Stock your shop with the six essential fashion accessories every stylish working woman seeks but can never seem to find.
Your customers have all been there: turning this way and that in front of the full-length mirror at 7:30am, wondering why their wear-to-work basics are…well, so basic.
From New York City to Nebraska, the modern working woman is looking for accessories that are understated enough for Monday’s morning meeting yet eye-catching enough to take her through Friday’s happy hour.
Consider, then, the retailer’s role in helping her streamline by stocking the ultimate shortlist of luxe, directional accessories that work with everything she already has in her closet. Make no mistake: these accessories aren’t basics. Rather, they’re elevated essentials — and they’re the hardest-working pieces in any woman’s wardrobe.
Curated, classic, and a little quirky, here are the accessories every stylish professional needs — and every retailer needs to stock. Right now.
The Waist-Cinching Belt
The skinny belt is a flattering classic, and for good reason, but think beyond what’s expected when stocking a selection for your store. A slim stripe of black leather buckled in silver is a perennially good choice, but even better are rich shades of burgundy, interesting textures like ponyhair, and buckles in warm gold. Your customers will be lining up to try them on with high-waisted palazzos and midi skirts.
Are you a Fashion + Accessories retailer? Register here to attend ASD Market Week and find products you’ll love for your shop or site.
The Classic Watch
Nothing elevates everyday style to lady-like sophistication like a good watch. More comfortable than, say, high heel black pumps, a classic watch feels wonderfully retro (since smartphones have made wearing a timekeeper somewhat unnecessary). While classic in feel, this isn’t your great aunt’s mainstay watch.
Modern elements such as monochrome, simplicity of design, and large numerals make the watch feel current. Women rely on their watches for more than just functionality – it’s the signature and go-to “boss” piece that will have others “leaning in” every Monday through Friday.
The Statement Jewels
Statement, eye-catching jewels are perfect embellishments to an otherwise unadorned ensemble at the office. Although “almost invisible” rings and necklaces have reigned supreme in recent years, bold jewelry — either in size or color — suddenly seems fresh again.
Pairing gold hoops of just the right size with a turtleneck is sleek in the same way a chunky necklace layered over a white oxford shirt is timeless. A gold cuff is perfect for the woman who wants to try statement jewelry without a lot of fuss. Women need not worry about trying to coordinate a cuff — it’s so bold that it becomes the main event.
The Bucket Bag
If the bucket bag made its debut in 2015, then 2016 is the year that every woman will crave this unique shape to their otherwise boxy bag collection. The bucket shape is a no-brainer because of its obvious Mary Poppins-esque capacity to withstand anything a busy, ambitious woman could throw in it. Yet it never looks sloppy.
The bucket’s elegant, simple shape conveys an uptown sophistication as well as a downtown cool — a difficult balance for sure. Mansur Gavriel popularized the design in both regular sized and mini versions, but they certainly aren’t the only source for this shape. Fast fashion retailers such as Zara also offer the bucket bag. Color offerings such as Brandy (a rich caramel hue) make the shape even more craveable.
If you want to know what else to carry in your shop check out our other fashion accessories articles on the Insider!
The Blanket Scarf
The blanket scarf — preferably in a timeless, neutral shade like camel or dove gray — is a seasonless necessity. Whether it’s January’s cold front or June’s overly aggressive AC, us ladies are always shivering. The blanket scarf is the answer, providing versatile coziness without the stuffiness of a blazer.
Opt for a truly enormous size that can function as an oversized scarf, an elegant wrap, or even an upscale blanket for those chilly plane cabins on business trips or weekend getaways. After all, does anybody actually know (or even want to know) where that airline blanket has been?
The Pointy-Toed Flat
Who hasn’t arrived at a meeting at 9:02am, windblown from running through the lobby, coat hanging off one shoulder, and still wearing their commuter flats? For those of us who commute in flat shoes or prefer to wear them for comfort, it’s always a challenge to find a pair that doesn’t come off as too casual or too conservative. Enter the pointy-toed flat. Its elegant almond-toe shape and flattering cut might just turn high heel devotees into flat shoe fanatics, especially in statement-making shades like cherry-pop red, Yves Klein blue, futuristic silver, or even chic leopard print.
The Last Word on the Subject
It’s 2016, ladies. There’s no need to don Hillary Clinton pantsuits to the office when a woman can put her best foot forward with these chic pieces. The editors, VPs, and creative directors of today are on the hunt for accessories that are powerful complements to a modern wardrobe. Make your shop a destination for these repeat customers by offering pieces that have stood the test of time — and work with every trend.
Want to make sure your shop is stocked with work wardrobe essentials? Get your free ticket here to attend the next ASD Market Week, the largest Fashion + Accessories trade show in the U.S. – you’ll find all of the products featured in this post at the right price.
By Adi + Nichelle
Adi has a weakness for grilled cheese sandwiches and a corresponding fondness for strategically oversized clothing. She is a full-time fashion brand attorney and a part-time hoarder of black-but-interesting outerwear. Lives in NYC; travels absolutely anywhere.
Nichelle is a writer of short stories, poems, and detailed work e-mails. She currently works at a media/entertainment law firm while learning how to merge the practical world with her active imagination. Houston-native. NYC-based. Fashion enthusiast.