5 tiny tweaks to breathe new life into your wardrobe

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While we're stuck between summer and autumn, Hannah Banks-Walker has discovered the easy, affordable tricks to jazz up your existing wardrobe

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By Hannah Banks-Walker on

We’ve reached that rather strange point in the year when, technically, it’s still summer, but if you were to use the high street as a gauge, you’d be hard-pressed to think it’s anything other than Bonfire Night. The shops are filling up with jumpers, coats and a whole load of tartan (let me at it), while my local supermarket suggests we all start plotting our Halloween costumes now. Unless you’re Heidi Klum, I’d suggest there are slightly more pressing matters, such as this: what, in the name of Ariana Grande’s ponytail, are we supposed to buy when it’s too hot for tartan but not hot enough for the summer dresses we’ve been wearing throughout the heatwave? Well, when your wardrobe gives you lemons, I say that we should all make lemonade. And by making lemonade, I mean accessorise.

Yes, accessories are to an in-between-seasons wardrobe what lemonade is to Beyoncé: invigorating, uplifting and an all-round banger. For as little as £3.50, I’ve found the high street’s best new add-ons that will make you feel like you’re wearing a whole new outfit when, in fact, all you’ve done is throw on your favourite jeans, a T-shirt and a jazzy little accessory. Here, then, is how to avoid total and utter sartorial boredom…

Buy a belt

I admit, this is hardly groundbreaking advice. But I speak not of the plain old belts hanging out at the back of your wardrobe – rather, I want to address the new styles on the block. I am entirely obsessed with Uterqüe’s colourful checked belt, for example, which is styled wonderfully on the website with 50 shades of cream. Or, & Other Stories has a great snake-print belt, which is handy because a) it will jazz up absolutely anything and b) animal print is A Big Deal for autumn, which I know you already know. For the minimalists among you, Violeta’s pretty pearl detail belt will make anything feel instantly fancy.


Wear an Alice band

No, not that Fergie. The original Fergie, who is apparently the unlikeliest style icon of the year. But whether or not you’re attempting to dress like peripheral members of the royal family, hairbands are a winner whichever way you look at it. I have previously written on the delights of such an accessory, my main point of attraction being the fact that I can get up approximately 10 minutes before leaving the house, safe in the knowledge that popping one of these on my head achieves two things: I look like I’ve made an effort, without having to actually do anything to my unruly hair. Try Anthropologie for the best of the bunch.


Try trainers with your tailoring

In a lot of the new-season lookbooks that have been appearing in my inbox, there has been one recurring styling trick and that’s pairing trainers with smart trousers, skirts and even full-on suits. It’s a really easy way to make your workwear feel more modern (if you’re allowed to wear informal footwear to the office) or a simple trick for making your weekend outfits feel more pulled together without seeming too over the top. A lot of the high street is paying homage to Balenciaga’s multicoloured Dad trainers – like this pair from Zara – which seem, quite frankly, entirely terrifying. For something more wearable, look to the new offerings from Vans, Converse and this fab pair from Adidas.


Switch big earrings for a statement necklace

Forget those sparkly, clunky necklaces that became popular a few years ago – this year’s statement pieces are sleek, stylish and will jazz up anything, from a plain white T-shirt to a black roll neck when it’s colder. From Zara’s 90s-style chains to Cos’ graphic necklace, wear with your jeans, a bit of lippy and you’ve got a ready-made outfit for a night-out, sans faff.


style a scarf

Whether you find an old one stuffed in a drawer somewhere or buy a brand new one, you really can’t go wrong with a silky scarf. Tie it round your handbag, wrap it round your wrist, wear it as a neckerchief or put it in your hair – either way, it’s a quick, straightforward trick to make your outfit feel a bit more interesting. Lovely brand Radish has just launched its own printed styles, while H&M’s latest collaboration with GP & J Baker, the British wallpaper and textile house, includes silky scarves for just £6.99.


Click here for the new-season accessories edit 


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Photo: Getty Images 
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Hannah Banks-Walker
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