Nancy Nix-Rice has been writing about a basic wardrobe over the last few weeks. (I’m planning posts on possible patterns).
Unusually, Nancy also makes suggestions for accessories.
And using accessory colours to integrate the colours of the clothes.
Easier but not essential if the neutrals are related colours, such as dark brown/ camel, plum/ dusty rose, black/ grey.
If you don’t look good in strong contrasts, use darker and lighter rather than dark and light.
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Nancy’s accessory suggestions are :
Belt : dark neutral [reversible to light neutral]
Shoes : dark neutral
Shoes 2 (optional) : light neutral
Bag/ purse : dark neutral with light neutral trim
Big bag/ tote : dark neutral
Scarf 1 : dark neutral + light neutral (+ a touch of black if you have it in your wardrobe)
Scarf 2 : dark neutral + light neutral + accent colour (+ mid neutral optional)
Scarf 3 (if adding 2nd accent colour) : both neutrals + both accent colours.
Pashmina shawl (optional) : both neutrals + accent colour
Necklace 1 : dark neutral + light neutral
Necklace 2 (optional) : mainly dark neutral
Necklace 3 (if adding 2nd accent colour) : both accent colours
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Socks / stockings/ tights/ pantyhose need to co-ordinate in colour as well.
For a current look, how about adding some leggings or opaque tights (don’t know what they’re called in the US) in one of your 3 key colours. Or in another accent colour if you’ve got the legs for it 😀
This season you can wear ankle length leggings even under a calf length skirt.
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For a current casual look : big scarves are a good way of adding character to a simple outfit. In flattering colours they draw attention to your face. There’s several marvellous scarf tying videos at Eileen Fisher.
And there’s a fun YouTube video on scarf tying.
The colour, pattern and texture of scarves usually make them the focal point of an outfit.
3.1 Phillip Lim has a different approach this season. He uses scarves made from the same fabric as the garment they’re worn with. Good idea for using fabric scraps ?
For a current business look : instead of neutral accessories wear strong colours to brighten up classic neutral outfits. Big bags and shoes in red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple. See my post on classics for work. Though make sure there’s something else about your outfit that draws attention to you, not to your bag and shoes 😀
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UK Vogue says the accessory styles for winter 2011/12 are :
Add touches of sequins or fur as current trims.
Changing from big tote to one of these Mini bags could be an easy way of going from work to dressy.
Hats are usually in a dark neutral or an accent colour. Choose an accent colour that makes your skin look good. I find a light neutral more flattering – reflects more light on your face.
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Accessories are a good way of introducing your own style when wearing basics.
What are your personal favourite accessories ? see brief thoughts in my post on a personal wardrobe plan (about 2/3 of the way through).
And what is your personal style for jewellery ? I prefer bracelets and pins/ brooches to necklaces or earrings. But they’re not so effective for bringing attention to your face. I prefer collars for that. And there’s a huge variety of possible styles for each jewellery item – dainty or striking, angular or curved, modern or antique, in different materials. . .
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There’s a good discussion strand on accessories at Stitcher’s Guild.
All this has made me think. I realise I don’t usually consider accessories at all. I used to be a bag person, but not since I stopped working. I also used to wear a collection of brooches in different styles, to add a touch of ‘quirky’ to professional clothes.
If we follow Nancy’s advice, it’s the scarves and jewellery in the right mix of colours that we need to keep an eye open for !
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Links available August 2011
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Next week I’m planning to learn the latest Photoshop Elements. I’ve been using Version 2 and this is Version 9! Then hopefully there will begin to be images again 😀