Choosing the Right Accessories

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated May 7, 2014)

You're ready to go out and you have your clothes picked and the shoes ready to go, your hair is perfect, and your makeup looks stellar. You stand in front of your mirror and still feel that something is missing: accessories. You then look in your jewelry box and your brain hits a block. What to use? You have three necklaces that match and about a dozen earrings, but you don't know which one will be perfect. How do you choose the right accessories?

One of the first things to realize about accessories is that they can either make or break your ensemble, making the choosing even more important. They set the tone for your whole look, securing the delicate look, the urban feel, or the romantic aura. So first thing to decide is how you want to look. Do you want to look cutting edge? Then go for more chunky accessories that make their own statement. Do you want to look simple? Then choose lighter accessories and keep them at a minimum. Are you feeling more romantic this evening? Don the rhinestones that make your look really sparkle.

Once you have an idea of the look you want to achieve, then choosing accessories becomes a bit more difficult. A lot of it depends on the top you're wearing. If you're wearing a pronounced top that really makes a statement, tone down the accessories a bit and allow the attention to go straight to your clothing. One of the worst things to do would be to have accessories and clothing competing for attention. Remember: it's okay to not wear a necklace. The most common way to combine clothes and accessories is to wear both in moderation. One of my favorite outfits all black and white: a polka dot tiered skirt, a white top with black trim that looks like a wraparound, black ribbon espadrilles, sparkly black jewelry, and a black and white ribbon headband. Nothing is too pronounced and everything complements everything else. Complementing is the key when it comes to choosing the right accessories.

One of the more recent trends is big, chunky jewelry that really pops. When it's worn right, it looks great, but the trick there is that it has to be worn right. You don't want your ensemble to confuse or distract the eye—things have to go together (matching isn't important; it has to go). When you emphasize one aspect of your outfit, the other parts need to be toned down just a bit or have to fit perfectly.

Some outfits just don't have or need the perfect accessories however. This is where you need a staple set of accessories. This should include:

  • A simple, silver necklace, perhaps with a small rhinestone pendant
  • A simple silver watch
  • Hoop earrings
  • Rhinestone stud earrings
  • Simple silver ring

Now that you have an idea of how to make an outfit perfect, go out and make a statement!

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