Unlock your style in 14 days: Accessories are the icing on your outfit cake. www.stylingyou.com.au

Unlock your style in 14 days: Accessories are the icing on your outfit cake

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 40 Comments

You know I’m accessories obsessed, don’t you?

Too many big cocktail rings, statement necklaces or chandelier earrings are never enough.

My shoe collection almost needs its own room. And I can always justify a new bag purchase.

See, not only do accessories ALWAYS fit but they have the power to take your outfit from meh to marvellous in one swift move.

Which means they have the super powers when it comes to taking your confidence levels from zero to hero.

Accessories are also the most budget friendly way to update existing wardrobe pieces.

Remember those wardrobe basics we talked about? They love getting a little zesty with a well-chosen accessory. Even the show ponies love a little accessory action.

In fact today’s challenge to you is to make sure you add at least ONE accessory to your outfit every day.

Accessories are the icing on your outfit cake

It doesn’t seem so difficult when you break it down to just one, does it?

Too often we get caught up in thinking we’ve got to adorne ourselves from head to toe to win at this accessorising game. And that’s not to say we can’t do just that. I’m not adverse to that.

It’s just often that thought can be a stumbling block to adding any accessories at all. Suddenly it all seems too hard when it need not be.

And 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.

How you organise your accessories will depend on how big your collection is, how much space you have to store it and what types of accessories you have most of but here are some ideas that might get you inspired. There are also some ideas here as well.

Once you’ve created the accessory habit, your confidence to add one, two, three or more pieces will develop. It will.

Unlock your style in 14 days: Accessories are the icing on your outfit cake. www.stylingyou.com.au

What you want to do with accessories you’re adding is 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.

If I’m in a social situation, I like to control the dots, if you like, and keep the eyes front and centre. To do this I will often wear statement earrings or necklace and then either cocktail rings or bracelets on my right hand (the one that’s usually wrapped around a champers in these situations).

We have moved on from the matchy-matchy scenario of earrings needing to match necklace, needing to match rings, needing to match bracelets, needing to match shoes, needing to match bags. You get my drift?

Yes 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.

If you have sentimental silver or gold jewellery you wear every day this doesn’t have to be a stumbling block to adding a statement pieces as well. Scarves work particularly well here – summer and winter – for adding that extra layer and taking your outfit to the next level.

When shopping for new accessories, work to your budget, creating and building on your collection with every purchase.

My collection includes everything from cheap and cheerful buys through to true collectable pieces. I treasure these collectable pieces as much as I do artworks because that’s what I believe they are and why I’m happy to spend more on them. Cost per wear they will be in my wardrobe forever.

How are you with accessorising? Got it sorted? Questions for me?

Archive posts for more information

Four ways to wear a scarf

How to wear statement rings

How to organise your accessories

Style work

1.  Look at the way you store your existing accessories. Are they tucked away out of sight and therefore out of mind? Think how you could change this to make it easier for you to use your accessories.

2.  Create the accessory habit. Start today but vowing to add one accessory to your outfit before you step out the door. Do this for one week and you’ll find it will become second nature.

3.  If accessories are now on your shopping list, then have fun with your choices.

PS. Don’t forget if you want to share any of your progress along the way via photos, you can upload them in the comments or share via Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #unlockyourstyle and make sure you tag me so I can find it (@stylingyou). Facebook uploads to my page are welcome  too.




** The Styling You Holiday Style Camp {Unlock Your Style in 14 Days} is based on the Styling You Manifesto. If you don’t have your own, you can download it here. I’ll also be giving away a proper printed Styling You Manifesto from The Smile Collective every day to the reader who catches my eye with their comments and participation.

Unlock Your Style in 14 Days (Day 4 manifesto winner): Jodi Gibson. Jodi, could you please email me your postal address: [email protected]

Comments 40

  1. I have embraced the monochrome trend this season for a few weddings. I have a striped black and white top! Quite daring… But help! how do I accessorise with stripes!?

  2. I love necklaces but I usually end up taking the necklace off because it doesn’t look “right” with the top. I struggle working out what style of necklace suits v neck, scoop or boat neck styles. At the moment my necklaces spend most of their time hanging on my dressing table mirror as decorations!

  3. I have recently embraced accessories as I said the other day. I tweeted you a pic of this awesome brass tree I got from Christmas. It is on a long chain and I struggle to get a long necklace to look good with an outfit. Is there any guidelines on different lengths of necklaces vs necklines etc? Thanks always for the inspiration

  4. This is my stumbling block and one I must conquer. Accessories scare me as I am always uncertain of choosing the right piece. I have only just caught up with this series again tonight, so I will make a point of being brave tomorrow and adding something to my outfit tomorrow. Thanks for making me think again Nikki!

  5. I am really enjoying reading about the changes other women are making in their every day as a result of this boot camp. Thanks Nikki for motivating us to make happy little changes.

    I wear accessories every day too. I am MAD about bracelets/bangles and can’t remember ever not wearing them, probably since I was a very small girl. My 10 yo daughter has caught the bug and usually wears 2 or 3 bangles/bracelets each day too- but not to school 🙁 I have a fine collection of lovely long, dangly earrings and I find it difficult (well impossible) to resist buying beautiful beads/necklaces.

    My bracelets, and growing collection of brooches, are kept on my dressing table in gorgeous colourful porcelain bowls, earrings are on a magical and quite large tree-shaped stand and my beads are on small peg hooks that hang around my dressing table (sorted by colour). All are on display, never to be missed!

    I’m going to work on the dot-to-dot activity idea. Makes good sense. And I need some handbags. I was admiring an orange Wayne Cooper bag today! Think I might get it.

  6. I wear accessories every day – earrings that are medium dangly and a bit different, a colourful bead necklace if my top is plain, and a bangle and watch. I take more care with my handbag choices these days too. I need a bigger wardrobe though – my shoes are stored in a messy heap! – preferably one without sliding doors (they offer no extra hanging space!). My husband, bless him, he might not be able to choose lingerie 😉 but he did buy me a solid freestanding full-length mirror last Xmas which has little hanging bars on each side, where I hang my bags and scarves which are in season. I need to borrow half my six year old’s wardrobe space I think….I wonder where I picked up that hint?! xx

  7. I have my dangly earrings, necklaces and flower brooches on a huge tree wall feature where I can see everything. My scarves are on a hanger from Ikea on my bedroom door, and my hats are also on a tree like standing feature. Its my rings, stud earrings and bangles that I forget to wear because they are not visible. Im going to add some kitchen towel rolls and the Freedom perspex drawers to my shopping date! Such great ideas. I used to have those plastic shoe boxes to keep my shoes dust free but I found I could not see them and forgot I had them. Now they are in those Ikea shoe hangers in the wardrobe and I find I wear more of them this way.

  8. I was beginning to wonder the other day how useful this was going to be, given that I’m weeks off a shopping trip. But I noticed this morning that you are inspiring me Nikki. I was chosing clothes this morning and was leaning towards a white t-shirt, but decided to embrace colour, with a t-shirt that I’ve owned for years but hasn’t seen itself out of the cupboard this summer yet. A lovely pinky purple number. And I feel like I’m owning it. Then I made the decision to update the hair from a mumsy ponytail to something similar (i hope anyway) to what I saw yesterday along the lines of a messy up do thing (kinda like a french roll, but much much more trendy and beachy looking). And after reading this post my daughter and I went and picked accessories – a bundle of silver bangles I’ve owned since my pre-teen years and rescued recently from my parents house and a simple pair of diamonte studs. Not much, but its a definite improvement. Thank you so much Nikki for making me feel much less mumsy today!

    1. Brilliant Bronwyn and yes, that’s the key. Really looking and loving what you already have (well the pieces that make you feel good) and seeing them with fresh eyes again. Trust me, when it comes to shopping, you’ll then feel a whole lot more confident about it.

  9. i think a lot of us have been waiting for the accessory post! i was excited to see it here this morning! i’ve got my mum along for the unlock your style ride with me (we’ve made our shopping appointment) and i’ve been talking to her to about trying the whole ‘accessorising thing’. so i’m happy she’ll see this post and hear it from someone else than me!
    i am loving accessorising and have really been taking note on what other women wear and getting inspiration from them. loving your floral pants outfit here nikki! x

    1. I suspected they were waiting for this post Bec – and I love that you’ve got your mum on board too. Hopefully she can see that it is baby steps and not wholesale change but those baby steps can make all the difference!

  10. Nikki, it’s like you were inside my head this morning!
    I got dressed in my usual workwear, then stopped and looked at myself in the mirror. I just wasn’t feeling that ‘I am amazing and could leap over tall buildings’ feeling that I am learning I should be trying to achieve more often. So I got changed. Off went the bland beige workshirt, and out came a white cami with a blue over-cardigan. Not content to stop there, I added a big chunky blue glass necklace, which was given to me as a birthday present a couple of years ago and, including today, I have worn 5 times. I feel incredible just by adding some colour and accent pieces to my outfit, and I have already been complimented twice today on how good I look. This has made me feel like I can make the right choices to balance who I am with what’s appropriate for work, and I will definitely be adding to my accessory collection (which is fairly pathetic really, and needs some vamping up!).
    This bootcamp is teaching me to listen to my inner voice, and let my personality shine in the outfits I wear – and it’s making me smile every day. Looking forward to what comes next!

    1. Oh Marianne – that’s brought tears to my eyes. This is exactly the shift I want people to experience. To realise that they’re worth the little extra attention because it will pay off in confidence 10-fold!

  11. I found accessories really hard but have followed your advice Nikki and I am getting there. Rings and watches were never my problem by necklaces I still struggle with but I have found displaying them makes them much easier to wear. I thought I would share how I I would do that. It is just a cheap rail from Ikea with some hooks and a couple of baskets (I think it is in the kitchen section). It doesn’t take up much space and as my accessories get brighter so does my wall.

    1. I have been trying to upload a photo but I can’t get the photo to upload here … I will try Facebook for anyone that is interested.

  12. I am a self confessed accessories freak – there I’ve admitted it!
    For me adding a ring, necklace earrings or a scarf (sometimes they all come out to play together) stamps your own personal style to any outfit.
    I’m like a magpie and partial to anything that sparkles, but alas it doesn’t stop there. I have a dedicated gorgeous creamed painted 4 draw chest just for scarves.
    Another great post Nikki 🙂

  13. My favourite accessories are scarves, necklaces and watches. The watches are always large and preferably man-style. Many are cheapies with Sportsgirl and Diva both great for under $20 watches of fashion and colours.
    To try to get more wear out of my scarves and necklaces, I have started hanging them on the hangers with the tops and dresses I find they work perfectly with through my playing. This just makes it so much easier to quickly add an accessory as I’m getting dressed.

  14. I love scarves and bought a hanger from Ikea for them ,though I think they look great in summer I find them way too hot,if we get cooler days I have one on.I have my accessories stored in a drawer in a system,well one that works for me,in little chiffon bags for the better ones or the ones that will get scratched and the others sit in a box inside the drawer ,and bangles go on an old coffee cup stand and it really is a cheap and great way to store them ,you can see what is there at a glance,and rings go in a ring box with little slots,But I usually get my accesories out with my outfit the night before if going somewhere special,the only time I don’t wear a statement piece is when I am cleaning.I do wear sentimental things everyday including my wedding rings but I love a pop of something around my neck or wrist and over the years have collected some nice bits and bobs and I also have some vintage crystal necklaces I inherited from my grandmother and they are beautiful,so yes Nikki I love me an accessory or two ,and they are a great way to update an outfit or bring it into the current season.
    You have some beautiful pieces Nikki,which really make your outfits pop!

      1. Yes I call it collecting too,and yes a much nicer word than spending,don’t know if it works on husbands but worth a try Nikki!

  15. I am a prolific scarf wearer. Accessories are difficult when you’re a breastfeeding mum. I often wonder why the phrase is ‘breastfeeding mum’ because you wouldn’t breastfeeding if you weren’t a mum- weird. Anyway back to task at hand. Necklaces are bad. I have had too many broken by little fingers pulling and chunky bangles cause issues with baby’s head. You take them off and then they get left at the cafe.

    HOWEVER scarves in many different colours, shades, lengths and textures are fantastic, and double as a privacy screen.

    Also, a simple pair of shorts or jeans and white tshirt are transformed with a scarf. You can even use then as a funky beach wrap!

    I spend a two thirds of my time in Brisbane and the other Melbourne and traveling around the country side, with baby! Scarves pack light, travel well and don’t cost the earth.

    I owned barely any accessories and now I have 40+ scarves and dabble is great statement pieces when I escape baby.

    Great post 🙂

    1. Love scarves Digella. Love them! And yes, necklaces and little babies do not mix – except the ones that are teethers as well? Have you seen them? I’ve bought a few for friends. Would have loved them back in my baby feeding days!

  16. I have some spare wall space in my wardrobe, so I put up a load of removable hooks & hang my necklaces & bracelets off them – then they’re right there with my outfits for inspiration (cook work on the back of a door, or the inside of wardrobe door). If no room for that – perhaps a photo album of all your accessories?

  17. thanks Nikki- I have lots of necklaces and earrings, but since i’ve had kids and less time to play, they live in the cupboard and seem ‘too hard’ to wear. I do love Elk pieces, for something special. looking forward to more boot camp!

  18. This is my biggest hurdle where I come unstuck – especially with statement jewellery. I think it stems from a comment many years ago from someone who I used to look up to. She only wore the best fine white gold jewellery and made the comment that she hates junk jewellery as it looks cheap and tacky. Everytime I reach for a statement piece her comments haunt me. So much so that I have become the sentimental piece wearer of my Koolaman necklace and pearl or diamond studs. Every. Single Day. Boring ! I know!
    However, once I have the wardrobe basics in place, get into the habit of trying things on and begin to know what suits and what doesn’t I think I can tackle this. Do you have some online sites that you suggest for affordable statement jewellery?

    I must say thouh, I do love a scarf and this has been my key statement accessory to date.

    1. Not boring at all – and it’s for that reason I talked about the scarves being a good option in these cases. As for the comments about cheap and tacky – if not fine jewellery – I don’t agree. But I do agree that people can choose to go down either path – or mix it up a bit.

      For online affordable statement jewellery, I’d trawl through sites like etsy – handcrafted pieces with a twist. http://www.etsy.com/browse/jewelry?ref=fp_ln_new_jewelry

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