As Coco Chanel famously said ‘…take one accessory off before you leave the house’.
Simplicity can go a long way, especially when it comes to putting together the perfect ensemble.
Accessories are the icing on the cake to an outfit.
They add the details.
And as pretty as accessories can be, there is such a thing as over-accessorizing as well as under-accessorizing. Balance is key. Wearing too many can be overbearing and distracting, and not wearing enough can be boring.
Accessories don’t apply only to jewelry. Also included are shoes, purses, scarves, belts, headpieces, glasses, hats…
Every piece you wear should add value to your outfit. Don’t wear something just to fill a space.
Whatever your choice of accessory may be, just be aware that they draw attention to the area it is being worn. For instance, if you want to show off your waist line, a belt around the waist is a great way to do so. However, if you want to divert away from this area and bring attention to your neck and collar bone, then opt for layered necklaces.
You can create visual illusions too with certain pieces. For instance, wearing a draped, long scarf, creating vertical lines, can hide your stomach area on those days we feel a little bloated. If you do this, I recommend wearing a light, silky scarf, not a chunky one so it does not look too heavy.
There are so many lessons to be had when it comes to accessories, but my rule of thumb is to pick one statement accessory and select ‘accent’ pieces to compliment. What area do you want to show off today? Pick your favorite item of jewelry to show it off. Want show off your neck and shoulders? Put your hair in an up-do and select a pair of fabulous drop earrings. Skip on the necklace when wearing drop earrings. Instead, wear necklaces with smaller, simple studs.
Just because you shouldn’t wear too many accessories at once, doesn’t mean you can’t own too many accessories. Always be on the lookout for interesting finds. These are the statement pieces you can wear year after year, season after season.
Whatever accessories you select, it’s what will give your outfit character. They bring out your unique style. Everyone can wear a basic t-shirt, but how you choose to embellish it makes it more personal to you.
Just as you shouldn’t with clothes, don’t wear anything you’re not comfortable with. You have to find your style and own it! If you love to wear hats, do so and make that your statement piece and add some cool arm accessories to balance. If you’re in to more of a classic, timeless look, invest in a statement cocktail ring, and add dainty bracelets and a pair of sleek earrings for detail.
There are so many ways to keep up your accessory game, and the beauty is they never go out of style.
As mentioned earlier, balance is key. If you’re wearing heavier pieces on top, be a little lighter on the bottom. If you’re opting for stacked bracelets and rings, let that stand out for it self and wear smaller pieces on top.
You also don’t want to under-accessorize. You have a beautiful outfit on. Why wouldn’t you want to complete it with details to accentuate your favorite areas? Fashion icon Iris Apfel puts it perfectly,
“More is more, and less is a bore.”
When I select my statement accessories, I like to think the smaller accents are there to help them stand out. I like to create a theme. For example, I may select a chunky lapis lazuli necklace with a gold chain, and I’ll add dainty gold chain bracelets with perhaps a lapis lazuli cocktail ring to tie them all together.
Don’t be so matchy-matchy. In fact, personally I don’t have a preference for over-matched accessories. It looks more interesting when you mix and match styles. If you wear the exact same piece on your ears, neck and wrist, it adds no additional value. Create a theme and draw your accessories together through it, be it by color, style, a cultural design influence, whatever it may be.
Each accessory should be proportional to your body type and face shape too. When it comes to jewelry, earrings play an important role. Check out my previous guest blog post for finding the perfect earrings to suit your face shape.
Think of each outfit as a blank canvas and bring out the best. If the outfit is solid in color, add color and or/metallics to it. Add shapes through your accessories. If your outfit has patterns, stick with more simple and sleek shaped pieces. Whatever your style, have fun with your accessories!
Chantal Mossess Boyajian gained her Fashion degree in England, and returned to Qatar to begin her career. She worked in advertising and film, whilst maintaining her passion for fashion by styling editorial shoots and personal clients, and continues to enjoy sharing her style knowledge, tips and tricks.
In 2014, Chantal moved to Los Angeles and founded her business,Boyajian Trend Gallery, an eCommerce boutique housing trendy jewelry and luxury handbags from independent designers she finds around the world. Each collection is curated for women to shop unique ‘hard-to-find’ accessories.