1. Clutch Bags. Thanks to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, the clutch is back in a big way in recent years. There's something liberating about being able to leave the house without hauling ten pounds of purse with you.
Suede clutch from Talbots
L.K. Bennett clutch (a favorite brand of the Duchess of Cambridge)
2. Punk Jewelry. Fun and edgy punk pieces add some pizzazz to an outfit, but don't invest too much in punk jewelry because I don't think this fad will last more than a season or two. And a single item is all you need. Personally I prefer the superglam pieces that are more ladylike and mature.
Spikes & sparkles make this bracelet a good cocktail party accessory
3. Mid-heel Shoes. If you do a lot of walking in heels your feet will thank you this season!
Manolo Blahnik heels
4. Statement Necklaces & Earrings. You can never go wrong investing in these, especially the statement necklaces. Even if minimalist jewelry makes a big comeback in the future, statement jewelry will always be in style with evening wear.
Sequin necklace on the left, Kate Spade on the right
Flashy earrings, unsigned
5. Top Handle Bags. Very ladylike and still able to carry everything you need.
Michael Kors satchel bag with top handles
Plum colored top handle satchel from YSL
6. Velvet Shoes. Can be worn in the day or night depending on the style (think cute ballerinas or loafers for day), but most velvet pumps look best in the evening with formal attire.
Blue velvet pumps labeled Private Collection
Sleeping beauty meets Cinderella
7. Animal Print. I don't think animal print ever goes out of style, especially leopard print, so investing in a beautiful bag or shoes is a wise buy.
Nicole Miller purse
Manolo Blahnik mules (also happen to be velvet)
8. Two Tone/Color Blocked Bags. This is a fun and functional way to inject some color into an outfit. Two tone tote bags are especially popular this season and if you invest in one in dark colors like navy, gray or burgundy you'll get a lot of use out of it in the years ahead.
Navy & sage green suede tote from Pulicati. The silver tone hardware adds polish.
Multi-colored suede bag by Tignanello
A variation in wool felt from Echo
9. Heavily Embellished. Minimalists will not want to invest in this style, but if you love pearls, jewels and rhinestones this is your season. I especially love jewel encrusted shoes. I think they're gorgeous and very pre-revolution French courtier.
Burgundy velvet Valentino with sequins & pearls
10. Quilted. Very English countryside, or weekend in New England, and usually seen in Burburry field coats, quilted accessories are now also in style, but to avoid looking like a flower child stick to structured bags in solid colors.
Quilted bag from Talbots
Close up of the quilting
11. Peek-a-boo Booties. Call them cage booties, open weave or peek-a-boo the point is to show some skin. I absolutely love this style. I bought the pair below a few years ago and they are one of my favorite pairs of shoes: comfortable, resonably priced and super sexy. Jimmy Choo has a beautiful style out this season that I love in burgundy that you may have seen Nicole Kidman wearing in their new ads, but they cost a fortune and the heel is a spindly stilleto, so I will probably pass. (Learned my lesson last year when I tripped in stilleto heeled non-cage booties and went flying down Madison Avenue.) An added bonus with peek-a-boos: all those men who never notice our shoes notice these, trust me! Just make sure your pedicure is fresh.
Calvin Klein suede cage booties
Enjoy the Fall season and happy hunting/shopping for the perfect accessories!