By Diana Pemberton-Sikes
Using fashion accessories in different ways is one of the easiest ways to make you look like you have a larger wardrobe than you do. By adding a scarf, subtracting a belt, rotating shoes, etc., you can make a small inventory of clothes look like a bottomless closet.
But what if you have a "thing" (others might call it an obsession) for a particular type of accessory -- like hats, purses, or bracelets - that you just can't seem to get enough of? Own up to it. Profess it. Then use those pieces as your signature wardrobe item. It will set you apart from the trend followers and give you a certain cachet.
Just remember the basic rules of accessorizing:
1. Each outfit should only have ONE focal point, like a necklace, belt, or shoes. Don't make accessories compete against each other for attention.
2. If the accessory is elaborate, keep the clothes simple. Simple lines, simple colors, simple silhouette. It will provide the perfect backdrop for a drop-dead gorgeous piece.
3. Keep accessories in the same mood as your garment. Don't pair a summer day dress with an evening clutch or a business suit with flip flops, for example. Wear casual clothes with casual accessories, business clothes with business accessories, evening clothes with evening accessories. Otherwise you'll look unschooled.
With that in mind, take your signature accessory to the next level by wearing artful, conversation-generating pieces. Here's how:
Beautiful accessories from a bygone era can evoke a sense of history and glamour. They can also save you a ton of money. If you like designer accessories, look for pieces from prior seasons in consignment or vintage shops or online at places like eBay. Want something really special? Show your fashion savvy by wearing designers from the 1930's, 40's, or 50's.
Italy has been known for its sumptuous accessories since the Crusades. Amazing shoes, beautiful evening bags, luxurious jewelry - if you can afford it, pick up a few pieces or request them as holiday, birthday, or anniversary gifts. You can leave them to your fashionable heirs.
Go Low Profile
If all of your friends are strutting around in their Jimmy Choos carrying Prada bags, try wearing pieces from a high talent/low profile designer instead. Being stylish isn't about blinding following trends; it's about knowing how to put together a pleasing aesthetic.
Local artisans often create beautiful pieces, but you have to know where to go to find them. Try small, local boutiques, or visit craft shows in your area.
Fashion accessories are a great way to define your style and stretch your budget, so why fight an interest in your favorite accessory? Embrace it and make it your signature. You'll look amazing and be able to enjoy the artistry of your favorite pieces.
Need more tips on how to use fashion accessories to build a head-turning wardrobe? Then download a copy of ACCESSORY MAGIC by author and image consultant Diana Pemberton-Sikes at FashionForRealWomen.com.
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