How to Wear Accessories

Accessories add personality and polish to your outfit. They allow you and others to gain greater insight into who you are and make your personal presentation even more interesting. Accessories are the finishing touch to your outfit and create the ultimate exclamation point to your overall look!

Here are my best tips to help you wear accessories with style!

Tip #1: Choose one focal point on your outfit and accessorize around it

When you are deciding which accessory to wear, earrings, necklace or both, take a look at the focal point of your outfit. Where is your eye drawn?

If your eye is drawn to the top of the outfit, at the neckline, this is your focal point. The focal point is defined by where the unique detail of the outfit or garment is most prominent. In this case, the best choice for an accessory is to wear earrings and not to wear a necklace.

If the focal point is at the center or the waistline of your outfit, choose a short, simple necklace or none at all. Otherwise, our eye will have to compete for attention in two different directions and this will detract from the beauty of your overall look. If there is no focal point and the neckline design is simple, it becomes a canvas to fill in with a necklace as in the examples below.

Tip #2: Keep the proportion of accessories to your body size

If you are petite, keep your accessories on the smaller scale. Even if you wear fashion jewelry, smaller scale pieces will enhance your outfit rather than overwhelm or distract.

If you are tall or have a large body frame, you can go bold with the size of your accessories to reflect your style and personality.

Tip #3: Keep your accessories organized and accessible

If your accessories are kept in a pile or tangled mess, you won’t be as motivated to wear them. Also, if they are out of sight from your dressing area, you won’t likely be accessorizing your outfits on a regular basis.

If your accessories are a mess or not located near or in the area with your clothes, it may be time for you to reassess your space planning. The first step is to locate a space where you can integrate accessories with your clothing.

If you’re challenged for space, your closet wall could be an option for hanging accessories. Once you have identified your ideal location, you can buy organizing bins, accessory hangers or a jewelry box to store everything. Ideally, your accessory storage choices will allow you to see everything you own.

Tip #4: Keep the tone of accessories appropriate to your industry

A stack of noisy bangles can look stylish in creative fields but would be a distraction or faux pas in conservative or traditional professions. While it’s important to express yourself most authentically, it is equally important to present a professional presentation. While stacked bangles add even more credibility to a stylist working at a photo shoot, it would raise a question of judgment if you’re working in the accounting department.

Tip #5: Match your metals

If your outfit has a specific metal color, silver or gold, coordinate your accessories in the same color tone. Here is an example of Elle McPherson wearing coordinating gold accessories with the gold detail on her jacket. She’s even coordinating her metals to the gold tone rim on her sunglasses and gold snap on her jeans! Another example is the model on the right: she is wearing a jacket with gold snaps and accessorizing with gold jewelry.

Tip #6: Avoid matching necklaces and earrings

Coordinating your necklace and earrings rather than matching them is a more modern approach to wearing accessories. The matched look will appear dated and overly mature. If your necklace is large, choose small-scale earrings. If your necklace is small scale, you can wear larger earrings.

You can have fun with your accessories, experiment a little and show your personality. By following a few style tips, accessories can transform your outfit to make it your own so that you can shine, be memorable and love how you look over 40!