Style Isle

Having written about vintage last week, I got to thinking about accessories and how to build up a nice collection of varied pieces for the new season. Accessories, you see, are statements. You can take the simplest of outfits, in any array of colours or styles and by adding a pair of earrings there, a scarf here or a hat, the outfit transforms completely. Whether you like bold pieces, or prefer to stick to jewellery you wear all the time, accessories are something you can have fun with.

One piece of advice I give all the styleisle readers is this: if there is a new clothing trend, say a wild new colour (and this season there are many! ) the best way to experiment with it is though accessories. You can save yourself the cost of buying a trend driven piece which may not work with your existing wardrobe and pick up some less expensive necklaces, wraps, bangles or bags and give them a test run to see if you like them. A risk averse way of trying on trends if you will.

And where are accessory trends going this season? I’d say a little crazy. Bracelets are now cuffs, rings become knuckdusters and as for shoes, well I’m just in heaven with those. So this season, join in the madness and try a few new things. First port of call is Miss Selfridge. I am so impressed with their designs this season especially the Aztec inspired earrings. If you have short hair or tend to wear upstyles, long and more decorative earrings will show off your hair cut and help frame your face. For longer hair, try some styles with stones, Topshop have lot’s to choose from.

One accessory we tend to pass by, but will always have a firm place in fashion is the brooch. Our grandmothers were great fans, and if you want to dress up a black blazer, a brooch is an easy way to make the same blazer look different each time you wear it. Penneys are great for brooches and you can pick them up for as little as €2.50! But if you are not a fan of the brooch, then a great necklace will do the trick as well. My staple Spring/Summer look is inspired by Victoria Beckham; jeans, white t-shirt, blazer and some form of long necklace. And when the sun comes out you can add the shades.

Chains are a stylish way to dress up the most casual look, and I tend to look for these either in markets (for some home made designs ) or shops like Oasis, Born, Forever 21 and New Look. Coming into the stores over the next month will be lot’s of scarves too, from gorgeous floral prints to Hermés inspired designs. These are an essential part of our summer accessory collection and will carry you through to next season as well.

But the key accessory for every girl seems to the bag. I’ve invested in a lot of classic styles over the last few years from designers like Marc Jacobs, Coach and DKNY. They are hard wearing and are beautifully crafted so that they go with almost everything in my wardrobe. Saving your pennies and making the splurge on a bag is a worthwhile purchase; see it as a prudent investment with endless returns if you calculate the cost per wear over the course of your whole life!

The trend for the summer will be the “bucket”; this spacious but stylish bag looks lovely with a casual outfit but will be practical enough to use for work as well. If I go out to work with a small bag, I always end up with some form of paper bag for shoes, make up bag etc, so my resolution for the Spring is to go with this larger style to fit my entire life in one space!

And...don’t forget that to start looking for the perfect hat to get you ready for race season! Take a look at some fabulous Irish designers like Suzanne O’Dea from Galway and Loraine Domican from Kildare!

 

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