Operation Debs – Part 1 – The Gúna

As Debs season is fast approaching, I decided to put my own knowledge of dresses, accessories, tans and hairstyles to good use, starting off the series with the all important purchasing of the dress. There’s usually two categories of girls when it comes to debs dress shopping, the Early Birds and the Last Minute Crew. I was definitely in the first category, having bought my dress in January and my debs wasn’t until that July.

The plus side to that is you have one less worry during exam time, the down side being you can get sick of the dress before you even wear it, if it’s sitting in the wardrobe for 6 months. Alternatively, if you opt to wait until after exams, you may feel a bit flustered and find yourself dashing from shop to shop in a mad rush. In order to make choosing the dress that little bit easier, I’ve compiled my top tips for avoiding a shopping melt-down..

  1. Know What Suits You

We all have colours and styles that suit us and ones that don’t so establishing those is key prior to your shopping trip, to avoid as much stress as possible. Base your dress’s colour on your hair colour, eye colour, skin tone and body shape. For example, if you’re naturally very pale, yellow will do nothing for you except make you look seasick. Not the most attractive sight. Fair-skinned ladies will be absolute rides in reds, golds or greens.  Similarly black will look old fashioned and drab on someone with darker skin, but a jewel colour like emerald or magenta will look stunning.

2. Go Prepared

Debs dress shopping is a lot like swimwear shopping, you need to prep before the occasion in order for it to be a success. Wear some tan, light makeup and fresh hair so that when you try on a dress you won’t be turned off it instantly by your greasy ponytail or patchy tan job. Avoid eating a big meal beforehand too, you want to resemble what you’ll look like at the 4pm photo taking stage of the day, not the 9pm post-dinner or 1pm post-13 shots look, you feel me?

3. Bring A Second Opinion

It’s important to have someone with you who’ll be honest when you’re trying on different styles. The best bet is probably your mam, sister or aunt, sometimes girls can be bitchy and a ‘friend’ might tell you you look like “a ride” when in fact the dress does nothing for you, just to ensure she’ll look better standing next to you. Yes, can be ruthless creatures.


I shouldn’t have to state the obvious, especially after we all saw that post on Facebook last year by the poor girl who bought her ‘dream dress’ from China, that resembled a piece of tarpaulin more than anything else. If it says you’re getting a ‘ handmade, red-carpet style gown’ for under €50, it’s obviously too good to be true. Even if the seller appears legit, it really isn’t worth risking, most of these dresses take 4-6 weeks to arrive so if it looks like shite on arrival, you’ll just find yourself in a mad rush to find something else. Not worth the hassle, girls.

I’ve put together some of my favourite styles for Debs Season 2016, you can either shop them directly or take pieces of inspiration from them for your own dress hunt. There’s something to suit every girl here, even the most quirky or fussy.

For The Adventurous..



This stunning embellished fishtail dress from Forever Unique is perfectly suited to the more adventurous girl, who doesn’t mind standing out from the crowd. The netted skirt gives it an edgy feel while the elegant upper, with sweetheart neckline, gives the overall look a classy, feminine look. The best part is, it’s currently on sale from €377 to €176 – that’s over 50% off! You can purchase HERE in sizes UK 6-14.


For The Classic..



This nude maxi, also from Forever Unique is best suited to the girl who opts for the more classic look and is searching for a more traditional style debs dress. The ruched wrap front and back makes it flattering on curvy girls in particular and the thigh split adds a little kick to the otherwise minimal gown. On sale, down from €377 to €176, this beauty is fantastic bargain as well as being a timeless piece that can remain in your wardrobe for many years to come. Shop it HERE;


For The Vintage Lover..



It would be an Irish debs without someone rocking up in Virgos Lounge and this number is guaranteed to turn heads. The overall vintage feel to this dress is what made it stand out to me, the thin straps and v-neckline making it best suited to a girl with a thinner or athletic frame. The heavyweight fabric combined with the beading throughout gives it a beautiful, luxury feel, amazing value at just €169. You can nab it HERE in sizes UK 4-16.


For The Contrasting One..



You just can’t go wrong with Forever Unique can you?! Among a sea of pastel pinks and sequins, this lime maxi will stand out from the crowd. The pleated skirt and high neck detail make it ideal for a taller lady and given the stunning jewel colour, would compliment girls with darker skin tones to perfection. This dress also comes equipt with moulded cups so you don’t have to worry about your bra being exposed by the open back. Since I first spotted it this morning, it’s sold out in two sizes so nab it HERE while you still can for €256.


For The Quirky..



Just because full length flowy gowns are traditional and the ‘norm’ for debs, doesn’t mean you have to stick to them if they’re not your thing. In recent years, midi dresses have been making an appearance but if you want to be even more unique, why not wear a skirt? This rose gold sequin maxi skirt from Folkster is to die for and is more or less guaranteed to be nothing like any of your friends’ choices. Team it with an embellished crop top or statement body and you’ve got yourself something really special. You can find the skirt HERE for €95.





Alternatively, there’s the jumpsuit. Who said only the lads can wear pants to the debs? If you decide to brave a tailored bandeau style jumpsuit like this Missguided one, it’s important to accessorize well and ensure it fits you to perfection, in order to avoid it looking like just another ‘night out’ outfit. Shop it HERE for just €47, also available in black.


*COMING SOON* Operation Debs – Part 2 – The Tan Situation

J x


  1. June 23, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    This was a great post, I’m really looking forward to the series as I’m getting ready myself for the debs! I’m afraid I am a part of the Last Minute Crew -but I ordered my outfit yesterday so it’s a major relief! Even though I would be a size 8-10, the whole dress thing is usually quite difficult for me.I’m quite short and I have scars from spinal surgery so it’s hard to cover everything up! But I ordered the Oskar skirt from Folkster in a blushed pink along with a greyish leotard that’ll act as a blouse so I’m delighted! I’m mainly stuck for make-up inspiration at the moment.

    Great idea for a series, I’ll be keeping an eye out for it!

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