We all know that clothing is how we present ourselves to the world, our statement of who we are when we venture outside. One facet of that pronouncement is the way we accessorize. If fashion is our statement, then accessories provide the punctuation.

Just as you can repeat a sentence with a variety of intonations and rhythms, you can also choose pieces that add a quiet period or an emphatic exclamation point to the same outfit.

Handbags Are Fashion’s Hardest-Working Accessories

For most women, a handbag is pretty much a daily addition to every outfit. Though fads come and go, many of us have a preferred silhouette or style that works best, and we usually stick to it. Your favorite style probably depends on the amount of stuff you tend to carry on a given day, with a second favorite for special circumstances like travel.

Practicality aside, let’s talk about purses as fashion. Style mavens are saying the one thing to buy this spring is a colorful bag. We can get behind that. A bright bag can provide a gorgeous counterpoint to a neutral outfit, or let you try a trendy color combo (like the current hot pairing of red and pink) in separate pieces that won’t date when the look does.

A current trend seen on Paris streets is supersized handbags. Those of us who carry way too much stuff can cheer our emergence into fashion’s heights, while we all wait for the sleek, magical bag that’s like Doctor Who’s TARDIS: bigger on the inside.

A practical style that still has a fashionable following is the crossbody bag. We believe its hands-free convenience and slender silhouette will ensure its perpetual popularity. The runway shows are changing its look a bit by hiking it up a bit farther up the body. You can easily achieve this if you wish by shortening the adjustable strap on this beauty: the leather Kelly Crossbody by Marc Chantal.

One prominent runway trend is the belt bag. That’s right—fanny packs are back. The current designer crop is much more structured (apart from a sporty/touristy throwback or two), but frankly, we’re going to wait to see how long this one lasts.

Jewelry: All Things Bling

Our two favorite trends in jewelry this season are layered necklaces and statement earrings. We know the Midnight Velvet customer is no stranger to statement jewelry in general. Fashion has caught up with you and given your style a bit of a twist. Asymmetrical pairs have come into vogue, and we see no reason why you can’t create your own. You might buy two pairs of fashion earrings to mix or match, or get one new style to set off a favorite earring whose mate is lost. Contrasting styles or silhouettes really make this trend work, or you can take it to another level by wearing just one spectacular earring. The effect is particularly noteworthy with an asymmetrical hairstyle.

On the other end of the spectrum, the doubled necklace trend is more dainty: usually a pair of fine chains with a charm on the longer one. It’s a beautifully feminine look that goes especially well with a sweetheart or V neckline.

Scarves—Knotted, Wrapped or Tied to Your Bag

The right scarf is a real game-changer for an outfit. A chunky knit scarf can bring a cozy feel to weekend attire. A silk scarf adds a touch of elegance to office wear, your evening ensemble—or even that same casual weekend outfit. Many women like the look of a silk scarf, but aren’t quite sure how to tie one—especially an awkward shape like a large square. If you are one of those women, fear not the knot. The internet is full of tutorials on different knots. We happen to like this blog post, which shows several ways to wear a square, in addition to 3 ways to embellish a handbag with a scarf. For blanket, oblong and infinity scarves, another post we like demonstrates 15 chic ways to wear a scarf.

The perfect summer wrap is the fringed Sheer Butterfly Shawl, a beautiful way to ward off an evening chill. See more fashion scarves at MidnightVelvet.com.

Top off Your Summer Style with a Great Hat

There’s something casual and carefree about summer hats. Large-brimmed hats have a definitely summery vibe, providing a bit of shade on hot, sunny days. Our favorite is the Butterfly Hat with its bright appliqué. And there’s a coordinating straw bag to add a real beachy feel.

Sunglasses: Fashion Accent or Safety Gear? Both!

Wearing UV protection for our eyes is just as important as it is for our skin. But who can blame us if we want to look great while doing it? Oversized lenses with UV-protection offer the best shield against the sun’s rays. Fortunately, despite a fad for small, Matrix-style shades on the runway, fashion also offers an opposing trend toward oversized frames. You’ll find gorgeous styles like the Oversized Cat-Eye Sunglasses by Steve Madden by searching fashion sunglasses.

When it comes to accessories, the options are virtually endless. You’re sure to find one—or more—that will amplify your own personal style.

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