This winter, style is in the details, whether you're an urban cowgirl seeking the best of the West or a modern femme fatale with darker things on her mind. Whatever your frame of reference, the accents you choose can transform just about any outfit from less than photogenic to more than camera-worthy.
A TAOS STATE OF MIND
Displaying the same tenacity that revenge-seeking Mattie Ross showed in last year's True Grit, the Hailee Steinfeld factor continues to hold firm in fashion: The teen sensation's star turn in the movie hit – reinforced by her enlistment as the new face of Miu Miu in May – reverberates like a gunshot on the High Plains, giving a decided Western vibe to many accessories this season. On the street and in the stores, the look is more Santa Fe soul sister than dusty cowhand, but you get the picture: Western-style hats and prints, leather paired with a host of other materials (especially shearling and knits) and warm, earthy tones that evoke a prairie sunset will have even city girls feeling at home on the range. Sarsaparilla, anyone?
SHADES OF BLACK
No, it's not the complexities of a certain Canadian media mogul turned jailbird that resonate this winter, but the prominence of noir in all its incarnations, be it glossy or matte, sparkling like a night sky or punctuating (faux) fur. Interlace a mostly black palette with a few hits of grey and you'll look like you've just stepped out of a silver gelatin print of some swank 1930s affair. Indeed, the Duchess of Windsor (the subject of Madonna's godawful but very stylish recent film) is a major influence right now, both in look and in spirit. To paraphrase the famous style-setter, you can't be too rich, too thin or too luxuriously turned out.
If Wallis Simpson is too dark (literally) a model for you, consider the accessorizing influence of another, more modern trendsetter with marriage problems: Jenna Lyons, the J.Crew creative director who has put pop and panache back into prep, crossing Ali MacGraw's look in Love Story with ladies-who-lunch primness for a wholly original effect. How to achieve it? Think tuques adorned with tiny bows, driving gloves in peppy shades, cute clutches with gilt straps. Too out there? Pshaw. Remember, style means never having to say you're sorry.