How To Accessorize Like a Stylist

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

The Art of Accessorizing

Capsule wardrobe success is all about versatility. Obviously your garments need to coordinate but the real secret to creating a trillion outfits out of 37.5 pieces is the strength of your accessory game. Accessories are the critical difference between putting on clothes and rocking an outfit.

If this seems intimidating, I get it. Accessorizing is an art. But, girl - you're savvy! You've already embraced your inner fashion stylist by creating a capsule wardrobe. Once you apply your obvious ingenuity to this easy accessorizing formula you'll be slaying outfits like it's your JOB!

Step 1: Outfit Base

Your outfit base is the simply the 1 - 2 garments that cover your nakedness. You could definitely leave the house like this, but no one would call it stylish. 

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 1: Outfit Base

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 1: Outfit Base

Before you start to accessorize, consider your outfit base. Is it neutral? Colorful? Does it feature textural details or an intricate print? The complexity of your dress, romper or top and bottom informs the complexity of the layer you'll add in Step 2. If there is a lot going on, keep the rest simple. If your base is canvas-like blank - let's paint!

Step 2: Add a Layer

How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 2: Add Texture Color or Print

How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 2: Add Texture Color or Print

This is what fashion bloggers call the "Third Item:" an additional element that adds dimension via texture, color or print. Think: hat, hair flair, belt, scarf, open chambray shirt or cardigan - even a statement necklace. A general guideline is that the additional element can anchor the outfit even if you don't add a lot of additional accessories.

Step 3:  Make It Pop

How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 3: Pick Your Jewelry

How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 3: Pick Your Jewelry

Personal Jewelry

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 3: Personal Jewelry

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 3: Personal Jewelry

I believe a girl should own a few pieces of personal jewelry that she wears with everything. For me it's a pave diamond disk (5th anniversary gift) and my wedding bands. You may have a pair of diamond studs or a delicate gold chain. Depending on the impact of your base and third layer, personal jewelry may be all you need. Should you decide to add additional jewelry these items are delicate enough to layer over. 

Balancing Trends

How to Accessorize Like a Stylist: Balancing Trends

How to Accessorize Like a Stylist: Balancing Trends

This is where so many well intentioned women fail the outfit challenge - loading on too many statements at once. When considering the following trend jewelry, select one per outfit: chandelier earrings, statement necklace, big cuff or arm candy. Keep the rest of your jewelry minimal.

Whatever your jewelry choice, make sure it vibes with your outfit. White linen dress or gauzy bohemian skirt? Pile on the delicate layers. Pencil skirt with white button down? Pair it with chandelier earrings and a thin gold chain. Jewel tone sheath dress? Opt for a statement necklace and simple studs. Swingy pants and fitted tank top? Try a cuff and thin gold hoops.

Step 4: Out The Door

(Appropriately) Fancy Footwork

Like your jewelry, your footwear should complement, not compete with the rest of your look. Bright pumps or exquisitely detailed stilettos could carry a neutral outfit on their own. Conversely, an ikat print romper or an exquisitely beaded ballgown begs for simple shoes. 

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Footwear

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Footwear

Above all, your shoes should fit the occasion. I don't care how expensive they were -- walking up the Eiffel Tower in 4 inch platform stilettos is not a good look. I've also witnessed an unimaginably chic woman work the 'ish out of a formal gown in metallic flats. The secret to style is looking effortless. The secret to looking effortless is feeling comfortable.

Grab Your Bag

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

Thankfully we've moved away from the era of the "IT BAG," when every wannabe Carrie Bradshaw had to have a Fendi Baguette. Hey, I am all for beautiful bags (and I did own a Fendi Baguette), but much like my shoes (but probably more to do with my two toddlers), these days I opt for practicality in purses. When selecting my handbag I ask myself:

  • Does it vibe with the outfit? 
  • Can I easily reach my stuff?
  • Will I have children with me? 
  • Am I going on a date or out with friends? 
MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

MappCraft | How to Accessorize Like A Stylist Step 4: Out the Door, Handbag

At this season of my life, with small children, an office job and infrequent cocktail parties, my handbag collection consists of:

SHOPPING TIP: When shopping for handbags, opt for neutrals (black, nude, brown or metallic) when purchasing a work tote or "It Bag." These are expensive and you'll want to use them often. Experiment with colors and prints with less costly styles like a crossbody or clutch.

I challenge you to invest in a bright bag that coordinates with an accent color in your core capsule. There is no way not to feel happy when you are wearing a colorful purse.

1 Outfit, 2 Ways

Want to see this formula in action? Here are two different looks created with the same base, re-styled accessories and swapped shoes. 

How To Accessorize Like a Stylist: Day Look. Keeping it casual with flat sandals and an open chambray shirt

How To Accessorize Like a Stylist: Day Look. Keeping it casual with flat sandals and an open chambray shirt

Wrapping Up

You probably have plenty of accessories already, you just weren't sure how to style them. However, if you feel like you could use a few more pieces to round out your collection, hit up a thrift store. Seriously! I love thrifting for vintage bags, jewelry and scarves. You can play around with different shapes, textures and colors without breaking the bank and you are guaranteed to find something completely unique. 

SHOPPING TIP: For your best chance at scoring a treasure for cheap, scour thrift stores in wealthy neighborhoods. 

Hopefully this basic to brilliant accessorizing formula helps you better visualize the elements of a well styled outfit. As you get more comfortable with the process, you'll start to tweak the formula and break the "rules" to create a look that feels 100% you. (PS: There are no rules.)

Be the Bright!



PS: If you like what I write, please click the heart. I'll be your best friend. 

The Only Capsule Wardrobe E-Book You Actually Need

If you appreciate the practical "how to put an outfit together" tips in this blog post you are going to LOVE my new e-book!

MappCraft | Tiny Closet Essential Survival Guide is the definitive source for creating a customized capsule wardrobe (full of color, texture and personality) and cementing your personal style in the process.

How to Cement Your Personal Style, Lesson 3: Spot Your Signature

How to Cement Your Personal Style Part 3: Spot Your Signature

Personal Style Defined

Personal style is a fluid concept.  One thing is certain - you know great style when you see it. This is because style transcends clothing – it’s a vibe. Style is the energy of multiple elements that add up to a look with feeling.

It takes time, energy and self-realization to cultivate a wardrobe that feels 100% you. But here’s the good news! Without realizing it you’ve already spent years experimenting with trends, admiring stylish people and collecting inspiration. 

The goal of this series is to help you process all that info so you can get down to business and start cultivating your unique look.

Stylish Pre-Work

  1. If you are just joining this series, start here:
  2. To get the most out of this interactive style series, you'll need a Pinterest account. If your don't have one, join here: Pinterest
  3. Last task: Follow MappCraft on Pinterest below

Lesson 3: Spot Your Signature

Now that we've stalked hundreds of super chic ladies on Pinterest you've likely noticed that the ones you remember often have a style signature - a definitive element that appears over and over again in their outfits. 

Style signatures are not limited to garments or accessories, a style signature could be a preference towards a certain silhouette, a styling technique, haircut or even makeup. Some signatures are incredibly obvious and some require a relationship with the stylish to recognize. 

Can you spot these famous fashion icons style signatures?


What's My Signature?

Now don't get overwhelmed at the idea of selecting one item to represent you for all of eternity. Your style signatures evolve with your tastes, circumstances and interests.

For the past three weeks (thanks to this eye opening astrological transit) I've become obsessed with distressed denim shorts like those favored by Julie Sarinana of Why? I'm embracing the recognition that my current personal vibe is that of a Free Spirit archetype, and playing around with clothes that reflect the way I am feeling RIGHT NOW. The distressed denim jean shorts won't make much sense in November, but they've motivated me to replace a pair of skinny jeans with a more relaxed boyfriend cut for my Autumn 2016 capsule. 

You'll see more of the my evolved Free Spirit + Editorial Eclectic aesthetic in the upcoming Autumn 2016 capsule but just because I am replacing some of my more structured silhouettes with billowy bottoms doesn't mean I won't pair them with my signature Hermes scarves.

I'll just find a new way to tie them.

It's A turban, It's a Belt, It's a half top - It's a dang scarf, ya'll

It's A turban, It's a Belt, It's a half top - It's a dang scarf, ya'll

If you like what I write, please click the heart below.



Astro Style: The Saturn Life Lesson I Found Hanging In My Closet

Astro Style: The Saturn Life Lesson I Found Hanging In My Closet

Astro Style: The Saturn Life Lesson I Found Hanging In My Closet

Summer 2016 is donzo and while Instagram mourns the end of festival season I'm chill AF about it.

The past few months have been a hot, slow slog towards enlightened self awareness. I don't know what's been going on in your universe but I am officially exhausted from over thinking my purpose and ready to get on with the next transit of my life. 

Girl, I know you feel the same way. We all do.

Over the past few months, the energetic approach of today's (Wednesday, August 24, 2016) power punch Mars conjunct Saturn transit forced us to confront what we really want out of life and kicked us in the pants to craft an action plan.

This is your chance to release those old pattens once and for all – and to welcome in the new stuff you really want to build and create. When Mars and Saturn meet tomorrow morning, they will start a new two-year cycle around our life’s work, how we take action, our belief systems, and the structures in our lives.
— Anne Ortelee,

That sounds productive, yes?

On paper.

In real time, this energy has erupted our sense of security with upsets, chaos and hella emotional upheaval. However painful, the process holds a mirror in the face of our outdated stories and the areas of our lives that simply don't inspire joy.

That's Saturn for you - a real ball buster. 

The Mars-Saturn chart (is about) seeing the patterns, releasing them, and creating new ones that support you... (it could) bring “fated” events, where we don’t always have free will. Think of it as a cosmic course-correction, redirecting you to where you’re meant to go.
— Anne Ortelee,

Don't fret, I won't burden you with a deep tale of existential crisis. My monumental A-HA was hanging in my tiny closet. 

Archetypal Influences

In July I started How to Cement Your Personal Style, a two part (and counting) interactive Pinterest activity that explores 9 primary Style Archetypes: Classically Chic, Edgy, Editorial Eclectic, Minimalist, Free Spirit, Americana, Full On Glam and Athleisure. 

For weeks I poured over fashion bloggers and street style shots and categorized hundreds of looks, paying close attention to what images excited me and which fell flat.

I write about fashion and I only wear 35.7 painstakingly selected garments per season, so naturally I assumed I was in touch with my personal style: Classically Chic for work and Editorial Eclectic + Athlesuire for weekend. 

Classically Chic by Day

Weekend Eclectic with a Side of Athleisure 


My weekend Eclectic meets Athleisure aspirations are solid but I do need to up my sneaker and textured overcoat game. Overall though, this look is still me. I like it. It vibes.

But Classically Chic? Not so much. I never wear the business garments I've kept in my capsule. Pencil skirts, blazers, blouses and killer heels simply don't serve me anymore. Instead, they reflect a bygone era before children when I was career obsessed and hell bent on dressing exactly like my boss. 

The Forgotten 

So what do I actually wear? A rotating mix of fluid, soft fabrics with stretch, paired with flat sandals, a novelty tank or slouchy top and piled on accessories. 

On Repeat

The realization I'd gone boho completely contradicts an image (and ambition) I was clinging to yet had long since outgrown.

You do not attend an executive level meeting in flat shoes, distressed denim and a gauzy t-shirt.

That's what you wear when you write about fashion, chase your children, practice yoga and work from home helping small businesses build a brand identity.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Business Boho

If you haven't checkout MappCraft on Pinterest - DO IT.

For more astro insight check out my girl Anne Ortelee online and listen to her awesome weekly podcast

Did Saturn or Mars (or just maybe your mom) shake up your life this summer? Tell me about it! 



PS: Click the heart below for 100 years of health, wealth and happiness

How To Wear A Slip Dress

How to Wear A Slip Dress

How to Wear A Slip Dress

Simply Perfect

Out of all 36 garments in my Summer 2016 capsule wardrobe, this vibrant purple no name silk slip dress, a $19.99 TJ Maxx impulse purchase from 2011, is easily the most elegant.

Her sumptuous fabric, delicate spaghetti straps and cinched waist aren't particularly toddler-friendly details, but when the right occasion warrants a wear, she doesn't disappoint.

No Name Purple Silk Slip Dress -- Origin, TJ Maxx; Circa 2011

No Name Purple Silk Slip Dress -- Origin, TJ Maxx; Circa 2011

In Praise of the Slip Dress

Second to an understated sex appeal, my favorite thing about a slip dress is its unmatched versatility. With a simple switch of accessories you can go from office to out with ease and the classic simplicity of its silhouette shifts between style archetypes like a sartorial super hero.  

Seriously! Say that three times fast.


Beauty Business Outfit

How to Wear a Slip Dress: Day to Date

How to Wear a Slip Dress: Day to Date

For a summer cute meets business casual look,  I layered a lightweight linen cardigan on top and paired the look with flat gold sandals. A Hermes silk twill scarf folded length wise and worn around the neck adds a conservative touch, my orange Hermes Collier de Chien Cuff reminds you I am not at all conservative and a beaded green pendant picks up teal accents in the purple print scarf. Lastly, my trusty beige Loeffler Randall work tote goes with everything and is sized perfectly for a laptop, with plenty of extra room to house happy hour shoes and make up. 

Office Accoutrements 

After 5 Vibe

How to Wear a Slip Dress: Day to Date

How to Wear a Slip Dress: Day to Date

For a quick transition from work to fun, I lose the cardigan, switch out the gold flats for nude peep toes and re-tie my scarf around my waist. The cuff and pendant remain as is. With a swift handbag switch and a swipe of punchy pink lip balm (TheBalm Meet Matte Hughes in Chivalrous is EVERYTHING) - I'm ready for rose. 

Date Night Accessory Roll

Slip Dress Style File

The simple silhouette of a classic slip dress makes it an worthy closet staple for a range of Style Archetypes (What's a Style Archetype, you ask? Girl! Discover your Style Archetype here).


How a Minimalist Wears a Slip Dress

How a Minimalist Wears a Slip Dress

A Minimalist doesn't ALWAYS wear all black. The clean lines of a slip dress make it the perfect canvas to accessorize with architectural accents and a muted metallic pallet. 

Jewelry: Gold Bar Necklace, AuRate NYC

Jewelry: Vermeil Icon Cuff, AuRate NYC

Handbag: My own vintage Diane Von Furstenburg, similar

Shoes: Aquazzura Christy Sparkle Lace-up flat or Steve Madden Sunshine Lace-up

Jacket: BB Dakota draped trench

Classically Chic

How a Classically Chic Girl Wears a Slip Dress

A Classically Chic gal is drawn to structured garments and timeless accessories. She grounds the fluid drape of a slip dress with a sharp blazer and tempers the purple with a neutral bag and shoes. True to form, her diamond pendant never goes out of style (or off her neck) but she's not afraid to add personality with signature arm candy.

JewelryDiamond Pendant Necklace, AuRate NYC

Arm Candy: My own Hermes Collier de Chien Cuff layered over Hermes Twilly 

Handbag: My own Loeffler Randall Open Work Tote, similar

Shoes: Christian Louboutin Nude Peep Toe or Jessica Simpson Bibi Peep Toe Pumps

Jacket: My own vintage Pierre Cardin, similar by Theory

Free Spirit

How a Free Spirit Wears a Slip Dress

A Free Spirit loves her clothes to sway and swish and is inspired by any bygone, easy going era. With its clear homage to vintage Halston, a slip dress hits both marks. She layers her dress under an open kimono and pairs with a fringe bag.  Natural stone earrings project good vibes, a draped gold lariat calls attention to her neck and modern caged sandals keep her looking fresh. 

Jewelry: Gold Connected Necklace, AuRate NYC

Jewelry: My own Kendra Scott Chalcedony Danielle earrings

Handbag: Urban Expressions fringe bucket bag

Shoes: My own Schutz Juliana Caged Heel

Kimono: Anna Sui Bird of Paradise kimono or Romeo & Juliet Couture fringe hem kimono

Editorial Eclectic

How an Editorial Eclectic Wears a Slip Dress

Miss Editorial Eclectic approaches fashion like a mixed media artist. She confidently blends colors, textures, prints and fabric into every outfit. When pairing the deep purple slip dress with every jewel tone in her closet, her mind draws Jungle Book parallels from the bold palm print jacket to the gold winged ear cuff. Clutching a richly beaded handbag on her way to NYFW, she trots up the Lincoln Center stairs in tropical yellow it-girl heels, followed by a throng of bloggers vying for her street shot.

JewelryVermiel Feather Ear Cuff, AuRate NYC

Arm Candy: My own Hermes Collier de Chien Cuff

HandbagBeaded clutch

Shoes: Aquazzura Wild Thing sandals

Jacket: Dolce & Gabbana printed silk jacket 

If you like what I write and enjoyed my homage to an epic $19.99 dress - please click the little heart below!

For more Style Archetype ideas, follow MappCraft on Pinterest




July 4: Perfect Mid Summer Party Outfits


Outfit 1: Pledge Allegiance to the Pallet


Top: Peter Som for Bergdorf Goodman linen handkerchief top with navy piping. Skirt: J.Crew Collection Navy blue sequined skirt. Shoes: Christian Louboutin Demi Yu Nude Peep Toe Pumps. Bag: DVF Clutch. Accessories: Hermes Twilly and Hermes Cuff.

Outfit 2: Rose All Day, S'il Vous Plait


Top: South Parade novelty tank. Shorts: FifteenTwenty graphic shorts. Shoes: Sergio Rossi flat gold sandals. Bag: Loeffler Randall Industry bag. Accessories: Hermes scarf as head turban.

Outfit 3: Fruit Punch Brunch


Outfit 4: I'm On A Boat!


There are only 10 weekends left in Summer. How are you going to celebrate?

If you liked these outfit ideas CLICK THE HEART, s'il vous plait. Or comment and win!




How to Craft a Capsule Wardrobe Part 2: Nail Your First Capsule


Intrigued about minimizing your closet but you don't know where or how to start?

Happy to help! 

Here is a simple tutorial on how to create your first capsule wardrobe and a brief overview about how the MappCraft Capsule Wardrobe philosophy is different from others (hint: accessories).

Let's get started!

What is a Capsule Wardrobe, Anyway?

Your very first capsule wardrobe is just one blog post away

Your very first capsule wardrobe is just one blog post away

A capsule wardrobe is a tightly edited collection of clothes you wear over the course of a season. The MappCraft capsule wardrobe contains between 35 - 40 garments. 

Each item is selected for versatility and to complement your lifestyle and body. The goal is to curate a tiny closet in which everything fits, makes you feel fantastic and can be worn in multiple ways.

At the end of each season your capsule should be evaluated for productivity. Donate, gift or consign the items that you did not wear, store out of season items and then, with a plan and a purpose, shop to fill in the gaps.

The Accessory Equasion

Accessories are the connective tissue of your capsule wardrobe

Accessories are the connective tissue of your capsule wardrobe

The MappCraft Capsule Wardrobe philosophy fully embraces the art of accessorizing. I believe in maintaining a supplemental accessory capsule, which is why accessories aren't included in the core capsule wardrobe garment count. A healthy mix of shoes, bags, jewelry and signature extras allows you to experiment with trends, hone your outfit creation skills and cement your personal style.

Hmmm... this one goes, this one stays and this one is just right

Hmmm... this one goes, this one stays and this one is just right

How Do I Start a Capsule Wardrobe?

Step 1

Read this post for an overview on how to conduct a Ruthless Wardrobe Edit.

This is a critical first step.

Once you've ruthlessly edited your closet down to only the garments you truly love, it's time to craft your first capsule.

Step 2

Remove out of season or special occasion items. Store out of sight. 

Step 3

Evaluate and organize what's left. The MappCraft Capsule Wardrobe contains 35 - 40 core garments spanning 4 categories. A rough breakdown looks like this:

  • 9 Tops (Tanks, Tops, Blouses, Sweaters)
  • 9 Bottoms (Skirts, Pants, Shorts, Denim)
  • 9 Dresses (Dresses, Rompers, Jumpsuits)
  • 9 Layers (Cardigans, Jackets, Vests, Outerwear)

Don't get caught up on the numbers or categories. You may hate pants or dresses. Don't wear them! The goal is to cultivate a closet that is 100% you.

Step 4

Fill in the gaps. This step does not need to happen in a day, or even a week. Take your time. Comparison shop. Research designers and retailers online. Once you are ready to make a purchase, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it timeless? You want to be able to wear the majority of your capsule for multiple years, incorporating trends through accessories rather than apparel.
  • Is it versatile? Does it coordinate with at least 2 garments from each category?
  • Does it fit comfortably? Tugging at clothes all day is never a good look. However - a tailor can work wonders for simple fixes like hemming or strap adjustment.
  • Is the cut/fabric/formality/care appropriate for my lifestyle? Toddlers and silk do not mix and dry cleaning is expensive.
  • Can I afford a better version? Quality over quantity is the name of this game.

Sample Summer Capsule Wardrobe

So what does a capsule wardrobe actually look like? See below for a sample capsule pulled from my Summer 2016 capsule wardrobe. This is simply a visual guideline to help you get started. In fact, the templates below only total 30 garments - who needs multiple layers in summer?

Tailor your capsule to the season, your needs and lifestyle. The only rule is mindfulness! 

Tanks, Tops, Blouses, Sweaters

Tanks, Tops, Blouses, Sweaters

Skirts, shorts, pants, denim

Skirts, shorts, pants, denim

Dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, tunics 

Dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, tunics 

Cardigans, jackets, blazers, vests

Cardigans, jackets, blazers, vests

What Do You Wear to Parties and on the Weekend?

Good question! I maintain two separate, very small capsules for weekends and special events.

Weekend Capsule

My weekend edit contains 3 pairs of chino shorts (same cut, different colors), 3 cotton tanks and 3 v-neck t-shirts. All are from J.Crew. I personalize my weekend uniform with colorful shoes and accessories.

Shorts, tanks and colorful tees 

Shorts, tanks and colorful tees 

Cocktail Capsule

The special events edit contains 4 core garments, all black, 2 pairs of party heels and 2 clutches. I mix and match these items, all impactful in their own right, with elements from my accessory collection and core capsule to create multiple cocktail looks.

Mix and match black with festive details  

Mix and match black with festive details  

C'mon - Get Tiny!

Hopefully this post inspired you to take the plunge and create a tiny closet for yourself.  Check out the Outfit Gallery for examples of how I create multiple looks from my mini wardrobe. 

If you are still feeling hesitant, perhaps this is the reason. Think about it.

Once you've nailed your core apparel capsule(s), the next step is accessories! Stay tuned.

Please share this guide with anyone you know who is interested in the capsule wardrobe concept. If you enjoyed this read, I'd love you forever if you could just CLICK THE LITTLE HEART BELOW, or, better yet, COMMENT.

xoxo Jenn