‘Paula’s’, formerly known as Elle B2, is more than a boutique. It is a meeting place, a coffee shop without the coffee, a confessional. While I was there, regulars were dropping in for a chat. Others were browsing; one regular was asking Paula to help choose a dress to go with a jacket from last season, another was looking for an outfit for a wedding, another was sharing her holiday debacle and Paula was listening, advising and commiserating. It is obvious that she knows her customers well and gets a lot of repeat business.
It’s nearly two years since Paula took over the boutique and put her own individual stamp on it, only recently changing the name. But she is no newbie to fashion, having worked for over ten years in both wholesale and retail. One of the wonderful aspects of boutique shopping in Malahide is the diversity of labels. Paula stocks a wide range of European labels such as Riverwoods, Summun woman, Yaya women, and Marc O’Polo and also has a lovely line of accessories in both casual shoes and stunning jewellery.
If you are looking for a comfortable and flattering pair of jeans, look no further. This pair from the Pieszak label will set you back €149, but think of how often you will wear them. They are ultra-soft, stretchy and also high-waisted, which makes them a winner in my books! Paired with a patterned blue top from Marc O’Polo and a super-light down jacket, this casual yet chic outfit will take you anywhere.
The navy and white dress from the Riverwoods label (€165) can be worn on its own, but you can equally put it with these white cut-offs if you want to dress it down or you haven’t shaved your legs! Paula stocks these in many colours and in different lengths, so get in fast as those pictured here are only €59.
I had a maxi with a paisley pattern way back in the ‘70s, so I was very excited when I found this dress among the large selection in the shop. It is extremely comfortable, easy to wear and comes with its very own ‘70s’ necklace, which I forgot to put on for the photograph! From the Divas label, it is priced at €155 and I am tempted to purchase.
The lined yellow dress below by Monton would look stunning on someone with a more sallow complexion than mine. Be warned that you may need to go up a size here. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was machine washable, as are most of the dresses in the shop.
And what a splash of colour there is in the rainbow dress by Divas (€195). Suitable for any occasion from a party to a wedding, this is extremely comfortable and easy to wear. Because of the necklace detail, this one should be hand-washed.
What is so attractive about shopping here is the friendly, warm welcome. Paula and her right-hand woman (sister-in-law Joan) are delighted to see you, but you are left free to browse and come and go as you please. No hard-sell here. The shop caters for women probably 30+ and the overall vibe is ‘classic contemporary’. But as well as the everyday casual trousers and tops, you can certainly also find a dress for a more formal occasion.
Paula’s on Townyard Lane is worth a visit and adds to my view of Malahide as a shopping destination. Now I am beginning to sound like a tourist brochure!
Photo credits: many thanks to Mike Storey and Mairead Daly.