AWide Brimmed Hat
A wide-brimmed hat is both stylish and practical in keeping the elements at bay. A felt hat for winter will keep your head warm and the snow out of your face, while a straw hat for summer prevent sunburn and provides instant shade.
Sunglasses help keep the sun out of your eyes and can immediately increase your “cool” quotient. Find frames that work with your face shape, and go cheap if you like variety, tend to lose them, or have small kids at home who can’t resist playing with your stuff.
A Silk Scarf
A large, square silk scarf with a beautiful pattern can last for years and enjoy endless uses. Fold it various ways and use it as a headband, wind protection for your hair, a splash of color around your neck, wrist, or handbag, or even as a belt. While scarves go in and out of popularity, they’re never out of style.
Once upon a time, hand touching was considered too intimate between strangers, so women wore gloves of various lengths and styles throughout the day and evening to prevent inappropriate touch. Today, we wear gloves mostly for warmth, but they have much more use than that: they prevent blisters in sports, protect hands when gardening, and look elegant with evening attire. Wear them and draw comments.
A 1″ Leather Belt
Belts, like scarves, go in and out of style, but a dark, 1″ leather belt is a classic that will last you for years with proper care. Wear it with jeans, dresses, skirts, and shorts to fill those belt loops and finish the ensemble.
Women have worn hosiery for a thousand years to keep legs warm, and in the last century, to make legs look good with shorter hems. Wear thigh high stockings to add polish and keep you cool in summer, comfortable during pregnancy, and forever sexy to your man.
Wearing closed-toe shoes without socks or hosiery will make your foot sweat and your shoes damp and smelly. So don’t do it. Use trouser socks with pants and jeans to wick away foot moisture, polish your look, and extend the life of your shoes.
A Leather Handbag
A dark, well-constructed leather bag in a simple style can take you to most day functions three seasons a year. If you opt for a color that goes with most of your wardrobe (black, brown, taupe), you can invest a lot, use it a lot, and get your money’s worth by the time you have to replace.
Straw Handbag or Tote
A flat-bottom straw handbag or tote in a simple style will look fresh and appropriate with most of your summer-time wardrobe including – quite possibly – your business wear. Avoid cutesy things like beaded animals or sea creatures if you use it for work and want to be taken seriously.
Evening is a time for dressing up and being elegant, so put on your heels and leave your big daytime bag at home. Evening clutches need to be large enough to carry credit cards, money, lipstick, and your keys, and can have a short chain handle that can be tucked in or left out. If you invest in one dark one and one light (or metallic) one, they should see you through years of use. I have a beautiful pearl bag my mother carried in the ’60’s that I still use a few times a year.
Now if you see things on this list that you don’t or won’t use, don’t buy them. That’s fine. But if you’re trying to fill out your wardrobe and cover all your accessory bases, use these as a guideline to fill in the holes.
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