A shot of cognac with an olive on the side
I love the colour cognac for accessories and garments. Nearly everyone is flattered by its rich, saturated hue, and it's surprisingly neutral. Cognac leavens black's depth, takes the starch out of navy, lifts ivories from quiet to interesting.
More classic than metallics, far easier to maintain than pales and not limited by season, cognac or olive is the secret weapon if you're traveling or don't want to house an arsenal of accessories.
I don't know why they're so hard to find, but I tracked down several examples.
The French Sole Zeppa is cognac, in a snake-print suede, a hard to find colour in a shoe, It's on a very low wedge, with a padded footbed and rubber sole. Price, $135 from Zappos. Also comes in pink, black and beige.
J. Crew's distressed-leather Bronwyn hobo shows cognac's casual side. Also made in a pursette, if you prefer a small bag. Price, $268.
Speaking of small! This bijoux Italian crocodile wallet bag is a chic option to the fanny pack– the pricey accessory worn with everday basics is a favourite stylist's trick. Just enough to carry keys, credit card, bills and change...your window-shopping kit. In cognac (as well as many other colours); price, $610 from Crocolux.
|Cognac perforated leather jacket|
Tory Burch's Daniel leather jacket: supple, pocketed and miles ahead of a me-too moto. Price, $725 from Bloomingdale's. Because it's unlined, you could wear it as an indoor piece in cold climates. The rich, warm hue de-toughens leather and looks even better as it ages.
The other secret weapon is olive, sometimes called khaki and many other names, is in the same spirit: rich-looking, interesting, a bit offbeat. These are not the colours I'd pick for the tropics, but when navigating grotty airports, sticky buses or packed subways, they're wonderful.
|Bompard suede jacket|
Here it is in a melting suede jacket from Eric Bompard, a wonderful transitional piece that I'd spray like crazy if there is even a thought of rain. Price, 440 €.
|Pilar platform heel|
J. Crew's Pilar peep-toe packs cutaway style into a platform heel, most fetching in olive. Price, $250.
|Himalayan green sandals|
Flats lovers can find green in a shade J. Crew call himalayan, in a more-graceful gladiator; $148.
|Brora summerweight wool scarf|
Brora call the green in their pretty wool floral stripe scarf "lizard". Whatever; I see it as the ideal plane and cool-night piece, a gentle but not insipid palette. Price, £69.
In the hottest sun destinations, it's whites and brights, as the natives know. But for those traveling in temperate to merely warm zones, these two colours keep your bag light and your style breezy. And when the seasons or your locale shifts, they will continue to work wonders in your wardrobe.