Bold Accessories

A home for that much neglected component of daily style: the accessory. Whether you prefer silky scarves and sunglasses, or chunky jewelry and striking sandals, we’ve got you covered. Read on for this week’s tips!

If you’ve been outside in the last four months, you’ll have noticed certain trends in women’s fashion: flowy high-low dresses and skirts, 80’s-era crop tops, the triumphant return of the overall, monochromatic shirtdresses, and sorbet-colored everything.

I’m using the last item on this list to inaugurate Accessory Apiary: sure, peach-colored shifts and mint-green flats look lovely in the summer. But if everyone’s hitting the trend, why not use the chance to stand out? So, in this season of creams, ivories, pale roses and lavenders, I say go bold. This week, bright is right.

Piece #1: The Statement Necklace

Got a great outfit planned? Great – don a statement necklace and you’re done. Why stop there? Answer’s in the name. Plus, you’re nodding to the current statement necklace trend, but the flash of sizzling colors will set your look apart.

This pick, a fabulous stone mix necklace from J. Crew, has everything: cut glass, cobalt blue, carnelian orange, and a bungee cord. Also, it’s on sale. What’s not to love?

Bold Accessories - The Statement Necklace at J CrewDetails
Length: 21″ with a 3″ extender chain for adjustable length.
Brass, epoxy, glass.
14k gold plating.
Originally $165, now $135

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Piece #2: The Art Teacher-As-Hipster Earrings

I know, I know – not everyone is a fan of statement necklaces. (I myself have a short neck and can’t really pull it off.) So, if you’re more of an earring gal (like me, yay!), here’s what I recommend: multi-colored beaded earrings. It’s as though your grade school art teacher decided to live in Ibiza, or, more locally, the East Village.

This pick, a lively pair from all-time fave ModCloth, is a dazzler: small circles of gray-brown beads help the pools of violet, red and blue pop into focus.

Bold Accessories - Colorful Earrings on ModclothDetails
Man-made materials and lead-free metal.
Individual earrings measure 2 x 1.5 inches.

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Piece #3: The Cutout Flat

Nothing says summer like yellow. And cutouts of all kinds are in nowadays – prettily laser-etched wedding invites, 70s-style fringes on T-shirts – but you don’t need stencils and scissors.

This pick, sunshine-colored flats from Restricted, are neat, have a sole (so you don’t feel like you’re walking on pavement – I’m lookin’ at you, flat sandals), and, most importantly of all, are comfortable. How do I know this? I tried on a pair, not expecting much – I have small, broad, unfeminine feet and low tolerance for shoe-related pain – but my feet felt lissome and I felt chic. Bought, paid for and now, recommended!

Bold Accessories - The Cut Out Flat at DSWDetails
Faux leather upper with cutout details
Pointed cap toe
Synthetic sole
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Piece #4: Small-Time Studs, Long-Term Use

Summer is a good time to invest in pieces you can use during other seasons. Because most everything being sold will become irrelevant by Fashion Week, snap up accessories which will transition seamlessly into fall and winter.

This pick, seaport stud earrings from Kate Spade, are the definition of classy: the pearly effect and gold border are simple, have clean lines, and are incredibly versatile. Use them to dress up a summer cotton shift and wedge sandals, or to put the final touches on a winter look with a smart black coat, ankle boots and a navy blue scarf.

Bold Accessories - Pearl Stud EarringsDetails
Stud earring
1/2″ diameter
Post backing
Faux pearl and 12k gold plated metal
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Piece #5: Greener Pastures

Every wardrobe needs requisite pieces: tailored black trousers, a few white V-neck T-shirts, pearlescent studs (see Piece #4), and, in my opinion, something in a shade of brilliant green. You know, the sort of green you associate with Wimbledon, strawberries and cream, country lanes, cricket – it’s a British thing, is what I’m saying.

This pick, an ASOS satchel bag with scallop trim and front straps, is, as the Brits would say, just the thing. It’s pert, it’s verdant, it’s not real leather so it’s not egregiously expensive. And given the price – a ridiculous $37.33 – you’d best hurry before I snap it up myself!

Bold Accessories - Green Satchel Bag at ASOSDetails
Made from a leather-look fabric
Smooth matte finish
Adjustable longline strap
Scalloped flap design
Press stud fastening
Inner zip pocket
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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.