THE OUTNET Buying Director Talks Fashion

THE OUTNET Buying Director Talks Fashion

THE OUTNET was once just a destination for affordable designer shopping – nowadays, it’s a fashion force to be reckoned with. With big name collaborations, its own luxe label and daily drops of some of the coolest brands out there, it’s a bona fide name in its own right – and Vikki Kavanagh, Global Buying and Merchandising Director, is the woman pulling the strings. From the pieces to look out for, to her best career advice, she tells us everything…

I try to dress in one piece where possible and love dresses and jumpsuits. I can put that single piece on and I’m ready for the day. I just add accessories and go. If I do choose to wear separates, I’ll opt for trousers, a blouse and heels. Currently, my go-to outfit is pair of Chloe trousers and a feminine silk blouse with high-heel shoes. Wearing structured clothes that show the best parts of myself makes me feel confident. 

I usually get dressed after looking at my calendar first thing and dress appropriately, depending on my day and who I am seeing. I have a pretty classic approach to my wardrobe, so I am always ‘meeting-ready’ if I need to be. 
The lines are definitely blurring between work and weekend wear, but I tend to stick to more formal choices in the week. I have two small children, so on the weekends I’m often doing something with them which involves a more casual wardrobe. A classic sweatshirt, tailored joggers and trainers is my go-to for those off-duty days. 

The lines are definitely blurring between work and weekend wear [...] and I have a pretty classic approach to my wardrobe, so I am always ‘meeting-ready’ if I need to be.

Good tailoring goes a long way, and it pays to invest. I’ve had a YSL suit in my wardrobe for years and I still wear it. It’s perfect for the office, dressed down with a chic trainer and t-shirt, or dressed up with a great pair of heels for evening events. Equally, I can wear the pieces separately, which I love.  

I have a set of wardrobe essentials which I go to season after season, whatever the weather. A good quality white shirt, a trench coat (they are perfect for layering), black leather pants which can be easily dressed up or down, a strong day-to-night maxi dress and a pair of barely-there sandals. These pieces create the ultimate capsule wardrobe. 

I like to invest in one key bag per season. These range from Fendi to Bottega Veneta – they’re quite a team in my wardrobe! The classic styles stand the test of time, too. 
Tonal dressing has gained momentum in recent seasons and this season (SS20) favors top-to-toe white. I love dressing in clean and contemporary neutrals, and to me this is the most effortless way to look chic for the new season. 
My favourite piece in my wardrobe has to be my Saint Laurent grape-black tuxedo with a satin lapel, it’s absolutely divine. I’ll be handing this down to my daughter. If I could only wear one designer again – an impossible question! – I would say Celine or The Row.

KHAITE would definitely be at the top of my list of favourite brands from last year. It’s a brand I bought into as the pieces are so timeless and built with such quality that they will last me for years. And, not new by any means, but I have fallen back in love with Victoria Beckham. The collections are looking so strong. As for 2020, Olivia Rubin and Devaux are two brands to get excited about.

Amanda Jones/wwd/shutterstock



A good quality white shirt, a trench coat, black leather pants [...] a strong day-to-night maxi dress and a pair of barely-there sandals. These pieces create the ultimate capsule wardrobe.

Dresses are always our best sellers, across the globe. A dress is a complete outfit for our customers, so if they are going to choose a piece to invest in, then it makes sense to buy one which just needs accessorizing. 
My top tips for shopping THE OUTNET are to start by downloading the app. Sign up for notifications and the newsletter, that way you will receive all the best updates from the site. I’m forever using my Wish List; it alerts me when items come back into stock. I always tell myself that if a favorite piece of mine appears back in my Wish List, I must buy it. There are new products five days a week, so it’s worth hitting refresh. Download from the app store here or android store here.

We are so proud of Iris & Ink. We see a lot of love from our customers too, with the brand sitting in our top five performing, globally. That's no mean feat considering the amazing brands we stock on site. Dresses and jumpsuits are always our bestselling styles.

We just launched a very exciting capsule with Diane von Furstenberg so watch out for more brand exclusives later this year. 

Double-Breasted Checked Cady Blazer, £175 | Iris & Ink


Quickfire fashion questions:

My first fashion memory is… Shoulder pads. It was the 80’s...

My love for fashion started... When watching movies and music videos. Footloose. Flash Dance. Madonna. Whitney Houston. I wanted to be one of those women.

The worst fashion mistake I ever made was… A fleece tracksuit with shorts, worn with high top Fila trainers. Not a good look for me.

The best style advice I’ve ever been given is… Be true to your style.

I developed my personal style when… I turned my back on fast fashion and started investing in key items.

My best vintage purchase ever… A Dries Van Noten mustard silk top. I’ve had it and worn it for nearly twenty years.

The most extravagant thing I’ve ever bought… My handbags. They’re my equivalent of a watch.

The person whose style inspires me now is… Catherine Holstein.

The best dressed woman in history was… Coco Chanel.

The most stylish city is... Paris.

When I need a confidence boost, I wear… Heels. And well blow-dried hair.

The secret to good style is…To be comfortable and confident. Any outfit transforms when you pull your shoulders back and smile.


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