So it is no accident that at this time of year fashion editors turn their thoughts to accessories, which draw the attention away from clothes the wearer may already be bored with. And, of course, they make great Christmas presents too.
With this in mind, these items have been chosen both for their "giveability" and the way they add an extra dimension to outfits. Like all the best accessories, they fall into one of three categories: "sexy" (eg the seamed stockings), "good-looking" (the velvet sandals and the silver belt), or "luxury" (the Gucci watch, or anything else that costs more than a week's salary). Requests should go to Father Christmas asap. MELANIE RICKEY
Main picture: black, beaded, scallop-edge top, pounds 89.95, by Windsmoor Occasions, from Harrods, Knightsbridge, SW3, and department stores nationwide (enq: 0181 800 8022)
This page, clockwise from top left: stretchy silver fish-scale belt, approx pounds 25, by Otto Glanz, from Fenwicks Bond St, W1; Selfridges, Oxford St, W1, and House of Fraser Stores nationwide (enq: 0181 365 1711); red velvet "disco dolly" sandals, pounds 49.99, by Office, 55 South Molton St, W1, and branches (enq: 0181 838 4447); silver "pear" watch, pounds 495, by Gucci, 33 Old Bond St, W1, and 18 Sloane St, SW1 (enq: 0171 371 7795); seamed stockings, pounds 3.99, by Jonathan Aston, from department stores nationwide