Pre-fall 2014 collections have been rolling out over the last few weeks, and as always, they're filling that space of being the perfect in-between collections. Whether pulling in the last of summer like Michael Kors or embracing the approaching cold like Jenni Kayne, there's a lot of good to go around. I'm excited to see some of these things hit the sidewalks at the end of next summer, but I'm even more excited for some of them to hit red carpets in the coming weeks. Here are some of my all around faves from the season (click the photo for review and collection).
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3.1 Phillip Lim
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Dsquared
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Diane von Furstenberg
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Markus Lupfer
And an extra mention for best accessory: Alexander Wang's to-die-for over-the-knee boots.
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Front and back angles for your viewing pleasure.
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All images via Style.com.
 
 
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VFiles t-shirt, Forever 21 skirt, J.Crew tights, Aldo shoes
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Forever 21 necklace, old initial ring, Forever 21 stud and large stone ring
When I went to interview to work for a stylist, it was the ultimate outfit making challenge for me. After all, if I couldn't dress myself to their standards, why would they trust me to be able to dress someone else in the future? But I still needed to look cool and not overly professional. My mind went straight to this outfit. I love this t-shirt because it dresses down and up equally well. I love the slight irony of a shirt that says "New York City" when I live here, but it wears really well and is really comfy. I love to dress it up, and it's easy with its neutral coloring. I paired it with this brocade-ish skirt with black opaque tights and really tall wedges for a little casual on the top and fancy on the bottom. The statement jewelry balances the look so you can forget that this could be a wear around the house t-shirt in this particular outfit.
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Images via: Instagram.com/ShopRyanPorter
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what it is: Ryan Porter jewelry
why I love it: A few months ago, my friend Maura gotthis bracelet at work. I loved the message and the idea of the childhood nostalgia-type jewelry that translated to a cool, one of a kind wear all the time bracelet. I always liked it, but never thought about where it came from after she told me she got it from work. Well, it broke after months of constant wearing and she loved it so much (understandably) that she's in the market for a new one. Luckily, I was around the other night when she started considering what the new one would say in earnest, because that's when I was introduced fully to the Ryan Porter brand. With endless options for messages, beads, chains/cords and charms, there are literally thousands of possibilities for any type of jewelry you're looking to buy. They're so well priced that the temptation to get a whole arm party full is actually attainable, and getting them for all your BFFs can actually happen (and may, in my case). They're just perfect to add a little tasteful youthfulness to any day and outfit. They can stand alone in the accessory game, but they also play well with others. Whether you're looking for a pop of color or more of a blend with the rest of your jewelry, they have options to fit every jewelry style. And it doesn't matter if you're looking to send a message to strangers, up your initial jewelry game or need some daily wisdom, you can say anything with these pieces. The only reason I haven't gotten one yet is because I'm deciding what I want it to say. Then "add to cart" will be happening immediately.
where to get it: ShopRyanPorter.com, prices vary (but are soooo reasonable)
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We've reached the end of the first week of December, which means the year is almost coming to a close, we're in the midst of the holidays and it's almost time to settle in for the rest of the winter, as in, the not as fun part that comes after the new year. My birthday might be over, but as always, the beginning of a month always reminds me of things I find missing in my closet. Especially now that cold weather has started to hit.
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tuxedo vest
These come in all color combinations, lengths and textures, and I've wanted one for a while. They're so great to wear over nice pants or dresses, and equally as good to wear over jeans. I like how Olivia has adorned hers with a brooch here. I love an item with options.
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Images via: (top) instyle.com (bottom) jcrew.com
metallic phone case
I'm due for a new phone case, and this one caught my attention when it was on black Friday sale. Unfortunately, I missed the sale, but I've still got my mind on this shiny, chrome-y, glamorous case to dress up my phone.
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knit turban
I have earmuffs that I love, but they're not so easy to fit into small bags, and sometimes they hurt after a while. I don't love hats much if I want to throw my hair up in the middle of the day, so a knit ear warmer turban is still stylish and does the job while still wearing a ponytail. Or not.
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Images via: (top) anthropologie.com (bottom) stylecaster.com
sequin pants
I had some sequin pants that I got for five dollars at a beauty sale years ago. Then I gave them away because they seemed "ridiculous" and I never wore them. Well I'm regretting that now because I think these are a fun way to dress up an outfit with some personality. Jenna Lyons does it well here wearing hers with toned down pieces, but especially around these times some fancy shoes and a fancy top work, too.
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Images via: (top) insidefmm.com, (left) fuddonline.com, (right) Lanvin via style.com
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Whether it's to make a statement about the fashion industry, demand and consumption, irony or some other reason, designers love to make creative jabs at unexciting everyday items. Designers also knows that the handbag is a mainstay of the female accessory repertoire and that the "it" bag has been a thing for as long as mass clothing production and distribution has been around. So they have a little fun with it.

Disposable bags are those items that serve a purpose and then you throw them away or reuse them, but they're decidedly unglamorous. I love how designers put a (pricey) spin on those things we usually don't give a second thought to. Whether it's leatherized plastic shopping bags, paper lunch bags or actual trash bags, everything is fair game. It might seem ridiculous that people actually spend hundreds of dollars on these, but I love a good play on the everyday as well as a bit of sartorial irony. The concept of a knockoff of these examples of bottom-up fashion is also pretty hilarious, but if I come across cheaper versions, I can't say I will pass them up.
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Image via: Nikeblog.com
Whether it's chrome effect nail polish, a gilded maxi dress or some kind of accessory, there's just something so appealing about shiny things. Whether the shine is ironic, like on a casual item, or brings something feminine to a more glamorous level, shiny objects are just satisfying to wear and almost always upgrade an outfit. 

Enter these dreamy Nike Liquid Metal kicks. I've been a little opposed to wedge sneakers since their beginning, just because to me it doesn't make sense to make something that's usually comfortable more uncomfortable, but these quickly changed my tune. I saw many nights out in both winter and summer swapping these out for my usual heels. They're a unique spin on a nearly tired trend, and even though they're sneakers, they're a little dressier. The metallic laces and element tile for gold and silver respectively on the tongue are just the icing on the footwear cake. These pair easily with dresses, shorts and jeans alike. 

At $200, they're no discount deal, but they're also not totally unreasonable. Especially compared to myfirst chrome love. Now to choose which color...

Available to buy at NYC's 21 Mercer. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find another outlet that sells at this point.
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Top Row - images via: UrbanOutfitters.com. Bottom Row - images via: ASOS.com
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what it is: the ear cuff
why I love it: I've always wanted to have a cartilage piercing, but never wanted to make the commitment or surrender to the pain. Enter: ear cuffs. When these first came around, they were a little confusing to me and sometimes distracting. But I've seen so many people wear these in creative ways that now I want to copy and get a few of my own. They range from a deceptive fake cartilage hoop to a full ear adornment, and there are a ton of cool ones out there. It's a cheap way to stay on trend, elevate your accessories game and fake a cool piercing. 
where to get it: Urban Outfitters, Mr. Kate and ASOS have good ones that are decently priced (see above), but also check Etsy and other favorite jewelry outlets.
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Michelle Williams in the campaign, image via: MarieClaire.co.uk
what it is: Louis Vuitton "W" monogram tote
why I love it: I don't really love labels with a capital L, but Louis Vuitton can keep it so tasteful that I don't even mind the monogram on their bags. I own a Speedy 25 in monogram that my very generous aunt got me for a birthday present a few years ago, and I've wanted the neverfull tote and the Sac Plat for quite a while now, in a detached, aspirational, I'll get them when I'm rich someday (maybe, maybe not) kind of way. I guess you can say I'm somewhat of a LV fan. The first thing I noticed about this bag was how great Michelle Williams looked in the ad, and how I was surprised that she was doing a LV ad. Then I noticed this new purse, from the designer's "W" collection, and I fell hopelessly in love. It's just so perfect in so many ways. It can obviously hold all the necessities, but it is unique in a way we haven't seen from LV monogram handbags in a while. It clearly goes with anything and everything and, to me, it just screams must have. At least staring doesn't cost anything.
where to get it: Louis Vuitton (not available online through the website), $4,000
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I have a very extensive accessory collection that I've been adding to for years, but it's been a while since I've bought anything new. There are a bunch of trends I've been eyeing to add to my inventory. Though I don't typically shop for accessories specifically, and usually pick them up as I see them, these are some things I'll have in mind when I'm out shopping in the near future.

midi/pinky rings
I'll admit that it took me a little while to get on board with this trend, but when I thought about the fact that it meant more opportunities to wear rings, I realized I needed to buy some immediately. I love the variety offered, and that some midi rings are big enough to wear as pinky rings. The more options the better. Urban Outfitters has a decent collection.
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Image via: Vogue.com
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Images via: BaubleBar.com
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nameplate/monogram necklace
I love the look of these layered with other necklaces of various lengths. These come in so many cool fonts, and there's nothing more personal and individual than something with your name or initials. The big monograms have been popular for the last few years, and I love the more modern look of this Bauble Bar one.
word necklace
Along the same lines as the name necklaces above, I love how unique these are. Actual words are so expressive, though, and add a certain type of quirk to an outfit. These are a nice alternative to a bib necklace if you're going for a different kind of look while still wearing a statement necklace. If only Lanvin would collaborate with a fast fashion retailer.
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Image via: Lanvin.com
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Images via: (top) JewelryBrief.com, (bottom) BaubleBar.com
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Images via: (top) Asos.com, (bottom) JenniferFisher.com
chain bracelets
I already love chain necklaces, but sometimes arm parties go better with certain outfits. I'm loving the look of delicate bracelets right now, but mixed with more bold pieces, sometimes the look is even better. These are classic and feminine with a little extra personality if worn alone, but are a type of neutral that work well amongst other jewelry styles when stacked or layered. 
embellished bib necklace
Bibs are one of the easiest ways to transform an outfit from basic to eye-catching, and I'm loving the ones covered in jewels. They come in all shapes, sizes, materials and colors, and dress up a casual outfit or add something really unique to a dressy outfit. It's an all-you-need accessory, and though they might seem a little bulky, they're worth the styling challenge.
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Images via: (left) DeniseFashionDesignerClothes.com, (right) KateSpade.com
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Image via: BaubleBar.com
unconventional initials
I love initials because, like name jewelry, they're something special and unique to you. Many places are getting modern beyond just the hanging charm with initial jewelry, and the new options are so interesting. This Bauble Bar necklace also comes in bracelet form. 
mismatched stud earrings
These are the easiest, most understated way to have a little fun with an outfit. There are tons of options, and if you want to add a little bit of interest to whatever you're wearing, they don't add weight or bulk, especially if you have multiple ear piercings. Buy a bunch of sets of matching ones and mix it up, or buy a set of mismatched ones and you can reflect your mood quietly with your accessories.
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Image via: CatbirdNYC.com
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Image via: CatbirdNYC.com
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Image via: UrbanOutfitters.com
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tiny skulls
Skulls could be the most goth of accessory charms, but the way they're done in dainty sizes on delicate chains in girly metals create the perfect irony. Worn alone or layered, these fun pieces are pretty but don't take themselves too seriously. The perfect kind of jewelry for day to day or making a dressed up look a little different.
hamsa  jewelry
I don't wear religious charms too often because I think they're a nice symbol during certain events or days. But I love the meaning behind the hamsa, as well as the look of the charm. I've seen so many beautiful ones in all sizes and designs, but I can't get enough of these tiny, unembellished ones for everyday wear. 
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Images via: (left) PeggyLi.com, (right) Etsy.com shop Lotus411
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One of my favorites in my collection, Lulu Frost "Impromptu Pin." Image via: ModaOperandi.com
Brooches are often associated with the likes of school librarians and grandmas, but I feel like they're really an underrated accessory, and you can do so much more with them than just dressing up a nice coat or pinning them to a blazer lapel (which are both great options!). The Glamourai gives a great photographic guide on how to wear them a few ways, and they're an accessory that I try to incorporate into my outfits fairly often, and there are so many ways to wear them. Brooches are a nice alternative to statement necklaces and earrings.

Wear them in the most straightforward way, but choose brooches that really echo your personality. They're easy to find at flea markets and vintage shops. Price really isn't important here, these are more of a statement. Attach them to the shoulder of a plain top or the lapel of a blazer or sweater to dress up a simple look, or accessorize a plain dress this way for a more unique look.

It's so easy to get creative with brooches though. String one onto a chain and turn it into a statement necklace to add options, but use the popular collar trend to your advantage and fake a statement necklace with a bigger brooch by pinning one to the neck of the collar right in the center of the two flaps. I did this with this Target dress that I totally copied (and got on sale!) from Blair Eadie there and the brooch pictured above. I was wearing it during the day, so I threw on a thick sweater jacket and tights and shorter leather boots to make it a little tougher and more casual. If your brooch is a little smaller, pin it to the corner of your collar for an eye catching detail. 

Go a little early 2000s with your brooches and bunch them on a jean jacket collar or shoulder. Or you can add them to a bag if it wouldn't ruin the fabric, or pin one to an artfully slung scarf. If you're wearing a blouse with cuffs and aren't rolling them up, you can add one or a few to a cuff instead of a bracelet or watch. 

Keep an open mind next time you're browsing for accessories and pick up a brooch. When making an outfit and none of your existing accessories seem quite right, it might be just what you need.
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