My Favorite Outfits of 2017

16123405_1288340857899248_3914917605755846656_n I suppose I'm far behind at this stage to share my favorites from the last year as we're more than halfway through January! But in my defense I tend to spend a lot of this month looking back as February also marks my birthday; so 2017 might be over but my first year out of my twenties is also fast approaching its end and I'm reflecting how my first year in my 30s went. I thought with the impending birthday it might be nice to share some of my favorite outfits from last year, my favorite looks from the year I turned 30(!) and perhaps some of the behind-the-scenes stories and memories that weren't shared in the posts the first time around.
The above outfit is from last January; I was freezing in it although it was significantly warmer last year here! What I loved about it though was how bold the accessories were, namely my statement earrings. I got them last winter and have still barely worn them, but I remember feeling really sassy in this outfit. It felt pulled together and "cool," a vibe I very rarely feel that I hit. I was also feeling very inspired by all of the looks in La La Land which made me want to dress up more after all those winter days in boots and sweaters. Of course Northern Ireland isn't LA so really all year round here it is more advisable to wear boots & sweaters!
windblown Another look from last January, this one was also a bit cold for the weather although I paired it with a cozy coat. This is a set of pictures I sort of tortured Thomas to get. Thomas helps me take a lot of pictures in the winter months because I don't have as much patience with a tripod when its freezing. He, thankfully, has a lot of patience with me as I dragged him from one location to another declaring each one horrible as he gamely tried to take my picture before eventually going back to the first spot he suggested. Most of the time we go into a photo-taking session with a clear idea and we capture that, but whenever things get thrown off a bit, like I don't like the first few pictures, or the location we had in mind is gone, things can go horribly, horribly wrong! Still I liked the outfit a lot; it feels like a sort of uniform to me and I still wear all of these pieces loads.
gorse I love this outfit and the location which suits it perfectly. I'm always, always hunting for a perfect mustard skirt so I think I have around six now that are ok but none are exactly what I want (this one is again close but I would still change a few details). This was a really nice day, in a lovely area although I do remember hating the way my hair looked. I still don't think it looks really nice; curly ends were achieved through a wet set curling technique but it only curled the ends instead of all over. Again it's one of those things where you're in such a lovely location and you really like your outfit but you feel one of the details is letting it down. In those cases it's always best to soldier on because that "problem" is only in your head--no one commented on the post about the hair and we would have missed out on some really lovely pictures if I had let my perfectionism get in the way!
brigadoon So many of my favorite outfits involve vintage. This is definitely head-to-toe one of my favorite looks from the past year largely because of the lovely vintage dress. I wore it to Brigadoon cottage; a little, traditional stone cottage up in the Mourne mountains you can rent and stay in which is really the perfect setting for vintage. There are open fireplaces on either end of the cottage and a friendly cat that greets you as soon as you arrive. We usually stay there a couple of times a year and this visit was particularly lovely as we had loads of sunshine and mild weather so we got to picnic on the lawn before snuggling up in front of the fire at night. There's also no wifi or cell reception here, so we always feel so relaxed after being there and being unplugged for a couple of nights.
chickens Hilariously I didn't realize I was wearing this dress wrong until days later when I was editing the pictures. You see it's supposed to be an open shoulder style with the ruffles going straight across, but I missed those arm holes and just thought the ruffle was suppose to be a bit thick around the sides! I didn't know if anyone would notice so I didn't comment on it in the post and no one said anything so I kind of feel I pulled a fast one on that! Looking back I still like the way my hair was pulled back with a clip and the easy flats, and yes, how the dress looks, even if I was wearing the sleeves completely wrong! But I'd wear it this way again in a flash. I guess that's the opposite of learning your lesson...
safari Some of my favorite outfits inspire stories in my head and this outfit definitely felt like a character in a story. These pictures were also some of the easiest pictures Thomas and I took in the last year; we just went by a local field with a blanket and snapped away. Because it was the "golden hour" before sunset every shot looked gorgeous straight from the camera and we had a full set of pictures in no time at all. It's just funny how some days you really labor over the camera to get pictures and other days it's a total breeze; the easy days are much more enjoyable but you do learn a lot more on days you're struggling. And ultimately it's the struggle days that prepare you to take advantage of pretty ones; so even if you feel like shooting is a struggle now do bear it mind it's all part of the learning process and one day you can put everything you learned to use and it will amaze you how easy it is to get the type of pictures you're aiming for.
teal Sometimes I really like a basic look; a simple striped top and matching skirt and cute shoes and what else do you need? I know it's not flashy or dramatic, but it's something I felt really good in and will wear again in a heartbeat once the weather warms up! Sometimes there's an expectation online to only share your best or most interesting outfits, but not every day is about ball gowns or a million accessories. 
summer2 This was my favorite outfit all summer. I wore that dress so many times! On this day I styled it with some bolder accessories; even as I was saying about that not every day is about a million accessories sometimes I have to remind myself to do the opposite and you know, actually wear some visible accessories. I tend to favor stud earrings and if I do choose one very visible thing (like a hat or headband) then I usually keep everything else a bit quieter. But on this occasion I wore a headband and statement tassel earrings--I know sooooo crazy right?! It's pretty silly but it's always a big deal for me when I wear larger earrings, even if like with this outfit they're mostly obscured by my hair! I think if I had a style goal for 2018 it might involve wearing some bolder jewelry, like all the statement earrings I keep collecting but never wearing...
polkadot Here's another dress I wore loads of last year while the weather was nice. I think I'm too short to pull off this style with boots and tights, but while it was warm it was a perfect piece to rock with ballet flats that made me feel quite elegant. We have sunflowers in our house whenever we can get them because they're one of Thomas's favorite flowers. He always gets annoyed with me though because I'm always stealing them from the vase for a few pictures; I never think they'll get damaged from being photographed but inevitably I always bring them back looking a bit sadder and less full than when I took them...
white white2 In spring all I ever want to wear is a long white dress that makes me feel like Marie Antoinette at the Petit Trianon (side note: read the most interesting article recently about Marie Antoinette's *shocking* portrait by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun) or at least would look pretty in a pastoral scene of blossoming nature. This outfit was pretty close to that ideal and matched the blooming wild garlic perfectly. I do love autumn, but since moving to Ireland spring or early summer might be one of my favorite seasons; there's just so much happening in the woods and fields. It makes me understand so many stories of fairies and magic as well, because right now it's hard to imagine that anything could every make the muddy, dreary woods turn into something so ethereal and light-filled as they will be in a few months.
holiday This dress is so lightweight I think the only time I can wear it is when I am on vacation because it almost never gets that warm in Ireland! But it did make me feel still somewhat glamorous while on holiday in Greece (messy, wet bun hair and no-makeup face not withstanding...). The thing about taking a lot of nice pictures for your blog on holiday is that it pretty much takes the holiday part out of your travel. We're still working on finding that balance between enjoying your time away and getting nice captures of it; I mean I love taking pictures on my holidays and would be doing that regardless of the blog but it does get overwhelming sometimes to maintain a level of quality when you really just want to stuff your face with gyros and ice cream! It's why I still don't really do a lot of travel guides; to write about where to eat and take pictures of every meal or place you stayed is basically to work through every day of your vacation. At least if you just try to capture some nice photos now and then the rest of your day you can be "off" just enjoying yourself.
bon This was another look that took no time to shoot at all. We just walked a few feet down the road to this pretty vine covered wall, snapped for a few minutes (Thomas dodging cars as he had to stand in the street to get the pictures!), and then walked home. I like this look because I tend to wear a lot of dresses, so whenever I put together separates it instantly means I put in more thought! This outfit came together quite nicely and I wore that sweater so much this autumn!
autumnIt wouldn't be a favorite outfit post of the year if I didn't feature at least one explosion of autumn. To be honest I could have featured a dozen autumn outfits, but I decided to limit it to this one because it was one of our more magical autumn days. We went to a pretty nearby forest park and the color was really peaking in the woods that weekend. Every time a breeze went by leaves would dance down around us creating the perfect dreamy atmosphere. Sometimes I think people suspect I over-edit or embellish pictures to make a scene look really beautiful or colorful in autumn, but really we try to find the locations that are that beautiful because we are lucky to live surrounded by so much unblemished natural beauty. To be honest a lot of times it feels like the pictures can't compete with the real thing...


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