Style Clinic


A perfect marriage of trousers and chutzpahI’m going to a wedding in December and I really want to wear a pair of trousers with a nice top, but my girlfriends – and my boyfriend, when he’s being honest – think I’m being insane. Is it ever acceptable to wear slacks to a wedding, or is it totally verboten? Alicia, by email

I’m really impressed with your chutzpah, as they say – Irish weddings can get ridiculously monotonous, what with debsy dress after debsy dress, so I think trousers would be a brave and original clothing choice.

Of course, this being Ireland, you will have to contend with friends, family and the neighbours down the road giving you their two cents, possibly while you’re standing there in the very trousers being critiqued.

If I were you, I’d give them something else to talk about and pair your trousers with something totally unexpected, like a change of hair colour, a seriously statement neckpiece, or a deep tangerine fake tan. As long as they have something to talk about, they’ll be happy – and if they’re not talking about your trousers, so will you.

I’m going to my work Christmas party in a few weeks and I’d like to get a nice dress that will see me through not only Christmas time but maybe January and February, too. Are there any dresses out there that I could wear to a few different things, with different accessories? I have a budget of €150 (although ideally I’d like to keep it below €120).

LJ, by email

The key thing to remember is not to go too Christmassy. What do I mean by that? If I were you I’d steer away from sequins, tulle and anything that is too obviously “party wear” and go for something a little simpler that can be worn with a belt, some cool neckpieces, a fur stole and so on, to make it look different each time.

This dress at French Connection (€109) is a simple design, but also quite cool and perfect for the party season. For Christmas I’d wear it with chandelier earrings and coloured tights; in the new year, you could dress it down with black tights, ankle boots and a chunky cardigan, or up with a studded belt and a chunky necklace.

If you’re feeling a little more risque, this bandeau dress from Zara (€99.95) comes in an amazing shade that’s almost between a teal and a navy, and will look great during the party season. If you don’t fancy the cutouts you could layer it over a strapless top (try American Apparel), and it’s versatile enough that you could make it super dressy with big earrings, an up-do and a pair of killer heels, or super cool with a leather jacket and a chunky shoe.

On the bargaintastic end of the scale, this mocha lace dress from€38) is a gem. It’s got sleeves, which is great if you’re not keen on showing your upper arms, the scoop neck suits most figures, and it will look great with chunky gold jewellery or coloured gem stones.

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