Taylor’d with Style: It’s the Little Things
Accessories are the extras we wear or carry with us everyday.
They not only help express our personal style, they offer convenience and even safety. While usually small, they speak volumes about who we are and convey our deepest personality traits. Accessories are the period that completes our overall look.
Putting a pulled-together, classy, accessorized look is a basic fashion skill relying on balance, proportion, and unity. Balance is the idea of visual equilibrium. This means a successful look will usually be symmetrical or asymmetrical.
Proportion refers to the size of your accessories in relation to the other elements of your ensemble. Unity is the harmonious look achieved when you wear complementary design elements. With unity, each accessory enhances your outfit as a whole rather than being competitive or distractive.
Hats are a fun and functional accessory. They tend to go in and out of fashion, and fortunately right now they are in. Wearing a hat can demand attention and enhance your appearance by balancing the shape of your face. Fedoras, initially worn by men, have become more popular for women.
Berets and beanies will keep you warm. The charming 1920s inspired cloche is making a definite comeback. A floppy wide-brimmed hat will not only protect you from the sun, this feminine hat worn with a flowing sundress is my idea of fashion perfection.
Bright color hats make a strong fashion statement, but neutral color hats are easier to style. If you want to add just a splash of color, simply pin a silk flower or broach onto the side. The hat is an accessory that will set you apart from others because it shows confidence in expressing yourself.
Adding a scarf to your ensemble may be the easiest way to add a pop of color to your overall look. There are countless YouTube videos demonstrating how to creatively tie a scarf.
However, this complicated look can be distracting. A multi-colored, busy print scarf may look more elegant loosely draped around your neck than in an intricately tied knot; especially if the pattern is printed with objects you would like to see clearly.
Belts have the power to instantly transform your look from frumpy to fabulous. They cinch in and define your waist giving you a feminine and sophisticated silhouette.
They can be worn over full dresses, pencil skirts, and even winter coats. Dark colors are generally more slimming and elastic wide belts are more comfortable.
To add flair and interest to your outfit, choose a belt in a contrasting color. To create an hourglass figure, wear the belt at the narrowest part of your waist. You can also be creative by wearing a scarf or a man’s tie as a belt.
Your choice of shoes will dramatically affect your overall look. More than any other accessory, shoes make a statement about who we are. They are so important functionally and aesthetically you wouldn’t even consider not wearing them!
This powerful accessory influences your posture, mindset, and physical abilities. Studies prove that wearing a pair of heels will increase your confidence, comfortable and supportive athletic shoes will promote the duration of your exercise routine, and glass slippers will…well, you know.
If you need more proof that shoes are an essential element of your appearance and your attitude, try on a dress with a pair of dowdy brown loafers. Then change into a pair of elegant heels to compare how you look…and how you feel. This exercise will clearly demonstrate the significance of a nice pair of shoes.
The purpose of a purse, handbag, or tote is of course to hold the objects we need throughout the time we are away from home: lipstick, phone, money, keys, and other essentials.
This functional accessory will also help to determine and complete your look. Since there are countless styles the primary decision is, "Which handbag will complement my ensemble and meet the needs of my outing?”
A shoulder bag is a great choice to carry when wearing a suit or whenever you will need your hands free. For all their cuteness, clutches are really only appropriate for formal or dressy events where you won’t need many items or much use of your hands.
I prefer to carry a small wristlet. It’s chic and allows me to use my hands as necessary. A crossbody bag is going to project a casual look, and totes are perfect for traveling or a day of shopping.
When purchasing a new purse, consider the cost against the amount of use your new bag will offer. If you are splurging on an expensive new statement bag, you may consider buying a classic piece you can carry for many years ahead.
Tights, hose, boot cuffs, mittens, and gloves are all winter weather accessories. Because they are limited to cold-weather wearing, they have freedom to be a bit more eccentric and fun. Cheerful colors and playful patterns are perfectly acceptable with these cozy adornments. Their happy colors and patterns can perk you up on a gray winter day.
As ties are often worn with dark suits or solid-color pants and shirts, a man’s tie is often his best vehicle of self-expression. Ties can also set one man apart from every other man in the room.
Neckties are available in different widths, and in every color and pattern imaginable so anyone can find one…or ten, to wear. The Windsor Knot is the most common way to tie a tie; however there are many other creative options.
All ties draw the eye to the face, but the bow tie is especially adept at this feature. Bow ties also epitomize confidence by demonstrating that you are secure enough to take a fashion risk. If you want to look classy and be remembered, wear a bow tie.
Color is not an accessory in or of itself, however, color can act as accessory when it is bold against a neutral color or worn in an interesting manner such as in a color-blocked dress. The same goes for design elements. If your garment has exceptionally dramatic sleeves or neckline, these features will act as accessories to your overall look.
Jewelry is the most personal accessory we wear, sending silent messages of who we are, our religious beliefs, our marital and wealth status—all while delivering a dose of sparkle.
Because earrings are worn so close to your eyes, they attract attention directly to your face. To bring out your best features, consider your facial structure.
An oval face shape has the most versatility, and wearing oval shaped earrings will complement this natural contour. Wearing drop earrings and long dangles will elongate a round shaped face. Heart shaped faces can wear earrings that are wider at the bottom to balance out the triangular appearance.
Earrings with rounded edges will soften a square angular jaw. Wide earrings will draw the eye across horizontally to balance a narrow shaped face, while drop earrings flatter a diamond shaped face.
My all-time favorite earring is the hoop.
I’ve been wearing them since the 70s when they were popular as a political statement. I wasn’t interested in politics, but I loved the “cool” way I looked—and felt when I wore them. Hoop earrings are said to have a strong influence on the attitude of the wearer. They have been around since 2500 BC, and through the years both men and women have worn them.
In Egypt, the sacred cat was adorned with gold hoops, and it is believed that pirates wore gold hoops to assure that when they died, be it land or sea, there would be gold available to pay for their burial.
Aside from the various cultural and sometimes controversial meaning of hoop earrings, the circular shape is flattering on nearly everyone. While all earrings draw the eye to the face, the hoop is exceptional at framing and defining features.
Necklaces are one of the earliest types of jewelry worn by humans. There are technically 23 different types of necklaces with the most common being the choker (14-16 inches long), the princess (18-20 inches), the opera (30-35 inches), and the rope (which is any necklace longer than opera length.) The lariat is so long it doesn’t need a clasp and is draped over the neck often in multiple layers.
As with everything you wear, consider your body type. A long strand of pearls will create a vertical elongating line, a choker will shorten an already short neck, tiny jewelry on a large frame may get lost, just as large pieces on a petite frame can overpower.
The main point to remember when choosing a necklace is to take care that the focus lies on an area of your body you want to flaunt, not camouflage. Jewelry is like an eye magnet. It catches the attention of everyone you meet.
Once a fashion faux pas, mixing metals is now not only acceptable, it’s fashionable. This new trend gives you many more options than in the past. It also allows certain pieces to be the focus rather than blend in. For example, a single silver bangle will stand out when worn with a set of gold bangles. A rose gold charm worn on a silver chain can look interesting and modern.
My mother always said, “Too many accessories hide the girl.” That’s true, however it is now stylish to wear “layers.” The key is to not wear layers of necklaces with layers of bracelets, big chandelier earrings, and a pink beret.
Too many accessories at one time tend to look confusing and cluttered. They compete with each other and project a discombobulated appearance. The secret to the stylish art of accessorizing is to highlight one component and let your other accessories support that piece.
The main point to remember is to have fun with your accessories! There are so many options of color, fabrics, textures, and embellishments. You can mix and match, go monochromatic, elegant or eclectic.
With just a little planning, you can pull off an accessorized look with style. After all, it’s the little things that make a big impact.