Licentiate Column 14/11/13: It’s the Emergency Outfit


– A variation on the Emergency Outfit consisting mainly of a huge fun fur coat.

There is no internet in my house, it’s deadline day and I still don’t know what I’m going to write about.

Technically that’s not true. I did know that I was going to at least start off by stating that I had nothing to write about, but now I’ve done that and I’m left with very little to work with. It’s panic stations. Code Orange. And I’ve just found out that there’s no milk in the fridge. Better make it a Code Red.

We all have Code Red days, which usually kick in with the judicious application of a snooze button or the removal of one small element – like a ruptured internet connection or a forgotten ATM card.

Some women may not admit to this, but whole days have been ruined by just forgetting to put on a bra before going to work. It’s a very fragile structure. One wobble can essentially remove the support system (and we’re not just talking about the bra thing here).

Cue the Emergency Outfit. Emergency outfits are comprised almost entirely of functional clothing, with one optional or non-functional piece. The functional clothing gets you out of the house, keeps you moving, keeps you sane. The non-functional piece at best gives you a needed confidence boost and at worst reminds you that you’re a human being so maybe you should refrain from anxiously gnawing your fist in public. It’s not good for you. And it’s sore.

My Emergency Outfit is this – one big black jumper for its security blanket-type features and reassuring neutrality. It also needs to be slouchy and thick enough to disguise a no-bra day. One pair of high waisted Topshop skinny jeans. High waist = no muffin top and no fear of the jeans settling somewhere between hips and pudendum while running for the bus. One pair of Adidas trainers in black, in case I actually ever need to run for the bus (and I almost never do). A big, big coat with a monochromatic or animal print pattern – this will scare off predators. The non-essential item is red lipstick. It’s a shot of confidence as well as a physical reminder not to paw at my face lest things go horribly wrong.

That’s the outdoor Emergency Outfit. The indoor emergency outfit usually consists of pyjamas, a hair scrunchie and a sense of impending doom. This is true of all women, except maybe those sultry types who only own nighties. A woman who only wears nighties has her shit together. She has no need for the Emergency Outfit.

Of course, all women are different. One Emergency Outfit may be completely utilitarian, with multiple pockets to carry pens, money, tickets, keys and anything that could conceivably be accidental forgotten. Another outfit may forsake pockets for a well-loved, well-worn bag. The security of the jumper could easily be swapped for the comfort of a huge, blankety scarf. Trainers can be substituted for loafers, especially if you accidentally dropp a huge blob of natural yoghurt on your kicks (I am speaking from bitter experience).

The important thing, of course, is that you’re comfortable. And next time, remember to buy milk the day before.

Me In Various Vintage Coats

It’s just that easy, really.

This is me doing a spot of modelling for a friend’s vintage shop – and I use the word ‘modelling’ in the loosest terms possible. In fact, it it was much looser it would fall right off.

I love a nice winter coat, I do. Bonus points if it’s fuzzy. Extra super bonus points if it’s fuzzy and furry and an animalistic monstrosity like the wolfish looking one in the picture below. Be still, my gaping wallet.







Diet Coke Fashion Friday: Cork Fashion Week Style

Cork Fashion Week finished for another year last week and I was lucky enough to go along to their High Tea at Hayfield Manor Hotel, which kicked off the event schedule.  Hosted by the loverly Angela Scanlon, we saw the very best that Cork’s shops have to offer, and I got to hang around backstage, interview all the main players and try not to accidentally ogle models as they changed (I’m not so used to being backstage that I can be properly nonplussed yet).  Did I mention that there’s going to be a video?  Oh yes, there is a video – not of models changing by the way; that would be weird and incredibly invasive.

Here’s a few snaps of some very stylish people.

Dublin – The Instagram Edition

I just got back from a weekend in Dublin, which was fun. However, it was punctuated with a bout of food poisoning, which was not fun. Nor fun at all. The aim was to go to Forbidden Fruit in Sunday, catch Grimes’ set, meet some friends and eat some nice food. I managed all of those (kinda) so, in conclusion, a good weekend.


The weather forecast was not on my side from the outset.


This is what distracted me on the train ride down. The woman sitting next to me put on a pair of medical gloves to read her newspaper and handle food, which was pretty interesting if you consider that a packed train carriage might not be the best place for a germophobe.


I accidentally-on-purpose ordered a massive pork burrito at Cafe Azteca.


I ate it ALL. And that was my downfall. I woke up the next day feeling incredibly rough but I had to get to Grimes. HAD. TO. I dragged myself on the Luas and got to see the final half of her set. She was amazing. Totally worth it.


Photo by Sean Smyth – you you check out his Flickr for some great Forbidden Fruit photos that have not been processed with crappy instagram filters.


I managed a chat with Sinead and her lovely friend Laura before I slowly deflated like a sad balloon animal and had to leave. They are both really well-dressed.


This is what I wore, which had to be slightly modified because of the cold. And by that I mean I put my spare pair of socks on my hands to warm them up and I don’t care who knows it.


After a sixteen hour power nap I was feeling a bit better and ready for brunch and black tea with a friend in Sixty6.



I had a rummage through the second hand book section in Chapters. It’s the best place for affordable books in the city, even if they do put the fashion books next to those on the occult and witchcraft…


This is what kept me sane on the train ride home. And so a weekend away has chewed me up and spat me out again.

A sure sign I need to streamline my wardrobe

It was my and my sister’s birthday on Friday, so we all came together for a weekend of food (lots of it. Lots and lots) and the odd burst of hysterical laughter. I came into my room one evening to find my sisters wearing the most ridiculous stuff that they could find in my closet. Not pictured are the cowboy boots and leopard print stilettos.

I still love my pleather trousers, though. And I will never stop buying outlandish things, never wearing them and stuffing them into my wardrobe until my sisters decide to play dress-up. Never.  And as long as they decide to play dress-up with my stuff, I’ll be around to put pictures of them on the internet. Oh yes.

Cork, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.

Not strictly true, but ‘Oh Cork, I love you, but all this constant travelling and all these prohibitively expensive bus journeys are bringing me down’ didn’t have the same ring.

I’m no longer in Cork full time, so I divide my time between my parent’s place in Kerry, Cork and Dublin. The constant travelling pretty much means that I’m on a monochromatic palette 24/7. The new uniform.

When I’m in Cork I now tend to do touristy things, like hang around The English Market, or things I used to do in Cork years ago, like go to the Brog – that stuff never ends well. This outfit took me to both places. You just get to see the former, although I did end up walking home at 6am, sans glasses and dignity, which I probably left somewhere on Western Road – so you’re not missing much.







Diet Coke x Benefit: Outfit Post

The very last Diet Coke x Benefit Get Glam event took place at Mahon Point last Saturday and I was there with the lovely Thinkhouse team to document the impossible, oh the impossible glamour of it all.

I’ll post the video (I’m praying that there won’t be a blooper reel including my incredibly feeble jokes about Special K being the Breakfast of Champions or the bit where I said ‘I’m Sarah Waldron from The Licentiate and I’m here to… completely forget what I’m talking about’) during the week, so this is just a quick outfit post.

Dress: Sister Jane, Boots: Topshop, Pendant: Penneys, Watch: Casio, Fred Perry barrel bag: filched from a friend.

Photos are courtesy of the beautiful Margaret from

Festive Outfit Post. I went there. Again.

I thought it was high time for another festive outfit post and where better than the Brown Thomas Christmas windows? Almost anywhere else would have been better, as it turns out – not because of the windows, which were spectacular as usual but because of the drunk homeless person who took it upon himself to be the after-hours custodian.

Thanks you for that shower of abuse, homeless man.  I was not aware that, as a woman, I am inherently worthless and that I am somehow managing to siphon off MILLIONS from the good folks at Brown Thomas by taking photos of their lovely Christmas windows.  The hat may have made me look like a burglar but burglars tend not to wear conspicuously fluffy, leopard print coats.  I sincerely hope that you find somewhere nice to sleep and that you make an active decision to stop drinking lighter fluid in the near future.*

Outfit photos by the lovely Margaret – Christmas window photos by me.

Coat, necklace – vintage, hat, gloves – Penneys, shirt, tee – Topman, jeans – Warehouse, Boots – H&M

*How weird would it be if he was reading this? If you are, my real message is ‘Chill out, homeless man. Pick your battles maybe?  Sorry I didn’t catch your name but you were slurring a lot*

Theasons Greetings

How do you make an outfit special after spending a week in bed? Slap on some sequins and lipstick with your novelty Christmas jumper and charity shop denim jacket.

A Shocking Life – ta for the recommendation Ailbhe!  Some Occupy Cork literature.  A cup of tea from Electric.

Denim – charity shop.  Sweater – Mercury Goes Retrograde. Dress – Rare.  Boots – H&M

Photos by Margaret, who is great.