Kerry O'Brine Womens Wear

Behind the seams


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Wearing Coloured Tights To Work – professional work wear ideas

Can you wear coloured opaque tights to work?

Well, probably not if your work place is very corporate and has strict guide lines.

I’ve selected some of the easiest black alternatives to get you started, if you want to and can, branch away from black opaque tights in your work place/office!

Navy

Navy is a good place to start if you are looking to branch out from black opaque tights. Navy is still very neutral, smart/professional and corporate. I like the way Jean at Extra-petite.com styles navy in unexpected ways.

In picture 1. Jean pulls navy through all of the accessories – tights, bag and shoes.

In this picture Jean adds colour (and personality) to her outfit with the bold green coat. Once taken off you have a pretty neutral corporate outfit – a good idea to steal?

navy tights and bag

1. Navy tights and accessories from Jean at Extra Petite.com

navy jacket and tights

2. Jean at Extra Petite wears a navy jacket and navy tights

 In this other outfit navy cover’s a large proportion of the body; the torso and legs.

Because of this, threading the maroon through the outfit in shoes, gloves and skirt works well to balance it out.

 Grey

Dark grey tights

Another easy step into colour and away from black is grey.

A dark grey skirt/dress and dark grey tights is an easily achievable, flattering and professional look.

Grey tights and skirt

Dark grey skirt matched with dark grey tigths

grey dress and grey tights

Alexa Chung wears a grey knee length dress with grey tights

work wear grey tights

Dotty wears Grey tights with a pale tweedy skirt

dark grey tights

Blake Lively wears dark grey tights

 

Red Tights

Red comes in many shades. Maroon and burgundy which are darker shades of red are the easiest to en-corporate into a work wear look. Demonstrated here, are three ways to approach adding strong coloured tights to outfits and if your feeling super adventurous then you could exchange the red for another bright colour!

1. Wear an all black outfit with your coloured tights. The contrast is bold but not too crazy!

coloured tights, black dress, smart work wear

Greta wears a black dress and red tights on Red White and Pearls blog

Burgundy red tights, pretty black dress outfit

Jessica Quirk wears burgundy tights and black outfit on her What I wore blog

2. Here the maroon colour has been selected from the dress and matched with maroon tights. Matching your tights colour to a colour in a pattern is an easy way to style an outfit so it is coherent. It is not always easy to find the exact match in colour

pattern burgandy

3. Grey is a softer neutral than black and can be a nice complimentary colour to red tights.
coloured tights, grey skirt, work wear

Burgundy tights and grey skirt

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Wearing black opaque tights to work

Wearing tights in the winter to work. Tights are a great tool to have in the cupboard for Autumn Winter.There are different ways to style opaque tights and look professional and smart for work. Here I am looking at how to style black opaques for the Autumn winter in the office.

Bold coloured dress or suit and black opaques

An easy styling trick: Use one bright colour in your outfit and contrast this with some bold black opaques.
See how in each picture the person has linked the black tights back through the outfit.1. a black belt2. a black bag3. a black polo neck sweater/jumper underneath.This is a good trick to pull an outfit together.
Black opaque tights and red dress

Red dress and black tights on trendy-u.ru

black opaque tights and blue suit

Carolina Herrera A/W 14-15 ready to wear bold blue outfit and black tights

black tights, cream outfit

Cream outfit and black tights from Christian Dior

Contrasting skirt colour

You could go for an alternative colour in the skirt against some black tights.
cream skirt, black tights and pearls

Katie Krysh (My Keep Calm and Carry On blog) cream skirt, pearls and black

black opaques and yellow skirt

Christie Young wears yellow skirt and black opaques http://azisenhour.wordpress.com/

 

colour blocking, black, red and white

Colour blocking from Jessica Quirk What I Wore style blog

Black tights with a black skirt
This combination works well. Especially if you go for a contrast on the top:
black opaque tights

black opaque tights, black skirt and grey top from Hello Gorgeous

black tights, grey skirt

Fashionably Employed wears a grey skirt, bright purple top and black opaque tights

black tights and contrasting jacket

Grey jacket, black skirt and black opaque tights

black skirt black tights

White top, black skirt and black tights

Wear plain tights with a patterned outfit
You could wear a smart dress with a pattern or a patterned skirt. Either way some plain black opaques will work well.

black tights geometric patterned skirt

Black outfit with feature patterned skirt

black tights, black shoes and patterned dress

Black tights and patterned dress from Christine Aguilar at She Look Book

 What black opaque tights to get? See our guide


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Interview Outfit and Accessories

So, you’ve managed to land that big interview you’ve been working so hard for. Don’t think that the hard work is over just yet. A well known fact is that people judge people when they first meet (consciously or not!).
The key is to know the job role you are going for, what other people wear in that role and to be the best version of yourself that you can present.
Interview Outfit and Accessories
Present yourself visually as someone that is the best fit for the role. Who do they want to see? A smartly dressed woman, yes. But don’t forget your personality – you need them to remember you and to stay feeling like yourself (you on a really great day!).
The outfit I put together above is a look that I personally would use for a variety of different roles and companies. You could equally work the same look in a skirt or trouser suit with a pop of colour in your shoes and bag.
Previously when going for a fashion role I would wear clothes that fit with the look of the brand. For example if I was going for an interview with a company like L K Bennett I would wear a smart, work wear dress with some nice court shoes. But if I was going for a job at Topshop I would wear a look that was bang on trend but with an added bit of quirky.
This concept works if you look at various different banks, lawyer firms and accountant firms. They are projecting an image to their customers about the companies brand/personality.
For example; Does the accountancy firm you are interviewing with, appeal to young up and coming businesses? Your look should stay smart but not unapproachable and stuffy. I have found that thinking in this way for my own interviews in office or fashion roles helps to focus what I choose to wear and makes you stand out from the crowd.
 Don’t forget to only wear items  that are polished and well looked after. That trusty bag that has been stuffed to the brim and stuck in the tube door may not be the best choice!
I have also included some things to remember for the day. Some obvious ideas, but in the heat of panic it is all too easy to forget to put your phone on silent or equally, turn vibrate off.
To those of you going for an interview, good luck and if you’d like to add anything please do!


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Natural and Navy

Natural and Navy
During the summer months navy is a great alternative colour to black for work.
Wear your navy dress with natural low denier tights. Here I chose a selection of low denier Wolford tights but see this page for more options.
Wear a nude/natural coloured shoe that matches your leg tone to extend the length of your leg.
You can go for a matching navy bag, a nude shade or maybe even add a pop of colour with a red or pink bag!


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Women’s London Networking Evening in Colour!

You may or may not know that I run a clothing company. So the big company announcement today is that I have launched the tickets for our September event!

colour-eve-graphic-fb

The evening is for women from a whole range of industries and professions to come together in London and enjoy an evening of networking and personal consultations.

The theme of the evening is colour which is such a broad and interesting topic. The colours you wear effect the way that people perceive you, it can affect your mood and it can make you look amazing or drab.

Around that them of colour we have selected different areas for the evening:

  • Makeup: Focusing on eyeshadow colour
  • Hosiery Finding the best natural colour match for your skin
  • Hair: what is the best hair colour for you
  • Image: What is one colour that looks amazing on you
  • Clothes: Allowing you to select exactly the colour you want for your dress

The brands included in the event are:

Makeup WORKS: A British makeup brand who have been making inroads on the makeup market. They are targeted at mature skin; the colours and shades are great and in particular the products are matte. Makeup WORKS will be providing 10 minute slots to discuss eyeshade colours and if you want, they can try it out on you.

FALKE: A premium hosiery brand. Leading the way in hosiery they have a new exciting range called Perfect Skin Colours. A consultant will be at our event with samples in hand to guide you through choosing the right skin colour for your legs.

FOUR: Leading hair colourists voted ‘Best for Colour’ by the Tatler hair guide 2013 will be providing 10 minute consultations. If you’re unsure about your hair colour or you need some advice then this is for you.

Inside Out Image: What colour would be best for you to wear to work? What colours suit your skin tone? Joanna Gaudoin from Inside Out Image will be starting the evening off by introducing us to the world of colour and then will be providing one to one mini consultations.

and then there is my company: Kerry O’Brine Womens Wear: We design and produce clothing in my UK studio. The silk Line is our main collection and this provides women the chance to choose exactly what they want: choose your style from our six dresses, choose your colour and choose your sleeve length.

I’ll be launching our new colour dye to order service some new colours for Autumn Winter and some other things too! For now, that’s all I will say about this because you’ll have to come to the launch to find out more!!

The Academy: The venue is equally exciting as the line-up! We have the whole of the ground floor in The Academy in Bloomsbury, London for the evening of 12th September. If it’s a lovely sunny evening you’ll be able to network outside in the courtyard or have a drink in the conservatory! The 4* hotel has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Enjoy the evening with complimentary drinks available on arrival and canapes included in the ticket price. I always insist on food…. who can network after work on an empty stomach? Not me!!

All the women involved are supportive and friendly individuals. We love to network and support other women running their own business, working their way up the career ladder and getting the balance between a high flying career and home life.

If you are based in and around London and you are interested and a woman then please join us.

COLOUR-EVENING

Feed back is always welcomed. Do you know of a great location to hold another event? What brand would you like to get advice from? Is there a topic that you would like to learn more about at an event?


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This is a Hold Up: How to Get into a Tights Situation!

Putting hosiery on!

Best tip I’ve been given is to moisturise your legs before you put your tights on (not hold-ups).

Make your hands damp and use the palms of your hands to roll your tights up your legs.

A video of how to put on tights:

Don’t grip your tights with a claw like grasp, finger tips pressing into tights will create pressure in a tiny area and you’re more likely to get a ladder/hole!!

Caring for tights!

If you purchase a cheap pair of tights I would say wear them once and chuck them away. Otherwise you’ll end up with a drawer full of tights that you can’t remember the good from the bad and spend way to long trying out tights in the precious hours in the morning pre-work.

With regards to the more expensive pairs the recommendation with Wolford, for instance, is to hand wash them. Now I have been known to machine wash my Wolfords in a wash bag. They come out just fine BUT be aware you are degrading the fibres of the tights and they won’t last as long and be as fabulous as if you hand washed them.

With hold-ups/stay-ups stick the silicone sticky bit together before you wash them.

Where to buy?

There are so many tights to choose from it can be hard to know where to start but I hope my tips have helped you with starting or completing your professional work wardrobe. See here for the tips in my previous blog entry.

Hopefully my web pages are helpful when picking tights for Autumn Winter and Spring Summer.

There are many options of where to buy hosiery in the UK.

If you work in London City try our hosiery locator.

If you want to purchase online you could try:

mytights.com

tightsplease.co.uk

tightstightstights.co.uk

uktights.com

tights, stocking, hold-ups,


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Choosing Hold Ups, Stockings and Tights!

As a woman you will most probably have worn hosiery of some description, at some point! For work they are an essential piece of your everyday kit.

Over the years I have worked in office, retail and studio environments. Some things I have picked up you might find useful.

haute-tights---charcoal-front-2

When you go to purchase hosiery think about what you want first – looking at boxes and boxes of tights can become a little bit bewildering!

  • Do you want a pair of tights, hold ups, stockings or knee highs?

(stockings you’ll need a garter to hold the stockings up, hold ups are like stockings but ‘stick’ to your legs and stay up on their own and tights offer full coverage of crotch, bottom and legs! Knee highs offer a great sophisticated alternative to socks for trouser suits)

  • Do you want hosiery with support built in?

(some brands offer hosiery that stimulates circulation or that supports and lifts your body shape)

  • What outfit will you be wearing?

(A figure hugging dress will require a different hosiery than a skirt suit. For a figure hugging outfit try a seamless pair of tights such as Fatal 50 by Wolford).

  • How much leg coverage do you want?

(There are a variety of looks – a natural barely there kind of coverage all the way through to a thicker coverage like leggings. The smaller the denier the finer/thinner the tights are, for instance an 8 denier is very fine. The other end of the scale is opaque tights and these can be 60, 80 or 100 denier. This is a thicker substantial wintery hosiery that you cannot see through).

(Often outfit dependent but always good to think about your natural skin tone when purchasing a natural tone hosiery…..tan legs but pale white face could look a little strange, unless you’re making a fashion statement!)

  • What colour?

(There are so many shades available now. If you need to match an outfit your best bet is to take the outfit into the shop and match the colour. Always stand by a window and use natural light to match colours and don’t forget the tights will be stretched on your legs – so may look slightly different to when they are in the box).

  • Matt, sheen, pattern?

(your preference could be not shiny – so you are looking for a matte finish – low 8 denier fine tights can be shiny or matte, as can a thicker opaque 60 denier. If you are going for a fashion or vintage look then the world is your oyster; choose from a simple back seam line or go crazy with dots, fringes and flowers!But maybe not for a professional office environment!!).

Tips

  • tights, stocking, hold-ups,The best thing to do before investing in hosiery is to look at the samples first: department stores and individual brand stores will have samples to look at. Tell a consultant what you require and they should be able to locate the best options for you. Take your time to stretch the samples over your hand – look at the finish – is there a slight sheen, are they too sheer, is the colour right?

 

  • For a capsule work wardrobe you’ll need a variety of tights and once your happy with your choice – purchase a couple of each style. I like to have a variety of denier in stock: 10, 20 and 50s. Navy, black and natural are the key colour staples I have in my drawer.

 

  • If you’re based in an office it’s a good idea to keep a spare pair of nude tights in your drawer. If you have the sort of job that requires you to visit different offices, meeting rooms and locations have a spare pair stored in the internal pocket of your hand bag. There is nothing more annoying than catching your tights on an unfamiliar wooden desk and not have a spare pair!

I can recommend certain brands such as Falke or Wolford because of the quality and finish you’ll get from them (the price point reflects this).

Each pair of tights is hand checked in Wolford before packed, so you won’t purchase a pair of their tights, get them home and find they have a hole in (before you’ve even worn them!).

You will also find that because of their construction a pair of Wolford tights will give a superior coverage when stretched on your legs.

Autumn Winter hosiery definitions and top picks

Spring Summer hosiery definitions and top picks

Next… putting on and caring for your hosiery!