Fashion accessories aren’t simply about what looks good, they also need to be functional. If you spend a great deal of money to purchase a luxury designer accessory, from a scarf to a hat, a belt, to a weekender bag, or even a cosmetics case, it should be equally fabulous and functional. It’s great when something looks nice, but if it doesn’t serve its purpose, it’s not worth shelling the cash out for, even if you have disposable income. More importantly, any accessory you buy and truly invest in, should be something you actually want to use for years. A truly well made accessory should be something whose form can even outlast its function. You shouldn’t have to look at something you use often, like a weekender bag and think “Wow, that’s so last season.”
Certain accessories stay in style for one reason: equal function and form by function, it holds something, transports something or makes life more comfortable. It has a true purpose and cannot be replaced. Weekenders, key rings, cosmetics cases and even watches have a true usefulness. In terms of form, when something is useful, well designed and a luxury designer or fashion house makes it, it shouldn’t ever go out of style. It’s a high quality item that can be used for years.
It should be noted that some luxury items stay in style not because they are truly useful, but because they are iconic. They are either in a movie, or worn by a movie star; the masses follow and keep following. Year after year an object of desire stays an object of desire. Either way, here are ten accessories that haven’t gone out of style and probably never will.
10. Tiffany “Return to Tiffany” Key Ring: $135
Made from sterling silver, this U shaped ring has a ball on each end, making it very easy to remove or add a key if need be, without sacrificing your manicure or your sanity. It is adorned with a heart or circle charm, with or without an engraved “Return to Tiffany New York, 925” note. Fun Fact: the 925 means that the amount of sterling silver used to make the key ring is 92.5%. Using 100% silver would make the ring too malleable and render it useless. For $135, Tiffany and Co’s Return To Tiffany key ring is key for keeping your keys.
9. Prada Makeup Case: $195
Putting makeup in your purse alone, without a case, is just as bad as not putting a case on your smartphone: you are just asking for something expensive to get ruined. For years, Prada’s Nylon Triangle Cosmetic Bags have been a staple luxury accessory. Made of a shimmering tessuto nylon, these bags are adorned with the upside down triangle logo, backed with signature saffiano leather. These bags are so popular, there is currently a waiting list for the green and black ones, although blue and red are currently available. There is also a purchase limit of three bags per month. This bag is so chic, you might want to use it as a clutch for a night out, like Kate Moss does. You can pick up any color for $195.
8. Ray Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses: $220
In 1955, when James Dean wore wayfarer sunglasses in Rebel Without Cause, no one would have guessed the sunglasses would someday become as iconic as Dean himself. Designed in 1952, the original wayfarers had lenses shaped like a trapezoid, having strong temples with rivets, as well as riveting on the front of the frames. Popular for both men and women, they became as a famous as Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress when she wore them in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Wayfarers have graced the faces of Marilyn Monroe, JFK and countless celebrities including Michelle Williams, Reese Witherspoon and Taylor Swift and well as every chic hipster in Los Angeles. They cost between $130 and $220, but adding polarized lenses or a prescription can obviously make these a pricier purchase.
7. Burberry Scarf: $395
Thomas Burberry founded Burberry as an outerwear shop in 1856. In 1879, he invented the iconic trench coat, which by 1924 became lined with its signature tan check pattern. It has been a symbol of British sophistication ever since. Burberry has used their check pattern on everything from coin purses, to bikinis to hats, but year after year it is their classic scarf that is most ubiquitous. Made of cashmere, this scarf is warm, comfortable and luxurious. For the current season, it is available in tan, navy and charcoal for $395. Other versions are available with a larger version of the check pattern. Katherine Heigl, Blake Lively and Ashley Tisdale stay warm in their Burberry scarves.
6. Gucci Belt Bag: $570
The Gucci Belt Bag is unapologetically a chic spin on the not so chic fanny pack. The truth is that fanny packs are the opposite of high fashion, but they are certainly high function. The Gucci Belt Bag is both. The Belt Bag became cool when it was worn by the one and only Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City. Still available from Gucci, it is made in Italy and the strap is adjustable for either the waist, or for people too cool for the fanny pack, around the shoulder. It is available in either beige or black classic logo print. Either way, this practical pack remains fabulous and isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, the fanny pack craze is catching on, as designers Marc Jacobs, Jeremy Scott and DKNY have followed suit. You can get the original Gucci one for $570.
5. Squishee® Hats by Eric Javits: $650
There’s no classier way to guard out the rays than with a straw hat. One of the world’s most renowned haberdashers, Eric Javits, makes some of the most luxurious ones. Javits’ hats are made of a straw like material called Squishee®. Squishee® is lightweight and offers the look of straw, but provides the highest UVA/UVB protection. It’s also a much higher quality material. Britney Spears, Leighton Meester, and Karlie Kloss have covered their heads in Eric Javits’ hats. You can top your head in an Eric Javits’ creation from $250 to $650.
4. Hermès Scarf: $1,550
An icon of sophistication, the Hermès scarf made its debut in 1937 and has been gracing the necks of the rich ever since. These scarves are so popular, a new one is sold every 25 seconds. Designed in Paris and handmade of the finest silks in Lyon, these scarves are designed by freelance artists through the world with over 2000 different patterns. Always a celebrity favorite, Hermès scarves have been worn by everyone from Audrey Hepburn, to Queen Elizabeth, Jackie O (who wore hers as a headscarf), Grace Kelly and Sharon Stone. The incredible amount of work it takes to produce these scarves justifies the very high price from $330-$1,550.
3. Louis Vuitton Weekender: $1,760
Whether you are off to the Hamptons or Palm Beach, a weekender bag becomes as necessary as air, water and shoes. One of the most fabulous weekenders available is Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram canvas bag. Equally durable and fabulous, the largest bag is $1,750, but there are smaller ones for $1,350. Personalized stripes and monograms are also available for an additional cost. Since these bags don’t ever go out of style or on sale, personalization is key, especially if you can’t fly private and must check it on a plane. At any price, it’s certainly worth the investment. Trendsetter Alexa Chung, Lindsay Lohan and Gwyneth Paltrow have all been spotted with this bag, which is technically luggage.
2. Hermès H Belt $4,500
If you love Hermès, but don’t have at least $12,000 for a Kelly or Birkin bag, an H belt is the next best thing. Notoriously one of the most knocked off belts in the world, the real Hermès H Belt is omnipresent on the waists of the rich and fabulous. The H Buckle and the leather strap itself are sold separately. However, when you buy your first buckle, Hermès requires you to also buy a strap. Depending on the strap and buckle you purchase, the belt can cost as much as $4,500. However, on the less expensive side, it is possible to buy one for under $1000. Kate Walsh, Nicky Hilton and current Vogue cover girl Kim Kardashian have been photographed wearing their H belts.
1. Cartier Tank Watch $45,800
In 1917, Cartier created the tank watch and nothing about it has tanked since. Extraordinarily popular, this timepiece has inspired the design of too many other popular watches to name. A favorite for first ladies, both Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama and Princess Diana have all worn tank watches. The design of the watch was inspired by something not so glamorous, WWI tanks. The face of the watch is both a square and a rectangle. The straps are integrated into vertical sidebars known as brancards. Cartier has made and continues to make many versions of this watch costing from $6,300 all the way up to $45,800.