Some outfits from a couple of weeks ago — this is the last of my “high summer” wear, and I’ve moved into more transitional clothing now as the weather cools down.

These outfits continued my structured experiments with my summer wardrobe. The informal challenge with this set of outfits was to wear jewelry/accessorize each outfit.

On a previous WIW thread Brooklyn provided some really helpful suggestions about necklaces — just as I had been planning a necklace-related challenge. Thanks, Brooklyn! Here is what she said:

I think some of the scoop necks you wear would look good with a shorter style necklace (16 inches or less). Either a chunky style necklace or finer pieces layered.

I think beads are pretty for Summer and they are generally easy to thrift. You could wear them long and layered or doubled over for a shorter effect. I like to wear them in 3s. So 3 long beaded necklaces (of slightly varying lengths) worn long, or 1 long beaded necklace doubled over to make it short with 1 short necklace in a plain gold or plain silver (depending on your preference).”

I am not sure that I quite managed to work through her ideas systematically but they did provide a rough guide as I was playing around in my jewelry box. Here are some of the results:

1-4: Paisley dress with ceramic shell pendant: Ahhhh how perfect is this? I hadn’t been wearing jewelry much this summer and had kind of forgotten about this piece but I love it so much! It goes with a lot of my summer wardrobe. Also, I think a 16” chain and a roughly 1” pendant is a really great proportion for me. I like that it works well either with or without the topper. Note to self!

5-6: Went out for an anniversary dinner on a cool evening and guess what! Thanks to previous playing around in my closet I already had an outfit all ready to go with my “my version of a jean jacket” cardi. I decided to go monochromatic with this version — navy topper, clogs, and necklace. At first I felt kind of self-conscious about this pendant, I realize it’s kind of dated, but I’ve decided I don’t care. It was my grandmother’s and is sentimental so I’m wearing it with Dutch pride. (Also, note that this pendant is similar in scale/proportion to the shell pendant.)

7-8: Green Liberty print shirt and coral rose necklace. I think this necklace could use a bit more length. (I can add some jump rings to the back no problem.)

9-11: Same shirt, layered necklaces. I quite like the look of this, and I’m digging the way the porcelain necklace ties in with the color of the skirt. (Wearing the same clothing items with different accessory combinations as here and above was a useful exercise for me.) But, if I’m being honest a shorter necklace(s) feels most practical and comfortable for my work-from-home lifestyle.

12: This dragonfly pendant would look great with the green Liberty shirt too! I am liking the way that necklaces can become another opportunity for pattern mixing.

13-15: Overalls, white blouse, hair scarf, silver earrings. I liked taking the overalls in a romantic (vs. practical) direction here. I love the *idea* of a cutout Oxford, but these hurt my feet — 3 blocks to the grocery store and 3 blocks back and I had a bleeding blister on my heel! So that’s another pair of shoes I’ve passed along. Plus, I think the volume of the shirt +volume of overalls needs to be balanced by a clunker shoe — like a clog. So, this was a lessons learned kind of outfit. I do like the way the Norwegian silver earrings, which I originally purchased to wear with my holiday and deep winter capsules, can take on a kind of boho feel in the context of summer outfits.

16-17: My version of Coastal Grandmother! My wardrobe doesn’t actually lend itself to this style very well, but I figured a couple of pieces with a seaside feel (Breton tee, hair scarf) would help, and the linen overshirt and fancy-but-casual sandals definitely qualify. I wondered: What sort of jewelry does a Coastal Grandma wear? I think something relatively unobtrusive, real gold, and probably old/handed down/with sentimental meaning.

18-19: Do either of these work? Kind of felt too bare or like the necklaces were too short (especially the butterfly on its own. Or maybe they’re fine! I really don’t know here.

20-21: I purchased a doohickey to help me layer necklaces without tangling and I really like it!

Remainder of pics: Just me experimenting with my jewelry box a bit. This is by no means an exhaustive look at pieces or potential combinations. A couple of things jump out at me here:

(1) Wow, that cheap as chips rope of thrifted freshwater pearls sure is useful to add a little interest and dimension to necklace combinations! I think pearls will also be useful in winter outfits to help me add a bit of lightness in the top half (and mitigate the much-lamented overabundance of dark neutrals in my wardrobe).

(2) layering necklaces can really help make pieces that might otherwise seem too small/dainty/juvenile more wearable. I LOVE this discovery because a lot of those smaller pieces tend to be sentimental, so it is great to feel like I’ve hit upon a strategy that will give some items I’ve owned for a long time a new life in my wardrobe.

Thank you for reading! I’m grateful for any observations or suggestions you care to share.

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