Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Work the glamour.

With the upcoming Christmas season I need some fabulous things to wear for a number of occasions. However, a few of them will have the same people at them so I'm after some separates that I can chop and change. Ideally as I'm utterly skint, these could be things I could wear for work as well.

Please help me in my hour of need!

When categorising clothes as either 'work' or 'play', sometimes there are clear signals - it's a rare workplace where a sequinned corset would be standard daywear - but more often than not it's about adaptation and context. The outfit below is very sexy-secretary with a hint of Katherine Hepburn, but the same top worn with a pair of black bootcut jeans or my favourite: the black velvet wide-leg trousers, becomes - by virtue of its glorious colour and sheer fabric - a show-stopping party top. It's only £16 from Simply Be, available in sizes 14 and up, and is cut long enough for longer-bodied girls. You could even wear it untucked with a belt on top. Apart from the sleeve length, it's an essential buy.

The other trick, for a girl who has a cleavage to be proud of, is to wear something with a flattering deep V neck, but with a vest underneath during the day. I really love this hankyhem tunic from Dotty Perkins (£22) - I've shown it in grey because the photograph is clearer, but you'll almost certainly want it in the black, which is what I've linked to. That triangle at the bottom of the V where the vest will show during the day is the chance to inject some dynamism into your work wardrobe. Imagine a bright turquoise, a jewel-like purple or a festive red. Vests are cheap to pick up from all kinds of place and are a great way to accessorise. Then when worn without the vest you can jazz it up with some funky, chunky beads. As well as the flattering neckline, the draping flow of this top is flattering to tummies and hips. Dress down with jeans or up with black trousers and heels.

The last trick is suitable for a blouse like this purple spotted shirt from Debenhams (£22). The top is sheer, so you'll probably wear a vest underneath it at work - for an evening out, leave it undone and tie it in a knot at the boobs (in the manner of the blue top below). The fullness of the shirt makes the tight fitting vest area look more streamlined, and the knotting draws focus to your boobs.

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