Penelope Meredith is a contributing fashion writer for Stella Magazine and Daily Telegraph. She recently edited Jo Wood’s 40 year wardrobe archive and is a consultant for several fashion retailers in London. Here she shares her tips for easy, stylish, work-to-evening dressing.
“These days we’re just as likely to head out to dinner in sneakers as we are in a fancy dress so there aren’t any rules as such. Accessories are key. With the following items in your wardrobe (or desk drawer) you’ll be able to transform your look in seconds.”
Even if you find yourself make-up free, in your scruffiest clothes, swapping your day bag for a clutch bag will make you look as if the whole thing is intentional. Bigger styles that you can hold under your arm are generally more effective than little box clutches. Buy now, use forever.
Having a pair of heels under your desk will dress you up instantly. Go as bold as possible – think colour, gemstones, anything striking. Even if you’re not usually brave with colour or print, you can really go for it with footwear.
A smart blazer (slightly oversized is more versatile than a fitted jacket) will work with whatever you happen to be wearing underneath. It’s even more chic when worn over your shoulders rather than actually on (ridiculous fashion tip, but true). Black or navy is a safe investment. The ‘Blazé Milano’ brand (at Matchesfashion.com) is your reference – if you’re shopping on the high street, you need something that looks like this!
A long, flowing, skirt or dress is the most versatile item of the season and available everywhere from Ganni to ASOS. Wear with an oversized, chunky knit and sneakers for day, then simply swap the sneakers for stilettos at night (see 2, above). Earrings obligatory (see below!).
Easily the most effective way to do glam and to suit all budgets. More is more as far as earrings go, so the bigger the better. J Crew and Anthropology excel on the earring front. Even if you’re wearing dodgy old clothes, a bit of bling will transform your look. Just make sure they’re light and comfortable enough to wear all night. Never buy anything you have to keep fiddling with.
And my wildcard, because it’s not strictly fashion, is a bright, matte lipstick which will make you look instantly put together. It’s also a confidence booster. If you think you can’t carry off a bold lip, the colours in the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity lipstick range at Space NK will prove you wrong. They’re flattering and easy to apply in a taxi!