By Krista Lyons, AliveTampaBay Correspondent
Accessories can make or break an outfit, and although you may be tempted to wear 2016’s accessories well into the new year, there are new trends hitting the runway and the streets.
Last year, I heard a fabulous quote from Harry Winston: “People will stare. Make it worth their while.” What I have found, heading into 2017, is that this is the year of the accessory. And what better way to “make it worth their while” than with a fabulous piece that pulls your whole look to the next level?
Although movies would lead us to believe that 2017 fashion will be nothing but tin-foil suits and heavy boots, this year puts a nice spin on that idea and combines nature with modern living. One of the biggest trends this year is boots and booties — even into the warmer months.
“Boots and booties are staples in my wardrobe and they should be in yours too,” said STYLEdge fashion expert Elaine Sweeney. “While looking ever so chic, your feet and ankles are supported to carry you through the day. It is a fabulous wear-now trend as the spring weather does not warm for several months to come.”
Speaking of natural stones, raw-cut and polished amethysts and crystal necklaces are a gorgeous way to not only bring a more earthy vibe to your ensemble, but to add a little bit of sparkle as well. These look best when the stone is large (larger than a quarter, but smaller than a dollar bill folded in half) and when they are hanging from a long silver or gold chain. You can pair it with a chain that best matches the sparkles inside of the gemstone.
“People love the idea of wearing real stones that are known for their healing qualities,” said Rachel Gemara Ward, owner of Tampa’s Gemara’s Gems. “Layering trends will also continue and mixing metals is on trend with this look.”
When considering how to accessorize your ears, you will likely see cuffs making a major comeback. Ear cuffs can bring a look to the next level and can sharpen your overall look — but you don’t have to search for a cuff that is too bold. Smaller cuffs that hug the sides of your ears in solid colors like silver or gold bring an extra pop of shine. If you are looking for an evening earring, forget the dangling styles. Opt for a diamond straight style that goes straight up the sides of your ears. Even if you only have one ear piercing per ear, it will create the illusion of a row of diamond earrings. The best thing about this look is that a little can go a long way. Minimalist styles achieve the look, and you can find custom earrings and cuffs on sites like Etsy.
When you accessorize, it is important to remember that your handbag could be the most eye-catching part of your outfit. In past seasons, we have seen large handbags and smaller totes, but 2017 is all about bags that allow you to go hands free.
“We have seen the messenger bag, backpack and belt bag as trends in the past, this spring, they are all here for us in the No Hands Handbag,” said STYLEdge fashion expert Patty Soltis.
“Enjoy the ease of movement and lighten the pressure of multi-tasking while your hands are free to handle your hectic life.”
While your hands are free (thanks to your hands-free bag), stackable, geometric, and thin-band rings are on the rise in 2017. Get a little bit liberal with your rings — you can wear one on each finger or multiple ones on each finger to keep this trend on point. These rings will keep you on point (pun intended).
Whether you are bold or prefer a more minimalist look, 2017 has the perfect accessories in store for you. Best of all, you can use many of these trends together to bring a fresh look into the new year. No matter how you accessorize, it is important to pay attention to how your look makes you feel.
“Personal style is all about how you feel in what you are wearing,” said Ward. “I honestly feel my best in a pair of jeans and a tank top, then I accessorize because accessories are guaranteed to take your outfit from drab to fab. If you feel good in what you are wearing, you will be more confident and your light will shine brighter.”
Krista Lyons is a correspondent for AliveTampaBay.