Skirts over trousers: the final fashion frontier? Our insider experts translate the season’s trickiest trend.
Hero image: Top, £95, trousers with skirt, £195, bag, £69, and shoes, £225, all Reiss
Model shots: Rex Features and Getty Images
"Layering is so key for a/w 2012. Use different textures, such as leather and chiffon, for an edgier, more modern feel – perfect for an urban look. I love mixing sweatshirts with dressier fabrics for a relaxed feel. It’s all about not trying too hard! A cropped trouser is the perfect length under a clean mini skirt – wear with an oversize knit to balance out proportions and finish with sharp pumps in optic white."
Rebecca Osei-Baidoo, Womenswear Buyer for Browns
"The key to neo-classic layering is the correct mix of lengths to give the right silhouette. A tunic over a cigarette trouser is ideal, both in structured fabrics like wool or tweed. I also like layering a thin top, such as a sharp white shirt, with a fine-knit jumper and cinching at the waist with a belt. Then add a classic bouclé jacket. Fashion editors work this look effortlessly by draping a coat over their shoulders."
Luisa De Paula, Buying Director for my-wardrobe.com
£460, Vanessa Bruno Athé
£32, Dorothy Perkins
£295, Russell & Bromley
£240, Tommy Hilfiger
"Bold wallpaper prints bring the wow factor to classic pieces, making them even more covetable. When it comes to layering them, stick to clean lines and fitted tailoring – a cropped trouser with a kick flare under a long-line tunic should be form-fitting but not skin-tight. Wrapover styles also work well – then you can focus on clashing prints to your heart’s content. High stakes fashion, but worthwhile!"
Caren Downie, Fashion Director for asos.com
£440, Versus by Versace
"With the focus on proportion, print and texture this season, layering has come into its own. An easy way to adapt this is with accessories – a peplum belt can create the illusion of layers with minimum effort. Layering luxe knits is a great alternative eveningwear look, as seen at Marc Jacobs. Choose a slightly A-line skirt and contrast-texture trousers but stay in the same colour family to keep the look chic."
Holli Rogers, Fashion Director for net-a-porter.com
£45, Limited at Marks & Spencer
£1,800, Marc Jacobs