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Every new sea­son brings a vari­ety of fresh clothes in a host of fab­u­lous colours and styles. But it’s not nec­es­sary to toss out all your last year’s wardrobe just because they are from a pre­vi­ous sea­son, par­tic­u­lar­ly if you’ve invest­ed in good pieces that can car­ry you through for sev­er­al fash­ion cycles. Some­times, all an out­fit needs is an update – a refresh­er, so to speak – an acces­so­ry that makes it look brand new, cur­rent, and gives it punch. Maybe that means adding a great hat to work with a fall trench coat, or per­haps it means tying a scarf around the neck of a white blouse to give it a burst of au cur­rent zing! Invest­ing in acces­sories means you can keep a lot of your favourite clothes because a new neck­lace or oth­er jew­el­ry piece gives out­fits a whole new look. Con­sid­er some of these ideas for trans­form­ing your wardrobe with the lat­est acces­sories, fun pieces meant to give your look a boost and give you a brand new feel, even if the out­fit you’re wear­ing isn’t brand new. (We won’t tell anybody!)

1- Invest In a Bold Necklace

Wear­ing some­thing daz­zling around your neck draws atten­tion up and away from the blouse or jack­et below it. That means the jack­et you’re wear­ing that per­haps you got in a sale two years ago sud­den­ly looks fresh and vibrant in a dif­fer­ent way. A staid blouse you wear to the office gets a touch of cheek­i­ness if the neck­lace you’re wear­ing is bold, and that lends a whole new dynam­ic to office apparel.

2- Buy Some Costume Jewelry

Neck­laces aren’t all that can update an out­fit and add pizazz to your look – rings, bracelets, and chains can do so, too. Opt for ban­gles in this sea­son’s hottest colours to bright­en up a sedate suit, or buy up a few pairs of giant hoop ear­rings to wear with your favourite turtle­neck sweater. Even fun fash­ion rings can add a dol­lop of flair to an office out­fit, so don’t hes­i­tate to dress up your fin­gers when the rest of you has to be all seri­ous and business-like.

3- Scarves, Scarves and More Scarves!

accessories l clothes and accessories l clothes and accessories vocabulary l How to transform your outfit with accessories Whether you tie one around the han­dle of your purse or around your pony­tail, a scarf can take an out­fit from dull to dynam­ic imme­di­ate­ly – and inexpensively. The trick is choos­ing some in bold, bright colours that cre­ate empha­sis and focus. Get one in a check­ered pat­tern, anoth­er in pais­ley, and one in a sin­gle, bold hue with stripes – no mat­ter what shades you choose or how you wear it, a scarf can add a whole lot of class and funky style to any outfit. Scarves are not just for neck-warm­ing under your fall or win­ter coat anymore!

4- Overhaul Your Shoe Closet

A clear sig­nal that your wardrobe is a bit out of date is the shoes you’re wear­ing – are they all pointy-toed when square toes have been in fash­ion for the last year? No mat­ter whether it’s spring, win­ter, sum­mer or fall, acces­soriz­ing your wardrobe with a bunch of new shoes is a great way to bring your clothes up to date fast. And don’t for­get that what you wear on your feet at the office is not what you have to wear dur­ing social hours. Just because you’re a top exec­u­tive does­n’t mean you can’t have fun and wear stilet­tos sometimes! A new pair of great shoes lends a whole dif­fer­ent look and feel to a clas­sic LBD (lit­tle black dress) that you’ve loved for the last three years, so get shopping! As for office shoes – update those flats you keep in your desk draw­er by choos­ing a pair in a new colour or shape, depend­ing on your pref­er­ences for busi­ness attire. Just remem­ber – being a suc­cess­ful woman does not equal being a bor­ing dress­er. Your shoes should be com­fort­able and styl­ish – you don’t have to choose between the two!

5- Accessorize Your Face with New Frames

Your sun­glass­es and “reg­u­lar” glass­es are part of your look and wardrobe, and switch­ing them up can go a long way toward updat­ing and trans­form­ing your appear­ance. Sun­glass frames, in par­tic­u­lar, are a place you can have lots of fun. Con­sid­er cat’s eye frames, or black, ‘Bette Davis’ style frames, or huge Jack­ie O frames — any one of a hun­dred dif­fer­ent looks that give you a whole new Just about any­thing goes when it comes to sun­glass frames, so don’t be shy – choose two! And don’t go for the “qui­et librar­i­an” frames for read­ing auto­mat­i­cal­ly; con­sid­er frames you’ve nev­er worn before. Take a friend who will give you an hon­est opin­ion when you try them on.

6- Purses, Bags and all kinds of Totes

accessories l clothes and accessories l clothes and accessories vocabulary l How to transform your outfit with accessories If you are ner­vous about choos­ing bold acces­sories to wear, why not try a bold acces­so­ry to carry? Purs­es come in vir­tu­al­ly every shape, size, fab­ric and colour imag­in­able. You can select a few in the sea­son’s hottest shades and shapes to help cre­ate a whole new look or opt for a state­ment bag, a more expen­sive choice but one that will last for many years, espe­cial­ly if cared for properly. Lots of folks choose one high-qual­i­ty tote that holds their lap­top, phone and keys, and switch up small­er bags for oth­er items like your wal­let, lip­stick, a comb and mirror. Either way, updat­ing this part of your wardrobe real­ly trans­forms your clothes well, with­out ask­ing you to take too many risks with your wardrobe.

7- Belts, Wraps and Other Add Ons

Dress­es and skirts get a brand new vibe when you switch out a nar­row belt for a wide one, wear one in a new colour, or add a shawl or wrap on top. Belts are per­haps one of the best acces­sories for updat­ing and trans­form­ing out­fits – con­sid­er a wide belt over a tweedy jack­et – a la Diane Keaton – add a faux suede fedo­ra, and you’re all set for a week­end brunch date or an after­noon gallery tour. Belts, wraps, and lapel pins in bright colours or “pre­tend” gem­stones take an out­fit from dull to daz­zling in no time, with­out a big invest­ment of cash. Treat­ing your­self to a few new ‘fast fash­ion’ acces­sories, and per­haps one or two invest­ment acces­sories that require a lit­tle extra spend­ing, makes your wardrobe feel and look brand new in no time flat. If you’re not one for hats, but you love belts, spend your cash there. If you love jeans, con­sid­er tuck­ing in a favourite blouse and doing the col­lar up all the way, then putting a brooch at your throat – that gives you a whole new look with­out spend­ing much at all. Instead of wear­ing sneak­ers, pair this look with new kit­ten heels – your friends will nev­er know you haven’t spent a small for­tune shop­ping online for the lat­est in new denim. Don’t for­get the jew­el­ry, because a lit­tle fab­u­lous bling gives your cloth­ing a whole new atti­tude and says ‘fun and fab­u­lous’ with very lit­tle effort and almost no money! BTW… vin­tage stores are a great place for one-of-a-kind acces­so­ry finds, so be sure to spend an after­noon perus­ing a few with a good friend. You’ll be delight­ed by the dis­cov­er­ies you’ll make, and at sec­ond-hand prices, you can prob­a­bly afford five pieces.

Last but not least

Trans­form­ing your wardrobe with acces­sories does­n’t have to be a dif­fi­cult or expen­sive endeav­our – in fact, it can be scads of fun. If you’re unsure about some choic­es, ask a friend whose opin­ion you trust. Or bet­ter yet – go shop­ping togeth­er. It’s a fun way to spend an after­noon, and soon your wardrobe will be fresh and fab­u­lous – even on a budget!

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