What a mixy-matchy, eclectic wonderland of accessories this season. Vintage antique meets 1950s retro glam – and of course, we New Zealanders don't always have to follow celebrity styles.
We've developed our own unique style from our own culture, and Kiwi designers are creating some truly funky accessories – kia kaha, Kiwis.
No matter what trend style you prefer, you can't escape the whirlwinds of bold colour brightening up the blistery streets.
Winter is accessories' time to shine. In no other season is it more important to get it right when it comes to accessories.
So layer up and get daring. You have so much to choose from: scarves, gloves, bags, tights, jewellery ... the list goes on.
Here are some 2012 winter trends to look out for in the shops.
Unless you've just come out of the bush, you will be aware that clutches are one of the biggest trends for winter, although annoying to hold! Envelope styles in nude colours or bright bold colour, sometimes two-toned or printed, floral, sequined, metallic or snakeskin fabrics – the variety is huge for both casual or dressy styles.
Some clutches have small handles or chain straps, but these are more for aesthetic appeal than practicality. If you're after a more practical, casual look, opt for an across-the-body strap satchel in vintage patterned floral or printed fabric teamed with dark brown leather, in old school bag-inspired design.
Ladylike leather wrist gloves are warming the pinkies this winter in colours such as pale pinks, reds, black and nude. For the more casual look, Kiwiana merino arm warmers are extremely popular in our crafty stores. Most are printed with Kiwi designs.
Glorious stockings give us the ability to hide our almost transparent winter-white legs, keep us warm, make our chicken legs look wider or hold our chunky bits taut. Opaque stockings come in a multitude of colours, patterns and prints – floral, stripes, polka dots and bird prints can all jazz up our legs. Don't be scared to mix and match other patterned garments with them – for example, floral dresses with stripes or polka dot tights.
Scarfs are an essential accessory for winter warmth and comfort. They're my favourite accessory – they can transform your entire outfit, breathing life into a plain Jane jacket or jersey.
A new trend that you may not have heard of is "snoods", which is a weird name for a circular scarf. There are heaps around in knitted cotton or wool, and they can also be found in faux fur. Luxurious faux fur is a huge trend for winter, and it looks so glamorous when wrapped around the neck. Brighter colours make a statement this winter, or opt for pastel or nude hues for a more elegant look, depending on the outfit. No matter what you are wearing, there is a scarf out there to complete any winter wardrobe.
Belts aren't big this season, but as I always say, "if you like 'em, wear 'em". One belt trend that Victoria Beckham is showing off is the doubled-around belt. This looks great with tunics and dresses drawing in the waistline. Thin belts on jeans in a bright colour are cute, too, but that is about it in the belt department this winter.
Vintage and gothic styles are in. Pearls for the girls or solid, geometric enamelled or metal pendants and chokers are a trend for the more classic chick. Over-the-top big necklaces are huge, while large vintage statement pieces using materials such as pearls, large colourful stones and leather really do draw the eye in. Flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, birds and other cute creatures are a trend worn around our necks this winter as well. As for other jewellery, statement cocktail rings are a must, and maybe a leather cuff or pearl bracelet (if you need to wear one) is all you will need to complete the look. As for earrings, be sure not to go overboard if you have a large necklace.
An outfit is all about the way we put it together, and accessories either make or break an outfit. I find accessories are an inexpensive way of keeping up with seasonal trends on a budget. I suggest buying quality garments that will work across seasons, and jazzing them up with the latest season's accessory favourites. Be daring this season; try bright statement pieces, items that create a stir. Go on, I dare you.