16th Jul 2023
Fashion journalist and stylist to the stars, Corina Gaffey has been showing us how to hone our personal style for over a decade now. Here she shares a week in her wardrobe.
I rarely have a shoot on a Monday, so it’s usually a day for planning, meetings, and organising. Today I’m wearing sunglasses from Costume, a dress from Next, a bag from Tory Burch at Kildare Village and sandals by Arizona Love. Deciding what to wear each morning is straightforward. I try to make it as fuss free as possible, so I can spend more time snoozing and less time stressing about what I wear. I always think about what I think I’ll wear the night before. I don’t always lay it out, but I would have a little brainstorming-style session while lying in bed. I think it helps to post so many outfit posts on my Instagram. It’s like a bit of a wardrobe catalogue, so I’ll consult my Instagram if I’m stuck for inspiration on what to wear. I think it’s important to catalogue outfits that make you feel great or spark joy. Hence, I usually tell clients to take a snap of outfits they enjoy wearing and create a folder on their phone, so if they are riddled with indecision, they can check out their pics for inspo.
Today I have a shoot, so comfort is key; I’m wearing a boiler suit by Isabel Marant from Costume and Gucci chunky sandals from Browns Fashion. I choose my look each day depending on what my day entails. My job is so varied that my outfits can sometimes change daily. If I’m on a shoot, comfort and practicality are essential. You could be standing for 12 hours, so trainers or a chunky sandal are usually my go-to. I tend to go for jeans and t-shirts or boiler suits for shoot days, as you bend down, carry heavy bags, and can generally get stuck in without having to worry about what you are wearing.
It’s an office day today; I’m recording a podcast, mood boarding for autumn and winter shoots and doing my VAT returns – the not-so-glamourous side of freelance and self-employed – the admin day! I’m wearing a shirt from Arket, trousers and shoes from Zara. I love animal print in general, and I’m never afraid to mix my prints; I just love how it can elevate a simple outfit of shirt and trousers into something more memorable. My job involves a lot of running around the shops so I tend to go for flats a lot of the time. I have an extensive selection of trainers, but I have always been obsessed with a pointy flat. It can look much more polished for the day than trainers, especially when I meet people.
I’ve got to finish off some dropbacks from my shoot the other day. It looked chillier than it was this morning, but after running around the shops, I’ll be roasting, so time to ditch the coat! I prefer dressing for colder weather, so I miss the layers and coats in summer. I’d say coats are one of my most significant weaknesses – I particularly love a statement coat and how you can dress simply underneath and let the coat do all the heavy lifting. One of my favourite coats is a silver metallic leather topper by Marc Jacobs. It was expensive when I bought it, but as it’s a straightforward silhouette, it will always be a classic, and I’ve pulled it out of my wardrobe year on year, so I’ve gotten the cost-per-wear out of it. I just can’t wait for chillier temps so I can wear it again! I think that’s important to note when investing in a piece of clothing or a bag; to make sure that at least some part of it is timeless – whether it’s the silhouette or the colour – that way, it won’t date as fast, and you’ll have it forever. Leopard print is always neutral in my eyes. Everyone from Jackie O to Alexa Chung has worn the classic pattern of leopard, so I know this coat from the H&M Innovation story collection will be in my wardrobe for a long time. My t-shirt is from Penney’s edit range, and my trousers are a recent purchase from a trip to Amsterdam, and they are from a brand called Rika Studios. They are such a good investment. I’ve worn them at least four times in the last two weeks.
Today I’m going to a press event and then for a drink later, I’m wearing a dress by Rixo and shoes by Uterque. Just as my weekend/work wardrobe doesn’t usually differ significantly, neither do my day/evening looks. I have a heavy rotation of done-in-one dresses that can take me from 9am to 9pm, and this Rixo dress is ideal. I don’t get super dressed up. I prefer adding more jewellery and a slick of bright lipstick to elevate my look for the evening, and I happily stay in flats too. I think the ingredients of a great outfit are being comfortable but adding a little unexpectedness or a quirk. I love that dressed-up/dressed-down vibe, where it’s mixing something casual with dressy to achieve an effortless outfit. Alexa Chung does this well wearing ballet flats and mini skirts or denim after dark.
Time for date night, and I’m wearing one of my favourite dresses. This Prada dress is one piece I would save in a fire. It’s from their resort 2020 collection – I loved it the minute it walked down the runway. I managed to nab it in the Brown Thomas sale for an excellent price. I’ve had such successes shopping the last few days of sales as you can sometimes nab the best gems, and it’s like it’s meant to be. My boots are from Coach from The Outnet. I love white boots for summer and all year round. They are such a wardrobe wonder. I had my eye out for a pair for ages until I found these. They are super comfy with their block heel, and I would also wear this outfit for the day, not just for the evening.
Another day, another dress. Had to pop into the office to file an article ahead of a busy week, and then I’m going for brunch after, so I made a little effort with this Stella Nova dress from Atterley and my Prada loafers. I love the oversized fit of this dress, perfect for the warm weather as it’s so loose and wafty. I don’t have a separate work/weekend wardrobe, which I like. All my looks blur across the week. Sometimes I can be more pared back during the week, and more dressed up on Sundays when others are casual. I love having the flexibility and freedom to wear what I want, and it also means you wear your clothes more and get your CPW (cost per wear) as you don’t have to regulate pieces to certain days. With offices becoming more casual and hybrid working environments, many people will be in the same position. We need to wear the clothes we own more and not leave them cluttering up our wardrobe, so it’s vital to think about the different ways we can wear our clothes and not incorporate them into different scenarios. When you are purchasing a new item, think of three different ways you can style the piece with your own clothes. If you can’t muster up at least three ways of slotting it into your wardrobe rotation, it’s probably not a good investment.
Photography by Corina Gaffey, @corinagaffey. We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site. This is an updated version of an article that was originally published in July 2022.