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Polish your look

Refresh your wardrobe with five classic additions

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Hurrah, it’s a new year and one of your resolutions is to add polish to your wardrobe. But, where do you start? Think about classic pieces that will refine your current rotation but never go out of style.

The sophisticated trench

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn only wore a few items of clothing but always looked fabulous. Her staples: a black dress, pearls, black heels and yes, a trench coat. She knew what she was doing. Ranging from expensive to cheap and cheerful, the trench has evolved into a modern-day must-have, complete with new shades and patterns.

The all-purpose blazer

This item works hard for your money. A flattering style (one to three buttons work best) camouflages a thick middle, adds curves to a boyish figure and dresses up a pair of jeans. The trick is to keep the cut close to the body, regardless of your shape. This doesn’t mean it must be tight fitting or that you need to buy one size too small. The blazer should be snug around the shoulders and stop just a few inches below your waist. Choose fabrics that last like durable cotton twill or a wool blend (preferably with stretch).

The perfect-fitting black pants

The key is to look for pants that fall in a straight line down from your hip. If the fabric pulls around the hip, bum or thigh area, don’t be afraid to put it back or try the next size up. Note: floaty fabrics with stretch are most forgiving.

The expensive-looking bag

Remember, it should only look as if it cost a lot. A bag in a rich texture or shade (or both) easily updates a five-year-old winter coat. Keep an eye out for a luxurious-looking finish such as mock croc or a mix of fabrics such as leather and tweed. Beware of patent leather or light colours, which scratch and mark easily. And if you’ve already got a black bag, why not turn to ruby red, chocolate brown or creamy caramel?

The go-anywhere black heels

Black heels come around every season, but only a few styles cross over to become true classics. The pointy toe will always be a favourite because it creates a clean line, especially when you’re wearing black pants. And it’s a must-have when paired with a pencil-thin heel – yes, you can walk comfortably in these! When shopping, keep your needs in mind. If you intend to walk a lot, the perfect heel height is half an inch to one inch. This height also works with a variety of looks &ndash pencil skirts, jeans and cropped pants.