I've had a few emails recently all concerning the same topic - the infamous gypsy skirt. An absolute wardrobe staple last Summer if you shopped on the high street, the general consensus this year is that it's a stonking great fashion don't. So why are Mango still flogging this number (shown on the catwalk and from the online store) for £50?


Well, regardless of what the glossies might tell you, you can incorporate your tiered skirt into your wardrobe for another year if you dare. It's all about how you wear it...

Let's get one thing straight. Gypsy, peasant, hippie chic is definitely not the look of the season. But that doesn't mean you can't keep on wearing your favourite skirts. There's nothing worse than being a fashion victim, so don't wear new trends if you don't actually like them. Stick to stuff that makes you feel good, not just 'trendy'. Many of us probably bought these long, voluminous skirts last year. You couldn't move on the high street for them, and since they're forgiving and flattering on most figures it's no wonder they took off in a big way. Why give them up just because Vogue says you have to?

If following fashion is important to you, you'll know that trends have changed dramatically this season. Skirts for Summer sit above or hit the knee, and tend to be pencil straight, 60s mini or bubble / tulip hemmed - the antithesis of last year. And that's no coincidence. In order to sell stuff, designers and shops need to create a demand for it by setting new trends. If this Summer was another one full of gypsy skirts and peasant blouses we'd all just keep wearing the ones we bought last year and nobody would buy any new stock.

So what do you do when you have wardrobes full of skirts that the fash pack would laugh at? Well first of all you could forget them and wear the skirt anyway - just tone it down with fitted, layered tops and wedges, platform sandals or espadrilles, rather than the jewelled flats and moroccan belts of last Summer. Get some wear out of your more subtle gypsy skirts - especially white ones or those with lace, ribbon or broiderie anglaise trims (anything white is big this Summer, hence the Mango skirt). Heavily embellished and sequinned circular skirts are probably best put in storage for the next time they're stylish (I give it three years).

Alternatively, you could turn that skirt into a dress! Don't laugh - it's an increasingly common way to breathe new life into a tired old skirt, and since every fashion writer is ranting on about this being the 'year of the dress' there's never been a better time to give this a go. Hitch the waist of the skirt up over your boobs and fasten a wide belt high up on the waist (to be really chic, try a Fendi B belt - or more likely its more affordable copy). Voila - you have a cute little strapless sun dress. Add a cropped cardigan or a little cotton blouse and some beads and you're set! Nobody will ever know it's last season's skirt (and if they do they'll just be jealous they didn't think of the idea first).