Fashion accessories can be so seductive.
It begins at the shop window where their beauty and charm catches our attention. They pull us in…make silent promises…lead us on. We weaken, succumb and buy harboring high hopes for these artful, colourful, shiny, textured treasures. Maybe they will spice up our style to the point of fabulousness or work as magical wardrobe extenders giving us more looks than days to wear. Shoes, bags, scarves, sunglasses, belts, pins, necklaces, chokers, pendants, bracelets, hats, sox, ropes, boots, stockings… the list is endless. Personally I have only mastered the bracelet and sunglasses. As for the rest, it would seem I like to collect but don’t wear.
Last week Micolle and I were talking about how excited and inspired I was to (re) discover my own white shirt thanks to her. Could she do the same with accessories?
“So what’s next?” Micolle asks. “How about you bushwhack us through the accessory jungle,” I ask hopefully. “What the heck do you do with those things?”
Thankfully she agreed.
Cheryl: What are the must have’s? What are the leave alone’s?
Micolle: Accessories say so much and really are the final touch to every outfit…I spend just as much time putting together accessories for an outfit as I do with the outfit itself.
Shoes, purses, scarves and jewellery are my general go to’s when I think of quality accessories. And as I always say…these items should be investment pieces that last you a long time.
Shoes are more a necessity than an accessory to me…as they make or break an outfit. I can’t put an outfit together without knowing or trying it on with the shoes I will wear.
My mother ingrained in my head at a young age that good shoes should always have a leather sole …so what’s the first thing I do when I grab a shoe in a store? Flip it over, not to look at the price necessarily but to see if it has a leather sole. I’m all about giving my shoes an extended shelf life and have all of them resoled once I work them in a bit. I admit though shoes have come a long way in terms of quality and comfort so I am learning not to fixate on the leather sole as much these days. As women, we are notorious for abusing our feet…so choose shoes wisely…if you can’t walk in heels, save the embarrassment and pain…don’t buy them.
A basic shoe collection should include…flats, black heels, loafers, sandals and boots. From there you can incorporate a seasonal trend…like a pair of summer espadrilles.
THE BAG – I struggle when I see women caught up with designer bags.
I say…get over it! While I agree that not all bags are created equal…be on the look out for genuine leather, sturdy hardware, structure (it’s in the details like…pockets for lipstick, cell phone and keys). Colour wise I tend to stick with neutral shades but will have a bit more fun with bold colorful evening clutches. This season I’m embracing more color and on the hunt for an ox blood cross over…you’ll see a lot of this color come fall.
Because I tend to stick to what’s practical these days, my go to bags are an everyday tote for work, evening clutch, the cross over, and a structured handbag/satchel.
THE BLING – I like clean lines in my house and feel much the same way when it comes to jewellery…less is more. My go to’s are cuffs, stud earrings, and statement necklaces.
You can throw in a fun over sized watch but refrain from putting all those together. My rules are simple for not looking like a Christmas ornament…
- statement necklace – that’s it. It’s called a statement necklace for a reason
- no combos – matching necklace, bracelet and earrings…(scream tacky)
- if you wear a necklace…skip the earrings
- big earrings…easy on everything else
Other than that the other two accessories I personally can’t live without are scarves and sunglasses.
I recently bought a pair of sunglasses and I had them filled with prescription lenses…such a treat. As for scarves…cashmere please…if it’s that close to the face…it has to feel good!
Cheryl: Whewwww… instructions to minimize made me feel I can take on accessories! I know you have pet peeves regarding accessories, what are they?
Micolle: Yes! I call it the Christmas Tree effect…it’s when they’re piled on. It’s accessory overload…jewellery, sunglasses, scarves etc. I hate to admit this but I’m a sucker for reality TV and to my husband’s dismay I indulge in watching The Real Housewives…for the most part I love to see what they’re wearing and then I cringe when they kill the outfit and overload on accessories. The worst for me is seeing matching jewelry…earrings, bracelet and necklace…too much.
Cheryl: I found a quote from Hollywood stylist Rachel Zoe – “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” I know you would agree. Any last words?
Micolle: Accessories are the easiest way to bring an outfit to life and usually the most comfortable!
You can change and elevate an outfit from day to night in no time at all…the switch of a purse, shoes and necklace and you’re good to go without having to change. Most of all, accessories are personal.They give insight into who we are. I have a love for all things art deco and a sophisticated dose of bohemian flare that you can always find in the jewellery I wear…from hoops of all sizes to vintage necklace charms and rings. My favorite pieces are one of a kind.
Cheryl: One of a kind just like you!