The dream work wardrobe

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

It’s not often you get to hear advice from the manager of a luxury department store, take a peak at their personal style favourites while indulging in a glass of Prosecco or sparkling pink lemonade and nibbling on homemade carrot cake bites.

But so it was last Wednesday night when a group of women – and one man, Ollie Canning, hurler extraordinaire and husband to PR consultant and masterclass teacher Áine Killilea – turned out in force for an evening of style and tips on how to elevate your career through creating a personal brand at Brown Thomas.

The expansive range of outfits chosen from the Autumn Winter 23 collection of Brown Thomas Galway by Áine were mainly geared to building a professional capsule wardrobe, with the emphasis on high quality items that will last year and not go out of fashion and that can be used for day to evening wear so you get value out of them. There were also a few fun pieces thrown in for those professionals who have to impress at a ball or corporate party.

What was clear from the outfits is that patterns were very much off the table.

Instead, the focus was on plain coloured separates, with browns, greys, blacks, navys the favourite picks, with a tiny bit of sparkle or a pop of pink or light blue thrown in to remove the drabness.

BT Galway manager Marilyn Gallagher – who has spent over two decades in retail – is a massive fan of black – as evidenced by her beautiful Cos black knit jumpsuit on the night – and nearly every outfit that she picked in her personal selection.

A “killer black coat” is an essential in every woman’s wardrobe, she insists, one that has a sharp silhouette is nicely tailored and comes in a wool or cashmere blend.

The Max Mara coats have a waiting list to purchase every year for BT regulars apparently, with fans addicted to their tailoring and distinctive stitching. Marilyn has a camel one from seven years ago that still looks brand new.

She advises to try on ten different coats to determine if the fit is good for you and try on with work gear as well as jeans and a casual top.

Another key staple is a black blazer – her favourites are Sandro or Maje for an excellently structured jacket that will never go out of fashion and can be paired with jeans and runners or over a casual dress for a smart day look.

Pictured: Áine Killilea, Founder of Áine Image & Communications wears Wool-Cashmere Sweater: Anine Bing (€250) and a Silver Full Taffeta Skirt Weekend MaxMara (€350). Marilyn Gallagher, General Manager Brown Thomas Galway wears a black wide leg jumpsuit: COS (€125).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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