Traditional Tweed And Tartan Are On Trend This Autumn ��� We Share This Season���s Finest Offerings From Figure Hugging Skirts To Slip Dresses


Women will be wearing the trousers this winter - but will it be pegs, high-waisted or ankle skimmers? Our expert gets into her stride

Updated: 15:04 EST, 1 September 2008

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There are two types of women in this world. The type who sleep with married men and don't even say sorry, and the type who have morals, and standards.

No, sorry, that is a different article. I got a bit confused there. The two types of women I am going to talk about today are those who wear trousers, and those who are only ever seen in skirts and dresses.

I am most firmly in the first camp (no, not the trollopy one, the one that wears pants).

>Enlarge   mo and Burberry ProrsumTime to leg it: Givenchy, Ferragamo and Burberry Prorsum set the scene for  the season's statement strides

Time to leg it: Givenchy, Ferragamo and Burberry Prorsum set the scene for the season's statement strides

Not because I hate my legs, although that is the reason most people think women wear trousers (I actually think trousers are much more forgiving if you are worried about your bottom or hips), but because I hate what wearing a skirt says about you: that you are feminine, a pushover, flirty with men and liable to burst into tears at the slightest provocation.

In a skirt or dress you don't stride purposefully, you teeter around, worrying about showing your knickers in a strong wind.

Well, thanks be to the Lord, but this autumn, skirts and dresses are déclassé.

For so many seasons now, the dress has been everything, sold to us by the theory that when you wear a dress, you can just throw it on and not have to worry about being co-ordinated.

That is nonsense. A dress throws up all sorts of awkward questions: have I waxed my legs? Should I wear opaque or sheer tights? What if I am cold? A jacket often looks weird over a dress, a coat is invariably the wrong length and a cardigan over a print dress hopelessly twee.

WHAT TO WEAR AND HOW TO WEAR THEM

The best trousers around this winter are in wool, and often in soft brown or moss tweed. They sit either on the waist or just above, are cut generously in the leg without being too sail-like, and have a turn-up.

To avoid looking 'swamped' in this new style, you need to make sure you don't wear them too long.

What most annoys me about buying trousers is they are invariably made for women who are 7ft tall, which means you always have to get them turned up (only M&S does a good job of varying the length of the inside leg).

When faced with over-long trousers, do as I do, and insist the sales assistant pins them on you at the right length, with the shoes you plan to wear, and that she gets them turned up professionally for you, at no extra cost (the customer is now king, remember, in these cash-strapped times).

It is really important you spend as much as you can on a pair of trousers - otherwise they just won't fit properly.

Gap used to be great for simple tailored trousers for work, but the new-season collection of tweedy, mannish trousers uses fabric that is too thin to ever hang or wear well.

Far, far better are the trousers in Zara, which, after a few seasons in the doldrums, chasing every passing fashion trend, is back doing what it does best: the working woman's wardrobe. I really liked the mannish, soft tweed trousers with turn-ups at only £49.

If you are worried you are the wrong shape for trousers, then visit Banana Republic, where staff have been trained to fit trousers properly, and can offer three different shapes.

If you don't want to look too businesslike (although please, please, please do not buy one of the many pairs of taupe, wide, drawstring linen monstrosities in all the shops right now; you will resemble an elephant) then trousers can be infinitely softened.

MY CHOICE THIS SEASON

At present, I am wearing my wide, cropped Margaret Howell pants with a very fine knit, close-fitting raspberry cardigan from Zara and raspberry patent Burberry platforms: far sexier, I think, than a floral puffball skirt.

I always think, too, that unless you are Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wide trousers need a feminine heel, either chunky or stiletto.

Margaret Howell also has a gorgeous pair of khaki peg trousers. I do like this new shape for winter, but as it is a bit baggy on the thigh, tapering on the ankle, if you are in the least bit pear-shaped, far more flattering is a pair that is wide all way down, or gently flared.

I have already chosen my perfect winter outfit: a navy tuxedo with wide trousers that skim my ankle bone - a too-long trouser covering your heel is way too Victoria Beckham - a high waist, and a curvy jacket, all from the YSL sale.

But in case you are still worried that the only option this winter is to dress in a masculine, tailored suit, fear not.

   

More from Liz Jones for The Mail on Sunday...

 

There are lots of colourful, ' hippie' trousers about to land in the shops: I love the purple satin flares at Burberry Prorsum (these look great under a long tunic top if you hate your bottom), and the purple velvet slouchy ones at Ferragamo.

If your style is more grungy, the other trouser available this winter is the skinny drainpipe, part of the daftly named 'soft goth' look that will be everywhere. The best way to wear this shape (Topshop's black leather pants are perfect, and really soft) is with chunky heels, a long, tailored jacket with its sleeves pushed up, and loads of costume jewellery at your neck, following the lead of Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, whose black leather trousers made every other designer's offerings seem hopelessly tame.

A great alternative, too, is to wear jodhpurs. Hobbs has a lovely chocolate wool pair that look great tucked into this season's knee-high boots; the best I have found are proper chunky riding boots, from Mountain Horse.

Funky, too, is the new 'biker' trouser, with all sorts of padding at the knee (J Brand has a reasonably priced pair of skinny bikers): these look fabulous with either strappy heels, or with proper biker boots by Miu Miu or, to be more authentic, by Norton or Triumph.

The short skirt and black tights 'little girl' look of last winter is as out of date, thankfully, as last summer's uniform of Ugg boots with shorts and bare legs.

The best thing about wearing trousers is that you will look grown up, and be taken seriously. What more could you ask, really, of a simple garment?

Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1051119/LIZ-JONES-The-Fashion-Addict-wears-trousers.html

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