Just yesterday I was soaking up Vitamin D at the beach, and today, I’m reaching for the nearest cardigan. But fall is a harbinger of more than just cooler temperatures; the new school year, or a new job, are excellent opportunities to revive your formal attire. This week’s Apiary Accessory is devoted to rocking the work week – read on for fall’s first picks!
Piece #1: Mad for Moodstones
Kate Spade’s website describes the material in these adorable drop earrings as “cloud quartz,” but I disagree. The color is a cross between taupe and oxblood, but clouds are the last things that come to mind. I’m picturing a sea green V-neck sweater, black trousers and honey-colored leather boots. As the great Johnny Mathis once sang, “I can see clearly now/the rain is gone.”
- Materials: cloud quartz and glass stone with gold plated metal
- 14-karat gold filled posts
- Length: 1.25”
Buy online at katespade.com – $78
Piece #2: Throw Me A (Herring)Bone
One of the best things about fall/winter is that you can wrap a scarf around your neck, and 1) complete an outfit, and 2) protect against the elements. (This is not true in summer, when deciding between sweating profusely and a silk scarf seems Gordian.) This ecru grey herringbone scarf by Ann Taylor is simple and subtle. Its 100% cotton makeup makes it ideal for cooler weather.
- 100% cotton
- Measures 32” x 76”
Buy online at anntaylor.com – $59.50
Piece #3: Simplicity As Watchword
Finding a pretty, reasonably priced watch seems to take forever. (I’m not sure since I don’t own a watch.) But nobody does it better than Timex: their original, classic round-faced watch has been selling briskly since the 1960s, and I can see why. Leather strap, brass casing and clear numerals make for a happy lady on the go. Stop pulling out your phone whenever someone asks if it’s lunch yet – it’s time to get a watch.
- Materials: leather, brass, mineral glass
- Buckle clasp
- Gold-tone case
- Watch movement: quartz analog
- Case width: 42 mm.
Buy online at timex.com – $70
Piece #4: Satchel Au Naturel
I don’t want much from life: give me a roomy structured purse with both a handle and a removable strap, and I’m a happy gal. So this navy-, cream- and mahogany-shaded purse from Mod Cloth filled me with joy. The bag’s ability to neaten the edges of an outfit makes it fit for both college campuses and entry level cubicles. And the gold-tone bow-shaped clasp gives you all necessary cues for further accessorizing.
- 100% polyurethane
- Bag measures: approx.12” x 9” x 3.75”
- Handle length: measures approx. 5.5”
- Adjustable, removable strap length: approx. 45”
- Front turn lock closure; one interior pocket with zipper closure
Buy online at modcloth.com – $59.99
Piece #5: La Vie En Green
As a professed fan of color, I’m aware that this list is skewing toward the chocolate milk side of things. But fear not, I have not abandoned my color wheel bona fides. These emerald-colored stone drops would make a lovely addition to a business casual outfit. No frills – just thrills from the soft rounded cut, the quiet glimmer of the 12k. gold-plated earwire, and, best of all, their non-statement statement. Hurray for restraint! (Pun intended.)
- Lead- and nickel-safe
- Hand-cut stones
- 12k gold-plated hammered brass bezel
- 12k gold-plated earwire
- Drop length: 1 3/8”
Buy online at stelladot.com – $49
About Nandini Balial: I grew up in India, with an arty theatrical hippie mum who used to make her own jewelry, and vibrant patterns and materials – always on display at any relative’s wedding – quickly caught my attention. Once I moved to Texas, I had to reconcile the ornate silks, mirrored scarves and silver hoops with glittery Coco Chanel earrings and Ralph Lauren polos. I’m still most comfortable in a vegetable/fruit-dye print cotton shirt and jeans, but my accessories will always vary. I proudly maintain that clothes are expensive and can’t always be mixed n’matched, but accessories are (on average) a bit cheaper, and can always move across your wardrobe (with/without irony). If you ever run across a fun accessory find, e-mail me with the details (and a photo, if possible), and I’ll try to include it in a future column.