Accessorize Like a Pro!

Accessories 102: Theme Beauty Bundles

Change the Feeling or Vibe of Any Outfit in a SNAP!

Happy day, sweet reader!

I hope someone has told you today how special you are! If not, take it from me. You are to me! I hope that you are special to you, too!

Back in April (Which now seems like a lifetime ago.), I wrote the first Accessorize Like a Pro post about Beauty Bundles in which I focused on bundles of the color variety and dropped a mention of Theme Bundles. What I didn’t expect was Sally in St. Paul’s interest in Theme Bundles! Since she asked and I’m sure others of you have the same question, but didn’t, today let’s dig into Theme Bundles.

This it tricky, because in a much earlier Beauty Bundle post, I lumped two different kinds of Theme Bundles together, that I now find it necessary to un-lump. The first we will continue to call Theme Bundles (as explained below) and the other we’ll call Design Bundles. (They play by their own set of rules, and that’s where my pesky polka-dot bundle will end up!)

A Themed Beauty Bundle is a grouping of accessories that share a common thread, that might not have anything to do with color. Normally, when you pull a theme bundle together, you will find some color cohesion, because certain themes tend to certain colors. Unless you have a rainbow themed bundle, then all bets are off!

One of my favorite things is to help a client pull together one or two theme bundles. It really helps them see their accessories in a new light, and makes choosing a grouping to add to an outfit less fraught! Theme bundles are also great for packing or if you a looking to simplify, to pull together an accessories capsule for a season. Summer’s capsule is coming soon, and along with it, a new grouping of accessories!

Rock ‘n Roll & Capri Bundles

Themed Beauty Bundles are exceptionally good at varying the mood of an outfit. Imagine a pair of classic jeans and white tee. Add some items from a Rock ‘n Roll bundle, and you will get a very different feeling than if you paired the same jeans and tee with the items from my Staycation in Capri bundle. The Capri bundle below is from another summer that I did NOT go to Capri… But I pretended! (I’m seeing a theme, here.) You can see how theme bundles play out in this old Jeans + White Tee post… With some outerwear thrown in for good measure!

Let’s do another video demonstrating the power of three bundles: The Rock ‘n Roll, The Mod and the Preppy. (Yes, all the preppy bundle items are still in my wardrobe, but you would never see me wearing them together unless I was going to a costume party… My prepster days are long behind me!)

Preppy & Mod Bundles

Since you’ve seen the basics of my Rock n’ Roll bundle; here are the Preppy and Mod bundles from the video…

South(?)Western & Faith Bundles

Let’s try some other themes on for size. (Or should I say style?) How about a Western/Southwestern themed bundle or a faith bundle? I’ve been known to pile on all the faith pieces when I need some extra comfort, a different kind of comfort than I get from my Sentimental Jewelry.

Tips for Theme Bundles

Yes, wearing all the items in one theme bundle might feel costume-y, especially if it’s a large bundle, but think of your theme bundle as a style pantry. Pull out just the ingredients you need to spice up one outfit recipe. Start with three pieces from the bundle. If that doesn’t seem to be making the statement you’d like, add another one or two at a time until you get where you want to be! Some themes, like the Rock ‘n Roll, lend themselves to excess. Others, like the Mod, tend to more restraint. You do you!

How About You?

Do you group clothes or accessories by “feeling” or theme? How about accessories? Does this concept help you look at your accessories in a different way? Or find items that “go together” more easily? It may sound very outfit mentality to pull these together, but remember, these are fluid. You don’t need to keep them together, and any one piece might fit into a number of bundles! I would challenge you to spend 15 minutes playing with your accessories and see what kind of bundles you come up with. Maybe you’ll find a beach theme, a nature them or a glitz theme? Then come back and tell me; I can’t wait to hear what themes you find!

Stylishly yours,


  • Sally in St Paul

    Now that you have separated out the polka dot bundle to focus on these theme bundles, providing a terrific array of examples, this makes a lot of sense! I get a feel here that a theme bundle often contains items that relate to a certain style persona that has a sense of a particular place, era, and/or role. I started brainstorming a list of possible personas/themes and it got pretty long very quickly!

    Takeaway #1: I like the idea of having us start playing around with what we have and seeing what bundles arise from trying different items together, then documenting those bundles to have a set of pieces you can quickly add to a basic outfit or relatively persona-neutral outfit (if that makes sense) to give it a vibe. Solid shop the closet strategy and decision fatigue reduction strategy all in one. I’m absolutely sure I have several in my closet right now that I just need to put together and make note of.

    Takeaway #2: This process can also help us identify near-bundles that would benefit from adding another piece to create a coherent set to use over and over again. This can provide a bit of direction when shopping, especially for us magpies! I like adding a “boho” vibe to summer outfits, but I don’t have a pair of shoes that fits the bill, so that’s a piece I could think about (oooh, espadrilles!). If I were to decide that (1) I have most of the makings of a “Mod” bundle and (2) that I would really enjoy having a full 3-piece “Mod” bundle to add to basic outfits, that would give me reason to consider purchasing a pair of white, pointy-toed boots (an item I’ve been on the fence about). But if I’m feeling a bit meh about a “Mod” bundle, that would be a reason to forgo those boots. (I think I’m going to forgo those boots.)

    Takeaway #3: There might be style personas/themes I would enjoy having the option to add, but that aren’t very represented in my wardrobe yet. The top-of-mind example of this for me is a “steampunk” bundle. That could be a fun one to research and make plans for as I think about how it would intersect with the pieces I already have. (I am currently without a pair of heeled Oxfords that could work across “steampunk” and “geek chic librarian” bundles. I would love to design and put together a charm necklace/neck mess for a “steampunk” bundle. And you *know* that Victorian Alice in Wonderland with its rabbits and clocks would be in there somewhere…)

    Takeaway #4 comes in conjunction with your video selecting jewelry for your spring capsule: Think about what kind of theme bundle(s) might help achieve the overall look I’m going for. In other words, instead of starting with what accessories I have as my basis, instead go the other way around: decide what end result I want to get, make note of what clothing I already own, and determine what kind of bundles would mix with that clothing to achieve the desired result. Your observation that the lighter colors gives your clothing capsule a more feminine feel that you like to balance with some darker, edgier pieces really resonated with me! A lot of my clothing slants very feminine and I am often looking for ways to…cut the sweetness, let’s say. So I could see how building out a very robust “edgy” bundle would be useful for my wardrobe. I think a bundle with a “masculine professorial” vibe would also get a lot of use balancing out my more feminine pieces. Definitely there are aspects of my proposed “steampunk” bundle that would work wonders here too. By contrast, more feminine-leaning bundles (“princess” or “retro 50s” or “flashy diva”) might get less use because my clothing already exudes femininity, so bundles with that vibe might be lower priority to build or ones to skip over entirely. (If I already have the makings of a “retro 50s bundle,” I could still document it for times, say, I want to add a feminine flair to a more masculine or sporty/relaxed outfit. A lot of my clothing is feminine, but not all of it, nor is every outfit feminine. I just wouldn’t necessarily prioritize building up this bundle any further.)

    This comment is REALLY LONG. But I am a talk-thinker (type-thinker) so this has helped me make sense of my thoughts. I hope that these ideas might resonate or spark thinking in other readers as well.

    • Liz K

      Thank you, SO much, Sally for your comment! I’m glad the post and video resonated with you and gave you such clear #takeaways. That’s my goal! As to Takeaway #4, YESSSS! Each season as I plan my capsule, the end is always the starting place. How do I want to feel/look. What mood or vibe feels right for me this season? What do I have coming up and how can my wardrobe support me? Sounds like a great heeled oxford is now on your wardrobe wish list! You might change your mind about those white boots… I have a Mod bundle post on the docket for next month! 😉 Glad to be of help! PS: Not to flog a point, but I think you would love the Style Subscription! You’ll get a year’s worth of this kind of goodness and more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.