Another year, another new fashion season but in these straitened times there's no need to spend, spend, spend - much better to think of fashion as a marathon, not a sprint, and single out the pieces with real staying power. To help you on your way, we've selected 11 items that'll see you through 2011.
By Alyson Walsh
Picture: Chloe Spring Summer 2011
Give a tired winter wardrobe the kiss-of-life with an injection of eye-popping, spring colour. Opt for a classic shapes - a reefer jacket, pencil skirt, or a pair of cigarette pants - that work as essential wardrobe basics, or if you're feeling really colour shy, stick to accessories. Remember, easy does it.
Jacket, £179, top £79 and trousers £129 all 8-16, Comptoir des Cotonniers (020 7792 9580)
With ballerina chic gracing the catwalks at Chanel and Chloé and the silver screen in Black Swan - it's really no surprise when high street fashion goes bop. Make reference to the dance-inspired look in a pleated maxi skirt and vest top, and don't forget a classic wrap cardi for warm-up.
Maxi skirt, £55, camisole top, £6, both 6-20, belt, £7.50 and necklace, £16 Marks and Spencer
After the maxi comes the midi. Banish all thoughts of Barbara Woodhouse because this is the season's most-wanted skirt shape. Sensible yet surprisingly flattering, this style looks best with a short, sharp jacket, belted-in at the waist.
Hat, £29.99, fringed top, £54.99 and Matilda skirt, £24.99 both 6-18,platforms, £69.99, 3-9 River Island
Complete the look with a pair of fabulous wedges - the perfect way to add stature to floaty maxi skirts and flared trousers. We love this tan leather pair from Land's End's Canvas range.
Wedge sandal, £60, 3-8, Canvas
Add a glamorous, disco-tastic spin to any occasion with a slinky one-piece. Just as flattering as a Little Black Dress and twice as cool, but you'll have to wait for this M&S version - it's not in store till May.
Jumpsuit, £79, 6-20, belt £15, Marks and Spencer
Perfect for Mediterranean holidays, laid-back parties and lounging on the sofa. If you don't own one already, it's time to channel Talitha Getty in Marrakech and splash out on a colourful maxi dress.
Dahlia maxi dress, £59.99, 6-18, and wedges, 3-9, £54.99 both River Island
The seventies influence is still going strong which is good news because wide leg trousers are always a flattering summer option. This year though the key is co-ordinate neutral colours and give the illusion of a longer, leaner more luxurious silhouette.
Military jacket, £249 and palazzo pants, £169 both 8-18, Hobbs Limited Edition
No need to spend a month's salary on an over-priced leather bag, simply opt for a timeless tote that goes with everything - a good everyday accessory not a whacking great overdraft, is all you need.
Battersea Park tote, £249, Radley
Fuchsia pink and neon brights may be hot news for summer but they're not the easiest shades to carry off. Much better to choose a softer tone that flatters the complexion and looks both grown-up and gorgeous.
Silk empire coat dress, £249, 8-18, Hobbs Limited Edition
On days when the wedge heels are being given a rest, keep it simple with pair of fabulous flats. Sensible sandals were seen on the spring/summer catwalks at Marni and Stella McCartney, do we need to say more?
Amalfi sandal, £95, 36-41, Russell & Bromley (in store at the beginning of February)
A gorgeous silk tunic adds a touch of retro- fabulous style to slim-fitting trousers and pencil skirts - and when summer sleeves make the top ten (oops make that eleven) it's definitely time to celebrate. Hooray!
Josette silk top, £180 and cobalt skinny trouser, £180 both 6-16, mini purse belt, £99 and platform sandal, £260 all Jaeger
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