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|Written by Taryn Cheal|
|Friday, 09 March 2012 18:44|
I firmly believe that there is no reason that people should not look put-together on a daily basis (at the very least). This series is designed to outline basic steps anyone can take to improve their everyday wardrobe easily. I love clothes and am often asked for help in the style department by my friends and family. Over the years, I have developed some fairly basic principles regarding fashion that can help anyone improve their style. These are tips to help you develop your own style; they should give you the tools to assess clothing and make choices that will work best for you, whatever your income, body type, or personality.
When putting together an outfit, the use of accessories can make or break the entire look. It is far too easy to overuse and misuse accessories. Accessories are meant to adorn and enhance an outfit; they are a complement to the outfit and they can even make a regular outfit into something really spectacular and eye-catching.
Wearing jewelry should not involve a lot of work or effort, especially if you have a few pieces that you are able to incorporate easily and that match the style and tone of your clothes, in general. They should match the level of formality (or lack thereof) in the outfit you are wearing, so wearing something like pearls and a printed t-shirt is absolutely unacceptable (even if they are fake, it looks ridiculous). Really, if you are wearing a printed t-shirt, an accessory of any kind is unneeded because a printed t-shirt is too casual and too busy in and of itself to warrant accessorizing.
Accessorizing for special occasions should accomplish the goal of enhancing your look, on a more formal scale of course. Costume jewelry is not acceptable for nice occasions -- you should have a few pieces of quality jewelry for special occasions. But always, in both formal and informal circumstances, balance and taste is the goal of accessorizing. You should not be wearing too much jewelry, and if you are wearing more than one piece make sure they complement each other. You do not want (as the wise Tim Gunn says) to "gild the lily," meaning that layering multiple accessories over an already nice outfit will actually detract from its overall effect. Also, if your outfit is in and of itself a statement piece, try to avoid too many accessories because you do not want your clothing to compete with your accessories.
Large jewelry and accessories are very popular right now, but they must be selected with caution. Large pieces can easily overpower you, especially if you wear too many. I recommend one large accessory to be the focal point of your accessories, especially if your outfit is fairly plain and does not contain a lot of patterned print or design features. When picking accessories you don't want to overpower your whole look, so, if you are unsure, just pick one and go with that for the day such as a necklace, a pair of earrings or a ring. If you wear more than one without careful consideration, then you run the risk of looking over-accessorized and junky. You also have to be careful when jewelry becomes larger because, in general, the quality begins to go down, so look for pieces that strike a balance of cost and quality and don't look like they are made of plastic. This trend is also not for everyone, so make sure that the jewelry you pick complements your personal style. Don't get something that doesn't work for you and enhance your personal look.
You should always be aware of whether what you are wearing is situation-appropriate. If you are going to a sports event, you do not need to be wearing your giant feathered hat (that is, unless you are going to the Ascot Opening Race, in which case, email me, because we have a lot to discuss and I should be going with you and I want pictures!). Your choice of accessories (jewelry, hats, scarves, etc) should complement the tone and tenor of the event, just as your outfit should. Likewise if you are going to an event that is fancy, it is expected that you put some effort into your outfit and elegant accessories are a good way to accomplish this.
Remember: things such as hats, bags, belts and shoes are in fact accessories and influence the look of your outfit, so pay attention to the colour, style and general effect of them on your look as a whole. If this has whet your accessorizing appetite, look for my article next month that delves further into the world of hats.
Tags: accessories, clothes minded, culture, fashion, gilding the lily, look at my ring my ring my ring, my fair lady, style, style maven, t shirts are really not ok, the ascot opening race, tim gunn