As I write this, the days are feeling shorter and I’m starting to succumb to the charm of autumn. You know, the festive drinks (pumpkin spiced latte, anyone?), comfy chunky boots and a Netflix evening on the sofa. Transitioning into the new season, the focus is on updating our older looks, and there are so many accessories this season that’ll do just that.
As a ‘90s baby, I was inundated with every accessory under the sun, from multicoloured bracelets to the frayed plaited waist belt and jewelled hair gems. Somewhere down the line, I put accessories on the back burner to focus on the bones of a wardrobe.
Now in my 30s, I’ve come full circle and appreciate the subtle and inexpensive ways you can elevate basic outfits. Off-duty jeans and t-shirt pairings become Parisian when teamed with a boucle bag, and a silk scarf is a polished addition to a simple outfit, and you can wear it in a multitude of ways.
I’m in awe of the chunky jewels on offer and the more is more statement when it comes to jewellery. This season, pearls are all the rage – from choker styles to mother of pearl teardrop necklaces.
Let’s not forget sunglasses either, which are a year-round staple (the girls that get it, get it), whether it’s for an incognito trip to the supermarket or as the finishing touch to an outfit. A good pair of sunnies will span years of wear when you find a frame you feel comfortable in and it’s not something you need to worry about replacing.
Now is as good a time as any to assess your accessories and these are the current timeless trends that you can fall back on repeatedly.
Tweed & houndstooth bags
Although tweed is a forever staple, thread-baring accessories are new-in for autumn 2022. You may have seen Anine Bing’s Nico bag circling the gram – it’s set the tone for the cushioned bags to come. Before it reached sell-out status, it was popular with minimalists and paired with transitional looks, from tailored suits to printed dresses.
The puckered texture of jacquard, herringbone and tweed soften accessories that are often made from hard-wearing materials – and as the colours running throughout are neutral, you can pair these bags with everything and anything. Best of all, they look so luxe – very Chanel sans the hefty price point.
A pearl necklace
Jewels are becoming more and more OTT and I’m certainly not complaining – I live for glistening jewels.
A pearl necklace is the regal additional you never knew you needed. However, the original perfectly rounded-shaped chain has had a makeover. The newer designs are organic misshapen or disk-shaped pearls, which add an element of imperfection. Then much like the mixing of metals, there’s the clashing of pearl and metal link chains if you’re looking for a touch of both styles. Now is the season to decorate the décolletage with careless abandon!
Monochrome silk scarf
Like most people with afro hair, I’m no stranger to a silk scarf – I use one to wrap my hair every night, but the silk scarf has been elevated to new heights beyond the realms of the bedroom.
The most popular way to wear a silk scarf this season is a neckerchief. With one or two knots (if you’re feeling fancy), you can completely change the vibe of your outfit. A silk scarf can also be used as a twilly around a handbag handle (a la Hermès). As a person who loves to make her wardrobe work hard, this is a multipurpose accessory I can get on board with!
Despite the fluctuating forecast, there’s something mighty appealing about the small increment of time between seasons that calls for versatile styles of dressing – especially between summer and autumn. The hero of transitional dressing is footwear. Thick knits can be paired with open-toe shoes as a contrast.
The Row is responsible for the many chunky sole footwear styles that have become core basics for most wardrobes, including fisherman sandals. They offer an androgynous vibe, so they pair well with dresses to balance out overly girly styles. Although sandal weather days are numbered, fisherman sandals can be worn year after year, just add a pair of socks.
Options for leather belts used to be few and far between but in the past couple of years, we’ve seen some notable (and pricey) styles – from Loewe’s Obi Belt to the Isabel Marant knotted belt. A good quality belt can elevate white jeans and a t-shirt to epic proportions.
I wear a lot of voluminous maxi dresses, so I also belt mine in at the waist to add more shape. Although the spenny designer monogram belts are popular choices, the most noticeable belt trends of 2022 are a bit more subdued and high-waisted belts are back like they never left.
Cylindrical sunnies are the shape of 2022 and whilst I’m still swooning after the Celine Triomphe 01 model (be still my beating, but on-a-budget, heart), I managed to track down some affordable alternatives.
Recently, I’ve come to really appreciate a good pair of sunnies. They don’t have to be expensive: this style of rounded frame oozes sophistication and looks super premium. A tortoiseshell casing has a timeless feel and unlike black, it offers a chic and soft-focus contrast against all skin tones and hair colours.