Darren Kennedy fashion file: How to wear... Shoulder Cut-Out
Spanning the full gamut from demure and feminine to daring and risqué, crop tops continued their reign as a go-to trend for Spring/Summer 2015 and, in many respects, can be considered a gateway to the current vogue for all things cut-out in fashion.
There were tons of undulating and asymmetric cut-out details across many of the catwalks. For starters, side cut-outs on dresses provide a far more universally flattering approach than the typical crop. Even more alluring is a subtle flash of flesh via a shoulder cut-out, which was adopted by various designers including Vera Wang, Balenciaga, Chloé, Marchesa, and Christopher Kane. Some have said shoulders are the new midriff for 2015. Whether that holds true or not, they certainly offer a playful peek-a-boo effect without showing the bits you'd really prefer to keep to yourself. A raft of stars have gotten in on the action including Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts and Joan Smalls. Designer Phillip Lim went one step further by fusing cut-outs with polka dots on handbags, proving his laser-eye focus for detail yet again.
Question: Hi Darren, I'm not the greatest shopper in the world and tend to only hit the shops as a last resort. I'm not taking a big holiday this summer as I can't take the time off work so instead I've planned a couple of shorter city breaks throughout the next couple of months. I seriously need to upgrade my holiday wardrobe and I've about €250 put aside for clothes. What essentials would you recommend?
Darren replies: A city break is the perfect excuse to invest in some key summer staples that will carry you through the season, but the trick is to find pieces that are multi-functional as well as appropriately stylish. With city breaks you don't have to worry about getting sand everywhere, so aim to go for garments that will carry you through from a day of exploring to evening.
Your time is limited so you don't want to have to worry about going back to your hotel to change for dinner, so these (1) Tommy Hilfiger shorts, (€79.90, Tommy Hilfiger stores) are the perfect answer to any sartorial transitional dilemmas you may have. They're a worthy investment made from a lightly textured cotton twill and as they're slightly more tailored than your average pair, it means they're perfectly acceptable to also wear for night-time drinks. Opt to wear them with this (2) grandfather collar shirt (€39.95, Zara) or be brave with this (3) burgundy, print pattern polo in cotton piqué (€7.99, H&M). Penneys also have a selection of gently tailored, pocket-friendly (4) chino shorts in a variety of colours (€11, Penneys). In terms of outerwear, this (5) 'paper touch' bomber jacket (€95, Autograph at M&S) is ideal. Made from lightweight cotton with a paper-like feel, it has been designed with layering and practicality in mind, so it's ideal for travelling. It comes in navy and light grey so will work with pretty much any outfit combination. Most of these options come in various colours, so you're all set for a hassle-free break.
Dolce & Gabbana embellished floral wedge sandal