Here in the Northeast, temperatures have suddenly surpassed spring to plunge us all into summer-like days, reminding us that life is often on a fast track regardless of the rhythms we go by. If your wardrobe is feeling jittery and you are not quite accustomed to reconfiguring to the whims of the weather, accessories are the perfect solution to revive your wardrobe and an easy way to make a statement, however subdued.

A monochromatic palette is always a good place to start. Iconic figures such as Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Hutton made the monochromatic pantsuit a fashion staple by showing both its seductive power and femininity. Their interpretation is the essence of American sportswear, which has become a classic by today’s fashion standards. Designers like Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and Phoebe Philo for French label Celine have created great examples of how softer pastels — becoming on most skin tones — project a strong aesthetic without taking away from the feminine mystique that co-exists in combining sharp lines and soft tonalities.

You can build an entire wardrobe using monochromatic looks by swapping a jacket out or inserting your favorite pair of black trousers to offset a lighter hue. Or, take a white-on-white cotton, linen, or fabric blend pant or skirt suit and accessorize with a fun sandal and floral print tote to accent the season and inject some of your personal style.

BG Sandals

img-thing Corded Thong Flat Sandal, by Stuart Weitzman, bergdorfgoodman.com and White Flora Print Canvas Bag, by Gucci, profilefashion.com . Seek out looks that have transcended trends. On such example is the safari aesthetic, which has never gone out of style. It can easily be translated into other neutral tones, pastels, navy, even black, which can look particularly sharp in warmer months. A hat always adds a little mystery to the equation, and this khaki one is the perfect safari-style companion to a soft pastel outfit or even a black shift dress. . b5d3d610d3d9b83f43e2db0a0892f2c1_best

Microfiber Rain Hat, by Eric Javits, saksfifthavenue.com

If hats are not your style, opt for a clutch such like this one in embossed faux skin; it  can look as elegant or as casual as you want it to be. Leather or fabric envelopes can really add personality to an outfit.
OBL-PYY-SND-2 Leather Clutch, by GiGi New York, saksfifthavenue.com .

And then there is jewelry! This turquoise inspired necklace is very becoming and can really add attitude to a neutral palette.

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Bib Necklace, by Michael Kors, couture.zappos.com

This season there has been much talk of a 1940s revival. One way of interpreting the visual aesthetics of this bygone era is by reintroducing the matching shoe and handbag. Gucci has revisited the classic arsenal of handbags and loafers to focus on a range of brightly colored patent handbags with a signature buckle. As for the matching footwear, there are many flats, medium heel pumps, even kitten heel slingbacks or block heeled ‘Mary Janes’ to make the look your own.

 Gucci Bag  Bright Bit Patent Leather Shoulder Bag, by Guccci, saksfifthavenue

GucciShoes‘Frame’ Moccasin, by Gucci, nordstrom.com

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  • Suzi Sale April 14, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Thanks for sharing,Stephanie, I am headed to an international festival in our city today, and looking forward to learning more about cultural fashion trends.

    Reply
  • Diane Dettmann April 12, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Not sure which one of these accessories works best with Minnesota turtlenecks and multi-layers of clothing. Winter’s stuck here, refusing to budge, but the sandals and floral tote inspire me to think, maybe summer will arrive! Thanks for the great wardrobe update ideas. Think I’ll pull on my boots and go shopping. 🙂

    Reply