Style File Darren Kennedy: How to wear the shirt dress
How to Wear ...
This classic basic underwent a reinvention of sorts and got the high-fashion treatment on many of the spring summer runways.
At Balenciaga, Alexander Wang produced crisp white, luxurious pieces that were dramatic yet wearable. Irish designer Orla Kiely made the most of the clean lines, providing an ideal canvas for her safari motifs and a sense of fun. While at Dior they were elegant and ultra-feminine, with subtle flashes of flesh at the shoulder for a look that epitomises Parisian chic. If it's a crisp go-to basic you're after then a shirt-dress is a wardrobe must-have. Choose one in a neutral tone of black, white, tan or blue for a timeless essential and a sleek, minimal look.
For 2014, the shirt-dress is all about functionality with a fashion twist. What's more, it's generally flattering to most body types so long as it is cinched where necessary. If in doubt, get your shirt-dress out!
What is suitable attire for a job interview?
Question: I've got an interview for an internal marketing position that I'm really interested in and it would be a great step up the ladder if I got it. It's been a while since I've been interviewed and I'm not sure what is considered suitable attire. I was thinking of wearing a smart office dress as opposed to a formal suit. What would you recommend?
Sandra, 33, Cork
Darren replies: With regard to what you wear, the most important thing is that you look confident, professional and polished. As long as your outfit is interview-appropriate in terms of style, fit and cut then I see no reason why you could not wear a dress.
That said, ultimately you'll have to judge it based on what is deemed acceptable within your specific industry. Most job candidates live or die the very moment they walk into the interview room so you need to make sure you are immaculately presented.
The 1) stone coloured dress with hem detail by Carolyn Donnelly The Edit at Dunnes Stores (€119) is a simple A-line shape falling to around knee length. Personally I don't think anything shorter is appropriate. This dress also has quite a gentle neckline, not too revealing, and a half-sleeve for some arm coverage.
For a wholesome look, the 2) Renee dress in charcoal and white check (€131) from Phase Eight at Debenhams is a feminine fit and flare style with a detachable waist tie for a feminine silhouette. Add structure and formality with a cropped fitted jacket, for instance the 3) short black blazer with belt at Zara (€59.95). All of these pieces are versatile enough to be mixed and matched with the rest of your wardrobe post-interview.
Another option is a chic look of separates with this season's tailoring offering the perfect balance of formal femininity. Take the 4) geometric jacquard waistcoat and matching trousers at Karen Millen (€225 & €180). The contrasting black belt offers a flattering waist detail and punctuates the longline cut, creating a look that's demure with some serious panache.
If you'd prefer to wear some colour, the 5) blue 'Sabine' crepe dress by Goat is a good option (€499, Arnotts). When it comes to accessories, keep them to a minimum and avoid anything that distracts.
Good luck with it!