By Erin Walsh
It’s possible to look like a million bucks this holiday season, even if your portfolio currently measures in the single digits, by following these cheap and chic tips from Queens retailers on how to give your existing wardrobe a makeover.
Accessories are the surest way to add extra oomph to an otherwise outmoded outfit.
“The first thing that comes to mind is accessories,” said Angela Craig, coâˆ’owner of The Blooming Company, located at 22âˆ’75 31st St. in Astoria. “Using jewelry, scarves, even a pocketbook, because sometimes what those do is distract from the outfit itself. Even if you are wearing the same dress, what people will notice is the new accessory.”
Kristie Foster, owner of KrisTees, a boutique specializing in emerging and European designers located at 24âˆ’01 23rd Ave. in Astoria, views scarves as one of the season’s most versatile accessories. They can be tied in a variety of different ways to achieve a multitude of looks and can be paired with anything from a strapless dress to a suit.
“They’re a great way to spruce up any outfit,” Foster said. “Whether you’re wearing a turtleneck, dress, or blouse, they’re really good with anything.”
KrisTees carries stylish scarves ranging from the popular ombre ($132âˆ’$147), which is similar to a dipâˆ’dye technique, and vintageâˆ’inspired crinkle gauze varieties ($47âˆ’$57) to those in winterâˆ’friendly fabrics such as cashmere ($67).
Another statementâˆ’making accessory that will draw rave reviews at Thanksgiving dinner or your office holiday party are handmade, oneâˆ’ofâˆ’aâˆ’kind cocktail rings made by Astoria’s own Anna Economides Garcia. These eyeâˆ’catching baubles, made from natural stones such as turquoise and cornelian, range in price from $45 to $62.
“For the holidays, it’s all about having a pop of color,” Foster said. “(The rings) are fun and a little different.”
To up the glam quotient this sparkle season on an Ebenezer Scroogeâˆ’esque budget, Craig suggests surveying your closet and buying two new tops to pair with clothing that you already own. Pair a lacy ruffled top ($45âˆ’$52) from The Blooming Company with suit bottoms to take your look from day to evening, Craig said. This combination works well not only for office parties, but also for afterâˆ’hours meetâˆ’andâˆ’greets, she said.
For more casual family gatherings or Thanksgiving dinner, Craig suggests pairing a sweater tunic ($39âˆ’$75) with leggings and boots. For a little bohemian flair, add an eternally chic embroidered or knit scarf ($29âˆ’$96).
Give your favorite little black dress an injection of color with an embroidered clutch in a distinctive pattern or carry a bold, bright clutch in an animal skin that will guarantee that all eyes are on your handbag.
“A clutch is great with any outfit, (especially) if you’re wearing black and want to pop it with a bright color,” said Foster.
KrisTees carries clutches by the Divine Tribe ($387âˆ’$400) that are made with natural eel skin in natureâˆ’defying hues, as well as embossed patent leather clutches in shades ranging from peacock blue to burnished mahogany by Martine Sitbon, which range in price from $202 to $247.
This holiday season, shelve those subdued, staid accessories and break out the bold and bright accoutrements.
“A lot of the colors are more saturated,” said Foster. “It’s definitely about accessories that are accent colors.”
To keep your noggin warm while shuffling between various soirÉes, don a chic hat in styles ranging from menswearâˆ’inspired fedoras and relaxed knit berets to standard knit caps in colorful knit pattern.