It has been one weird winter here in Houston, with few days cold enough to warrant a coat but many warm enough to reach for shorts and sundresses. In the middle of this weather-less wasteland, one hardly knows which season to shop for, and yet we have felt the need to find a few pieces to freshen up the wardrobe. It's a little late to be buying winter pieces, and perhaps a bit early to dream of the sweltering days of summer, so we went hunting for some well-priced investment pieces that will work year-round. Any one of these would make a cute Valentine's Day gift, too.
Setting a budget of $50 or less per piece, we set ourselves to the difficult task of buying pretty things. Yay!
Linen Wrap from J.Crew
We love this wrap in citrus lime, but oceanfront and azalea are also flattering colors with most any complexion. A wrap can translate quickly into a scarf, perfect for going in and out of air-conditioned spaces, and stows easily in a handbag. ($49.50)
For Him: J. Crew crinkled wool scarf in plaid or stripes. ($39.50)
Neon ruffle-trim cardigan from Gap
You can never have enough cardigans, especially in Houston -- they are perfect for layering in winter and to keep on hand in summer when the air conditioning in every building is on full-blast. This cute sweater from Gap has an elongating V-neck and the trim provides a pop of color; light brown with neon pink or gray with lime green. ($49.95)
For Him: Gap outside seam cardigan in gray or black. ($49.95)
Kiehl's Essence Oil
Think fashion only appeals to the eye? Think again. Choosing a signature scent is as fashion-forward as choosing a signature bag or coat. These Kiehl's Essence Oils are unisex, portable and concentrated for long-lasting results -- very travel-friendly, too. Choose from Musk, Coriander, Vanilla, Chinese Flower, Pour Homme, Cucumber, Pear, Amber and Gardenia. Layer with each other, or fragrances from your own collection to create something completely your own. ($26 each) Jason Wu for Target Blue Striped Tote
These Jason Wu tote bags are only available in stores, but there were at least a dozen left at the Target on San Felipe on Sunday evening. We can tote our planner, journal, Kindle, wallet and camera with room to spare in this cute canvas bag with navy patent accents. ($39.95) Everyone needs a great-looking bag to haul around their not-so-great-looking junk.
Non-Wu alternative: Classic Eddie Bauer Boat & Tote ($19.95-$34.95) or Zip-top ($26.95-$41.95).
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For Him: Timbuk2 Hidden Messenger in Black at Zappos.com -- a steal at $25.
Ivory Enamel Necklace from Banana Republic
The soft ivory enamel color of this chain link necklace is set off by a single gold-tone link, placed just off-center. This necklace looks just as great at the office as it does for cocktails after work, but we think this could also look amazing poolside with a black bikini and wedge sandals. An easy, versatile piece in a neutral color with presence. ($49.95)
For Him: Double-stitch leather belt in Cognac. ($49.95)