I know, big promises, right? Note the word “outfit”; I’m not for a moment suggesting that mere accessories, vacuous fashion items, will solve any of life’s more serious woes. But sometimes you find yourself going, “Jaysus, I’m freezing, and none of my woolly jumpers go with this ensemble.” DILEMMA.
Anyway, there are certain accessories that are really, seriously, 100% worth owning – if only because they will prove themselves indispensable in a sartorial pinch. Trust me.
A fur stole, faux or otherwise
I don’t have huge ethical problems with fur, mostly because unless you’re a staunch vegan who never wears leather, consumes animal gelatin and checks all wine labels for veggie status (did you know that was even a thing?!), animals are being killed for your enjoyment as is. Either way, this item is for fun rather than function, so the form of your fur is irrelevant.
The point is this: a bright, fun piece of furry neck gear can solve myriad problems. Don’t like this neckline? Throw it on. Too warm / inconvenient to bring a jacket? Sling it over your shoulder. Too much décolletage for early evening high jinx? Use your stole as a modesty scarf and then abandon once you find your courage. Genius. Stole (above) from a selection at Shrimps.
An animal-print belt
See? Not always the most obvious choices – but my leopard-print belt has got me out of many a scrape. It jazzes up (hello, I am my mother) a black outfit and looks great with patterns, too. It’s far more versatile than animal print should be – although perhaps we can now agree that animal print falls into the neutral category – and it’s also functional because about once a year I get thin enough for my jeans to be too big, and then I use it as an actual belt for the fortnight it takes me to get back to my normal size. (Stressful times.) Belt, €30 at Asos.
An oversized pendant
It’s tempting to use the word “statement” here, but really, not everything can be a statement. Are all necklaces statement necklaces? What about bracelets? Can I have a statement bracelet?
Back to the point – a long, super-chunky and eye-catching pendant can make (never break) an outfit. The simplest, off-duty look can be transformed with the addition of a long necklace – and they’re great conversation pieces. I have a variation on this pendant from Irish shop Folkster, and it always gets commented on (I’m totally convinced that it distracts from unironed tops, slightly chocolate-stained jeans and unwashed hair too). Necklace, €24.99 at Folkster.
A pair of wear-anywhere ankle boots
I’m a bit of a broken record on this topic: I love ankle boots, and can’t imagine my life without mine. That sounds dramatic, but it’s true. They look great with dresses, skirts, jeans… not, perhaps, with tracksuit bottoms, but really they’re only for the house and a trip to the corner shop. They’re perfect for the moments when you’re stuck for footwear: you know, when flat pumps look too mumsy but high heels look too try-hard. Solution? Ankle boots. All day. Buffalo ankle boots, €158, at Arnotts
A bright lipstick
Bad day? Getting over an illness? Recent breakup? There are few problems a bright lip won’t, at the very least, appear to solve. My go-to? Funny Face by Nars, €25, at Brown Thomas.