How to accessorize a mix & match wardrobe

You may or may not know this about me, but for a long period of time, I barely accessorized. Somehow, I had this crazy notion that jewelry was something I received from others as gifts (which really wasn’t the truth, except for a few pieces from my parents and friends.) Needless to say, I was under-accessorized! It wasn’t until I was preparing to take my first image consulting training class, where I had a feeling our outfits would be under scrutiny, did I start to realize the importance of choosing accessories including jewelry, shoes, and scarves.

Accessories are absolutely crucial for completing outfits and creating a polished look. Yet, I understand how it can be intimidating when you’re undertaking the task of choosing the right accessories. I thought it would be helpful to you to see how I chose the accessories for the post Expanding Your Wardrobe with a 2 Piece dress and How to Create a Mix and Match Capsule.

The Basics

Below are the scarf and jewelry I included in the capsule.  To create a color scheme, I used the coral, tan, white and magenta scarf. The other pieces include:

  • large gold hoop earrings (in the foreground)
  • a gold and coral crystal necklace
  • a gold bangle with a pink bead (*not necessary to be matchy-matchy)
  • a simple gold bangle
  • a gold cuff
    accessories med

    Those earring aren’t really as large as the bracelets!

     

The accessory capsule also includes a nude clutch (which can be used for day or night,) and a VERY large, coral tote, which doubles as a brief case.

bags med

There are 4 pairs of shoes, including a business casual worthy “snake skin” sandal, a sexy, ankle strap, kitten heel sandals, gladiator sandals (not pictured) and tan sling backs (not pictured.)

shoes d pliner med

shoes snake

Cocktail!

For the cocktail “dress” below, I first decided I wanted the dress to take center stage and not have it overshadowed by any accessories. I chose the large, but delicate gold earrings first (which are hard to see as I have so much hair.) Then I added the delicate crystal/gold necklace to bring coral into the jewelry mix. I finished with the delicate bangles. (If the outfit were black or another subtle color, you might want the accessories to be much bolder to add punch to the look.) To complete the evening look, I carried the clutch and wore the kitten heels—proof that stylish, comfortable, pretty shoes exist!

coral dress front

Business

Because the first business look below is very formal professional dress, essentially a dress with a jacket, I changed to a closed toe shoe. For an outfit like this, that is similar to a suit, closed toe shoes are the most professional choice. I’m wearing kitten heel (I can’t wear heels very well) sling backs, but a nude pump would work equally well.

In the photo, I’m wearing the big hoops, but for a very serious meeting or presentation, I would have chosen a basic, non-dangling hoop. (Large, dangling earrings can be very distracting!)

coral dress with jacket

Very formal, yet a bit more relaxed, the second business look (below) is a little more covered (with the scarf) and bold, with the addition of the BIG bag. If you’re wondering why I added the scarf with the pant outfit instead of the skirt outfit, it’s because

a. I feel like wearing a scarf with a skirt sometimes looks a little “flight attendant”…not always the case, but for my personal style it was a choice.

b. Although the top and pants match incredibly well, I felt like the print would be a distraction for anyone scrutinizing and looking for a perfect match.

c. There is a lot of solid color! (I mean there is a lot more fabric going on with wide legged pants.) The print adds interest.

Moving on…the slingbacks would work with this outfit, but because so much of the foot is covered, the faux snake skin sandals are appropriate and add a bit more color and texture to the mix. Lastly, this is a look I’d wear to a business meeting, so I would need a bag that holds absolutely everything I need and clearly that bag does!

coral pantsuit jacket

In my next post, I’ll  share my strategy for choosing accessories for the business casual and casual looks (from the prior 2 posts.)

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