Accessories are the Unsung Heroes of the Holidays

Photo by Lauren Hagerstrom

The holiday season begins this week with Thanksgiving. Remember this: do not overlook the one thing that can be the difference between an almost-perfect outfit, and perfection. The way I see it – an accessory is the unsung hero of the holidays. Subtle yet essential. It has that x-factor; that special touch that elevates any outfit to another level. When we think about dressing for a holiday we spend so much time choosing the major pieces that we may miss the smaller things: a bag, a statement pin, a necklace, a ring, a dressy stocking – all, accessories. I love to mix high and low – dressy with casual. There is nothing wrong with wearing a sparkly earring with a casual jean. Or, on the other hand, wearing that same earring with an elegant dress because more is always good, too. During the holidays, It’s about giving yourself options, elevating the ordinary, and feeling your most glamorous self. Yes, accessories are the unsung heroes!

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Before you Hit the Stores, Accessorize!

One of the best ways to extend your wardrobe and keep from over-shopping is to add new accessories to the classic pieces you already own. Each variation creates a new look and extends the life of the clothes you own. Not to mention having the chance to appreciate clothes that you may have overlooked. Before you hit the stores, accessorize!

Blouse, Michael Kors, assorted accessories

Photos by Kendra Olson

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Leopard and Leaves

Optimized-P1050547Optimized-P1050549Leopard is always in season but I find myself pulling out my leopard pieces especially now, as temperatures cool and I need strong accents to highlight the black. If you haven’t purchased a leopard accessory in a while, try now. Start small – a pair of shoes, a belt, a blouse – these pack a big fashion punch.

Shoes, Diane von Furstenberg; pants, Loehmann’s

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Put a Pin In It!

optimized-2016-10-13-01-16-45-2There were numerous, “I have to have that!” fashion moments watching Sex and the City; sometimes it was Miranda or Charlotte or Samantha, but mostly it was Carrie moments. She was over-the-top, yes, but I related to her fashion-forward style. Her pieces, especially her accessories, were unique and expressive – they identified her persona and character. Certain moments come to mind, especially those of Carrie wearing a series of flower pins. I had my own Carrie Bradshaw moment today when I added a vintage Dolce & Gabbana flower pin to my blazer – just for the fun of it. No one had seen anything like it and I was happy to wear something unique. Don’t be afraid to have a good time with your accessories; they are what set you apart from the crowd. They will give you that edge and confidence to be your most individual self. And that is what clothes do best.

Pin, Dolce & Gabbana; Blazer, Valentino; Blouse, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti

Photo by Abrina

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Pearls of Wisdom

Photo: Sophie MacMillan

Photo: Sophie MacMillan

When looking for the perfect accessory don’t forget a classic – pearls. Ever modern, ever appropriate, ever lovely; you can never go wrong with pearls. Single, double, or triple strand: Pearls of wisdom ever after.

My pearls: Jackie Kennedy Collection

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My Scarf of Stars and Stripes

Optimized-P1050661Optimized-P1050638Optimized-P1050650My perfect patriotic accessory isn’t a pair of shoes or a handbag or even a piece of jewelry: it is a scarf. I think scarves are widely underestimated; there are countless ways to wear them which makes them the most versatile of accessories. Around the neck, over the head, down the back, as a belt, or on the wrist – all versions work. I am wearing mine as a tie, under a crisp, white blazer – simple, easy, and colorful. I found it at a charming local boutique but vintage is just as special as new. Try shopping your closet and you may find your perfect scarf accessory waiting to be worn.

Wishing you a wonderful Fourth of July!

Shot on location in Chatham, New Jersey. Scarf, Bliss Clothing and Accessories; Blazer, Banana Republic.

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The Love of IRIS APFEL’S Life

'Iris' the documentary film

‘Iris’ the documentary film

The life of Iris Apfel has been big and bold as I discovered recently when I watched the documentary film called, IRIS, by Albert Maysles. Ms. Apfel is as much a fashion influencer and icon now, at 93, as ever, and to hear her tell her story is as touching as it is inspiring.  Outspoken, honest, creative, productive, practical, and authentic are some of the words I think best describe her. This one-of-a-kind spirit says she “likes to improvise” and is, in her own words, “a denim freak.” Known for her larger-than-life collection of couture accessories, it all makes sense when you hear Ms. Apfel say in the film that her mother “worshipped at the alter of the accessory.” Iris Apfel’s influence is far and wide and people love to hear what she has to say. One thing Ms. Apfel is saying is that she likes individuality: “Everything is so homogenized these days. I hate it.” Continue reading

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Rediscovering A Classic

Photo: Sophie MacMillan

Photo: Sophie MacMillan

Pearls are always appropriate.” ~ Jackie Kennedy

When was the last time you pulled out your pearls? I can’t thing of another accessory that completes an outfit as elegantly as pearls. If you want to radiate a polished, clean look, go with pearls. If you want to accessorize without trying too hard, go with pearls. If you want to dress up an outfit, go with pearls. And if you want to embody the iconic style of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, go with pearls. It is known that the three-strand faux pearl necklace was her favorite and the one she enjoyed and wore the most (it is believed that she inherited it from her mother). When QVC and Camrose & Kross offered the Jackie Kennedy Collection, I jumped at the chance to own a bit of Jackie Kennedy Onassis magic myself.

Rediscover a classic and pull out your pearls!

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Who’s to Say I Can’t Wear a Drop Earring!

Heather Duetsch Silver Drop Earrings

Heather Duetsch Silver Drop Earrings

The earring police? Too often we tell ourselves when it comes to accessories; if it’s too big, too bold, too different from our usual, and even too age-inappropriate, we shouldn’t try. In these moments we are forgetting the most important thing about fashion: it is all about self expression and sometimes that means stepping out of our comfort zone. Especially when we really love something. These purple drop earrings designed by talented artist Heather Duetsch caught my eye – and there is no reason why I should hesitate to wear them – especially if the price is right. Inspired by the dramatic jewelry worn by style icon  Diane von Furstenberg, I ditched my usual simple, button style earrings for something much more playful. Try it – step out and dangle a little!

 

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Off the Cuff!

Double-cuff

Doubled

My favorite accessory of late? The cuff. Empowering, architectural, and very, very chic, think of the cuff as your personal power. Wear one, wear two, but rock the look now. Your jewelry box will thank you!

Photos by Sophie MacMillan; shot on location at Mondo Summit

 

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