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Go Big, Go Bold, Just Accessorize!

This fall, the clean lines, classic shapes and daring colors of the ready-to-wear collections offer the perfect backdrop for spotlighting the current crop of “can’t-live-without-them” accessories. Here are three that will update your look in a snap.

Slimming Belts
You’ll want to nab both a wide and skinny belt in the must-have material of the season: Patent leather (think J. Crew for a wide selection of colors, even animal print). Rose or what I call the “naked” hue is a closet essential – it goes with everything. For the skinny belts, opt for a bright color. Belts can be worn at your waist over sweaters or cardigans; or for an instant five-pound weight loss illusion, choose a wide belt in the same or tonal color family as your trouser. Position it so it covers the hem of your top and the effect is one long line from head to toe.

And, make all the other mommies jealous with your in-the-know “belt jewelry.”  This belt/necklace combo is made up of links of mother of pearl discs in stunning colors. As a belt, it looks great worn hip slung over jeans and adds instant “WOW” as a necklace with any outfit. (Check out Dallasite Deborah Gaspar’s designs online at www.deborahgaspar.com.)

Snappy Scarves
Overlooked for many seasons, this accessory moves to the top of the list because of fall’s strong ’80s influence. Wear them cowboy or choker-style around your neck. For instant casual chic, pair a scarf with a tank or T-shirt, throw on a blazer, jeans and bangles and you have your “uniform” for autumn. My favorite designs are by Echo, a stalwart brand from the ’80s (available at Lou Lou, Dallas; Tootsies also boasts an enticing selection of Vera print scarves).

Smoldering Hats
When you see someone in a hat, do you ever say, "I wish I had the courage to wear a hat?" Well, your time has come. Hats are hot this season. The classics have been reinvented in audacious colors. I especially love the fedora worn tipped to one side — so sexy and glamorous. FYI: It’s proper etiquette for women to leave a hat on indoors. Look for prized picks at V.O.D., Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.