Summer is a time for heading to the beach, catching up with friends at barbeques and long hot days that turn into fun nights.

Without the imminent threat of freezing cold winds and rain, your outfits can become a little more exotic and playful. It’s a chance to try out some new trends and have some fun with your clothes.

But you don’t have to go out and purchase a whole new wardrobe for the summer months, a few choice accessories are a great way update an outfit and refresh your look.

Here are some of the key accessory trends for the summer months.

Make a statement

Sandals are the ultimate summer shoe and can take you from a casual summer brunch to drinks at a bar. Bright colours are always popular, or look for sandals with cool features, like interesting textures and embellishments. Small details like cut-outs or fringing can make a plain outfit really stand out.

Stack it up

A key trend this summer is layered jewellery – it an easy look to put together and is both fun and youthful. This look is all about excess, so stack up your bangles, wear multiple rings and layer up your necklaces. This look can be created quite affordably, as you can pick up sets of bangles quite cheaply at most chain stores.

It’s in the bag

A bold, colourful handbag is a simple way to inject some colour and fun into an outfit. Keep your outfit simple and then try colour blocking your accessories by matching a bright clutch with some chunky bangles and coloured wedge heels for a look that’s bang on trend.

The sky’s the limit

Wedge heels have really experienced a renaissance this year and the style options out there seem pretty much endless. The great thing about these shoes is that they’re incredibly comfortable and work with most outfits, especially the ever popular summer staple – the maxi dress. A neutral or tan coloured wedge will look good with pretty much anything, but don’t forget to paint your toenails.

Hold onto your hat

Hats are great, and a straw fedora is everything a good hat should be; lightweight, comfortable, providing protection from the sun and great injection of style. Fedoras are great for both men and women and are suited to pretty much any occasion, from the beach to a beer garden, a concert, wedding or a picnic. Choose one in black or natural straw to ensure you can match it with most outfits.

The future’s so bright

Come summer, sunglasses aren’t just a trendy accessory, but rather a non-negotiable health and safety requirement. They’re essential for protecting your eyes from the sun’s harsh rays and are a godsend after a night of partying. Sunglasses are a very personal style item, but each year a new style seems to rise to popularity. This summer, wayfarers continue to be a popular trend, as do bright and patterned frames. Large sunglasses are always popular and give your look a kind of understated Jackie O glamour.