An outfit — no matter how expertly put together or designer inspired — is simply not complete until all of the proper accessories are in place. Sometimes that means adding one single statement necklace or a great bangle. Other outfits require more effort and need jewelry plus a great bag and shoes to pull it together. Any outfit can be brought from blah to fabulous with the addition of proper accessories. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking, with many gorgeous style accents available at reasonable prices both online or in accessory shops in malls everywhere. But make sure you look for well-made items on the rack. Nothing spoils a great look faster than a cheap-looking unravelled tie or a necklace with the pendant glued incorrectly or placed off-center.
Jewelry Necklaces are the way to make a statement this season. Find something in shiny metallic and don’t worry about matching it to your other jewelry – a mix of metals can be striking and adds an element of shine like nothing else. Jewelry runs hot and cold this season – we’re either wearing huge pendants or simple delicate chains. For a bold look, combine the two. The same principle applies for bracelets – wear a large gold or bronze colored bangle paired with a wrist full of delicate silver bangles. Small drop earrings and a weighted pendant, or long string of beads looped endlessly looks carefree and casual while still being dressy.
Purses and Bags Big bags are great, but they can be cumbersome in tight spots or when going out for an evening. In those cases, try a small purse or clutch to hold only the essentials. Some small bags can be worn across the body, or you can add a simple chain or strap yourself (or have your seamstress or shoe-repair service do it for you). This allows you to function “hands free” when you need to, while still being able to make a statement by carrying the purse as a clutch when you choose. Many smaller bags have sewn-in compartments for ID, which makes wallets unnecessary, but still have room left over for keys and a compact. Little else will be needed for formal occasions, and you’ll enjoy looking through the fun and funky selection of clutches in the market today, including some affordable selections at higher-end department stores. You can even dress up a simple or plain clutch yourself by adding pre-made sequined emblems or patches available at fabric and dress shops.
Glasses Throw out your contact lenses, because glasses are back! Even if you don’t require corrective lenses, you can still partake in the hottest eye-wear trends by using clear or non-prescription glasses, or by wearing sunglasses. Big, black, “nerdy” frames are where it’s at this year, and cats-eye styles are creeping up on us as well. The throwback to eye-wear trends of the 50’s and 60’s are bold and retro, and look great on almost any face. Use scale when determining which glasses suit you best — because these frames are often found in shades of black — try charcoal or dark brown if black is too harsh for your coloring. Keep frame size in perspective with your face by matching smaller frames with smaller features. Sunglasses, however, can be large and bold, and often work better when worn as a statement piece. When it comes to dark lenses, the old adage is true: Go big or go home!
Have fun with affordable accessories, but be careful not to go overboard. The trick is to know when enough is enough, and what works with each outfit. Be bold and daring, but make sure your personality shines through instead of being hidden under a throng of accessories. A general (and often-touted) rule of thumb is to glance at yourself in a full length mirror quickly one last time before going out. If any one item strikes you as over-powering, or shadows the outfit as a whole, remove it. You want to appear as “the whole package” and look well-styled, not as a walking handbag or jewelry advertisement.
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