Dublin holiday: what I wore and bought

I know some of you love architecture and scenery and gorgeous places, which I shared in my last Dublin post. Whereas some of you love outfit photos and a little bit of shopping. So this post is for you. 😉

Our friends Jen and Emma who came over from Wales for the first few days aren’t really big fans of having their photos taken, so I won’t embarrass them with posting anything incriminating. So instead, here’s a photo of our drinks. Hanging out with dear old friends in Dublin was so much fun and made the trip extra special!


Now of course, there were selfies and outfit photos taken during our trip… some better than others–low lighting in pub bathrooms and such. And I didn’t manage to capture my outfit every day, sorry!

The spread below includes the first full day of the trip, when I discovered that clogs were a horrific choice for the amount of walking we were doing, to the second day when I had to wear moccasins which were equally horrific, to when I purchased some comfy Clarks brogues which saved my feet and sanity the rest of the trip, and ending with a goofy shot trying to capture both Mel and I in an elevator.


I used to make notoriously poor wardrobe choices for travel. I’d get to my destination and nothing would match, or I’d have the wrong clothes for the weather, or something else equally stupid. But on our last couple of big overseas trips (Dublin and Cardiff/Edinburgh), I’ve done great. Ermm, except for the shoes of course.

I aim for cute but easy wear, easy care (well okay, there was ironing involved). And easy to mix and match is a must (button up a cardigan over a dress and now it’s a skirt combo; same cardigan works with a dress or jeans; a few choice accessories that coordinate with several outfits). And I admit: the shorter hair, while a pain in the wind (I noticed mostly ponytails, buns or very short hair in Dublin), was ideal since right now, I only have to set it right after washing, and it stays decent until the next wash.

These are the Clarks that saved my feet (sorry, they only show on the Clarks UK site, but the style is Gin Spritz), on the gorgeous floor at Christchurch Cathedral:


Seriously, as soon as I bought them I never took them off my feet!

Here are a couple more outfits that are representative of what I wore mot of the time, taken in the hotel hallway mirror. First with my Curclicute cardigan and a 40s housedress, second with my Singin’ in the Rain dress and Cath Kidston cardigan that I purchased in Dublin.


Now, I’m not a big shopper on most vacations. Shoes that didn’t want to murder my feet were a necessary purchase, but my splurges really only came at the Cath Kidston store. Probably ho hum for my British and Irish readers, but I love Cath Kidston and this was only the second time I’d visited a shop (the first was last year in Cardiff). So I came prepared to throw down a bit. (In fairness, I did try and find a cute dress or a jacket to come home with me but nothing suited me anywhere we went.)

The first Cath Kidston purchase was a shoulder bag that I carried a decent portion of the trip, shown here in a photo with Mel that Jen took of us outside Dublin Castle. It’s oilcloth fabric, so it was perfect for drizzly weather!

outside Dublin Castle with Mel

And later on in the trip, I managed to find myself in our hotel room with a new purse (also waterproof, and a style I already own in green with white polka dots, that I purchased in Cardiff last year), a cute cotton cardigan, and 2.5 meters of fabric. (Both the purse and cardigan made it into my outfit rotation on the trip, as seen elsewhere in this post.)

purchases from Cath Kidston

Wait let’s back that up a minute. OMG THEY SOLD FABRIC. Most was oilcloth, but there were a select few (like six) medium-weight cottons. I felt Supremely Reserved that I only bought fabric for one dress. It also helped the disappointment over not buying a dress like I had planned to, as once I was in the shop, none of the current styles suited me or were in my size.

Here’s the feast for your eyes that was the fabric and wallpaper department (wallpaper was on the right). I. KNOW.

cath kidston

What was my typical outfit on the trip? A dress, thick nude tights (American Apparel ones that I got just for the trip and loved them until they developed a hole and runs way faster than their price should have dictated–and their customer support was complete crap about it, so I do not recommend them*), a cardigan and the brogues I bought early on.

*but if you know of anyone else who sells thick nude tights vs. thin sheer ones please let me know :(

And then I just topped things off with either a wool blazer or raincoat, plus woolie accessories, depending on the weather. I don’t like to carry an umbrella unless I have to, so in cooler weather I opt for my favorite hooded mac from Boden. Plus it’s cute and doesn’t look like you’re wearing an ugly raincoat. Although I’m lazy and nearly never button it, just zip it up the front.


mel-tasha (this was the first full day, so still in the footwear malfunction stage)



It was frankly too cold, windy and/or rainy to take any real outfit photos during the trip. So this is about as close as we got, taken when we went on a day trip by train to the seaside village of Howth, when I momentarily took off a few layers just for the photo op. It was in front of a gorgeous stone lighthouse building with a bright red door.

Howth and Singin' in the Rain dress

(By the way, in the near future you’ll get to see a bit more of Howth in a review that we photographed there!)

Howth and Singin' in the Rain dress

Honestly, I really looked like this a lot of the trip. Windswept. But happy!


You already know it was a fantastic trip, and now you’ve gotten a little peek into my holiday wardrobe. See more of our Dublin trip here and here.

It was great to go on a holiday and it’s great to be back home… and that’s the best way to end a trip, isn’t it??

Filed: Travel and Adventures, Vintage Wardrobe

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Golly, 34 Comments!

  • I swear by We Love Colors’ Nylon/Lycra MicroFiber Solid Color Tights. I have a ton of pairs and they last practically forever. (And you know I basically live in colored tights as soon as it’s cool enough for them. Ha!)


    • OMG Lynne, THANK YOU!!! <3


      • I second We Love Color! Good quality and price and last a long time. And I love that you can get them in a billion colors. They also have some really good nude fishnets which are great for days when it’s too warm for full tights but too cold to go bare legged. Which is basically 360 of our 365 days if the year in SF.

        I love all your outfits! Well done.


  • You look like you had a lot of fun! I never can pack appropriately either haha. I had to buy several things when I arrived in Chicago.
    If you want really good thick nude tights, I would suggest Capezio dance tights. They are obvious intended to hold up through some pretty serious stuff, and from what I’ve seen they last a decent amount of time. Surprisingly, I got very thick nude stockings (I don’t really like tights, too tight around my tummy, so I try to get thigh highs or stockings with a garter belt) at Wal-Mart and I’ve had them for about a year now. My only issue is that they’re not quite the right color.


  • So pleased you had such a good time, your outfits look fabulous! I have the same Clarks brogues, they are so comfy! Clarks are one of the few places in the UK that do half sizes so I buy most of my shoes from there. Just bought a pair of their Camelia’s in midnight blue, (double strapped Mary Jane’s) In danger of bumping into things as I can’t stop looking at my new shoes!


  • I’m so bad at choosing footwear (and outfits) for trips. I was in Seattle last week and got a blister on my foot on the first day. Obviously, those were the only shoes that went with one of the pairs of trousers I’d taken – nightmare!

    Well done on the Clarks purchase – they’re one of the few places I buy shoes (although they are responsible for the blister-givers).


  • Oh, your outfits for the trip are wonderful! You did a great job planning! Have you ever tried Capezio dance tights? I used to have quite the collection of them back in my musical theater days. I remember them being very substantial and good quality. They saved my legs the year I marched in the Macy’s (November, New York… brrr)parade wearing a little mini cheerleader skirt.


  • Ooh, Cath Kidston! The mother ship! What gorgeous purchases and, wow, you were totally restrained in buying fabric for one dress. Yay for you!

    What a lovely trip! You and Mel are so cute and you clearly had a great time :)


  • As a Brit I can confirm you well and truly nailed the best of our style on your trip:) Layers, wool cardigans, brogues and waterproof ish outer are just what is required to survive our climate…I dress in variations of this (or jeans) most days, and I think it’s a look that’s been going since the 1940’s because it is just so practical. I loved that you liked Cath Kidston so much, too! That fabric is going to make something gorgeous. Thanks for posting about hour trip, it was fun to read.


  • Clarks to the rescue! Gotta love the fact they combine comfort and prettiness :)

    So glad to hear/see you had a lovely time in Ireland and love your dresses, as a Brit I can confirm that you did well on the old layering 😉


  • Looks like a wonderful dapper holiday! Seriously, you look really adorable.

    And all of your posts remind me how I need to make a beret.


  • So jealous of your trip! My husband and I have been dying to take a trip out there.

    As for tights, I’d recommend ASSETS by Sara Blakley (a lower tier version of Spanx) that is sold at Target. Not too expensive, quality seems decent, and there is definitely a bit of slimming action going on too.


  • I’m going to hire you as my wardrobe coach because I swear nothing I ever buy or sew matches lol! Your shoes are awesome, your outfits are awesome, the scenery is awesome, I’m a wee bit jealous blah blah blah, glad you had a super amazing and refreshing vacation! You definitely deserved it :)


  • I second the recommendation of We Love Colors. I’ve bought tights in varying weights for my daughter’s different cosplay outfits, and have had very good success with them. I will also say that their customer service was extremely polite and pleasant to deal with on the one mishap we had with an order.


  • MrsLeapheart May 14, 2014 at 8:21pm

    You should Zappos up some Indigo by Clarks shoes/boots. They are high quality and interesting in style. I have a pair of heels I bought in ’05 that show no sign of wear and I can stand around in them all day.


  • okay, random question. i can see in a couple of these photos that you are wearing a dress/skirt made out of that alexander henry cartas marcadas fabric. i made a skirt out of that fabric, & then a few of my friends said they felt it was culturally appropriative. i think my skirt turned out cute-ish (it’s not my fave, but it’s okay), but i pretty much never wear it because i just feel weird about it now. i’ve definitely noticed, since i got into sewing, that people seem to just go for what they think is cute (fabric-wise), regardless of the history or the political associations or whatever, which is kind of weird for me, because i come from this anarcha-feminist background where everything gets analyzed to death.

    what do you think? do you have any thoughts on that fabric? i still don’t know how i feel about it. i have a couple of yards in the tea colorway, but i doubt i will ever use it now.


    • Well I do think it’s possible to analyze things to death as you kind of mentioned. And I also think there’s a difference between being respectful, being aware, being ignorant or being disrespectful in such regards (and probably lots other areas in-between). In this case I know what loteria cards are, and I also loved the design because it reminds me of my mom, who has visited and fallen in love with a lot of colorful imagery and art and craft from Mexico, and specifically Oaxaca. She also sews and had used this same fabric, and there’s a whole long back story to why I picked the fabric relating to friends, family, and family friends, all relating to a spiderweb of connections to Mexico.

      So I personally have no problem wearing it and don’t feel I’m culturally appropriating anything in a disrespectful way. Although someone could always ask if they were curious and I’d be happy to explain my opinion. And I respect that someone is free to disagree with me. :)


  • a marvelous trip I see, and as usual you’ve looked perfect !


  • Oh my word, I adore that you got to visit a Cath store in person!!! I’ve been swooning over her amazing offerings for years, but can never justify the cost when the exchange rate, shipping, import and custom fees are added in. I think I’ll just have to follow your lead, visit Europe again one day, and shop for some of her timelessly pretty goods in person (totally justifiable excuse for a trip, no? :)).

    ♥ Jessica


  • Meg the Grand May 15, 2014 at 9:34am

    What a fabulous trip! Love all the outfits, of course, but I love seeing you with all of your gorgeous backgrounds! United Airlines just sent me an email about booking to Ireland, and after reading your post, I had to go check what kind of fares they were offering 😉 I hope you had a marvelous time and made many happy memories!!


  • I don’t even know what to comment on first. The outfits, those PATTERNS, goodness!! This is all a dream



  • What a wonderful holidays! My goodness, my jaw fall when I saw that little corner on the shop with amazing fabric and wallpaper, cute! :-)

    Thank you so much to share with us!


  • It looks like you had a great time in Dublin. It’s so hard to figure out appropriate shoes sometimes, because what’s comfortable walking around in at home, even for a few hours at a time, might not be quite right for spending all day on your feet.
    I was actually in Dublin back in November, and I had an amazing time. I travel like a granny, though, since I like to go to bed kind of early and I don’t drink much, and it felt like the hostels I stayed at were packed with nothing but loud, drunk 20 year olds. *shrug* It’s such a beautiful country, and I would love to go back and do it all again. My favorite experience was going to St. Michan’s. The rather odd old fellow giving the tour even let me shake the mummy’s hand.
    As far as stockings go, I’ve heard compression stockings are great for warmth, although I don’t have any personal experience with them.


  • I’m glad you included photos of you and Mel together. A very cute couple!


  • I discovered Ecco shoes one foreign trip when I had a footwear malfunction! Love your outfits and so pleased that you obviously had a wonderful time despite the weather.


  • Great finds! You two look like you had a great time thanks for sharing your adventures and pics :).


  • I like CK too. People can be sniffy about it – it’s pretty ubiquitous, and the brand’s influence has tricked down a lot, but she makes some great prints.


  • Love your pictures–I must have those Clarks! I’ve been a dancer most of my life, so anytime I need plain tights, I still wear Bloch dance tights. Since they are dance tights, they are made to hold up to A LOT of abuse, so you might try them. Anyone can purchase them from Discount Dance Supply. The sizing can be weird, so definitely check the measurements, and know that they run tight since they are meant to stay put during a lot of movement. :)


  • Great photos! And I LOVE the shoes you bought. I always seem to need spring and fall shoes that don’t kill my feet… all my flats make my feet ache.

    If you’re looking for nude tights, I agree with Tiffany – try some dance brands! I’m also a dancer, and I usually buy Mondor or Capezio (I don’t know about the Bloch ones, they don’t sell them where I shop). It’s been a while since I bought some, but I think I pay around $15-20 a pair, and they last a long time. I have tights that I bought years ago, and they’re still in great condition.


  • Tasha!
    Great Blog! Love your style. Can’t wait to see more! I have a sewing school in my shop/studio and we are doing lots of upcycling projects! Hope to talk to you sometime soon!
    PS Remember my surprise birthday party at Augusta when you hid in the balloons? LOL


  • One thing that has saved me in Portland, OR. wet winter is dance tights. They usually come in many different shades of nude and are thick enough to keep me warm while still wearing dresses in winter. I recommend going to a dance store and looking at a few pairs. They usually sell once with a hole in the bottom and the more traditional type, I only say this so you don’t end up with the ones with the hole.. Let’s just say I’ve made that expensive mistake! I have good luck with the company Bloch. They sell one that has a matte finish as I don’t like the shimmery look of some dance tights. I can make a pair last at least a year with moderate wear which eases the blow of the spendy price tag. Definitely worth it! I have also taken them traveling, in Ireland too, and they did well and kept me warm enough. I have not tried this yet as I have not needed more warmth but the lady at the dance store also offered ice skaters tights.. Brilliant! They are super expensive so I did not go that route as temps are rarely below freezing here but there it is. Hope this helps. Finally, I highly recommend nude colored dance grade fishnets.. I have had my current pair for 4 years and they are in amazing shape!


  • […] to Wales. (Emma had gone back a few days earlier…. you may recall me mentioning Jen and Emma both meeting us in Dublin.) I asked if Mel would take some outfit photos for me, however it was just the absolute wrong time […]


  • […] off something I’ve newly made, so here’s one for you. This spring, I droned on in my Dublin outfits post about how much I love Cath Kidston, and I’m sporting two Cath Kidston items […]


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