The skirt-trouser dilemma

Let’s not skirt around the issue; on paper the idea of wearing a skirt over a pair of trousers may send fashion-bending shivers down your spine and recollections of that all-too-dubious mid-Nineties skirt/trouser ensemble may lurch to mind.

But, before you break down and cry take a look at the catwalk’s collections for skirt/trouser combos that spark inspiration rather than fear. Long gone are skorts and slouchy trousers, masquerading as skirts, this time around the trend triumphs in sophistication with stand-out garments that work side by side.


You still may be hesitant to herald the look as a top trend this season, but when the likes of Marc Jacobs, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel send skirt/trouser combos down the runway it’s hard to let the look pass by under our radar.

While Giambattista Valli showcased matchy tunic and trouser printed separates, Chanel teamed tweed coat dresses with their toning tweed bottoms or block-coloured cords. And Aquilano Rimondi Layered luxurious silk thigh-long blouses with corresponding 3/4s.

Dip hemmed dresses paired with skinny, smart trousers were seen at Osman and pencil skirts with wet-look leggings at Clements Ribeiro.

And it was Louis Vuitton who showcased heavy wool dresses skirting the ankles, so that only a hint of trouser leg was seen peeking below the hem lines. Whilst Raf Simons drove the message home in his debut collection for Christan Dior by pairing neat puff ball dresses and strapless gowns with perfectly tailored black cigarette trousers.

The look may well-have been a nineties novelty but this time skirt-trouser dressing is no passing gimmick as designers from Roksanda Ilinicic to Marc Jacobs are rolling the concept forward into spring/summer 2013.

So I asked what you fashion-followers thought about the new trend and fashionista Emma Watsons brave dress and trouser style selection at her premier of The Perks of being a Wallflower.


You said:


Very high fashion, but I don’t see it being worn on the high street to be honest! Leonie Roderick

The whole dress and trousers combo really doesn’t do it for me. The pieces look great in themselves – if only they were separate! Laura Freeman

I’m surprised I like it but I think it works because it is all black – add a colour in and it would look OTT. Emily Knightley

Finally we are allowed to wear a dress with a pair of pants and not have to say it’s called a tunic. Angie Hac 

I like the trend; I do wear a dress over trousers quite often. But I’d steer clear of strapless dresses and tops. Anne Brookes

Just no…saying that I’ll probably change my mind in a month or two and love it. Caitlin Mulford

Looks smart but would rather see the legs! Ben James

I like it but it makes her legs look shorter maybe some higher heels? Martha Reynolds

Maybe with tighter trousers – not these ones. Miluse Gebauerová


But while the jury’s still out on this one, here are our top tips for skirt-trouser dressing.

#1 A tunic over narrow trousers is the easiest way to wear this trend – it’s more streamlined than having the waistband of a skirt and trousers sitting on top of one another.

#2 To effortlessly tie a look together combine mixed prints in a monochrome palette.

#3 Try straight leg trousers with a slightly bell-shaped skirt to add not just volume, but comfort too.

#4 Peg trousers and a ruffled wrap-around tulle skirt, or a chiffon dip hem make a fabulous contrast for  super-glam look.

#5 Skinny trousers with a slight A-line skirt of the same shade, but a different texture, will make for a great casual look when paired with a sheer buttoned-up blouse, Autumnal jumper and ankle booties.

Piece of skirt!


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