Accessories special: It’s all in the detail

Red kitten heel sock boots, �38; ring bucket bag, from a selection; pleated midi, �45. All available at Next.

It’s high time to find yourself that trophy bag or pair of boots or maybe a fur scarf. Stephanie Smith selects hot picks from the High Street.

Fashion wisdom has it that the quickest, easiest and often most effective route to a hot new trend is via accessories.

Floral boots, �75; pencil skirt, �28; white shirt, from a selection, all at River Island.

This is the age of the trophy accessory, and it’s all about making a statement. The right bags, boots and shoes express personality (if not perhaps individuality), taste (or, in some cases, a lack of it) and, sometimes, wealth, with premium British brand and designers Burberry, Stella McCartney and Mulberry at the top of the most-wanted list. The Victoria Quarter in Leeds boasts its very own stand-alone Mulberry store, plus Vivienne Westwood, Coach, Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors, and that’s just for starters, so if it’s standout bags you’re looking for, it’s one of the best accessories showcases you are likely to find in the UK.

Rather than thinking of accessories as finishing touches to outfits and wardrobe, it can be a good idea to consider them as starting points. Finding yourself drawn to a certain style of shoe, boot or bag will tell you the direction towards which you naturally feel an affinity, which will certainly help when putting whole looks together that you feel comfortable wearing.

In some cases, a few carefully chosen accessories are all that you will need to lift, for example, a dress, that you already have, instantly into a fresh new season.

Dressing up is the new dressing down, which means that, after seasons of athleisure and street-sporty trends, we have become ever-so-slightly tired of off-duty fashion.As Christmas approaches, thoughts in any case turn towards dressing up, and most of us are now more than ready for a phase of glamour and statement dressing. Accessories, including, footwear, bags and scarves, are pointing the way ahead and opening wide a whole new closet, bringing colours, textures, patterns and shapes to buy into.

Slouch boot, �179; floral dress, �89; belt, �32. All And/Or collection at John Lewis.

The High Street is where to find beautifully designed and crafted pieces for relatively reasonable prices, and they are dropping and lining up in store now.

This autumn/winter, the Seventies’ revival shows no sign of losing enthusiasm. Midi skirts and dresses – especially with flippy hemlines in light, floaty fabrics, often floral print – are a key trend, teamed with knee-high boots. You might already have such a dress from last season, or from many seasons ago, languishing at the back of your wardrobe. Dig it out. Slouchy knee-high heeled boots have the required relaxed vibe, and if they are burgundy or brown suede, you can’t go far wrong. Belt your dress with a worked or crafted leather belt, or a woven one, or one featuring intricate embroidery detail from around the world, and you could go one step further and add a fedora hat.

A crafted bag, folkish and embroidered, is good too, with crafting a major trend on the autumn/winter catwalks, bringing us also embroidered frocks and tunics with tassels. Check out Anthropologie at Victoria Gate Leeds for fail-safe options.

Printed accessories, especially floral printed ones, are an obsession of the season, so look out for boots, bags and shoes that either feature prints or are covered in it, from cute mini bags to opulent over-the-knee boots.

Shangri La bag, �99; Lurex knit dress, �139, both at East.

There are printed scarves, too, from neat neck-tie silk squares to luxurious and tactile velvet and faux fur shawls. These are all easy and effective ways of injecting both colour and pattern into any outfit.

Seventies-style gogo boots are made for pairing with cropped wide jeans, while bags are carried by short ring handles and long chain ones. White and red are go-to colours for these and indeed most accessories for this autumn/winter.

Find more fashion tips and top High Street picks on:

Email:; Instgram: @YPStyleTeam

Miracle ankle boots, �85, at Topshop.

Chiltern bag, �475, in soon; faux fur shawl, from a selection; blouse �89; trainer, �85. All at Hobbs.

Red velvet clutch bag, �35; pink satin shirt, �45. Both at Monsoon.

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