Autumn rolls around and fashion fanatics get all starry-eyed: leather, wool, silk, tweed and cashmere in layers of effortless style.
And boots. Those boots.
But in the interest of only going hyperbolically broke, it's crucial to know which brisk fall pieces will carry you through the long, cold winter as well. Or the brief, mild one. Either way, few of us can afford to buy two pairs of "It" boots in six months.
Here, five accessories you'll love throughout the fall, the winter and beyond.
First up, for your stuff…
5: A Big, Bold Bag
The end of summer means the end of travelling light. Cooler weather means layers, whether that's a cardigan and cloche in fall or a wool hat, scarf and gloves in winter. Go for a big tote that will carry your necessities without busting at the seams.
Hobos, totes and large framed bags are all great choices, especially if they have lots of compartments. (We hate fishing through nail files, notepads and phone when we're just looking for the lip balm.) Leather never goes out of style (remember to seal any suede, though), and fall 2010 is calling for bold colors like teal, red and yellow.
Extra points for animal prints, lace, studs, and military-style details.
Up next: for your hands, your wrists and maybe your forearms…
Forget the fingerless gloves (if you haven't already). The practical choice for fall through winter covers your fingers, preferably in something warm, luxe, comfortable and fabulous.
A great pair of gloves will have you covered on fall nights without making you sweaty and keep you warm all day in winter without bulking you up. Black, gray-taupe or camel leather are all elegant and understated. Extra points for studs (of course), lace, crystals and 50s-style, elbow-length knockouts.
Look for a warm but breathable lining to carry you from chilly to downright cold.
Up next: For your legs…
Leggings, if they're streamlined and substantial, can be a very versatile accessory: They work in fall weather as pants, with a light sweater and booties; and in winter they can double as warm tights under a wool mini and tall boots.
Quality is crucial. They'll be hugging your skin, so you want soft, opaque and matte (anything shiny accentuates the slightest imperfection). A ponte knit is substantial enough to pull off as actual clothing but also comfortable and pliable enough to wear as tights.
Up next: for your feet, your calves and maybe even your knees…
2: Tall Boots
Some of us spend our entire lives searching for the perfect pair of tall boots, the ones that go with everything and make our legs look lithe.
If you happen to find them this fall, feel justified snapping them up. They'll keep your feet dry and your calves warm, plus the best pair will have you strutting from September through March. Pair them with tights and a mini in October and with skinny jeans and a tunic sweater in February.
A neutral-tone leather will never do you wrong. Extra points for military khaki, sheepskin, snake prints, buckles, studs, grommets and over-the-knee.
Up next: for your shoulders or your neck, depending…
There are few things more timeless, luxurious and comforting than a drapey length of cashmere around your shoulders and/or your neck, weather permitting.
Cashmere, silk or merino-wool knit, a wrap will go everywhere with you. Drape it loosely around your shoulders over a cami or a cocktail dress in fall; double it around your neck as the coziest scarf ever on a winter night.
Extra points for bold colors, leopard prints, and faux fur or bohemian pointelle edging.
As with all fashion choices, the accessory is only half the equation. At least half of any look is how you wear it, so keep in mind: No matchy-matchy, mix your patterns with care or not at all, and only one mind-blowing statement piece at a time. "Overwhelming" only works on the runway. And sometimes not even there.
Lots More Information
- 5 Fall Trends to Avoid
- Top 5 Fall Makeup Trends
- Top 10 Fall Accessories
- 5 Affordable Fall Fashion Finds
More Great Links
- The Daily Green: Eco Fashion Accessories for Fall and Winter
- In Style: Fall Accessories Report 2010
- Style List: DIY Design: How to Make Fall Accessories
- "4 Must-Have Accessories for Fall 2010 & How to Wear Them." College Fashion. (Oct. 1, 2010)http://www.collegefashion.net/trends/4-must-have-accesories-for-fall-2010-how-to-wear-them/
- "Fall Accessories Report 2010." InStyle. (Oct. 1, 2010)http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/0,,20425514,00.html
- "Fall Accessories You'll Love. Marie Claire." Feb. 18, 2010. (Oct. 1, 2010)http://www.marieclaire.com/fashion/fashionista-blog/fall-2010-accessories
- "Must-Have Accessories for Fall." Harper's Bazaar. (Oct. 1, 2010)http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-articles/fall-accessories-0910