Before assuming this is another one of those formula, stereotypical advice pieces, think again. We’re twisting this trite tale to help you go from predictable to a la mode in minutes!

1. The Sensual Scarf: No matter what the barometer tells you, a scarf always makes a chic statement. With its fashion origins from ancient Rome, the scarf has come a long way. Versatile and multicultural, it doesn’t hurt to own a few pieces. We recommend scoring at least one leopard print scarf amongst others. Silk, sheer or even handmade scarves can also be a precious addition to any collection. 

The Twist: Typically, neutrals and black leopard prints are common, so put a twist on your wild find— Wear it with a pop of color.

We also love the hint of shimmer and sparkle on scarves this season, so we recommend color-blocking your outfit and wearing a sparkly something to spice things up. Nordstrom, Express, PiperLime have some exciting finds. As a side note, Hermes’ much talked about collection of Polaroid scarves is worth a peek!

2. LBD: No prizes for guessing. The little black dress would have obviously made the cut on this list. Born in 1926, this understated piece of clothing is a regular in women’s wardrobes worldwide to date. Another one of Chanel’s original ideas that Vogue called,  “the frock that all the world will wear.”

Isn’t it a bit ironic that despite of how cyclical fashion can be, some things will never change?  So, how do we make the best of it? We challenge the status quo just enough to look rebellious but still follow some unspoken rules!

The Twist: It’s all about the texture, and most importantly, the fit. The choices are amazing: lace, net, sheer, fringe, baroque, jacquard, oh my! Couple that with a fit that complements your body shape and you’ve mastered the art.  We highly recommend colored, metallic or wild print pumps or strappy sandals to break the monotony.

Harper’s Bazaar has an inventory of 50 best black dresses of the year and although we don’t endorse all, we did have our set of faves. Maggy London, White House Black Market, Bloomingdales and others have great options.

3. Pump It Up: The good old pump. A fashion classic that was known as  “Pompes” in its previous life was flat and worn by men. Fast forward to the times of Louboutin and Blahnik—they’ve come a long way! But don’t just think black pumps, please. Think in color. Like this Balenciaga tri-color pump that we’re obsessing over, don’t you just love the sanguine heel?

The Twist: Not to take away from black’s coveted classic status, but we’d rather keep it to the good-to-have status. We recommend investing in prints and colors. Nude is the new must-have. We even love the low-heeled oh-so-Jackie-O pumps that are back in action. DSW, Polyvore, Nine West have a nice range to choose from.

4. Blaze A Trail: Your dedicated loyal companion (other than your girls, of course) should be a well-tailored, snug fitting blazer. You know who’s our favorite designer in this department lately? Helmut Lang. We love his obsession with asymmetry and clean cuts.

The Twist: Layer away. Go monochrome or neutral, but the blazer has graduated from being an I-mean-business- kinda piece to a glamorous night out on the town quintessential staple. Investing in a blazer answers to one pre-req: a good personality—kiss boring goodbye. Try sequins, cropped styles, leather trims and of course color. Nordstrom, Bloomingdales have options aplenty!

5. State Your Style: Statement accessories. Whether it’s a necklace, iPhone case, iPad case or even a clutch—be bold. We’re not talking ‘70s style mishmash. Instead we’re talking about striking contrasts like dotting a simple ensemble with just one statement piece of your choice. So if you’re doing heavyset Kendra Scott earrings, skip the neckpiece or if you have a statement gold cuff, skip the watch.

The Twist: Less is more. Bold doesn’t mean loud, fashion, this year is about teaming the right pieces, knowing which ones to keep and which one to edit. A little bit of discernment goes a long way. So long to the flashy 1970s and 1980s. Who knew minimalism and flamboyance can make a good marriage?

Kate Spade, Rachel Zoe, Kendra Scott, Amrita Singh and other jewelry and accessory designers offer many color options that might be totally worth a snag either at Nordstrom’s, Bloomies or online.

About Jo:

Jyoti “Jo” Peswani is a fashion maven. As a Chanel-obsessed, published fashion and lifestyle journalist, she definitely has a nose for everyday style. In addition to being an award-winning copy girl, Jo runs her own marketing and writing consultancy, The Idea Is {In}. Jo currently curates her inspirations, observations and ideas on her recently launched blog www.theideaisin.com/blog. She’s a strong advocate of living (and dressing) creatively and takes great pleasure in denying the existence of “the box.”