A BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED outfit is nice, but it becomes fantastic when given the special add-ons of accessories, the finishing touches that are like polish to metal, dew to a rose garden. In recent seasons, accessories have become so important, they have often outdone clothing as the number one point of fashion.
Think of great handbags, spectacular belts, Hollywood dark sunglasses, jaunty hats, and wild, designer shoes. Wow! And we haven’t even gotten near jewelry yet!
HANDBAGS ARE UNDERGOING AN INTERESTING CHANGE. While big bags are certainly still high up on the designer scale, smaller, more reasonable bags are edging into the market. These are not small, by any means, but they aren’t huge bags either. When dangling from a shoulder strap, they aren’t likely to put your shoulder out of whack! Nor is anybody going to confuse them with a piece of luggage.
Tory Burch has a handsome, simple, yet LA-fast bag on the market, in gold leather with a gold-plated metal chain. It’s a medium sized bag, full of slippery-shine and pizzazz
On a quieter side, is Chloe’s metallic goatskin shoulder bag. It is also smaller than we’ve seen recently, and terribly attractive.
EVEN HANDLE BAGS ARE SHOWING UP in somewhat smaller sizes. Look at Anya Hindmarch’s calf leather day bag, supposedly designed to carry everything Madame might need from dawn to dusk, but not really all that substantial. This is a nicely sized creamy white bag with outside pocket, not meant to be overloaded! Think of it as an upgraded medium-sized tote bag with lots of design and fashion savvy. It’s a good example of what’s going on in the market now.
TOTES REMAIN ONE OF THE FASTEST SELLING ITEMS IN THE HANDBAG DEPARTMENT. LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES:
- Shoulder purse in soft knit fabric embellished with large round sequins and beads.
- Oversized clutch bag in shiny faux croc. Choice of colors!
—A good example of how handbag designers are trying hard to find new ideas for their super-popular product is a new 2-in-1 bag by Dries Van Noten. Now, just why anyone would want to buy this, I don’t know, but here’s the lowdown:
The bag literally features one bag inside the other.
The outer bag is unstructured and made of tan canvas with darker leather shoulder strap. Inside, there’s a dark alligator, very structured handle bag with silver trim. It’s described in terms of “multitasking day-to-night-ness.” You can easily create the same thing by putting a structured bag inside a tote. That way, you also by-pass the $995 price tag! Smart you!
Even as handbags recede somewhat in size, belts are coming forward to fill the gap. Big belts are hot. Obis are steaming. Big leather belts with circular leather buckles are particularly popular. So are medium-sized belts in a somewhat more conventional mode, with small rectangular leather buckles.
Skinny little leather belts accessorize dress after dress, suit after suit. It is the look! Belted. Waist-wise. Think of Cynthia Rowley’s cute paint-splattered white shorts with fabric tie belt. Or, Richard Chai’s skinny black belt over a pretty floral print dress with black jacket. Belts are IN. Add one to an existing outfit and you can instantly update it to 2009-10!
ANOTHER REALLY HOT finishing touch to any outfit is a hat…and are they ever popular this season! We talked about fedoras in a recent blog, but what about large, brimmed, sexy hats with lots of attitude? Think about dark or light colored, straw or paper and polyester.
LARGE HATS give a touch of demure sexuality, and dress up an outfit in seconds! For an extra bit of personality, you can wrap a long scarf around the hat, letting it fall down the back or side. That gives you a quick change as well as fast high style! If you’re the kind of lady that enjoys turning heads when you walk into a restaurant, this Southern-Belle type of hat is for you!
If you are looking to give a special finishing touch to a casual fall outfit, think of caps. A newsboy cap tends to be flattering to almost everyone. It expresses a relaxed attitude with fashion. Very sophisticated!
EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO THE RACES, CAPS LOOK RACY AND ATHLETIC. CONSIDER:
- Knit polyester ball cap in six color choices including bold color contrast.
- A pretty pink ball cap with ANGEL spelled out in sparkling, embroidered letters.
Probably the only thing you can say about shoes right now is that they are wardrobe leaders. They are also high, very high, and more often than not, platform. Most of the hottest shoes are super high heeled sandals, in a bevy of colors, the brighter the better. Straps are another frequently encountered embellishment, running across the instep, and up the ankle.
—By now almost every major designer has put his/her imprimatur on the newest super-high, often platform, stiletto shoes. Don’t be too shocked by the price tag, which can run into the high hundreds and even thousands for these newest shoe wonders that run from plain leather to foot-extravaganzas with crystal and gemstone embellishment.
Looking for something to add even more fashion to the super NOW shoe? Think about ankle bracelets! They are sexy on a bare leg, wild over a pair of black leggings or boots.
Worn with the newest strappy stiletto sandals, they are fashion-hot!
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR SHOE ADORNMENT:
- Ankle bracelet with choice of a dove, butterfly, or dragonfly dangling from the silver-plated chain. You just have to see it!