Sophie Flanagan in the middle, the winner of n the €3,000 first prize at the Sustainable Style Ladies Competition at Kilbeggan Races, pictured with Emma Johnston from Clara and Therese Grennan from Tubber. Photo: Frank McGrath Photography.

Charity shop dress lands Sophie €3k best dressed prize

A dress bought in a charity shop in Majorca for €10 landed a Ballycumber woman the €3,000 first prize at the Sustainable Style Ladies Competition at Kilbeggan Races.

Sophie Flanagan, who is a Family Support and Community Development Worker in nearby Clara Family Resource Centre, was judged best dressed by lifestyle influencer Eileen Loughlin for an outfit she reckoned cost less than €80 in total.

“I was absolutely delighted. I wasn't expecting to win it all, we just went for the day out, to enjoy ourselves and get dressed up,” a thrilled Sophie, who is a great believer in thrifty fashion, said on Tuesday of her weekend win.

The outfit was pulled together from everywhere, Sophie joked, she borrowed the headpiece from her friend Therese, the eye-catching green dress was spotted in a charity shop in Majorca on holidays with her mother, and the shoes are Penneys. Her accessories were from Linda O'Brien in Tullamore.

“So it was all very cheap. Everyone couldn't believe it,” commented Sophie, who intends to save her winnings towards buying a house.

“I'll need a lot more than that but it'll help at least. Every little helps,” she laughed. “It's great to win something, I never win anything so it's so nice to get a bit of a boost,” said Sophie, who only entered the best dressed competition for the first time last minute at the previous race meeting making the top ten, and this time decided to make a bit of an effort.

Sophie Flanagan, who is pictured on the extreme left, among the finalists at the Sustainable Style Ladies Competition at Kilbeggan Races last weekend with judge Eileen Loughlin aka 'Everything Eileen'.

The Offaly native, who is a big racing fan, reckoned she may now enter more style competitions in the future given her recent success, adding that she loves getting dressed up and going out with the girls.

Sustainable style is the future, she believes, however, and there is no need to spend a fortune to look well, while plenty of outfits can be reworn at the different events with a different hat, headpiece or accessories.

“There is no need to be spending hundreds on dresses, hats and shoes. For all the time you wear them it's not worth it. I don't believe in spending big money, I get everything for half nothing, people think I spend a fortune on my clothes but I don't,” remarked Sophie.

“Wear the dress again, the last time I was in top ten it was a dress that I wore to a wedding five years ago and I didn't wear it since and I was debating whether to get rid of it or not and then the girls said last minute we'll go to the races.”

She thanked the sponsors Midland Veterinary, Tullamore and lifestyle influencer and Instagrammer Eileen Loughlin aka 'Everything Eileen' who picked her as the overall winner from a very stylish group.

Sophie Flanagan from Ballycumber.