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7 ways to step out of your summer style rut

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Head-to-toe white is an ultra-elegant - if risky - look to try for summer, while a great pair of mules are a wardrobe workhorse Credit: Getty Images

By the middle of summer, your meagre warm-weather wardrobe is starting to feel like a style rut. It’s too hot for your failsafe wool trousers and you’ve worn your two go-to floral midi dresses too many times on repeat.

It's time to shake it up, but you don't know where to begin. Here we bring you seven new looks to try this summer - all tried-and-tested by the Telegraph fashion team.

Try white-on-white

Yes, this is a risky one, but it looks so polished it’s worth a try. Make sure at least one piece is tailored - perhaps a blazer with white straight-leg jeans and a plain tee. Keep it fairly loose and comfortable for that effortless aesthetic. Try & Other Stories' tie-waist blouse, £65, with  J Brand's straight high-rise Jules jeans, £255.

Team your all-white look with caramel suede pumps, a pair of white trainers or complement your jewellery with gold or silver sandals. Steer clear of red wine.

Crop it like it’s hot

The Duchess of Cambridge nailed summer dressing in her Massimo Dutti cropped wide-leg trousers at the Chelsea Flower Show in May Credit: WireImage

Take your lead from the Duchess of Cambridge and add a pair of cropped wide-leg trousers into your work wardrobe rotation. The silhouette looks chic and fresh, and they’ll work as well with a shirt as they would with a silk top. Dress them up with heeled sandals or down with plain white plimsolls. A twill pair in taupe, cream, navy or black will go with both brights and other neutrals, won’t crease much and are washing machine friendly. 

Kate's are from Massimo Dutti, which has a cream pair with a taupe side stripe, £59.95, and a sharp-looking black pair, £69.95, in its latest collection.

Double up on print

It may seem scary, but print-on-print is a great way to wear existing pieces in your wardrobe in a new way Credit: Getty Images

This is a great way to wear existing pieces in your wardrobe in a new way. It'll require a bit of trial-and-error outfit planning and perhaps the help of a trusted friend: someone you can count on for an honest opinion when you're trying to decide if last summer's leopard-print skirt really goes with the floral shirt you found in the sales (it probably does).

Don't overdo it though - stick to two prints only, and keep the overall look sleek - ruffles or puffed sleeves will be OTT. You could wear two different florals together, or two takes on polka dots, but leave the double animal prints to Bet Lynch.

Embrace hair-ware

Hair accessories have grown up to include clips and slides that are something akin to jewellery Credit: Getty Images

It all started with the scrunchie. Since the '80s accessory first made its comeback, hair-ware has exploded to include clips, slides and Alice bands. Twist your hair into a low bun with a silk scarf like these polka dot versions from Anthropologie (£16 for two) which are elasticated so they won't slip out, or try a chunky headband (£85 Lele Sadoughi x Loveshackfancy at Selfridges) for a night out or in lieu of a hat at a wedding.

Bejewelled slides now are more akin to jewellery and even the humble hair clip has grown up. We love Urban Outfitters' elegant tortoiseshell take on the clips we used to wear as kids (two for £10 at Urban Outfitters). 

Cover up in a kimono

A kimono-style cover-up is an elegant alternative to a jacket in summer Credit: Getty Images

A lightweight kimono or robe in a beautiful print is the perfect throw-over piece for those days when a jacket is too much and bare arms too little. Long or short, you can throw one over your sleek top and trousers when the office air-conditioning is on too high, or team it with a white tee and jeans for a weekend look with a little fashion flair. 

We love All Saints' feather print kimono (£128) and this Camilla creation (reduced from £715 to £358 in the Net-a-porter sale), but you could also think of it as a new way to wear a favourite button-down dress. Rixo frocks like this blue leopard Maddison style (£295) are just as easy to wear as a cover-up with jeans or on the beach as they are on their own.

Make friends with mules

Yes, you may have last worn mules sometime in 1998, but it's time to reconsider the style as it's summer 2019's hardest-working shoe. It's been seen on everyone from Jenna Coleman at the Cartier Polo (she wore Malone Souliers) to Instagram style queen Eva Chen (she went for Stuart Weitzman). 

It doesn't matter if the heel is high or low - we love this muted green pair by Dutch accessories brand Wandler (£350 at Matchesfashion.com) and Kurt Geiger's embellished Princely flats (£129, Kurtgeiger.com) are smart enough to team with eveningwear.

Dressy dungarees

Dressy dungarees are like jumpsuits, but more versatile Credit: Getty Images

They're just like jumpsuits, but more versatile. This silky, printed take on dungarees can be worn with a tank, tee or shirt by day, and on their own by night. Wear over a bikini for cocktail hour on holiday, with a turtleneck in winter... the possibilities are endless.  

Our favourite pair is this monochrome silk printed style (£120, Boutique at Topshop), though Hatch's pale pink linen pair (£290 at Net-a-porter.com) is perfect for the summer months.