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!

xoxo

Jenn

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.

LuLaRoe Key Piece #1: Perfect Tee, Black & White Stripes

LuLaRoe Key Piece #1: Perfect Tee, Striped

LuLaRoe Key Piece #1: Perfect Tee, Striped

Surprisingly, The Perfect Tee

"What did I get myself into?" I wondered, shooting an incredulous glance at the mirror. 

With elbow length sleeves, two curious side slits and a questionable bell shaped hem, the black and white striped LuLaRoe Perfect Tee I received from Consultant Lorean Bradley, looked more like a confused mini dress than something I would describe as a tee shirt.

After a few minutes pondering the top's odd silhouette I remembered Cheryl mentioning something about knots. 

"Ahhhhh.....!" A lightbulb went off and I started to play. 

Aspirational Athleisure 

queen of the soccer moms in lularoe and aspirational accessories

queen of the soccer moms in lularoe and aspirational accessories

For Outfit #1, I knotted the LuLaRoe Perfect Tee in front and paired it with solid grey leggings (courtesy of LuLaRoe Consultant Cheryl Holloway) and my fresh grey New Balances. From there, I elevated a potentially super casual look by adding a Hermes scarf as a head wrap (the red print picks up on the sneakers), loaded on mixed metal David Yurman and Kendra Scott arm candy and finished the look with a Louis Vuitton pouch I scored on Poshmark for like $100. 

Not So Neutral Territory 

10 Key Pieces: LuLaRoe Perfect Tee, Striped with Cassie Cheetah

Outfit #2 is so stinking cute I want to marry it. AMIRIGHT? If you are new to print mixing, start with black and white stripes and an animal print - like this cheetah print Cassie skirt, also from LuLaRoe Consultant Lorean Bradley. It's a no fail "Damn, she's chic!" formula.

I styled the LuLaRoe top and skirt with my trusty Joie army green anorak (you need a jacket like this in your life, #trust), strappy DVF platform heels and a metallic crackle YSL Muse bag I bought for full price in the days before daycare. The outfit is topped with a pop of orange via an epic Mother's Day gift, my beloved Hermes Collier de Chien Cuff.

Who needs disposable income when you have two toddlers with great taste?

French Dressing

10 Key Pieces: LuLaRoe Perfect Tee, Striped with Azure Skirt Black

When paired with a black LuLaRue Azure skirt (courtesy of LuLaRue Consultant Amy Homan), Outfit #3 plays up the striped Perfect Tee's Parisian vibe with an Hermes scarf as necktie and strappy gold DVF sandals. My orange Hermes cuff is just the French Kiss this look needs to seal the outfit deal. Tres jolie!


On Deck! LuLaRoe Key Piece #2 LuLaRoe Julia Dress, Coral

Stay Tuned!

Do you love LuLaRoe? On a quest for unicorn leggings? Wonder where I scored that awesome cheetah print Cassie? Talk to me! (And dammit if you've read this far, click the little heart below!)

xoxo Jenn