Accessories can make or break a look. They can add sparkle to an otherwise rather boring dress, they can make a plain overcoat look sophisticated, but over indulge, and they can result in the christmas tree effect!
Here are some ideas to add a bit of interest, update an outfit or for a festive gift. I’m talking smaller accessories at a variety of price points.
Personally, I love a scarf and my cupboards bear witness to my slight obsession! A scarf is a wonderful way of adding colour to the face. Choose one in your favourite tone and it will brighten the dullest jumper. You’ll find you can even wear black when you’re feeling way below your best and persuade others you feel wonderful.
Scarves work equally well for both males and females but men may want to stick to a more traditional neck-warmer whilst women can work all scarf shapes and fabrics. A scarf as a gift is a wonderful option, ranging in price from as little as this £6.99 example from H&M to a beautiful Hermes silk square at an exorbitant, and indulgent £590. Here are a few ideas.
Whilst indulging in a little browsing yesterday in my local Harvey Nichols store I saw the most amazing pair of Dent gloves which will DEFINITELY appear on my wish-list this Christmas. The softest black leather with beautiful gold, rosebud button detailing. Expensive but gorgeous!
A great gift for all, whatever the age. Mittens for babies, wool and fur for always-cold students, lace and jewels for a glam girlfriend, smart driving styles for the men in your life, a pair in coloured leather for the grandmother who has everything, a pair of gloves answers the gift question.
The statistic is that we lose 10% of our body heat from our heads, so, why wouldn’t we always wear a hat in cold, wintery conditions? The excuse of not being able to find a hat that suits you is a cop-out, you just haven’t looked hard enough!
Currently, there are hats in tons of styles, fabrics and colours available on the high street. It’s definitely the time to invest in some head-warming gear. If you already have a number of hats hiding in your cupboards then pull them out and put them on – they add style and individuality whilst being totally practical.
As with bags and shoes this A/W13 season, there’s lots of detailing and embellishment on belts and they are wonderful for adding shape definition, as well as interest, to an outfit. If you need a more somber option for the office then it’s worth investing in a good quality, stitched, leather belt that will see you through many years to come.
Again, a belt is a lovely Christmas gift but PLEASE make sure you’re buying the right size! There’s nothing more embarrassing than seeing someone opening your fab present only to find that they can’t get it done up around their waist.
Socks, Tights and Ties
This week has seen the sad announcement of the closure of 44 Tie Rack stores. There is so much competition from specialist menswear departments and websites, where one-stop shirt and tie shopping is easier. Added to which, the gentleman’s tie has crashed in popularity. When asked, most men will say that they only wear a tie to an interview or a wedding. Obviously, there are still professions where a tie is compulsory and, for such a man, a smart tie is a wonderful gift.
I love to buy Paul Smith novelty socks for stocking fillers. They come in great colour combinations and fantastic designs for both men and women, without being too much of a novelty! Look out for other, more sensibly priced versions and add a bit of fun to an otherwise sensible shoe.
My lovely mum always used to go out and buy a gorgeous pair of tights to give us girls every Christmas. It was then obligatory to wear your new tights for the rest of the day – one of our festive traditions! This year, tights come with many different treatments – every denier imaginable, jewel encrusted, patterned, coloured, tights which look like stockings, tights without toes, tights without feet… the choice is yours. They make a wonderfully inexpensive gift.
There are far too many jewellery options to cover everything in this blog so I’ve just concentrated on a bit of bling for the ladies! The high street is full of dazzling pieces that add wonderful decadence to a simple outfit. Some are very complicated and need to be worn with care to avoid the Christmas tree effect I mentioned earlier. My rule is; wear a statement necklace or pair of earrings, not both! However, rules are made to be broken!
Rings are big this season and there are lots of stones, crystals and multi-finger rings à la Nicole and Mrs O on X Factor.
And then there are watches – but that’s a whole other story for another time.