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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 17 July 2018

Fashion notes: How to perfect the power trouser

There’s nothing subtle about the power trouser – whether it’s worn on a formal occasion or for a more casual affair, it attracts attention and provokes thought.
Wearing the trousers: a model for Badgley Mischka demonstrates how to wear the power trouser. Randy Brooke / WireImage
Wearing the trousers: a model for Badgley Mischka demonstrates how to wear the power trouser. Randy Brooke / WireImage

With Eid festivities under way, it’s an appropriate time to shed light on two evening-wear trends, which when worn together, can strike a beautiful balance in a rather unconventional example of beauty. This look goes beyond conventional definitions of feminine glamour, doesn’t contain any ballgown-style skirts or colourful floral prints. Instead, it’s somewhat masculine-inspired, with the defining feature of the outfit being the power trouser. The second trend that’s worthy of mention here has been termed “the new romance” by fashion editors worldwide, and encompasses an eclectic mixture of textures and cuts, giving fairy-tale femininity a revamped, retro uplift.

Lately, I have been obsessing over the power trouser – you will have definitely seen it around. These days, leggy-­looking style icons are a common sight, wearing ultra-flared white trousers, crisp and wonderful, or printed versions, dramatic and awe-inspiring. There’s nothing subtle about the power trouser – whether it’s worn on a formal occasion or for a more casual affair, it attracts attention and provokes thought. Combine this with pieces emblematic of the new romance trend, and you have an unexpectedly beautiful outfit, totally appropriate for this weekend’s Eid festivities.

The hardest part is finding the perfect power trouser. One that immediately caught my eye is the one pictured right – a traditional black-and-white woven kaffiyeh-scarf material used on wide-leg trousers, designed by Cecilie Copenhagen and available exclusively in the Middle East at Boutique 1. I find it easiest to work with monochrome trousers, because it gives you more flexibility with your top or blouse. It’s important to try on trousers when shopping. Don’t let long fitting room queues ­deter you – fit is of the utmost importance. You shouldn’t have a problem with the length, because that can be fixed with different heel heights, but you want to make sure the trousers hug you in the right places, are wide enough to achieve the dramatic effect and are flattering to your body shape.

Next, seek out a blouse for your ensemble. You may already have one hanging in your wardrobe. Because trousers, especially flared ones, can often come across as masculine, I like to pick out tops that carry an extra feminine touch. Lace is a prime example of a material to look for, and if your trousers are monochrome, you have complete freedom with colour. For that fresh new romance look, think about light nude and pastel shades. For a punchier, bold vibe, opt for jewel tones, or keep it classic in all black and white. Furthermore, seek out off-the-shoulder cuts for a head-to-toe on-trend summer ensemble.

Most women assume that when wearing wide-leg trousers, especially high-waisted versions, that shirts and blouses must be tucked in. While that’s often the preferred option, see how your outfit looks with your shirt untucked. If the top is on the longer side, the look could be really edgy and contemporary, but if it’s an awkward neither here-nor-there hemline, keep it tucked in, or you might end up looking mumsy.

Now you have a basic canvas, start adding accessories. This is the stage that will really dress up or down your look. With a pair of classic trainers or slip-ons, a tote bag and pair of stud earrings, you could have a great outfit for the day, appropriate for the workplace or lunchtime meetings. But with a pair of bejewelled heels, a beautiful cross-body bag or clutch and a statement necklace, your ensemble could definitely be considered evening wear – or Eid-wear, for a revitalising change from traditional kaftans and jalabiyas.

hlodi@thenational.ae