A fashion accessory is an item used to contribute, in a secondary manner, to the wearer’s outfit, often used to complete an outfit and chosen to specifically complement the wearer’s look. It has the capacity to further express an individual’s identity and personality as there are accessories that come in different, shapes, sizes, hues, etc. The term came into use in the 20th century. (Source: Wikipedia)
So there it is. I don’t know what I can add to that definition of a fashion accessory.
I would venture to guess that the business of accessories when it comes to retail is as big as the business of clothing. But why? What’s the big deal about accessories? Do they really make that big a difference to a person’s style?
I think they do. I’m a big fan of incorporating accessories into my outfits, even when I’m just running errands. I guess it’s now become part of my style – my signature look.
Fashion Is Art and Accessories Are Your Signature
I love fashion. Putting outfits together that stand out a little is a way I express myself. Accessories are like putting my signature on my style. Accessories are the tools for your artistic expression. Accessories complete your outfit.
What’s an Accessory Anyway?
My definition of an accessory casts a fairly wide net. To me, accessories are everything that’s not in the category of your primary clothing: top (blouse, t-shirt, tank top), bottoms (pants, skirt, shorts), or dress.
That leaves a lot of room to be creative in creating your style with accessories: jewelry, scarves, eyeglasses, handbags, jackets and coats, hats shoes, even socks. Think of accessories as the detail that you add to express yourself – how you stand out from the crowd.
The look below is a pretty simple outfit, almost a uniform for many of us: a simple top and neutral pants. The outfit is fine. The top is a pretty color. The neutral pants let the top pop. But, it’s not very exciting or eye catching. There’s nothing about it that stands out.
Compare the outfit above with the look below. All I’ve done is add a print scarf. Nothing fancy and no special wrapping of the scarf. There’s a difference. Now the look has taken on a little personality.
The outfit below is now complete.
This look is still very simple, but it’s eye catching. It stands out. It has some personality. And although it incorporates some really different colors and shades, there is harmony. The scarf incorporates all the colors in the other pieces: magenta, black, and light gray. (This doesn’t mean you can’t accessories with contrasting colors!)
You might be wondering why I bothered with the necklace that you see in the first photo since it’s invisible in the complete outfit. I almost always wear a necklace, even when I wear a scarf, because if I decide to take the scarf off due to the temperature, I still have an accessory that provides interest against my top or blouse.
(P.S. The jacket is slimming too!)
Testimony Los Angeles Jacket
I’m a big wearer of jackets. I am often a bit cold, even indoors, and most days a jacket is a standard accessory. So I’ve built a collection over the years. One of my favorite brands is Testimony Los Angeles. The jackets are made from French terry and are so so comfy and soft and stretchy. And the draping and style that is built into these jackets are really beautiful. I get comments on the jackets pretty much every time I wear one. My favorite retailer of Testimony jackets is my friend Gerie from Gerie’s Fashion Closet, our go-to gal whose pop-up shop is at the Monterey Jazz Festival every year. It’s become my tradition to buy an annual Testimony jacket. Check out a few of them in the feature photos: here, here, and here. Check out Gerie’s collection of jackets here. (The Victorian style is my favorite!)
Variety is the spice of life
Spice up your look by accessorizing. If you’re not in the habit of using accessories in your style, start simply. Try an eye-catching or statement necklace. How about a handbag in a fun color or style? Shoes are an easy way to play with accessorizing. Shoes don’t have to be neutral; try a colored shoe or boot. An easy formula is to put together your basic outfit and then add 2-3 accessories. Need a little inspiration? Pinterest is great for that! Just have fun with it.