any designer, fashion stylist — or even your chic friend next door
— and they will tell you the same thing: When it comes to exuding
posh personal style, it’s all about the details.
When I first
moved to Milwaukee in 2000, I knew I had to up my fashion game. While
my look was a standout in Door County, where I was raised, and
UW-Oshkosh, where I went to college, living in a thriving city with an
abundance of arts, culture and fashion meant a style upgrade.
Of course, as a
recent college grad (with a plethora of student loan debt) and a
low-earning salon receptionist job, my pocketbook was slim, at best.
So, I turned to a new friend — whose style I continue to be awed by
all these years later — who told me "a great handbag, fabulous
shoes and a well-cut jacket will get you everywhere." He could
not have been more right.
noteworthy handbag and classic shoes define my style like golden curls
define Marilyn Monroe. And all these years later, I have been lucky
enough to add a chic arsenal of signature jewelry pieces, patterned
hosiery, vintage-look sunglasses and bold-print scarves. I keep my
wardrobe simple, and let the details do the talking.
appreciation for accessories that ensured a wide, sincere smile on my
face as I watched the Spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
collections in New York City last September. In most shows — from
Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg to Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch
and everyone in between — accessories took center stage, both as an
added touch to already strong designer looks and as a bold statement
in and of themselves.
Here’s a look
at some of my favorite accessory trends for this season:
— Ethnic prints adorn handbags (some with wooden handles) and shoes
(especially wedges and esradrilles) this season, adding a pop of print
to the most basic jeans and T. Or, pair a classic dress with a large
metallic cuff and tribal necklace to maximize the trend.
— Oh, "Mad Men," will your ’60s influence ever fade
away? Not that I want it to! The fresh sorbet colors of ’60s fashion
(think mint green, cotton candy pink, Robin’s egg blue and lemon
yellow) are a soft, ladylike approach to style this summer. Look for
the colors on clutches, chain-strap shoulder bags, pumps with classic
details and silky neck scarves.
Metallics are strong this season, with a heavy rotation of futuristic
silver and gold. Mirrored accents, see-through fabrications and
space-age shapes abound in clutches, footwear and jewelry. Pops of
neon also exemplify this trend.
These are not your grandma’s florals. Think clusters of beaded
flowers on dainty evening bags; summer sandals with floral applique
and fabric adornments; and tropical floral prints on pumps. It’s the
louder side of pretty.
Earrings and Bracelets — Goodbye, statement necklaces; hello, bold
earrings and piled-on bracelets. "The bigger the better" is
the catch phrase for this summer’s ear gear, whether its a clustered
sparkling clip on, shoulder-grazing tribal drop or bold beaded flower
dangler. And don’t shy away from the wrist candy: Pile on
mix-and-match bangles of all shapes and sizes, oversized cuffs,
metallics to the max, eco-chic wood pieces and even hand-painted
No matter how
you punctuate your look this season, don’t be afraid to try
something new. Repetition confines the soul, so take a chance, and
live life to its fullest — in style.
Balancing a Saz’s Sampler Platter and Leinie’s Summer Shandy
leaves little room for holding a handbag at Summerfest.
Crossbody bags in all shapes, sizes and colors — from
traditional equestrian to funky color-blocked — are a stylish
and functional summer staple for me.
Shade your eyes from the bright Bastille Days rays in a vintage
look with modern appeal. I’m a tortoise shell gal, but the
chic frames are oh-so-haute in sleek black, printed and vivid
color varieties. Très chic!
wrist candy look from Giambattista Valli’s Spring 2012 Ready To
Wear show with its piled-high mix of metals, adornments, styles
and textures reminded me of a soft-and-hard futuristic fantasy.
runway-to-realway shoe look of the summer is a melange of prints.
Tribal, florals, polka dots, stripes and more are popping up in
flat, staked heel, wedge and espradrille sandals alike this
summer. (Bonus: They are are a fab way to draw attention to your
new, glossy pedicure.)