Accessory Trends to Update Your Classic Pieces

Accessory Trends to Update Your Classic Pieces

There’s no quicker way to freshen up your classic look than by updating your everyday accessories. Unlike fads, trends show the direction fashion is moving so adding a touch to your outfits will keep you looking current and modern. The secret is to just add a touch because head-to-toe trends scream fashion victim and can be a costly way to dress.

Trends have a lifecycle. When we first start noticing a new one, there are very few options available so they tend to be expensive. By the second and third years, our eye is becoming more accustomed to the look and there are more pieces at many retailers. The prices come down as supply and variety goes up. In the fourth and fifth years of the lifecycle, the trend is available at all price points and plentiful. Beware of spending too much at this point because your cost per wear will be high as the trend dies out and you wear it for a shorter time period.

More on cost per wear here.

Stay true to your style and only buy trends you love.

Here are some accessories trends for spring/summer 2020 you could add to a totally classic outfit and modernize the whole look.

Shoe Trends

Espadrilles – these are always in style but more so this year and look freshest on sneakers.

Platforms are huge with sky-high versions and flatforms alike. You’ll see lots of cross overs such as the espadrille platform on a  sneaker.

Square toes in shoes and sandals are a subtle change and look modern. They tend to be more comfy for women with wider feet and help make the foot look shorter.


Handbag Trends

The Sling

Drawstring Bucket Bag

Jewelry Trends

Bold, oversized chinky chains in fun colors or metal.

Colorful earrings, necklaces, and bracelets add a modern touch.

Here is a classic blazer, denim shirt, and white jeans combined with some on-trend accessories for spring 2020.

Below are the same classic pieces combined with classic accessories.

What do you think?

Do you use on-trend accessories to spice up your classics?

Thanks for reading ladies and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.


This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. Janet D.
    February 28, 2020 / 10:57 pm

    Oh, Jennifer, LOVE the bucket bag! Which is probably why I’m still using the one I bought in Toronto in 1979. It’s black, with drawstring & tassels, almost identical to the one you show except with a bit of fringe. I’ve had it repaired & redyed a couple of times over the years but it’s still going strong. It cost me a (relative) fortune at the time but after 40 years of regular use it’s more than paid for itself. I’m apparently odd in that I own just 2 handbags plus an evening one — I just can’t be bothered swapping bags all the time. Plus, if we’re on the bike, my bag gets crammed down into a saddlebag, so whatever I use has to be both sturdy & flexible. Harley Chic [sigh]; it’s a challenge. The Lucite jewelry: I like the look of it on someone else — I think it’s chic & modern & looks sensational with the right outfit — but I’m more hippie/biker than sleek & modern so it doesn’t really work for me. EXCEPT I do have a Lucite necklace I love with square amber & tiger-stripe beads — haven’t worn it in ages but see I need to dig it out 🙂 And I’m delighted to see the “return of the slingback”. I’ve always found them flattering & comfortable in their past incarnations. I am DEFINITELY buying a pair this spring! For some reason I’ve always loved them with jeans because they add a kick of sophistication to the casual vibe.

  2. Carolyn
    February 27, 2020 / 11:44 am

    Great post for sure. Love, love espadrilles! Do you think wide legged pants are a fad this summer or will become a classic? On the fence investing in wide legged linen…..your reply greatly appreciated. And yes, I too am over 50.

    • Jennifer
      February 27, 2020 / 7:29 pm

      Wide leg is always nice in linen. I’ve got several pair. The wider leg keeps you even cooler.

  3. Janet
    February 26, 2020 / 7:33 pm

    Great tips as usual! Yes, I do accessorize with trends providing I like them of course. I have never owned a bucket bag because they never seemed to meet my needs. Luckily, I still have my chain link tortoiseshell necklace from 10 years ago! We’ll see what else is out there!

    • Jennifer
      February 27, 2020 / 7:28 pm

      That’s why I seldom donate accessories:)

  4. Nancy
    February 26, 2020 / 7:16 pm

    Hi Jennifer, can you do more posts on accessories and rules on which ones are best for certain clothing styles?

    • Jennifer
      February 27, 2020 / 7:26 pm

      There aren’t rules per se, but I can share what I do.

  5. Joan
    February 26, 2020 / 2:39 pm

    Who knew that trends have a 5 year lifecycle? I certainly didn’t. Actually, I’m not sure if I could walk into my local Chico’s and spot which pieces are “classic”, which are “trends”, or even possibly “fads”. I tend to buy whatever I like if it looks good on me and if the price is right. That practice has left me with a bulging wardrobe of clothes, some of which still have the tags on even a couple of years after initial purchase. You are helping me realize that I can’t just keep buying willy-nilly. Now I just have to learn how to part with clothes that “I may want to wear some day” or “when I lose weight again”. Yikes!

    • Jennifer
      February 27, 2020 / 7:23 pm

      It’s hard to know which is why capsule wardrobes can be helpful. They allow you to narrow down your choices which makes it easier to know what you made need.

  6. Eve
    February 26, 2020 / 1:47 pm

    I love that tortoiseshell necklace and the white sling backs. I can’t wait for summer but I have clothes I bought for Winter I haven’t worn yet. Maybe one more Cold spell. : )

    • Jennifer
      February 27, 2020 / 7:12 pm

      I think those two are pretty cute together too.

  7. Penelope
    February 26, 2020 / 12:02 pm

    Love every item shown. Wow.
    I’m not into trends but will occasionally wear something updated. Shoes are my passion and enjoy different looks as long as they are comfortable.

  8. Jen
    February 26, 2020 / 11:28 am

    I pick and choose the trends that work for me. Accessories are a great way to bring in some modernity at a good price! Xx

    • Jennifer
      February 27, 2020 / 7:11 pm

      I totally agree! Xx

  9. Dawn
    February 26, 2020 / 11:08 am

    Great post, Jennifer! I will be looking for espadrille sneakers and maybe a new bucket bag for summer. My taste is quite classic, so just a few trendy pieces make sense for me to update my look.

    • Jennifer
      February 27, 2020 / 7:11 pm

      All it takes is a tiny bit to update classic pieces. It’s most cost effective that way too:)

  10. Jan
    February 26, 2020 / 8:58 am

    I think when it comes to seasonal trends, I might be more of a spectator than a participant. While I love looking at the new trends and colors I tend to remain pretty true to my comfort zone. I might try the chunky chain but it’s a no on the platform shoes and the bucket bag. I guess I’ve made some poor choices (actually, quite a few) and I’m trying to stay focused on what I know works for me. We’ll see how that goes! Lol
    Thanks again for a fun post!

  11. Dena
    February 26, 2020 / 8:45 am

    I love this post, Jennifer. I remember my Liz Claiborne bucket bag from the 1980s (black w/tan trim). I think I donated it and sure do wish I still had it. It was my first “investment” bag. Back then $150 was an investment when you have three young kids and one income!

    This is such a timely post. I struggle with accessories. I have my diamond stud earrings that I absolutely love, but I am not sure what other accessories to wear with them. Several posts ago you showed some cute trendy pearl earrings, but once again, what else would I wear with them? I have a beautiful pearl bracelet, a diamond necklace and other nice jewelry that I want to wear I’m just not sure how to update them and make them look more on trend. If I wanted to stack the pearl bracelet, what would work with it? I have layered my diamond necklace with another necklace, but I’m just not sure if it looks silly or up to date.

    HELP! I’m sure I’m not the only over 50 (okay, I’m over 60) that struggles with this issue.

    Also, I want to share how much I enjoy your blog although I am built nothing like you. I’m 5’8″ with long legs and narrow shoulders. I always wanted wider shoulders. I used to have a waist but it ballooned up and now I have a big ole belly. I truly appreciate that you address body types other than your own when you detail your outfits.

    • Jennifer
      February 27, 2020 / 7:09 pm

      If your studs are tiny they should be great with any necklace. If I’m wearing big earrings I usually skip a necklace and wear a bracelet. Do you have a Pinterest account? You can get lots of ideas from there.

  12. Christine
    February 26, 2020 / 8:40 am

    Great post with sensible hints! I succumbed to one trend by purchasing an inexpensive structured back in faux snakeskin – definitely fun! Gives a great lift to my essential grey rain coat (I live on the west coast).

    • Christine
      February 26, 2020 / 8:42 am

      I meant bag, not back!

  13. Joanna
    February 26, 2020 / 7:46 am

    I love to update my purse every season with at least one new one that is on trend. A bucket bag it is! It will need a longer strap for over the shoulder as I like to have my hands free when out & about. I have a great pair of black & white square toe shoes that I kept because I love them, so they’ll be in my spring rotation, as well. Thank you for keeping us in the know.

    • Jennifer
      February 27, 2020 / 7:07 pm

      Those shoes sound super fun

  14. Bea
    February 26, 2020 / 7:00 am

    Thanks for this post. It occurs to me that since I have way too many clothes already (many of them classic, good quality pieces), that I could focus on accessories to satisfy my desire to update my wardrobe/put together interesting outfits without overspending.
    Thank you!

  15. jmp
    February 26, 2020 / 6:05 am

    Love the post! Your ideas are soooo helpful. The espadrilles are on my shopping list. So cute.

    • Jennifer
      February 26, 2020 / 6:15 am

      I’m really loving the look too. Modern and comfy.

  16. Linda
    February 26, 2020 / 5:54 am

    Like it all but not the chunky jewelry. I’m more into dainty jewelry. I feel chunky looks cheap especially on small women.

    • Jennifer
      February 26, 2020 / 6:14 am

      It can take time to get used to. Now I have a hard time with dainty, but then… I have large features:)

  17. Susan
    February 26, 2020 / 4:24 am

    Good excuse to dust off my Louis Vuitton epi leather draw string bucket bag now that it is back on trend. Not so much square toed shoes as I have very small feet and don’t need them to look smaller, but recently bought a linen grey/white linen plaid blazer which looks great with the white jeans – which unfortunately, do stain. Great classics Jennifer.

    • Jennifer
      February 26, 2020 / 6:13 am

      Yes! Lucky you. That’s the wonderful thing about classics.

  18. Paulette Levy
    February 26, 2020 / 4:05 am

    Beautiful display of Spring time looks!

  19. Yvonne
    February 26, 2020 / 3:32 am

    Another great post Jennifer! I enjoy seeing the new trends. I love the drawstring bucket bags and will be purchasing one in a bright colour for spring – perhaps in blue or maybe red. Decisions, decisions 🙂

    • Jennifer
      February 26, 2020 / 6:12 am

      I love the ones with structure that’ll stand on their own. I’m loving turquoise or even white! I haven’t owned a white bag in many years.

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