Darren Kennedy: Style dilemma
Q: I work with quite a stylish group of young women and there's a certain element of competition to look well. I'm a bit older than most of the girls (who are early to mid-20s) and, recently, I've been finding it tough to keep up with them. Obviously, the trends they wear wouldn't suit me, so I'm looking for nice pieces that won't have me looking over-dressed.
Avril (36), Dublin
A: I can imagine the temptation is there to emulate the styles worn by your younger colleagues, but you are very wise not to. There's not a massive gap between dressing like a twentysomething and a thirtysomething, but there are some subtle differences.
Without playing it too safe, my advice would be to stick to what you know works well for you in terms of styles, shape and cut. That's not to say you can't be adventurous, but it will help you to avoid the pitfalls of being completely trend-led.
Amber Moda boutique in Dublin's Westbury Mall has a range of stylish staples for the working women. The 'Lissa' dress (€89) is a very flattering shape for a nine-to-five office look. Similarly, the nautical-inspired 'Anette' dress (€129) will carry you through to post-work drinks.
For something a little dressier, the 'Sweet Kisses' dress from French Connection (€169), with its cute frills, is a sassy and sophisticated number.