We adore choices. We like knowing if the Hermes bangle comes in larger width, how many shades those Balenciaga sunglasses come in, if we can substitute fries for salad, and roll with both an iPod and Sirius. However, there are moments when options become overwhelming. In these times of turmoil, we turn to experts like Nina Lenders, 27, one of LA’s most sought-after stylists. (She’s demurely mum about dropping names of those she dresses, we can only reveal that we know you’re familiar with her clients.) Our charge to Lenders? Tell us what accessories you can’t live without and give a few pointers on how to wear the items. Her laudable list has only one flaw—we adore everything. We have no choice but to scoop up all her suggestions.
1. Evening Bag
Fendi makes the coolest and most fashion-forward evening bags—you won’t find any prom-appropriate clutches here! Right now I love this gray snakeskin bag. I find most evening bags overly girly, but the snakeskin makes the clutch edgy and cool. The colors complement fall’s subdued palate (black, gray, navy) without being too matchy.
2. Platform Pumps
This Chanel shoe, in navy and black, is my favorite pump of the season. The closed-toe is fantastic for winter and the subtle platform makes them comfortable enough to wear all day (I’m not the girl who can walk around in 5-inch stilettos). While they’re not dressy enough for evening, they are perfect as a day shoe or for even a casual cocktail party. I think they’re unbearably cute when worn with a dress and black or grey tights.
3. Tote Bag
I always like a bag that gives you options, like this tote bag from Lanvin. It’s casual and roomy without being so big that you look like an idiot carrying around a suitcase. You can wear the strap criss-crossed over your body like a messenger bag, push it up on your shoulder, or carry it by the handles. I’m particularly fond of Lanvin bags because they’re durable, darling, and versatile. It can also take a beating and the little nicks and scars it gets just make it cooler.
4. Leather Belt
The wide belt is a little done, so this slim-not-skinny width is very appealing to me now. I never want things to be too precious, but I love how the rhinestone detail gives the belt a little girly touch. I think that juxtaposition with the toughness of the leather is fantastic. This belt would look great with a blouse tucked into a skirt. You could also use it to cinch in some of the voluminous fall shapes.
5. Grey Tights
Everyone’s wearing black tights right now, so I love having another option. Marni makes the best tights—they have both charcoal and heather grey—that remind me of the ones I wore in England as a child. Grey tights are also perfect when wearing all black (they save you from looking like a mortician).
6. Lace-up Boots
These are a momentary trend and are very Marc Jacobs, Fall 06. Consequently, this pair from Urban Outfitters is great because you’re not going to blow your rent. When it comes to the hot boot of the season, it makes sense to opt for the cheaper version. That way you can save for a classic, like my all-time favorite Prada riding boots!
7. Knit Cap
The knit cap is another easy accessory that will update your look. You don’t have to spend a million dollars on it, and it can be quite darling for casual outings like catching a film at the Arclight. Be careful of overkill—don’t wear it with a bag, boots, belt, jewelry, and tights—simplicity is the key.
8. Leopard Scarf:
I love scarves, period. This leopard scarf can add a little pop of color to your look. I like it with a form-fitting, 40’s-style dress or a v-neck shirt, vest, jeans, and boots. Wear it casually (once around the neck with the ends hanging front and back) or tied in an angled, loose knot or bow.