Style Notes: Last-Minute Swimwear and Classic Sundresses You’ll Wear Forever

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After weeks of talking about it and days of packing, we were off. Off on our holliers. In the opposite direction from the airport, we were outside at 6:30 a.m., relishing the sight of empty roads when it took a piece of music, Loudon Wainwright III’s epic The Swimming Song, to stop my gallop. .

there was a hint of concern and I stopped to check. As feared, the swim bag was not in the trunk. I had only gone over her at the front door in my effort to get coffee to the car. Disheartened for two minutes, I did a quick check on the phone and swerved onto the motorway – which meant I was outside Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt when it opened at 7am.

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Navy linen jacket 100 pieces €60, trousers €40, lime jersey drop shoulder top and linen hem, €25, Carolyn Donnelly The Edit, Dunnes Stores and online

Navy linen jacket 100 pieces €60, trousers €40, lime jersey drop shoulder top and linen hem, €25, Carolyn Donnelly The Edit, Dunnes Stores and online

Have you ever shopped for clothes at 7 a.m. before? I’ve done late night and super late night in the US, but this was the first time I was in a dressing room trying on linen coats just when Morning Ireland hit the airwaves. Maybe there are some poor sleepers out shopping just after dawn but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and it was totally stress free.

Turns out this giant food, fashion and lifestyle store is open from 7am to 11pm and I knew exactly where I was going. To replace the Carolyn Donnelly The Edit swimsuit I needed in three hours when I arrived at my destination.

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Carolyn Donnelly The Edit green print swimsuit, €30, in a selection of Dunnes Stores and online;  100-piece sarong in green printed cotton, €25, available soon


Carolyn Donnelly The Edit green print swimsuit, €30, in a selection of Dunnes Stores and online; 100-piece sarong in green printed cotton, €25, available soon

Carolyn Donnelly The Edit green print swimsuit, €30, in a selection of Dunnes Stores and online; 100-piece sarong in green printed cotton, €25, available soon

I smiled sadly realizing that my ‘mistake’ wasn’t actually bad because the new collection of her beachwear had arrived so within minutes I had acquired a green one-piece (€30), plus a pareo (€ 25).

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Carolyn Donnelly The Edit green print kaftan, €50, Dunnes Stores selected and online


Carolyn Donnelly The Edit green print kaftan, €50, Dunnes Stores selected and online

Carolyn Donnelly The Edit green print kaftan, €50, Dunnes Stores selected and online

There were two caftans (50€) with coordinated prints and I took one during the day and will probably go back for the second. It will be so practical worn over linen pants. I also walked out of the store with a salad bowl from Carolyn’s Eclectic collection. And yes, it is also in his signature jadey green. When I find a color that makes me happy, I go for it. dunnestores.com

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Gunas galore

If I’m not in my oversized marinières, jeans and clogs this summer, you will most certainly find me in a dress! I love the instant dressing that comes with a gúna. No faffing around. Just grab a bag, shoes and earrings and away you go.

Over the years I have acquired a good selection of evening dresses, summer dresses and my Helen Steele silk dresses from Costume on the Dublin Castle market – they are the backbone of my wardrobe of summer. The 100pc silk is beautiful against the skin and in bad weather I wear them as a tunic over jeans or cropped pants.

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Helen Steele 'Aga' dress, €995, Costume at Castle Market, Dublin


Helen Steele ‘Aga’ dress, €995, Costume at Castle Market, Dublin

Helen Steele ‘Aga’ dress, €995, Costume at Castle Market, Dublin

This season, Helen’s eponymous luxury collection includes a stunning ‘Aga’ dress (€995) in silk satin with a striking print inspired by fishing nets. It’s the simplicity of the dress that makes it a winner with its flowing silhouette, loose ruffle and long sleeves.

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Helen Steele 'Cora' 100 piece silk dress in 'Dimi' print, €765, Costume, Castle Market, Dublin.  Image: Eoin Greally


Helen Steele ‘Cora’ 100 piece silk dress in ‘Dimi’ print, €765, Costume, Castle Market, Dublin. Image: Eoin Greally

Helen Steele ‘Cora’ 100 piece silk dress in ‘Dimi’ print, €765, Costume, Castle Market, Dublin. Image: Eoin Greally

Meanwhile, the ‘Cora’ (€765) is still a popular shape with loyal Helen collectors and has a vertical ruffle, ruffled hem and comes in two prints. The ‘Bali’ style dress (€630) with a green ‘nets’ print is a resolutely relaxed shape, with an open collar and a silk tie. costumedublin.ie
Rushing through the RTÉ radio studios recently, I spotted a Botanical Dream Boat in the window of Havana Boutique in Donnybrook and made a point of heading home that way.

Maybe it’s a post-Bloom festival thing but I’m totally in love with colorful flowers. They have been the cornerstone of so many memorable Dolce & Gabbana Sicilian prints and this season Celine and Zimmermann have delivered such beautiful flowers as did Richard Quinn who is never afraid to kiss blouse flowers and saturated.
Passed the door of Havana, I quickly discovered that the object of my desire was called ‘Juliet’ and if I was seduced from afar, I loved her even more up close when I saw the maxi cotton bustier with summer garden print. Above all, I loved those puffy sleeves that hide that part of the upper arms that I hate with a passion.

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Borgo de Nor 'Juliet' dress, €880, Havana, Donnybrook


Borgo de Nor ‘Juliet’ dress, €880, Havana, Donnybrook

Borgo de Nor ‘Juliet’ dress, €880, Havana, Donnybrook

The “Juliet” is from Borgo de Nor, a London-based label run by two very creative women, Carmen Borgonovo and Joana de Noronha. Their goal is to transcend dress codes by redefining art-inspired glamour.

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Borgo de Nor 'Antigone' dress, €1,085, Havana, Donnybrook


Borgo de Nor ‘Antigone’ dress, €1,085, Havana, Donnybrook

Borgo de Nor ‘Antigone’ dress, €1,085, Havana, Donnybrook

Havana boss Nikki Creedon expertly buys Borgo de Nor and another star of the genre, the ‘Antigone’ dress (€1,085). This off-the-shoulder floral maxi is cut from cotton poplin with a wildflower print. The silhouette is very flattering with its sleeve bands that frame the neckline. With loose pleats falling from the empire line and a square neckline, ‘Antigone’ has a modern day Bridgerton feel. If you’ve been saving up during the pandemic and want to treat yourself to a “keeper” of a dress, check out these beauties. The stock in Havana also includes new deliveries from Rick Owens and Ulla Johnson.
havanaboutique.ie

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