|Bright colors dominate|
I'm not one to encourage stereotypes. I hate when people say "The Irish" this or "The Americans" that. So please understand that when I write about the Dublin Girl Look I'm not indicating that this is how every girl in Dublin dresses...but there IS a type of Dublin girl that has a very specific way of dressing for a night out that I find fascinating.
In New York, I often felt like the over-dressed one - I quite like getting dressed up and wearing bright red lipstick and doing vintage hairdos. And there are definitely scenes where that's the norm in New York, but for an average night out at the bar, the look is usually fairly casual. In Ireland, however, and especially in Dublin, the girls bring it. Even just popping down to a local pub you can see girls dressed to the nines. There will certainly be girls hanging out in jeans and stuff as well, but the girls that dress up don't half-ass it, that's for sure.
The aforementioned Dublin Girl Look is something I noticed years ago - it's kind of like someone went into PhotoShop and upped the contrast - the tans are dark (and admittedly, sometimes pretty orange), the dresses are jewel-toned, the eyeliner is thick, and the hair is fire-engine red or inky blue-black or brassy blonde. Maybe it's because the weather can be grey here, especially in the winter - and they brighten up the scene. I haven't been able to kick my all-black habit so I'm always in awe and jealous of the girls who can pull off a fuchsia dress with royal blue heels.
Which brings me to another matter - the heels! If you've never been to Ireland, know this - cobbled streets are still very much the norm here. For me, this means stumbling even while stone-cold sober, wearing sneakers, but I have seen girls who wearing 6 inch stilettos stumbling out of the pub and then pulling strength and poise from some unknown mystical source and strut down the cobbles like champs. I salute them - but will continue change into flats if I'm walking anywhere further than the taxi to the door.
I often think that one night I'll just go for it - get a bright dress, put on some fake tan, and try to pass for an authentic Dublin Girl. In the past I've referred to these girls as Orange Girls (which sounds mean, but it's TRUE) but after a friend misunderstood my use of Orange Girl and thought that I meant to dress up like someone in the Ulster Defense League I've opted for the more general Dublin Girl. I'll be visiting Cork for Paddy's Day in a couple of weeks - maybe I'll take the opportunity of being in a city where few people know me and try to pull off the look. Wish me luck!