The art of accessorising

When it comes to high style for high summer, it's the little things that matter.

Making a big fashion statement is easy. The difficulty lies in the detail. Choosing the right accessories is vital to creating the right look. You can pick all the right pieces for your high summer capsule wardrobe, but team them with the wrong finishing touches and you might as well lock yourself in a wardrobe and not emerge until autumn. You don't have to spend a huge amount on good accessories - although it often helps if you can - but you do have to spend time getting the details right. Colour is key for high summer. You might shy away from wearing a searing cerise dress or violently violet trousers, but wearing such scary colours as small but significant accent pieces is something most of us can cope with. Look for colourful belts, scarves (cool, lightweight silk, not heavyweight, winter woollies), bags, shoes, hats and jewellery. But - and this is an important but - don't be tempted to go completely matchy-matchy. It is incredibly old fashioned (and tediously timeconsuming) to insist on matching your shoes with your bag and your belt with your bangle. Be brave with your colour choices. Be brash and dare to clash.

If Natural fabrics and materials (with more than a hint of recyclability about them) are everywhere, and with good reason. Silk and cotton allow your skin to breathe and work with your body to combat the excesses of the high summer heat. And there is something gratifyingly back-to-nature about wearing jewellery made from wood, pebbles, shells or bamboo. It might sound like wishful thinking, but you can also actually look slimmer if you choose the right accessories (yes, really). Wear loose, draping accessories - long, ethnic-style necklaces and delicate summer scarves are particularly good choices - and they will draw the eye away from what you see as your problem areas. You can also use accessories to accentuate your best bits (again drawing attention away from the lumps and bumps you are not so keen on). If you have a naturally nipped in waist, buy a thick belt. If you have great calves, get yourself some gladiator sandals. If you are particularly proud of your curvy cleavage, get yourself a plunging necklace. And if you think your arms are charming, get yourself two, three or possibly four chunky and pleasantly clunky bangles. You see, the thing with accessories is that less isn't more. More is more. Just as you can't be too thin or too rich, you can never have too many accessories.

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