Editor’s note: This is regular series in which we help Styling You readers solve a particular wardrobe or clothing crisis with a little advice and some shopping suggestions. If you think you’d like to be considered as part of a Wardrobe Boot Camp post, then please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a couple of photos and a brief run down of what specific help you would like.
Eula is a 38-year-old fashion designer, the creative lady behind the workwear separates label Natasha Rais. She wants some tips on how to start incorporating jewellery into her day-to-day outfits.
I would like some advice on how to do jewellery. I am 38 years old and have never really been into or known how to add jewellery to an outfit with panache. I don’t really know why because my mum and sister have always been right into it – but I just haven’t. I don’t have my ears pierced and I have sensitive skin so I can’t wear a lot of costume jewellery metals without getting skin irritations. As a result I don’t really like the smell of metal. Weird I know.
Don’t get me wrong – I love looking at images of expensive gems and arty pieces in magazines but who can afford anything like that! I do like the idea of adding polish to an outfit with a little something. I’d really appreciate advice on how to go about this – for a real beginner who wants to dabble without spending too much. Attached is a photo of me. This is also a good indication of my casual wardrobe – jeans, a nice shirt, flats or heels depending on how much walking I’m going to be doing. I would be looking for pieces that are going to translate from a corporate work wardrobe across to a casual one.
1. It’s all about baby steps. Start with this aim in mind: add just ONE accessory to your outfit every day.
2. The best way to ensure that you make that one strategic move every morning is to have your accessory collection visible and within easy reach for a quick add-on as you’re running out the door.
3. I would start initially with necklaces. A necklace adds instant impact. Once you’ve created the accessory habit, your confidence to add one, two, three or more pieces will develop.
4. Use accessories to create focal points for people’s eyes to stop at. Think of your entire outfit like a dot-to-dot activity. People’s eyes will be drawn to the top dots and they’ll cross over your outfit all the way down to your shoes. And then they’ll come back up again following those same dots.
5. Your pieces should complement each other but they don’t have to be an exact match. Experiment and have fun with different combinations of colours and textures.
6. It’s possible to build an accessories collection on a budget. Think independent retailers, markets and etsy as starting points where you can find quality pieces at a fraction of the price of big labels. Don’t discount the costume jewellery stores either but do “feel” each piece. Some look as cheap as their price tag; others could easily fool most fashion experts.
7. Got your eye on some more expensive, arty pieces? Subscribe via email or social media to your favourite designers. The offers that come through can see you saving big dollars off a piece you may have been lusting after. I consider these investment buys – they are works of art and will never date.
1. Alexandra Redmond necklace $119 | 2. 1&20 Blackbirds necklace $5.99 @ The Iconic | 3. Cat Hammill necklace $59.95 | 4. Elk necklace $30 | 5. Lovisa necklace $16.99 | 6. Vivid Jewellery necklace $20 @ Piper Jordan | 7. Ruby Olive necklace $45 | 8. Vivid Jewellery necklace $25 @ Piper Jordan | 9. Ruby Olive necklace $35
Do you have any tips for Eula? Where have you found fabulous jewellery without breaking the budget?