Move over crop top, there's a new top in town for 2015. The humble polo shirt (a staple of 1990s Americana championed by the likes of Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger) has become one of fashion's most covetable pieces for spring summer.
Given its associations with middle-aged fathers, private-school boys and golfer types, it's an unlikely sartorial hero but that's often the case. Various designers sent updated versions of the sportswear classic down the catwalks including Tory Burch, Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Jil Sander and of course Ralph Lauren.
The slouchy button-up polo is surprisingly versatile and incredibly comfortable to wear. From super-tight fits to contemporary cut-out detailing and colour block styles with a real retro vibe, polo shirts cover the styling gamut. Expect to see them worn with everything from dressy cocktail skirts to high-waisted shorts this season. Want to get in on the action? Colour block it out and style with a flowing maxi skirt and you're all set for a casual Saturday around town.
Question: It's my 30th birthday at the end of the month and I'm having a bit of a get-together. A lot of my friends have young kids so it's a daytime affair (but which I'm hoping will spill over into the night). I have absolutely no idea what to wear. I'm a curvy size 12 and I've noticed flattering outfits that fit in the right places are hard to come by. Your help with some suggestions would be very much appreciated.
Darren replies: An amazing variety of shapes and sizes is one of the beautiful things about the female form. There is no one size, or shape, that fits all. And that's the way it should be if you ask me. There's nothing more appealing than a woman who knows how to celebrate her curves. Botanical prints are a big trend for spring so one option is to embrace foliage full on.
New Look have nailed it with their (1) palm print shirt-dress (€29.99, New Look). The shirt-dress is all about functionality and this one has been given a real fashion twist. What's more, shirt-dresses are flattering to most body types if cinched at the waist. Women with bigger chests might want to avoid buttoning up to the neck too. For all day comfort that will see you through to the dance floor, style with a pair of chunky sandals such as the (2) yellow reptile print platform sandals (€60, Next). (3) The monochrome floral prom dress by Definitions (€84, Littlewoods Ireland) is a cute cocktail number. The fit-and-flare style draws attention to the slimmest part of the body while a mesh underlay on the skirt ensures plenty of volume for a flattering, balanced silhouette. Style with black open-toe heels and give the look some added punch with the (4) watermelon clutch (€14.99, New Look). Another option is a day-to-night two piece. These (5) ditsy floral printed culottes (€17, Penney's) are great value. Team with a bright top such as the (6)yellow knit cami (€6, Penney's) for a look that won't break the bank.