I’m sure that, like me, you are all being made scarily aware that December 25th is rapidly approaching! Accessories refresh and renew existing outfits for that special Christmas party and should definitely appear on your personal Christmas wish list.
There are so many accessories to choose from so I’m going to break them down into bite-sized groups. This time I’m concentrating on bags and footwear:
Bags for her
Structure and colour are the trends. Ranging from the tiniest little box clutches for evening, to large, geometric tote bags for carrying your tablet and/or laptop around in during the day.
Bigger, rectangular clutch bags in simple styles add an edge to formal workwear. Fantastic colours, gorgeous leathers, embellishments of jewels, feathers, chains and marvellous metalwork, it’s all out there for the woman in your life.
Bags for him
For men the man-bag is now totally accepted as a male accessory so, don’t be shy – put one on your Christmas letter to Santa. Again, don’t be afraid of colour. A sophisticated burgundy or navy leather is a great alternative to the ubiquitous black or brown option. Again, structured styles are the season’s fashion statement and all sizes are available.
There’s no stronger style statement than seeing a man carrying a smart leather holdall – particularly one that’s seen a bit of wear. So, whether you’re carrying a mini iPad or your weekend wardrobe, there’s a bag solution waiting for you on the high street.
Footwear for her
There are so many options it’s difficult to know where to start! Pointed styles have definitely made a come-back and there are some beautiful high-heeled versions as well as a new pointy flat. Don’t worry if you put comfort above fashion – both are important and there are lots of rounder styles too as well as a plethora of slipper styles and brogue options. Also, keep an eye open for the “one-inch” heel, which is a great solution for those of you who need a heel of a sensible height.
As with bags, embellishment is the strong fashion statement and heels are a focus of attention this season. Ankle straps have reappeared but beware this style if you have anything but the skinniest of ankles!
Metallic leather, spots, prints, jewels, cut-out detailing, straps and buckles – the choice is yours! If you shop around you’ll find that the high street has a vast variety of similar styles at a fraction of the designer label prices.
If you’re only going to invest in one new pair of boots this season – and how many of us can afford more than one? – then make it an ankle boot. There are loads of style options and these boots are high up in the wearability stakes, worn with opaques and skirts, trousers, or skinny jeans.
Over the knee boot styling is very on-trend but can be difficult to pull off and they do look their best on a slimmer leg worn with a short skirt and 100 denier opaques or over a tight-fitting pair of stretchy trousers. If you’re a little less daring then a long boot that finishes just below the knee is a safer and easier-to-wear option. Again you can be as understated or as overstated as you like.
A new pair of heels can make all the difference to that party dress you’ve got hiding at the back of your wardrobe. Just add a gorgeous necklace and you’re ready to celebrate!
Footwear for him
The brogue is a footwear staple. A strong shoe that, if you look after it well, will serve you for many years so it’s well worth investing in a good pair. The black leather versions are more formal whereas brown and suede are more creative and casual. The new kid on the block is a “double monk strap” shoe – a double buckled version of a classic, smart shoe.
The Chelsea – boot not team – will look good with the majority of outfits. To add a bit of interest look out for elastication in contrast colours, suede styles and buckle details. Lace-up, heavier boot styles are also very strong this season. Look out for chunkier, rubber soles and walking styles for daywear.
Men’s trainer styles are great when a less formal look is required. Worn with a suit they can add a creative feel to the outfit but the styling must be simple and leather is preferable. Contrasting stitching, soles and laces will immediately make a trainer style much more casual and fabric styles have the same effect.
Lace-up, heavier boot styles are very strong this season. Look out for chunkier, rubber soles, and walking styles for weekend wear.
Next time I’m concentrating on smaller accessories – scarves, belts, hats, socks and gloves – great as presents too.