Tuesday 24 January 2017

Darren Kennedy: Style dilemma

Darren Kennedy

Published 12/04/2011 | 05:00

Helen McAlinden €240
Helen McAlinden €240
Tan wedge sandal New Look €24.99
Warehouse €208

I'm applying for a place as a mature student at a teacher-training college and i'm wondering what I should wear to the interview. I can't quite decide on whether a suit would be too corporate and formal, or if a more subdued outfit would be more appropriate for a future teaching student. Sandra, 29, Limerick

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If in doubt, I always think it's better to be overdressed than underdressed. As this is an interview, as opposed to an 'informal chat', I would not be concerned about dressing too formally. Regardless of your field, never underestimate the power of first impressions. Most job candidates live or die in the instant they walk into the interview room, so it's extremely important to make the right immediate impression.

In this case, go for a suit -- if you feel comfortable with that choice. If you'd prefer another option, a simple shift dress could be fine too. This structured black belted example from TK Maxx (€24.99) will look really smart, layered with a white shirt underneath and teamed with a fitted blazer.

Similarly, this grey tweed shift by Helen McAlinden (€240, Arnotts) is equally classy if you can afford it. As it is a formal setting, keep embellishments and colour to a minimum, and your skirt/dress should be no shorter then knee length. Best of luck!

Hi Darren, I wonder if you could suggest websites or shops that sell wide-fitting shoes? The trendiest ones please. Thanks.

Colette, Co Louth.

As is the case with body shapes, feet also come in many different sizes and dimensions. As anyone with wide feet will know, wearing the correct width of shoe is just as important as wearing the correct length.

I'm glad to report that retailers, especially online ones, have cottoned on to the fact that the market for wider footwear has not been adequately served over the years. Many now offer good-quality shoes in a wide variety of width fittings, and it's relatively easy to find collections that combine comfort with quality design, regardless of the width of your foot.

Online, Littlewoods Ireland has the So Fabulous! collection, which is specifically designed with a wide fit. Practically every style, from flats and heels to wedges and knee-high boots, is catered for.

The corsage heel in fuchsia (€59, also available in black) or the silver Cora shoe (€49) are both perfect for a dressy occasion, or even a night out on the town. For daytime summer wear, the Mona wedge (€37) is right on the money.

Oxendales.ie has a large selection too, including these peeptoe shoe boots (€58.49) and peeptoe platforms (€41.99).

On the high street, New Look provides an impressive array of wide-fitting shoes with more than 100 style options. I particularly like their tan wedge sandals -- they're a bargain at €24.99.

I recently had my hair dyed red, as in a red-orange tone. It's my first time being a redhead and, while I quite like it, I'm having awful trouble putting together outfits that work with such a strong colour. Would you be able to suggest a few items that will look good with the new hair? Jess, 26, Dublin

I absolutely love red hair and, right now, it's never been hotter to be a redhead. When deciding on what colours you should wear, it's not just your hair colour you need to consider but also your skin tone.

Generally speaking, shades of blue, turquoise, brown and neutral are all great colours with red hair. If you're a fan of black, try switching it for navy for simple yet stunning results. This swan-print maxi (€208) from Warehouse is a beautiful number that will work well with red hair, as will this one-shoulder dress (€13) from Penneys.

One of the big colours this season is emerald green, a colour you should absolutely consider for a statement look. Zara, M&S and Warehouse have some stunning emerald-green pieces, such as this Per Una Speziale strapless maxi (€199).

Redheads seem to be divided on wearing pink and red. One of my close friends is a natural redhead and, while she never dares to wear either, I personally think red looks great with red hair.

'Mad Men' star Christina Hendricks wore a red, one-shoulder corsage dress at this year's Golden Globes and looked absolutely stunning, so don't rule it out!

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