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 me. Do you have rules that you follow when picking out your accessories you wear?
For example if I wear a bold necklace, should I not wear earrings or would it be okay? If I wear a chunky bracelet should I wear a ring on the same hand or on the other hand? When is it too much? 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 your weekly style tips too! My style has dramatically improved since joining. I’m also having fun playing dress up in my closet.
Thanks in advance! Janella
MSP HERE: Dear Janella,
This certainly is a hard question to answer since answering it is somewhat subjective. Even fashion stylists don’t agree on what is the right amount of accessories. You’ll see everything in the magazines from no jewelry on a model to over-accessorizing—and everything in-between. It’s hard for the average women to know what is truly stylish and what's over-the-top.
Coco Chanel said "always remove one thing before going out the door". This is good style advice. I see plenty of women who over-accessorize with earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets all heaped on at one time. It often comes across as chaotic and distracting. Coco was right on this one less is more when it comes to accessories.
A woman's accessories should describe her 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?” Here goes:
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. I get style inspiration everywhere! I read fashion magazines and peruse catalogs like J.Crew, Ann Taylor Loft, Urban Outfitters 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. I 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 question... "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 forgo 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 forgo a necklace, but balance the bulk out with large earrings. Again, this is just my opinion.
You also asked: "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 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 forgo the earrings and let your hair cover your ears.
The most important thing about accessorizing is exploring and discovering what you like--then wearing what expresses your personality.
Try new ways to wear a scarf (I've got an unusal scarf trying suggestion here for you). Try a new bold necklace. Try, try, try! Once you get over your initial anxiety, you will love “Showing Your Style” every day...that's what the Personal Profile System is all about--style confidence and loving your beautiful self!
Love, Leslie MSP