One of our readers left a very interesting reply to last week’s post on layered necklaces:

“Statement piece….? What is the statement? Is it something like a secret that only the wearer knows? But then you’d be making a statement to yourself. That word is used sooo much in fashion and I really want to understand. Like the necklaces above…is the statement something like “Oh, hey I AM BIG!” or “Look here!” Or is it more like “I am a deep person with a unique interest in complex/simple design… a reflection of my inner self…? Or is it like, “I am da bomb!”Maybe I am thinking too much…..impossible…aaaargh…..I do get the “Key” pieces in the wardrobe thing…..but again, what is the statement that the wearer is trying to make…?

I talk about statement pieces all the time, so this got me thinking. What is it about an item that makes it a statement piece?

I think of statement pieces as interesting, attractive and relatively eye-catching wardrobe items that reflect your personality. They are usually quite bold and unique, but not necessarily brightly coloured and oversized. They are often, but not always, the thing people notice first about your outfit. Sometimes they become items that people associate with your signature style.

For me personally, the first statement pieces that come to mind are accessories: my specs, my watch, my wedding ring and my handbags. But I also have coats, scarves and shoes that I consider to be statement pieces. My cream trench or red Kate Spade shoes, for example. All of my statement pieces make me confident and happy with my outfit.

Are statement pieces a personal inner thought, or an overt statement to the rest of the world? I think a true statement piece has elements of both. My philosophy is that style is about creating a positively reinforcing feedback loop between the way we feel and the way we look. It connects our inner thoughts and feelings to the story we tell to the rest of the world. Statement pieces are like the headlines in this story.

How would you define a statement piece? What are your statement pieces?