Accessorising With Style

Accessories can make or break an outfit.  Generally, the plainer the clothes, the more fun you can have with accessories. The right accessories can not only instantly update an outfit but also add a “pop” of colour. If you’ve already had a Colour Analysis, you will know what colours suit you best but you will probably have found that there are items in your wardrobe which are the “wrong” colours but which you would still like to be able to wear. Adding a scarf or necklace in one of your best colours, makes these clothes instantly more flattering.

Accessories are very much a matter of personal taste and each “style personality” will have a different attitude to them.  A “natural”, for example, will want to keep accessories low-key, whereas a

Show off nice hands with pretty jewellery

“creative” will delight in scouring flea markets and second-hand shops for something a bit different which she will then wear in unexpected ways.  Whatever your style personality though, when choosing accessories you not only need to bear in mind what looks good with the particular outfit but also what looks good on you.  To determine this, you need to take into account your scale and face and body shape.

Generally, the larger you are, the bigger and bolder the accessories you can carry off.  For petite ladies though, it is often a case of “less is more” so unless you have an attention-grabbing “dramatic” style personality, you may want to wear more dainty accessories or limit yourself to one statement piece such as a bold necklace.

Jewellery

When it comes to jewellery, I recommend that you focus on “dressing your portrait” ie the area around your face and decolletage.  But what styles will flatter you? If you have a long, narrow face, avoid long dangly earrings as they just serve to elongate the face further. Those with a rounder face will look good in dangly earrings but should avoid large hoops which will simply emphasise the roundness of the face. Anyone with a short neck is best steering clear of long earrings and very short necklaces. Jewellery can be a good way of drawing attention to a particular area of your body so, for example, if you have nice hands, you may want to load up on the rings and bangles.

Bags

As a rule, curvy ladies are best with curvy shaped bags and more angular women should opt for straighter lines. Above all though, match the size of your bag to your scale. A tiny

I’ve used a bright bag to “lift” this fairly neutral outfit

handbag will just make a large woman look larger whereas a big bag will dwarf a petite. Also, if you have wide hips, avoid shoulder bags which hang at hip level. A neutral coloured bag is always a good investment, but why not also splash out on one in one of your best bold colours to pep up a plain outfit.

Belts

Belts can be a nice finishing touch to an outfit and are perfect for emphasising a small waist, so they are good for hourglass figures.  If you carry excess weight around your waist though, belts are best avoided. They’re also not great if you’re short-waisted as they will  just make your waist look even shorter. A belt worn low on the hips can be flattering if you have slim hips and relatively long legs. Click here to take a look at a short video I made about wearing belts.

Shoes

British women certainly love their shoes with the average woman admitting to owning 39 pairs. If you have good legs, you can really show them off in a pair of statement shoes.  Low-fronted shoes are much more flattering than high-fronted or shoe-boot styles as they create the illusion of a longer leg. A nude shoe  is very flattering worn with bare legs or nude tights and goes with just about anything. Only those with slender legs will look good in ankle straps or shoe – boots worn with skirts as they tend to make legs look heavier and shorter. Trainers are practical and very much on-trend; plain, lightweight versions will generally work best with skirts and dresses – don’t expect them to do much for the look of your legs though!

Nicola wearing leopard print scarf
A scarf can add interest to a plain outfit

Scarves

Scarves are really useful for adding a pop of colour to an outfit. As well as being able to tie them in multiple ways around your neck, a scarf can look good  tied to the strap of your handbag or, if you have a narrow waist/hips, you can always tie one though your jeans belt loops.  If you’re not comfortable wearing a lot of print, you may find that a print scarf is a nice way of adding interest to an otherwise plain outfit.

Accessories don’t have to cost a fortune; there are many shops now providing stylish and affordable costume jewellery , scarves,  shoes , belts and bags.   Be bold and have fun with them.

Check this out!

Take a look at this catalogue which I have put together of examples of inexpensive accessories available on the high street that will add style and personality to your outfits.