How to Step Up Your Style With Thoughtful Accessories

Accessorizing is a way to spice up your outfits by incorporating smaller pieces, like jewelry, purses, belts, and shoes. They compliment your wardrobe and add finishing touches that bring energy and color to a capsule outfit.

6 Types Fashion Accessories

Accessories fall into a few basic categories.

Shoes: Shoes are one of the few accessories you'll need to wear almost every day. It's essential to have a few neutral options (such as a white sneaker, nude heel, black flat, and brown boots), but statement footwear can elevate your look. Look for fun yet comfortable shoes—or else you'll never wear them.

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Jewelry: If you're looking to spice up your outfit with a bit of sparkle, consider how to incorporate jewelry into your look. If you find yourself in need of an instant fashion boost, either to make a drab outfit more exciting or to liven up your "undone" look, try adding a sparkly piece of jewelry. And if you're new to jewelry, choose something versatile yet subtly glamorous—for instance, a dainty diamond stud, a delicate pendant necklace, or hoop earrings. These classic pieces will match anything in your closet. If you're looking to spice up your outfit with a bit of sparkle, consider how to incorporate jewelry into your look.

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Hair Accessories: Hair accessories are simple and easy ways to accessorize—let your hair down! Hats and head wraps are great ways to transform your look. And necessary for the days when we're overdue for a hair appointment! If you're wearing a plain hair tie, try switching it out for one with some color. You could get more use out of the same piece of clothing by doing that. Take a look at your current hair accessories and see if there's room for an upgrade: Can you swap a plain hair tie for a silk scrunchie? A simple clip for a colorful acetate one?

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Handbags: Handbags come in different shapes and styles—from totes to clutches—and are appropriate for other occasions. If you have a variety of handbags, you'll always be able to accessorize your outfits with something unique. When in doubt, go simple on the dress and add a pop of color with your purse for an elevated and bold look.

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Belts: Belts aren't just for keeping your pants up; they can make any outfit more polished. Narrow or wide, simple or embellished—belts are the easiest way to define your waistline and make any outfit look stylish. Winter Accessories: Scarves, hats, and gloves protect you from the cold and can be a way to add color and patterns to your outerwear look. For example, if you're wearing neutral winter outerwear, like a black or brown coat, knit a bright-colored scarf to add personality to your look.

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How to Accessorize: 4 Tips for Choosing Accessories

Accessorizing is all about balance, and the right accessories can make even the most basic outfit look glam.

1. Pick a staple accessory. When you're overwhelmed by choice, pick one statement piece that makes you feel great and that you can wear with everything. When you're ready to add more accessories, create balance by choosing one piece to lead the outfit in terms of size, then layer on more subtle accessories. For example, a bold ring or a statement necklace is a smart choice when you're starting out; then layer on more subtle items like bracelets or necklaces in rich neutrals or complementary tones.

2. Incorporate colors and patterns: Accessories can add a pop of color to your wardrobe. Vibrant, exciting accessories can bring life to a simple outfit. If you feel Bright colors and animal prints feel challenging to work into your wardrobe, try pairing them with a solid or neutral-colored outfit. It'll elevate your look.

3. Use accessories to transform an outfit. Jewelry, accessories, and shoes can easily take an outfit from work to play. For example, a basic black dress looks professional when paired with a blazer and flats, but ditch the blazer, swap the flats for stilettos, and add a pair of statement earrings or a cocktail ring, and you're ready for a night out. Have an idea of what accessories you want to incorporate into your wardrobe if something comes up on short notice.

4. Accessories don't need to match. Matching accessories tend to read more conservative than fashion-forward. To start, try adding one colorful accessory to a base of neutrals. Then, use the color wheel to get ideas for bold color combinations.

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