This Year's 'Must Have' Women's Accessories

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Every fabulous outfit deserves to be topped off with some eye-catching, on-trend accessories. When you’re shopping online, you have to keep a watch out to figure out exactly what you need to get. This year's trends in accessories range from obscure to cutting edge, novelty, minimalist and chic. Shoulder-grazing tassel earrings, velvety-soft shoes and bags in bright jewel colors, animal prints, hands-free bags, cowboy ankle boots, structural cat-eye sunglasses and chic berets give women a plethora of fashion-forward accent pieces to add instant flair to any outfit this year. So when you’re tickling that keyboard looking for your new look, keep an eye out for these styles.

1.) Animal Prints: Walk On The Wild Side

Ladylike and classic animal-print shoes and bags are making a resurgence this season; this is sure to please women with a classic sense of style. What sets this year's animal prints apart from its classic predecessors is color. Bold lime green and black leopard mules were seen at the Tom Ford shows this year, and many other designers sent mismatched and mixed-media animal print shoes and bags out on the runways.

2.) Hands-Free: The Way To Be

  • Belt Bags - This year is the year of the hands-free bag. From belt bags to cropped crossbody bags, this year's most popular handbag trend encourages women to free their hands and lighten the load. Modern belt bags are much more fashion forward than the fanny packs that were popular in the 1980s. Today's belt bags run the full range of colors, silhouettes, materials and styles. Structured leather belt bags lend a utilitarian look to a classic outfit. Slouchy nylon waist packs in bright colors complement urban outfits and hipster ensembles perfectly. Many socialites, celebrities and fashion icons have given this trend a boost by wearing waist bags across the chest as a one-shoulder, hands-free style. This transition gave way to the year's other most popular bag trend: the cropped crossbody.
  • Cropped Crossbody Bags - If the idea of wearing a belt bag across the chest seems a little too fashion forward, the cropped crossbody bag may prove to be the perfect alternative. To pull off this look without appearing awkward or bulky, pick a big that hits at or just below the bust. Choose a short-strap bag that complements the overall theme of the outfit.

3.) Shoulder-Grazing Earrings

Thick and flowing tassel earrings, done in color-blocked hues, draw the eye up to a woman's beautiful face and become the focal point of the entire outfit. Thin, long metal earrings are also a huge trend to watch for this year. To keep this looked balanced and proportional, keep the other accessories to a minimum. If possible, forgo wearing any additional jewelry. This will prevent the look from becoming too gaudy, and it will keep the focus exclusively on the breathtaking earrings and face.

4.) Velvet, Velvet Everywhere

To add an instant touch of luxury, texture, color and plushness to any outfit, top off any chic ensemble with one of the many bright velvet bags or shoes this year. A classic black velvet pair of pumps looks stunning with a gray herringbone skirt suit. A burgundy quilted shoulder bag with a gold chain strap instantly elevates a classic white button-down shirt and distressed jeans.

5.) Saddle Up, Cowgirl

The cowboy ankle boot has been making fashion waves for the last year. Made new again by Raf Simons at Calvin Klein, Western accessories and the cowboy ankle boot are having a major fashion moment. High-heeled versions were seen all over the runways as well as brightly-hued leather boots and animal-print boots with block heels. They all showcase the fabulous pointy toe and wide block heel that has given cowboy boots their classic look. Pair them with a simple t-shirt and jeans, with a boho skirt and a tank top or with a classic tailored pantsuit for an unexpected fashion pairing.

6.) Structural Cat-Eye Sunglasses

Similar to the styles represented in the movie, the new "Matrix" sunglasses are as slim and sleek as they are edgy-classic and architectural. They feature a distinct cat-eye shape with sharp lines and an eye-catching silhouette. When wearing a pair of these on-trend sunglasses, keep all other accessories to a minimum so they remain the focal point of the outfit. This cool new trend in eye fashion comes in a variety of colors and prints to match every outfit combination.

7.) Ooh La La, Paris: Black Is Back

The structured wool beret is having a major fashion moment. This timeless French accessory is being splattered all over the pages of major fashion magazines. Arguably the best benefit of owning a classic black beret is that it pairs with every single outfit combination and instantly elevates any look. This fall, throw on a chunky-knit sweater and jeans with a beret and ballet flats to run errands around town. For a fun date night, pair a classic sheath dress with a moto jacket, sky-high stiletto heels and a classic wool beret for a look that will turn heads.

Aside from these captivating accessory trends, head scarves, gigantic bags, elegant gloves and red over-the-knee boots are popping up in fashion magazines, on the red carpet and in many of the top runway shows this year. This year's wide variety of styles offers something for every fashionable lady.