Dublin adds Irish twist to popular trends, styles

Harper Leigh poses in her dress on the University College Dublin campus. Photo courtesy of Clara Lincicome

By Grace Cusick | Guest Contributor

As you walk down the streets of Dublin, a quick Google search of “what do Irish people wear” will be truly disappointing.

Traditional Irish sweaters, Celtic tweed and the beloved flat cap are not common sights on the bustling streets of Dublin. A strong Celtic influence and rich history of literature and art allowed the Irish to cultivate a unique style that distinguished the country from the rest of Europe. However, many stereotypical Irish clothing items may only be seen in gift stores and the Irish sweater shop.

Orlando junior Lily Weir said the Irish maintain a distinct style that reflects their identity.

“Style in Ireland really reflects Irish culture, which is very simple and go with the flow, which translates into most Irish dressing very comfortably and outdoorsy,” Weir said. “They truly prioritize comfort and function, which was reflected in their style of clothing.”

The new trend of elevated athletic wear has gained popularity throughout America and is now reaching the rest of the world. Although Europeans are known for their elevated style that typically does not involve any athletic wear, Ireland has begun to embrace the comfortability of athletic clothing.

Rudy Kelly, a Dublin local and employee at Om Diva Boutique, said athleisure has become incredibly popular, even among the city’s fashionable crowds.

“Athleisure is super popular in Ireland, even if you are alternative or very into fashion,” Kelly said. “On my days off, I live in matching two-piece sets of leggings and little tops or even a tracksuit set.”

Weir said she was able to view the Irish style in a unique way when she studied at an Irish college for a semester. Her knowledge and time spent in Ireland allowed her to truly compare the two countries’ styles.

“I noticed through my time in Dublin that Irish fashion is pretty similar to America in the sense that there is kind of two types of styles,” Weir said. “There are people who wear more basic athleisure, like Gymshark leggings and Air Forces with a puffer coat. Then people who have more of a stronger fashion sense that wear thrifted vintage clothing paired with platform docs and cool leather jackets — their crazy hair and eye makeup complete the look. I think these groups are present at most American schools too.”

With so many pieces of style shared between the Irish and Americans, color sets the two apart. The Irish are not known for being bold or over the top. Color is far less important than practicality and comfort. Neutrals are a staple in Irish style, while Americans favor a more bold color palette.

Kelly said color is what’s distinguishing between an American and a Dubliner.

“It’s very easy to tell when an American is in Ireland because they wear more bold colors and prints, which are not typical to Irish style,” Kelly said. “There’s a lot of dark clothes in Dublin. Not a huge amount of people deviate from the norm of neutrals, but those involved in fashion may wear bright and dramatic colors.”

Neutrals reign supreme in the Irish wardrobe, connecting to their love of simplicity and practicality. In order to truly look like a Dubliner, here are a few things you will actually need, which are not an Irish sweater or a flat cap.

Kelly said a good coat, a printed scarf, a matching set and Doc Martens are staples in most Dubliners’ closets.