Accessory Apiary - Orange is the New Black

You’ve seen your friends raving about it on Facebook, your Twitter followers eagerly chat about its characters and plot points, and now, it’s this week’s Accessory Apiary theme: Orange is the New Black. The Netflix original series (which I don’t really like) darts between protagonist Piper Chapman’s goofy, harmonious pre-jail home life, and the harsh realities of prison conditions. But don’t worry: these accessories will up the adorable quotient in your favor, whether you’re awaiting sentencing, out on parole, or generally avoiding criminal prosecution.

Piece #1: Too Haute to Trot

CL by Chinese Laundry Bianca Pointed Flats // Accessory Apiary: Orange is the New Black

I mentioned in the first installment of this series that I enjoy bright colors – they cheer an otherwise staid outfit, help you stand out, etc. But I adore these CL by Chinese Laundry Bianca pointed flats because of their other trait: the cute pattern inside the shoe. It’s a zebra print dotted with pink blooms and leaves. And there’s nothing better than knowing your shoes are cute both inside and out.


  • Orange-red faux patent leather
  • Interior d’orsay cut, adjustable ankle strap
  • All man-made materials
  • Imported

Buy online at


Piece #2: Prison Essentials 101

Two-Tone-to-Tango Tote Mod Cloth // Accessory Apiary: Orange is the New Black

A must for every girl, unindicted and otherwise: a reversible bag. Generally I favor large bags (see last week’s post about their merits), especially if one side is black, which eases the transition from ‘office’ to ‘on the town.’ In a pinch, however, this Two-Tone-To-Tango tote from Mod Cloth will do: opt for the taupe when headed for work, then switch to the tangerine at 4:50. Sneak into the bathroom to touch up lipstick and eyeliner, and glide out onto the pavement at exactly 5:01.


  • 100% polyurethane
  • Bag measures 17 x 13 x 5.5 inches
  • Handle measures 17 inches in length
  • Removable pouch measures 8.25 x 6.5 inches
  • Magnetic snap closure; includes removable pouch with zipper closure
  • Imported

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Piece #3: Here’s Lookin’ At Me, Kid

Madewell Cat's Eye Sunglasses // Accessory Apiary: Orange is the New Black

To quote Jack Donaghy of the late, great NBC sitcom “30 Rock”: “The Italians have a saying, Lemon. ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’ And although they’ve never won a war or mass-produced a decent car, in this area they are correct.” But what Italians do well, they do brilliantly: comfort food, Mafia strategy and gorgeous sunglasses. This retro-chic Super™ Lucia pair from Madewell subvert the cat’s eye trend by curving the left and right parallel corners. The rimless bottom half of the lenses add edge, while the cheeky mandarin orange sexes up the entire affair.


  • Acetate frame with Carl Zeiss lenses
  • Made in Italy

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Piece #4: The Conversation Starts Here

Crocodile Drop Pendant Earrings ASOS // Accessory Apiary: Orange is the New Black

Animal-inspired jewelry is tricky: oversized rings with rhinestone-bedecked turtles can make you look like your sherry-swilling Aunt Martha, and monkey studs can cut your age in half. That, however, is not a problem with these fabulously outrageous crocodile drop earrings from ASOS. You might be thinking giant gold crocodiles and dollops of ochre are for Boca Raton doyennes, but I disagree: the pair’s assertiveness and be-all, end-all nature are perfect for nighttime. The supine curve of the tails adds glamour, and that orange bauble elegantly seals the deal. Trust me, there’ll be no crocodile tears over this purchase.


  • Embellished stud detail
  • Crocodile drop pendant
  • Secure back fastening
  • They’re on sale for $9.11

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Piece #5: The Williamsburg Resident-As-Inmate Bangle

Goreski Glasses Bangle by Kate Spade // Accessory Apiary: Orange is the New Black

I’ve already mentioned I didn’t like “Orange is the New Black,” but I did enjoy seeing Laura Prepon (formerly of ‘That ‘70s Show’) on the small screen again. Plus, her character’s signature black square-framed glasses resemble my own. I wandered into Kate Spade last week and fell in love with their sophisticated and self-aware nod to this trend; the Goreski glasses bangle is simple, with clean lines, and adds a dash of wit to any outfit (whether or not you have poor eyesight). And no, I’m not afraid of wearing glasses on my faces and my wrist.


  • Enamel and gold-plated metal
  • Magnet and clasp closure
  • Diameter: 2.25 inches, weight: 28 grams
  • Hand-crafted

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Do you think our accessory picks live up to the Orange is the New Black theme?

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.