Kerry O'Brine Womens Wear

Behind the seams


Packing for Travel – Light!

So you have your special travel drawer organised and packed to the brim.
What should you pack and how?
The Basics:

  • For short business trips pack items that can all mix and match
  • Pack in outfits
  • Don’t pack things you wouldn’t wear normally

The Basic Items List:
• Nude lingerie set
• One day bag
• One evening bag
• One pair of nude or black heels
• One pair of neutral flats
• Your best dress
I find I pack the best in outfits. I pick out key pieces that I want to wear on the trip, whether I’m on a business trip or holiday.
I like to think about my trip’s itinerary and pick my outfits accordingly. That sounds obvious, I know, but be quite specific. Will you be walking a lot from location to location or will you be getting taxis? Is there the potential for some high-end meals out or will you be chilling in your hotel room?
So keeping that all in mind I start to pick a key item for each ‘event’ on the itinerary.
For example: My Three day Trip to Paris itinerary (part business / part pleasure!)
Day 1:
Travel to St Pancras get the train to Paris
Arrive, drop bag off at hotel and go to an exhibition
Eve: meal and drinks out

Day 2:
Go to fabric exhibition all day
Eve: meal and drinks out

Day 3:
Go to shops
Catch train home

The dress in the middle of the outfit building below is what I wore for business day two. This was how I then built up the wardrobe for the three days.

Travel light

How to achieve ‘smart casual’


Yesterday it was such a beautiful sunny day (not like the torrential downpour today!). I decided to wear my ivory blouse and beige skirt. It’s what I would term, a ‘smart casual’ look. Because the top is silk crepe de chine it has a smart feel but the skirt is a more of a casual light cotton drill it makes the look smart casual. I could easily make my look more dressy with the right choices in jewellery, bag and shoes.


paper roll  front

Have you ever had ‘smart casual’ specified on an invitation or you were going somewhere you think is going to be ‘smart casual’? Most people find that this is a really tricky description for outfit building and styling a look. It is a rather vague description but I think the best way to achieve a ‘smart casual’ look is to first choose a smart piece of clothing.

Your smart piece could be an evening wear top, an evening type dress or a gorgeous pair of silky evening trousers; whatever to you says special occasion or event!

Next choose something the goes with it in terms of colour, fabric or shape but is casual in nature!

For instance people often do a dark denim jean with a smart fancy top for an evening smart casual event.

For a day time ‘smart casual’, you can take a lovely dress and add casual shoes like flat pumps, cowboy boots or a casual slouchy boot.

Jimmy Choo Youth leather biker boots
To transform a smart work look i.e. pencil skirt, suit jacket, shirt and heels into something more casual you could add a slouchy scarf. Try removing the jacket and replacing it with a cardigan or go further and replace the shirt and jacket with a relaxed but luxurious jumper.

Maje Documentaire chunky-knit wool-blend cardigan

Duffy Draped cashmere cardigan

Gorgeous jumper - love alpaca fibre!  MiH Jeans Waffle-knit wool and alpaca-blend sweater
It’s all about mixing and opposites: Add the ruff with the smooth or the plain with the decorated!

board 2board 1board close up

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Seven Colour Combination Ideas for the Office

Combining colour into a working outfit should not be difficult.

Firstly you need to pick one highlight colour that suits you like pink, red, blue or yellow. Then choose the base colour or matching colour that you will work with such as black, navy or brown (this could be a suit separate or a dress).
Here I have chosen pink as the highlight colour and navy as the base colour. You can always add white or black as neutrals if you need to (see the white shirts and skirt I have added).

Working Pink and Navy for Work