Wednesday 23 January 2019

How to wear... wide trousers

Forget your skinnies and bring some volume to your spring wardrobe,

Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore

Meadhbh McGrath

Just like her future sister-in-law, Meghan Markle has already had a huge influence on our wardrobes. But unlike Kate Middleton, Meghan prefers trousers to skirts and she has been held responsible for the revival of the wide leg.

While she can't take all the credit - Victoria Beckham has been championing a wider cut for the past couple of years, while voluminous trousers ruled the runways at Roksanda, Tibi and Chanel - almost all of her clothing and accessories sell out within hours of her wearing them.

So it was no surprise that when the future duchess stepped out in a pair of said trousers on a visit to a radio station in Brixton, and then later on a trip to Edinburgh, internt searches for 'wide leg black trousers' soared by 40pc, according to global fashion search platform Lyst.

These are not, it is important to note, flares. Super-sized flares made a return around the Irish social scene last winter, but it's a micro-trend better left to the influencers. The 70s favourite tends to be tight around the thigh, then A-line from the knee, a look that's not only goofy but frequently unflattering on all but the tallest, slimmest figures. Spring's silhouette is far more accessible - the cut is high-waisted and the legs are extra-wide.

For shorter women, the key is to strike a balance in proportion: if opting for voluminous trousers, go for a slim, tailored fit on top. Julianne Moore (right) is just 5ft 3in but is the picture of chic in wide-cut trousers, a sharp blazer and ruffled blouse. Petite frames will also need a pair of heels, but don't worry, a mid block heel are just as stylish (and far more comfortable) than skyscraper stilettos.

In terms of colour, Meghan's favourite black is most popular, but grey, navy and smart checks look just as sophisticated. For a more casual take, you'll also find earthy tones of tan, khaki and beige. There are plenty of printed versions around the high street, but stick to smaller prints if you're worried about your thighs, and go for a side striped version like New Look's floral pair to elongate the leg.

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You might run a mile from white or pastel skinnies, but the paler shades work surprisingly well in a wider cut - especially in creamy cord or River Island's dusty pink.

For evening, try a co-ordinating set of satin trousers and blouse with strappy sandals and statement earrings. Wide trousers are perfect officewear, as evidenced by Amal Clooney (left) in gorgeous checked trews, but they can be dressed down too. For an off-duty look, pair with a striped Breton top and fun accessories.

Irish Independent

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