Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ten Must-Have Autumn/Winter Accessories

Below is a list of ten accessories that every woman should have in her close for the fall and winter months. In my next few posts, I will suggest styling options for how to mix and match these accessories with the ten apparel items for work, weekend, and evening.

Item 1: Tote
Every woman needs a great tote bag that is big enough to carry everything she needs for work and on the weekend. A personally prefer leather due to its durability but there are also some nice coated canvas bags out there. Because you will be using this bag so frequently and it will inevitably be experiencing quite a bit of wear and tear, it is a definite SPLURGE item. Also, since you will be wearing the bag with multiple outfits, it is best to purchase it in a neutral color. While most women prefer black, I love grey because it easily transitions into the springtime. The tote pictured above is from Aldo and retails for around $24.

Item 2: Spanx
Spanx are an accessory MUST for any woman with a problem area. They come in all different forms to tackle your problem-area, whether it is your butt, your hips, or your waist. But be sure to get the right size or else you will be uncomfortable the entire time you have them on! You can find Spanx in most department stores and they retail for around $40.

Item 3: Cashmere Scarf
It is bad enough to have to deal with the cold weather and grey skies in the C-bus, so why not at least SPLURGE on an uber-soft luxurious cashmere scarf to snuggle up in while battling the bitter cold?! Your scarf should be a reflection of your personal style. Don't be afraid to experiment with color, texture, and patterns! The cashmere scarf above is by Johnstons and retails for around $175.

Item 4: Embellished Flat
For the longest time I steered clear of flats because I am only 5'2". I was convinced that I had to wear heels in order to make my legs look longer. It wasn't until the last few years that I finally gave flats a try and started to realize that flats paired with an above-the-knee skirt on a petite woman actually work. Your flats should also be a reflection of your personal style and should be stylish enough to wear to work, but comfortable enough to wear on the weekend as a sneaker-alternative. If you are really look for comfort, check out the flats by Cole Haan that have Nike Air technology built in! The pair above are by Kelsi Dagger and retail for around $100.

Item 5: Statement Necklace
Again, you really have a lot of leeway in choosing a statement necklace that suits your personal style, whether it is completely over-the-top with sequins, studs, and crystals, or is a bit more subdued like the necklace above by French Connection for around $46. The statement necklace is NOT a splurge item, but rather is something that is on-trend for the season, and will likely be replaced the following season.

Item 6: Tall Boot
Tall boots that come to just below your knee are an absolute essential for any woman residing in the Midwest. This is a definite SPLURGE item because they are so versatile. If you get the right pair, you can wear them to work on casual Friday, on the weekend, and even out at night. The pair above is by Jessica Simpson and retails for around $199. I realize that they are geared somewhat towards the younger woman, so for the older woman I would suggest a flat riding boot that also comes to just below your knee. Below is an example by Ciao Bella that retails for around $149:

Be sure to stick with a neutral color like black, grey, or brown.

Item 7: Tights
It is time to swap out those pantyhose ladies and purchase a pair of tights. Tights are a much more up-to-date option for keeping you legs warm in the autumn and winter months. For the younger ladies, I would recommend getting a pair of black tights with a subtle pattern like the pair above by J. Crew for about $23. If you are a bit older, nix the pattern and stick with a black or nude colored opaque that resembles pantyhose.

Item 8: Work-Appropriate Pump
Every woman truly needs a pair of beautiful yet comfortable pumps that are versatile enough to wear to the office and out at night. The pair pictured above by Badgley Mischka for about $195 are a nice neutral shade but have some adorable ruffles that add interest to the shoe. If this pair is a bit too much for you, consider a more classic peep-toe style. Texture on the shoe like a subtle croc print is another way to add interest to the shoe. Because you will be wearing the pumps frequently make sure the shoes are made well. This is another SPLURGE item. Whatever pump you choose make sure that it suits your personal style and that it is appropriate for work.

Item 9: Skinny Belt
One of the easiest ways to define your waistline, while at the same time making your outfit appear immediately more polished is to cinch your waist with a belt. The skinny style is universally flattering. The skinny belt above from Forever 21 retails for around $6.80.

Item 10: Clutch
Every woman needs a clutch to take with her for evening events. Your daytime bag, whether it is a tote, a hobo, or something else simply should not be on your arm during the evening! In fact, carrying a daytime bag with an evening outfit is the quickest way to throw off the polished evening look that you are going for. When choosing handbags, it is oftentimes best to go with a neutral, but grey, white, black, and brown can be somewhat boring for the evening. That is why I would recommend purchasing a clutch in a metallic, which can also be used as a neutral. If you wear mostly silver jewelry, purchasing a clutch in the silver or pewter color family would be best; if you wear mostly gold jewelry, purchasing a clutch in the gold or copper color family would be best. The clutch above is by Tory Burch and retails for around $315.

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