Monday, 26 February 2018
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February 2018

After what seems like an eternity, it is finally time to leave Dry January behind and embrace fabulous February…

You know that January is well and truly over when the shops start to clear their sale items, colour creeps into the windows and pink and red hearts appear in the ‘Seasonal’ aisles in Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

February can be a tough month for personal style. It is still quite grey, and often frosty outside, so not the time to shed too many layers and definitely far too early for bare legs and peep toes. It’s easy to fall into a funk and feel unmotivated to get dressed every day, but my secret to staying motivated? I’m looking ahead to spring and planning some fun nights out!

Drinks with the Girls: 
Drinks with the girls is the best therapy that there is and the best time to show off your fashion sense. Whether it’s casual or elegant, take the opportunity to wear something that you don’t usually pull out of your closet!

Picture the scene. The group Whatsapp a few days before “Girls Night Out” and someone (usually me) asks, “What’s everyone wearing?” You just know what’s coming next…
Ping 1 I'll probably just go with a pair of jeans and a nice top, TBH
Ping 2 Yeah me too
Ping 3 same

Is there any other kind of outfit? Dresses and skirts have their place but 99 per cent of all evening occasions require jeans and a nice top.

It’s an outfit that every woman can fall back on and it hardly ever steers you wrong. However, it’s sometimes tricky finding the right ‘nice top’, and we could use a bit of help from retailers. Like say…a dedicated section?

And would you look, Missguided have done just that! The online fashion retailer has recently added a “Jeans and a nice top” section to their website claiming that if you’re looking for going out tops to wear with jeans in the form of sequins or lace, or fancy a long-sleeved style to pair with your new favourite denim, they will have everything your wardrobe is probably calling out for. How has no one thought of this idea before?

So now, instead of trawling through all of the jeans in Topshop jeans section and then hopping over the tops section to try to filter the 'nice' ones out from the 'too casual' ones, we can find all we need in one shopping destination! They’re not the only ones cottoning on however. The Style, I Saw It First and Oasis also have ‘jeans and a nice top’ sections where you can dial up and down the occasion from ‘popping out’ to ‘going out’ to ‘going Out Out’. A very important distinction.

Valentine’s Date Night:

I’m a huge fan of ‘Date Night’. These days, everyone is busy. We get it. Between work, family and social commitments, there's hardly enough time to squeeze in half an hour of Netflix, let alone carve out a significant chunk of time to spend with your other half.

But whether you’ve been together two years or twenty, date night is a ritual you should regularly observe. A “date” with your other half can provide a welcome excuse to get dressed up and to remind him that we are not just mums/wives/taxi-drivers. We can still scrub up well when we really set our minds to it. February 14 gives you even more of a reason to look across the table and see the person you married, the one you fell in love with, not the person who left his cycling gear and his bike in the hallway and forgot to take out the bins.
Unless you’re going on a cycle together or taking a yoga class, I suggest you, and he, dress up. This is a date, after all, a special occasion. Remember when you were first going out? An AC/DC T-shirt and jeans with rips was not the first choice of attire was it? (Actually, for me, it was!).

FashionWeek Fun

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this year marks the 25th season of Belfast FashionWeek. Taking place March 22-25 at venues across Belfast, the four-day schedule sees the return of the sell-out high street and designer runway shows at the stunning venue of St. Anne’s Cathedral – a fitting location for the iconic event’s silver anniversary.

Shows will include collections from the who’s who of our wonderful local boutiques and designers including Lover of Luxe, Nor Lisa as well as staples Jourdan, Blush and Grainne Maher. The style team will also show the top picks from the High Street and online including Boux Avenue, Remus Uomo, Designers at Debenhams and Zara, plus ASOS, Boohoo, M&S, Next and Topshop as well as French Connection, Karen Millen and Jigsaw, among others.

Also returning this season are the popular fringe events including the F Words brunch at Babel, as well as Sushi Saturday and Style Sunday at James Street South. Style Sunday, in aid of Action Cancer fundraiser, rounds off the fashionable affair and takes place the week after Mother’s Day, making the perfect gift in case anyone is reading this –hint, hint.

The full show schedule can be found at Catwalk tickets for the main shows on March 22 and 23 in St. Anne’s Cathedral are available to purchase from Visit Belfast on Tel: 028 9024 6609 or via the links on the website.

Stephanie & Jim
Missguided Jeans and a Nice top, Sheer Leopard Print Shirt, £28
Date Night Carrie Bradshaw style
Green With Envy at Belfast FashionWeek

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