Darren Kennedy fashion file
Our fashion expert on how to build up an interchangeable wardrobe.
Question: I've plenty of clothes, but the bulk of my wardrobe is workwear and I always find myself struggling when it comes to downtime and nights out. I've quite a lot of tailoring so am wondering how I might be able to incorporate this into more casual wear? Also, I'm carrying a bit more weight than I'd like to. What patterns or colours will slim my profile?
Darren replies: Right now, you need to focus on building up an interchangeable wardrobe. Simply put, this means curating a collection of clothes that not only work independently, but are also compatible with other pieces in your wardrobe. It's moving away from the idea of owning specific outfits and towards a wardrobe of pieces that mix and match. One of my favourite trends of the past couple of seasons is sports luxe. It combines the relaxed aspects of sportswear with the more sophisticated nature of tailoring. You already have the tailored pieces, so it's about complementing these with casual items; it's also about learning how to deconstruct your suiting and viewing each piece as separates in their own right.
Style a pair of grey-flecked suit trousers with a classic white crew-neck tee and (1) Massimo Dutti's khaki bomber jacket (€165) for a laid-back off-duty look. Keep the sports vibes going with your footwear. Roll up the trousers at the ankles and style with the black (2) AKOG Adidas trainers (€220, NoWhere, Aungier Street, Dublin) or (3) Garment Project's classic white lace-up (€140, Castle & Drury). It's contradictory and works so well.
Wardrobe staples like the classic denim or chambray shirt work well to dress down suiting. The very nature of denim contrasted with traditional tailoring instantly injects a casual vibe. For instance, wear (4) Saint Laurent's denim shirt (€450, Brown Thomas) with navy trousers and a grey blazer.
Eschew your classic brogues for a pair of brown leather lace up boots and (5) Cos's camel cashmere scarf (€39). A touch of colour, print or pattern is always good up near the face, even a lightweight scarf will do the trick. Building an interchangeable wardrobe takes time but is well worth the investment in the long run saving you time, money and hassle when you're getting dressed.
Tri-colour fringed sandal, €69.95, Zara