I would say for me, it comes from veering into inauthentic territory, which happens when I admire someone else's 'look' so much I want to attempt it. The reality is, I am only comfortable with a certain amount and a certain type of jewelry. There are only a couple of hat styles that I feel like me in. Painted fingernails, while I LOVE them on others, feel over the top on me. I accept that there are areas where I am worse off when I try to change lanes, and areas where I am only happy when driving against the traffic!

What a great question and such thoughtful, insightful responses.

I relate to what several people said. Sometimes something feels like "too much" to me when it's new to me and I'm trying it out for the first time.

I really like the idea to probe further when the "trying too hard" phrase comes into your mind. What is the deeper fear?

Liz' comment (with suggestions on how to finish the question about "trying to hard to ...) is food for thought.

In my opinion, the old Chanel rule (about removing one item before you leave the house) are among the rules we no longer need to follow. It might have made sense in her circles and time, when she and others wore a lot of accessories. Today, many of us wear just a few, perhaps too few. A modern rule (if we need any at all) perhaps should be: "Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror, and consider to add at least one great accessory!"

However, personality is a very important ingredient in personal style. Some people manage to look gorgeous LOADED in accessories. (It wouldn't make sense to ask Iris Apfel "remove one item" ...) Others manage to look stunning practically WITHOUT accessories. Most of us are somewhere in between.

You simply have to experiment to find your own accessory style. And this can be an exciting journey. Please don't be too afraid of others' opinions. Rember to have fun with fashion.

I always think it’s interesting that Chanel is responsible for that saying when she wore outfits like this.

I’m at the other end of the spectrum. I feel “under-done” without accessories. They are my favourite part of an outfit.

I think this forum leans minimalist when it comes to jewellery. I look at WIW outfits and the first thing I think is “you need more accessories”. But that’s my style preference and others are right to follow their own. But I do think it’s important to experiment with new looks and try not to second guess how others will react to that. That’s how we change our style over time.

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I like What The Cat has said.
“ some manage to look gorgeous LOADED in accessories . Others without “
Wise words . It’s all personal style .

All of these responses have been super helpful and I'm giving them all some thought.

I am NOT an Uber casual person, in fact quite the opposite. I always have makeup, earrings and wedding rings on. My hair and nails are always done. I coordinate my clothes, and plan them out... But then I put on a necklace or bracelet and I feel like.... I don't know... Too much?

Gonna keep thinking on this.

I've heard this often: "trying too hard." But I'm not really sure what "trying too hard" would look like. So I don't bother myself with it. I just make sure that my outfit is cohesive and that everything works together. I think that when an outfit contains a lot of pieces that fight against each other, it can look more "busy" than stylish, which is maybe what is meant by "trying too hard."

I did read somewhere that Coco Chanel’s very accessorised style was partly WHY she said that. And for most of us, we don’t wear anywhere near that many anyway.

I'm like that as well when it comes to jewelry. I don't think it's a fear issue for me though. I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to fashion.....and in life in general. So for me, a pile of accessories ends up feeling like too much. I never wear earrings and a necklace at the same time....they're close together and feel like too much. I can do earrings OR necklace. I like to wear statement rings.....I generally don't pair them with bracelets but occasionally I will.

Thought-provoking question and responses! I am nodding along - on the rare occasions I photograph WIW, I often have add an accessory, because I'm trying to consciously "dress" but then I take it off over the course of the day, or before I leave the house. I love Liz's question and will also take The Cat's "what can I add" to heart.

I'm not sure I even own enough accessories for it to feel like too much! I have one watch, which I only wear while I'm teaching, never on the weekends; four pendant necklaces of varying sizes (I choose based on the neckline of my top); a handful of scarves which I wear if none of my necklaces work; one good pair of sunnies and one back-up pair for when I misplace the good ones; a few small bags for weekend use and two larger tote bags for weekday use. My ears aren't pierced, I don't own any bracelets, I can't maintain a manicure to save my life, and the only rings I have are heirlooms in weird, unwearable sizes!

The only time I take something off is when I decide to wear a headband and it competes with my sunglasses. Winter accessories often feel like too much from an organizational standpoint rather than an aesthetic one, but they are a necessity for a good part of the year.