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Building boss wears evening dress made of hi-vis vests to win industry’s biggest awards: ‘incredible’ response

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A woman who owns a construction recruitment business made an unorthodox – but on-theme – fashion choice when she wore an evening dress made from hi-vis vests to an award ceremony industry awards on October 4.

Kelly Cartwright, 31, owner of Core Recruiter in Norwich, England, got the idea to honor her industry after being invited to a “posh ceremony,” according to SWNS, the British news service.

Cartwright said she felt more comfortable in hi-vis vests and neon orange work boots than in formal wear – and hired a seamstress to make an outfit for the Federation’s Top 100 Women Influentials national builders in construction.

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“I still struggle with anxiety and imposter syndrome, but I think wearing something you’re comfortable in calms your nerves a little more,” Cartwright said, SWNS also reported.

She said she was “comfortable on a job site with (personal protective equipment)” — but less so at an event like an awards ceremony.

Kelly Cartwright said she felt uncomfortable in formal wear, so she ordered a custom-made dress made from the high-visibility vests typically worn on a construction site. (SWNS)

“I joked and thought I should just wear my PPE, but I thought, ‘I can’t wear muddy jeans and a hi-vis jumper,’ so I thought I’d pass to the next level,” she said.

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And that’s what she did: she said everyone was “amazed” by her outfit and appreciated the message it sent.

“I loved the dress,” she said, as noted by SWNS.

woman at awards ceremony

Cartwright said people were “stunned” by her unique dress. (SWNS)

Dressmaker Hannah Wilde, 48, was happy to accommodate Cartwright’s unusual request for an evening dress.

“Hannah completely broke the case,” Cartwright said.

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To make the dress, Wilde used six extra-large hi-vis vests.

She deconstructed the vests, then used the fabric to cut out the dress pattern pieces.

Making the dress took “a little less than a week,” Wilde said.

woman in high visibility dress

Kelly Cartwright’s unusual dress was made from six extra-large hi-vis vests. (SWNS)

“The response has been incredible and very positive, not only about the dress and its design, but also the meaning behind it,” Wilde told SWNS.

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Cartwright’s bold choice in fashion may also have started a trend, Wilde said.

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“I’ve had requests from all over the country to make similar clothes for other people,” she said.

“And I had lots of bookings for next year’s wedding season after the dress was seen online.”

For more lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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