I have started a long and beautiful relationship, with accessories.
At first, I was a little scared. Accessorising, for me, used to mean finding a simple clutch or heel to match an outfit. Now, it’s a love affair!
It’s finding a glamourous heel to complement your outfit, a bag in a wild shape that brings that extra bit of oomph to your styling, earrings that take centre stage, or a cluster of brooches that add a whole new feature to an otherwise bare neckline.
And it’s not just me, there seems to be a movement. It began getting noticed when Christie Nicolaides earrings, that were a lot bigger and more extravagant than the usual seen earring were popping up everywhere.
Then clutches and bags changed. Simple, hand held clutches have taken a step aside, making way for more quirky and interesting designs. It’s super simple to DIY some features onto your own clutches too.
Ladies have loved beautiful luxurious shoes forever, but now they’re having fun incorporating them into their race day looks. Never have I seen more beautiful shoes than those that grace the stage of a FOTF runway.
So in this post, I’m going to share some tips on how to choose your accessories. I’ll also show you some of my favourite brands for earrings, necklaces, bags, brooches and shoes that I’m loving right now.
The Art of Accessorising
Having been a judge, I can tell you that styling with the right accessories is of utmost importance. Sometimes it can come down to the smallest details when deciding between sashes.
Working out what accessories to wear with an outfit is not easy. There are just SO MANY options out there! Your accessories can change the feel of your look completely.
For example, you could choose modern, vintage, quirky, extravagant, relaxed or subtle accessories.
And then there’s the matter of colour. What colour do you pick from your outfit to tie in the accessories? Or do you choose accessories in a whole new colour altogether?
Are your accessories the feature? Or is your dress busy enough, only needing some simple touches here and there?
Accessories – Too Much or Not Enough?
Accessorising a Plain Outfit
When you have a plain outfit the best way to make it pop or stand out is by using your accessories to ‘do all the talking’.
Emma always does a fantastic job of this. She chooses a stylish structured white dress (or any other plain colour) and uses accessories to add interest. She always has a pair of quirky heels to suit, or a funky clutch. (Have you guys seen her dinosaur and flying pig bag?)
Cobie does really well adding in a pop of colour to a plain coloured dress. In the following two photos you can see how she has styled her navy dress with two different colours, which both work perfectly.
Accessorising a Busy Outfit
If your outfit already has a lot going on in terms of a bold print, a bunch of textures or focal points and detailed millinery, then sometimes a plain clutch and shoes are the way to go. Anything more and you could look too busy, or mismatched.
Georgia’s two outfits are made of a very bold and bright print, which is a statement in itself. Her choice of simple black accessories and millinery was all that these looks needed.
Elis always has unique and bright race day outfits. She knows to opt for understated accessories that don’t take away from her outfit, which takes the lead role.
When accessorising an outfit, plain or busy, it’s important to make sure the different accessories suit.
Sometimes there is no golden rule, but the best way is to simply try on a combination of accessories. If you don’t own the accessories you want to try with your outfit, you can always use PicCollage to get a good idea of how it will work together.
Using Accessories to ‘Theme’ your Outfit
You can also use accessories to determine the theme or genre you are going for.
Go for a modern look, with on trend accessories, or make your look vintage with something more from the era, like a hand held bag and vintage brooch. Accessories can make your look quirky, fun or classic.
Here’s some examples of how accessories were used to theme the outfit…
Helen has gone for a classic, vintage look here and with the help of her hand held bag and mesh gloves, she mastered the look.
Nadia also played on her 1950’s theme by incorporating a parasol.
Milly stuck to a quirky, fun theme to suit her pineapple turban by adding a green wooden basket clutch and pineapple earrings.
Courtney was able to go with a retro nautical look by spicing up her white mesh dress with a ‘Bon Voyage’ wide brim boater and ship clutch with two gold buttons on her dress.
Tips for Choosing the Colour of your Accessories
When deciding what colour accessories to choose, either select a colour from your outfit, or bring in a completely new colour altogether.
Say I had a colourful print dress, I can then pick out any of the colours from the print to use in my accessories and millinery.
There is no rule saying that your shoes and clutch must be the same colour. You can mix it up, as Brooke did above with a teal clutch and red pumps. She could have chosen a combination of colours.
Sometimes though, if you have a lot going on in terms of prints, colours and textures, keeping your accessories all one colour can work as a sort of ‘framing’ technique.
Kim has a brightly coloured dress and so is her millinery. She also has texture added through the tassels in her shawl. By keeping her shoes, clutch and the base of her millinery, red, it helps to tone down the overall look and balance it out.
Similar to what Kim has done above, Lindsay has a floral printed dress, and did a fabulous job of taking her outfit to the next level with the use of all black accessories and a fur shawl.
You can accessorise in one singular colour to add to the outfit and not make it clash or makes things too busy.
If you have a plain coloured dress, you can pretty much pick out any colour to mix it with (as long as the colours don’t clash).
I love in the below photo how Helen has added a pop of green, more of a statement than if she had gone with a maroon bag, to match the shoes and millinery. Very smart choice.
In this photo, the pop of red with the green really stands out and looks so fresh. She looks like a flower. Beautiful.
Bec chose a deep purple to pair with her yellow dress, a colour combination I wouldn’t have thought of, but that works surprisingly well! Bec hasn’t incorporated the purple anywhere else in her outfit but it doesn’t look out of place, as the millinery itself is a big feature.
Annabel’s red lace dress is offset by her powder blue accessories. These colours are opposite on the colour wheel, but work so perfectly together. The contrast is what makes this outfit a total stand out.