Early adopters get runway look through accessories

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Reuters. Reuters.
SummaryFor some shoppers, accessories are at the forefront of the catwalk news they're waiting for.

It can't be helped: After weeks of top designer runway previews of spring styles at marathon fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris, the eye started to wander and it caught the newest trends for handbags and shoes. For some shoppers, accessories are at the forefront of the catwalk news they're waiting for.

Accessories tend to be more widely available and affordable - although that's a relative term - and, more often than not, they fit.

And there's probably a handbag with a structured shape or a snakeskin shoe on the market already, so early adopters can look way ahead of the curve if they're paying attention.

''Accessories aren't as big of a commitment as apparel,'' says Tracey Lomrantz Lester, women's editorial director at Gilt. ''You invest less from both a financial perspective and a sartorial one. The idea of trying a new style of boot or a different handbag is less intimidating than readjusting your eye to an entirely new silhouette. You can always just take if off if you feel silly.''

Whitney Kessler, accessories editor of trend analysis firm Stylesight, says there are plenty of choices during this particular season, but few will serve as the all-purpose bag, shoe or piece of statement jewelry. ''There aren't a lot of everyday bags and items, which is exciting for people who are really into fashion,'' she says, ''but if you are shopping designer collections, you'll need to buy more to satisfy your needs.''

She adds: ''But they'll all look really good.''

Some options:

-Boxy bags: The slouchy silhouette is on its way out, to be replaced by a stronger, smaller, more structured bag, predicts Leah Karp, accessories director at InStyle magazine. She thinks the shape to buy it in will be a cross-body bag. Consider one that features colorblocking but is otherwise clean-looking, with geometric, sophisticated hardware.

Erica Russo, fashion director for women's accessories at Bloomindale's, says a hand-held clutch or a larger envelope will work, too.

-Time to shine: Metallics always have some presence on the catwalks, and they translate well to closets because they have timeless appeal, says Karp. ''I have a silver bag I've had for 10 years. It's an old Celine bag that I can bring out time and time again - totally worth an investment.''

Since she already bought silver sandals this year, she'll be looking at gold shoes next year. You really

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