Not just one specific thing, like the Pashmina craze that recently swept across the planet. I’m talking about every single accessory category a girl could crave, with the possible exception of millinery.
The timing is perfection itself – great news in a season of closely trimmed clothing budgets. All these accessories provide a much-needed boost to existing wardrobes. Take last year’s little black sundress or Capri pants and give them a fresh spin with a cutting-edge accessory.
Choose from handbags in all colours and shapes, often loaded with hardware. There are gladiator sandals galore and brilliant ballerinas –for anyone not wanting to bare her toes. Belts are revisiting waistlines and chunky cuffs encircling wrists. The best-dressed ears are wearing chandeliers. Necklaces are conspicuously fake, bold and oversized, with a definite wow factor. Check out this slide show from New York Times style expert, Bill Cunningham; you have to see some of these pieces.
Although Michelle Obama’s style is often compared with Jackie O’s – whose signature accessory was sunglasses – Michelle projects real individualism when it comes to accessorizing. Her green pumps and gloves and Victorian sash brooch – worn at President Obama’s Inaugural swearing-in ceremony – gave us a taste of things to come.
On the March cover of O, The Oprah Magazine, she showcased a wide belt over a cardigan. This silhouette-enhancing technique of belting a cardigan or jacket has become one of her signature looks. In Moscow on Tuesday, an understated white twin-set and black trousers provided the perfect backdrop for her oversized necklace.
Accessorizing, I believe, is the secret to having a personal look. I encourage clients to use accessories for both updating what’s in their closets and to present an individual statement. Accessories show off your creativity and project a sense of fun – perfect for summer.
If you opt for one of this season’s big, oversized necklaces, keep these tips in mind:
- If your necklace is silver – balance the look with small, relatively simple silver earrings. Always echo the same metal or stones as your necklace in your choice of earrings.
- Keep the background simple – avoid a busy, print background.
- Borrow a page from Michelle O – she never combines a big belt and big necklace. One centrepiece is all you need.
- Your goal is a graceful length – too short and your necklace is a choker, too long and it may fall within the “hills and valleys.”
- Reserve this look for patios, picnics and parties – unless you work in a relaxed, creative environment.