It's play time: Dig into your dressing-up box to perfect this season's fun, theatrical looks

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Circus performer

Seen at: Eley Kishimoto

Fashion makes clowns of us all sometimes, but drawing inspiration from the circus is a chic option this season. For aspiring ringmasters, H&M's veiled number (£19.99, www.hm.com) is a bargain and will double up for some Edwardian equestrian elegance. And Karen Millen's smart jacket (£199, www.karen millen.com) with mini-tails is theatrical without being fancy-dress. For a party option, Sass & Bide's harlequin print dress, (£365, www.asos.com) is embellished with of-the-moment sequins. And for those wanting to add just a touch of circus magic to their wardrobe, Tatty Devine's cute necklace (£38, www.tattydevine.com) is perfect.

Alice in Wonderland

Seen at: PPQ

This storybook look is sweet, although if you plan to don full Alice garb, you'll need to have been born this side of 1985. Nevertheless, no one can go wrong with neat knitted separates such as Whistles' red jumper (£70, www.whistles.co.uk). Likewise, a pair of patent T-bars from Studio TMLS (£135, www.studiotmls.com) are pretty but subtle, with a heel comfortable enough for scampering after white rabbits. A full A-line skirt (£55, www. topshop.com) is a strong shape for this autumn, and the notes on the hem are pleasingly whimsical. Finally, no aspiring Alice can be without the eponymous headband – Marc Jacobs' grown-up offering is just the thing (£50, www.netaporter.com).

Female dandies

Seen at: Givenchy

The androgynous look is a fashion staple, but this season there is much more fun to be had since it is not just any old average bloke, but the dandy that you need to channel. So alongside sharp tailoring, such as Nougat's high-waisted trousers (£75, www.nougatlondon.co.uk), you can indulge in romantic flourishes such as Hobbs' white dress shirt with a dashing velvet bow at the neck (£79, www.hobbs.co.uk). Telling the time becomes a style statement with an old-fashioned gent's pocket watch (£139.95, www.rmwilliams.com), while a pair of brogues are a chic option that avoids the pain of high heels (£100, www.hudson shoes.com).

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