Back on the straight and narrow

Audrey Hepburn eat your heart out, Fifties slacks are back - clowny or crisp, as everyday casual or evening wear
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The Independent Online
Leg side: (left to right)

Paul Smith, £125 Pure wool, check trousers. Very well made and not as close-fitting as the other trousers selected, which in fact means they are one of the more sensible options. They have a humorous edge to them - in full colour they almost look like clown trousers - but the result is that they have a gamine appeal. Available from Paul Smith Women, 40 Floral Street, London WC2; Changing Room, 8 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent; and the Clothes Shop, 8 Graville Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire.

Katharine Hamnett, £105 Lightweight canvas white trousers These are easy and comfortable for summer days, and will look great worn with a Breton shirt and little plimsolls. If you want the truly Fifties look, these ones are for you. Available from Katharine Hamnett, 20 Sloane Street, London SW1; and 38 Princes Square, Glasgow.

Miss Selfridge, £26.99 Pale green check trousers with Lycra. If you are not shaped like a beanpole then these are the better option as they are nearer to leggings than trousers. But it is a brave woman who wears these with a short top. These are great for slobbing about in, worn under a big jumper or a long, crisp shirt. These trousers are very reasonable but the fabric quality does not rival their more expensive counterparts. Branches nationwide 0181-910 1100

Romeo Gigli, £240 Lycra-linen mix. Available in purple, grey, powder blue, terracotta, black, and striped combinations. These evening trousers are one of the most popular lines from Romeo Gigli, and they really look wonderful on, although they are susceptible to ruching at the sides. Available from Romeo Gigli South Molton Street, London W1. Shoes from £89 Pied Terre, 31a High Street, Hampstead, London NW3.

French Connection, £60 Pure wool black-and-white check trousers .These have quite a classic look, you could almost imagine Audrey Hepburn striding around in a beatnik bar. Would be great worn with a black polo neck. Available from French Connection, 249 Regent Street, London W1. Branches nationwide, inquiries on 0171-580 2507.

Next week: men's check trousers

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