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Singer/songwriter Grace VanderWaal wore a Eugenia Kim beret with a dazzling sequined gown at the recent MTV Video Music Awards.

Mike Coppola

I go to a school where everyone has to wear a blazer with a kilt or dress pants. Any tips for standing out in a sea of plaid and grey flannel?

My high school years were spent endlessly experimenting with style (it was the 90s, so think lots of velvet, denim and choker necklaces). I always wondered what teens in uniform wore to add a bit of personality to their day-to-day. If you’re going back to class dressed similarly to all your peers, cap off your look with a hat to add a bit of flair; there’s plenty of variety in styles this season, from quirky baseball hats to chic berets, so let your creativity shine. Unlike flashy jewellery, hats are fuss-free – quick to remove once you reach school grounds – and will look just as good come the weekend as well.

To give your uniform a sophisticated update, take inspiration from Grace VanderWaal, who rocked the pink carpet at last month’s MTV VMAs in a sequined dress and sweet beret. An eternal symbol of French Girl Cool, the beret has been embraced by fashion brands (Christian Dior, most recently) and street-style icons alike. Say oui to H&M’s version done in a charming dusty pink hue.

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If sporty is more your thing, Gap’s cute corduroy cap will top off a uniform look nicely; you can even add a few buttons or patches to it to personalize it. Want to go for bold? Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber are fans of the newsboy cap’s fun retro feel; a pretty plaid brimmed hat like Aldo’s offering will earn you major style credits, too. Now that’s what I call using your head.

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Acadda hat, $22 at Aldo (aldoshoes.com).

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Corduroy baseball hat, $24.95 at Gap (gapcanada.ca).

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Felted wool beret, $14.99 at H&M (hm.com).

Have a style query that needs solving? Send your questions to oparker@globeandmail.com.

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