Don’t Wait for the Outfit! Buy Great Accessories When You See Them


Build a Base of Accessories

Perhaps the best part about accessories is that they look great on everyone. A colorful necklace or well-crafted shoe has the power to transform an outfit, which is why when you stumble upon a must-have quality piece you should purchase it (budget allowing, of course). Don’t wait until you have the right clothes, it’s the accessories that are hard to find. A professional wardrobe stylist will always have a room full of accessories to choose from. It’s your accessories that make a look, and define your personal signature style.

From, and the Documentary Debut of Iris Apfel, one of fashions oldest and most well-known icons states that, “Jewelry is the most transformative thing you can have in your wardrobe.”

Style details and color blocking your outfit (the principal of a combination of modest and different colors and hues, to three or more eye-popping hues, following the simple solution rule of the color wheel ) will help you connect and harmonize the different wardrobe color elements of each piece that will match with your hair, eye and skin colors.

Whether your skin color is warm or cool will be a determining factor in what color palette will look best on you. Within your color palette you will want to consider the color intensity of the tones or values – light, dark, soft or hard that work for your look. Pati Palmer, Publisher, says it’s the “points of connection” the harmony between your clothes and accessories, the contrast of the outfit that plays up the color of your eyes, hair and skin, that makes or breaks the look. [See looking Good every day, by Nancy Nix-Rice, Author and Wardrobe Consultant.]

Bold and unique accessories or jewelry should be worn with understated clothing, and only one piece per outfit. The rule that less is more in most cases in true. On average each accessory should provide versatility to your wardrobe. You can wear it with more than one outfit and add value to your entire look. Balance the size of your accessory pieces. You will need to know your body type as your accessories should also be in proportion to your facial features and body frame while complementing the tone of your skin.

Your accessories, such as big glasses, a hat, gloves, a flower in your lapel and the like should be worn to personally brand your fashion look and denote your personal style.

The bulk of your accessories should be mostly classic in style, with a smaller portion given to trendy items that change more frequently. You should always wear your outfit and accessories to fit the occasion, such as the executive office, job interview, speaking engagement or to the beach. Keep your viewing audience in mind when you accessorize. Above all, wear a smile. It’s free and your most important accessory of all.

Popular accessories for men and women include:

  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Hats
  • Scarfs
  • Belts
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Purses
  • Hair jewelry
  • Hair pieces
  • Sunglasses
  • Hosiery
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Gloves
  • Ties
  • Cuff links

Master Accessorizing

By building a strong base of accessories, you can turn a bland and boring outfit into a show-stopping look that people will compliment and admire. Here are some basic rules to follow when accessorizing your outfits.

Easy Outfit Fixes with Accessories

Belts, purses, scarfs and jewelry come in a variety fun colors and prints. Take advantage of the color when dressing up neutral clothing. Accessories can fix some of the biggest concerns we have about our ensembles:

  • In the time it takes to tie a knot you can use a scarf to dress up a plain tee.
  • Feeling bare? A bold necklace or bangle can add bling.
  • A quick shoe change can take your polished work outfit to nighttime ready.
  • No makeup? Don a pair of big, round sunglasses.
  • Purchase purses in bright colors to mix and match with the popular colors of the season.
  • A hat can cover your head on a bad hair day.
  • Guys can make a statement about their style with a detailed belt and/or cuff links.
  • A tie can provide a punch of color to a neutral outfit, and coordinate with holidays and seasons in a fun and tasteful way.
  • Didn’t have time to shave your legs? Pretty hosiery will cover up hairy legs.

Basic Rules for Accessorizing

Celebrity fashion stylist Rachel Zoe understands the importance these items have when defining your style and creating outfits. She states, “Accessories are everything. To me, they’re more important than the clothes.”

Finding the right accessory can make or break an outfit, so it is important to understand some simple rules:

  • Wear either gold or silver, not both.
  • Hair accessories trump jewelry (often hair accessories are the first thing people notice).
  • If you’re wearing a statement necklace you should skip the earrings or keep it simple.
  • If you’re wearing a belt your shirt needs to be tucked in, unless it is a waist belt.
  • Scarfs should only be worn in the right season (sorry, Florida residents).
  • Always add a piece of jewelry – you can’t go wrong with a bit of extra shine.

Some other accessories you should consider:

  • Pocket square
  • Bow ties
  • Boots
  • Makeup
  • Finger nails
  • Colognes & perfume
  • Umbrellas
  • Tie pins
  • Veils
  • Gloves
  • Trench & over coats
  • Sunglasses/Fashion eyeglasses
  • Tote bags
  • Brief Case
  • Computer bag
  • Cell phone accessories
  • Stockings/socks
  • Underwear

Accessories provide an opportunity to define your style and expand the staple pieces in your wardrobe. If your budget allows, you should purchase that turquoise necklace that is catching your attention across the room. In doing so, you are providing a base to build your best outfits on.

After all, great style is in the details.

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