Accessories lend a crowning touch to any ensemble. If you're headed into the office in a long unbuttoned cardigan, tunic tank and fitted pants, consider the effect of a skinny belt. It jazzes up your outfit and gives it a completely different look.
Or if you're sporting one of the fall's finest - a faux fur vest - a long necklace gives your outfit the embellishment it needs to go from casual to chic.
All-too-often, accessories get forgotten as we head to the counter with purchases draped over one arm. While we sometimes get distracted by the gems, shades and sequins at the impulse table, they really deserve more attention. After all, accessories are a relatively inexpensive way to add style to any look, even lacking the budget to keep up with New York fashion trends that seem to become obsolete every other week.
Check out some trendy ways to give your everyday outfit the flair it needs to go from average to amazing. A little bit of intentional accessorizing can go a long way.
To jazz up your "do, consider using revamped hair combs, frilly flowers and thick, bold headbands. The new take on the traditional hair comb hit runways this past spring, and it's sure to continue this fall. These new styles are long, extending almost the whole length of the crown of your head.
You may choose to accessorize (and keep your ears warm) with a thick knit headband. For more of a Catwoman-inspired look, you can opt for a patent leather version.
For feminine flower power, consider an oversized floral hair accessory. This adds an element of sophistication to any hairstyle, just be ready for all the attention you'll get. It's not that all eyes aren't on you, they just may spot that beautiful bloom first.
Hair Accessory You'll Want to Try: Francesca's Collections Silent Beauty Pin, $9
This black tulle and chiffon rose is also versatile. Wear it with an up "do or mountain of curls for a special evening out, or place it on your jacket or purse as a brooch.
Earrings are a great way to express yourself. The type you choose say a lot about you. Weigh the effect of a tiny pearl stud against a dangling chandelier. One says conservative while the other lends a feeling of sophistication and subtlety. Then consider large gold hoop earrings for a night out on the town. Whichever you choose, your earrings help bring out the features of your outfit you want people to notice most.
Consider too the importance of trends. Look for ornate earrings in medium and large sizes. There will be plenty of detailing and etching on them, with topaz, quartz, crystal and gold.
Earrings You'll Want to Try: Ann Taylor Loft Tinted Filigree Teardrop Earring, $24.50
Gold, detailed etchings and ornate stones are consistent with current trends. These earrings can be worn to dress up fitted slacks or skinny jeans with a long cardigan. Or wear them into the evening, perhaps with a cowl neck sweater dress.
Rings can add a feminine touch to just about any hand. When selecting rings as an accessory, consider the size of your hand -large, dominant rings may look overpowering on a demure hand. While this is a general rule of thumb, this year, ring trends are all about big and ornate, similar to earrings. Crystal rings are the most popular and, best of all, they're affordable! So, have fun trying a few different ones. For a piece of jewelry that's a blast from the past, try out the retro crystal ring.
Crystal Ring You'll Want to Try: Betsey Johnson "Iconic" Crystal Statement Ring, $42.90
This sort of resembles your high school class ring, only in an extremely "blinged" out version. With antiqued gold plating and glass.
To try something completely new this season, consider a bib necklace. When you wear a bib, you build the outfit to accessorize the necklace, and not the other way around. These necklaces extend down and cover a good portion of the décolleté area, with big, transparent baubles. When you opt for a bib, downplay or forgo other accessories, as this should be the focal point of your ensemble. One rule of thumb: buy your bib necklace first then plan your outfit around it!
Bib Necklace You May Want to Try: Lane Bryant Black Beaded Bib Necklace, $29.50
This bib necklace is beaded for a bit of texture. Once clasped, it forms a choker-style look that can be worn for a night out or paired with dark wash jeans and a complimentary top.
For those who live in cold weather, one good element to fall and winter is scarves, especially during those bitter gusts of air. You just burrow your neck and chin down into it for quick relief. But this season, scarves are making an appearance in temperate climates. If you're wearing skinny jeans and a long tunic, a scarf helps lend a pop of color. Consider accessorizing with scarf-esque pieces, like a pocketed scarf vest or hooded scarf.
Scarf You'll Want to Try: Anthropologie Wiggly Wrap, $98
This cashmere muffler lends warmth when braving the cold, but also gives a hint of luxe when the lilac is paired with a dark top. Try this scarf if you desire ruffles and squiggles galore.
If you start to get bored with your winter wardrobe, you can liven things up with a belt. Wear over an open knit shrug or thin cardigan. To breathe new life into your winter coat, consider wrapping a skinny belt around the outside of it. Just like in the previous few seasons, you'll want the belt worn high, either above the navel or even higher, just below the bust, to create an empire waist.
Belt You May Want to Try: J. Crew Multi-Buckle Belt, $45
This leather belt has zinc roller buckles and brass snaps. Wear it at the waist.