At the start of each new retail season I update my wardrobe with accessories before I purchase clothing. Accessories make a simple, bold statement that can make boring old clothes from seasons past feel fresh and updated. With the right accessory you can capture a new trend at the fraction of of the cost of the full ensemble.

So I kicked off the Spring season by purchasing two items that have been on my shopping list for years: a yellow and white, smart casual, Spring scarf, and an off-white, non-patent handbag. I managed to find them both this year and I’m thrilled with how they’ve vividly integrated and updated my wardrobe.


The scarf is made of a soft, viscose-linen blend and is just the right shape. I like to wear this type of scarf inside the collar of a button-down shirt, or over a knitted top. I tie a Spring scarf once, loosely around my neck, so that the ends look long and streamlined down the front of my body.

You’re after a lightweight scarf in a crisp fabric and cheerful colour to signal that Spring is in the air. Woolly scarves seem too Wintery. Don’t be put off if my particular scarf is not to your taste, because they come in all shapes, sizes, colours and price points. Old Navy and Target are selling Spring scarves for $12 at the moment.

The second item, a perfect off-white tote complete with Chanel-esque bow, was a lucky find at the right price point. I bought it a few weeks ago when we were in New York City and carried it to my NBC Today Show interview. Like my white watch, the new bag magically transforms my transitional look to clean, crisp and modern. It’s wildly versatile and I have to stop myself from wearing it with everything.

During this recession I’m on more of a mission than ever to take advantage of the power of accessories. I plan to hold out as long as possible with my existing Spring wardrobe, only indulging myself occasionally with a new accessory that livens up my wardrobe and lifts my spirits. It’s going to be an interesting challenge and I’ll keep you posted. Let’s save some money!