Share this article

print logo

Embellished: From buckles to studs, fall’s key adornments come at you every which way

Fall is the time for dressing a little more fancy, and embellishment always helps. In the spotlight this season are decorative buttons, gold chains, bows, strap and buckle details, and studs galore.

What’s striking is how these dressy details sometimes spill over into home furnishings and accessories. We spotted a gold chain overlay on a toss pillow and a leather strap on a laundry hamper. Fancy indeed.

Take a look at five embellishments you can’t miss this season.


Decorative buttons serve as jewelry this fall, adorning pencil skirts, boots, jackets, cable-knit scarves and more. While some are functional, others are not. Gold-toned buttons in particular are enjoying a moment, as part of the military-inspired trend, but you’ll see them in other materials and finishes as well. The trend may even inspire you to create your own looks, perhaps replacing boring buttons on a jacket with ones far more interesting.

In upholstered pieces for the home, tufting – a timeless look – is calling attention to buttons in a big way again this season. You’ll see button-tufted headboards, seat cushions, chair backs, benches, ottomans and more. So classic – whether it’s done in sleek leather or plush velvet.

Gold chains

Gold chain necklaces and bracelets are a big trend in jewelry right now – especially when paired with black outfits – but gold chains also are used as decorative accents on handbags and shoes.

This trend, too, translates to the home. In its fall collection, Pier 1 included a burgundy pillow with an overlay that mimics a gold chain. You may even come across chain-like patterns in textiles.

Straps, buckles and belts

If you really want to look up-to-the-moment this fall, add a great-looking belt to your outfit. There are skinny belts, bold metallic belts, animal-print belts, equestrian-themed belts, belts with plaque-style flat buckles and belts dressed up with other popular embellishments, namely studs and bows. All can add visual interest – that all-important finishing touch – to fall outfits.

Similarly, strap and buckle details adorn boots – both short and tall styles. Some serve as a single accent; other times multiple straps and buckles appear on the same boot, often in a wrap-around design.

For the home, you’ll also see straps and buckles accenting rattan pieces, such as hampers.

Studs and nailheads

It seems that nothing escapes the studding treatment this season. Clothing, shoes, boots, handbags, bangles, belts and baseball caps all get studded. It may be just a sprinkling of studs on a jacket lapel, shirt sleeve or shoulder top. Or it may be an all-over design, such as the studded sheath dress included in the nicole by Nicole Miller fall collection at J.C. Penney.

But, wait, there’s more. Also at J.C. Penney: The Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler collection includes round and rectangular serving trays accented with studs, as well as a storage box. See for availability.

And nailheads – a close cousin of studs – are a big trend in home furnishings. They embellish everything from upholstered seating and headboards to accent tables and mirror frames.

Ribbons and bows

Unlike many of the embellishments so popular this fall, ribbons and bows are anything but hardware inspired. Grosgrain ribbons are wrapped around waistlines over silky blouses and other feminine tops. Sweaters boast perky bow prints. Embroidered or three-dimensional bows enhance shoes. Ribbons and bows are part of the ladylike look happening in fashion right now. They’re also perfect for festive holiday dressing, so look for them in winter collections as well.