I need help with accessories. Since you always seem to wear just the right accessories and just the right amount I know you can help. Do you have rules that you follow when picking out your accessories each day?
For example if I wear a bold necklace, should I not wear earrings or is it okay to wear both? If I wear a chunky bracelet should I wear a ring on the same hand or on the other? What about mixing a pearl necklace and diamond stud earrings, yes or no? I just feel pearl earrings will look too matronly with the matching necklace, am I right about this?
By the way I love your website and all your style tips you share with us! My style has dramatically improved since joining your site. I’m also having fun playing dress up in my closet like I’m a little girl.
By far my long strand of pearls are my favorite accessory...
This is a hard question to answer since the answer is somewhat subjective. Even stylists don’t agree on what is the right amount of accessories. You’ll see everything in the magazines from no jewelry on to over-accessorizing—and everything in-between. It’s hard for the average women to know what is truly stylish.
Coco Chanel said "Always remove one thing before going out the door". I notice too many women who over-accessorize with earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets all heaped on at one time. It comes across as chaotic and quite distracting--not stylish at all. Coco was right on this one: LESS is more when it comes to wearing accessories.
Everyone’s accessories should describe their personality. If you aren't absolutely confident that you have your accessories right, then just wear one piece that you love and leave it at that. If you have the confidence, you can pretty much pull off anything.
So to answer your question: “What rules do I follow when picking out my accessories each day?”...
1. I pick and choose my accessories by instinct and by my mood. Since I know (and don’t like) to wear matching “sets” I choose my accessories based on the color I’m wearing and the occasion I’m dressed for. Sometimes I wear large silver hoops with a chunky necklace because the silver in the hoops bring out the silver pieces in the necklace, or because the look I'm going for is a bit more trendy or urban. I try to experiment and pick pieces that describe my mood or vibe for that day. In other words, try on different accessories and see what looks the best on you.
2. I keep my look balanced. I usually spread out my accessories to balance my look. If I wear a large necklace, my earrings are minimal. Or if I wear large earrings, I’ll wear no necklace. Or, if I'm wearing a statement belt, I don't wear a necklace so that the necklace doesn't compete with the belt. Again spread out your accessories—and use your full length mirror.
3. Get style inspiration everywhere! I read fashion magazines and peruse catalogs like J.Crew, Ann Taylor Loft and Anthropologie to see what is hot and what I like. I interpret the styles for the season and use what I have in my closet. I make up my version with what I own. Sometimes I only need a small item to complete the look!
4. Always say YES to a sale! I stock up on accessories when I run across a good deal—and I’m always on the lookout. Why pay a lot for accessories, when you can buy them on clearance for a $2 or less at thrift stores, garage sales, Claire's, Wal-Mart, or Target? The more you have the more options you’ll have for creating your own unique look. DON’T buy junk! Only buy what you like in your seasonal colors.
At the beginning of each season I buy several trendy accessories to update my mostly classic wardrobe. I have a few pieces of real jewelry, shoes, and handbags to fall back on, but I love stocking up on inexpensive items to keep my wardrobe fresh and stylish.
5. I organize my accessories. You won't be inspired to wear any accessories unless you can see them all spread out! How you organize and display your jewelry is up to you. You may want to use hooks or accessory hangers to see all that you have. When I open my closet I can see all my options. I can see my necklaces, scarves, bags, belts and choose what to wear with my outfit. I organize each item by COLOR because I find that most helpful.
Now to answer your other accessory questions you have asked. Should you forgo earrings when you are wearing bold necklaces? You don't have to, but you certainly don't want your earrings to distract from your statement necklace. Small stud earrings that coordinate with the necklace always look great. They don't need to match perfectly, but they must compliment. My rule of thumb is if my hair is up, I always wear earrings. I usually do wear small studs if I am wearing a bold necklace. If my hair is down and I'm wearing a statement necklace, I might fore go earrings. But that is just my preference. I've seen women pull off bold earrings with a bold necklace.
Should you wear both bracelets and rings on the same hand? Definitely! I would wear several bracelets too. You are making a statement by going strong in one area. I just would fore go a necklace, but balance the bulk out with large earrings. Again, this is just my opinion. Should you wear a chunky pearl necklace with diamond studs? I worry pearl earrings would be too “matchy-matchy” and old fashioned look—am I right? You are correct, matched jewelry sets are quite outdated looking. However, if I'm going for a more classic look and I’m wearing a bold pearl necklace (chunky or several strands), I usually wear small pearl studs. If you are worried about looking too matronly, just fore go the earrings and let your hair cover your ears.
The most important thing about accessorizing is exploring. Try new ways to wear a scarf. Try a new bold necklace. Try, try, try! Once you get over your initial anxiety, you love “Showing Your Style” SYSter!
Love, Leslie aka MissusSmartyPants (creator of the Personal Profile System)