Fitness instructor Breda Canning shows how she likes to 'cut a dash'.

Breda Canning is a 23 year old personal trainer and bootcamp instructor from Glenswilly. From living and working in Ireland and America over the past five years, she has developed an edgy and confident style.

Breda combined her passion for travel and fitness after graduating from Queens University in 2015 and spent a year in Los Angeles personal training.

She currently works as a fitness instructor in the Mount Errigal leisure centre, Letterkenny and has always wanted to a place where people could train together and motivate each other.

Breda’s Instagram profile is a projection of all her fashion/fitness ideas and interests – you can follow her at @bredacanning

DW Style Study with Breda Canning

How would you describe your personal style?
I think that my style is somewhat unique? We are all unique individuals so we shouldn’t be afraid to dress in an ‘unconventional’ way if that’s what we like.

My style definitely changes according to how I’m feeling that day, the occasion, and the weather! I don’t think that I slot into any specific style. If I like something then I’ll buy it regardless if I think other people will like it or not.

Who is your style icon?
I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have a style icon, but I do like to get some inspiration off my older sister. I love her style! I think living together in the same room growing up and borrowing her clothes from a very young age (and making absolutely no effort of being subtle about it) has definitely helped me find own sense of style! I’m also obsessed with the Irish instagrammer Niamh Cullen’s style right now, I literally want everything in her wardrobe!

What inspires you when choosing an outfit?
I like to think that clothing is a reflection of me and my personality – not anyone else’s. So
I only ever select items of clothing that I love and fit with my individual taste.

How would you accessorise a look?
I love accessorising, they can make an outfit extraordinary. The more basic the outfit, the bolder I go with my accessories. I think amazing outfits are all about balance.

Accessories can add complexity and interest to a plain look, balancing everything out. A statement earring or necklace can always add drama to an outfit, a chunky belt can really emphasise curves. If my outfit is plain then I like to create a pop of colour with jewellery, a scarf, a handbag, or a bright shoe!

I also like to let my makeup itself be an accessory. If I’m wearing a striking red lippy, or I’ve gone for a dark smoky eye then I may not need too many other accessories to complete my look.

What is your most recent fashion purchase?
These floral print coordinates that I got from River Island.

Where do you usually shop for clothing?
Anywhere that I can find a bargain really! Primark, New Look, Topshop, Forever21, H&M, or a local vintage shop if I have the time and patience to look around. Online I always go for either Missguided or Pretty Little Thing!

I’ve never really caught on to the designer hype to be honest. For me it will always be High Street, or better yet, second hand!

What are your wardrobe staples?
Crazy coloured sports leggings, Nike runners, faux fur jackets, high waisted skinny jeans and a cute bandeau dress!

Do you follow trends?
I wouldn’t say that I follow any trends. I think that when I choose to wear something that is “on trend” without any thought for whether it suits my own sense of style, I’m not really honouring my own style personality.

I like to be creative with my clothes and if I feel good in it then at the end of the day who really cares? If I like something then I will buy it regardless if it is on trend or not!

Heels or flats?
Runners by day, heels by night!

Shoes or handbags?
I’m a sucker for a nice pair of shoes!

What is the best piece of fashion advice you’ve ever heard?
Oh that’s an easy one! The best and my most favourite piece of advice that I’ve heard would have to be from my mammy: “cut a dash!” It means to dress strikingly or make a stylish impression!

Any time I’m going somewhere my mum will always say to me “cut a dash Breda!”

What do you think about the fashion scene in Donegal?
I think that Donegal is slowly becoming more creative and unique in what they wear! I love seeing someone who is confident to stand out from the crowd and are able to really express themselves though their sense of style. To me that’s inspiring!


What has been your best investment piece?
I’d probably have to say all three of my jackets from Topshop. I used to work in the Topshop in Belfast when I was studying at Queens so I did get a great bargain on them!

They are just all so versatile and when you live in Ireland you really can’t go wrong with a good jacket!


What’s the wackiest item you own?
I think it would have to be either my sequin lace plunge jumpsuit or my black strap belt skirt both from Pretty Little Thing. Once I seen them on their website I knew instantly that I had to wear them to Coachella. And look If you can’t wear it there then where can you wear it?


If you could wear only one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Well seeing as I am a personal trainer I guess I would have to go for something comfortable! The great thing is that sportswear really is on trend right now, you can find really funky gym clothes in so many high street shops these days at such affordable prices!

I’d usually shop in Primark or Forever 21 for my gym clothes, then Nike or Adidas for my runners as I’m on my feet for the majority of the day.

What has been your biggest fashion faux-pas?
I think it would have to be those ugly HUGE brown shoes that I wore in 1st year of secondary school – they may have been comfortable but really what was I thinking?

If money wasn’t a factor, what would you buy?
Completely off the topic from fashion but I would buy my own personal fitness studio in Los Angeles, for me that’s the dream!

How do you feel when you’re in your favourite outfit?
I feel like I’m expressing my true self as like anyone would when they’re in an outfit that they love. I feel confident and happy!

Do you want to take part in the next DW Style Study? Email to share your style secrets.