Kerry O'Brine Womens Wear

Behind the seams

A Range of Greens

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A Range of Greens
Perhaps you’ve never considered how many different greens there are in the world?
You can begin to understand why it might be difficult to find the right green for yourself when there are so many out there.
Choose the right green for you and the right outfit for your working environment and you will have a winning professional outfit.

Here I am in a green dress!:
Kerry and guests

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September – A time to re-evaluate and re-start!

It’s nearing the end of August and I find myself thinking about September looming over me. Wow this year has passed so quickly and so much left to do!

September always feels like a new start to me. It’s almost like I have been left with the start of the school year permanently ingrained in my mind. As a working woman with my own business I still think about buying a new pencil case, some stationary and maybe a couple of new outfits in September, to see me through the start of the new Autumn season!!

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Am I the only one? Perhaps.

The fashion merry-go-round (fashion fabric shows and fashion weeks) starts up again in September and most shops will have a full stock of Autumn Winter pieces in.

September feels like a start whether you took holiday in August or not. If you’re getting your kids new outfits for a fresh start in September perhaps September is a time for you to re-evaluate your own wardrobe.

Who says we have to only evaluate ourselves, our goals and our resolutions in January?

Why not take the time for yourself to start in September with a great new feeling about the way you look. I have had a think about some simple changes and things you could do to start off your new season. Here are some suggestions:

  • Go for a bra fitting (your body size fluctuates through out the year)
  • Go for a hair consultation (a new hair style, cut or colour can lift your mood in an instant)
  • Go through your wardrobe and get rid of those things that lurk around but you never wear (if you need a hand – meet an Image consultant to discuss your needs)
  • Wear a new colour: Do you always go for the same colours in your professional wardrobe – a new one that looks fab on you, can give confidence
  • Get a new lipstick or eyeshadow colour – they can make an instant impactBrown eyeshadows
  • Get some new accessories – you can jazz up an old suit with the addition of a new season belt or bag
  • Book yourself in for a manicure – nothing says professional like a well looked after pair of handsNails
  • Flush out those tights in your drawers that need to be binned. Get some great advice from a hosiery expert and fill your drawer with some great new tights for Autumn!Legs blog
  • Get your Autumn Winter shoes ready to go! A re-heel and polish will make them feel shiny and stylish again!

Consultations For London Based Readers:

If you are based in London for work or home then you may be interested in the event I have organised on 12th September. I decided that the start of September was the perfect time to hold our Colour themed networking and consultation evening.

The goal is to give professional women the chance to have a chat with consultants in a variety of colour focused areas in a relaxed and friendly environment. This advice should start you off for Autumn Winter.

We will be covering colour in the following areas: hair, makeup, image, clothing and tights.behind-the-scenes-4video

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.

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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!


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Protecting Cashmere

Nice new cashmere jumper, sweater or dress?

If you have a cashmere jumper or cardigan that you want to store away for a while it is a good idea to keep it in a breathable cotton bag (I love Total Wardrobe Care for clothing storage solutions).

Always clean your clothes before packing them away for storage. You get rid of any hidden larvae or moth eggs as well as any smells or food stains that can attract insect attention. Moths love dirty clothes with sweat residue.

When keeping your cashmere in your wardrobe, closet or chest of drawers then use a little cushion, pillow, bag or sachet of dried lavender. The lavender makes everything smell pretty but the moths don’t like it and your cashmere will stay hole free. Take a look at my lavender cushions that I normally only offer at my pop up shops.

The lavender doesn’t kill moth larvae, moth eggs or moths, they just don’t like it. So lavender is a part of a preventative measure rather than post moth attack.

Another thing to note: clothes moths don’t like light, so they won’t be the ones you’ve seen flying around. The clothes moths like to nestle down in the dark warmth of your wardrobe.

As well as cashmere, moths love to nibble on all other natural fibres such as wool and silk.

If you love a bargain or thrifty second hand store purchase; be wary of moths and take measures to protect your wardrobe from anything that might be lurking in your new purchase. Perhaps keep the new piece in a sealed bag before getting it dry cleaned or washed in the machine. Don’t just introduce it straight into your closet!

If you’re looking for some gorgeous cashmere then it’s worth trying Pringle, House of Cashmere or Net a Porter