Alright then, on with the show!
The penultimate challenge asks finalists to style an outfit from Dundrum Town Centre for under €100. Now when I buy an outfit, I'm looking for a few things - style and comfort are a given, but also I want versatility, value for my money. I like pieces that I can wear again on different occasions, and these are definitely the days for making investment buys.
How I approach putting an outfit together is to focus on a key piece, or pieces, and style around them accordingly - be it a daytime look, or a night out. So with that in mind I took to the final challenge like I take to my daily challenge of getting dressed (and yes, sometimes it is a challenge!)
I chose three key pieces that capture some of my favourite trends from Autumn/Winter 2012 and created two outfit options to cater for a different occasions (and weather...) - showcasing the flexibility that can be had when working from staple pieces and interchanging different elements to create a whole new look each time. Each look comes in under €100, and everything is available at the moment in Dundrum Town Centre.
I run through all the pieces and my two looks in this video - who doesn't love a good video, eh?
You can see pictures from my weekend shopping on my Pinterest as well as the inspiration for the final looks.
My key pieces were
The black and gold print jumper is from Voulez Vous in A|wear, €24. It immediately caught my eye, the skull print is reminiscent of Alexander McQueen's iconic print. It's a slouchy, loose-fit, with a dipped hem making it slightly longer in the back. It's slightly sheer so I'd wear a string-top or a thick bandeaux underneath.
I spotted these burgundy boots at the Dundrum Town Centre Fall for Fashion catwalk show. They're €22 in Penneys and they're a great buy. Everyone from River Island to Miu Miu are doing some form of studded shoe so it's worth getting in on the trend even if it's something subtle like this, and the colour is perfect for this season.
Every outfit needs a bag, so I kept it simple with this black leather-look bag from H+M for €14.95. It has a detachable gold chain strap. Black leather is everywhere, so a simple bag is a nice edgy touch that can be added to any outfit. This particular bag reminds me of the faux-leather shoulder bags from Stella McCarthy who also has the chain detailing and the foldover clutch stlye.
Option 1 - Keeping it Casual
I got a super cute ring-bracelet-combo from Penney for €3 to accessorise the outfit just a little, but the embellishment on the boots and the gold print on the top don't need too much added to them. Taking the strap off the bag to carry it as a clutch keeps the whole look chic and casual.
Total outfit cost - €99
Keeping the same key pieces, alternatively you could style the outfit to be more dressy -
Option 2 - Date Night
Switching the trousers for a skirt transforms the outfit entirely. This burgundy leather-look skirt is also from H+M (€19.95) and with this piece you've got Autumn sorted. It's a slight body-con fit, coming up almost waist height. The jumper could be loosely tucked in or worn over the skirt; the dipped hem sits lovely over the skirt for a very relaxed, effortless look. Personally I would wear black opaque tights with this outfit, but it's all down to choice.
As far as I can see, low-cut tops aren't as popular as they used to be, it's less about cleavage and more about legs, even in Autumn and Winter, and a stylish leather skirt is the perfect excuse to show off - even if, like me, you'll be wrapped up in thick tights.
I kept the bracelet-ring and added a pair of golf studded bracelets (€3 for the pair in Penneys) and a solid statement necklace (Penneys €5) to pick up on the gold detail in the jumper and the shoes. The necklace is short and chunky so it doesn't take away from the print on the top, but dresses up the look. I also added the gold strap to the bag; this outfit, while simple, is definitely one to be noticed in.
Total outfit cost €97
So, like I said, details of the outfits and the inspiration from my shopping trip around Dundrum this weekend can be found on Pinterest including very artsy pictures my sister and I were taking like this:
Once again I just want to thank everyone for all their support and encouragement - it's been unbelievable and I really, really appreciate it. And special thanks has to go to my sister for coming shopping with me and keeping me focused. I really couldn't have done it without all of you. As cliché as it sounds this was a really great experience, I've learned so much and had a lot of fun taking part.
Peace and love