"And hats. Hats, hats, hats, for career girls." Beloved accessory of fashion legend Diana Vreeland, but now a long forgotten sartorial statement.instagram/erdem

Freshers have arrived, term has started and that first deadline has already been set. If you’re feeling that stress that only retail therapy can alleviate, then treat yourself — accessories are the best and most versatile way to spice up your wardrobe for the new year, and keep things fresh as the nights grow longer and the cold closes in.

Hats were everywhere on the runway this season – Stephen Jones’ at Dior were even some of Anna Wintour’s favourite accessories of the month – and in my opinion they remain a much underused and undervalued accessory. Want to make a statement? Then slap a say-something hat on and strut down King’s Parade.

Meanwhile, the ascendant trend of '70s-leaning silhouettes and garments in both menswear and womenswear has led to models from New York to Milan stepping out in boots. Boots add height and even drama to an outfit, while being a lot more stable than other heels and a safe enough all-weather option to face the rapidly approaching British winter.

No matter what your personal style, there are myriad options out there, so here are my top picks to get yourself in chic shape for the term ahead.

Business-ready retro

120mm Raid platform boots, Simon Miller, £670, farfetch.com; Snake-effect 100mm ankle boots, Paris Texas, £674, farfetch.com; Fedora hat in olive, Warehouse, £25, asos.com; Bente 55mm knee-high boots, Wandler, £620, farfetch.com; Faux fur roll back bucket hat, ASOS Design, £14, asos.com

Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin. With pastel blouses, pussybow sweaters, chunky belts and, above all, the tailored blazer, the working women of the early '80s punched a firm hole in the cultural glass ceiling, and reached out from the small and silver screens to become an example to a generation. Conquering the business world of men became inextricably linked to fashion, and power dressing associated with establishing authority and respect in male-dominated industries.

In that spirit, take some inspiration from the golden age of boots and fuel the growing obsession for vintage styling – whether it’s '70s-style knee-high kitten heels or a glam platform. The high street and the runway have been dominated by earth tones, so take advantage and grab boots in a warm tan or soft brown. For some eccentric charm, snakeskin or croc leather boots are a perfect addition, and are on offer more widely than ever. Top it all off with a splash of lilac or a complementary dark green.

Country boy

Mariner in brown check, ASOS Design, £12, asos.com; Casket corduroy hat, Yohji Yamamoto, £350, farfetch.com; Reef Road fedora hat, Nick Fouquet, £1,050, farfetch.com; Ankle boots, Tommy Hilfiger, £135, farfetch.com

I feel like I can barely leave the house without spotting a flat cap, but their raging popularity is hardly a novel concept – they’ve been around in some form since the 14th century, and were inalienably associated with the working-class male wardrobe until their more mainstream exposure in some classic early 2000s fashion moments thanks to celebrities like Robbie Williams.

In recent times though it feels remiss not to attribute their latest surge in popularity on the high street with the worldwide sensation that is Peaky Blinders, and they’ve come to represent a melding of the sartorially refined and a rural edge. Personally I prefer a newsboy cap that brings a bit more Depression-era New York than rural West Country, but to complete the gentleman-farmer look, desert boots are a must, and are also an essential all-rounder. If you’re really looking to change it up, channel a little bit of Montana rancher with a wide brim fedora.

Bratz throwback

Leopard print hat, Yves Salomon, £178, farfetch.com; Elkins leather chunky western heel boot, Jeffrey Campbell, £175, asos.com; Smiley emoji bucket hat, £190, farfetch.com; Dark red lace up chunky block heel boots, New Look, £29.99, newlook.com; Tweed biker hat, Manokhi, £188, farfetch.com

Although it might not be the first reference you think of, I defy anyone to reason that Bratz dolls aren’t a fashion touchstone. They captured the often unexplainable fashion of the 2000s and, in spite of their wildly unrealistic proportions, they seemed to predict some very real trends. Their “passion for fashion” remains so legendary that it has spawned Instagram accounts who regularly update the dolls' look to match modern trends.

Chunky block heels and high shine leather dominate the boots, with wedges and towering platforms for the more adventurous. Hats, however, are the main feature. Shake it up in animal print (almost definitely with matching coat), or don a chicly camp micro mariner’s cap and fall back on the unmistakably '90s Chanel-esque plaid or tweed for a kitsch twist.

Rave hiker realness

Andreas panelled hiking boots, Roa, £410, farfetch.com; P09HSM boots, Both, £313, farfetch.com; Leopard print cap, Versace Jeans Couture, £80, farfetch.com; Logo patch baseball cap, Versace Jeans Couture, £92, farfetch.com; Beanie with all over print in neon pink, BoohooMAN, £10, asos.com

Ever wondered what you really should wear to Glastonbury to survive the quagmire and still look the part? Wonder no more, the answer is here. Fashion’s predilection for utility wear shows no signs of stopping anytime soon – Spring/Summer men’s runways saw a Mad Max, post-apocalyptic level of functional-but-aesthetic looks. There’s something unendingly alluring about the stark contrast of rugged forms and vivid hues, and many designers broke from streetwear’s usual black and neutrals in a plethora of colourful offerings.

Go for a hyper-futurist metallic, or revisit the neon trend in a chunky soled boot, combining utilitarianism and powerful statement block colour. Pair with a beanie or, if you need some more flair, bring in another print or even an iridescent shade.

Flâneur chic

Pale pink leather-look slouch stiletto calf boots, New Look, £35.99, newlook.com; x Browns Ida 95mm slouchy boots, Amina Muaddi, £725, farfetch.com; Turned edge natural straw hat with changeable ties, ASOS Design, £14, asos.com; Papier wide brim hat, Gucci, £350, farfetch.com

There is almost no one more effortlessly stylish than Parisians – true sartorial elegance meets sexy nonchalance. This style-consciousness has long been associated with the trope of the flâneur, the idling and image-obsessed loafer, who wanders aimlessly. In spite of its far-from-positive connotations, I feel it must be time to reclaim the term to mean someone who is an acute observer of the everyday, and with it, the power of fashion-conscious dressing.

With the last few days of sunshine of the year still left, grab a straw or wicker hat to truly serve some rustic pre-emptive spring Dior. Stilettos are certainly the heel of choice, there is no alternative for that hypnotically rhythmical click-clack, but dress them down slightly in a neutral tan or light pink and a slouchy silhouette to keep it from feeling too dressed-up.

Pitch black glam rocker

Ghost print fisherman hat, Heron Preston, £150, farfetch.com; Nikita ankle boots, Eytys, £275, farfetch.com; Chunky heel ankle boots, 1017 Alyx 9SM, £873, farfetch.com

Black is universally flattering, and taking it to a glam rock level, with slightly grungy details and the rocking power of a stacked Bowie heel, is bound to stop it being monotonous.


Mountain View

Vulture’s top trends from Spring/Summer 2020

There’s nothing quite like a black leather boot, it’s a high-impact staple that can elevate a tracksuit to a failsafe killer outfit — perfect for looking put together and simultaneously laid back at an early morning DoS meeting. Utility wear in black is a favourite of streetwear brands, so capitalise with a waterproof hat to fight off even the most inclement weather.

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