Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The runway is filled with white, nudes and minimalist style clothing this year. With this neutral backdrop, it is the perfect opportunity to make that bold statement with your accessories. Standouts: bright, oversize necklaces and bangles, exciting new shapes in sunglasses and handbags, and nods to the '60s and '70s. Get ready to charge into summer armed with bold accessory colors and flirty flair.
"It is summer and we are not hibernating any longer," said Tod Hallman, fashion stylist and fashion show producer. "We want to be out and we want to feel good, and what makes you feel better than color?"
It is summer, and we are not hibernating any longer. We want to be out and we want to feel good, and what makes you feel better than color.
- Tod Hallman, fashion stylist and fashion show producer.
Stunning, Vibrant Color
Bright colors are so important this summer, with exciting hues in handbags, shoes, on lips and around necks and wrists.
"There is a lot of block coloring this season with cleaner lines, which I think is great because you don't want things to fight," Hallman said. "You don't want your accessories to fight your dress, you want it all to complement each other and be a complete look."
While no bright color is off-limits this summer, red is THE color this season, and finding the perfect shade for you can make your outfit pop. Use red as an accent by adding a pair of bright shoes or playful plastic architectural bangles, suggests Francesca Mills, celebrity stylist.
"Large, mixed stones and gems and massive statement pieces are a great way to jazz up your neutral ensembles this spring and summer," Mills said. "Also making an appearance are '80s-inspired tassel and fringe earrings and necklaces."
Gemstones give you an opportunity to play around with visually interesting shapes and designs. This look is versatile, so you can individualize your pieces to match your personal style, budget and body shape.
If you are full-figured or just looking to elongate your shape, Hallman suggests you choose stackable necklaces that drape rather than ones that are short around your neck, which cut off your line and make you appear rounder.
If you are a slender to average build you can wear almost anything, from dainty chains to clunky stones, but don't let the jewelry start to wear you and swallow you up.
The Fanny Pack Is Back
Another look that has hit the runway by storm is the belt purse. A bright-colored one adds whimsy and fashion-forward style to your wardrobe.
"Belt purses or the belt pouch is one of spring/summer 2011 hottest trends," Mills said. "This trend is perfect for those who don't like carrying a large bag and only need their credit card and lipstick".
A belt purse draws attention to your waist -- a good thing if you have an hourglass or athletic-shaped body; however, if you have a larger waistline, go for a neutral or subtler color.
Two trends this season will have you purring for more.
The first is the kitten heel, hailing from the '50s and '60s; it's a flirty and fun and looks spot on with casual summer daywear. The short heel is flattering on all body types, giving the sexy posture you love from high stilettos but in an effortlessly chic way.
The second look is the comeback of the cat-eye sunglasses, which have been spotted all over the runway this season. This retro-glam look is all the rage and most importantly, cat-eyes look good on many face types. They give your face shape by accentuating your cheekbones and filling out the top of your face.
"Cat-eyes are a shape best suited to square, diamond or otherwise-angular faces, but play around until you find a style that suits you," "Glamour" magazine's trend alert advised.
Shoes, Shoes and Shoes
"The hottest shoe trend this season is mostly a mix of what we have seen the past few years," Mills said. "But this year those familiar styles have been updated with fun feminine twists and embellishment. If you are into flowers they can be found everywhere -- on pumps, wedges, thongs and flat sandals."
Mills added that because neutrals are so hot this season, natural elements such as raffia, jute, cork, shells and wood are stylish additions to your shoe collection.
Shoe style this summer is all about wedges, platforms, chunky heels and short kitten heels, and all of these styles are much more comfortable and easier to wear than stilettos.
Hallman suggests that the must-have accessory this season is a chic nude pair of shoes to make the legs look longer and leaner, while not distracting from your outfit.
"What's so great is I can also use a nude shoe on my clients of color," Hallman said. "It still gives you that very clean palette on the bottom, even if it doesn't match your skin tone, and I don't think that that's the purpose of the nude shoe; it just needs to be chic and elegant and kind of disappear. A nude shoe is a great way to go for summer."
Fabulous shoes give everyone good looks and style, no matter your body shape or size, which makes shoes the perfect "feel-good" accessory.
With the all of the new trends this season, it may seem impossible to stay on top of everything and feel it in the budget department, but these days it's all about affordability, with stores bringing you the hottest trends at major bargains.
"Accessories are a great way to update your look," Mills said. And you don't need to spend a fortune."
Make sure to check out thrift and vintage stores in your area, where you might find many of the accessories inspired by 50s- through '70s styles that are so trendy now.