If you’re searching for style tips this summer or worrying about what to pack for your holidays, then fear no more. In this month’s My Style, renowned stylist and TV personality Cathy O’Connor chats to RSVP about all things style, holidays and food.
Famed for her quirky nature and honest tips, Cathy tells us how to wear this season’s trends, why she believes style has no age limit, and how to dress to impress on date night.
How do you incorporate your unique sense of style into your home?
There is no correlation between my sense of style and my home because I live in absolute chaos! People come into my house and I don’t know what they think they are going to expect to see but I have a really organised mind so I know where everything is. Housework is my least favourite activity, so I only do it when I really have to and moan to myself about it while I’m doing it. I’m fairly sure there’s a minimalist inside me screaming to get out but so far I’m winning!
What are the main “must haves” this summer?
Anything that you love to wear. Clothes that make you feel really good about yourself and say something about who you are. Style is all about individuality, so it’s about what works best for you. What you wear should really make you feel confident and engage with the world in that way.
Have you any holidays planned this year?
No, I rarely plan holidays. When you freelance, you keep going until you run out of steam and then, it’s time to consider holidays.
What has been your favourite holiday that you have ever gone on?
I love travelling and have been fortunate to travel to many wonderful places. Just after Christmas, we went to Florida for a short break. It was such a treat to feel the warmth of the sunshine. It’s so good for the soul.
Do you have any tips for people packing for their holidays?
Keep in mind that most of the clothes you bring with you, you probably won’t end up wearing. Very often, you just get into whatever is most comfortable.
You have to realise that most of the clothes you bring with you, you’re not actually going to wear because very often you just get into whatever is comfortable. If you have to pack for a pixie sized Ryanair allowance, then choose a colour palette so that everything mixes and matches.
Women are often afraid to follow current trends or to step outside the box a small bit, what would your advice be to women who are slightly shy of trying something new?
It’s good to keep your look fresh and updated and you can do this by wearing new colours, textures and shapes. If you find print a bit daunting, for example, try wearing it in a small way, like throwing on a print scarf. That way you can move out of your comfort zone at your own pace. Try to avoid shopping with people who are not open to seeing a new version of you. When I go personal shopping with people, it’s all about having a fresh pair of eyes and reinvention is the nature of life.
What are you planning to splurge on this Spring/Summer?
I’m going to splurge on a beautiful silk top by SportsMax which I spotted recently at Anastasia Boutique in Ranelagh.
What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe at the moment?
One of the great advantages of being around shops all the time, is that I’m usually there when the bargains are to be had. I don’t buy that much but I tend to buy quite well and I am lucky enough to be a really good bargain finder. My biggest recent expense was a Pauric Sweeney handbag which I love. Worth every penny!
What food do you like to eat?
It depends on which aspect of me you are talking to. In the ideal world, I love healthy food and juices but my favourite taste of all time is chocolate.
What would your favourite chocolate bar be?
My favourite chocolate bar would be something from Chez Emily , an Irish chocolatier . Yum!
When you’re dining out, what would be your restaurant of choice?
A place I really love, and which is quite local to me, is The Chop House in Ballsbridge, Dublin. It is always consistent with really good food. I love Ard Bia in Galway too and always go there when I’m out west.
Do you think that women are ever too old to wear skirts, shirts or bikinis? Do you think there is a cut-off point?
No, no , no. Age is never a limiting factor when it comes to style. It can put you in a very negative mind set if you look in the mirror and only see wrinkles. It’s all about vitality and that vitality is about your being and not necessarily about your age.
You always manage to look fabulous. What does your beauty regime consist of?
It all depends on the amount of time I have . I’m a little slapdash when it comes to my beauty regime but I do cleanse, moisturise and look after my skin. I am addicted to The Handmade Soap Company’s Grapefruit and May Chang shower gel, which really picks me up in the morning, and Lucy Annabelle’s essentials oils. My favourite skincare is Clarins or Dr Hauschka and I have recently discovered Casmara.
What is your favourite make up product?
My favourite product would have be concealer because I am always trying to fight against tiredness. I love Clinique’s concealers because they’re great at keeping tiredness at bay.
What would you recommend wearing when going out for date night?
A smile and anything that you love to wear and which is a reflection of who you are. I don’t really understand the wannabe celebrity culture that we’re immersed in. Be the best version of you, rather than some diluted version of someone else. Wear an outfit which gives you that little bit of pep.
What gives you that little bit of pep?
I love wearing pieces by Irish designers as they are things of beauty, passion and craft. And I like anything with a bit of a statement. I like Helen Steele and I’m a huge fan of Melissa Curry and her statement jewellery.
Where would your favourite date location be?
Anywhere that I am happy.