6 Fall Accessory Trends to Update Your Wardrobe
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Lifestyle

6 Accessory Trends to Update Your Cool Weather Wardrobe

These budget-friendly options are all under $100.

photo collage of accessories and clothing to wear during colder weather
Elena Scotti

Like a fresh coat of paint in the living room, well-chosen accessories can elevate everything around them. Both are among the least expensive ways to generate a big impact in the space they play in — your home, your wardrobe and even your gift-giving. Artfully selected, they can shift the mood and time stamp of an entire outfit from safe to sassy, from last decade to full-on 2023. These are the season’s key accessory trends to inspire your shopping and your gift-giving. Each has an under-$100 option so you can mix and match to fit your budget.

Purses

Bus-sized totes may literally be the next big thing, but give me (and my shoulders) something smaller, please. That’s still easy to pull off this season with a range of high-end dupes in clutch, cross-body and crescent styles. Previously known as knockoffs, dupes offer the look of big-ticket items at a fraction of the cost. If you’ve been admiring Bottega Veneta’s woven Jodie Mini Knot Bag ($2,500 at neimanmarcus.com) but not its price tag, click over to etsy.com, where a quick search for “knot woven bag” will turn up highly rated dupes from GoldenGratitudeBeaut ($56) and best-selling finds at UnitedShakes ($51). You can find a twin for Valentino Garavani’s celebrity-endorsed One Stud Medium Shoulder Bag ($3,400 at saksfifthavenue.com) in Mango’s Flap Chain Bag ($46 at mango.com), complete with a decorative metal square front and center. This brand offers plenty of other great fall-winter options like the Suede Baguette Bag ($60) and Oval Short Handle Bag ($50).

Sunglasses

This is one of the easiest updates you can make year-round, and it’s certain to draw instant attention. Make your sunglass statement with color — pink, purple, latte — or shapes like slim ovals, oversized squares or thick-browed cat’s-eyes. Le Specs’ best-selling Outta Love ovals come in six colors ($59), and their sustainable Collection 06 includes the dramatic Fanplastico cat’s-eye design in parakeet green or black ($89, both at lespecs.com). Regardless of how tempting the styling may be, sunglasses have a job. Make sure they do it by confirming in the fine print that your finds (like our examples) provide ample UV ray protection.

The Color Purple

Pastels aren’t just for spring anymore. Pinks popped in summer, thanks to ballet and Barbie influences. Now, lavender is the hot hue on the pastel color wheel as we head into cooler weather. This fashion-forward shade is a great way to perk up a play-it-safe black outfit and move it from tech-mogul wannabe to seriously current fashionista. The style influencers at Ann Taylor spotlight soft lilac on their Colors We Love page, where you’ll find a statement-making trench coat in lilac bloom ($218 at anntaylor.com). Or pull on the soft coziness of 1.State’s Cable Knit Collared Sweater in pale lavender ($79 at nordstrom.com) and pair with jeans for a coffee date. Looking for something more seductive? Slip into H&M’s lavender Rib-Knit Top with its sweetheart neckline ($50 at hm.com), and add a long, satiny skirt or flowing pants.

Cowboy Boots

Living in Texas for 10 years gave me a chance to finally indulge my childhood fantasy of owning cowboy boots. My biggest surprises were how comfortable they are and how well they complement everything from jeans to silky separates. Over the ensuing four decades, I’ve owned half a dozen pairs and have some black ones sitting in my closet even here in Florida. Which is a good thing, because cowboy boots, or Western boots if you prefer, are once again a fashion statement. Iconic brands offer up traditional snip-toe styles, such as Dan Post’s ornately stitched Mataya Mignon Boot ($210) or Laredo’s Miss Kate Leather Boot adorned with leather flowers and contrasting overlays ($185, both at danpost.com). Jeffrey Campbell serves up some of the best fashion-forward versions, like his Conlon Cowboy Boots ($428) with floral appliques and graphic bullheads or Dagget Western Boots in turquoise suede to brown leather ($270, both at freepeople.com). For budget-friendly options, Coconuts delivers the Cisco and Bandera styles ($70) with eye-catching embroidery and the reptile-textured Otis Western Chelsea Bootie ($90, all three at dsw.com) with stretchy gussets.

Earrings

When wearing cowboy boots, who doesn’t need turquoise earrings? Pairing the favorite footwear of the Southwest with the region’s favorite gemstone is a natural. The Turquoise Network store (amazon.com) showcases the blue-green stone in a variety of modestly priced dangle and drop designs ($24 to $49). If you can’t visit Dallas to shop at the exceptional Castle Gap Jewelry Co., you can find this local institution and their authentic Native American offerings online. Set in sterling silver and stamped with the artisan’s name, Castle Gap’s turquoise options range from sleek ovals ($84) to Texas-size dangles ($720, both at castlegap.com). While silver is the traditional setting for turquoise, the Aureus + Argent collection at Banana Republic chooses gold, an especially striking combo for golden-veined stones mined in Tulum, Mexico ($80 to $200 at bananarepublic.com). Looking for more bling? The Ross-Simons store (amazon.com) will have you covered in sparkling multi-gemstone styles ideal for dressing up. Standouts include spiraled sterling drop earrings set with garnets and orange citrine ($129), and dramatic chandeliers with lemon quartz and pink topaz ($200). Bargain hunters can turn to Milla’s Neon Colorful Hoop Earrings ($20 at amazon.com) for a shimmering pop in 13 bold hues, including trendy purples and pinks.

The Necklace Hack

Finding new ways to repurpose items I already have gives me more joy than splurging on a big-ticket purchase. That’s why I was excited to see the return of satin cording for pendants. Swapping out delicate chain necklaces for elegant cording can easily and inexpensively freshen up pieces from another decade. My treasure hunt turned up a lavender jade pendant, a cameo, a Tiffany heart and an amethyst pendant that had all been languishing in the bottom of jewelry cases and the back of bureau drawers. A quick search of Amazon and Etsy for “2 mm rat tail satin cording” provided the rest of the tools I needed. So many colors! So cheap!

Once the cording arrived, all it took was a few well-placed knots to secure the pendant and finish the ends, and my do-it-yourself project was complete. So pretty! So current! So happy!

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