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Spring accessories to complete your look

Local fashionistas weigh in.

Bulky sweaters and wool pants are finally heading back to storage. Spring is here, and so are lighter, airier looks. Whether you’re putting last year’s styles back in service or starting fresh, it’s the accessories that pull everything together. We talked to local fashionistas to get the scoop on this year’s bags, belts, jewelry and more.

Flashy belts

Emphasized waistlines are all the rage this spring — dresses are cinched at the waist and belts are appearing on skirts and slacks. Traditional belts are always a good way to trim and highlight your figure, but to embrace the trend, try a statement piece.

Tracy McElfresh and Jesy Anderson from Sew Dayton are big fans of the look. “We feel the best accessory of the year is big, flashy belts,” McElfresh said. “We love to go crazy when the price is right.”

Gladiator- and Roman-inspired belts are especially big: Think lots of gold, a little bling and a wide waistband. You can also use a bright scarf or ribbon over light-colored pants and dresses for a quick pop of color.

Semiprecious stones

This spring is all about light pastel colors in both clothes and accessories. Iridescent shades are another popular look. Semiprecious stones are a perfect way to show them off.

“I just recently got a whole bunch of new gemstones,” said Angela Valley, owner of Angelflie Designs, based in Dayton. She has been designing metal and gemstone jewelry since 2011 and is at work on her spring and summer line. “I’ve been using opals and iridescent stones in light, pretty colors.”

If you want a trendy metal to show off your stones, try a recent favorite. “Golds really are back, especially rose gold,” Valley said. “It’s been a hot new trend in the last couple of years, and I don’t see it dying out anytime soon.”


Doesn’t matter if they’re elegant silk or flowing hippie style — neck scarves are trending in a major way. Knots and fabrics of every shape and size have dotted runways as spring collections debut.

Want to narrow down your choices a little? Amelia O’Dowd, owner of Brim in Dayton, loves “European scarves in silk and cashmere blends.” Brim specializes in hats and accessories from both well-known brands and smaller, artisanal creators.

O’Dowd is stocking artisan scarves from Late Sunday Afternoon, based in Venice, Calif., and highly recommends them. “They’re big and oversized; they make great transition pieces,” she said. Scarves are a stylish way to keep off the lingering winter chill and can be easily tossed aside when the afternoon sun gets toasty.

Earthy chic

Don’t run to the closet for your long-forgotten prairie skirts and peasant tops — the hippie looks going on this spring have more of a modern twist. Forget the ratty woven-hemp bags and grab a statement tote instead.

“We have messenger bags coming in from California right now,” O’Dowd said. “The bottom of the bag is leather, and the top is a stunning textile. The look is beachy and fun.” Mixed materials, especially cloth with leather, are a hallmark of this trend.

Hats are a great way to make your look unique — say a fond springtime farewell to knit skit caps and embrace the funky vibe with a raffia or straw hat in a natural color. In addition to pastels, “we’re seeing dusty desert colors — soft pinks, pale golds, really earthy colors,” O’Dowd said.

Trying pairing a straw hat with a dress in a cheerful print. As McElfresh said, “With spring coming, it’s all about pairing fun, bright, colorful prints with local love.”

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