The New Way To Embrace Layering

This post was supposed to be a piece in praise of the pant suit, in honour of Hilary Clinton, the first female president of the United States. I had my two-piece pressed and ready to wear today, to be paired with a T-shirt and trainers for a more low-key slant on head-to-toe tailoring. But I didn't have the heart to wear it?this morning. I chose black trousers and a black knit instead - a more modern take on'mourning I guess.

Can a piece on the new layering lift my spirits, and yours? Doubtful, but I'll?have a go ... Remember when wearing a dress over trousers was cutting edge, innovative and the mark of a true fashion innovator? That was more than?15 years ago (when there was a Clinton in the White House!), but today?it's simply the fashion norm, a style signifier certainly but not pioneering. These days, layering a dress over a skirt or a skirt over a dress is the new way to make your fashion mark.

From an entirely practical point of view, it's a great way to add length to your look. I have a silk Zara dress at home which I love, but it's an awkward length and doesn't feel right either with heels or flats, so I wear it over a thin knit midi skirt?that hits my calves at just the right point. Because it skims my body, it doesn't add any extra bulk to my silhouette, but actually makes me feel more streamlined. Plus the mix of textures makes the entire outfit feel that little bit more interesting and unique to me.

Wrap skirts are fantastic for throwing over dresses, especially if the dress is?a piece you feel is a little unforgiving around your bum and thighs. Just make sure you create a defined waist to balance out the drape of the skirt. Alternatively, try a wrap dress over a midi skirt for added interest and comfort - sometimes?a wrap dress can reveal a little too much leg when you walk, so having a skirt underneath offers peace of mind. Plus, it's a great opportunity to play with prints and colours.

Here's a little inspiration from the stars of the street.

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