Monday, 2 March 2015

Let's Talk About Suede

I’m not going to lie!  Suede is tricky.  Suede is very, very tricky.  It attracts flakes and they like to nestle in there for the long haul.  I still remember being at a party many years ago and glancing down at my suede ankle boots to discover that despite knee high socks and skinny trousers, somehow the flakes had made their way down my legs and were having a little party of their own on the toecap of each boot.  MOR-TI-FIED!

So although this is one of the trends for the new season, proceed with caution.  And honestly?  As much as I like to offer as many options as possible, my only advice to those with scalp psoriasis is … steer clear!  It’s not worth it and you’ll just make yourself miserable.  Tip your hat at the trend with a suede bag instead.

So onwards we go and I have to say, that for all the hype in the fashion mags, it was a pretty arduous task to track down much in the high street stores.  Apart from Mango!  Mango is awash with suede this season … in every conceivable shape, size, design and colour.  But first up, I liked this blush Noisy May suede blazer from Next.  If you’ve decided to ignore my advice (really?!) and feel your life will be incomplete without a suede jacket this season, then at the very least choose something that might just camouflage the ‘snowfall’!

A departure from the usual trousers, with this Limited Edition suede skirt from Massimo Dutti.  Wear now with over the knee boots and opaques, or if your trendiness knows no bounds, you could also wear with leggings/footless tights and ballet flats.  But NOT with gladiators such as these ... oooooh NO!  That, my fellow Flakies, is more than anyone wants to see!

I have a bit of a soft spot for an obi belt – and they seem to be coming back into their own again.  This is good news as I have a Helen James one in leather and silk languishing in the back of the wardrobe for the past ten years or more.   (Yes, the same Helen James who now makes jams and cake tins for Dunnes Stores.  She was once a clothing designer *mutters ‘overachiever’*) But if you don’t have one, this Grey Suede Kimono Belt from Mint Velvet could be a perfect addition to your wardrobe.

And now onto Mango whose selection is seriously very impressive.  Not too pricey either so you’re not in danger of breaking the bank for this trend.   If you’re feeling very brave and don’t think that your scalp will let you down, this is a beautiful suede coat which would be just perfect for those bright and breezy spring days.

A paler colour this time which is slightly less risky for those of you who prefer a suede jacket.

Perhaps a biker jacket is more your style?

Or have I scared you so much that you’re now going to give suede a wide berth?!  There are still ways however to acknowledge the trend without fear.  These fringe suede sandals are so cute.  Great foot coverage and tick both the suede and fringe trend at once.

Continuing this combined trend, there is the fringed suede bag.  This is not for me.  Not. At. All.  I can already see myself being choked in the car door; lassoing babies in shopping trollies; getting tangled up in the hospital lift; the list is endless.  I like my bags to be functional as well as stylish, but if you are more careful than I, then off you go.  This has the 70s boho vibe down pat!

And of course, I couldn’t possibly disappoint.  A post on suede without including my trademark favourite shoes?  Perish the thought!  And better still with 20% off today only if you purchase online.  I give you the Marks & Spencer, Limited Edition Peep Toe Shoe Boot with Insolia.

Happy Monday everyone! 

Friday, 27 February 2015

It's Almost That Time Of Year ...

I always thought this season was the preserve of the Irish, but in recent years I’ve discovered that this is almost as big a deal in the UK too.  Well, who knew?  I am talking of course about the First Holy Communion!  A day that is allegedly all about the child, but who are we kidding?  It’s also about the mother and what on earth we should wear on a day that is most definitely an occasion, when the sun will (fingers crossed) be shining, when we will celebrating with family and friends and when we need to look like we’ve made a serious effort .

All sounds wonderful but not quite so joyful if you have to tick the above criteria and conceal psoriasis at the same time.   Fear not!  I come bearing options.  When it was my turn (a staggering six years ago now – where does the time go?) I was in the lucky position that my skin was behaving and the arms were good enough to go on show.  (There may have been a sneaky week in the sun involved, that’s all I’m saying.)  But if that is not the case for you, do not panic.  I was pleasantly surprised by the options available.  But word to the wise … shop now!  There will be little if anything left if you leave it too close to May.

So, guess what?  I’m not going to bore you with the predictable selection of wide legged trousers/skinnies and blazers.  Instead I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and this is what I’ve found.

Breaking you in gently, how about a trouser suit?  But one in a soft yellow twill that will look completely in vogue during the warmer months yet will keep you fully covered.  Pair with a drape neck white blouse (Primark and River Island both have long sleeved versions at the moment) and some caged sandals and you’re good to go.  Accessorise with navy, grey, metallic or white – there are more options that you think.  
great occasion wear for someone with psoriasis

It took me a while but I finally managed to track down some jumpsuits that are not black and actually have sleeves.  Result!  Combining glamour and comfort, these are beloved of the fashion pack (although I still struggle with the whole bathroom issue!) and are so easy to accessorise.  First up this Glamorous Long Sleeved Jumpusit from Asos
Ideal for anyone who has psoriasis

This looks so easy to wear, yet is perfect for a dressy occasion.  Just add a blazer if it’s chilly and if feet are an issue, there is a wide range of my beloved peep toe boots in most shoe shops this season.  On a cost per wear basis, this could be a winner as it’s a perfect for an night out and then next year, when you’ve moved onto a different look for evenings, this would still be ideal with a pair of converse for everyday wear.

Another option is this teal belted wrap jumpsuit from Warehouse.  Probably more suited to those without a scalp psoriasis issue however, due to the colour.  
Great for anyone who wants to conceal psoriasis

I even (deep breath, I’m going in…) took a look at dresses.  This is a tricky area!  You could go down the route of a fabulous maxi dress with a little shrug, but again I was trying to be a little less predictable today.  As most of the Communions take place in May, the option of black opaque tights is just not a viable one.  Frankly, you’d look ridiculous!  (Unless it’s lashing rain, which let’s face it, is not improbable)  However, some time ago I was given the genius tip of wearing dance tights, so this is the idea behind this next choice.

This printed oversized lace dress from Next is just the perfect dress for such an occasion.  And usually I would look, sigh and move on.  But I really do think that this could work with the dance tights.  Just remember the advice to pull the tights up on your arm to get a correctly matching skin tone.  This could be accessorised with grey, yellow or coral.  Lots of choice to have lots of fun!

Another dress, although more muted this time, is the Boat Neck dress from Next.  Although this would work well with dark opaques right now, I still think that the dance tights are the best option for May

Finally, old habits die hard, so just one little quick blazer that I wanted to share.  This is just so ideal for anyone with scalp psoriasis who is longing to wear something dark.  The small white dots on this Kallisti Blazer from Reiss will provide the perfect camouflage.  A little on the pricier side, but without doubt, this is an investment piece that you’d have in your wardrobe for years.  Pair with wide legged trousers and a white silk pussy bow blouse for a seventies dressy vibe, or wear with denims and flats after the Big Event.
perfect blazer to disguise scalp psoriasis

Summer is always a little more difficult when it comes to concealing your skin, but I think all of these options could work.  Also perfect if you have a wedding or christening in the diary this summer.  
And now I must fly ... literally … London is beckoning this weekend for a meet-up with some fabulously stylish bloggers.  Dear Lord! What on earth am I going to wear? 

Happy weekend


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Wednesday Wish

Today’s Wish is taking a different type of slant, as today I’m going to talk about a wish that came true.  One of my aims when starting this blog was to raise awareness of psoriasis and to get people talking about and understanding it.  So that wish was certainly realised today when I had the opportunity to speak on Irish national radio about living with this disease.  I was interviewed by Pat Kenny on Newstalk FM and was joined by Prof Brian Kirby, a consultant dermatologist in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.  I think if you listen you’ll find lots of interesting information (from the Prof obviously … you can probably guess what I talked about!)

 Click here to listen to the segment (about 14 mins long)

When the show finished I was contacted by the Newstalk Team asking if I had any suggestions for an article on Seven Things You Shouldn’t Say To Someone With Psoriasis.  Seven?  I could have suggested seventy!  Which seven would you have chosen?



Monday, 23 February 2015

Monday Musings

Greetings from an utterly crazy Dublin, where we are experiencing ‘four seasons in one day’  When I left the house this morning, it was snowing … I then battled against the wind … I later sweltered in the sunshine on Grafton Street … and it’s now pelting down with rain.  A day for layering, if ever there was one!

However, enough of the weather and on with the serious business of fashion!  As I wandered through Marks & Spencer this morning, I quickly took a few pictures of items that would be so useful in any wardrobe during the Spring and Summer months.  And with 20% off until midnight tonight (code FEB15SM) this is the ideal time to avail of a bargain.

The quilted jacket shows no sign of disappearing.  I was reluctant to buy one two years ago as I feared it may be a passing fad (that’s my fashion cred out the window) but this blue quilted bolero jacket has really taken my fancy.  100% cotton, so a great light cover to wear over a tee or vest top in the summer.  It would provide great coverage without being too warm and of course is also ideal for anyone with scalp psoriasis.  Also available in red and €82 before discount.  



The second item is this gossamer light open front midi cardigan.  Again it ticks all the boxes in terms of colour, weight and fabric and I honestly think would give an excellent return on ‘cost per wear’.   €40 before discount and also available in dusky pink.

Finally, I spotted this coat a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it.  Sod’s Law, it has disappeared from the Irish website and is out of stock on the UK website.    If you’re trying to locate it, it’s called the Crew Neck Ikat Jacket, but it’s still available in both the Grafton St and Dundrum stores.  I think this would be so gorgeous if paired with black trousers and a silk blouse – perfect for a special occasion such as the upcoming Communions & Confirmations (which I do plan to do a post on very soon) but equally just as smart with a pair of jeans, brogues and long sleeved tee.

Next on my list to share with you; haircare!  If you’re looking for a decent shampoo that actually smells nice, will leave your hair silky & shiny but really shouldn’t irritate your scalp, I have two new recommendations.  The first I found in TK Maxx and much to my disgust it is not for sale in Ireland.  It is free from all the nasty stuff that causes scalp irritation but has additional lovely things such as fairy dust and angels kisses (science was never my strong suit, can you tell?!) However it can be purchased online.  The Organic Surge range.


Today however, I needed a new shampoo urgently and I must confess to visibly wincing this morning as I handed over €37 for this L’Occitane shampoo and conditioner.  There is no way that this will be on display in my shower.  I shall hide it in the dark depths of the bathroom cabinet as at that price, I’m not sharing!  Disgustingly expensive, but oooh, does it smell and feel wonderful!  After so many coal tar and ‘hemp/flax’ concoctions over the past years, this makes a very luxurious change.  (Justification Alert!  I’m off bread and chocolate and sweets and all things nice for Lent – I deserve a treat!)


And finally … all hail the gorgeous Leslie Mann who last night at the Oscars, proved magnificently what I’ve been saying for years.  In the midst of all the strapless, backless and see-through dresses, you simply can’t beat the classic simplicity of a white tuxedo!
Photo via GettyImages
Have a good week