Flex Your Inner Fashion Editor: Rework Last Season's Wardrobe Into Of-The-Moment Looks

06/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Amy Tara Koch Style expert, author, journalist and hardcore travel aficionado

The Dow may be in the dumps but your yen for of-the-moment style is still flying high. Forget investing the paltry remains of your 401K in designer duds. The trick to staying chic on a shoestring budget? Super-accessorizing like a fashion editor.

Newsflash: The perfectly manicured goddesses who helm elite fashion glossies have a secret. They may look like they are sporting brand spanking new ready-to-wear ensembles day in and day out. The truth? These ladies are mix masters of the highest order. They invest in just a handful of fabulous basics and super-accessorize the LBDs, black trousers, sheath dress, dark skinny jeans and tunic and neutral empire waist dress into dozens of jaw dropping looks. By layering basic garments with up-to-the-minute accent pieces -- the colorful drippy scarf, the statement necklace, the vintage coin belt, the gumball sized agate earrings -- fashion folk can effectively camouflage the fact that the same few garments are being "rotated" week after week. So, instead of panicking at your inability to restock your closet, simply employ editor's sartorial sleight of hand (aka "garment rotation") and freshen up last season's ensembles with bad ass baubles.

Five Easy Ways To "Superaccessorize" Last Season's Wardrobe Into Of-The-Moment Looks

1. Raid Granny's Closet: Vintage accessories contain inherent wow factor. Sporting a fabulous obsidian brooch from Belarus or an eye catching jangle of old school pendants adds panache and an invaluable OMG quotient (could that be Victorian Mourning jewelry???) to basics. Don't break the bank on chicifying accents. My advice? Simply treat your granny's closet (or the madcap Auntie Mame in your familia) like your own personal Saks Fifth Avenue.

Look For: chunky beaded necklaces, blinged out Studio 54 cuffs, quirky straw totes, reptilian clutches, knuckle duster cocktail rings, shawls in wacky ethnic prints, sequined lame or sequined purses and tops and as many belts (chain, coin, fringe) that can be stuffed into your overnight bag. Juxtaposing vintage accessories with basic silhouettes a If you should face resistance, be prepared to barter Friday night suppers in exchange for luxe loot.

2. Buy a Dangly Scarf: The dangly scarf is an excellent style element to build up basics and inject sportiness into a look. MAJOR POINT: There is a huge difference between the square shaped scarves that Auntie Ruth knots waspily under her sweater set and the cool, skinny Stevie Nicks style scarf dripping sensuously from inside a knit or shrunken spring jacket.

Look For: Pieces that liven of blah basics: Thin, vertical scarves in bold colors or groovy graphics or rocker-chic scarves adorned with skulls and crossbones and/or trendy hippie symbols.

3. Stack Cuffs and Bangles: A dash of Dynasty style flash in the form of layered gold is a dramatic way to amp up simple silhouettes. Whether you are wearing a t-shirt or evening gown, a cuff on each wrist is supremely glamorous and instantly updates a look.

Look For: Enamel cuffs, candy colored Hermes bangles, dramatic Bollywood bangles, faux gem encrusted cuffs (think Kenneth Jay Lane) and Bakelite bangles.

4. Add a Statement Necklace: Statement jewelry is what brings an outfit to life. Whether its rough hewn hunks of rock crystal or an assemblage of clam shells culled from Portugal, oversized jewelry takes cojones to wear and never fails to spark a conversation.

Look For: Artsy fartsy ethnically beaded necklaces, long layered necklaces of semi-precious stones, vintage pendants and cameos, chain link necklaces in gold or silver and lariats.

5. Sport Gladiator Sandals: The clunky Jesus sandal has been reworked and appliquéd into the seasons must-have footwear. The sleek, wraps -around-the ankle leather shoe has a casually glam St. Barths vibe that works with jeans, peasant skirts and cocktail frocks.

Look For: Simple leather flats with metallic straps or a high chunky heel with simple gold detailing.