From jewelry, hats, and bags to scarves, belts, and shoes, the ways to add oomph to your outfit appear to be endless, and, yes, sometimes overwhelming. To some of us, accessorizing can seem like a skill that takes a lifetime to master, but in fact, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult. Having a couple of expert tips up your sleeve can turn you into your own personal stylist and take your outfits to the next level.
1. Choose the right belt for your outfit for a more polished look.
Adding the right belt can elevate your look. For example, petite ladies should go for a monochrome skinny belt, while a wide belt looks great on tall and athletic women. Wide belts can also be used to harmonize different prints.
Super skinny belts go well with solid color tops or bottoms but will get lost in busy patterns. Wide belts go great with jumpsuits and dresses, but they can also be used to cinch a sweater or a jacket and accentuate your figure. To play it safe, go for a medium-thickness belt since they work with pretty much anything.
2. Choose the footwear according to the skirt hemline.
The shorter the skirt, the lower the heel is a golden rule that can keep you away from looking tacky in a miniskirt. But when the same miniskirt is paired with ballet flats, loafers, or even a nice pair of sneakers, it can look polished and cool. On the other hand, don’t be afraid of wearing sky-high heels with midi and maxi skirts. If you cannot resist combining high heels and a miniskirt, wearing a pair of tights can make the whole look much more sophisticated.
3. Accessorize with jewelry or a scarf to divert attention from problem areas.
If you like wearing figure-hugging skirts but have a bit of a tummy, you can wear a colorful scarf or oversized jewelry to divert attention from your midriff to your face. Also, you can invest in some shape wear to make your figure even slimmer. Avoid tight skirts with embellishments and details on the waist if you are conscious about your midsection.
4. Balancing your accessories is the key.
It’s easy to get carried away with gorgeous accessories and go overboard with details. When adding a scarf to your look, avoid overcomplicating it by incorporating too much jewelry. To avoid this mistake, you can follow a simple 1:1 ration rule: a scarf + necklace or a scarf + statement earrings.
5. Experiment with colorful scarves by changing their purpose.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just wearing a scarf around your neck. The ways to use a scarf to style your outfit are almost endless. You can use it to freshen up an old handbag, as a headband, a hat decoration, or even wear it instead of a belt.
6. Don’t pick an oversized bag if you want to look taller.
Most of us often get distracted by gorgeous patterns and shapes when shopping for a bag, forgetting that the scale is actually the most important part.
- Petite women should pick a small to medium size bag with mid-length or short straps. Wider or oversized bags won’t work in your favor as they may make you look shorter.
- Plus-size, curvy gals should opt for medium-sized structured bags instead of very small or big slouchy bags. An oversized unstructured bag can add bulk to your problem areas, while extra small bags can make you look bigger. If you are a fan of small purses, going for a clutch can be a fabulous option.
7. Avoid matching the color of the shoes with the bag.
If you’re aiming for a more modern look, try to avoid matchy-matchy combinations. Although there is nothing wrong with wearing a black handbag with black shoes, if you are trying to spice up a basic outfit with some color, it’s better to match the color of your handbag with other pieces, like your earrings or jacket. However, when it comes to prints and patterns it’s a little different. If you love a patterned bag or shoes, try to identify the base color and harmonize accordingly. For example, if the base color of the patterned bag is grey, then wear a pair of plain grey shoes — or the other way around.
8. The necklace and neckline should not collide.
Adding a spark to your look by incorporating jewelry is an easy way to make your outfit more sophisticated, but when choosing a necklace you should consider the neckline first.
Short necklaces generally work better when they rest above the neckline, but they can also look great if the neckline is high enough that it can serve as a background for the jewelry (in other words, the pendant is not resting half on the clothes and half on your skin). On the other hand, long necklaces work with low and high necklines, and even turtlenecks, but they may look a bit awkward with square or asymmetrical necklines.
9. Stack your bracelets like a pro.
For those of you who are more into bracelets, knowing how to layer your arm candy goes a long way. There’s plenty of room to mix and match your bracelets but remember that balance is key. Wearing bulky items on both wrists can detract attention from your overall outfit and even look a bit tacky. Also, keep track of the color scheme to make your jewelry and clothes look harmonized.
10. Pick the right hat for your outfit.
It’s often tempting to just pop on any kind of hat to make the outfit more interesting, but that can actually work against you. Think of facial and bodily proportions before adding a hat to your look. The golden rule is that the hat’s brim shouldn’t be wider than your shoulders.
- If you have a round face, wearing a hat with a shallow crown further back on your head will add more sharp lines to balance your look. You should choose a fedora, a long sock hat, or an angular hat.
- Women with square-shaped faces should pick larger hats without harsh lines to soften their face. Instead of fedoras and angular hats, go for a round-brimmed hat, a cloche hat, a slouchy beret, or a beanie.
- If your face is long, skip soft-brimmed hats and beanies and avoid wearing your hat further back on your head. Instead, choose hats that cut across the forehead, hats with fitted crowns, and wide-brimmed hats.
- Lucky ladies with an oval face shape can get away with any of the above and still look gorgeous.
11. Spice up your look with a pair of colorful tights or stockings.
This is a simple, yet effective way to elevate your outfit and add a pop of color to your look. You can either pick an overall color theme and harmonize the tights with other pieces you’re wearing, or opt for a pair of tights in a contrasting color, which can make other clothing pieces stand out.
More than just an embellishment, accessories can even become a part of the dress itself, acting as an essential component that holds the gown together. An example of this is singer Megan Thee Stallion’s Grecian goddess-inspired dress that she wore at the BET awards in 2021, where 2 pieces of fabric covering only her private parts were attached by way of sparkly beaded adornments which fell to her hips.
How do you usually accessorize your outfit? Which one of these suggestions are you planning to try out?