Saturday, 15 November 2014


Last week I attended the grand re-opening of Atelier-Design, one of the Belfast's most interesting and inspiring interior stores. Having found a new home in the former Refound building, Atelier covers 3 floors with furniture, furnishings and accessories. The non-traditional layout of the building lends itself to an eclectic mix of contents, including designer pieces from Matthew Williamson and Christian Lacroix, vintage treasures from French Vintage Vie and local artisans Abigail*Ryan.



For the launch of the new location, Atelier collaborated with men's fashion magazine Beyond Man with a model installation showcasing the new FAUXIALITE capsule collection. 

A unisex street-wear collection is inspired by the notion of the faux-socialite, those celebrity icons who have been titled as such with little merit, a label without the legacy. The FAUXIALITE knows, loves and lives fashion. 

Fashion power couple Beyond Man editor-in-chief Lewis Cameron and stylist Jamie Russell's project saw models placed throughout the showroom creating a casual catwalk environment. The models were comprised of bloggers, stylists, students and creatives who embody the ideals of modern fashion; an uncompromising hunger for self-expression through personal style.

One of my favourite touches was super-stylist Jamie Russell's painstaking attention to detail; a cascade of dead flowers falling from the peak of a snapback cap, collars and lapels clad dried roses to contradict the military harshness of a wool overcoat.

The setting, combined with the installation created a truly stylish event. Belfast has come on leaps and bounds in recent years as it begins to embrace the creativity and skill of its residents and this is evident from the works shown. 

The FAUXIALITE collection is available exclusively via Beyond Man

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Mix It Up Monday

If any of you are like me, your Monday evening is usually spent winding down after work and despairing that the weekend is still so far away.

Thanks to the team at CMPR, I broke that dull routine when I attended the gala launch of the annual visit of the Lady Boys of Bangkok. A glittering, feathered, spandex clad-spectacle of cabaret - it was such a camp, fun and carefree way to start the week.

In light of the whole Mix It Up Monday thing, what better to wear than my new Mix It Up Blazer from Joe Browns?
I was generously gifted my choice of product from the team at Joe Browns and I immediately went for this seriously smart piece of kit.

It certainly lives up to its name with contrasting fabrics and finishes. The base cloth is a charcoal herringbone tweed, offset with a lighter grey at the collar and piping on the pockets. The eclecticism continues with mixed-matched buttons and stitching at the cuffs, a bold patterned piano-faced lining and cobalt binding on the interior. Perhaps my favourite accent is the theatrical flourish of a pheasant feather lapel pin - just the thing for a night at the cabaret!

I kept the rest of my outfit rather simple with a white button-down collar shirt, grey cardigan, black skinny jeans and black creeper brogues (not shown). When you have something as special as this blazer, don't make it compete with the rest of your clothes.

I previously (& incorrectly) used to think of Joe Browns as just casual and outdoorsy but the likes of this blazer and the selection of statement shirts has certainly proven me wrong. With the Christmas party season nearly upon us, there is plenty of options to choose from and there are some more pieces I have my sly eye on!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Last-Minute Halloween Costumes

Left it to the last minute or just been invited to an impromptu party and you haven't sorted your costume yet?

Here's my suggestions of a couple of quick-fix costumes using items you probably already have or can pick up today while avoiding the usual costume-hunting crowd.

Clark Kent
The unassuming alter-ego of Superman is an easy one to pull off.

  1. First, dig out your suit, white shirt and suitably conservative tie. 
  2. Nip to Forbidden Planet and pick up a Superman tshirt - wear this under your shirt to be unbuttoned for a quick reveal.
  3. Finish the look by grabbing some reading glasses - you can get these in Poundland and even most petrol stations. 
  4. Clark is the epitome of geek, a Kryptonian pastiche of mankind, so ensure your hair is suitably parted. You can rework the trademark S curl when you unveil your superhero identity.
  • If you happen to have the physique of a god, all the better but this is optional...

Indiana Jones

Dr Jones is equal parts nerd and action hero
  1. Nearly everyone has a pair of khaki chinos - this is the base of your outfit
  2. Pair this with a soft cotton shirt. You should have something suitable but if you're stuck, this poplin one from H&M is ideal.
  3. Indiana Jones is nothing without his hat (What else would he almost leave behind after escaping deathtraps?) This felt one from Zara is perfect and you can continue to wear it after Halloween 
  4. Pull on a leather jacket - ideally brown but black will do for the effect and sling your man-bag across your body.
  5. The ubiquitous whip can be a tricky accessory. Unless it's part of your usual social life, you can pick a novelty one up from Ann Summers.
  • A peppering of stubble will complete the look

Whatever you get up to this evening - have a great time! Leave me a comment below describing your costume.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Below The Belt

Although I could be accused of doing this quite often, in this post I really will be talking a load of balls.

Male grooming encompasses many things but rarely do companies mention, or actually cater for, the biological accompaniments of manhood.

Below the Belt Grooming is a company that does just that.

I recently won 2 of their products in a twitter giveaway so thought it only appropriate to give them a good going over. Don't worry, my pictures have a U rating!

below the belt male grooming rogues and brogues blog

The skin on different parts of your body needs different care; moisturiser, cleanser and deodorant. When it comes to keeping yourself at your best, Fresh & Dry Balls is the obvious choice for the area in question. The deodorant is like a liquid talc, it absorbs moisture and has a clean scent, leaving you confident all day.

below the belt male grooming rogues and brogues blog

Men sweat. It's nature. The thing is that not everything in nature is always pleasant smelling. Now I don't think I need to advocate the need for a shower but when we don't have time or are not in the locality, the Waterless Shower is a handy alternative. A small palm-ful of the gel applied between me down there will get rid of any musky smell. The gel is quick drying and leaves the boys feeling cool and clean.

below the belt male grooming rogues and brogues blog

We tend to pay this area a lot of attention, but perhaps not the kind of attention it deserves. Treat the team to some TLC and feel a lot better for it.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Enter The Dragon

I am a bit of a late-comer to coffee. I remember as a kid, dunking ginger nut biscuits in my mum's scalding hot, jet black coffee. This was as close to it as I got for many years. I always liked the smell, but couldn't get over the bitter taste.

This has fortunately changed over the past few years. I've worked my way up the scale from light lattes to double espressos when the need arises. (BTW, it puts my grammatical teeth on edge to see - or hear- them called expressos)

I've visited many a coffee shop in Belfast over the years but have only really fallen for Ground in the past 6 months. I stumbled into the Waterstone's branch almost by accident, waiting for my barbers to open one Saturday morning. This serendipitous discovery has cemented their place as one of my favourite haunts.

After a rousing Twitter exchange with my friend Sera (in which we praised the virtues of their Nutella cake and cappuccinos) the team at Ground kindly surprised me with a basket of goodies to celebrate the launch of their bespoke coffee blend Purple Dragon.

Their unique blend is triple certified by the Fairtrade Foundation, Rainforest Alliance and Organic Coffee Federation and is the culmination of months of research and testing, combining beans from Honduras, Ethiopia and Sumatra.

I got stuck in to the pack yesterday and this is the kind of coffee Sunday mornings were made for; smooth and flavourful. (The fact that I happen to have a purple Bodum cafetiere is just kismet)

The blend is now available in all 13 of Ground's locations & I am determined to make a pilgrimage to them all. They have just announced plans to open their first store in Dublin with further locations across the province  in 2015 so there's no excuse not to chase the dragon now!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

If I Were A Boy | The Agoraphobic Fashionista

The second instalment in my If I Were A Boy... series welcomes Sera from The Agoraphobic Fashionista. I was introduced to her blog through my work and we've gone from contacts to friends. Despite the fact we've never actually met, she's one of my best blogging buds. I'm delighted she has taken part in the series, her fun and honest writing, her sense of style and her overall loveliness makes her blog a must read! Over to you Sera!

If I were a boy... would I have any style at all?
As a girl, (well, I should probably say woman...) I think I'm pretty close to nailing my own style. I enjoy clothes, so very much. Dresses mainly. Oh! And shoes, I do love my shoes. I tend to avoid trousers and jeans and other things like that as I have, what some might refer to as, a curvy figure, meaning not everything can or will work for me. And so I pretty much live in dresses as you'll see if you ever pop over to The Agoraphobic Fashionista dresses are the order of the day, always!
Then the lovely Ian asked a very interesting question...
If I were a boy, what would my style be? What type of clothing would I favour. 
Now, admittedly I take very little interest in male fashion / style, though this isn't intentional as I do love men's style, however I'm married to a man who has a standard uniform of a band T shirt and a pair of jeans. Oh! And Vans, mustn't forget the obligatory skate shoe. 
I know for a fact that the above would not be my style, if I were a boy. 
If I were a boy or indeed, a man (oooerr), I reckon I'd opt for casual luxe or heritage stylings. These are the styles I favour as a woman so it makes sense that those are what I'd go for if I were the opposite sex. One's personality is one's personality dahhhling!
The only issue I'm having is getting my head around the trousers scenario but quashing my own body fears and really embracing the notion if I were a boy, I reckon my style would go a little something like this....
 Always a fan of quirky prints, tweed and rich colours, I believe not much would actually change! Men's fashion has come on leaps and bounds these last few years and whilst researching for this post, I have to admit to falling in love with a few pieces... I wonder if I'd be able to talk The Mr around a little to my way of thinking...
 I adore Ian's own personal style and I think if I were a boy, I'd be rocking the bearded look too! Cheers for giving me fashion food for thought Ian! 
Sera McDaid

Thanks again to Sera for kindly taking part. I urge, nay command, you to check out her fun, frank and fashionable blog! 

If you are interested in participating in the series in the future, drop me an email:

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


I had a little brainwave this morning as I got ready. As I got dressed I looked into my wardrobe and thought, I have some really good clobber in there and I don't wear it often enough. What prevents me from trying that little bit harder in the mornings? 

This inspired my little month-long project: Octobest

I'm challenging myself and my readers to Look Your Octobest this month. 

That item of clothing you save for special occasions? Why wait? Put it on! 

Everyday should be embraced as an opportunity to show the world who you are and let your personality shine through your style.

Tweet me your pictures or post them to my Facebook page - I'd love to see your best outfits and maybe get some ideas to steal! Don't forget to tag them #Octobest!