Just mention the word tweed and most of us think of frumpy, itchy clothes that add pounds and make you look like Miss Marple. But this season designers have reworked the material and it has emerged as one of the key fabrics to wear with just about anything. It can even be sexy.

There are various ways to wear tweed. Sportmax has defined the college- girl look, teaming knee-length skirts with stripey sweaters. If you want to buy one staple item, make it Karen Millen's simple tweed trousers - she's given them a sexy twist, adding an embroidered and beaded cummerbund, making them sober enough for the office and glitzy enough for those evening soirees. If you're in doubt about colours then stick to the classic black- and-white combination. Tracey Boyd's fringed skirt is the perfect length and shape in this colour and looks great worn with brights, but it also leaves you the option of playing safe with black or cream on top.

If you're still not convinced about wearing tweed next to your skin, then wear it on your feet. Treat yourself to a pair of tweed mules from Gina, but at pounds 315 I suggest you keep them for very special occasions only.

Photographs by BECKY SMALL

Styled by Zoe Brown.

Make-up by Sharon Willmore using Cosmetics A la Carte.

Hair by Giuseppe Bulzis at Windle using Bumble & Bumble. (tel: 0171 497 2393).

Stylist assisted by Gwyneth Holland.

Photographer assisted by Rebecca Hassett.

Modelled by Shona.

Shot at Alphaville studios (tel: 0171 490 8889)

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Pale pink ruffle-knit top (sizes s-l), pounds 205, Joseph, 26 Sloane Street, London SW1 (tel: 0171 590 6200). Tweed fringed skirt (sizes s-l), pounds 189, Boyd, JW Beeton, 68 Ledbury Road, W11 (tel: 0171 385 7782) Pink tights (sizes s-l), pounds 6, Aristoc, selected department stores nationwide (tel: 01773 525520). Tweed mules (sizes 3-8), pounds 315, Gina Couture, 9 Old Bond Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 409 7090)

Pink/white tweed sleeveless polo neck (sizes 8-14), pounds 115, Iceberg, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 629 1234). Grey tweed bag, pounds 30, French Connection Buy Mail (tel: 0870 606 3285)

Grey tweed trousers with detachable beaded belt (sizes 8-14), pounds 110; grey knit poncho (sizes 8-14), pounds 80, both Karen Millen, 22-23 James Street, Covent Garden, London WC2 (tel: 01622 664032). Cream "flokarti" wool rug (170x240cm), pounds 120, Habitat (tel: 0845 6010740)