They jangle, clank and rattle. Pins, bracelets, necklaces, belts, big long strands of pearls, colored rhinestones, gold-link chains. The noise factor comes from the fact that they're all supposed to be worn at the same time for fall.
"Piling them on" is the operative phrase here.
Designers are showing multiple pins in unexpected places, like hanging off hats. They're layering bracelets with coins and stones and charms. They're mixing pearls and gold chains and faux gems and winding them all around the neck. Or the hip.
"People are adding and adding," Bullock's Denise Cohen says. "More is more."
"We like from a moderate amount to a lot," Lee Hogan Cass, vice president and fashion director of the Broadway stores, says. "Not little ditzy things."
Although certain influential designers such as Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis favor the accessory-less look, other fashion forces push for mixed media. Among the young on the streets, Madonna's influence is everywhere. They raid secondhand stores for vintage fakes like hers.
For those who take a more ladylike approach, memories of Chanel linger on in lengthy ropes of gold chains and pearls.
At Monet Jewelers, fake pearls are offered in such shades as copper and champagne and are called "updated classics." Bullock's Cohen calls the mix of pearls and chains "a la modern Chanel."
Joan Nelson, May Co.'s vice president and director of creative merchandising, identifies the flood of coin jewelry as "Chanel-inspired."
Indeed, there are those in the fashion industry who credit the current rebirth of Chanel ready-to-wear with the new costume-jewelry explosion.
Monet, one of the country's largest and oldest costume jewelry concerns with annual sales of $120 million, has come up with market research indicating that more than 50% of American women now buy costume jewelry.
Ten years ago, women tended to buy fake jewelry that looked like the real thing, company spokesperson Deborah Durham says. But today, as women make gains in the work force and "no longer have to prove themselves," they choose frankly fake jewelry to express their personal style. Practically speaking, Durham adds, costume jewelry is a means to keep up with the trends without buying a whole new wardrobe.
Aside from jewelry, there are other ways to update with accessories this fall.
Depending on your mood, you can don a raj-inspired pillbox hat or a baroque tapestry belt.
Or you can saddle your steed and trot right down to the local tack shop. Equestrian gear, even for those who don't own a horse, is becoming big accessory business these days. Strap on a bridle-leather belt with hardware buckles. But don't forget the ascot, the leather gloves, the riding boots and the black derby.
Robinson's calls this the "gentry look." And Sarah Worman, the store's vice president of fashion merchandising, points out that it can be worn to the office or anywhere else.
"If you're going to see President and Mrs. Reagan at the ranch, all you have to do is jump on a horse."