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Accessorizing 101: How to Accessorize for Any Occasion

 

Accessories are a broad category that encompasses everything from jewelry and shoes to hats and handbags. Accessories often serve a practical function and can accentuate your outfit while showcasing your personal style.  

At its core, accessorizing is the ability to bring a decorative flair to any outfit. From casual to formal, accessories can take your wardrobe to the next level—but what does it really mean to accessorize?

In this guide, we cover everything you need to know to start accessorizing any outfit. You’ll learn the types of accessories to add to your accessory library, how to accessorize for any event, and much more. If you’re ready to demystify the world of accessorizing, let’s dive in!

Why We Love Accessorizing

How you choose to accessorize may differ from how someone else chooses to accessorize – and that’s all part of the time. Accessorizing is ultimately another form of self-expression. You can change the entire feel of a little black dress just by shifting from accessories like pearl earrings to a pair of red stilettos. You can take the same clothes you wear to the office to a night out on the town without changing into something new.

Need even more reasons to level up your accessorizing skills? Here are just a few:

Saves you time

By accessorizing your clothing, you can reduce your decision fatigue and reincorporate old standbys into your wardrobe. Different earrings or a new necklace can spice up an outfit you've worn for years. And if you’re a minimalist or love putting together capsule wardrobes, you can get even more out of your clothing with accessories.  

Helps you stand out

Accessorizing can make you stand out in any environment. Are you in the boardroom? Try adding an accessory that’s professional yet makes a statement to command the attention of your colleagues Are you at a party? You can stand out with a cool pair of drop earrings. If you want to see and be seen, accessorizing is your secret weapon.

Lets your personality shine

Accessorizing also give you a chance to be yourself. Wear pieces that mean something to you or say something about your personality. This can be anything from a favorite piece of heirloom jewelry to a hair accessory you've made yourself. Incorporating your favorite colors, prints, materials, and textures can help show off who you are.

Saves you money

While you might think amassing accessories is expensive, it can be much more cost-effective than buying new clothing for your wardrobe. Accessories can be worn multiple times in many configurations that can change the entire look and feel of an outfit. This means you can spend less overall on your clothing budget and get more out of your existing wardrobe.

It’s fun

We don't want to overlook what might be the most compelling reason to invest in accessories for your wardrobe: they're simply fun. You can choose accessories that make you smile. You can tell stories about pieces when you're asked where you got them from or what they represent. Plus, you can gain a new sense of confidence – and there’s nothing better than enjoying how you look and feel.

How Do I Start Accessorizing?

Accessorizing doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming. You can start small and build your accessory library over time, adding favorite pieces as you discover what you like and what works best for your lifestyle. It's okay if you're uncertain. The good news is there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to accessorizing. You can take ideas from different places and incorporate them as they feel natural.

If you're unsure how to get started, this guide can help you. Let's take a closer look at the steps you can take to learn how to accessorize your wardrobe.

1. Learn the Types of Accessories

There are tons of accessories out there, but in this guide, we’ll stick to these nine basics:

  1. Belts
  2. Footwear
  3. Jewelry
  4. Hair accessories
  5. Handbags
  6. Hats
  7. Decorative scarves
  8. Eyewear
  9. Winter accessories

While some of these are essential, you can make strategic choices when choosing accessories to elevate your entire look.

2. Incorporate Trendy Accessories

Within each category of accessories, there will always be current trends to experiment with. What's important is to consider whether trendy or timeless accessories fit your outfit, mood, or occasion.

Trendy accessories change quickly – remember platform shoes in the ‘70s or neon plastic bangle bracelets in the ‘80s? And often, these trends return decades later in a slightly newer form.  

3. Start Accessorizing: The Basics

Once you know the kinds of accessories and trends you can follow, you need to know how to put them together with your outfit. That may include choosing the right colors, editing your look, accentuating a garment's cut, and more. You will learn exactly how to start accessorizing later in our step-by-step guide.

4. Accessorize Any Outfit

You also need to know how to choose versatile accessories that match your fashion goals. You can even learn how to take the same outfit to different levels by changing how you accessorize your clothing. For example, a simple denim skirt and blouse can be casual with a pair of sandals but become a dressier outfit for a night on the town by switching to heels and adding a belt.


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