Darren Kennedy: Style dilemma
Q I've terrible circulation in my hands so I could really use a pair of gloves, but I hate the look of them. I was thinking a pair of fingerless gloves so I could still text, etc. Any advice? I tend to be a jeans and hoody type of guy.
Shane, 27, Galway
A Style and practicality go together when it comes to gloves. As well as protecting your fingers from the elements, the right gloves will finish off any ensemble, adding a true air of sophistication. A good pair of leather gloves are not only an investment, but they will be flexible enough to allow you to use your mobile phone without taking them off.
For sheer luxury, Hackett’s butter-soft tan leather gloves (€140) are a must. The black pair by Tesco (€17.50) will have the desired effect but may not last a lifetime. Fingerless gloves tend to be slightly more trend-led. This pair from New Look (€8) will allow you to work the alpine-knit style.
Q Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working hard to shift weight and so far I’ve lost three stone. I plan to lose another two stone. Next month, my husband turns 50 and we’re throwing a big party. My problem is that everything in my wardrobe is too big. I don’t want to start buying new clothes until I reach my ideal size, so my dilemma is finding a nice dress that I can wear to the party and hopefully still get wear out of afterwards.
Rita, 44, West Dublin
A Rita, well done on your great weight loss so far. The worst thing you could do now is to wear something that doesn’t fit or flatter. Even though your goal weight is still a couple of pounds away, I think you are wise to invest in a new outfit for the occasion to show off your new figure and boost your confidence.
A classic wrap dress should do the job nicely, such as this velvet dress with bow detail (€124) from Littlewoods Ireland. Not only are wrap dresses supercomplementary to a women’s curves, but as you continue to lose weight just cinch the dress in and it will last you for several sizes.
What’s more, for a daytime look you can opt to dress it down with a floaty cardigan. Alternatively, alwear’s animalprint side-tie dress (€45), while less classic, would be a great party number, as would the piper shift dress with waist tie (€120) from Coast.
Q I recently got a promotion at work. I don’t normally spend much money on clothes or accessories, but I’ve decided to treat myself to a new bag. I’d like something that I can use on nights out over Christmas, but which will also last a couple of seasons. My absolute maximum budget is €400. Any pointers?
Sandra, 33, Cork
A There are some really fabulous bags around at the moment, and with your budget you should find one that’s beautiful, well-crafted and will last a long time to come. For something that’s very ‘now’, Tabitha bags are fast becoming the must-have bag brand — Dannii Minogue, Cat Deeley and Fearne Cotton are all fans. The sumptuous studded Orion (€280, Arnotts) will take you from day to night.
Any one of the Love Moschino selection will get you good bang for your buck. On the high street, Ted Baker produces some of the best bags around, while for something for the party season, the red clutch by Miu Miu (€245, Brown Thomas) will bring just the right amount of ‘pop’ to any outfit.
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