Accessories are items like handbags, scarves, belts, jewelry, watches, hats, gloves and eyewear. I’ve written many posts on the role of accessories in your outfits and here’s a summary of the most important points in one place for easy access.
Accessories can be extremely powerful because they complete a look, often taking it from nice to fabulous. Think of how often you’ve added a belt, bag, scarf, watch, hat, bold cuff or necklace and it “makes the outfit”.
Eye-catching accessories can also make a strong style statement. By all means sport many accessories at once if you have a maximal style, because there are no rules as to how many accessories you should sport in one outfit. Gone are the days when it was best to sport one huge accessory at a time and make a statement with it. Sport two, three or more if that’s your style preference. More can be more.
That said, if you have a minimal style, less is more. This means you’ll make a statement by sporting fewer accessories. Personally, this is how I like to dress. I don’t wear jewelry other than my wedding ring. I wear a watch, my specs, and a handbag daily. I seldom wear scarves these days, but I love to wear belts.
When my clients are stuck when it comes to adding accessories to their style I ask them to pick their one favourite accessory and start by making a statement with that. For example, one client picked scarves, while another picked pendant necklaces. Another picked earrings and bib necklaces, while yet another wanted to focus on cuffs. They began incorporating this one type of accessory into their style on a daily basis, and slowly but surely became comfortable with the addition. This built the confidence to try other accessories, and when desired, change up their daily look.
Scale plays a pretty important role in accessories. Although this is not a strict rule, tall and/or larger bone structures tend to look best in chunky and oversized accessories. Petite and/or smaller bone structures tend to look best in less chunky and smaller accessories. Of course, there is a middle ground where accessories can be chunky and refined. So by all means break these guidelines but keep the proportions flattering by making sure that YOU shine as much as the accessories do.
If you wear specs daily, this is your most important accessory, and I can’t stress this point enough. Gone are the days when eyeglasses were considered unstylish. Make your eyewear part of your look and flaunt it. And this goes for sunglasses too.You have to wear your specs every day so invest in the best affordable pair. Over time you can invest in several pairs and build a collection, which means swapping out your specs daily to suit your mood and your outfits.
If you struggle to incorporate belts, here are ways to combat belt phobia so don’t lose hope. You do not need to have a defined waistline to wear a belt thanks to the concepts of semi-tucking, faux tucking, and tops with relaxed fits. We can ALL wear belts.
Belts can compete with necklaces so keep an eye on those proportions. This is especially true if you also wear specs. Belts are an excellent way to rein in the volume of a shapeless top or frock. And learn how to tie an attractive reef or square knot for belted jackets and coats.
Here’s the skinny on the hair-neck-bust situation when you wear a big scarf. Contrary to popular belief, scarves do not need to shorten the neckline. Scarves can also be tied in vertically slimming ways. And here’s how to tie the Angie knot.
Scarves can be worn year round in all sorts of fabrications. As bridging pieces in transitional weather, for insulation in cold weather, and to keep you cool and protected in hot weather. Regular and infinity scarf styles have their pros and cons.
Mix your metals with pride. Here’s a video on how to knot a long strand of pearls, and a post on how to pick the right neckline as a backdrop for your big necklace. You can absolutely wear necklaces with a larger bust and here are the guidelines on how to achieve flattering proportions.
If necklaces aren’t your thing, there’s always arm candy. Arm candy is about much more than just bracelets. Think watches, cuffs, rings, clutch handbags and fingernail polish. And no need to stick to one wedding ring just because you’re committed to one person for life. I have four wedding rings, but only one husband.
Earrings are also an option, but you don’t need to wear earrings just because your ears are pierced.
Here are seven reasons to carry a daytime clutch, which isn’t necessarily impractical. Flat totes can be just as practical as crossbody bags. And casual handbags are a great way to dress down an outfit.
Match your bag to your shoes, belt, scarf, necklace, top or outerwear. Or mismatch the colour entirely to create an extra strong statement.
Hair and a Smile
Your hairstyle is also an accessory. After all, you wear it every day. If you are unsatisfied with your look, re-evaluate your hairstyle early in the process of a style renewal. Chances are high that if your hair feels right, the rest of your outfits will feel a whole lot better.
Phew! We can talk about accessories until the cows come home. Feel free to post further accessory challenges and questions in the comments section and let’s get to work.