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The Magic of Accessorizing
It's easy to ruin an otherwise great outfit by choosing the
wrong accessories. However, on the flip side, it's easy to make an
ordinary outfit look great with the right accessories.
If you don't know what to do when it comes to
accessorizing the good news is it's easy to learn a few
guidelines to complete your outfit and make it more stylish.
Accessories for Men
While I've written this article mainly with women in mind, the
tips apply equally well to men for shoes, glasses, ties and so on.
Fashion Accessories Include...
- Eyeglasses and sunglasses
- Scarves and ties
- Hosiery and socks
- Hair ornaments
In fact the broadest definition of accessories includes
everything except the outfit itself, which means hair styles, makeup
and even outer wear such as coats.
Use Accessories To:
Bring attention to your best points and minimize your worst
Bring an older outfit up-to-date and make it last another
season with this season's accessories
Look and feel younger -- regularly updating your
accessories is a great way to stay contemporary without having to spend
Get the "look" you want -- such as chic, elegant,
sophisticated, wealthy, business, casual, fun, artistic and so on
Change the look of an outfit -- from casual to formal and
vice versa, by changing the accessories you wear. For example, change
your shoes, handbag and jewellery (and maybe your top too) to go from
work to an evening event
When we buy a new outfit or piece of clothing it's easy to
forget about how we will accessorize it until it comes to wear it. Then
we might discover that the outfit doesn't quite work, that it needs
something to finish it.
So we'll either make do with items we already have, but feel
less than happy with the result. Or we'll find another outfit to wear.
So, it really is a good idea to get into the habit of thinking about
how you will wear an outfit or item of clothing when you buy it. What
accessories will you wear with it to create or complete the look you're
When shopping for accessories, as with clothes, you will find
your most flattering looks by understanding the colors and styles that
suit you best. (Find out more about colors
here. Find out more about which
styles will suit your body shape best.) Take the outfit you
want to accessorize with you. And keep the following tips in mind...
3 Accessorizing Tips
- Harmonize Accessories with your Outfit
When choosing accessories, such as shoes and a handbag, to
wear with an outfit the most important thing is to harmonize with your
By harmonize I mean make sure there's some common element or theme
between the accessory and the outfit. This could be color (either
picking out a similar hue or choosing some other color element to echo
such as: cool or warm; muted, sheen, or shiny; light, medium or dark),
perceived weight, texture or some other style or design element.
For example, if you're wearing a light colored, floaty, feminine,
summer dress choose light colored, elegant, strappy sandals rather than
dark colored, heavy looking shoes. The same applies for the bag: choose
a light colored, elegant looking bag.
Or if you want to wear the brightly coloured courts or pumps that are
in fashion now, wearing a top in a similar color has an "eyes-up"
effect -- that is, when someone's looking at you their eyes are drawn
from your feet to your top. This has a lengthening and therefore
slimming effect. Which is a good thing for most of us!
Harmonize Accessories with Each Other
In addition it's a good idea to harmonize accessories with each other
in the same outfit. For example, similar silver buckles on shoes and
However, take care to have some contrast in your look. Complete
sameness can be boring and aging.
Your Body Scale When Accessorizing
It's always better to choose a size that's in harmony with your body
scale. Body scale assessment takes into account your height, weight and
bone structure. (Find
out your body scale by clicking here.)
If you're a...
- Small scale choose small to medium
- Medium scale any size accessory will
work for you. However, if you're short stick with small to medium
accessories since large ones will emphasize your lack of height
- Large scale choose medium to large
accessories (unless you're short, in which case stick with small to
- Grand scale medium-sized accessories
will work best for you. Small or large accessories will emphasize your
Balance the scale of your ankles and calves as follows...
- Small ankles and calves -- choose shoes with thinner
soles and heels
- Larger ankles and calves -- choose shoes with more
substantial soles and heels
- Accessories as Focal Points
Focal points are things that attract attention such as a bright color
or a striking design.
The aim is to use focal points to attract attention to your good points
and minimize or detract from your figure challenges! Clothing line and
design aspects can act as focal points and so can accessories.
Eyes-up focal points are those that make an observer's eyes look up to
the point. And vice versa for eyes-down focal points. The body
shape page explains which body types need eyes-up and
eyes-down focal points.
A polished appearance is achieved through balance, so don't go
overboard with your accessories and focal points. Too many can appear
flashy, overdone or inappropriate. Too few can result in a drab or
uninteresting look. As a rule of thumb 3 focal points are the maximum,
although less may work better for a particular outfit or occasion. If
you're in doubt don't wear it.
- Eyes-up focal points make you look taller and slimmer
- Eyes-down focal points make you look shorter and heavier
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