Tips for Adding Style with Accessories
● By Kimberly Boney
By Kimberly Bonéy
IF A WELL-COORDINATED OUTFIT is the ice cream, the right accessories are the whipped cream, drizzled chocolate and the cherry on top. Accessories have a way of adding style, refinement and a subtle (or not-so-much) dynamic to an ensemble. They can change the vibe of an outfit, elevating the basic to fashion icon status – or taking what looks to be fancy or overdone and mellowing it out to a cool, effortless win for the wearer. In 2018, accessories utterly refuse to ask permission. They walk boldly, and carry a big (and we mean BIG) bag. Follow along to see how to infuse some of this season’s best into your life.
SCARVES Oversized, chunky knit isn’t reserved just for sweaters anymore. The cozy hug of a fabric is making its grand entrance in the form of scarves this season. Some designers have used what looks like one long sweater sleeve, complete with a tapered bottom, to adorn their ensembles. With styles this comfy, we are looking forward to the cooler months with even more enthusiasm than normal.
The infinity style scarf still tops 2018’s hot accessory list, making it universally desirable for its style, function and convenience. Its wrap-it-and-forget-it way makes effortless style a snap. Consider an infinity scarf in a wide, unexpected fabric, like plaid or denim.
Boldly colored, oversized vintage scarves tied at the neck are a classic yet still fresh nod to the past. If you find one long enough, tie it in a bold bow and pair it with something simple, like a little black dress, to infuse an air of sophistication when you want it.
HATS Classic berets, newsboy caps, fedoras and wide-brimmed hats have taken the runway by storm this season, working with everything from suits to jeans to dresses. This season, these stand-the-test-of-time styles come bearing a bit of extra fun via interesting textures and patterns, like faux fur, leather, plaid and houndstooth. They are bold and certainly command the attention of the room, while still being just as timeless as they’ve always been.
Keep your ears warm and your hat game fierce with a blinged-out beanie. We’ve seen ones with your favorite sports teams – in all of their shining glory – adorn the runway in ways unexpected. A nod to the ‘90s with a twist, this style looks great with your favorite jeans, t-shirt and leather moto jacket, but could also pair with a floral dress and riding boots for something funky and fresh.
If you just can’t wrap your head around wearing a traditional hat this season, it’s perfectly OK to step out of the box. With this season’s bold approach to style comes a melding of accessories, a distinct invitation to re-purpose a piece of fashion in a way that stands outside of its original use. That scarf we talked about wearing at your neck could easily double as a headscarf, a quick way to add a flair for the dramatic to your look. The longer the scarf, the more options you have to tie it in innovative ways.
BELTS We still love our slim belts, the ones that cinch our dresses and cardigans perfectly, but all hail the wide corset-inspired belts that are all the rage in 2018. This beautiful Victorian/Western hybrid is a detail you’ll be praised for. It can create a sweet silhouette but is also unapologetic in its sultriness. Opt for one that has some space where the buckle resides so it creates contrast with the fabric underneath. That way it doesn’t inadvertently widen your middle.
Consider an asymmetrical belt against a basic jumpsuit for a night out. It doubles as work-wear when you pair it with a blazer and pumps. We love ones with bold flowers, bows or extensions of the leather for added texture and playfulness.
Go bright or go back to the drawing board. A belt in a vibrant hue gives you the option to create an interesting contrast with your outfit. We love belts with pattern too, as plaids, color-blocking and logo-embellished styles are a simple way to add plenty of personality to your look.
BAGS The biggest and baddest of them all is the oversized tote – likely large enough to carry the kitchen sink, in addition to all of your accoutrements. Consider this style an extension of your clothing, an added flourish in a stand-out color or pattern. From leather carry-alls to bags designed to look like fashion-forward market bags, the only rule with this style is “the bigger, the better.”
Oddly shaped bags add texture and flavor to your look. Consider one in a circular or cylindrical shape, or a dimensional bag in a square, rectangle or other abstract configuration for a noticeable style upgrade. Even the ever-fabulous backpack can be made better when it has an unexpected structure.
Skip the sleek clutch bag and opt for one that is larger than life, itself. This is one of those pieces that can transform a ho-hum basic into something runway-worthy. One with a chain does double duty as a cross body.
If you don’t need much to keep you comfortable on the go, consider a belt bag – a stylish, hands-free upgrade to the fanny pack. The belt portion is functional in and of itself, but it boasts a spot big enough to carry your MILK (a convenient acronym for your money, identification, lipstick and keys) and your phone. •