Darren Kennedy: wearing clothes borrowed-from-the-boys
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How to wear: Borrowed-from-the-Boys
Oversized cocoon shapes, mannish coats, slouchy sweaters and loose-fitting jeans with borrowed-from-the-boys appeal have Autumn/Winter 2014 stamped all over them.
This season, the bigger the better. The key is keeping it loose-fitting but still tailored. Having outgrown the faddish, short-term cycle of most trends, this look is fast becoming a perennial statement of casual cool that transitions from season to season. Whether it's a pair of boyfriend jeans worn rolled to just above the ankle, teamed with some cute flats and a simple marl sweater, or a loose-fitting check shirt worn with sleeves rolled up, this style is all about relaxed insouciance - think Diane Kruger, Jessica Alba and Alexa Chung. Over-sized coats with dropped shoulders appeared at Chanel, while Stella McCartney's super-sized knits looked like the most comfortable piece of clothing I've ever seen on a catwalk. Even Victoria Beckham, known for her figure-hugging fit, went for a more relaxed and slightly oversized silhouette. Working a well-executed off-duty look can be as simple as wearing a boyfriend blazer over tailored separates. A battered pair of brogues or an oversized denim shirt can work wonders teamed with girly pieces.
Q: I graduated from college in September and I'm working full-time in a graduate programme. The problem is I still feel like I'm dressing too studenty. I'd like to try a more chic look that's still casual, but I don't want to age myself either. What do you suggest?
Claire-Marie, 23, Cork
A: Moving on from full-time education can be bittersweet for a number of reasons, one of which is abandoning that unique and carefree fashion sensibility of a student. Graduation is a fantastic time to embrace new looks and silhouettes that you had no use for in college. A more fitted ensemble can make a world of difference and streamlined separates in grey, black, navy and white will kick-start your new wardrobe. That's not to say you should eschew colour or print. For instance, a silk button-down shirt, such as this (1) Khaki floral blouse with short sleeves (€40, River Island), looks good on nearly anyone, skimming over potential problem areas to subtly accentuate curves in a work-appropriate fit. Wear with black skinny jeans or navy fitted trousers and a kitten heel for a chic daytime look. The classic shift dress is one of fashion's greatest triumphs. This flattering silhouette will make your working life infinitely easier. You're young, and outfits should reflect that youthful sense of style, so choose one with an unusual twist. The (2) Orla Kiely Ottoman shift dress in blue (€430, Arnotts) is the perfect fusion of contemporary with a touch of retro. Similarly, this (3) Colourful woven fabric dress (€49.99, H&M) with printed pattern, side pockets, long sleeves and pleats really shows flair. The deep V-neck is not office appropriate, so wear it over a simple cami or a roll-neck to play up the 1960s vibes. A classic black or nude court shoe is a must-have and a boot, this (4) grey heeled Chelsea boot (€18 Penneys) for example, will earn its place in your wardrobe many times over on a wet winter's day.