Plus Size Dresses and Vintage Style for Summer – The Irish Times


Big and bold

Masai, one of Denmark’s fastest growing brands catering to women of all sizes, founded in Copenhagen in 1992, has a firm focus on five different shapes when it comes to dresses – oversized, straight, bias cut and A- line – which, together with tunics and coats, stand out for their lively and abstract patterns and prints. Find them online or at one of the Plus Wardrobe stores in Gorey and Ashford. Founded by Aine O’Leary 25 years ago, Wardrobe Plus specializes in affordable fashion in sizes 16 to 32, with many well-chosen collections from mainly Danish designers.

circus stars

Renowned for its modern vintage looks, including dresses, Carousel is now selling online since the closure of its stores in Dublin, Cork and Galway. Designed in-house with a focus on colorful prints, Circus is available in over 200 stores across Europe and the US. The new Spring/Summer collection, ethically made and sustainably sourced, contains many items made from unsold leftover fabrics in floral or polka dot prints, making them affordable and unique from €59-€65 each .

Swinging with Roksanda

The art and fashion collaboration between friends Eva Rothschild and Roksanda Ilinic at London’s Tate Modern showed how the two use bold structure, silhouettes and color in different ways. Rothschild, the Dublin-born artist now residing in London whose latest work is the Central Bank’s Double Rainbow, created vivid constructions at the Tate as visual enhancements to the summer collection of color-block dresses from Ilinic. A dress from the collection called Brigitte in bright yellow was worn by the Duchess of Cambridge when she arrived in Jamaica last month.

First and second

Three sisters, Carmel, Amy and Jodi, are behind a new understated British brand called Second Summer, a soft confection made from 100% linen, cotton and biodegradable nylon in capsule collections designed to be versatile and trans-seasonal. These well-designed, flared linen shorts, for example, cost €150 in sizes XS to L, while trousers are €200 and blazers are €290.

The EU and fast fashion

New laws proposed by the European Commission will mean that Europe will toughen up fast fashion by making the polluter pay. This means charging textile and fashion retailers a fee on every item they sell to deal with waste. It is estimated that mountains of used clothing are burned or buried at the rate of one truck load per second. The proposed levy, known as EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility), is intended to drive real change in the industry, spur reuse and ensure that garments are designed for better durability, repair and recycling. If successful, this will mean that Europe will be the first region to take such action.

red rainy day

Francis Campelli’s macs may be expensive, but they’re durable, well-built, and designed to last a lifetime. This knee-high in red waterproof cotton is at €659 from a range of 25 coats for women (there are 12 for men from €595) and is adorned with numerous details: open cuffs with four buttons, patch pockets with flaps in bias, wool lining on the back shoulder, webbed eyelets under the arms and engraved buttons. Find them in his shop on South William Street in Dublin or on

Elsewhere, Stable of Ireland has stylish macs for town, travel or country in inky and olive tones for around £665. Find them in their Westbury Center store or online at

Strawberries and cream

This cool little necklace from a new Spanish brand called Cashfana is called Fragola and is made in Italy from colored zirconite stones and beads with a ceramic bur made in Sicily. It measures 60cm in length and is one of many attractive items handcrafted in Italy, Colombia and India. find it on at €55 and discover the pretty Mr & Mrs and Pesce Rosa hand-painted ceramic earrings at €59.90, also made in Sicily.

satin days

August Night, Caoimhe Grant’s new bag collection, continues its signature individual use of bows, twists and knots in duchess satin. This time the colors include daffodil and coral, inspired by the landscapes of artist Jean Duncan. Two new styles join her existing repertoire, called the Bow Sac and the Bow Backpack, and although they are unconventional in appearance, they are fundamentally practical and designed for “women on the go”, she says. They also challenge the idea that satin is only for the evening. All are designed and manufactured in Dublin.


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