Nothing to Wear Week: The Art of Accessorizing

Essential Accessories include jewelry in gold (or silver) and black shoes and bags.

There is only one thing that makes a wardrobe of basic black essentials seem less yawn-worthy. Shoes. Okay, technically two things, since you need one for each foot, but shoes are really what make black bearable to me. Also lace, and color, and leopard, and a few other girly things. The point is, I view the wardrobe essentials as a tool, a way to ensure that you never stand in front of a jam-packed closet with the feeling that you have nothing to wear.

Having a well-stocked wardrobe of essentials and accents doesn’t mean that you need to give up shopping. Just, perhaps, that you do it a little more judiciously. Just think of me as the shopping enabler (if you need one).

If you want to shop, shop.

If you want to stop, stop.

Either way, you will have outfits. Options. That core wardrobe edit will still serve as the foundation to great style.

But I digress. I was discussing how black can be boring. I am not a believer in an all-black uniform, unless that is truly your style. I believe that most women look gorgeous with some color, so after the essentials are covered, you can go crazy with color, pattern, and texture.

And most of all, with accessories. They are the antidote to boring. As with clothes, accessories can be broken into two groups.

Essential Accessories

Fundamental, not flashy, but absolutely critical.

  1. Bangle (s) in gold, silver, or both
  2. Long necklace in gold, silver, or both
  3. Hoop earrings in gold, silver, or both
  4. Everyday watch in gold, silver, or both
  5. Stud earrings (don’t need to be boring!) in gold, silver, or both
  6. Black day bag
  7. Black clutch
  8. Black flats
  9. Black heels

 

Essential Accessories include jewelry in gold (or silver) and black shoes and bags.

Essential Accessories include jewelry in gold (or silver) and black shoes and bags. Shown: JW Anderson large leather bag, $1600, Tory Burch flats, $225, Topshop pumps, $95, Akribos XXIV watch, $85, Michael Kors hinge bangle, $63, DVF black/gold bangle, $78, Jules Smith pave bar bracelet, $59, Karen Kane “Wynwood” chain necklace, $68, Melinda Maria “Colleen” studs, $95, Kate Spade Bar None hoops, $68, and LucLuc clutch, $36

 Statement Accessories

A little flashier, which is just how you want them. Because, black. These should include a variety of accessories in a favorite color (or two) and a little pattern. This list includes:

  1. Necklace in statement color
  2. Earrings in statement color
  3. Bracelet in statement color
  4. Diamond hoops
  5. Diamond tennis bracelet
  6. Pumps in statement color
  7. Flats in statement color
  8. Clutch in statement color
  9. Pumps (or flats) in pretty pattern that works with statement color
  10. Tortoise watch
  11. Leopard pumps (or, if you don’t like leopard, another animal print or snakeskin)
Statement accessories bring sparkle, color, and pattern.

Statement accessories bring sparkle, color, and pattern. Angelique de Paris laser cut earrings, $95, Sole Society necklace, $40, Aldo floral pumps, $80, Michael Kors tortoise watch, $135, Diamond hoops, $2270, white topaz tennis bracelet, $1069,  BCBG metal plate cuff, $48, Halogen “Melissa” pump, $40, Charles David “Katya” pump, $183, Sole Society flat, $65, and Rebecca Minkoff “Oliver” clutch, $105

You’ll be amazed at how a handful of the right accessories can take every look from everyday to extraordinary. For inspiration, check out these three outfits from my Fashion Essentials Pinterest board:

Black and white essentials get a punch of color and shine from blue and gold accessories.

Black and white essentials get a punch of color and shine from blue and gold accessories.

Take a sleek simple look from day (right) to night with a pop of blue.

Take a sleek simple look from day (right) to night with a pop of blue.

Edgy accessories take this classic look to the next level.

Edgy accessories take this classic look to the next level.

Tomorrow, I conclude Nothing to Wear Week by answering your questions, from how to tackle the time problem to casual (not sloppy) downtime outfit ideas. I’ve packed a lot into Nothing to Wear Week, from Caitlin Skidmore’s inspiring wisdom on shopping your closet to this 3 part series on building a wardrobe of essentials, accents and finally, today, accessories. What is your biggest takeaway from this week? And what is your biggest challenge? I’d love to hear from you!

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