Maria Morley is a fashion beauty & lifestyle media influencer with strong Donegal connections.
On her blog, Style by Maria, she showcases and reviews the latest fashion and beauty trends.
Maria discovered her love of fashion while studying health and fitness. She worked alongside two of Ireland’s top fashion stylists – Cathy O’Connor and Tania Grimson. She has spent time living in Letterkenny and has many connections here.
“I spend all my spare time in Donegal, all my best friends are from there. I see myself relocating back to Donegal very soon.”
“Deep down, I knew someday I would find my way back to the fashion scene. I almost fell back into it when I was asked to do some styling and then began doing some personal shopping and gaining clients. Then I began blogging and doing collaborations and from there it just took off.
It is an exciting time because I am doing what I love. I have never been as happy and I get up excited every morning to see what the day has in store. The days are long with so much to fit in, but as the saying goes “Do what you love and never work a day in your life!” Maria said.
Here is Style by Maria’s Style Study…
How would you describe your personal style?
An ever-evolving mix of both the classic and eclectic, some high-end pieces with high-street stores.
I love trying different looks and mixing different trends.
Who is your style icon?
I have two I absolutely love, both share the same first name Olivia Culpo & Olivia Palermo. They are both my style icons they have very similar style. Neither are afraid to try different looks. They don’t follow trends, they make their own. Which I love to do. So, they inspire me to do the same.
What inspires you when choosing an outfit?
Different fashion eras inspire me and confident women inspire me.
I love seeing people standing out rather than blending in.
How a person dresses and their style says a lot about an individual and their personality.
I love putting outfits together maintaining a light-hearted approach to dressing.
I love mixing different styles eras, patterns & wearing bright colours even in winter!!
Breaking all the rules inspires me!
When choosing an outfit all these factors stand out in my mind and inspire my outfit choices.
How would you accessorise a look?
I love to have fun with current trends.
I like a simple, classic look with touch of glam or splash of colour always with my own twist. I achieve this by accessorizing mostly. I love adding a belt where a belt may not be necessary but an accessory.
Accessorising with shoes and handbags that have bold colours.
I love to accessorise adding a different pattern or print to an outfit with an existing pattern. Like a striped outfit then add a polka dot neck scarf.
Statement jewellery can make an outfit.
My favourite accessory is “randomness” by that I mean adding something to signature an outfit.
What is your most recent fashion purchase?
My recent purchase was a pair of Chelsea Boots from Ravel London.
Where do you usually shop for clothing?
You could find me shopping anywhere if I like it I will buy it!
I do love Zara & Mango though – who doesn’t! I love the different styles they stock which are very diverse. Anything from tailored to Bohemian now that is diversity.
Do you have any favourite local fashion boutiques?
Yes, for occasion wear I absolutely love Cari’s Closet. Their closest store to me is Galway but they also have stores in Dublin & Cork. They stock fabulous dresses, shoes and accessories. I am wearing a gorgeous dress from Cari’s Closet in the photo (red lace flare sleeve dress).
I also love Tokyo in Letterkenny, I spent a lot of time in Letterkenny and it was my go-to place for occasion dresses. They stock a wide range of stunning dresses and two pieces.
Annette Gerald’s Boutique in Castlebar, County Mayo.
This Boutique stock beautiful pieces from everyday wear to evening wear. All different labels and trends. Pieces handpicked by Annette herself who has a real eye for style and pieces you wouldn’t find if you went looking yourself!
Also, Blush Boutique Carndonagh Donegal.
Forever adding to their unique collection and labels that can’t be found in many shops in Ireland such as one of my favourites cmeo/collective an Australian Brand. They stock everything from great fitting jean to elegant dresses ideal for weddings & any occasion.
What are your wardrobe staples?
I love outerwear. A fabulous coat can really make an ordinary outfit extraordinary. Also, a perfectly tailored blazer can pull just about any look together, day or night. It gives polish to the simplest jeans and tee, and can even add a bit of edge to an evening look. You can never go wrong with nude heels. And off course a good pair off skinny jeans!
Do you follow trends?
When it comes to trends, if I don’t like it I won’t follow it even if it is the in thing. Trends are not a necessity for my style as I like to be creative. Most certainly though if I like it I will add a touch of it to my outfit if I feel it works.
Heels or flats?
I am most definitely a heels kind of girl. Although I love a classic tailored outfit with some smart loafers.
Overall though heels win, I think I got that from my mother. She always wears a heel!
Shoes or handbags?
Oooooh hmmm Shoes, no Handbags, no Shoes & Handbags!!!!
What is the best piece of fashion advice you’ve ever heard?
It’s best to be over dressed rather than underdressed, you never know who you might meet!
That has always stuck with me.
What do you think about the fashion scene in Donegal?
Currently Donegal is aesthetically moving outside the box.
You can spot people following their own styles and being creative in what they wear. It is about standing out now not blending in, everyone is a lot braver and more experimental rather than a few years ago. Donegal people are fashion conscious and it is fantastic to see and inspiring.
What has been your best investment piece?
My Balmain Baroque Boots.
I just love them they are very different and a real statement piece.
What’s the wackiest item you own?
Everything I own, the wackier the better! I just love anything different.
I bought a shiny gold pair of skinny jeans before the Christmas, my sister was with me. She was like “No way, they just take the biscuit!”
Then when I styled them with an outfit and wore them, she ate her words! She did also say “you can get away with them, but I’d never wear them”! Knew I was killing it then!
If you could wear only one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Zuhair Murad Gown, because one outfit for the rest of my life would be devastating. I better had make it absolutely fabulous. Inevitably I would be turning up to everything for the rest of my life overdressed! Which would be pretty apt for me!
What has been your biggest fashion faux-pas?
Well I remember Victoria Beckham stepping out in a Zebra Print Pink Piping dress for the 2007 MTV Awards, thinking I need to get myself that dress and I did. Looking back neither of us should have left the front door in it.
Thankfully though I haven’t ever owned a pair off crocs so I think I’m doing okay!
If money wasn’t a factor, what would you buy?
I would by my own chain off Boutique shops. My ultimate goal in life. Fill every boutique with amazing clothes, shoes and accessories with every type of texture, style, colour and pattern. When you would walk into my boutiques you would be mesmerised by what you would see.
How do you feel when you’re in your favourite outfit?
Wearing my favourite outfit can instantly be mood altering.
It can really make me feel more confident and accelerated.
When you are feeling at your worst you should always dress your best. Looking good can easily translate into feeling good. When you are well dressed and well put together, you feel confident because you know you look good. When you wear clothes that you like, that express your personal style, you feel happy and confident and that makes you look good.
Follow Maria’s style journey on
Facebook: Style By Maria
Snapchat : mazmorley (stylebymaria)
Instagram : stylebymaria1