Staple Accessories for Every Wardrobe
The right accessory can turn an ordinary outfit into a head-turner, or it can be that finishing touch for an outfit that feels incomplete. Whether you want to spice up casual attire or add a splash of color to a neutral look, accessories are the perfect tool for the trade.
That said, wearing accessories can be a bit of a balancing act. On the one hand, you have Coco Chanel's famous advice to look in the mirror and remove one accessory before leaving the house. On the other hand, you have Rachel Zoe's words of wisdom that accessories are more important than clothes for owning your look. As such, striking that balance between the quality and quantity of accessories is a matter of taste and finesse.
The Staple Accessories
Here are some staple accessories that every woman should own:
1. Layered Bracelets or Necklaces
Layered bracelets and necklaces are a must-have for any season. They look great, of course, but this chic style also provides plenty of versatility, so you can wear your creativity on your sleeve — or your neckline! Mix and match shapes and colors to complement your outfit or mood, or go for a monochromatic look with a bracelet set that exemplifies elegance and sophistication.
One of the pros of layered bracelets or necklaces is that you can always add different pieces to go with your current set, so you can truly make this accessory your own.
2. Shoes and Sandals for Every Occasion
You may not think of shoes as an accessory since they are somewhat of a necessity. But shoes are more than tools for function and comfort, as they can also add a significant amount of style and panache to your look. At the same time, they can also make an outfit look strange or out of place if they are not matched well with your clothes and other accessories.
It is always a good idea to match footwear with your outfit of the day. Add polish and pizzazz to a business casual fit with wedges, complete the boho look with a pair of leather sandals or own the look of elegance with a dress and pair of lovely heels. Consider getting multiple pairs of sneakers for both spunk and athleisure wear. And don't forget a classy pair of boots for an evening of dancing and drinks at the bar.
Is it even possible to own too many shoes? Doubtful!
3. A Handbag — or Two or Three
Handbags tend to say something about your personality and overall style. Are you a minimalist type that prefers a clutch bag to only carry the essentials? Or do you prefer to carry all of your prized possessions around in a multi-purpose tote bag in case you need the items inside at any given moment?
At the same time, some occasions may be more suited to a clutch bag than a tote bag, and vice versa. There may also be times when something in between a clutch bag and tote bag is more convenient, such as a sling bag or cross-body purse.
Clutches are typically best suited for small parties or work functions where it is worthwhile to be less encumbered. A holdall bag is great when you are traveling or spending the night away from home. For all-day events, such as a festival or an afternoon at the beach or mall, a sling or cross-body bag that bridges the gap between a clutch and holdall may be more convenient.
All that to say, you cannot go wrong with owning two or three handbags so you are prepared for any adventure!
4. A Statement Necklace
There are times when subtle jewelry is the way to go and other times when an outfit is not the same without a statement necklace. In general, a statement necklace is large enough to be the focal point of an outfit and typically lies both high and low on the chest. If you feel your outfit is too non-descript or simple, a statement necklace is sure to turn that around for you.
Statement necklaces are a great accessory for making professional attire more playful, completing a bold look, adding a feminine touch to a gender-neutral outfit or dressing up a casual outfit. They can easily complete an outfit on their own but also work well with more complementary and subtle pieces.
5. Hats for Flair and Function
Hats can provide protection from the sun, salvage a bad hair day and add personality to any outfit all at once. They are both stylish and functional — the perfect combination.
Consider having one or more hats that adapt to and enhance your wardrobe, especially throughout the year as the seasons change. A wide brim or floppy hat looks great at the beach in a swimsuit or in a maxi dress at the park, patio or coffee shop. A felt hat is the perfect addition to jumpsuit outfits for fall, and beanies are cozy and stylish for winter.
While they do not provide the same sun protection as hats, a headband or bandana can also be a great option for holding a quick up-do in place or making the best of a bad hair day.
Speaking of sun protection, sunglasses are a timeless and essential accessory to have, whether to protect your eyes from the sun at the beach or to hide sleepless eyes after a long night. Since sunglasses are worn on your face, it makes sense to have a pair of sunglasses that look good! Whether you are going for the vintage chic look or more of a statement piece, sunglasses can give off an aura of confidence when worn with certainty and self-assurance.
And sunglasses are much more than a great-looking fashion accessory. They also provide blue-light protection, prevent cataracts by minimizing UV exposure to your eyes and even prevent wrinkles by decreasing your need to squint on sunny days. Get a variety of shapes, colors and styles to have a pair that goes with your outfit no matter what you put on.
Earrings seem like an obvious choice, don't they? There are so many different options of earrings, from statement hoops to subtle pearl studs and everything in between. As such, it can be helpful to have a wide range on hand.
Stud earrings are well-suited to formal occasions, while statement earrings are great anytime you want to add some extravagance to your outfit. If you don't feel like having the attention of the room but still want to show off some personality with your ear jewelry, earrings with a beaded or wooden design can be the perfect boho addition.
Scarves are great for adding a flash of color, pattern and elegance to any outfit. They also have a decorated history across various cultures around the world and are worn for spiritual, religious, cultural and practical reasons in addition to being a fashion piece. Wear one around your neck, draped over your shoulders or around your head to keep your hair in place.
Get a scarf in every style with options like:
- Blanket scarves: A long scarf or blanket scarf can keep you warm on blustery fall or winter days and looks fabulous underneath a trench coat or sweater-skirt combo.
- Handkerchief scarves: On warm spring and summer days, a handkerchief or silk scarf can brighten up your outfit while also being light enough to keep you from overheating. Silk scarves are also great for keeping your hair in place Audrey Hepburn-style.
- Infinity scarves: If you like scarves but can't be bothered with the process of looping them around your neck and shoulders in the perfect way, a throw-and-go or infinity scarf is the perfect option for you!
9. Leggings, Stockings or Tights
Who said you can't be comfortable and stylish at the same time? A pair of leggings, stockings or tights can do exactly that.
Stockings or tights underneath a midi dress is a timelessly beautiful look and can provide some extra warmth around your legs when you wear a dress on cooler days. A pair of leggings or yoga pants is also a great accessory to have for athleisure wear when going to the gym, hiking or running outside.
And if wearing jeans isn't your thing, a pair of jeggings is an ideal alternative. Jeggings are more comfortable and go with just about anything.
10. A Charm Bracelet or Necklace
There is nothing so fashionably nostalgic as a charm bracelet or necklace. They are also the perfect accessory to reflect your personality and creativity and can be a great conversation starter.
Each unique trinket on your charm bracelet or necklace can have a story and a past you can use to help people get to know the real you. They can also symbolize different interests or hobbies of yours, or you can simply curate them to match your exquisite aesthetic tastes.
11. A Long Necklace
Long necklaces can add an intriguing dimension to your wardrobe. A long necklace with a pendant, tassel or gemstone will look trendy and stylish with any basic tee, detailed top or fancy dress. You can wear long necklaces to suit any style, whether that is professional attire, casual chic, boho, elegant or rocking the over-the-top look.
Belts are more than functional — they can also be a centerpiece of your outfit. That said, it is a good idea to have several belts available to match with your various outfits.
- Skinny knot or cinch belts can be a great addition to maxi and midi dresses.
- A braided belt or horseshoe belt will always look stylish and polished with a basic tee or detailed top and a pair of denim jeans.
- A classic leather belt in a neutral shade will go with pants in your professional outfits.
General Tips for Wearing Accessories
With your jewelry box and wardrobe full of your fabulous accessories, it's time to put some on. But how should you elevate your looks or show off your style with your staple accessories? Check out these tips:
1. Remember That Less Is More
We already mentioned Chanel's word of advice to look in the mirror and remove one accessory before going out. But it is worth repeating, as many well-meaning people diminish their outfits by wearing too many accessories.
When an outfit has too many accessories, it can look busy and disorganized, especially if you are wearing multiple statement accessories at the same time. In many cases, it is better to wear one statement accessory — like a statement necklace — and a couple of subtle accessories — like a bracelet and handbag — to bring out the best in your outfit. And in some cases, a statement accessory can look great all by itself.
At the same time, if you tend to wear little to no accessories usually, you may want to follow the opposite of Chanel's advice and add an accessory before going out.
2. Be Intentional
The accessories you wear will showcase the parts of your body they rest on, so take advantage of that. If you want to showcase a particular part of your body, wear an accessory there. Rings will showcase your hands, while a necklace will flaunt your neckline and so on. The better the accessory looks, the more alluring that part of your body will appear.
With that in mind, we recommend you be intentional with the accessories you pair with your outfit rather than slipping them on at random. Likewise, make sure you pay close attention to how your accessories mix with the rest of your outfit. Are they competing for attention with other statement pieces? Does the color clash with other items, or do they come alive with its addition? Paying attention to these matters can ensure you accessorize like a queen.
3. Be Confident
Confidence is as important to owning your look as the accessories you wear. Even if you feel your accessory is too flashy or that you aren't the type of person who would normally don such an extravagant piece, be confident and fake it until you make it.
While there are some rules of thumb to follow to optimize your accessories, nobody can tell you what you can or cannot pull off but yourself. Often, the only thing keeping a basic outfit from becoming a smashing one is the confidence to pull it off.
Shop Staple Accessories With Perfectly Priscilla
Accessories are key to nailing an outfit. Whether you prefer statement pieces or subtle accessories, they are essential to a complete look. Are you hoping to step up your accessories game? Perfectly Priscilla Boutique has a broad range of necklaces, bracelets, shoes, scarves, bags and other accessories of all styles and sizes to get you started.
Feel free to check out our accessories section online! If you want to learn more about what we are all about or have questions about a particular product, please fill out our contact form or call us directly at 229-469-9627.