Thursday 27 October 2016

Bairbre Power on jumpsuits and playing it straight with trousers

Published 19/04/2015 | 02:30

Jersey striped tee, €22, navy pleat-front wide leg trousers
Jersey striped tee, €22, navy pleat-front wide leg trousers
Khaki coat, €94, 'Isabella' jeans, €56, tee, €31
Katherine Hepburn. Photo: Getty Image
Khaki jumpsuit with epaulettes, €69, Kylie gold sandals, €60, from Loved by Mollie at Oasis
Carvela Lido

Katharine Hepburn delivered a timeless masterclass in how to wear trousers with panache - favouring wide-legged, mannish cut pants, and softening the look with the addition of a loose fitting, white shirt cinched in at the waist with a belt. Hepburn deserves respect as a fashion maverick who espoused pants at a time when they were considered unconventional, even subversive. The actress gave androgynous fashion a feminine twist and years later, we've come to rely on trousers 24/7. 'The Dress' has been getting so much attention in recent seasons, it was only a matter of time before trousers started to attract attention again.

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The announcement of Hillary Clinton's campaign last week will certainly put the spotlight back on her signature pant suit but for most people, trousers are worn as separates rather than full statement suits. Here, the mania has been for a handy uniform of skinny jeans based on a formula of black in winter and white in summer. The Easter arrival of good weather should trigger the appearance of the white linens soon and this year, I propose we mix it up more by adding in more culottes and wide-legged trousers.

Personally, I love palazzos with a touch of Chanel chic, worn with Breton stripes. Mollie King from The Saturdays impressed me with her 'Loved by Mollie' capsule collection for Oasis which includes a number of strong, trouser-based looks. Park any reservations you may have about wide leg trousers being the preserve of the super tall. At 5 ft 4 in, Mollie doesn't look at all dwarfed by the navy wide leg trousers. She called it well, I thought, with her contemporary take on 'Le Breton,' adding contrasting stripes of lemon and peach. Mollie is a classic dresser and she told me how she loves nothing more than a white shirt - so she really is very much on the same page as Katharine Hepburn.

While I do think guys can look poncey in white jeans (does Hugh Grant have any other look?) they are ideal for girls who want to move seamlessly from desk to dinner on long summer days. This season I've parked years of resistance to khaki after seeing Mollie's duster coat and jumpsuit. I know many girls fight the notion of jumpsuits for fear they make their rear ends look long, but the draw string belt defines your waist and softened up with gold accessories/ sandals, this khaki jumpsuit is a million miles from M*A*S*H fatigues. Hot Lips, eat your heart out.

If the shoe fits...

Espadrilles are undoubtedly 'the' flat of the season and the Carvela 'Lido' features grey suede and serrated sole, €110, Brown Thomas


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