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Cathy O’Connor: A week in my wardrobe

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by Cathy O'Connor
18th Feb 2024

As one of Ireland’s most respected stylists, Cathy O'Connor is well-versed in the ways of putting an outfit together. Here she shares a week in her wardrobe.

As a freelancer, my weeks are fairly diverse and as a consequence, so is my wardrobe! That being said, no matter what the day holds, my style is a form of self-expression. There was a time when I was all about the key trends but as I’ve gotten to know myself better, I’m more drawn to pieces that are a little different and that I can style in my own way.

MONDAY

Being a personal shopper at Kildare Village is one of my favourite regular jobs. So often I’m working with clients who feel like they’ve lost their mojo, who are unsure about what to wear and as a result, are lacking in confidence. It’s a real privilege to be part of someone’s transformation, to introduce them to new looks and to a reignited sense of themselves. My first consideration on those working days is comfortable footwear as I clock up a lot of steps! These chunky boots are by Le Babe and are still going strong after many years. Soft Italian leather with no seams to irritate my bunion, they are my dream boots. I like to wear a tailored jacket as it offers structure. This Rick Owens jacket was a real find at Unit K, Sandymount. I’ve added a tulle skirt underneath the skirt, to add a little drama. My bag is one of my most cherished possessions, from the sustainable Irish brand, Aoife Lifestyle. It’s beautifully designed, entirely practical and is made with care and integrity.

TUESDAY

Today I’m on the move… off to a press launch and meetings in town. With our unpredictable weather, I’m a fan of layering up. I’ve had this cosy bobble hat by Lucy Nagle for years and rarely go out the door without it. This look is based around one of my favourite coats, by one of my favourite brands, Coster Copenhagen. It’s such a fun piece; I love the colour combo and the easy-wear shape. A double denim day with these great jeans and shirt by GStar from Fi & Co Boutique and sparkling metallic boots to keep me going.

WEDNESDAY

Like so many people, self-care has become more of a priority for me, so for once, I took action on it and joined a gym. The difference this time is that I actually go to the gym… regularly! I really appreciate quality fabrics and love the offering from Irish brand Kokoro Zenwear. They produce a lifestyle range made from sustainable fabrics. My favourite is their eco-certified bamboo pieces, they are luxurious, and last forever. I had always been on the hunt for lightweight, supportive trainers and found these beauties by FitFlop. They are made from breathable mesh fabric, so ideal for those workouts!

THURSDAY

During Covid, I rediscovered my passion for knitting and so I dusted off my needles and got going. This chunky wool cardi and hat were made during those long nights at home. Rather than holding on to the darkness of the times, I opted to knit something colourful. I also work as a hypnotherapist and on those days, I prefer to wear something soft and uplifting. It’s a cosy piece, so I can wear it as a jacket and with a favourite dress by Caroline Kilkenny and sunglasses by Pilgrim.

FRIDAY

Today, I’m delighted to be attending a fashion show. It’s such a pleasure, not only to see all that creativity on the catwalk but in the audience too. I love people-watching at any time, but particularly when they’ve pulled out all the stops and are wearing those feel-good outfits. This is one of my feel-good outfits as it’s all about that turban. So often, I’ll base my look around one distinctive piece and wear my favourite wardrobe staples with it. I’m a huge fan of accessories and had the good fortune to meet the very talented designer, Rasa Furlong. Over a few coffees, we designed this piece which can be worn in so many ways; as a scarf, a neckpiece or a turban. I’m excited to see what we’ll do next!

Photo by Kieran Harnett

SATURDAY

I offer a wardrobe edit service where I help with the daunting and stressful task of weeding out the unwanted, reimagining those wardrobe favourites and helping my clients clarify their personal style. It takes less than two hours as I work at the speed of a ninja and try to make it as painless as possible for my client. I tend to wear colour as it keeps the energy high and encourages my client to look towards the season ahead. This long parka by Coster Copenhagen from Weardrobe Boutique is lightweight and easy to wear and the striped tee is one of the great staples of a summer wardrobe. Once again, I’m in my fave jeans and boots as comfort is key.

SUNDAY

Sunday brings a lovely invitation to dinner. I’m keeping it simple but dressy with the addition of that metallic hair band by Irish designer Wendy Louise Designs. A fantastic piece for many reasons, not least because it’s a perfect way to hide those bad hair days! My blouse by Chloe adds texture and gives my weary face a boost and with a classic black jacket by Pinko from Kildare Village, I’m good to go!

Photography by Cathy O’Connor, @cathyocstylist. We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site. This article was originally published in May 2023.