Irish clothing

Originally uploaded by Pat and Amy’s pics

Much of what is true about men’s clothing is equally true for women’s clothing in Ireland. Black is the dominant color, and jeans are worn, but less often than in the states.

Again, let’s start at the top. It seems a higher percentage of women here than in the states have straight hair, but whether that’s genetic or not, well, only their hairdressers know for sure. And the bleaching of hair seems more common here, too. One day, while waiting in the check-out line at the store, I noticed that the five women in front of me all had artificially lightened hair. I looked behind me and two of the three women had unnatural blond streaks, while the third had given her brown hair a red tint.

Many women, maybe even most, wear scarves, and Amy has adopted this bit of fashion for herself. The scarves are a practical way to keep warm, but they are also used as part of a fashionable clothing ensemble. Most women seem to have a closet-full of scarves at the ready to coordinate perfectly with the outfit they are wearing on the day.

Flights to the East Coast of the U.S. aren’t that expensive from Ireland, and because the dollar is so weak, many people fly to the states to go shopping for clothing (and electronics). As a result, women’s clothing follows what appears to be an East Coast style: feminine and fitted, and the empire waistline is quite common. My East Coast fashion experience is based on Sex and the City, so you’ll have to forgive me if my impressions are off base.

There isn’t much of the Eddie Bauer-type casual clothing here, especially on a night out, and I have yet to see an Irish woman in a pair of khaki pants. Go to a pub on a Friday night, and you’ll see the women dressed to the nines, while the men are dressed to the threes in their jeans and t-shirts. Pretty good deal for us men all the way around I have to say.

Amy looked for an extra pair of shoes when she first got here and had trouble finding something without high heels. We saw a show on television where the host was talking to a shoe store owner. The shop owner explained that a particular shoe was “practical” because its four-inch heels were wedge heels rather than spike heels. I’m going to venture that many women here really seem more interested in style versus comfort.