Monday 18 February 2019

Double down on denim: how to wear the most versatile piece in your wardrobe

The wardrobe essential just keeps on giving

Feeling blue: The Holly Willoughby 'edit' for her second season as an ambassador at M&S includes this denim shirt with ruching on the shoulders, €47.50, and dark skirt, €34
Feeling blue: The Holly Willoughby 'edit' for her second season as an ambassador at M&S includes this denim shirt with ruching on the shoulders, €47.50, and dark skirt, €34
'Gold Zipper' link ring
Below-the-knee dress, €67, ankle boot, €109
Ruffle side shirt, €44, from M&S Collection range
Boilersuit €79, ankle-tie shoes, €47.50, from M&S Collection range
Love Script ring, €59, Pandora

Bairbre power

I want 'wear anywhere' versatility in any new season purchases I might make and last week in London, my eyes were opened to new possibilities. My passion for denim never really faded over the years but I'll confess to having reservations about denim of late, that is, beyond jeans and a must-have cropped denim jacket for wearing over summer dresses.

I've been harbouring slight reservations about denim, viewing it as too heavy, too restrictive or cloyingly tight. I recanted my prejudices after I got an exclusive preview of the new SS19 denim offerings in the M&S Collection range. I'd never realised what big players the high street brand were in the denim business. They have the biggest market share on the high street in Britain, where last year they sold 10 pairs of jeans every minute!

However, it wasn't jeans that caught my attention, but rather the utilitarian pieces infused with pretty feminine touches. The item to initially pique my interest was the €67 button-through denim dress (pictured right).

I love these press previews for fashion editors where you can get a good feel of the fabrics and view the finish up close, and I can attest to this dress being delightfully lightweight and comfy - plus it skims the knee and works elegantly with boots now and sandals later in the year. There is also a shorter, fitted version in a darker denim wash, also priced €67.

Holly Willoughby has done her own 'edit' of the denim range and to date, she has been seen wearing the denim shirt with the western gal yoke front and pretty ruched shoulder detail (pictured left). However, I can reveal that this shirt also features a very flattering dart detail mid-waist which flares out and looks great as a statement shirt. I loved the chambray shirt (pictured above) with the classy ruffle detail down the side and grandfather collar. Holly Willoughby has that sell-out factor - a lot like Kate Middleton - and with three weeks' notice, I'm flagging up this navy boilersuit (right) which is part of Holly's edit of the denim range. All the pieces launch in stores and online on February 26. For me, a classy boilersuit minus restricting waistband is a star, especially when you are flying long-haul and you want to curl up and be comfy on the plane but look half-decent on arrival. It is utility clothing at its best - and what about those heels, girls!

 

Ones to watch

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Love Script ring, €59, Pandora
 

Not everyone wants roses for Valentine's, some want a romantic keepsake. I spotted two very cute rings on a budget/splurge, perfect for Feb 14 gifting. The Love Script (left) spells out the message LOVED and costs €59 from Pandora stores, and there are sister pieces in necklaces and bracelets to build up a lovely affordable collection.

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'Gold Zipper' link ring

Meanwhile, Emer Roberts won the coveted 'Best Product' award at Showcase for her 'Gold Zipper' link ring (right) which costs €1,350 from emerroberts.com. She also won the Accessories of the Year award with the Institute of Designers Ireland and a commended award for her architectural collection.

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