By Chloe Reed
I love fashion during the colder seasons; trading out flats and sandals for knee boots, short skirts for jeans, and sunscreen for pea coats is like Christmas come early. One of the greatest perks in creating a killer winter ensemble is the ability to accessorize. Where I’m from, summers are hot, sticky and humid: ideal weather for sunglasses and cute hair wraps, but not chunky necklaces or stacks of bracelets.
If you’re like me, your wish list starts to accumulate a number of fun accessories to enhance your wardrobe around the holidays. After all, there are Christmas and New Year’s parties to attend, Valentine’s Day to look forward to, and extra time spent with family and friends calls for plenty of occasions to dress up. Plus, in the winter months, what better way is there to combat early nights and cloudy, gloomy days than with some bright, bold jewelry and accessories to jazz up your look? If you need some inspiration to get your own wish list started (or at least filled out!), look no further; here are 10 pieces you’ll be dying to find under the tree on Christmas Day.
1. A Standout Watch
When it comes to creating stellar arm candy, the watch the show stopping main event. Every other accessory comes in to play only after being matched against your perfect timepiece; which makes sense, as a watch will take up the most space on your wrist. A good watch is practical, of course, but it also makes for an eye-catching accessory; and sends off a luxurious vibe, even if it was purchased without the luxurious price tag. This Invicta Angel Stardust Quartz Mother-of-Pearl Bracelet in Rose tone is going on ShopHQ for just $128, as opposed to the retail price of $230.
2. Stackable Bracelets
Composing the optimal mass of bracelets for said arm candy is no easy feat. Bracelets are essentially my kryptonite when it comes to jewelry – my small wrists make it difficult to shop for, and the pieces that I do have don’t seem to work well together, with or without a fantastic wristwatch. That’s why this year I’ll be hopping on the Alex and Ani bandwagon. Their bangles were each designed specifically to match one another, essentially doing the styling for you. They even go so far as to offer full collections of bracelets in themes like Earth Sultry, Moroccan Refuge, and sports series like NFL and Team USA Winter! If you start out with just a few bracelets, it makes a really easy present for others to continue and gift to you in the future; like a charm bracelet, but much cuter. Plus, each piece is expandable to fit any and every size wrist!
3. A Bright Pair of Shades
If jewelry isn’t your thing, you can never go wrong with a great pair of sunglasses. On sunny days, they can instantly enhance any ensemble to make you look cool and stylish. While black shades are a classic, in the winter season try changing things up with a brighter hue, like red, orange, or even white. This pair of Warby Parker Madison shades in Rum Cherry is currently at the top of my dream list, at $95 non-prescription and $150 prescription lenses.
On the coldest of days, it won’t be your runny nose or frozen cheeks or icy toes that get the best of you – it’ll be your aching ears. And since no woman in her right mind smiles at the prospect of donning large, fluffy, ‘80s style earmuffs to work or happy hour, she’d best point gift-giving family and friends in the direction of Urban Outfitters for a really cute ear warmer. These designs are great because they don’t look like ear warmers, and in fact many of them are actually head wraps, but also provide coverage for your lobes when outdoors. They’ll keep your hair in place on windy days, make a sweet alternative to a winter hat, and also provide the perfect excuse for not styling your locks on mornings when you’re running late.
Sure, you could buy a cheap pair of gloves from any department store, cut off the fingers and be on your merry way. But fraying and unraveling fabric aside, you’ll definitely be asking for a real pair of boyfriend fingerless gloves this season because the offerings on Etsy are too adorable to resist. These tweed beige gloves from annerstreet are going for $34, but you can find plenty of other cable knit and crocheted gloves for even less than that. The best part – aside from the ability to text while keeping your hands warm – is that they are all handmade, which makes for a wonderful present over the holidays, as your friends will be giving that money to an individual vendor and not a large corporation or franchise.
When it comes to statement necklaces, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Nothing can shake up your usual winter garb like a chunky and colorful necklace, and this Bijou Gem Strand from Baublebar is no exception. Not too weighty, this selection is universally flattering with a simple design and adjustable length, and is offered in aqua, black, red, clear, and purple. This sapphire color grabbed my attention right away, though, as it matches with cobalt and Mykonos blue, two of the hottest colors this year. Accent necklaces are great because they work well with business and non-business attire; they’d just as easily spruce up a blazer and slacks or dress as they would an oversized, slouchy sweater with jeans. For an added bonus, Baublebar shows photos of their fans wearing their pieces on Instagram and at the bottom of each product page, so you can find instant inspiration for how to wear it yourself!
Of course, no Christmas list would be complete without a new scarf. A winter staple and year-round fashion accessory, scarves are as practical as they are stylish. I like to pick out scarves that will keep me warm when outdoors, but also sustain that comfy cozy feeling indoors as an accessory to my outfit. Knitted or cashmere, ruffled or simple, patterned or solid colored, scarves make for an incredibly versatile addition. While there are numerous knots and ways to wear traditional long scarves, the infinity scarf has gotten popular over the last season. If one color or selection isn’t enough, no worries – Amazon has a huge collection online, all at reasonable prices. This hot pink ForeverScarf is only $7.99!
8. A Nylon Tote Bag
Handbags are like shoes in that most of the items in your closet were probably picked up on a whim while shopping for something else. So while you might not need another purse in your collection, you may need one that is waterproof in the event of bad weather this winter. Search for a nylon tote bag that can hold any documents from work, all of your daily essentials, a cell phone charger, and even a book or magazine (if you commute, you can guarantee there’ll be days when waiting around for the train or in traffic due to weather conditions). Best of all, if you find yourself outside when it’s snowing, your bag and its contents won’t be ruined by the moisture. ShopStyle has a good selection of nylon designer totes, including this Tory Burch Ella Tote in French Navy for $195.
Brighten your complexion from behind that scarf, hat, and bundled-up coat with a bright pair of drop-down earrings. Chandelier earrings are a quick fix for drawing attention to your face and eyes, drawing you out from behind big, bulky layers of winter gear and ultimately making for a more fashion-forward appearance. Earrings are one of the few accessories you can see when all wrapped up, so they have a big presence. Save the studs and small hoops for summertime, and find a sweet addition to your winter accessories, such as these Purple Chandelier Earrings from 1928 Jewelry. Their stunning pairs range from $12 – 40 and are an easy way to spice up any chromatic or neutral-colored ensemble.
If there’s only one pair of boots you receive this winter, make it a wedge heel boot. They are stylish and work-appropriate, much more comfortable than regular heels, and are easy to accessorize with dresses, skirts, and pants alike. Dressing up is much less of an effort with a simple pair of slip-on boots, whether ankle or knee-high; and while most are good for business attire as well as nights out with friends or a date, more casual styles make a welcome addition to any informal ensemble. These are the hottest boots of the season, and there’s a pair out there that has your name on it! Try stores like Polyvore for a large selection of different styles and materials. This simple pair of DV Dolce Vita Parkers Wedge Booties listed on Polyvore is only $85 at Macy’s, regularly priced at $99.
Hopefully this guide has sparked some inspiration in completing your own holiday gift list!