Here are some useful items that caught my eye as we get to the height of the retail season. Some have been winners on clients recently, and some made it into my own wardrobe. They can come in very handy, even though they aren’t the trendiest of items. Since trends are becoming less and less relevant anyway, it’s all good. Lots of great fabrics, extended sizes, and excellent colours.

1. Taos Crave Boot

This is a repeat top pick that deserves another spotlight. If you need a pair of somewhat maximal and ultra casual, super robust stompy boots with a high shaft, try these. They are extremely comfortable, fit a range of foot shapes, and can accommodate an orthotic. They start at a US5.5 and go up to a US12.5. Wear them with jeans, utility pants, trousers, skirts or dresses. Fab colours and read the rave reviews.

2. Banana Republic Washable Merino Ribbed Sweater

These WASHABLE wool pullovers feel luxe, and aren’t itchy despite the 100% merino fabric content. Your guess is as good as mine as to how long they will last until they pill. They are form-fitting on the model, but more fluid on me and some clients around the midsection. They work extremely well under blazers and vests if you enjoy a tailored and sleek took. They are great tucked into high rises, layered under oversized pullovers and cardigans, or fab under a flannel shirt Pearl Jam style. I got mine at a 60% discount with my Banana card last week, and committed to the the citron and navy as easy layering tops — much like you might wear a long-sleeved tee. Later I added the red, pink and white. I LOVE these tops, and the quality is great after road test and laundry. They are also great for our chilly Spring weather. Better than basic, and run from XXS to XXL.

3. Banana Republic Nylon Travel Tote

If you like the classic Longchamp travel tote, this one is similar but at a fraction of the price. There are a few essential inside pockets, but not many. Easy to travel with and works as well as a work tote. Lots of neutrals, some fun colours and a few patterns.

4. Karen Kane Glitter Knit Drape Neck Top

An easy and very comfortable pull-on-and-go party top for the holidays. Looks festive and casually dressy, is well made, and feels as comfy as a sweatshirt. Wear it with black pants, jeans, or patterned pants.

5. J.Crew Cashmere Double Breasted Top Coat

A classic with a high longevity factor. It has a versatile hem length, but is not as warm as a puffer coat. There are handy side entry pockets, good colours, and good reviews too. Moderately fab quality. It might run a little narrow if you prefer a fuller cut. Available in sizes US00 to US24.

6. Tahari Shrugs

Both styles come in a range of non-neutrals and neutrals and come in handy when you need to cover up a sleeveless dressy dress. The velvet is a little warmer than the sequins. They look better on the body than on the hanger. The size range is quite limited though, although perhaps dead right for you.