Laundry Love

As you’ve probably realised by now, for me, Vintage is King (and Queen). I’m all about embodying past eras and I love how I can be transported to another time simply by the clothes I choose that morning. I spend hours scouring vintage shops and thrift stores in the hope of discovering a dress that will depict absolutely a time in history, so that I can bring it home to chreish and call upon whenever I want to be taken away from the Twenty-Tens (I’m still not convinced about this particular decade name).

However, for all that I wax lyrical about vintage there can be – forgive me for even saying it – issues! One of these issues is of course the obvious ambiguity of sizing. Now I don’t really mind this so much because, as I’ve said in the past, if it fits … it was yours in waiting. Also, if it’s too big, it can easily be altered on the sewing machine. If it’s too small? Alas the problem can be difficult to overcome – well unless you are a complete whiz at recreating in which case the possibilities are always endless you talented thing.

The other ‘problem’ for many people I know is that, although they love the various styles from the twentieth century, they simply don’t want to wear other peoples (very) old clothes. Particularly true when the likelihood is the person who owned the clothes has probably long since left us for that big dressing room in the sky. Again for me this just adds to the beauty of the item – the dress can live on even when the ball it was bought for remains only in faded photographs. For those of my friends that have issues with it … this is a creepy thought.

And finally, and there’s really no denying this one, vintage can be expensive – particuarly here in Ireland. That’s not to Ireland-bash or throw accusations at our vintage stores, it’s more just a fact of our economic climate: rent is expensive, transport pricey and other too-boring-to-mention-on-this-blog-costs can really affect the end price.

So all of this got me thinking, what to do if you’re not a whiz with the needle and thread, you love old style clothes but feel faint at the thoughts of wearing someones elses mothball smelling garments, or really can’t stretch to investing in any vintage pieces? As I rushed through Grafton St toward the Luas yesterday morning I got my answer. Although time pressure meant my beloved Drury St was being neglected, I did just have time to nip into the newly laid out BT2. I scooted upstairs to what was previously the haunt of little people and made a beeline for the immensely inviting Laundry Room section. This is a label that I have been a fan of for some time but certainly wasn’t expecting what greeted me. Their current stock really took my breath away and I did little circles around myself as I tried to take everything in; beautiful colours, adorable collars, wonderful prints … my arm was heavy with clothes after 2 minutes (apparently the Luas could wait another little while).

Still coveting this Coral number – image from[/caption%5D

The designs took me to Carnaby St of the 1960s ….vibrant, fun and stylish. And I wanted it all. The thing is I have often seen nice retro style dresses for affordable prices and although they hold my interest initially, the quality generally lets them down and leaves me disappointed. These dresses however, mostly costing between €50 – €60, were a pleasure to try on. The styles nod to vintage but are in no way copycat – they stand on their own as exciting original designs. The fabrics are beautiful quality, the attention to detail is a joy and I felt happy and stylish in every single one. And of course it’s an Irish label which makes me ecstatic.

My first love was a shift dress in a beautiful coral (it’s labeled as red so perhaps I’m just being colour blind) but I just couldn’t decide if the shade clashed with my red hair in a good way or a bad way! I’ve been thinking about it ever since so I’ll probably be back for it pretty soon. In the end I came away with an adorable navy and white 3/4 length sleeve dress with small Peter Pan type collar – there were so many that I could have chosen but in the end I felt I could make this my own, the fit was beautiful and it reminded me of a sailor type dress that was all the rage at my Confirmation!

[caption id="attachment_261" align="aligncenter" width="329"]Irene O'Brien Irene O’Brien

So apparently there is plenty of room in my life for ‘new’ – who knew?

Laundry Room stocked in Dublin’s BT2, Arnotts and Fran & Jane, Blackrock