Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Q&A: Are peasant skirts OK?

Q. I had a question about spring '08 fashion. I was wondering if peasant and broomstick skirts are too 2005 or are they acceptable to wear as casual skirts? Alison

A. Fashion is cyclical, and that couldn't be more true with some of the looks for this spring and summer. Lines from Etro, Derek Lam (right), Donna Karan, Sue Stemp, Anna Sui and Jovovich-Hawk at Target, among others, are channeling the 1960s and 70s (and early 2000s, if you want to include this century's earlier boho wave).

That means lots of flowy florals, billowy skirts and empire-waist, long dresses. If you've got a few prairie or broomstick skirts sticking around from the last hippie wave, go ahead and wear them if they're in acceptable condition.

Anything ripped, stretched or that no longer fits should be donated. To put a modern spin on those big skirts and make sure your frame doesn't get overwhelmed by the volume, a fitted top is a must, even if it's a T-shirt.

Shoes are a quick way to update a look as well: for long skirts, try flat, strappy gladiators. For shorter skirts, go bolder with a stacked cork heel or platform espadrille.

Try a wide belt to cinch your waist for a sleeker profile, and don't forget the accessories: bigger works better to help balance the proportion of the skirt. Try an arm full of big bangles, layering necklaces and/or dangly earrings.

ASK THE STYLE EDITOR: Have a fashion question? Post your question to Style editor Rachel Sutherland below. Your question may be answered in the paper.