The chic list: Meet me in the men’s department…

Fashion columnist and influencer Joanne Hegarty on exciting new ideas in fashion.

I feel so excited about fashion and its endless possibilities for us all in this moment. A dramatic statement to make on a Sunday morning, but it’s true.

As women of all ages in 2022 – none of this ‘I’m too old’ nonsense! – we have so much at our fingertips if we just choose to embrace it. Why? Because a liberating revolution is underway: gender and age barriers are being challenged and smashed, while the booming rental and preloved fashion markets mean we can wear labels that in the past we could never dream of affording.

Hence why I now find myself in the men’s department in Cos browsing its cotton T-shirts, which area much better fit than its female versions (Arket’s men’s cashmere is also always nicer than its women’s). I’m also ogling online the midriff-baring Khaite dress 44-year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal wore to stunning effect last month, and feeling inspired to wear a similar one on holiday in France this summer.

And, with a big occasion coming up, I’ve been browsing the rails of a favourite preloved store to find the right dress, which I’ll proudly announce as secondhand. I recently found a special one by Israeli designer Yigal Azrouël for a trip to Ascot.

Another sign of our changing times was a visit to Connolly in Mayfair. This classic British brand was once best known as a supplier of leather goods for the automobile industry. Today, as well as menswear, its selection of women’s tailored suits is to die for, and a great example of how this summer we have more choices than ever before.

Invited to a summer wedding? Make this the year you switch things up and instead ofa dress consider wearing a trouser suit. Teamed with heels, this classic look can match any dress, skirt or top for sophisticated allure.

Here’s how I am styling mine…

For off-duty cool team your trouser suit with a T-shirt and white loafers and for a finishing touch add a gold chunky chain necklace. Trouser suits also look chic and relaxed with trainers.

For workwear wow The trouser suit is an ideal option for the office. If buying more than one suit opt for shades that can be mixed and matched with each other, and pair your suit blazers with other pieces such as a maxi pencil skirt.

For evening glamour replace your T-shirt with a camisole top or satin blouse. Or simply button up your jacket with nothing underneath. Team with diamanté chandelier earrings and strappy or platform sandals.

For a statement suit try this sustainable brand. Jacket, £249, and trousers (below), £139, baukjen.com

A quick-fix outfit refresher. Loafers, £195, russellandbromley.com

The perfect holiday dress to buy – or now rent. Dress, £485, essentiel-antwerp.com, or £50 to rent, call 020 7730 9393 for details

This knotted design will dress up your T-shirts and trouser suits. Necklace, £285, sorujewellery.com

Found in the men’s department– in a favourite dusty beige. T-shirt, £19, cosstores.com

Follow me on Instagram @thestylistandthewardrobe