Wide Poplin Trousers, €7.99

Image 3 of WIDE POPLIN TROUSERS from Zara

Sateen Pointed Ankle Boots, €5.99.

Image 1 of SATEEN POINTED ANKLE BOOTS WITH LOW HEEL from Zara

Short Sleeve Crossover Blouse, €9.99.

Image 2 of SHORT SLEEVE CROSSED FRONT BLOUSE from Zara

Flowing Cropped Trousers, €3.99.

Image 2 of FLOWING CROPPED TROUSERS from Zara

Metallic Mesh Bucket Bag, €7.99.

Image 4 of METALLIC MESH MINI BUCKET BAG from Zara

 Printed Mini Dress, €9.99.

Image 2 of MINI DRESS WITH PRINT from Zara

Embroidered Sequin Jeans, €9.99.

Image 2 of EMBROIDERED SEQUINNED JEANS from Zara

Off the Shoulder Top, €9.99.

Image 6 of OFF-THE-SHOULDER TOP WITH GUIPURE DETAIL. from Zara

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 We're getting pretty sick of the dull and dreary weather, so we're looking to our wardrobes to brighten up our day. 

Luckily, Penneys have revealed their upcoming Summer collection, and it's looking pretty cheerful. 

The collection in achingly stylish, with nods to some of the new season's biggest trends. Check out a few of our favourite pieces, coming to a Penneys near you: 

Cropped PU jacket €17.00, Boyfriend Blazer €25.00, Suede Biker Jacket €28.00

White Boots €19.00, Bag €10.00, Yellow Flatforms €14.00 

Blue Striped Dress €16.00, Blue pinafore €18.00, Red Striped Dress €16.00 

Black Oversize Denim Jacket €19.00, Green Stripe Longline Coat €40.00, Yellow Raw Hem Jacket €19.00 

Straw Boater Hat €5.00, Plaid Skirt €13.00, Bag €8.00 

Embroidered Denim Skirt €11.00, Cord Skirt €14.00, Blue Denim Skirt €11.00

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When it comes to Instagram fashion pages, it can feel like once you've seen one, you've seen them all.

However, quite a few Irish fashion 'grammers have been catching our eye lately, for their unique styling, distinctive clothing taste and the serious outfit envy they inspire in us. 

Check out these 10 Instagram pages, run by some seriously cool Irish women:

10. Shaylyn Gilheaney

 

A post shared by Shaylyn Gilheaney (@shaylyngilheaney) on

9.Olivia Jane Coughlan

8. Lauren Bejaoui

 

A post shared by Lauren Bejaoui (@laurenbejaoui) on

7. Niamh Love Life (Niamh Webb O'Rourke)

6. Nelly Says (Edel Lyons)

 

A post shared by Nelly Says (@nellysays_) on

5. The Girl With The Bob (Sinead Watkins)

 

A post shared by SINEAD WATKINS (@thegirlwiththebob) on

4.Jolene Zoe Callaghan 

 

A post shared by Jolene (@jolene_zoe_callaghan) on

3. Freya Broni 

 

A post shared by F R E Y A B R O N I (@freyabroni) on

2. Grainne Binns

 

A post shared by Grainne Binns(@grainnebinns) on

1. Emma Zoey Roche

 

A post shared by Emma Roche (@emmazoeyroche) on

 

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Ever since the nineties, we have looked to Britney Spears for style inspiration (and a few faux pas, but we'll ignore them).

Anyway, the vast majority of the time, Britney can be seen wearing things we simply can't afford.

UNTIL NOW! 

 

Rebel just for kicks!!!!! 

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

The original Princess of pop music uploaded a video montage of herself, dancing around in a number of pink ensembles. 

One of those gorge outfits was actually a satin body con number, from out beautiful friends at PrettyLittleThing.

The best part? It only costs €15, meaning that we can pretty much ALL dress like our teen idol. 

Image

If you fancy treating yourself to this gorgeous little number, click here.

It's available in lime green also, if pink isn't your scene. 

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The Beauty Agency is a beauty collective led by renowned makeup artist Leonard Daly and celebrity hair stylist Lydia O’Carroll who are offering a bespoke beauty service and bringing New York fashion chic to private clients around Ireland. 

The Beauty Agency is the perfect choice for any ‘brides to be’ looking for an elegant and timeless look for their big day.

Their talented team members have all worked on a global level with some of the world’s most discerning clients and are experts at tailoring hair and makeup to suit each client’s individual style and features. The Beauty Agency know the power of good hair and makeup.

They don’t believe ‘treating yourself’ to professional beauty services should be reserved solely for special occasions- be it an important business meeting, a new LinkedIn profile photo or a night out on the town, the Beauty Agency have your back!

Leonard, who has over 25 years working in the beauty industry working with luxury brands including Tom Ford, Chanel, Estee lauder and Bobbi Brown, is in constant demand with high profile clients such as Joan Collins, Nathalie Dormer, Rachel Griffiths, Aidan Turner and members of the royal family.

Forever at the frontline of fashion and style trends, he has worked at both London and Paris Fashion weeks and his unique expertise and artistry are evident in his editorial work in British Vogue, IMAGE and Tatler. Leonard’s signature understated style will have you looking like you belong on the pages of Vogue.

Lydia returned home to Dublin from New York where for over a decade she worked the International fashion circuit as a principal stylist under acclaimed session stylists such as Guido creating inspired hair styles for major fashion shows like Victoria Secrets and Alexander McQueen.

With Lydia’s wealth of expertise you can rest assured not a hair will be out of place.

Together Lydia and Leonard want to bring couture hair and make-up to Irish women who want to perfect their style with an elegantly timeless and stunning look.

Fancy learning more about this incredible service? Give the gorgeous folks at The Beauty Agency a shout here

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Before this month, you could only rifle through the unique vintage finds curated by Public Romance by visiting the eclectic store on Galway's Abbeygate Street. 

Now, the vintage store has made its way into the 21st century by moving from bricks and mortar to online.

Now vintage lovers across the country can shop the unique stock from the comfort of their own homes. 

 

A post shared by Public Romance (@publicromance) on

Public Romance is bringing it's brand manifesto with it into the online sphere, offering two different shopping experiences.

'Public Romance offers two unique fashion retail experiences: on the ground floor, a selection of contemporary independent clothing and accessories for women are available, all of which are exclusive to Galway,' reads the PR website

'On the upper floor, Public Romance offers men’s and women's trend-orientated vintage clothing, dating from the 1960's to the 1990's – original Adidas pieces, classic streetwear, customised vintage Levi’s, military, festival outfits, and much more. '

 

A post shared by Public Romance (@publicromance) on

Both of these individual shopping experiences will be available to online users. 

Whether you're from Galway but miss being able to shop in your local vintage store, or are from across Ireland looking for somewhere new to swap your cash for one-off clothing, we recommend you check it out. 

And just in time for party season too. 

 

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We all like be comfortable on a long haul flight (or a short one ever, idf we're being honest!)

And I challenge you to tell me of a more comfortable shoe than a gloriously fluffy pair of UGG boots.

Well, if you love hitting the airport in a cosy UGG boot, you may want to reconsider ever flying with Qantas Airlines (one of Australia's most popular). 

Joanne Catherall, a singer from The Human League, was recently turned away from a Qantas Airlines business lounge because she was wearing UGGs. 

Apparently, the airline deemed Joanne's UGG boots as 'sleepwear' – which is banned from business and first class lounges.

It all sounds a little extreme, if you ask us. 

Also, does anyone else see the irony in the fact that UGGs are banned from an AUSTRALIAN airline – the birthplace of the UGG brand.

This is also not the first case of an airline attempting to police a woman's attire this year. 

In March of this year, United Airlines made headlines  when they prohibited a young girl from boarding a flight because she did not meet their dress code policy. 

She was wearing leggings… I mean, REALLY? 

What do you think, ladies? Do airlines have a right to dictate what we wear? 

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