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iStyle: Layer up

The skirt and trousers combo has returned. But fear not, says  Hannah Fillis – this is not just another Nineties revival

When designers sent models strutting down the catwalks in sheer maxi skirts over cigarette trousers and billowing tunics over Seventies style flares, it was in all honesty a little unnerving. The phrase “skirts-over-trousers” has the majority of us recoiling at memories of Nineties fashion criminality, thanks to a then widespread contagion of wide-leg trousers with a mini skirt stitched to the front. But rest assured, on closer inspection this new season version is of a far different guise, less over-excited children’s television presenter, more sophisticated red carpet rebel.

For a start the skirt and trousers aren’t attached. There is no side tie to affix what is effectively an apron to a pair of polyester boot-cut pants and this definitely won’t be a style populating the country’s school discos.

The new look comes straight from the catwalk, with Celine, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta and Haider Ackermann all showing various versions of the two part style. With no hard and fast rules, skirts came in an assortment of guises, from block coloured mini skirts to ethereal chiffon maxis, silhouette skimming pencil skirts and sixties A-line shifts.

For the brave, Gucci proffered an array of matching tunics and wide-legged trousers in summery mouth-watering hues. But the smart money is on the sophisticated grown-up grunge option favoured by Dries Van Noten. The Belgian inspired a relaxed take on the layered look, mixing prints and patterns – tartan and  florals looked especially good – for an ensemble brimming with effortless cool.

Perhaps the best thing about this new season  look is that it can be put together from items  that already fill every woman’s wardrobe.

Whether you choose solid colours or vivid prints, this is a trend  that welcomes experimentation.

So embrace the mix-and-match element, and enjoy the satisfaction of being able to  give your standard attire a  new styling spin.