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Whether you’re coming home for the holidays or taking advantage of the time off with a bit of traveling, County Donegal is a beautiful place to visit in the winter months. Think brilliant sunrises over frosty hills, fresh wild air along the coastline, and a uniquely festive atmosphere that makes for perfect cosy nights with friends and family. Here are our top tips for enjoying a winter weekend in Donegal!

Enjoy a festive afternoon in Donegal Town

Around the holidays, Donegal Town is full of the holiday spirit with decorations, caroling groups in the Diamond, shopping, and lots of opportunities to sit down for a cuppa and a mince pie. There’s always the Weaver’s Loft Restaurant above the Magee 1866 store, where you’ll find home-baked scones, pies and treats as well as a full lunch menu with daily specials. Round off the day with a stroll down by the scenic Donegal harbour.

Photo via Facebook @DonegalOnline

Go for a long walk on the beach or a hike

Is there anything more invigorating than a winter beach walk? Donegal has plenty to offer in the way of beach strolls. Heading north, you have the option of Rossnowlagh, Murvagh Beach, and Mountcharles Pier. If you’re feeling really brave, join the locals for a polar plunge on Christmas Day. And then of course you can head west toward Sliabh Liag for stunning views as you walk along Ireland’s highest sea cliffs. If you’re up for an adventure, take to the wild of the Bluestack Mountains on our doorstep.

Have a Sunday lunch with friends & family

Donegal has some lovely destination spots for a meal or afternoon tea with loved ones. From Harvey’s Point on the shores of Lough Eske, to the Lough Eske Castle Hotel, to the House Gastro Pub in Donegal Town, there are plenty of places to whet the appetite and spend some quality time together over great food.

Enjoy a pint and some music

Donegal is full of cosy pubs, and you can usually find some music to enjoy, too. McCafferty’s in Donegal Town is always a great choice for a pint or two, with music and a lively atmosphere. Down the road in Ardara, Nancy’s Seafood Bar is a lovely warm spot for a quiet pint and some food.

‘Tis the season for gift-giving and gift-opening, and we’ve been really good this year. Here are the gifts we’re hoping to find under the tree!

“My wish list includes one of our throws, designed and made by our weaving mill in Donegal. They are perfect for snuggling down with on the sofa and watching a Christmas film. If it’s just me – The Holiday or Love Actually are my favourites, and if with my children and husband – The Snowman followed by the Snowman and Snowdog!

I would also love a notebook – I have a terrible memory and need lists for everything. I know we live in a digital age and there are all sorts of apps for lists and organisation but I prefer writing things down with a pencil and paper. These beautiful Donegal Tweed bound notebooks are made in Ireland.”

“I do a lot of travelling for work, visiting fabric fairs and factories,! so if Santa wanted to bring me one of our lovely Donegal Tweed passport covers, it would be the perfect accessory to dress up my rather dog-eared passport! As an only child and grandchild, Christmas with my small family is generally a quiet one but we always look forward to Boxing Day when we go for a walk along the seafront in my hometown in the Southeast of England. We watch the either brave or slightly mad locals embracing a charity Boxing Day swim, followed by a walk along the promenade to walk off the Christmas Day dinner. One of our Merino Wool waffle knit sweaters and the gorgeous new red and grey Alexa coat will be sure to keep me warm.”

“For Christmas, I’d love a teddy bear in Donegal Tweed to give to my nephew. It’s something he can hang onto throughout childhood, and pass on when he’s older — a real family heirloom. For myself, I usually spend a lot of the Christmas holidays outside. You can find me having a dip in the sea at dawn (highly recommended!) or taking long walks through the countryside with family. A warm scarf and the Demi jacket are the perfect things to keep me warm through the winter.”

“With two small sons at home, the holidays involve a lot of running around outside, visiting family (and Santa!), and a lot of silliness. This year, I’m hoping for a really smart, versatile piece of outerwear – a coat that will keep me warm while I’m chasing the wee boys around, but also something that will look smart if I manage a rare night out! Having a young family is a bit of a juggling act, so a good-quality piece of outerwear like the Moross Duffle coat that I can take everywhere with me that’s made to last, is top of the list. “

When it comes to braving winter weather, your favourite coat – the one you’ll be reaching for, year after year – needs to check some essential boxes: beautiful quality that wears well with age, it needs to be warm, and the silhouette should withstand the test of time, from the workday commute to weekend adventures.

For us, there’s no better answer than a Donegal Tweed coat. Donegal Tweed is designed to keep you warm, and at our weaving mill, we have spent years experimenting and designing to create tweeds that are luxuriously warm, timeless and made with natural fibres. For a behind-the-scenes look at our weaving mill, look no further…

This Autumn Winter 2019, we have launched some new shapes and styles of coats for men and women, in Donegal Tweeds designed and woven at our mill in Donegal.

The Alexa coat

All new this season, the Alexa is designed to make a statement. Mid-length, with raglan shoulders and deep hand-warmer pockets, this coat is meant to be worn over anything, to anything, whether it’s work or play.

The fabric is an over-sized red and white check, inspired by the Irish Brigid’s Cross. It’s designed and woven at our weaving mill; take a look at its journey through our weaving mill, from warping to mending and final examinations above.

This is one of my favourite Magee women’s coats, we have a similar men’s raglan sleeve coat – the Corrib which we have run in our collections for years and people often asked me can you do a women’s version! Here it is – the Alexa is a timeless coat that can be worn year after year. I just love this oversized fabric design, which showcases what our mill do best – intricate designs in beautiful natural fibres.Charlotte Temple – Creative Director

The Emma Coat

It’s no secret that the Emma coat is one of our favourites. It’s easily styled for day or night, and can be worn over trousers and a blouse, or a dress with heels. Worn unbuttoned, the coat has a bit of movement to it that we love.

This season, the Emma coat comes in two Donegal Tweed colourways: a classic black and white herringbone, and a herringbone in mulberry and camel.

The Linsford coat

For occasions and outfits that call for a polished look, the Linsford is the perfect option. Princess seams help the Linsford sit close to the body, giving a fitted silhouette. The Nehru collar can be worn standing up, or folded down to reveal a pop of velvet in the lining.

The Moross Duffle coat

The Moross duffle coat is all new to the Magee 1866 collection this season, effortlessly fusing contemporary styling with our heritage salt-and-pepper Donegal Tweed.

Our designers have given the ever-popular duffle coat an upgrade, with a quilted brushed cotton lining, real horn toggle fasteners, and of course our own Donegal Tweed, designed and woven in Donegal.

The Corrib coat

There’s no doubt that men’s style this decade has taken a lot of inspiration from BBC’s Peaky Blinders, and the Corrib coat is the perfect answer to it. A long silhouette and raglan sleeves make it the perfect winter overcoat, from workdays to casual weekends.

The Fintra Peacoat

There are few looks as timeless as the peacoat. It’s been a staple look for men since the 1800s, bringing a nautical element to the winter wardrobe along with a sharp, tailored silhouette. Our Fintra peacoat comes in a navy herringbone Donegal Tweed, designed and woven at our mill.

To wrap up this year’s heritage celebration, we sat down with Lynn Temple, Chairman of Magee 1866 and fourth-generation family member. Growing up with the business since the 1950’s, we asked Lynn to share some of his favourite memories from childhood and the intervening years, as well as his thoughts on the future of the brand.

“In the 1950’s, the company was powered by three generators of different sizes. There was always one big one running at any time, driving what looked like a Victorian mill with a huge central drive from the ceiling and belts running off it, which then drove the sewing machines. My great delight as a little boy was to start and stop the generators. I would run in and switch on a generator that wasn’t running, and switch it off again. One day, I got confused and switched off the main generator. The whole factory ground to a halt. I was in serious trouble. The production manager ate me – it was horrendous. They lost about an hour and a half production before they got the whole thing working again!

In those days, with direct current, fire was always a risk. At Magee in Donegal, we always had our own petrol-driven fire engine. We used to go to the River Eske beside the factory, where the suction pump at the end of the fire engine was put into the river. The hose was at the other end and we used to practice every week. That practice always attracted a whole lot of the town’s teenagers who used to sit at the wall on the other side of the river, and shout to see if we could hit them with the spray of the hose. We had great fun decoying them at the end of the wall with the engine at half-power, and then when they were all lined up, we’d open the throttle and we could knock them off the wall like skittles. As a ten year old I thought it was absolutely the best part of Magee!

Just William type memories aside (!), Magee in the 1950s was a very traditional place and focused principally on hand-weaving and hand-knitting.  As continental competition grew in the 70’s and 80’s, we very much upped our game to further develop tailoring around the ‘business suit’. The Weaving Mill shifted gears in the late 60’s and 70’s as it became a more fashion orientated business. Magee’s Donegal Tweed was picked up by designers such as Sybil Connolly and Irene Gilbert, which brought some serious panache and established global exports of our luxury fabric.

Cavan Gilet in Donegal Tweed; Handwoven Donegal Tweed Jacket

Now, we see the market changing again to incorporate far more lifestyle and casual fit garments. Beautiful tailoring will always have a place in the market but ‘Casual Fridays’ in the workplace are certainly here to stay! For us it is always important to never lose sight of our roots but crucial to also keep looking forward. This means that we continue to focus on using our own fabric throughout our collections while also making sure we don’t ever get stuck in the past with old 70’s suits! The other huge shift that I see, is the growing awareness of sustainability which we are firm believers in. It wasn’t a common topic in the 1950’s (!) but it is good to see this emphasis on ‘slow fashion’, which fits the bill for us.

Preview of Spring/Summer 2020 collection

Looking to the future, one of the points that gives me huge encouragement as a 68-year-old, even as the European market goes through huge uncertainty with Brexit, is the team we have here at Magee 1866. We are fortunate to have three of our own family: Charlotte as Design Director, Patrick as CEO of Magee Weaving, and Rosy on Sales Management, combined with an energetic and young team based here in Donegal. Alongside this youth, there are of course people who have worked here for over 40 years and with family connections stretching back multiple generations. We are very fortunate to have such a critical mass of knowledge, skill and enthusiasm here in Donegal. This gives me great heart and that we will certainly be around for the next 150 years and more! ‘’

Sustainability is very much part of our family values and what we do at Magee 1866.  We recognise that it is a not a straightforward concept with easy solutions. Yet, as a family we are  on board to drive a philosophy which respects our environment and how we do business in it.

We have grown up in in the wilds of Donegal with the Atlantic on our doorstep for swimming and the Bluestacks Mountains just up the road for exploring. Mum and Dad have always encouraged a deep respect for this magic landscape at home and to tread with care. This culture of care for the landscape around us means putting time and effort into make sustainable choices from planting belts of mixed forestry to eating organically, growing vegetables and cycling in and out to work. This sustainable set of lifestyle values as a family translates to what we do at work. We don’t leave them at home!

Lynn Temple, Chairman of Magee 1866, and Rosy Temple, Marketing & Retail Manager, in Mountcharles, Co Donegal

When it comes to work, for over 150 years sustainability has been inherent in our DNA. We focus on using natural fibres like wool which is renewable and biodegradable by default. Natrual fibres create fabric and clothing which is of a high quality, a far cry from the ‘throw away’ culture of fast fashion. Today, we look to harness this sustainable core and to bring its essence through our collections. When you invest in a coat like the Emma (below), you are buying a piece which is made of wool, it is made to last and to be enjoyed season after season. As a 5th generation family business, we are not here today and gone tomorrow and neither is our clothing.

The Emma coat in a black and white herringbone-patterned Donegal Tweed

It is so encouraging to see that sustainability is now part of a more mainstream conversation around the world. I am currently in Tokyo with work and also to commiserate with Irish fans over our world cup loss…! Yesterday, I took part in the ‘Tweed Run Tokyo’.

The event was to highlight the versatility of the fabric, its sustainable virtues and to celebrate this with an emissions free pedal about the vast city. What an experience and a vibrant ensemble of bold style and panache!

Models in Tokyo, featuring our Alexa coat (centre) styled with Fishermen Out of Ireland jumper and Bernie Murphy trouser

I talked to the team from the beautiful United Arrows clothing store. They shared with me the Japanese concept of Mottainai which is a Japanese term to convey a ‘sense of regret concerning waste’ and a request to ‘not waste anything worthy’ from food to object. It was fascinating to hear of this old proverb, now being applied to today’s emphasis on moving away from a throw-away culture.

On my return from this provoking event, I bought a single banana…which was completely wrapped in plastic. As a world of consumers, living sustainably is undeniably complex but we hope that the spirit of Mottaninai will start to prevail!  At Magee 1866, we hope that you will join us on the journey to create and wear clothing which pays heed to the sensitivities of the environment.

We talk to Patrick Temple, CEO of Magee Weaving and Susie Page, Magee Textile Designer about what brought them to work in one of Ireland’s oldest weaving mills and where mill’s direction is for the future.

As one of the 5th generation behind Magee 1866 and as an engineer by training, Patrick has a real affinity with the Mill. Patrick shares with us what drew him to this specific area of Magee 1866 from a young age: 

‘’When I was a child, Dad and I would often call in with hand-weavers around rural Donegal, some of the weavers lived miles away and it was always a great expedition to find our way up narrow side roads in the mountainous valleys. I loved being allowed into the ‘weaver’s shed’ where the loom sat with its well-worn seat. I was always asking dozens of questions about how the loom worked and how all of those of yarns came together to form ‘Donegal Tweed’, a fabric that has been part of the local heritage in the northwest of Ireland for centuries. Donegal Tweed is a woollen fabric, distinctive in its flecks of colour and ‘salt and pepper’ or ‘herringbone’ patterns. Donegal Tweed is what our ancestor, John Magee, started buying back in the 1860s and that heritage remains very much part of who we are today. 

I was also in and out of the Mill all the time, running about the warping machines and looms…health and safety wasn’t quite so rigorous in the early 1990s! As you might have guessed, I was the child with a lot of Lego and Meccano sets, so the literal nuts and bolts of weaving naturally appealed. Although, I didn’t go straight into the Weaving after school as Dad always encouraged us to go off and do our own thing before getting involved, so I trained as an Engineer in Trinity College, Dublin. This led to work in London, Sydney and then Scotland where my main project involved developing wave energy as a sustainable and renewable resource. In my late twenties, I was then ready to come back to the Weaving Mill. I was immediately involved in all of the complex areas around production, working through the logistics and operations of turning tonnes of yarn into thousands of meters of fabric each season. I work with highly skilled teams from the textile designers to warpers, weavers, finishers and menders on the mill floor. I feel privileged to work with people who have been connected to weaving and Magee for generations. Today, we work to bring all of this knowledge into our fabric and work with our designers to bring a contemporary edge to this wealth of heritage.’’

This means that an emphasis on design and creativity is key to us today and for our future. Susie Page, one of our lead fabric designers, came to us from Scotland, which also has a rich heritage in textile design and manufacturing.

“I wanted to do something connected with fabric design, so I came to Donegal, which is really renowned for its tweed and craft history. Donegal is such a lovely place to live and work, but due to the variety of customers we work with, we also have the opportunity to travel throughout the world. We get inspiration from what we see in shops and exhibitions in key cities such as London and New York, but here in Donegal, we also get the peace we need for design inspiration. It’s good to have that balance.”



When designing fabric, our design team consider both our rich heritage taken from our beautiful archive, in balance with new trends that we see coming through within the fashion world.

“We’re always trying to do something new and innovative”, Susie says, “while covering our classics as well. Each season we include new creative patterns and colour combinations. When working with customers, we sometimes get new ideas from them as well; they might request a colour combination that we haven’t thought of, and in exchange we often surprise our customers with traditional patterns used in different ways, in new colour palettes, which is exciting for them, too.”

For our fabric designers, the process begins with creating mood boards and deciding on the qualities of fabrics they want to develop that season, and the stories they want to tell through that fabric. Whether it’s a traditional Irish linen or a rich Donegal Tweed.

They then design the yarn that will make up the fabric. Working closely with our spinners in developing our own colours, our designers will select the finer details down to for example the nepps of colour that come through in our Donegal Tweeds.

Our designers then create ‘blankets’, which showcase different colour combinations, woven together in one fabric. Sometimes unexpected colour combinations can inspire a new direction for their collection, but usually they have planned the exact end result they would like to achieve.

The finalised designs then go into production within our weaving mill, where the fabric is warped, woven and finished by our expert team, ready to be shipped off into the world. This fabric is used then by our own Magee 1866 clothing collections, as well as also being exported internationally to other clothing brands, tailors, and more.

And finally, an all-important word on sustainability. Patrick’s experience in work with renewable energy together with the family’s inherent interest and respect for the environment means that sustainability has always been relevant to the Mill. Today, it is really front of mind. For Patrick, it is essential to continue working with natural, biodegradable and renewable fibres like wool, cashmere, and flax. These fibres weave together to make fabric which stands the test of time. 

“Magee Weaving brings you a unique fabric which is deeply imbued with the knowledge of generations of weavers, brought to life by the vibrancy of our design and by its very nature, a sustainable choice.”

My early memories of Magee as a child were built around what Dad wore as he left for the office at exactly 0750 every morning – namely a navy suit with a brightly coloured tie. (While Dad has never worked directly in our design departments, he has always had a natural flare for colour and styling!) The upstairs wardrobe was full of soft earthy brown and green houndstooth jackets with the odd thornproof suit in a moss green with a fine red thread running through (great for dressing up in as a child!). My brother and I also acquired a bright green linen/silk bolt that we used for ‘tent’s and ‘hide-outs’ in the woods at home. Probably not the final end use desired by the Weaving designer at the time but perfect for us – 65m went a long way for these structures.

Our fabrics and garments have evolved over the years, but the core message of quality and producing a timeless product has always been at the heart of what we do. We focus on natural fibres – wool, alpaca, cashmere, linen and silk. Traditionally Magee 1866 concentrated on jacket and suits, I joined the business in 2012 and while I have no formal training in design, I have been steeped in our brand since a child and love and believe in the the idea of taking a clothing brand and building a lifestyle around it. This is what we are striving to do and use our amazing fabrics as much as possible in these collections.

The Magee 1866 fabrics would have been originally all handwoven and their function was not fashion but utility. In the 1960’s two leading Irish designers – Sybill Connelly and Irene Gilbert started to use our Donegal tweed in the women’s collection. We have always been renowned for our brightly coloured and intricately designed apparel fabrics. In 2018 we launched our first interiors collection.

While we do buy from other mills, particularly in suiting – the UK and Italy, this vertical approach from mill to finished garment allows us to develop truly unique fabrics for our product collections.

Each season we are working to subtly push the boundaries, combining the best of Donegal cloths with contemporary styling – AW19 the Duffle and Alexa coat, while still retaining our more classic pieces. A tricky balance! The Autumn Winter season is so strong for us, colours are rich with earthy tones and our natural cloths really come into their own.

Trends are evolving all the time and the casual direction the world is moving is very prevalent – I still believe there will always be room for a smartly tailored suit, so much so we have just launched an extensive made to measure service!

Spring Summer is a little more difficult, but we are looking to develop the Irish linen story across a number of products and use a more softer colour base across our lightweight wools. For us the ideal spring piece is something that can transcend seasons, particularly in Ireland where our weather is so unpredictable.

A sneak preview to SS20 and our Irish linen suit in an olive green Glencheck (also available in navy) is a wardrobe must – the great thing about this suit is how you can mix up the styling – the checked jacket with plain linen trousers and a t-shirt or the trousers with one of our Irish linen grandfather shirts (an exclusive made in Ireland product). Embracing the casual trends we are introducing a casual lux collection.

I have been working with our team to review how we can use our beautiful Donegal tweeds and linens in some timeless and the more quirky accessories, e.g. our Donegal tweed teddy bear (Made in the UK) and our throws – made in Donegal by us. This is an exciting area for development – watch this space!

This autumn, we’re celebrating women with a series of interviews, focusing on women in Ireland. We’re wrapping up with Magee 1866’s Rosy Temple, fifth-generation family member and manager of marketing and retail at Magee 1866.

Can you tell us about your decision to join the family business?

As a teenager growing up, the family business was part and parcel of everyday conversation but I didn’t at first consider it as a career. I was set on doing my own thing and spent most of my twenties in the UK; at the University of York and then working in London. I started work in the corporate art world, selling 19th century pictures at Christie’s Auction House. After three years there, I was itching to explore other types of business and jumped ship to work in a food and drink start up called Rebel Kitchen. The contrast was certainly refreshing, a small ‘go go’ team were responsibility came quick and change was fast. I was fortunate to have some excellent senior directors as willing mentors who gave me invaluable commercial experience on all things brand, together with marketing and management skills. After five years in London, thoughts began to turn both to Ireland and the family business. Dad had never put any pressure on either myself or my two siblings to join Magee 1866, we all went off in different directions and in time all then felt the atavistic pull to come back! For me it took working in different environments to truly appreciate how fortunate I was to have a family business and one with an exciting future. Even though it is over 150 years old, I watched a business that was making changes. I saw that the collections kept sight of our heritage but also moved forward; my grandfather would never have envisaged us bringing a duffle coat to the fore! I joined in April 2018 and haven’t looked back since!

Any advice for young women finding their way professionally?

I think it is really worth taking time to truly explore what you want to do and understand what drives you. This can take time! There is a lot of social pressure to be ‘successful’ but I think that we need to carefully consider what makes us tick and what gives us a sense of purpose.

When at work, whatever your gender, I do think it is important to wear clothing which makes you feel your best. If there is an important meeting with external clients, give yourself confidence by wearing something strong and well-tailored. For me, I’d choose the Moyne suit. It is a beautiful fabric and cut. Putting it on, well, it makes you feel ready to take on whatever the day throws at you!

Best piece of advice you’ve received?

Most definitely from my Mum, she always advises ‘be true to yourself’. For me, this equates to following your own distinctive path and being confident in doing so.

Left to right: Rosy Temple, Marketing Manager, and Charlotte Temple, Director of Design

What’s top of mind for you at the moment?

The whole area around sustainability is very important for me. It is a huge buzz word at the moment, it is encouraging that the discussion on the environment is very much in the mainstream media. Now though, we need to make sure to turn words to action. For us at Magee 1866, this means continuing to use natural fibres like wool which are re-newable and biodegradable and to promote slow-fashion. We are continuing to explore ways that will improve how we do business in a more environmentally friendly way. This is often not easy but a challenge that this is worth tackling head on.

Personal style philosophy?

As you might have guessed, I am a big believer in making considered purchases which stand the test of time. Each season, I will add a couple of investment pieces and this AW19, I have my eye on the Alexa coat which is made from fabric woven in our mill and full of character. It is the sort of coat that should be passed on to the next generation!

Your favourite local spot & why?

I’m a fan of the outdoors, from cycling to swimming and mountain running! Without a doubt, my top spot is Salthill Pier (Co. Donegal) which is a stone’s throw from home. Whatever the weather or time of year, you will find me jumping off the pier for a swim!

Your perfect day?

I live between Dublin and Donegal which is a lovely contrast of city and rural life. Donegal does probably win on being the location for a perfect day though! I’ll always kick-start with a swim, followed by a couple of hours out on the bike or on foot up in the local hills. I just love heading up into the Bluestacks and feel so lucky to have such invigorating scenery right on the doorstep. I have started growing vegetables, which is surprisingly time-consuming but totally worth it. So an ideal day would of course include some spuds from the veg patch for lunch! On winter days especially, I’ll light the fire, switch off my phone and take time to really enjoy some decent books on anything from fiction to philosophy. Of course, I’ll make sure to have a throw handy to stay cosy! To round off the day, an evening in a local pub with friends hits the spot.

Shop our collection of women’s jackets, with exquisite tailoring to give you a boost of confidence.

This autumn, we’re celebrating women with a series of interviews, focusing on women in Ireland. We got the chance to interview Easkey Britton, a Donegal native, five-time Irish National Surfing Champion, who also holds a Ph.D in Environment & Society.

Can you tell us what it was like venturing into surfing, researching, teaching?

Growing up in Rossnowlagh by the sea, I’ve been in love with water for as long as I can remember. The sea is the single greatest influencer in my life and for me surfing is this playful medium that allows me to indulge in that passion and which has also allowed me to build a career. The sea is a constantly changing environment that fuels my curiosity and I think this translates well into my academic interests. I earned a first class BSc in Environmental Science and a PhD in Environment and Society, specialising in human well-being and coastal resilience, both at Ulster University. Surfing during my studies also helped me keep a healthy work-life balance, and clear perspective on the importance of always doing what you love and not postponing that desire. I’ve found a way to weave my passion for the sea, surfing and helping to foster a more positive relationship between people and the sea in my current research post at NUIG.

Any advice for young women finding their way professionally?

I increasingly see a pressure to always be ‘on’. That constant drive to create change, or make a difference, often leads to burn-out.  For me, I noticed I was going through a pattern where I’d reach the mid-point of each year (around June) and my physical and emotional health would start to crash and burn, because I’d been in ‘doing’ mode constantly all year. To break the pattern I began to track the moments in my life when I felt most alive and full of energy, and what were those moments when I was left feeling drained or exhausted. Slowly, I’ve come to understand the importance of cycles. We all have them, men and women. Because we’re living beings we’re influenced by our environment and are affected by the cycles of night and day, the moon, the seasons… As women, we are gifted with an internal cycle – if we’d only been taught to better listen to our bodies. Our body tells us when it’s time to act and when it’s time to rest. I’m beginning to develop a greater awareness of my menstrual cycle in the last couple of years, and it has had a profound effect on my work-life balance and energy levels. It helps me understand my own inner ebb and flow, the high cost of always being ‘on’ in a society that rewards ‘being busy’, and the equally important need for stillness and reflection.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?

There is a saying in my family passed from my grandfather to my mother to me, ‘out of the hottest fire comes the finest tempered steel’. It reminds me as we face the greatest challenges of our lifetime that change can also strengthen and transform, that no matter how tough it seems right now, if we allow ourselves to move through challenge rather than resist it there is incredible potential for transformation. 

What’s top of mind for you at the moment?

Exploring the links between nature, health and well-being and, especially how water and the sea can impact health and well-being both at an individual level and within communities is at the core of what I do – it’s the focus of my research on the EU funded SOPHIE (Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe) project.

Personal style philosophy?

Do no harm. Be conscious, natural and responsible. As much as possible use the power you have as a consumer, and as a citizen, to buy products that are local, made with natural materials in an ethical way causing as little harm as possible. And think about the end-life of a product, what waste will it create and how might we recycle or upcycle? Always ask questions, this creates more awareness.

Your favourite local spot & why?

There are so many in Donegal! It’s hard to beat Rossnowlagh beach, although I love heading to the pier at Mountcharles with my grandmother. Sometimes I’ll swim and then we just sit and drink in the incredible 180 degree views of the bay and mountains. It’s a stunning perspective. My grandmother calls the sea there a ‘tonic for the soul.’

Your perfect day?

One filled with waves, a surf or dip in the sea before breakfast is hard to beat. I’m energised for the day!

Shop our collection of Donegal tweed, made with renewable and biodegradable fibres like wool and cashmere.

Every gentleman needs one smart, well-fitting suit in his arsenal, something to break out for special occasions. As your wedding is the ultimate special occasion, it is the perfect time to invest in a suit for life. Here are our top tips!

1|the quality

Unlike brides, grooms have the benefit of being able to wear their wedding day attire well past the big day. We have been designing and tailoring beautiful suits for over a 150 years and have perfected the suit. Quality is key for us – starting with the fabric – luxury tweeds, Italian or British wools and Irish linen. We pay special attention to the trim details – linings, piping, contrast pocket details, collar meltons and horn buttons.

Edward and David, were married in August 2019 at Cloughjordan House in Co Tipperary, Ireland.
Photo by Louise Scott Photography

2|the fit

We think that one of the most important parts of getting a great-looking suit is ensuring your garment fits perfectly. Sleeves that finish just above the wrist bone, a jacket that stays smooth when buttoned across the front, trousers that just skim the top of the shoe without catching: these are all the details that you need to get right to ensure a smart and sophisticated look. For your wedding day, we recommend getting a made to measure suit, ensuring the perfect fit from the start, or if you do find the perfect suit off-the-peg, we have expert tailors who can tweak and make small adjustments if required.

3|the style

Choosing the style of your suit is where you can show off a bit of personal flair. Narrow lapels, and straight or narrow-leg trousers are both popular at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t step out with something more bold. Think wide, peak lapels on the jacket for a vintage-inspired look!

Navy suits have ruled the day for a long time and are still a firm favourite – an all-time classic that can be worn again and again, but why not add a bit of personality with a checked fabric? This Autumn brown suits are also making a strong comeback, bringing a smart, retro vibe to the wedding scene. A contrast waistcoat can also add a fun pop of colour to a three-piece suit. Our speciality is the Donegal tweed suit – a truly timeless suit!

If stepping away from the classic three-piece suit our recommendations would be the traditional morning suit – double up with a day at Ascot or the 007 inspired dinner suit for a very smooth look!

Catharine and Andrew were married in April 2019 at The Stone House in Nevada, USA.

4|the details

The finishing touches to your outfit are key – a crisp white or blue cotton shirt, a silk knitted tie (the knit is great for a vintage look with a tweed suit) and a pocket square, which adds a nice touch. Our Made to Measure option also includes embroidery – e.g. the date of your wedding or your names.

5|after the event

You’ll get the most mileage out of a well-fitting three-piece suit; it can be broken down into separates and worn lots of different ways. Pair the trousers with a smart knit and coat for a day at the races; wear the jacket as a blazer over chinos for date night. Your wedding suit will be a wardrobe favourite for years to come with a little creative flair, bringing back great memories every time you do.

A Donegal tweed suit worn 3 ways

Looking for your perfect suit? Our Made to Measure service gives you the opportunity to design your own suit, perfectly fitted to your measurements.

We would like the thank both our beautiful couples who featured in this blog for letting us use their photos. We wish them every happiness in the years to come and thank you for choosing to wear Magee!

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