Designer Michael Kors tells women what they need and why


Mar 19, 2006
Style guru lists must-haves

RIGHT GIFTS: Designer Michael Kors tells women what they need and why.

05:26 PM PST on Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Associated Press

Want to find the right gift for a friend or loved one without the headache of knowing their size, favorite color and style?

To avoid the guesswork, we enlisted designer Michael Kors, style guru of Bravo TV's "Project Runway," to create the ultimate list of must-have fashion accessories that no woman should ever be without.

Accessories are gifts that keep on giving since they simply are used more often than a single garment. For each time a camel cashmere sweater -- a worthwhile gift by most measures -- is worn, a camel leather handbag is probably used a dozen times.

There's also the issue of investment. A classic accessory is worth the extra money you might be thinking of spending on a gift since it rarely, if ever, goes out of style.

Here are Kors' picks for the timeless pieces that will accent your wardrobe and enhance your style:

Diamond Stud Earrings

Style advice: "You want the biggest ones you can afford," Kors says, "and if you can't afford real ones, there are some pretty fabulous fakes."

Why you need them: Basically, there is no excuse for anyone with pierced ears to be without these little gems. They complement a pair of jeans and a T-shirt just as well as a little black dress, and they're appropriate for teenagers and grandmothers.

"There are not a lot of things that are demure and glamorous at the same time, but the perfect pair of studs are both."


Style advice: The only thing that rivals diamond studs in the jewelry box are pearls. Kors says the key look is the single strand -- though your personal preference will dictate either chunky or delicate beads.

Why you need them: Pearly pearls do more than add a touch of class. When worn as a necklace, they also add a natural luster to the face, sort of like the warm glow of candlelight, Kors explains.

Aviator Sunglasses

Style advice: This look says you're somebody and hints at a little bit of intrigue, danger or secrecy. "Put them on, and it's Kate Moss shielding her eyes from the paparazzi, or Steve McQueen starting his affair with Ali McGraw," says Kors, who owns several pairs, including a pair of yellow Ray-Bans from the '40s.

Why you need them: "They automatically turn you into a jet-setter. They're the kind of thing that have no age or gender," says Kors, adding, "I think there's an aviator version for everyone. I haven't seen anyone who can't find the right pair."

Chunky Bracelet-Style Watch

Style advice: On a woman, a watch like this says, "I'm stylish but I'm a rule breaker," Kors explains, noting that it also looks a bit utilitarian yet offers a sense richness and polish.

Why you need them: "You wear this, and you turn into Elle Macpherson wearing flip-flops with a gown on the red carpet."

Leather Bags

Style advice: Kors breaks down handbags into four "must-haves" -- there simply isn't one that will do it all, he says.

First, you need a streamlined clutch, preferably in snakeskin or other texture, that can be slipped into a bigger bag. The clutch allows you to take just the essentials (cash, credit cards, phone and lipstick) to lunch and then transitions to evening. But most women can't get through their day without the rest of their life that they keep in their tote bag, Kors says. The most fabulous totes are the ones that make you look like a jet-setter, hopping from one great destination to the next, even if it's from the office to PTA meeting.

Why you need them: "A great tote does everything the trunk of your car does. Women find that the most perfect tote bag is something to invest in," Kors says. They can be fancy or funny -- like the ones with bright webbing that are popular right now -- but always completely functional.

"The L.L. Bean boat tote is something everyone needs, at least one if not two or three."

A soft, easy shoulder bag is another essential. It helps a woman channel her inner bohemian princess, and completely twists her entire look, Kors describes: "If you wear conservative clothes with a soft suede shoulder bag, it instantly relaxes you and gives you an easier attitude."

But there are ladylike fashion moments, too, and for those you need a handheld, double-handle satchel.


Style advice: Kors has trouble limiting his recommendations here.

You need sandals in metallic leather to make you feel like Jackie O dashing off the yacht; ballerina slippers -- Kors likes them in a pale nude color to create a long, lean leg; and loafers -- the most updated version is in soft, buttery leather, for a long, lean leg. And those are just the flats.

"When women say, 'How high should my heel be?' I say, 'How high can you handle and stay in for two hours without having two Advil?' " Kors says with a laugh.

Why you need them: No excuses, every woman should wear heels, he adds, whether they're 2 inches high or 5 inches. You need two pairs of bare, strappy sandals -- one in black, the other a metallic -- and several pairs of sexy pumps and slingbacks, in black, brown and a glossy version in patent leather, crocodile or snakeskin. "Whether it's round toe or pointy, that's up to you and your feet."

If you were going to keep your boot selection to just one, Kors says go with a high-heel, fitted-shaft brown suede boot. They go with almost everything.

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Nov 5, 2006
i agree with the diamond stud earrings and the pearl necklace as well. but is he really telling EVERY WOMAN to get aviator sunglasses? i think enough people wear those already! and while i love the look of heels i am not comfortable with any man saying that there are "no excuses" for not wearing them.


Up On My Toes!
Jun 6, 2006
but is he really telling EVERY WOMAN to get aviator sunglasses? i think enough people wear those already! and while i love the look of heels i am not comfortable with any man saying that there are "no excuses" for not wearing them.

I know! Aviators look silly on me! I look much better in the oversized ones with plastic frames! As for the heels, well, clearly he hasn't ever worn them! ;)


Jan 19, 2006
I dont really like that the term "jet-setter" is thrown around so much... otherwise, I guess i sort of agree with the items, just not the particular ones mentioned.. and not aviators.