how to Accessorize an Outfit

a chic outfit laid out with earrings, cut-offs, shoes, clutch, and top

The Art of Accessorizing

If you've ever wondered how to get that carefree, impeccably put together look, wonder no more. The short answer is, it's all in the accessories. This is every stylist’s and savvy fashionista's little secret. Learning how to accessorize an outfit is the number one way to take your looks from generic to customized and uniquely you in no time flat! And once you've got the hang of it, you'll look and feel great in everything you wear. You can go from simply wearing an outfit to rocking it.

Just a few simple steps will have you on your way to accessorizing like a pro.

Step 1: Your Outfit Base

Your outfit base is the first layer of clothing you put on. Think of it as the first layer of color on a painter’s canvas. This could be a cute dress or tee shirt and jeans or even a fun jumper. Then consider your color options. Is your base neutral, colorful, textured or patterned? If the base is already busy, you’ll want to keep the accessories on the simpler side. But if your base is more on the neutral side, then you have more room to paint on your canvas.

Step 2: Add Your First Layer

This item is used to add dimension via color, print, or texture to your base. This could be a floppy hat, a colorful scarf, a patterned kimono, a loose-knit top, or a statement necklace. This item will ground your outfit, even if you don’t add on a lot of additional accessories.

Step 3: The Magical Pop of Jewelry

Jewelry can take an outfit look from pleasant, to sharp, sophisticated, sassy, or slick. That could be everything from giant hoop or fringe earrings to beaded bracelets, to a delicate charm necklace. Adding a piece of jewelry can also be a very personal and sentimental element to your look as well. Is there a ring that has special meaning to you or a necklace that always makes you feel more confident? Wearing personal items not only adds new elements to your look but also connects you in a grounded, true way to your own form of personal self-expression.

Step 4: Balancing Out The Look

Keep in mind that overloading on the accessories can drown a look, so remember to keep a balance when learning how to accessorize an outfit.

If wearing a loose, flowy skirt and top, delicate layers can add a fun touch. While sleek skirts and crisp shirts can benefit from gold necklaces or longer earrings. If you’re sporting a monochromatic look, consider a statement piece necklace. A delicate clutch balances out a sharp look, while a funkier ensemble goes well with a bigger purse or backpack.

If you look in the mirror and it feels like one part of your outfit is bogged down or cluttered, it probably is. So feel free to remove elements as well if they are taking away from the overall aesthetic you are going for. And remember, comfort always rules!

a yellow flowered dress and a white top

Step 5: Let Your Feet Do The Talking

Like your headwear, neckwear, and jewelry, your footwear should complement the rest of your look and style. Colorful and detailed shoes can both balance and complete your signature look. Stronger shoe choices can signify your intention to be heard, seen, and understood. Always keep in mind, the secret to looking well put together is about feeling comfortable. Unless you plan on sitting in a chair the entire duration of your day, make sure your shoes serve your feet as much as they serve the look of your outfit!

Looking for a fun lift but not wanting to wear a high-heeled shoe to work? Consider a wedge shoe, a platform or even a small heeled bootie for alternatives to the stiletto. Your feet will thank you, and you’ll look adorable as you float through your day with comfy kicks.

Step 6: The Power Of A Great Bag

Different moods bring out different bags for the occasion. Some things to remember when deciding on the right handbag might be:

  • Does the outfit gel with the handbag?
  • How easily can I get to my stuff?
  • Do I have to carry a lot?
  • s this a fun, casual event or a long day ahead?
  • Will I need to bring a lot of stuff with me?

Your bag can be the element in your outfit that adds that pop of color, texture, style, sass, and confidence to your look any day!

Different bags to have in your arsenal include:

  • Work tote (for all things utilitarian)
  • Fun bags that are crossbody (think colorful and whimsical)
  • Clutches (for every swanky event you always wish you had a clutch for)
  • Your favorite “IT BAG” (something that might be over-the-top sparkly awesome that you just have to have to complete your look)

Two Ways For One Outfit

Sticking with your outfit base, you can easily go from work casual to evening cocktails with just the addition of a few key elements. Take a scarf that you wore as a belt during the day and turn it into an evening shawl or playful head wrap. Add a pair of shiny stud earrings and a few bracelets to glam up your look. Switch out your work tote for a small clutch to add an additional formal element.

These key accessorizing tips will help you better visualize the keys to a well styled, put-together outfit. Remember to have fun, be fearless and let your personality come out in the elements your wear and design on your own personal canvas!

Need to spice up your accessories collection? Head over to Lane 201 to find a way array of scarves, shoes, hats, and jewelry to find just what you need to accessorize your outfit and create your own personal style for everything you wear.

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