Brighten Your Days With These Feel-Good Accessories For Spring Leave a comment


Fashion is eager to dress up again. While athleisure wear, pajamas and lounge sets offer the utmost comfort and have evolved into legit sartorial pieces, nothing feels as civilized as real clothes. I’m talking about dresses, trousers, shoes and accessories—lots of it everyday. Now I’m as much a fan of wearing leggings all day as I am for heels and jewelry. And while meeting colleagues and friends in person is something we have yet to look forward to, dressing up a little—whether it’s to make brunch at home or respond to emails—does wonders in uplifting the mood. Personally, it’s helped me manage cabin fever.

This Spring, we are seeing maxi dresses and matching sets re-emerged from the backs of the closets. Top them with this edit of accessories—necklaces, rings, bracelets, hats, bags—in preparation for brighter and sunnier days ahead.

BLING THIS SPRING

More than just pieces for embellishment, jewelry acts as a talisman. They remind us of special moments that help get us through to dark times. A Solivagant charm necklace from ARTISANS OF IQ was a summer staple that I throughout all of my summer excursions. Today, as seasonal trips remain suspended in the air, I layer this sentimental piece with other chains or wrap it around the wrist to effect a charm bracelet. Ethically made using vermeil by women in Southeast Asia, the Solivagant bracelet is a versatile and timeless choice that you can wear to bring character and color to any ensemble. It looks especially stunning against a white frock or shirt dress.

Bring sparkle to cocktail hour at home with a pave signet ring from NUMBERING. The Seoul-based brand works only with cruelty-free diamonds, following strict ethical manufacturing standards. In recent months, style setters flooded social media with their unique takes on how to wear their diamond studded signets. Every ring comes with a unique number engraved at the back, “creating a private community of statement jewelry lovers.” You’ll love how the Pave Signet follows the bold shape of a traditional signet, but adds a twist by making it small and studded. It is the kind of piece that will look stunning when worn solo on the pinkie finger or paired with other pieces or stacks.

While most of us are still restricted from travel, the DESTINATION STACKS from AARON BASHA bring wanderlust and positivity to yet another day on lockdown. A combination of gold bangles, colorful beads and chains are combined in each set to reflect the colors, symbols and motifs of various destinations. Stacks like Beirut, Tulum, Ibiza, Mykonos and Montauk transport wearers to another time, place and reality filled with color, flavor and good energy. I love how you can also mix and match each piece and create variations of your stack.

Now more than ever, we are finding inspiration from the outdoors as we go through most of our days cooped up in our homes. HATTIE BANKS’s SEA DIPPED collection brings sea side fantasies to our everyday reality with pieces that celebrate gifts of the ocean. The team explains: “Sea Dipped not only draws inspiration from the sea, but actually uses its gems. The shells are gathered from beaches around the world, treated, coated and dipped in gold.” Wearing it as a pendant is like having a piece of the ocean close to the heart.  Other pieces that ring in nostalgia from days when we could all travel to our favorite beaches without a care include: Starfish dipped in Rose Gold as well as the Sand nickel pendant. These aren’t just pieces for summer. If at all, they are gems to keep close throughout the year—most especially when summer days feel so close yet so far.  

If ring bands are your jam, NOONDAY’s RING BAR allows you to build your own stack. Handmade using gold plated brass, no two rings are very identical. Bands vary from rope, hammered to classic. Bands are simple, timeless yet versatile accessories that work well with a variety of other styles. They are ideal for those who love telling their unique narratives through the accessories and jewelry they wear.

STEP OUT WITH SUNNIES

A few hours spent outdoors, whether to take a walk in the park or soak in Vitamin D from your balcony—does wonders to both physical and mental health. It is also a good reason to get out of your pajamas, breathe in some fresh air and put on a pair of sunnies. VADA EYES creates eyewear with the mindset of a jeweler. And rightfully so since the brand was initially founded as a fine jewelry label, which later expanded into eyewear. Pieces from their eyewear range are handmade in Japan using only organic cellulose acetate and gold. Styles like Kauboi, Siren and Tokio take wearers on a journey from Texas to Tokyo. They bring you right to the heart of ska fashion and the 80s underground scene to the Elsa Peretti’s boudoir, shores of ancient Greek and beyond. VADA EYES are striking statement pieces to have this season, fit for early adaptors of the style sphere.

Fit for the nomad aching to get out but still stuck to their screens, RAYBAN’s EVERGLASSES are staples that keep eyes protected while embodying the spirit of wanderlust. The collection features three distinct Rayban Lenses: blue light filter, evolve photochromic lenses and clear lenses. The team at Rayban explains: “Evolve Photochromic Lenses are light-sensitive, automatically adapting to shifting light conditions. With UV400 protection for almost complete sun coverage, you never need to take them off. The new Clear Lenses fit Ray-Ban frames, and you, perfectly; defense, comfort, and authentic style all in one. Both Evolve and Clear Lenses are also available with a Blue Light Filter, designed to reduce visual discomfort induced by blue light.”

The collection features a wide range of Rayban classics including the Wayfarer, Square Frames, the Boyfriend, and Jackie Ohh, just to name a few. My Aviator with Evolve Lenses is a style constant from day to night. Its iconic, versatile design makes it ideal for when I check emails in pajamas down to the time when get a little dolled up in my favorite linen dresses. It’s a functional, understated accent piece that never fails to draw in compliments.  

HATS ON, HATS OFF

Just like eyewear, hats or head gear can immediately elevate your everyday look. It was a friend of mine from during my MBA student days in Paris who told me: “A hat can make the gloomy days bright, and the scorching heat of summer a little more bearable. It is also your best friend on a bad hair day or bad cut kind of month” She brought a hat with her everywhere we went and always looked impeccable. I’ve always shied away from caps and hats most because I always felt they made me look like a boy. That’s because I was always borrowing someone else’s cap or hat so they never fit me right.

One thing I’ve learned very recently where hats are concerned: get your own hat. Own it and wear them anytime, anywhere. It was when I started investing in my own mini collection that I began to appreciate them as style essentials. EUGENIA KIM is top of mind when it comes to picking out stunning hats for Spring and Summer. The luxury millinery brand is known for clean, classic shapes punctuated by crisp colors and feminine elements. Their Spring Summer collection features colorful bucket hats, floral trims and palm straw embellishments. Woven sunhats are classics reimagined by Eugenia Kim this season via open weave texture. They are great pieces that turn even the simplest outdoor activities into picture-perfect fashion moments. I’ve very recently amped gardening in afternoons with the addition of a wide brimmed hat and sundress. The flowers seem to like that and are beginning to bloom.

BASKETS, BUCKETS AND BRIGHTER DAYS

From the time lockdowns were first imposed in 2020, leather handbags and satchels were replaced by roomier, functional totes or basket bags. Apart from ease and convenience, basket bags were the ideal accessories for stuffing new normal essentials without having to fuss over locks or flap enclosures. Hand woven totes made using natural or recycled materials reflect a more conscious mindset for consuming fashion. They also transport us to sandy destinations or dream locales. These attributes hold great value especially at a time when stepping out and travel is limited.

MARNI MARKET’s collection of colorful woven totes are vibrant accent pieces to add to any lockdown look. I got my Market Shopping Tote last year just as the pandemic broke and have been using it since. It has accompanied me to grocery runs, on my one beach trip last year and has also doubled as a portable office at home. Color ways are vibrant, as if taking you right at the heart of a souk. Proportions fit a laptop, makeup bag, wallet, face mask and a few other daily essentials.

This year, the brand launched a new collection of oversized TASSLE FRINGE TOTES in soothing earth tones. A fitting piece to go any any ensemble this season, the fringe tote could just as well be the ultimate accessory for the sun loving goddess. I’m envisioning my own fringe tote in shades of green, black and blue with a sea form linen dress.

The VENUS BUCKET BAG by NEOUS is another accessory to consider this season. Ideal for both city living or even short road trips out of town, it can be worn as a shoulder bag or across the body. Details like canvas lining, circular cutouts and delicate tassel details make it versatile accent piece this season. The Venus Bucket Bag in Almond will also look stunning when pair with an all white pantsuit, outsized eyewear and a glass of bubbly.

URBAN KISSED is a go-to for stylish, ethical and sustainable wares. Their curated range of basket bags are all handmade by artisans from around the globe. I love how the site gives its viewers insight into materials, process and even communities involved in creating lifestyle pieces. The BANANA FIBER WOVEN TOTE BAG, for example, is made by a cooperative of women weavers in South India. It is made of sustainable natural banana fibers and leather. Its size is large enough to accommodate goods from a trip to the market or even several towels for a weekend of tanning by the pool. When not in use, it can also double as a chic blanket or towel hamper.

I first found out about REFORM STUDIO through Africa’s premier designer platform, INDUSTRIE AFRICA. The Egypt-born brand was founded on a desire to address the the growing plastic problem. Its founder Hend Riad and Mariam Hazem also sought to provide employment opportunities to local female artisans through their creations. Using a proprietary type of up-cycled material called Plastex (a mix of discarded plastic bags and cotton threads), bags from REFORM STUDIO are artisanal expressions that connect one to community and transcend trends. The MINI AFRO BASKET is an exquisite statement piece that features a wooden top handle and leather straps. Its highly texturized body in a cool blue hue make it the type of piece you can build an entire Spring and Summer wardrobe on.



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