I don’t believe that accessories make an outfit, but I do believe that accessories can make an outfit better. More interesting, fun, polished, professional and pulled together. The right accessories complement an outfit in the best way. 

That’s all very well when you enjoy wearing accessories and they’re part of your daily dressing routine. But things are trickier when you find accessories — like scarves, belts, necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, bags, eyewear, hair accessories, watches and hats — fussy, uncomfortable, and overly complex to incorporate into outfits. 

When my clients feel a little overwhelmed by the thought of adding accessories to their style, I make three suggestions to help them on their way: 

Choose only a FEW accessories and make a statement with them

There is no need to wear all the accessories, and certainly not in one outfit. Choose a couple, master the way to wear them, and make them part of your signature style.

Choose a COMFORTABLE version of the accessory

Make sure that the accessories are flattering and as comfortable as can be. No scratchy fabric, too heavy earrings, metals that irritate your skin, belt buckles that dig into your midsection, hats that fall over your eyes, bangles that get in the way of typing, or rings that hook onto everything.

Give yourself TIME to get used to wearing a new-to-you accessory

Most importantly, you have to give yourself the time to get used to wearing an accessory, both visually and physically. It might initially feel fussy or look jarring, but after a little getting used to it might look and feel completely right.

After having an almost accessory-free style for years, I had to get used to the feel of pearl necklaces and scarves all over again. I would put them on, take them off, put them back on, fuss a little, and finally leave the house. That went on for weeks, but I persevered because I desperately felt like a change and loved the visual effect. After a while, pearl necklaces and scarves once again became a natural extension of my outfits. 

Don’t give up on accessories too soon.