Getting the look for less

Ballinasloe woman Mary Ryan recently underwent the ‘Mary Dolan Treatment’ after she won a four-hour session with the style coach at a recent event in Ballinasloe. The result? Mary is now concentrating on buying outfits rather than separate items, has a better appreciation of what make up suits her and has a better eye for colour in terms of what suits her. ‘During the Ballinasloe October Fair Week I was lucky enough to receive a ticket to the annual Fashion Show which this year took place in the Carlton Shearwater Hotel. It was a ladies night out and I went with two girlfriends.  During the interval one of my friends bought some raffle tickets which we shared out between us. To my delight I won the prize worth €200 – four hours with Style Coach Mary Dolan. ‘Having made contact with Mary by phone I arranged to meet her in Athlone. Initially she spent an hour with me discussing colours that suited me – everyone falls into one of the following seasons: spring, summer, autumn or winter. I was heartened to know that I at least was wearing the right colour sweater. I discovered the winter colours suit me best and she gave me a swatch of all my colours to take with me. ‘Style coaching is not just about clothes but includes your whole body image. Mary then suggested a few changes that I could make to my hairstyle.  Body analysis came next which is basically discovering what a person’s basic body shape is – the hourglass figure being the ideal. ‘I could see the difference that choosing the proper colours made. Having discussed my lifestyle and what type of clothes I was interested in, (clothes that were wearable yet smart, casual but yet elegant) we then hit the shops. ‘Mary wanted me to try on a wine jacket, which teamed with three-quarter length black trousers, pull on knee high boots, and a cream polo neck.  She accessorised this with a pretty piece of inexpensive jewellery, wine/pink which finished off the look. I fitted on at least four different outfits, all in my winter colours. I looked a million dollars and felt it too. I could see the difference that choosing the proper colours made. ‘One of my biggest fashion mistakes in the past had been perhaps buying a single item such as a top or trousers or skirt, intending to match them up at a later date. No more – I am now committed to thinking in terms of buying an outfit, so I need not spend any more time deciding how to match up items at the last minute. It also gave me the impetus I needed to de-clutter my wardrobe and get rid of clothes which I never wear and don’t suit me. ‘Mary also gave me tips on make-up. I now also have a better idea of the type of clothes that suit me and it has given me a feeling of confidence and propelled me into achieving a new look without spending the earth. I bought myself a completed new outfit, which I am very pleased with. I thoroughly enjoyed the day with Mary and I would recommend it to anyone – very good therapy on a dull November day. I also learned a valuable lesson from Mary, that style is not about buying the most expensive item in the shop but is about putting a look together that suits the person – and I discovered that this is possible without spending a fortune. Mary certainly knows how to get ‘the look’ for less.’