The Perfect Vintage Look

26 Mar
Style queen Kathy Sherry of Dirty Fabulous shares her top tips for dressing vintage for the races.

How would you advise women to pull together a vintage look for the races?

There are many ways to achieve a vintage look. You could team a modern dress with a vintage headpiece, make-up and hairstyle or you could go full on glamour and wear top-to-toe vintage including gloves, handbags and an unforgettable dress!

What makes a good pair of gloves? 

D3The most important thing with a good pair of gloves is the fit. If you have a beautiful pair of fine leather gloves there is nothing worse than seeing them wrinkle and bunch up as the fingers are too long or wide.

You might have to try on a lot of pairs to find the right one for you but once you do you will recognise a good fit instantly; they should be like a second skin!

How much would someone expect to pay for an entire vintage outfit for the races? Alternately, how could someone work a vintage piece into their outfit if on a budget? 

The cost of a complete vintage outfit varies greatly as vintage clothing will be priced in relation to a pieces age, quality and rarity. More than likely, if you are going for a full 1930’s look it will tend to be more expensive than say, a 1960’s look. You can of course mix eras to give you a more individual look; there are no hard and fast rules with vintage. A complete vintage outfit could cost from €250 upwards.

If you have a limited budget you could team a fabulous Art Deco headpiece or crochet gloves with high street dress. Alternatively, if you have a dress in mind bring it with you to your appointment and we will help you style it up with some key accessories. The Dirty Fabulous team are dedicated to vintage and we love to help!

How do current trends in fashion impact the kind of vintage pieces ladies will go for? What will be popular for Spring Summer 2013? 

D1Current fashion trends will always influence peoples buying even on a subconscious level. Lace is hugely popular at the minute and it was a much-loved fabric in the past so there are a lot of stunningly beautiful lace vintage dresses out there. One of the big trends that we are seeing emerging is the colour emerald. Our ladies are looking for a pop of this colour to compliment the dress they are wearing.

Do you think it’s easier to build an outfit around a one key piece, or find accessories to go with your outfit? 

The easiest thing is to build your outfit around the perfect dress. The dress should be your staple and everything else should complement and enhance the dress. There is no point in wearing a fabulous hat it you are wearing an ill-fitting, bland dress. Instead wear a perfectly tailored, simple dress that has some special detailing on it to make the most of your elaborate hat wear.

What attributes do you think a winning Ladies Day outfit has?

Today’s judges are looking for the complete, polished look. Everything has to be perfect, including the hair, make-up and nails. Creativity is also something that is being looked out for. Judges love hearing that you borrowed you Granny’s gloves or added the corsages to your dress. Your look also has to be weather appropriate. There’s nothing worse than seeing a lady dolled up to the nines but shivering to death in the rain as she has bare (goose pimply) legs, no jacket and no umbrella! The judges won’t appreciate her sacrifice!

What’s the biggest difference between winter and summer vintage looks for the races?


You must dress for the weather and all of its Irish eventualities! Always take a pretty, co-ordinated umbrella; you can always leave it in the car if you don’t need it.

In winter you can pull out all the glamour stops. Long gloves, fur and feathers, jewel, rich colours and rhinestone details will all look fabulous, just think “Joan Crawford”.

In summer you can opt for bolder and brighter shades, florals and pastels, it’s the perfect time to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn!

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Why do you think the vintage look is so popular for Ladies Days?

You can be guaranteed that no one will be wearing the same outfit as you when wearing vintage. This is imperative for such an occasion; there’s nothing worse than having spent ages putting the perfect outfit together and then seeing someone wearing the same dress as you.

Vintage styling is a very classic, timeless look that most people will appreciate and admire. This is a key factor when thinking of how judges will view your complete look.

About Dirty Fabulous

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Phone: 01 6111842

Dirty Fabulous was opened in the summer of 2008 by sisters Caroline Quinn and Kathy Sherry.

Coming from a long line of seamstresses and costumers the girls grew up around beautifully tailored vintage clothing.

After travelling around the world they found that Ireland lacked boutiques that stocked gorgeous vintage bridal and occasion wear from the 1930’s on-wards.

Kathy says “We made it our mission to bring something Fabulous to Dublin. All of our vintage clothing is sourced directly from America, from the best locations in New York and LA to name but a few. Dirty Fabulous is located on the 1st floor of a Victorian building at 21 Wicklow Street. We open by appointment Tuesdays to Saturdays.”


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