Accessories are a simple way to take a plain or even average ensemble to fabulous. Accessories are a personal statement that is a reflection of you, your taste and style. Are you bold and colorful, more formal and dressy, or elegantly understated? Do you feel naked without accessories or a minimalist — a watch and simple earrings will do? My style will not be the same as yours. And it shouldn’t be. That is what makes accessorizing so unique and individual. That is what they do!
You can’t really go wrong, or CAN you, in the office? As with most things, more isn’t always better. It’s all about balance.
I thought I would share some personal (and fun) photos of my accessorizing style. The photo to the left is something I would typically wear to the office. Simple drop earrings and a three-strand pearl choker. I love pearls, so that is my “statement” piece.
A statement piece is usually a larger piece of jewelry that attracts primary focus. You will find my suggestion for a statement piece in the general tips below. Also, the majority of my jewelry is costume jewelry. Macy’s carries their own line, Charter Club, that is inexpensive and beautiful.
The picture below gives you an idea how using accessories can create interest in what you wear for whatever event you go to. This particular occasion is a hot summer day spent with friends. Aside from the hat, I’m wearing a matching necklace and earrings, and the “statement” piece is the big flower ring with a lady bug on top (I know, you can’t see it that well, but it’s fun and conveys the season with the rest of the outfit).Not something for work, but you get the idea how you can express yourself in the two different settings that exude your personality and style.
Some types of accessories include:
- Nail polish
- Hair clips and ties, headbands, and hair embellishments
- Glasses and sunglasses
Some classic pieces you can never go wrong with are your wedding band, a watch, pearls, and simple pearl or diamond stud earrings. Those make a great “go to” when you don’t want to over think and just pull something together pretty quick.
Some general tips:
- If you like bold or chunky pieces, like a necklace, keep the rest of your accessory choices simple. More than one large or “statement” piece and you pull the focus, resulting in a look that can start to look “busy.”
- A couple of bangles or a simple bracelet alongside your watch can be fun, but pay attention to what you might be doing for that day. Some bracelets and stacks can be jangley and distracting if you are meeting with people or conducting a presentation.
- If your earrings are your statement piece, whether bold and chunky or dangle, mix it with a delicate necklace or sans necklace all together.
- It’s always easy to keep everything in the same color, but a pop of color will take you out of the “popsicle” affect. Accessories are perfect this.
Some interesting accessory choices to think about:
- Painting your nails.
- Carlos Santana makes some beautiful, colorful shoes that are professional, but also a statement in themselves.
- Scarves can add color, texture, and/or print and can be worn in a variety of different ways that make them an interesting and unconventional way to accessorize, akin to a man’s tie.
- As much as I would love to carry around a book bag or gym bag to just shovel my day’s life into, their are so many beautiful and cost savvy selections in handbags to choose from, it doesn’t make sense not to have one or two that takes you to work in style.
From The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Decorum, by Kim Izzo and Ceri Marsh
“The way you dress can definitely influence your success at work. When your boss is trying to decide between you and the smart but sloppy woman next to you for that management promotion, guess who gets the job? Dress for the job you wish was yours. Every workplace has a subtle dress code beyond the basic rules written up in your employee’s handbook. Take your cues from your boss’s own sense of style (unless he or she is a slob). And please, no whining that it’s not fair. Life is not fair — these are the tricks to winning the not-fair game.”
Back to point, how we dress is a reflection of our personal style. We also represent and reflect on our boss and place of work. Even if you feel you must tone down your personal style in the office, a well chosen accessory allows you your own stamp of personality. Most important, every piece you select is an investment, so it’s about choosing selections that make you happy.
What is your favorite accessory piece? Do you feel that you can express your individuality in your accessories? Have you ever used an accessory in a unique way — like wearing a clip-on earring as a brooch or clipped on the top of classic black pumps? I hope you had fun with me as you read the article. It can be a little embarrassing showing pictures to the whole world, but we’re friends, right? I’ll even let you get in a couple of snickers at my expense. So here’s to embracing all the choices you have in accessorizing and creating your “look” brand.
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