Wednesday 13 November 2019

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Cork Independent

So Last Season

Work it girl!

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 4:32pm

Last week I put together a collection of looks from Opera Lane for the Dress For Success fashion show.

Dress for Success is a wonderful organisation that empowers women and helps them to gain entry or re-entry into the workforce and has been established in Cork since 2013.

When styling the collection, I wanted to create a cohesive look of modern workwear along with pieces that could take you from day to night with some simple changes.

What struck me when I was styling were two things. Firstly, animal print of all kinds is alive and well and will be with us for much longer than we think, and secondly, if there’s one other trend you need to know about it’s the utility trend.

Thankfully both of these trends work really well together and also can be adapted surprisingly well for workwear.

When we think of workwear, a lot of us still have that classic navy or black two piece suit with a wide leg trouser in our minds but it’s safe to say modern workwear has moved on in leaps and bounds.

A lot of my personal shopping clients are professionals who need workwear that’s functional, stylish and professional but is still in the smart casual camp.

Some workplaces will still require a very formal look, but again, you don’t necessarily need a traditional suit to achieve this.

One of the looks I styled was a light grey suit from River Island with a pastel blue and pink check print running through it. It was kept modern with a paper bag waist and tapered leg on the trousers and a more longline fit to the jacket.

Instead of shirts, you can add a light rollneck underneath or a well fitted silk t-shirt. It’s formal enough for the day with loafers or a court shoe but then add a statement accessory and a heel for night.

Dresses are also another great piece to have in your workwear arsenal. I found a leopard print shirt dress in New Look that could easily be worn in a work environment. It’s important that you pay attention to the print, as this was quite a subtle animal print and the shirt dress gives it a more work appropriate silhouette.

Again it really is a great piece that works hard in your wardrobe. Just add a leather jacket and ankle boots for a more casual look or add a blazer and heels to dress it up.

I also spotted animal print being used on a background of very soft, pastel colours and this of course helps to easily add the print into your look. There’s a really lovely lemon dress with a touch of leopard print that I spotted again in New Look which works really well under a classic trench coat.

I have been living in my recent H&M trench coat purchase and it’s an easy way to ease yourself into the very wearable trend that is utility style.

When it comes to utility, the one piece that really embodies the trend is the jumpsuit or boiler suit and while it may seem at first not an obvious workwear choice, it really can look just as smart as a suit or dress.

Stick to smart neutral colours like khaki green or a sandy beige and the possibilities for accessorising are endless.

Heels work equally as well as flats with the jumpsuit and the neutral tones mean that colourful or printed accessories will really pop and can show some of your personality in your look.

When you feel good, your confidence shines through and that’s what it’s all about!

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