Did you have a dressing up box growing up? I certainly did. My mother has four sisters who donated to it, and my grandmother had exceptional style, so my sister, multiple friends and I spent many a weekend getting gussied up to play the part of whatever era we were imagining ourselves in that day. Unlike my pals though, I never grew out of my dressing up box phase, and it was here I delved (although it’s mostly been re-appropriated into my wardrobe, and doesn’t reside in a cardboard box any more) to choose a pair of shoes for a night out last week.
They are a burgundy brown with a small stacked heel and a little gold-rose ring detail. They’re dainty and comfy, and although the sole is peeling off (a fact I discovered on said night out) that can be remedied with super-glue. They don’t make affordable shoes like these anymore, that can survive 30 plus years of wear and tear. And where were they made? Right here in Co. Galway.
Dubarry of Ireland was founded in 1937 in the town of Ballinasloe, and sought their name from one of the most famous courtesans of the French court, Madame Jeanne du Barry. Their beginnings were in the design and manufacturing of leather shoes, but it wasn’t long before they moved on to their famous sailing boots.
You probably know them best by their deck shoes, that type for sailing that were everywhere a couple of years back (and continue to be seen on the feet of any D4 type you may see blown in to Galway for the summer), known as ‘Dubes’. They are great quality, durable and offer a certain type of nonchalance paired with a pair of Ralph Lauren jeans and swishy blonde hair.
The brand has expanded into clothes, accessories and jackets, making it a sort of Irish equivalent to Burberry or Hunter. It’s a great example of a successful Irish company, and obviously what makes it even better is its Galway origins – in fact the Headquarters is still based in Ballinasloe. If you’d like to find out more, visit its impressive website www.dubarry.ie.
Back to my shoes. Granny shoes are as in as can be at the moment, thanks to a pair of Chanel slingbacks that all and sundry have been wearing over the last few months. They’ve got a sensible little stacked heel, nice round toe and can be paired with anything from a tea dress to jeans. If you can’t find something similar on the high street don’t be afraid to trawl through your local charity or second-hand shop, they can be a treasure trove. And you might even be lucky enough to nab a pair of vintage Dubarrys for yourself while you’re at it!