Accessories can make or break an outfit. They also help an ensemble move from the workplace to a night on the town. With a few key pieces, you can create multiple looks that give you style and visual pop. Remember that the key to accessorizing is to edit well rather than piling on too many bits and pieces.
When fall comes and there is a nip in the air, stave off hauling out the winter coat for an extra month or so by investing in a thick wrap. Pashmina shawls are the perfect accessory, providing warmth, light protection from the elements, beautiful colors and patterns and an ever-changing look. You can drape a pashmina over your shoulders shawl-style, knot it at the throat as the French do, drape a couple around your neck a la Hollywood or even use it as a low-slung belt. Aim for some color contrast so that your pashmina stands out.
Patterned or colorful stockings add a dash of style to an otherwise ordinary outfit. A subtle houndstooth pattern is a perfect way to inject some panache to a business ensemble. For a night at a club or on the dance floor, you can go with black, shimmery neutrals, mod colors or racy fishnets.
Bling Up Your Basics
Do as the celebrities do and begin with a basic but well-fitting white tank top or black t-shirt and a pair of fabulous jeans. Add a sexy slant with a lacy belt or black pumps. Or give the look some glitter with rhinestone-studded back pockets or spangled sandals. Go international chic with a silk scarf as a belt, or keep it street with the latest sneakers.
Hats and sunglasses are a quick and easy way to transform your look, plus they protect you from the sun’s damaging rays. You can get the Hollywood look with giant frames and dark lenses (for added privacy) or go sleek and cool with minimalist frames and a light tint. With hats you must stay committed to wearing them for the day, or else everyone will see your hat hair.
One of the more recent trends in jewelry is to layer pieces. Stacking bangles or layering long beaded strands are two ways to accomplish this look. If you are wearing a major piece, do not combat with another major piece, but you can echo the piece’s main color, texture or shape with subtler accessories.
In the last few years, handbags have become big business in the world of accessories. While the beautiful Birkin or a Tokidoki original may be beyond your budget, there are plenty of replica bags that do not break any copyright laws. The key is to look for pieces inspired by the famous designer bags, rather than direct copies. Consult the styles at Baghaus (see “Additional Resources”) for inspiration and also some ideas on how to adopt the styles of various celebrities.