Kaftan season

As the season heats up, we’re all reaching for the hottest garment around … the kaftan! Yes, despite the magical, mystical legends associated with Ancient Persia and Mesopotamia where the kaftan is said to have originated, the kaftan has always had an incredibly practical purpose – to keep the wearer cool in hot climates.

Although it was originally a male garment, this practical garment has long since become a hit with both genders as women too appreciate the comfort of a kaftan.

Kaftan Summer

Dress for the weather

A kaftan is ideal when temperatures rise and those made from cotton, linen or fine silk offer ideal solutions for staying cool in warm weather. As well as fabric, the cut and style of the kaftan can play a part in keeping bodies cool and comfortable, with wide necked kaftans offering flowing folds of fabric to accentuate the effects of any breeze. Another great advantage of rocking the kaftan in the summer is that there are minimal seams to dig in, constrict or chafe against hot skin – perfect for staying cool in or after the sun.

Dress for the occasion

Whilst a kaftan is the ultimately versatile garment of the season, the way to vary its look according to the occasion is often through the careful use of accessories:

• Add glamour with jewellery, such as accent pendants and bangles. For formal occasions, remember that less is more and stick to single, statement pieces for the neck, ears or arms – think Elizabeth Taylor in her stunning signature kaftan looks. For more relaxed occasions such as festivals, go to town with lots of separate strands of beads, chains and bangles, to add to that sense of free-flowing fun and femininity, a kaftan style favoured by Paris Hilton.

• Step out to suit the occasion by using your footwear as the key piece for varying your kaftan’s look. Slip-on heels and jewelled sandals add sophistication for formal occasions, whilst open toed flats are great for occasions when you want a more understated look.

• Scarves can be a kaftan’s best friend, for styling to suit all occasions. Using a scarf as a sash belt seriously dresses up your kaftan look and gives definition to your figure, whilst a scarf worn loosely around the neck or hair line helps to style a more informal look.

Finally, remember that your choice of kaftan design can add to your style options. Kaftans with embroidered necklines have their own evening glamour appeal, whilst those short, sheer kaftans ideally suited for the beach can move sweetly from beach to bar … just slide on an underslip (to reduce the transparency of the fabric) and swap your sunglasses and sandals for heels and jewels and you’re well on the way to really making the most of the days and nights of kaftan season!

Content provided by: Anchor House Kaftans

Summer jumpsuit

I bought this jumpsuit about three months ago after seeing it in Grazia magazine. It was a supremely affordable £24.99 from H&M and I was convinced I’d live in it all spring/summer. Suffice to say I’ve worn it once, making the cost per wear considerably higher than some of my pricier buys that get worn on repeat.


It’s nice and comfy and flattering. The problem? There’s just something hugely inconvenient (and this is definitely the unglamorous side of fashion!) about having to remove pretty much ALL your clothes every time you want to go to the loo! Just. Not. Practical.


Every girl should have a little black drink

Currently kicking about the house and sleeping in this Guinness T-shirt, a souvenir from my recent Dublin weekend away with my parents:


A much more exciting purchase that weekend was my wedding dress, which I impulse bought in Brown Thomas department store. I only tried on two dresses, but both mum and I agreed that the second one was ‘the one’. (Possibly because the first one was so awful! It looked great on the hanger but I’d be hard pushed to find a more unflattering dress on!).

Dress shopping hadn’t been in the plan but I’m really glad it worked out that way. I was never one of those girls who grew up fantasising about weddings but nonetheless it was lovely to have my mum with me when I chose my dress. Dad enjoyed the celebratory fizz back at the apartment but was probably glad to have avoided the shopping experience!

Since we have minimal storage space in our rented flat, the dress is hanging up full length in storage in my parents’ place. With six months to go to the big day, I reckon I’ll give myself at least four months to lose the wine waist before trying it on again!

A few pics from our fab time in Dublin…













Delicious foods for strong and healthy hair

Styling and blow drying takes its toll on your hair so, to give it a fighting chance, nourish it from within. A healthy diet is critical for a stunning, glossy head of hair – and there are certain foodstuffs that can really give your crowning glory a boost. Incorporate these great foods into your diet as often as you can and you’ll have a head of hair you can be really proud of.

Rich in healthy fats and Vitamins B and E, avocados are thought to prevent hair loss and promote strong and healthy growth. Vitamin B promotes growth, while the fat soluble Vitamin E keeps your scalp in tip-top condition.

Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes get their spectacular orange colour from being rich in beta carotene. This is a powerful antioxidant that your body uses to create Vitamin A. Eating sweet potatoes will protect and nurture your scalp and, along with other beta-carotene rich foods, they are definitely recommended if you suffer from dandruff.

Blueberries take their dark purple colour from the wealth of antioxidants they contain. Primary among them is Vitamin C, which supports circulation to the scalp – absolutely essential for bringing oxygen and nutrients to the hair roots. Furthermore, Vitamin C contributes to hair strength and combats breakage.

Of all the nuts, walnuts have the highest levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, which will contribute to the health of both your scalp and hair. Add to that the benefits of the protein, Vitamin E, copper and biotin which they also contain, and walnuts should be proclaimed a hair super food!

Eating chicken and turkey meat is a top choice when it comes to hair health – they’re rich in protein, zinc, B vitamins and iron. These are all nutrients your hair thrives on and, of course, protein is really what hair is made of, so you need a good source of it in your diet if you want healthy, glossy hair.

As you might expect, the benefits of eggs for your hair are very similar to those of chicken! An egg is a self-contained dose of protein, zinc, iron, sulphur, vitamin D, iodine, B vitamins and selenium. As well as eating them, you can use them in a variety of home-made hair masks for extra egg power!

If your diet is deficient in zinc, you run the risk of losing your hair. However, if oysters are to your taste, help is at hand as they are particularly rich in zinc. This mineral will also contribute to your scalp health, so if you suffer dry, flaky skin on your head, oysters could be the answer.

Greek yogurt
As if being simply delicious wasn’t enough to make you eat it, Greek yogurt is a fabulous source of protein, vitamin D and vitamin B5. Vitamin D is critical for hair health and, as it’s a fat soluble vitamin, choosing the low fat yogurt option isn’t always the best choice if that’s what you’re eating it for.

Salmon is a modern super food – it’s high in protein and rich in Omega 3, the star of the fats family. In fact, Omega 3 fatty acids make up about 3 per cent of the hair shaft and can’t be manufactured in the body – so if you want great hair, you’ll either have to eat oily fish or take a supplement.

About the author:
NiceHair is a hair loss prevention specialist website featuring tips, tricks and advice on hair loss prevention, interviews, healthy eating, delicious recipes as well as beauty tips, reviews and lists a number of best vitamins for hair growth. For more information please visit nicehair.org and get in touch.

Mother knows best!

So my mum and I were wandering round Topshop Dublin last weekend and my mum points to a T-shirt and says “That’s nice, I really like that.” To which I reply “Are you taking the actual p*ss?!” Because I’m wearing the very T-shirt she’s indicating! Turns out she hadn’t noticed. Not surprising really since we left the apartment super early to get breakfast out before queuing up to see the Book of Kells. Nice to know my choice of top gets the seal of approval though!



First attempt wedding dress

I was never the kind of little girl who grew up fantasising about what her wedding dress would be like. What uni I’d get into or what the cover of that Booker prize-winning novel would look like (um, work in progress) maybe, but a dress for one day out of your whole life? Seriously?

Fast forward way too many years and I now have a serious obsession over what to wear on that one day! My initial approach was to downplay the whole thing and pick up something from the high street. Cue the Reiss Rosalin 1971 dress. Named after one of my best friends (the lovely Roslynn – fate can accommodate a slight misspell) and the year I was born.

I love lace dresses so this looked like a surefire winner. However, I tried it on instore yesterday and couldn’t get into the 10 (my normal size). Managed to wriggle into the 12 but it looked awful. What the pics don’t show is that the bottom half of the skirt kicks out into a kind of sticky-outy ra-ra style. Not flattering and with a bit too much of the Shirley Temples about it.



Oh well, onwards and upwards! I won’t share the dress I pick before the big day itself, but all the mis-shapes, mistakes and misfits (of which I suspect there will be many) will be dissected here! Feel free to share any ideas you have about where I should be looking in the comments.


Family Easter 2015

What a wonderful weekend of warm weather. It was snowing here on Tuesday, yet my nephews were playing in the paddling pool yesterday! We had a lovely family Easter and today’s bank holiday has been fab too. Can all weekends be like this please? :)