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Colette Fitzpatrick: Ah Mick, you're havin' a laugh with the pink blouse and bit of old chandelier hanging from your ear

NO, that wasn't Lucinda Creighton in a pink blouse and dangly earrings on the first day of the 31st Dail, that was Mick Wallace.

And just for a bit of gender balance, I'm going to put the rigout that made Wexford's newest TD look like he had a role in The Devil Wears Prada under the sartorial microscope.

Wink

Someone call Van Halen and Def Leppard and tell them Mick has gone and camped up their look. He crossed it with metrosexual man's propensity to make the boys wink, and turned this week's red letter day into a Pretty In Pink political pantomime.

At least his was tucked in. In the A to Z of fashion horrors, shirt tails hanging out say 'Owright luv. Me and me mates are over from Manchester on a stag weekend'.

Richard Boyd Barrett was rocking the 'I'm just back from Electric Picnic' look (un-ironed shirt? Richard, you're fashion roadkill in my books).

Ming looked like he'd just rolled in after the debs. But sure when he saw Mick, he probably thought he was hallucinating after just a puff too much of the wacky tobaccy. Is that a siren I hear in the distance? The fashion police are on the way.

Cleavage

You've heard of 'the Rachel' haircut and 'that dress' Liz Hurley wore. Well, stand by for the colour 'Mick Wallace pink'. As in, 'my dress isn't baby pink or cerise pink or fuschia pink, it's Mick Wallace pink'. Mick even gave us a bit of 'he-vage' -- that's man cleavage. And although he wasn't Austin Powers-hairy, we were relieved that he gave the smooth boyband look a wide berth.

Note to Mick. I'm not sure about the earrings. The golden rule that fashionistas everywhere live by, is that before you walk out the door, take one thing off. Now, while I know what I'd like you to take off, in this context we're talking about accessories, eg wristbands that make you look like you legged it to Thailand because you were having a midlife crisis.

It all begs the question, what on earth will Mick wear on Casual Fridays? A string vest?

If he's not Opposition spokesperson on fashion and grooming, will Mick be getting his own fashion column? If Paul Galvin can pull off the 'we may be from the bog but we're right trendy when it comes to our threads' turn, Mick Wallace should at least feature on the 'what's in my wardrobe' slot for Xpose.

Crumpet

Mick seems to be one part alpha-male caveman and two parts intelligent, interested-in-grooming man. Is this the new thinking-woman's crumpet? The 31st Dail's pin-up? Simon Coveney move over, there's a new heartthrob on the plinth ... and not a builder's bum in sight.

So pink collar is the new blue collar worker. And if he actually ironed it himself and separate his pinks from his whites while doing the laundry, maybe I'll have died and gone to Mick Wallace heaven.

Just what I need. More reasons to feel guilty

ANOTHER week, another study designed to make women feel guilty. Working women, specifically. And this one's about guilt itself -- and the fairer sex's inclination to feel this emotion.

When it comes to feeling guilt, women are guilty as sin. We'll feel guilty about just about anything -- what we ate, exercise we didn't do, how much we spent on that dress, the amount we drank last weekend. But it's the work/life balance thing that has women just about guilted out of the workplace.

Talk to any woman about how she feels as she leaves her baby to cry in a creche as she heads back to the office after maternity leave. She has herself pretty much convinced that she's possibly the worst mother on earth for 'abandoning' her child in what she thinks resembles an orphanage. And then feels even more guilty that she hasn't equipped her baby not to get upset by the new routine.

But where are the studies that reveal the positive influence a working mother can have on her children as they see a dynamic woman who did all in her power to provide for them?

Try telling her she did the right thing.

She'll just feel guilty.