Sometimes asking people to guest post is a little scary. Since I try to pick non fashion bloggers I sometimes only have a general sense of someone's style from their blog and then I have to cross my fingers that they come through for me.
Fortunately, asking RA of Definitely RA was totally stress free. I haven't met her in person, but she hosts Mission: Put Together and I've been able to see a lot of her outfits. She rocks at perking up a basic outfit with an awesome accessory or pair of shoes. She commented once that her philosophy is "throw on a red necklace." Brilliant, right?
I don’t really consider myself fashion-forward, but I have always managed to be neat and presentable. Within the last few years, I finally figured out the key for me: fun accessories.
Accessories are great! I love them because they are
- An injection of color or shine --- and by extension, interest --- to an outfit,
- A lot cheaper than clothing, and
- A low-commitment way to try a trend.
Best of all, no one can tell the difference between a pricey item and a knock-off. Here are some ideas on how to dress up a basic outfit with a combination of a few bright accessories.
I’m using this outfit as a base (super big thanks to my very patient husband, who manned the camera):
|T-shirt and jeans: Gap; earrings: Kate Szabone; ruffle flats: Me Too via Marshall’s|
I think it’s safe to assume that we all have this outfit, more or less, at home. To me, it meets minimum expectations. Everything is clean and fits. It’s all neutral, so nothing clashes. Sure, I’ll run errands like this. There’s nothing wrong here, but there’s not much going on.
Here’s what I’m using to jazz it up:
Clockwise from top left:
- Large silver earrings: gift from my sister (similar earrings at Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe)
- Chunky red necklace: Ann Taylor (two options from Kohl’s)
- Striped scarf: Old Navy (also at Forever 21)
- Red flats: Bandolino (a ruffled pair from Target)
Let’s see how my outfit changes with the addition of each accessory.
Ah, much better! One addition makes a huge difference. It’s a lot of of impact for not a lot of effort. Now, what if I mix and match?
From left to right, we have:
- Flats + earrings
- Flats + necklace
- Flats + earrings + scarf
- Flats + scarf + necklace (masquerading as a bracelet)
Much more intriguing now, right? The eye has a few places to land because there are more points of interest. Instead of a flat landscape of black and denim, pattern and color perk up the outfit. Accessorizing takes only a teeny bit more time, but it doesn’t make the look any less comfortable or affordable, and it really boosts the overall impression.
(Side note: I hardly ever wear bracelets because they clang against my keyboard at work, but in the process of brainstorming this post, I figured out that looping a necklace around my wrist makes … a bracelet! So fun for the weekend! Did everyone else know this? Why didn’t anyone tell me?!)
When I began outlining this post, I started with a lot more accessories, like patterned flats, a multi-strand necklace, a bright bag, a skinny belt, a solid scarf, and a long necklace. Then I did the math and realized that I’d have to take roughly 30 bazillion pictures. After the subsequent endless photo shoot, my husband would never want to speak to me again, and then Kayla would rue the day she asked me to guest-post as she uploaded those 30 bazillion pictures. Plus, I didn’t want to give the impression that you need to spend tons of money and have lots of stuff, because you really don’t.
So! I pared things down. The accessories I chose are ones I especially like and wear the most often. Keep in mind that they are just representative of larger categories: big earrings, chunky jewelry, patterned scarf, and bright flats. If you don’t like red, choose another color. If you prefer gold over silver, go for it. If you are not a scarf person, try a long necklace. If you are crafty, I bet you can make a necklace or bracelet fairly easily or even use a fabric remnant to make a scarf. It’s less about following a formula and spending a lot of money and more about finding items you really like that make you feel confident and add interest to your everyday looks.