Darren Kennedy: Style dilemma
Q I like the idea of wearing a maxi skirt, but I'm not sure how best to wear one as part of my everyday look. Do you have any advice?
Elizabeth (33) Co Donegal
A Long, flowy maxi dresses have dominated the catwalks and high street alike for a few seasons now, so it was inevitable that the maxi skirt would follow. The maxi skirt creates a dramatic look with its floor-skimming length and graceful draping, complementing almost any body shape. What's more, they are super comfortable and come in many different prints, colours and textures.
There are many ways to interpret this style, so it should be relatively easy to make it work for you. A basic black maxi is a good place to start. This one from New Look (€12) looks great with a fitted, striped T-shirt plus shearling boots. It would also look 'animal' worn with the leopard-print mesh tank top from Sonia by Sonia Rykiel (€115) at BT2.
For a more boho-vibe, try something like the paisley and floral-print version (€110) from Monsoon. Make sure to offset the volume on the bottom half by wearing something fitted on top. For a really 'now' look, opt for one in a sheer fabric. River Island has nailed this with its feather-print maxi. It creates a peek-a-boo effect, so make sure you wear it with a long top to avoid flashing your undies.
Q I’ve a relatively shapely figure as I play a lot of sport and I’m quite toned. I’m happy with everything except my bust, or lack of. I wear push-up bras with padding, but I never feel it makes much of a difference. Is there anything else I could do to help?
Sandra (25) Kerry
A Often, the easiest way to make your bust appear more ample is to play up other areas. It sounds as if you have a great figure, so I would suggest you dress to emphasise your shoulders and waist, to help create that muchdesired hourglass shape.
Wearing items with a pattern, in particular stripes, will add width and depth to that area of the body, making your bust appear larger than it actually is. In terms of cuts, halter necks and highwaisted tops and dresses are all your friends.
This seaside-print prom dress (€21) from Penneys, with its pattern detail and high waist, will bring out the best of your shape and draw attention to your small waist. What’s more, details such as ruching and gathering tend to add volume to the chest area. For instance, this ruffle top by Selected Femme (€39.95, BT2) is ideal as it emphasises the chest while revealing your shoulders, which will add width to your shape.
Q I’m looking for a new suit for work. I’m not office based, so it doesn’t have to be too formal or fussy. Ideally, I’d like something that I can wear to work, then accessorise differently to get wear out of it in the evening or at weekends.
Aisling (28) Carlow
A The current resurgence in a minimalist approach to tailoring should play in your favour. This type of clean tailoring is central to the latest collections of Calvin Klein.
Colour wise, white is making a big statement and, if you are not restricted in terms of work, I would definitely recommend a white suit. On the high street, J by Jasper Conran’s range for Debenhams taps into this sheer minimal look, as seen with this jacket (€120) and trousers (€68) combo. Not only will it create a super-chic work outfit, but you should also get plenty of wear out of it when off duty — either with the addition of some simple accessories or wearing the jacket and trousers as separate pieces in different outfits.
The new Luxe by Warehouse collection is also definitely worth checking out.