Toughen up your look by adding extra hardware – and not just in your toolbox. Gemma Hayward discovers why this season's studs are so riveting

Are you hard enough to embrace this season's studs, rivets and spikes? Not since punk's heyday have they been so prevalent. While it might not be every woman's idea of a good time to cover herself with the type of hardware that might customarily be found, well, at a hardware store, many designs are more subtle than that.

The most extreme takes on the look were the preserve of the catwalk: witness Julien Macdonald's cropped blazer with spiked epaulettes and Giles Deacon's spiked conical skirts.

The pieces that have made the rails are less sauvage. Nothing could be less aggressive than a grey wool cardie, surely? Marc Jacobs has dressed his up with discreet studs and Stella McCartney's black crepe trousers are covered from waistband to ankle with silver studs subtle enough to be mistaken for polka dots.

Accessories are more fierce. McQueen's pointed ankle boots with ultra-high spike heels and jet metal studs are aimed squarely at the type of woman no one in their right mind would mess with. Azzedine Alaïa has given the silver stud the mother of all lady-like makeovers. No one worth their fashion credentials can resist the allure of this designer's silver studded pumps with an ankle strap that resembles a couture dog collar, even though they may well not be so keen on the price tag. Even the simple – and quintessentially feminine – ballet pump is spiked, courtesy of Christian Louboutin.

On the high street, Mango's leather jacket is studded at the shoulders, lapels and cuffs. Zara has quite the finest studded miniskirts anyone could wish for. "Look out for this trend coming through next spring with zipper flats from Alexander McQueen, studded heels from Giuseppe Zanotti and Burberry Prorsum," says Holli Rogers, buying director at Investment shopping has never looked so dangerous.