Accessories

2017’s Top 5’s Accessories

Last week I shared my Top 5 most worn wardrobe pieces, and thought to address accessories, since they are where the fun in my wardrobe comes out to play. Realistically, I need to break this down into jewelry, scarves and bags, and shoes. Picking just five total would probably make me cry! As I mentioned before, my clothes are pretty basic and unassuming (part of my heavily Classic personality type) but I have magpie tendencies that find their sartorial expression in my “extras.” I again warn you, dear reader, that some of the images here come from my phone, so the quality is iffy! I am curious as to whether my most worn pieces match up with my personal Must Have’s that I published earlier in the year. Let’s see how that worked!

Jewelry

I thought I would have to preface this section with a disclaimer about my “dealer” (as my better half calls my friend) who sells Premier Designs Jewelry, but since my PD stash gives my wardrobe its immense variety, those pieces don’t show up in my most worn 5. The old standards that are mixed and matched with them do! I am not including my everyday watch or religious necklace in my five, because they are worn almost daily. Even if the necklace isn’t visible, it’s usually still inside my clothing. So for the sparkles you can see…

Hammered Silver Hoops  I don’t remember when I bought mine, but I think it was back when I was living in Maryland, and working in Bethesda, at the NIH. That would have been in the early 90’s. They have certainly earned their keep! I still love them, and they are my default when wearing a scarf because they are an endless hoop that doesn’t catch in the folds. Their round shape also harmonizes with the polka dot patterns I love, and other curved details I wear. (This pair is similar to mine…)

Silver Prehistoric Hammer Earrings  Circa 2005… A souvenir from Stonehenge (when we lived in England). If I am not wearing the hoops, these are likely to be in my ears. At the time, I remember thinking the price was a bit much to pay for a little silver earring, but they have been worth every penny. They are quite small, and have a subtle brushed finish, so they mix and match with almost any other silver jewels I may wear. These and the hoops above are the first things to go into my jewelry bag any time we travel.

Turquoise Bead Bracelet  This stretchy little number was picked up on Amazon some time last year. I wanted an inexpensive colored bracelet or two to help carry color back from my feet to my face; I already had turquoise shoes, scarves, and necklaces, so this made a good middle point for the eye. This strategy gives a simple outfit intentionality, and creates a polished look. I think of it as the Power of 3. The wrist or waist is a good point between feet and face to keep the eye moving upwards!

Small Gold Hoops  For the same reason I love my silver hoops, this smaller version goes with almost any gold jewelry I wear. Having a cool complexion, I usually opt for silver jewelry as it flatters my skin much better than gold. I have some sentimental gold pieces that I love, and like to wear gold tones mixed with silver in the fall for a warmer twist. The fall shades of gold and brass give my warm weather clothing the more autumnal look and feel that I like when the weather is still so hot but I want a change for the season. These have been in my jewelry box since 10th or 11th grade… (See, I can still fit into something I’ve had since high school!)

Silver Oval Bangles  These have also been in my jewelry box since time immemorial. I know they were a Christmas gift from my parents. I have very small wrists, and most bangles fall off. These oval lovelies (one twisted, one plain) don’t rattle around as much as a round bangle would, and sit nicely above my watch. The turquoise bead bracelet gets to play with these two regularly, as I find I wear bracelets in 3’s or 5’s.

Scarves and Bags

Sea Green Tote  I don’t know what rock I was living under last spring, but when I found this incredibly well made leather tote (for a great price) on Amazon, I did not notice that it was an Hermes “rip-off.” I generally avoid the whole issue because I don’t like to buy designer imitations, and the real thing is not in my budget or values. I spent a few weeks trying to choose a color, and decided to go bold and not beige, (or at least NOT a neutral!) and make it one of my Spring/Summer 5. Even if it’s not “the real thing,” the color makes me happy, and is far more versatile than I ever imagined. It looks great with all my neutrals, and blends well anytime I am wearing my Turquoise/Teal accents, so it’s win. It could be a large purse, or a small tote, but it doesn’t overwhelm my petite frame. The wide bottom prevents tip over, and I prefer the short handles to a long shoulder strap. (So does my MD!) The only drawback is the single snap closure, but since I organize most of my gear in bags within my bag, that’s not too much of an issue.

Berry Tote  My love for Sea Green Tote made me rethink neutral (safe) totes, and I was looking for a larger tote to carry gear for work. This bag went on my Fall/Winter 5 wish list, and stayed there, so I hunted down one at a price I was willing to pay on Ebay. It turned out to be larger than I thought (measurements can be deceiving–even when you cut out a mock-up), so is not an everyday bag, but it is fan.tastic. for hauling around folders, books, and swatches for work. I would never carry it on a Personal Shopping trip with a client, but it’s great for almost all other work related hauling, and I can see using it for a travel tote, too!

Pink Polka Dot Neckerchief  This scarf wins most worn hands down over all others, and it’s an inexpensive little scarf from the clearance bin at Charming Charlie. Neckerchiefs are a signature piece for me, and this one brightens up my mostly neutral wardrobe and adds some mischief and spunk to plain old jeans and a tee. It’s an outfit maker all on its own. The polyester chiffon is not the coolest, but it is very lightweight. I can swish it out in the sink when it gets sweaty, and it dries in a New York Minute. And yes, I wear it with jewelry, too! (Yes… those are the earrings from 2005.)

Black Polka Dot Neckerchief/Jeweltone Paisley Silk Scarf  These two tied for second place in the scarf category. I just couldn’t decide! The black polka dots are a great value contrast creator when I wear light or jewel toned tops, and the touch of black lifts the eye back to the portrait area when I (infrequently) wear black shoes. If I had not done the Baker’s Dozen Challenge in the fall, I don’t think the paisley silk scarf would have had such heavy wear, but that challenge was a game changer in more ways than one. It reminded my how much happier I am with a carefully curated closet, and it made me step out of my usual accessories routine to give my outfits a little extra snap. (There it is hiding in the berry tote photo!)

Shoes

Grey Flats with Buckle Ornament   I bought my grey flats at Talbot’s on sale, and a second pair from the $19.99 clearance shoe table at our local store a few months later because they were getting so much wear. They look like a cross between a pilgrim buckle, a loafer, and a ballet flat. I wear them with just about everything, trousers, jeans, skirts, dresses, and even shorts. Since they are the same color as my hair, they are the most practical color shoe I can own. I wear my hair everywhere, and the grey shoes create a natural “top and tail” effect. Win-win!

Teal Suede Wedges and Turquoise Sandals  I wasn’t sure what I was thinking when I bought these (also on the clearance table) but both turned into winners. Turquoise/teal is one of my two accent colors, and looks great all seasons of the year with my neutrals (grey, navy/denim, white). I have always loved turquoise jewelry, and these look fabulous with both silver and gold jewelry.

Beauty Bundle: Jade/MintMint Peep Toe Mary Janes  Last January, my husband bought me a beautiful jade bracelet for my birthday. It was not a color I thought I had anywhere in my wardrobe, but when I started to dig, I found a scarf of the same minty jade color. I decided to splash out and create a small mint Beauty Bundle. I set a max of $50 (I didn’t want to spend a fortune on an experiment), and kept my eye out for minty-jade colored pieces. I picked up a very inexpensive pair of earrings and a bag, and have since been gifted another scarf and necklace. When I saw the peeptoes at Goody Two Shoes, it felt like a confirmation of my new color interest. I love how the mint looks with my neutrals, and it feels cool and fresh in our really hot summers. This shade looks like a very light turquoise, so I suppose it’s still in the same family with my teals and turquoises. This color experiment was what gave me the courage to splash out on Sea Green Tote (and it looks great with these other pieces!) The bag here has gone on to another home.

Pink Medallion Flats  Closed-toe fabric shoes (not satin or lace) read as more casual than leather shoes of the same style, so my pointy toed flats that combine both pink and burgundy were an easy choice. Mine are closed and structured, so are still work appropriate. They coordinate with all my pinks and wines, and add a pop of color to my neutrals in an unexpected way. I’ll even pattern mix and wear them with my pink neckerchief… No, the colors are not the same, but I’m not holding my feet up near my neck when I run around town, so who’s going to notice? It’s about blending, not matching!

Looking back to My Wardrobe Musts, it looks like I have covered all the non-clothing pieces here (#s 4, 5, 8, &9)! What are your favorite accessories? Do you mix them up, or are they your everyday old-faithfuls? Please share in the comments below! I love to hear from you…

And thank you to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for the Link-Up!

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