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.

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

how-to-nail-your-first-capsule-wardrobe

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

The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

THIS IS A VIDEO. WATCH IT!

Embrace the Scarf!

Capsule wardrobes thrive on versatility. The trick to creating an effective capsule wardrobe is to curate a collection of garments in which every item fits together like a puzzle. 

MappCraft: The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

MappCraft: The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

My Hermes silk twill scarf collection is the connective tissue that adheres my capsule wardrobe. My husband gave me my first Hermes scarf for my 30th birthday in 2007 but it wasn't until 2013 that I actually learned the one critical trick to tying the damn things. Inside that year's anniversary gift bag (above) I discovered a sweet little orange box marked "Cartes A Nouer - Knotting Cards." 

MappCraft: The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

MappCraft: The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

The Hermes Knotting Card deck taught me how to fashion scarves as belts, head wraps, neck ties, bows, bracelets - even halter tops -- but the foundation for all of those styles was the one simple little folding trick I share in the video above.

But I Can't Afford a $400 Scarf!

No problem, girl! Not every scarf needs to be Hermes. Check out the gallery below for a range of scarf options in a range of price points. Just know that silk twill folds more elegantly than other materials.

Still coveting an orange box? Put one on your wish list! Birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines, Mother's Day, Anniversary - all fantastic opportunities to elevate your accessory collection via luxury gift getting. You just need to train the gift giver - here's my definitive guide on how to score an epic gift. 

Shop Silk Scarves

If you are serious about capsule wardrobing, you seriously need to embrace the art of the scarf because just one scarf can multiple your outfit possibilities in dozens of ways.

Enjoy! Show me how you wear your scarves in the Tiny Closet, Tons of Style® private FB group.

xoxo -- Jenn

PS: CLICK THE HEART BELOW! Tell your friends. Share the love. 

MappCraft | The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe   Photo Credits: Erin Nicole Brown

MappCraft | The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

Photo Credits: Erin Nicole Brown