Is this you?
As you head out the door you take one last look at yourself in the mirror. You stare, tilt your head, and come to the conclusion that although you feel good in your outfit, something just isn’t right. You can’t figure out what it is so you shrug your shoulders, grab your purse and head for the front door. Your outfit is cute – “It’s good enough,” you say to yourself, as you jump into your car.
Whether you’re going to work, headed out to lunch with girlfriends, or planning to meet that special man, all it takes is an extra 5 minutes to elevate your outfit from plain to put-together and from cute to killer.
So how do you do that? It’s all about the accessorizing, baby. And I’m going to show you how easy it can be done by just following a few simple tips and tricks, that I live by.
These 5 tips will elevate your outfit creating a more polished, put-together, killer look. And it’s not going to blow your budget.
- Invest in good shoes and handbags. I can’t stress this enough. Cheap shoes look cheap and will cheapen anything you’re wearing, even if it’s a designer whatever. And good shoes will add kudos to an inexpensive outfit elevating it to designer level, and only you will know it isn’t. Believe me, I know this. I’ve worn brands not even in the running and have had people stop me on the street asking if I was wearing a Prada dress just because of the awesome shoes I was wearing. Add a good handbag and you’re good to go. Note: This doesn’t mean you need to break the bank and buy full retail. Get in on a good end-of-season sale or any one of those last season sites and let your fingers do the walking.
- Fill the loops. I know I’ve said this before but I am such a stickler about this one. If you have pants or skirts with belt loops, thread a belt through the loops. Even if you’re doing a half tuck of your shirt or blouse, and all that is showing is one belt loop, make sure there’s a belt befriending your loops. Note: I know that you’re thinking, “But I don’t wear belts.” Trust me, if you’re showing your waistband and it has belt loops, you can wear a belt. Thread one through and notice how much more put together your outfit looks. If you have a wide waistline, make sure that the color of your belt is the same color as your pants or at least the same value of color (Dark pants with dark belt, medium colored pants with medium colored belt, etc.) Which brings me to my next tip…
- Play with colors. If you’re the kind of girl who wears lots of monochromatic looks (Head to toe one color – black being a fave amongst many!), your outfit can border on being boring. Go from boring to bravo! by strategically adding a few bold and colorful accessories. I am not fond of the matchy-matchy look when it’s done with too many accessories. For example, red shoes, red necklace and a red handbag all worn at the same time, in my opinion, lacks originality and freshness. Try red shoes and a red handbag, and then mix it up with a contrasting belt or necklace. Or try matching your shoes to your belt and add a multi-color scarf that has a touch of red in it. Your outfit will be much more interesting if you toss in a color that is unexpected. Note: When playing with colors, try a color that is complimentary to the other color you are wearing. If you don’t know what a complimentary color is, take a visit to your neighborhood art store and buy a color wheel. I swear it will be your best friend when it comes to combining interesting color combinations.
- Add a bold piece of jewelry. Even if you’re a classic girl, give your timeless sheath dress a modern edge by pairing it with a bold necklace (My favorite is a Keren Creation!), and a chunky cuff bracelet in a bold gold or a bright color. Nothing makes a simple neutral outfit more exciting than bold jewelry. And if you’re wearing a print or pattern, pull a color from the print and don a bold cuff or necklace in the same color. Yes, you can layer a necklace over a print blouse. Note: Try to find a nice balance when it comes to wearing bold accessories. If you choose to wear a bold necklace, opt for smaller earrings, and vice versa.
- It’s a wrap. If you’re one who loves to layer, scarves, neckerchiefs, shawls, ponchos, and capes, is the perfect accessory for you. All of the above will add pizzaz to a plain outfit and elevate your style. Scarves and neckerchiefs not only keep out the cold (I discovered I can be cozy warm in something sleeveless as long as I have a scarf around my neck), but when tied in a flattering way around your neck in complimenting colors, can really pull together an outfit. Note: Try this accessory that is not just reserved for a winter day. Put aside your thick wool scarf and opt for a lightweight cashmere. This weight will allow you to drape with ease and keep you warm. During the summer, try a linen knit poncho or a summer-weight linen scarf or shawl to add dimension and style to your warm weather outfit. PS: Click here to watch my “How to wear a skinny scarf” video.
Once you start experimenting with accessories, you’ll discover your sweet spot when it comes finding the right mix and balance to creating killer outfits. The most important thing to do is play with your accessories and have fun. Take that extra 5 – It’s the difference between “It’s good enough.” and “This outfit rocks!”
Bonus: Once you master accessorizing, you’ll discover that you will need to shop less. Why? Because you’ll know the power of the accessory. By just changing out your accessories, you can create different and exciting killer looks with the same clothes, giving you more wear time with the clothing pieces you already own.
Oh…Before I go, I just wanted to share some excitement. My client, Dr. Jessica Zitter’s documentary film, “Extremis” was one of the nominees for the recent Oscars! (Perhaps you saw it. If not, it’s streaming on Netflix) And I had the wonderful opportunity to dress her for the big event!
Needless to say I didn’t have a lot of time to find her the dress. However, I’m happy to report, I picked out 8 dresses for her and she loved the very first one she tried on, and passed on the rest. Done.
Here’s the look…
Now, it’s your turn. I’d love to hear from you. Your insights and inspiration are appreciated so please share your stories in the comments below.
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