Accessories: A New Thing for the New Year

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At a recent King of Prussia fashion show to benefit Our Closet, models display a variety of the latest fashions. Ellyn Golder Saft
At a recent King of Prussia fashion show to benefit Our Closet, models display a variety of the latest fashions. Ellyn Golder Saft

The winter holidays are behind us, and the fashion world slows down a bit.

At this point in the season, not only do most of us have everything we need, we are probably becoming bored with our same old outfits again and again.

What’s a fashionista to do?

Why not invest in some great accessories to give your wardrobe that perfect midseason lift?

And who better to go to for advice than Ana Maria Pimentel, national accessories director for Neiman Marcus?

I was lucky enough to meet her recently at a wonderful event and fashion show benefiting Our Closet, a Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia partner, providing free clothing and pop-up stores to the most vulnerable throughout inner-city Philadelphia; donate clothing to the organization or volunteer at ourclosetpa.org.

At a recent King of Prussia fashion show to benefit Our Closet, models display a variety of the latest fashions. Ellyn Golder Saft
At a recent King of Prussia fashion show to benefit Our Closet, models display a variety of the latest fashions. Ellyn Golder Saft

Watching the fashion show at Neiman’s King of Prussia, it became clear that nothing changes your look or creates a personal style quicker than accessories.

Looking toward resort season and spring, the romantic, soft, feminine trend continues big-time. Choose shoes and handbags with embellishment and embroidery. Fur-trimmed mules, decorated slides.

First spotted at Gucci, the embellished and overloaded look is everywhere at every price point — and a fabulous way to go from day to evening by just changing your shoes.

Heels are lower and chunky. Sneakers, stark white or decorated, look brand new. Loafers look great. Ballet flats are forever. Women will always love their stilettos — nothing makes you look longer, leaner, sexier. Grab a pair in a metallic, gold, silver, pewter or bronze, then wear them with your neutrals all winter and into spring.

Another update is a gorgeous blouse. Ruffles, flounces and frills. Off-the-shoulder is bigger than ever and flattering to all; in the words of iconic designer Donna Karan, “No one has fat shoulders.”

Gucci Triple-Strap Snake-Heel Pump. Photo provided.
Gucci Triple-Strap Snake-Heel Pump. Photo provided.

The flip side of feminine and froufrou is menswear but with a twist. Try a white cotton shirt

a size or two larger to make it super slouchy, or steal your husband’s or boyfriend’s. Stripes, bold color or black and white suddenly look clean and modern, too.

Color is always an accessory, and the newest is white. Yes, in winter. Pretend you are a snowflake. I love winter white head-to-toe or paired with your brights, florals or neutrals.

Spring is going to bring tons of cream, sand, khaki and the “it” shade, rose gold. Invest in one piece now and get a jump-start on the trend. It feels so good to have that fresh fashion blast.

Kenneth Jay Lane faux pearl tassel earrings. Photo provided.
Kenneth Jay Lane faux pearl tassel earrings. Photo provided.

“If you could buy just one new thing,” I asked Pimentel, “what would it be?”

“Something fully loaded,” she replied. “A statement piece.” Slides with faux jewels or pearls, kitten heels or flats. Or perhaps an embellished handbag.

She added, “What don’t you have in your closet? What will give you that midwinter lift?” Try something overly decorated, something romantic, flowy and feminine.

And last, Pimentel said, “Remember to layer your jewelry. More is better.”

You need an armful of bracelets. Wear two or three pendants together. Hoops, drops and tassel earrings right down to your shoulder feel so ’70s/Yves Saint Laurent and so of-the-moment at once.

“Pretty” is a word that felt outdated — today, it sounds totally chic. In fact, it’s exactly how you want to look. Let one new accessory make last season’s wardrobe sing. Maybe donate an old accessory to Our Closet and treat yourself to something new?

I cannot imagine a nicer way to start the New Year — wishing a wonderful winter and terrific 2017 to all.