It’s a well-known fact that most people wear 20% of their clothes, 80% of the time. To avoid being a statistic, it’s a wise investment of your time and money to build a capsule wardrobe that centres around great quality basics, allowing you to switch in a few key seasonal/throw-away pieces.
For me, the starting block of this principle is getting the accessories right. In fact, I’m a firm believer that the difference between a “nice” outfit and a “wow” outfit is all in the accessorising. A great example of this is fashionista Olivia Palermo who, most of the time, is actually quite a classic dresser. Her ability to switch well-chosen accessories into her outfits however, amps up the overall effect by several notches and makes her possibly the most “put together” member of today’s fash pack.
Here are my top ten accessories for Autumn Winter. For full details on all of the items shown here, visit our Polyvore set
Number One: The Classic Riding Boot: Buy right and this style will stay in your wardrobe forever. I’ve chosen a black style because it can be styled both casually and smart; whereas I always feel tan varieties lend themselves to a more relaxed vibe. In order to make a sensible investment purchase, choose a style that finishes on, or just underneath the knee. This will increase your ability to wear the boot with a variety of different outfits including skirts, leggings and jeans. Unless you are very slim, mid calf styles cut your lower leg in half at the widest point and over the knee versions (which I love incidentally) can sometimes lose their shape and start to look sloppy. The traditional 1.5″ block heel is the classic option. Don’t worry if you have wider calves (even the most buff of gym bunnies can struggle get boots to fit their developed legs) there are plenty of online retailers offering great styles such as this version by Clarks. Finally, if you don’t do leather, opt for a faux suede style as – generally speaking – they look more realistic.
Number Two: The classic tank watch with leather strap: Watch styles come and go but a classic unisex size tank watch will always ooze style and go with everything. The iconic option is the Cartier, however there are many much more affordable versions such as this one by Belk. Personally I prefer a tan strap to black but the choice is yours and both bottle green and oxblood also look great. Consider your jewellery too – if you wear silver, go for a steel or silver coloured face.
Number Three: The classic leather tote. Clearly black is the easy option here but I personally love shades such as deep teal, bottle green and oxblood. They invariably look more expensive than black and look amazing set against neutrals such as black, camel and grey. As this is your everyday bag, my advice is to not scrimp here and buy the best option you can afford. Cheap linings will rip, so look for styles with a heavy duty cotton inner. Seek out plain, stitched on handles as cheap hardware looks just that and as always, avoid big, blingy logos. Personally I’d opt for a style that had rolled top handles and a detachable shoulder strap. Otherwise choose a bag that has handles that go over your shoulder as well as being handheld. For those of you who don’t buy leather, this option by Target is amazing value and can be reversed for use as a beach bag during the summer months.
Number Four: The cashmere scarf. Not just your friend during the winter months, a lightweight cashmere scarf will save the day when the air conditioning on a flight has you shivering (it also doubles as a pillow) or want something to throw over your shoulders on a cold summers evening. There is one in my bag all year round. Although cashmere is a bit more expensive, it is warm without being bulky and gets softer and cozier, the more it’s used. Camel and grey are great options for use throughout the year – this one by Black is a truly versatile choice at a great price.
Number Five: Aviators. If you are driving in low winter sun or have pesky sensitive eyes (I do) that spout like the Trevi fountain in a stiff breeze; sunglasses are a must all year round. Although there are literally thousands of High Street imitations, the classic Ray Ban Aviator is the go-to option and works with everything. Plus, if you want a prescription version most good opticians stock the brand.
Number Six: French Drop earrings in gold or silver. Our choice from Melinda Maria works with virtually any outfit choice but most importantly, suits all hair lengths as it isn’t too dangly. Conversely, they have enough presence that you could pair them with a black cocktail dress for an evening out. Once again, if you don’t do gold just switch in a silver or rose gold variety.
Number Seven: stacking bangles. As with the earrings, delicate stacking bangles work with virtually everything and are widely available in the High Street. They will pep up the most simple of outfits and are super-feminine. Melinda Maria and Monica Vinader both design great bangles with semi precious stones and that you can collect for your own individual look.
Number eight: Mid height leopard print heel. For me, this is a fashion classic. They key is to choose a classic court style with no embellishments and a muted/delicate print. They look amazing with jeans, fantastic with a formal black dress or pant suit and are a blogger favourite due to this versatility. If you prefer your monochrome accessories, maybe consider opting for a zebra print in black and white. Once again, if you don’t do leather – no problem. There are stacks of great synthetic versions available.
Number nine: Metallic box clutch. Whether it’s gold, rose-gold or silver, a great metallic box clutch will be your best-friend on a night out. Even the most basic of dresses will be transformed with this style (and of course, numbers six, seven and eight on this list) and it’s far more interesting than boring black. So unless you’re attending THE most formal of black (or white) tie events, make metallic your choice!
Number Ten: Western style suede ankle boot. Again a blogger staple , a great mid-tan version of this style will be a style you will go to time again. I even wear mine in summer with my denim shift dresses! Choose a block heel with a height of around 3″ which will (as well as adding a bit of extra height) be comfortable enough to wear all day. Once again, synthetic versions are great nowadays and are plentiful in availability right now.
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