Here’s hoping you have finally made the seasonal wardrobe switch. As your personal stylist, I must ask, did you include accessories in that switch? Yes, accessories are a category and must be treated as seasonal.

If you are a regular reader, you already know how hard I work to get you to break down your wardrobe by category. It is infinitely more manageable that way. Think of it like grocery shopping. You start with the fresh food category (that should be 80% of your shopping cart), move to the meat department (moderation is prudent here), peruse through the pre-packaged aisles (buy the least here please), on to the frozen food section (selectivity rules) and then out the door. When you return home, you re-categorize again by refrigerator, freezer and pantry.

We are creatures of habit and we are categorizing things all day long. Why then do you throw open the doors of your closet and find utter chaos?

By organizing your wardrobe by category, you can then divide and conquer each category by season. It’s 90 degrees outside now, I am sure you are not looking to don your big brown suede handbag, your heavy gigantic infinity scarf or your 20-pound metal statement necklace this morning!

With that said, let’s begin…


When was the last time you performed a bag assessment? A purse is more than an accessory – it is a statement, an investment, and a daily companion.

Seriously, what do you hold more often than your bag? You carry it every day, so it must be versatile, comfortable and good looking. It should be able to endure being hung, dropped, stretched, stuffed, occasionally tossed in the backseat, and thick-skinned to take verbal abuse when you can’t find something inside.

Out with the old and in with the new. Are you ready to rumble? Shopping for the right bag can be painful – totes, hobos, clutches, satchels, cross-bodies, messengers, duffels and more, where’s a girl to start?

Here are a few ‘summer’ bag tips for shopping:

  1. They must fit – Start where you most likely start each day – in the mirror! You must try bags on to make sure they fit your body proportion as well as what you might be carrying. We tend to carry less in the summer, no gloves, no stashed scarves, etc., so perhaps you can scale down in size.
  2. Choose your color wisely – As much as you like your summer whites – white just might not be the best choice for you. Let’s consider what a day in the life of your bag might entail. Placed on the seat of the car, or forced to the floor? Placed on the hook in the bathroom or gripped like cash while you use the facilities or even thrown in a file drawer at the office? Choose a color, yes, a pop of color as your purse is a great place to make a fashion statement.

Scarves – It should be obvious which scarves to pack away – start with the wooly mammoths, then proceed to the winter colors. Do an assessment of likes and dislikes, worn out and never worn. Proceed to the purging stage and then be sure to get your favorite scarves, those that saw a lot of action last season, off to the dry cleaners as the moths love dirty scarves!

Here are a few ‘summer’ scarf tips for shopping:

  1. Take note of your favorite size and shape (hint – you wore those the most last season). Then shop by shape first as you will notice that the stores display them by shape!
  2. Shop within the shapes by fabric. Do you want gauzy linen or lightweight silky fabrics?
  3. Shop by pattern – are you attracted to geometrics or florals?
  4. Shop by color – choose pops of color that pull you out of the neutral zone but that can pull in your solid wardrobe pieces and make new combos possible.

Jewelry – Yes Alice, jewelry has a season, and this is the time to do a jewelry edit. The best place to perform this delicate operation is on the dining room table. Bring it all down. Lay it out by, you guessed it, by category – necklaces, bracelets, watches, rings, earrings and pins and then follow this five step process.

  1. Take a reality pill – if you have never worn it or honestly hate it, then donate it – someone will love it!
  2. Is it your current style? If you have retired after 25 years at Merrill Lynch and you don’t plan on donning that gray suit ever again, then 20 sets of pearls may not serve your new-found (or yet to be found) style.
  3. If your collection is DIY heavy, flea market heavy, hand me down heavy, or macaroni necklaces, then perhaps it is time to treat yourself.
  4. After you have assessed what you own, what you are keeping and what you are donating, perhaps it is time to take a photograph of your collection for insurance purposes (or Will listings – okay, okay, just being prepared here).
  5. Now you can divide by season if in fact you see the obvious differences. Your summer jewelry might be colorful, may include coral, turquoise, flower shapes and multi-color stones. These tones will complement your summer pastels, your linens, your white jeans and your flashy fashion sandals. Pack away the heavy gold, dark garnet, deep olive tones and the multi thick strands that are better suited to a turtleneck than the delicate skin of your décolletage.

Here are a few summer jewelry tips for shopping:

  1. Consider the current trends. We are emerging from the trend of heavy metal larger than life jewelry and entering a lighter summer trend, which includes layers of thin necklaces, slivers of shiny arm cuffs, and baubles that include semi-precious stones in an array of colors. Multiple stones seem to rule this season and that is where you can pull in colors that compliment your eyes, your skin tone and even your pearly whites!
  2. Consider the price points and plan for sales. When it comes to cost-per-wear, summer is a shorter season so it makes sense to pay a bit less for summer fashion jewelry which also allows for more variation so you are not always wearing the same necklace at all the family barbecues!

Need more help by category? Grab a copy of my book, Confidence Is Always In Style, at the reduced price of $10. Link and enter the code BA50 at checkout.

Remember – shop with purpose!





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