Style is about more than investing in the season's hottest trends or timeless garments. It's also about piecing together your wardrobe to complete fashion-savvy looks.
Most women already know their armoire should contain all the basic necessities, such as well-fitting jeans, a crisp white tee and a hip pair of hoop earrings --- the kind of pieces that will upgrade and work well with any outfit. But what about accessories that don't get as much attention? Treasures like a statement-making brooch, flowing scarf or clutch to store evening must-haves are often forgotten. Here's the 411 on items you may not own but should invest in as soon as possible.
Though the term brooch may evoke thoughts of grandma's church attire, adding a few to your jewelry collection doesn't mean you're going the way of a conservative old lady. In actuality, a brooch can do quite the opposite.
When you incorporate a piece of statement jewelry, like a jeweled brooch, into an outfit, not only does your look appear more complete, but also it broadcasts your personality to the world."Incorporating a statement piece of jewelry that expresses your personality will set you apart from the crowd of diamond studs, " said Allison Berlin, owner of styling company Style Made Simple.
Brooches are versatile too. Pin one on a petite coat, attach one to your handbag, use it to keep a scarf in place, or affix one to a simple black dress to add a touch of flair.
You can find brooches just about anywhere, from trendy boutiques, to department stores, to the aisles of your local antique shop.
Chances are you've seen a woman or two wearing a gorgeous, lightweight scarf. And every time you have, chances are you thought that woman looked fabulous.
Here's the deal: You'll look just as fabulous wearing one.
"A colorful scarf is a great way to add color and flair to an otherwise ordinary outfit," explained style correspondent Jené Luciani, who's been featured on "Today," "The Martha Stewart Show" and the Style Network.
You can wear it around your neck, use it as a belt, tie it to a simple handbag for a little pop, or fasten it around your wrist in place of a bracelet. You can even tie a scarf over your tresses to camouflage a less than stellar hair day.
"Scarves will never go out of style and are seasonless," said Dawn Del Russo, fashion expert and author of "101 Glam Girl Ways to an Ultra Chic Lifestyle."
"I would recommend investing in a slightly better quality that can stand the test of time."
Choose a scarf that's made from a lightweight material such as silk, chiffon or soft cashmere. You can often find them in stores that sell clothing and accessories. If you love handmade items, you shouldn't have a problem finding them at local or online sellers.
Every woman should be confident enough to rock a cool hat. Whether it's a newsboy, a fedora or a big, floppy sunhat, this must-have accessory makes a bold and brazen statement.
Throughout history, hat trends have come and gone, but one fact remains the same: Hats are always a fashion-do.
For example, the cloche was a necessity in the 1920s, and Jackie Kennedy made the pillbox a classic in the '60s. These hats and others --- including berets, fedoras, newsboys and snoods --- are still the trademark of a true fashionista.
"Hats can be worn with everything," Luciani said. "I love a fedora paired with a chic blazer and skinny jeans."
Pair a knit cap with a cozy winter jacket for added warmth and style, throw a fedora on with a flowing blouse before an art show, or wear a floppy sunhat to prevent wrinkles and provide plenty of shade.
Speaking of protecting yourself from the sun, sunglasses are one accessory every woman must own. First and foremost, a fabulous pair of sunglasses blocks harmful rays from damaging your eyes.
Because sunglasses reduce the amount of time you spend squinting, they also keep wrinkles to a minimum. They also add an air of mystery and fashion know-how to any woman who dons them. So, ladies, skip the Botox treatments and impaired vision by picking up a pair of oversized glasses.
"Go to a good sunglass store in your area and just try all different shapes on," advised stylist Art Conn, who's worked with celebrities such as Tyra Banks and Idina Menzel.
Experiment with both color and shape, and don't feel restricted by this season's style. Instead, choose a shape that really works with your face.
"Wear them when sunny, but leave them home at night," Berlin said. "No matter how much mystery you're going for, sunglasses at night should stay in the '80s with Corey Hart."